Two weeks ago we heard about the benefits of the ascension and preaching those benefits to ourselves. We don’t just have a risen Savior, we have an ascended Savior who now reigns on the throne of heaven with all power and authority. He is our Lord and King. He is our great high priest, the once-for-all perfect and complete sacrifice. By His blood our sins are forgiven. And now He is praying to the Father on our behalf. Continue to preach and proclaim to yourself Jesus who is in heaven, what He is like and what He has done and is doing for you, who’s side is He on. One of the fruits or benefits of the ascension is Pentecost. Jesus said He must ascend so the Spirit could descend. John 16:7 I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. So this morning let’s consider together the great benefits of preaching Pentecost to ourselves. Pentecost is the spiritual turning point in history. Something absolutely transforming and cataclysmic happened on that day. We just observed the anniversary of D-Day, which was a decisive turning point in the history of WWII. Pentecost is that decisive moment in our spiritual battle with sin and with walking in the will of God and in a relationship with Him. Pentecost is essential for your life as a Christian. In fact, you can’t be one without the Spirit. You can’t know or understand the Gospel without the Spirit, you can’t preach the Gospel to yourself without the Spirit, you can’t believe it or apply it without the Spirit.
What is Father’s Day? Father’s Day is that day when children pay particular attention to their father, and devote a little extra time, share a gift, share some meaningful words, express some gratitude. It’s a day of praise, honor, and memories. There’s a sense in which every Sunday is a Father’s Day. That day when children gather to express praise, gratitude and honor, to show appreciation and share some meaningful words directed to our heavenly Father.
Two weeks from today pastor Al Vander Griend will be teaching a one hour, five week adult Sunday school class on Spiritual Gifts. We hope that the fellowship hall downstairs is filled. We are planning something for the post nursery children so moms and dads can attend. This is a very important subject and as Paul says in I Corinthians 12:1, “concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed.” But before we can understand spiritual gifts we need to understand something about the source of those gifts and Pentecost Sunday is a perfect opportunity to be more informed about the Holy Spirit. Introduction to Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is the name of a Jewish feast. The word literally means 50 days, referring to the number of days after Passover. 50 days after Passover every male Jew was required to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the completion of the barley harvest and make sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. On that day Jerusalem was filled with Jews from at least 15 different parts of the world. On that day God chose to send down His promised gift of His Holy Spirit. On that day was fulfilled the OT prophecy that God’s Holy Spirit would be poured out on all who believed. Pentecost marks the penultimate act of God in salvation history. These are the last days before Christ returns and the world as we know it ends. Brothers and Sisters, today is the day we come face to face with our need for renewal and revival, in our hearts and in our homes and in our church. Today is the day we are reminded of the supreme importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in our world. Supreme importance. Really, pastor? How big a deal is the Holy Spirit? How important is it to know the Holy Spirit? Is it even necessary to know who the Spirit is? Let me answer by declaring what Scripture says you cannot do without the Holy Spirit.
Why am I returning to this topic? Because this business of sanctification is a real challenge. We all know that we are all sinners, we have sinned and we continue to sin, we do what is wrong in the eyes of God. I am a sinner and you are a sinner. On the one hand it’s a relief to know that, to know that none of us are perfect, that all of us fall short of the glory of God, that none of us has any grounds for boasting or pride. On the other hand it’s cause for much heartache and distress almost to the point of despairing that we have so much sin remaining in our life. I hate how little progress I make in resisting temptation and sin. I freely admit that I am a chief among sinners. I find some comfort in those words of Paul. I appreciate his honest assessment of his own spiritual progress. The more mature he became spiritually, the more clearly he saw the depth of his own indwelling sin and depravity. Listen to this progression in three chronological verses from early in his ministry to the very end.