Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Pentecost Holiness

May 26, 2013


Last week we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit in power at Pentecost. Our emphasis of application was on the convicting and renewing work of the Holy Spirit. It is imperative that each one of us know the work of the Spirit in our lives, from the least of us to the greatest. And this is the promise of the Spirit, that He comes to you and to your children and to all that are far off and to their children, to the very ends of the Earth.

And when He does come upon us, then He changes us into the holy people of God that do His bidding in the world. Sometimes we do not feel like the holy people of God, especially if we are not looking at the collective group but viewing this holiness from an individual perspective.

But how can we know that God is at work among us as a people? We have to examine the fruit. And how do we know that God is at work among us as individuals? Again, we have to examine the fruit. And when we do this, we have to be the right kind of fruit inspectors. Our goal is to grow up into maturity and perfection but if the banana is a bit green, it is still a banana. If the banana has a couple of bruises and blemishes, it is still a banana. The presence of defects does not make false fruit. An over critical examiner or an over tender conscience may tend to declare that which is truly the fruit of the Spirit as no fruit at all.

As the people of God, there are some proofs that God is among us, namely the worship, love and fellowship of the saints. As individuals, there is the fruit of the Spirit, which are essentially the same fruits.

As we walk through this today, I do not want overly tender consciences to declare immature fruit or defective fruit as no fruit. We must examine ourselves honestly to see if we are in Christ, but having found ourselves in Christ, then we must not listen to the voices that accuse and condemn us.

One of those voices says that you are not good enough. There are good people who are growing in Christ around you and you just do not measure up. To that voice, you simply say, “So, what. It’s true, I am not good enough.” That is why Jesus had to die on the cross, because you do not measure up. But in Jesus Christ, the Father is satisfied and you must claim Jesus as the one who measured up for you. If you keep claiming Jesus, even when you are accused, then you know that the Spirit is at work in you.

The devil’s job is that of accuser. He constantly accuses the brethren. You are not good enough. You still sin too much. Jesus’s work is not enough for the likes of you. But even the fact of your awareness of these accusations is proof that the Spirit is at work in your midst. The devil is a false accuser and desires to bring doubt and discouragement into the lives of the saints. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.

And in all of these doubts, our answer is to always go back to Jesus. We admit our failings, cling to Christ and are comforted in His Holy Spirit. As long as you do this, no accusation formed against you will ever be heard. You are justified, fully absolved by the merit and blood of Jesus.

So, now what?

At Pentecost, the Spirit was forming the Holy people of God. He had always done this. When He called out Abram and made him a nation, when Jacob and his seventy went down to Egypt. When Moses brought God’s people out of Egypt. When Joshua laid claim to the Promised Land, when the exiles were a people in Babylon, when the people returned to the land as the people of God. In all of these formations of God’s people, the Holy Spirit was at work. And while it is true that there were always some Gentiles attached to the people of God, there had never been an international formation of the people of God until Pentecost. From this day forth, the people of God took on a new meaning and a new identity. No longer was it the ethnic or national people of God. God’s nation is not bound by borders or languages. It extends to the ends of the Earth and includes all peoples, tribes and tongues.

And they all speak the language of worship of the One true God through Jesus and exhibit love for one another across all national and ethnic divisions. Gal. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And this is the work of God’s Holy Spirit among His people.

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