This weekend the church celebrated Pentecost, the coming of the Spirit, and what a momentous event that first Pentecost was! All of a sudden ordinary Galilean Christians were filled with the Spirit speaking in languages they had never learned and as a result their worship, prayer and witness was radically transformed, and their impact on the world could not have been imagined – we are the recipients and beneficiaries of that first outpouring.
The big question for us all whether charismatic/pentecostal or not, is what do we know of the Spirit today, of his presence and power among us? It was Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who said, “If you have got it all why are you so unlike the New Testament Christians? Got it all? Got it all at your conversion? Well, where is it I ask you?” The question has as much relevance for us today as it did for the Christians of his day.
The big danger today is in confusing modern songs, guitars and drums, high volume and effects, raising and clapping hands, with the Spirit’s presence among us.
To know the presence of the Spirit is to know God among us, to know his empowering presence – God present and moving powerfully in our midst. And with that there is drama, and the New Testament churches it seems were full of it, so much so that Paul had to write to the church at Corinth to bring things into Godly order! Would to God that we might have more of that today!
Got it all? Then where is it? Where’s the evidence?
Have you been baptised in the Spirit?
Do you know what it is to be filled with the Spirit on a regular basis?
Maybe you were baptised in the Spirit years ago, what about today – are you seeking fresh encounters and fillings?
What about the presence and activity of the Spirit in your church?
The responsibility lies with us all. The corporate and the personal are closely intertwined, one flows out of one into the other so that it’s difficult to know which comes first. The command is to be filled with the Spirit both personally and corporately.