The Spirit Fills The Church With Life and Power

Taken from a Red Rock News Article (May 17, 2024)
Rev. Dona Johnson | May 19, 2024

On the fiftieth day after Jesus’ victory over sin and  death—the Day of Pentecost, from his throne on  high, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to mark, claim and  indwell the people of God, all of those who  expressed allegiance to Jesus (Acts 2). And this  underscores the one demarcation of every  Christian who believes in the one true and living  God who has given them his Spirit—the Holy Spirit.  

We are told on that day that all the Apostles  were gathered in one place and a violent rush of  wind from heaven swept over them and tongues of  fire landed on each of them. Now the Jews in  Jerusalem were to a large extent pilgrims from  many regions attending the Feast of Pentecost.  Suddenly the Apostle’s began to speak in many  indigenous languages and dialects and many in the  crowd who had gathered heard these new spiritual  utterances in their own language and were amazed  at the exuberant and joyful praise. Those who were  gathered knew without a doubt, that something  strangely new had entered the world—the  supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. The same  Spirit Jesus had promised to send his disciples in  John 14:26.  

In The Acts of The Apostles, author R. B.  Rackham states, “Every new beginning in thought  or life is inevitably accompanied by disturbance.  There is the struggle with the old, and the re adjustment to the new, environment.” And  eventually, this new beginning wore itself a deep  channel in the spiritual life of the church. The  “gospel” of Acts is the gift of the Spirit. And this is  the distinguishing mark of every Christian. The Spirit is given to individuals, indwells in them and is  their very life. There is one Spirit, and all who  receive the Spirit become one spiritual body, the  

church. The fruit of the Spirit is unity and fellowship  which replaces individualism. It fills the church with  life, power and starts it on its course. It also carries forth the proclamation of the death and  resurrection of Jesus Christ, through making  disciples and baptizing them in the name of the  Father, Son and Holy Spirit—the Trinity.  

Prior to the Day of Pentecost, the twelve  apostles were basically the church and the  repositories of all authority. But they alone were  unequal to the task of teaching, preaching and  reaching all nations. Due to the Spirit, now other  men and women were raised up with new ideas,  insights and prophetic discernments, and the early  church, once regarded as a nucleus of twelve  apostles expands its leadership and begins to grow.  

By the end of the first century, scholars  estimate there were approximately 7,000  Christians. After Jesus’ death and resurrection in 30  A.D., those who believed this truth gathered  together in clusters of house churches. The Spirit  created a new energy and excitement causing  these new believers to give their lives to the  apostle’s teaching. They worshiped, communed and prayed together. They were of one heart and  mind and had meals together. Some of the  members of this new movement sold their  possessions and property and generously gave to  one another when a need arose. And Scripture tells  us that the Holy Spirit added to their numbers  daily—thousands (Acts 2:42-45; 4:30-37). 

For those of us who live in Sedona, seeking  the spiritual is our claim to fame: astral planes, quantum consciousness, exploring the mystical  with drugs and of course crystals charged with  vortex energy (see Sedona Chamber of Commerce).  Yes, people come here seeking these things because they are spiritually hungry. And it was  really no different in Jesus’ day or when the  churched was birthed on the Day of Pentecost. As  Christians, we know by faith that the supernatural  power that is given to us is not found in a vortex or  a crystal but is found in the third person of the  Trinity—the Holy Spirit. It is one the “true” spiritual  power (the tour de force) in all the world. Nothing  else compares to its power. And so we praise Jesus,  who sends us the Holy Spirit to multiply our efforts,  sustain our lives and ministry on earth until Jesus,  our Savior and Redeemer returns! Amen.