Lesson Text: Acts 1: 1-10, 2:1-11
The word Church does not refer to a physical building composed of wood and stone. It refers to the building of God composed of believers as living stones. It is the Holy Spirit who makes believers living stones and without the Holy Spirit there can be no living Church as it is the Holy Spirit that gives it life. A Church without life (that is without the Holy Spirit) is like a radio without batteries or without a connection to electricity.
The disciples of Jesus after His ascension to heaven, must have felt utterly deserted and cut off.
When Jesus ascended to heaven, I guess the disciples looked at each other and had that after the funeral feeling – now there was this relationship between them and God that, at least in Jesus’ case, could be bridged through prayer but nonetheless Jesus was in heaven, and here they were with their feet in Jerusalem.
But fortunately for them, Jesus had given them some precise instructions. Acts 1:4-9 Jesus instructed His disciples very clearly to wait for the gift that God the Father had promised – the gift of the Holy Spirit in Whom they would be baptized.
The scriptures make it quite clear that the gift of the Holy Spirit is for believers (John 16:5-7).
In Matthew 28 verse 20, He instructs His followers to baptize those who believe in the name of the Holy Spirit.
In a general sense, Jesus said ‘It is for your good that I am going away, Unless I go away, He says, the counsellor will not come to you, but if I go, I will send Him to you’.
The church was born of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost as described in Acts 2.
Before that date, the disciples had certainly known spiritual fellowship with Christ and with one another;
They had experienced the illumination and power of the Spirit on some occasions, they had been specifically taught about the Spirit, and had been promised God’s gracious gift of the Spirit. Yet, although the Spirit had clearly been with them before Pentecost, He was not abiding in them. His action had been as in Old Testament days coming upon certain people at certain times for certain occasions.
In one way or the other, it became impossible to think of the church without the Holy Spirit. Take Him away and you have no church. You could have an institution, an organization, a building, a structure perhaps, but no church of the living God.
Let’s consider some of the foremost tasks of the church.
Guidance is the work of the Spirit of God: ’For all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.’ Galatians 5 :16
A second task of the church is prayer – prayer also needs the direct assistance of the Holy Spirit. We are to “pray at all times in the spirit; and if we are conscious of our weakness in the realm of prayer. Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:26
A third task is ministry, through which we can build up the body of Christ. This is also dependent on the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:4-11
The fourth task of the church is to witness Jesus Christ. Again no one finds this easy; and therefore Jesus promised His disciples the power of the Spirit in order to be His witnesses Acts 1 verse 8 or Luke 24 – 49
The fifth task of the church is to worship God. But real worship is never easy – Jesus said:- God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
The sixth task of the church is compassion – We cannot possibly love this broken world with God’s love without His Spirit.
We truly need what has been commonly described as the Father-heart of God. This kind of love only comes when we open ourselves up to the warm reception of God’s love in our lives.
How then can we personally and corporately know the power of the spirit here in our own church today?
The reception of the Holy Spirit into our lives depends deeply on our asking God for Him.
So when Jesus and John The Baptist said, “You will be baptized in the Holy Spirit” they were saying :
-you will be filled with the presence of God!
-when you are dipped, immersed and soaked into the presence of God you will have a new spiritual color that will fill every part of your being!
When Jesus received the Holy Spirit at His baptism, we need to understand that the Holy Spirit’s character was revealed at that time –
He descended upon the Lord Jesus at a dove.
There is no question that the Holy Spirit was and still is often received by the laying on of hands and prayer as we see in the scripture.
As Christian you need the Holy Spirit, so why don’t you ask the Father in heaven to send His Spirit to you so that you can be a fulfilled Christian.
DEACON OLUWAYIMIKA ANIBABA
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