Many churches will have celebrated the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost this Sunday, a celebration of a real powerful historical event that came about as the result of Jesus’s ascension to the Father, and the fulfilment of the promise of the Father.
In doing so though we don’t just celebrate a past event but a continuing dynamic experience, or at least we shouldn’t – Scripture speaks of the experience of the Spirit belonging to all who believe, of the baptism in the Spirit and the need to be being filled, and that the Father gives (present tense) the Holy Spirit, and encourages us to pursue the gifts of the Spirit and not to quench the Spirit or discourage the use of the gifts etc..
The question is are we celebrating an historical event or enjoying a present reality? It’s an important question that we shouldn’t shy away from.
Are we nominal charismatics/pentecostals – we know the truth but not the experience, we go through the motions but don’t know the power? We hang round the edges?
Are we backslidden charismatics/pentecostals – we know and have had the experience but today it’s history, and worse still irrelevant, we enjoyed it while it lasted but we’ve moved on, we’ve grown out of it, we don’t need such things any more? This is serious.
The same could be asked of churches, is the Spirit just part of our creeds or is He part of our weekly/daily experience?
One of the dangers for any church/movement is the progression from the first generation through second and third generations. The first generation has the encounter, the experience, the second lives in the blessing and shadow of it, but the third knows little or nothing of it.
What about you, your experience?
What about your church?
The Father is still giving His Spirit, will we welcome him? make room for him? respond to him? will we be truly pentecostal and charismatic?