The Pentecost also marked the beginning of the church. The Book of Acts presents the events that led to the formation of the church, which started on the Day of Pentecost. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4). From the one hundred and twenty people in the upper room that were waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the church grew to three thousand after Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, preached the Good News to the people.
Of the Trinity, the third person, the Holy Spirit, is less known and accepted. This is not surprising because Jesus himself had said, “The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). Only firm believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who dare to obey Jesus’ command to be born again can accept and believe in the Holy Spirit. A born again believer is born of the Spirit.
Because God’s plan was not for Jesus to stay with us forever, Jesus said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever” (John 14:16). By nature, we are incapable of surviving in this troubled world on our own. We need a counsellor in the person of the Holy Spirit. And according to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will perform three major roles in the lives of believers.
Firstly, the Holy Spirit will come to be our teacher. Jesus said, “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). The reason we need the Holy Spirit to be our teacher is because spiritual things are spiritually discerned. It is beyond us to know things concerning God. For us to know what is in the mind of God, we need the help of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul said, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:11).
Secondly, the Holy Spirit will come to convict us. Jesus said, “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:8-11). The convicting power of the Holy Spirit was so strong that during Peter’s first sermon, the people were cut to the heart and asked Peter and the other disciples, “Brothers, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). As they repented through the admonition of Peter, they were baptized and believed in the Lord Jesus.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit will come to empower us. Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Foremost, the Holy Spirit empowers us for service. This empowerment was evident in the life of Peter. He was not only given the boldness to preach but the wisdom to do so. “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). Indeed, the Holy Spirit teaches us all things and empowers us to be witnesses to others and live victoriously. Come, Holy Spirit, come. Amen.