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The Holy Spirit Came

Acts 2:1-4
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. (NIVUK)

Usually a title summarises the narrative. However, 'The Holy Spirit Came' needs some explanation. It is true that the Holy Spirit was given to the apostles and other believers on the first Pentecost after the Ascension. That is what Jesus had promised (John 14:15-18), and what Joel had prophesied (Joel 2:28-32). However the Spirit is God and has always been in existence, with the Father and Son. The Spirit was hovering over the waters covering the formless world before creation (Genesis 1:2), inspired the Old Testament writers (1 Peter 1:10-12), enabled the Virgin Mary to conceive (Luke 1:35), and was present at Jesus' baptism (John 1:32-34).

Unlike Jesus, the Holy Spirit did not appear as a physical human body but would inhabit the bodies of those who believed in Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The Bible writers used fluids (wind, water, fire, oil) to describe Him. He is not limited to one time-space location, like Jesus was: He is present everywhere and fills billions of people all over the world at the same time so that they can know God personally.

More than 120 people were praying and waiting for the Spirit (Acts 1:14-15). They had no idea what to expect but His arrival was unmistakable: a sound of a violent wind-storm filled the house, and they saw flickering light patterns like inverted flames which settled on each person. They all knew that the Spirit of Jesus was in them, closer than touching them, and they praised God in languages they had never learned. It was a remarkable and unique event, which they never forgot. As Jesus had told them, they had suddenly become confidently empowered to proclaim the Lordship of their Master (Acts 1:8).

The Holy Spirit's arrival at that Pentecost was the presence of God filling every believer, with the promise that everybody who repented and believed would also be filled with Him for countless generations to come (Acts 2:38-39). That is still true. A heart open to confess and release sin, is a heart open to receive Jesus and be filled with His Spirit. Have you welcomed Him (www.crosscheck.org.uk)? He is not far from any of us (Acts 17:27) but we must receive Him gladly (Revelation 3:20), and be fully available to be used by Him as He chooses. The thoughts, feelings and other manifestations of the Spirit's indwelling presence are unique to each person as the Spirit confirms the relationship which is formed with God. And then, every day pray to keep on being filled with His Spirit so that you will know His love and have His power to serve.

Heavenly Father. Thank You for sending Your Spirit to everybody who is trusting in Jesus. Forgive me for being independent of You, for choosing my own plans and serving with my own power. Please help me to see the fundamental importance of welcoming Your Holy Spirit and then working with Him in Your power to achieve Your purposes. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams