Icon of the Pentecost (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Peace be with you…
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.” As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:19-22 ESV)
For a healthy Christian life, it is indispensable that we should be fully conscious that we have received the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The disciples spent three years walking with Jesus and they were recognized as believers. However, this position was not enough for them. He commanded them not to rest satisfied until they had received the Holy Spirit from Himself in heaven.
Therefore, when Jesus met with the disciples after the resurrection, he greeted them by saying, “PEACE BE WITH YOU!” Not just one time but twice, Jesus truly loved his disciples and they loved him. But he now had to prepare them for their commission, to be his personal representatives in spreading the gospel around the world. However, in order to do this they needed the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. And Jesus gave them this power by breathing into them the HOLY SPIRIT. This act reminds us of what God did to make the first man come alive, he breathed into him and he became a living soul. There is life in the breath of God. Man was created but did not come alive until God had breathed into him the breath of life. God’s first breath made man different from all other forms of creation. Here, through the breath of Jesus, God imparted eternal, spiritual life. With this breathing came the power to do God’s will on earth.
Jesus gave the disciples their Spirit-powered and Spirit-guided mission—to preach the Good News about him so that people’s sins might be forgiven. Now we must earnestly examine ourselves and ask the question, “DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?” We know that there are still many Christians who know nothing of this gift of the Holy Spirit. Amid much that is good and amiable, even with much earnestness and zeal, the life of such Christians is still hampered by weakness, stumbling, and disappointment simply because it has never been brought into vitalizing contact with power from on high. Such souls have not received the HOLY SPIRIT as the Pentecostal gift to be possessed, kept, and filled by Him.
Now to be certain of this one fact, the supreme need of the Christian life is to receive the HOLY SPIRIT and, when we have it, to be conscious of the fact and live in harmony with it. We as Evangelical Minister must not merely preach about the HOLY SPIRIT from time to time, but also direct our efforts toward teaching our congregations that there can be no true worship except through the indwelling and unceasing operation of the HOLY SPIRIT. Only those who are thirsty will drink water with eagerness, and only those who are sick will desire a physician. In the same way, it is only when believers are prepared to acknowledge the defective and sinful character of their spiritual condition that the preaching of the full blessing of Pentecost will find an entrance into their hearts.
Many Christians imagine that the only thing lacking in their life is more earnestness or more strength and, if they only obtain these benefits, they will become all they ought to be. This makes the preaching of a full salvation of little avail. It is only when the discovery is made that they are not standing in a right attitude toward the HOLY SPIRIT that they have only His preparatory operations but do not yet know Him in His indwelling, that the way to something higher will ever be open or even be desired.
For this discovery, it is indispensable that the question should be put to each individual as pointedly and as personally as may be: “DID YOU RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN YOU BELIEVED?” When the answer takes the shape of a deeply felt and utterly sincere concern, then the time of revival is not far off.
I have ministered this message to you this day from a position of peace and power given by Jesus Christ that you may come into the full knowledge of the HOLY SPIRIT. I remain your brother in Jesus Christ, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!
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