No. 40 - 04th June 2017

If you follow the Church Calendar, you’ll know that today is Pentecost Sunday. It’s a day of new beginnings. If Christmas marks the day Christ was born, then Pentecost is the day the Church was born. Something changed radically that day. Something that has affected millions of people down through the last two thousand years.

In the Old Testament, we’re told that God chose one individual, Abraham, and promised that his descendents would become a nation – a very special nation, through which God would show the world what He was like. Now that’s a risky strategy. I mean, what if the nation turns out to be a complete misrepresentation of who God is. Well, to take some of the risk out of the venture, God did something for the nation’s leaders. He put His Spirit on them. The King, the High Priest and the Prophets were all anointed by God to rule his people with justice, for the High Priest to really represent the people before God and for the Prophets to become a reliable mouthpiece for what God had to say to the nations. This anointing enabled those people to function with something of God in their lives. They could be different because they had an inner motivation to make Godly decisions, or live a life that stood out from the crowd. The driving force in their lives came from inside but it was not a part of them, it was part of God, and that had the potential to make these people a real force for good in the nation. I say potential, because the Spirit that was on them, and this is important, never controlled them like puppets. They had to choose for themselves to follow the Spirit. And if they didn’t, the results could be disastrous. There was nothing automatic about it.

Then one day, under the influence of the Spirit of God, one of those Prophets made this prediction. “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days”. Well, that day was the Day of Pentecost. The day when God poured out His Spirit on anyone from the highest to the lowest. On men and women, slave and free. No one who put their faith in Christ Jesus, the Messiah, was excluded from this same, amazing gift of the Holy Spirit. And that was when the Church began.

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