Pentecost

You will
receive power.

We have not historically celebrated Pentecost as a church. However, it's an important Christian tradition that points us towards the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Pentecost means “50,” marking 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, and it was the day that changed everything for the newly born Church. Before then, the believers who made up the body of Christ had faith in the resurrected Jesus and trust in God the Father. But on that day, God poured out the Holy Spirit to dwell within them, granting them the most compelling power available to mankind and changing the landscape of the Church forever.

We celebrate Pentecost because that same Spirit resides within us—binding us together in a unity that transcends any earthly difference. Through the Spirit, we receive power to live transformed lives on mission for Christ.

Teaching

  • Pentecost

    At the time of the early Church, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday—a harvest festival celebrating God’s faithfulness. While Jews gathered to celebrate Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, God poured out the Holy Spirit on the believers, granting them power to become his witnesses. Today, as Christians, we celebrate Pentecost to remember and celebrate the unifying power of the Holy Spirit within us. May it overcome our natural self-reliance and consumerism—empowering us to bear witness to the gospel at work in our lives.

    June 5

John 3:6

Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 

Study Questions

  • At the time of the early Church, Pentecost was a Jewish holiday—a harvest festival celebrating God’s faithfulness. While Jews gathered to celebrate Pentecost after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, God poured out the Holy Spirit on the believers, granting them power to become his witnesses. Today, as Christians, we celebrate Pentecost to remember and celebrate the unifying power of the Holy Spirit within us. May it overcome our natural self-reliance and consumerism—empowering us to bear witness to the gospel at work in our lives.
    Application
    1. At our core, we all carry brokenness, guilt, and shame. How have you seen God’s power manifest itself through weakness—either in your own life or someone else’s? In what ways can you invite the Holy Spirit to bear witness of Jesus’ presence through the brokenness in your life?

    2. Consider the idea that if you are a believer, the Holy Spirit is a person living inside you. How should that impact the way you think, speak, and act? Are your life choices grieving the Holy Spirit or inviting him into greater intimacy?

    3. The primary experience of the Holy Spirit is a corporate one. Have you ever experienced the unifying fullness of the Holy Spirit while on mission with other believers? What steps do you need to take to move towards that kind of community?

    Key Points
    • The Old Testaments points to a time when God’s Spirit will invade the entire nation of Israel. This was fulfilled at Pentecost, but in an entirely different way than anyone anticipated.

    • We are all broken by the guilt and shame of our sin. The gospel does not help us forget those things—the gospel helps us remember them and not be devastated by them.

    • The Holy Spirit grants us power to bear witness to the transforming nature of Jesus’ resurrection, particularly through our weakness and pain.

    • The Holy Spirit is a person who lives within us. We have the ability to grieve him or bring him joy through our thoughts, words, and deeds.

    • Through the Holy Spirit’s presence within us, God’s holiness can infect and invade the profanity of the world.

    • We experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit in community with other believers who are on mission for God. We are one new humanity—the house of God.

John 15:26

But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.

Resources

Articles
Pentecost_TeachingSlides_Bill_June5