Tag Archives: Pentecost

A Foretaste of Glory: The Holy Spirit of Pentecost

 

A Foretaste of Glory

The promise of Pentecost

Sunday we will celebrate Pentecost Sunday.  This will mark the end of Eastertide and introduce the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Promise (Acts 1:4; Luke 24:49; John 14:16).

Many churches will dress their altars in red to symbolize the fire of Pentecost.  This fire, the Holy Spirit, fell upon the apostles and early followers of Jesus who were gathered in the Upper Room (Acts 2:3).  This fire would empower the apostles then and believers now to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world.

Pentecost marked the availability of the Holy Spirit to everyone who would “call upon the name of Jesus” (Rom. 10:13; Acts 2:38).  Collectively, individuals responding in faith would form the Church promised by Jesus to His disciples (Matt. 16:18).

The presence of the Holy Spirit

While we may know about the various ministries of the Holy Spirit, it is even more important to fully grasp the enormity of His Presence within us.  I love the way Jesus described this phenomenon in John 17:23 (NLT).

I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Imagine.  We have deity living within us!  Jesus in believers and God in Jesus.  Why?  So that we will be in complete agreement.  Our will, our thoughts, and our lives operating together.   And when the world sees us, they will see God and know how much He loves us.

Like the disciples on the day of Pentecost, we need the Holy Spirit’s power and direction as we live for God’s glory.  Pentecost is not only a day on the church calendar, but it is also an invitation to join God in His ministry of deliverance, wholeness, and grace (Eph. 2:10).

Stormie Omartian, bestselling American Christian author, describes our partnership with the Holy Spirit this way:

God wants to lead you to places you cannot get to without Him, and He does that by the power of His Spirit. He can bring you into the realm of the miraculous—not as a show, but as a demonstration of His love and compassion for the lost, hurting, or needy. Who among us doesn’t want or need that?

The glory of Pentecost

In meditating on the glory of Pentecost, the words of the hymn, “Blessed Assurance” echoes within my heart and mind:

Blessed assurance Jesus is mine

Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine

Heir of salvation, purchase of God

Born of His Spirit, Lost in His love. 

This song captures in totality the work of salvation.  It describes in its opening lines the work specifically of the Holy Spirit who gives us a foretaste of the glory that belongs to those who are in Christ.

“Foretaste” is made up of two Latin words:  ante which means “ahead, before or previously” and gustus meaning “flavor, zeal” (this is where we get our word gusto).  Foretaste is described as a taste before possession; a limited awareness of something to occur.

This is a good illustration of what the sealing of the Holy Spirit accomplishes.  The Holy Spirit whets the spiritual appetite for those things which God has reserved for believers until the day we all shall see Jesus for ourselves (1 John 3:2).  Paul referred to this time as the “redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1:4).

As we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, let us look forward to the time when we will be fully in the presence of God.  While we wait, let God’s Spirit lead us to where we might witness and serve.  Having received a foretaste of glory, let us not squander the power within us—the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is my story, this is my song.

Praising my Savior all the day long.

The Presence of the Lord

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever the Spirit of truth. 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 14:16-17 (NIV)

This month, we will be focusing on the topic “God in and Among Us.”  We have chosen this topic because we believe that once we fully understand that God is present with us—continually, without interruption, 7X24—we will live more dependent upon Him and “to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:14).  Last week we opened this series with the Pentecost event (Acts 2) and the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit.  This week we will begin to examine how His presence impacts the life of believers and the Church.

For three and one-half years, Christ built a spiritual community with His disciples.  It was one of great love and intimacy.  As Jesus’ ministry expanded, the disciples grew in faith and confidence as they experienced the presence of the Pearl of Great Price (Matt. 13:46) who had the words of eternal life (John 6:68).  In anticipation of His departure, Jesus promised the disciples “another Comforter” (allon parakletos)—another of the same kind to aid (John 14:16).  The Holy Spirit would represent God to the disciples as Jesus did in his incarnate state.  The Holy Spirit would direct the disciple’s decisions, counsel them continually, and remain with them forever.  Jesus knew the heart of His disciples and the importance of His presence in their life.  That  same Comforter now dwells within each believer in Christ (Eph. 1:13).

“The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and

the Church is famishing for want of His Presence.”

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Jesus knew that even in 2017, His Church and believers would need the loving reassurance of His presence.  With the uncertainty of the world we live in, it is comforting to know that we are never outside the watchful eye of God IN ADDITION to being indwelt by the very presence of Jesus, who is the Holy Spirit living within us.  God never changes and His promises are still true—“He will never leave or forsake us” (Gen. 28:15).   It is critical that we grasp the enormity of God’s presence with us. We are never out of God’s watchful eye or reach. Now that’s “blessed assurance.”

SELAH: Find a quiet place and using your favorite Bible translation read Psalm 139:7-10.  Write down any words or phrases that catch your attention.  Then read this passage a second time from The Message paraphrase below.  This time write down the emotions you feel as you read this text.  (Click here if you need help in recognizing different emotions) Lastly, ask the Holy Spirit to share what He wants you to now know, do, or believe as a result of this reading.

 

Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?

to be out of your sight?

If I climb to the sky, you’re there!

If I go underground, you’re there!

If I flew on morning’s wings

To the far western horizon,

You’d find me in a minute—

You’re already there waiting!