Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pentecost and the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit

I doubt if many of you have ever heard the name Octavius Winslow. He was a Baptist pastor in England in the 19th century (d. 1878), a contemporary of Charles Spurgeon, who late in life became an Anglican. But that’s not important. What is important is that you hear and understand the truth of one thing he said about the Holy Spirit:
"All that we spiritually know of ourselves, all that we know of God, and of Jesus, and His Word, we owe to the teaching of the Holy Spirit; and all the real light, sanctification, strength and comfort we are made to possess on our way to glory, we must ascribe to Him. . . . Where He is honoured, and adoring thoughts of His person, and tender, loving views of His work are cherished, then are experienced, in an enlarged degree, His quickening, enlightening, sanctifying and comforting influence" (Octavius Winslow).
Pentecost is the day in the church calendar that typically comes on the 50th day after the Sabbath of Passover. This year that day was celebrated two weeks ago on June 4. As you probably know, it was on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the followers of Jesus. This was the event that fulfilled the prophecy of Jesus to his disciples in Luke 24:49 – “And behold,” said Jesus, “I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Clearly, then, the focus of Pentecost is the coming of the Holy Spirit, his indwelling presence in our lives, and the power that he brings to enable us to do what we otherwise could never accomplish.

What exactly happened on that day? Let me respond to this question with two answers. First, the events of Pentecost were a singular phenomenon in history. In other words, there is only one Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the people of God. It was historically unique, which means that it is not correct to speak of people elsewhere throughout the world, down through the centuries, each experiencing their own Pentecost.

However, it is equally important to remember that although the Day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit could only happen once, as a singular event in redemptive history, the effects or aftermath or fruit of the Spirit’s coming are experienced at all times throughout the course of church history. Let me try to explain this in simple terms. Read More
For readers who may be interested in learning more about Octavius Winslow, I am providing a link to a Wikipedia article about him.

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