- Wednesday, June 17, 2009
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (vv. 1–4)
This was the Day of Pentecost—the day when the Spirit of God, by way of three miracles, took up residence in every believer, and the church of Jesus Christ was officially born.
The Miracle of Sound
The first miracle of Pentecost was the miracle of sound, for those gathered heard “a sound like a mighty rushing wind.”
The word for “spirit” in the New Testament is pneuma, which means “breath.” “Spirit of God” is literally, “the breath of God.” So when this particular wind blew in and around that throng of believers, it represented the life of God, the very respiration of God now imparted to them, feeble and frail human beings.
The Miracle of Sight
But not only was there a miracle of sound, there was also a miracle of sight. You could say things went nuclear at Pentecost that day. A gigantic ball of fire exploded, and divided flames from its core danced atop believers’ heads, human candles quite literally ignited by the Holy Spirit.
It is a common image in Scripture, this idea of God as a consuming fire. When God gets involved, fire is often involved too. Remember the burning bush? Moses came to that bush, and the thing kept on burning and burning—a manifestation of God’s presence there. The same was true at Pentecost. Symbolized by a raging fire, God was with them in fullness of presence and in fullness of power. God, the grand consumer, cleanser, changer of everything.
The Miracle of Speech
There was a third miracle that day at Pentecost, and it was the miracle of speech. People from all over the world had gathered, and suddenly it was as if God hit his divine fast-forward button, and the gospel was disseminated to all tribes in one fell swoop. Instead of the good news reaching the nations, the nations had reached the good news. And they heard it simultaneously and in their native tongues, living languages spoken in their own unique dialects. Talk about a supernatural sensory experience! “My power I will leave with you,” Jesus had promised in essence. And with the ultimate love language now on their tongues, power is exactly what those early believers possessed.
According to Paul in the book of Ephesians, the power that Christ was referring to a few days before that Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:8) was the same power that brought him out of the grave (1:19–20).The Greek word that the apostle uses—dunamis (pronounced doo-na-mis)—is the word from which we get the English word dynamite and reminds us that there indeed is explosive power and, more importantly perhaps, dynamic power in the work of the Holy Spirit. When led by the Spirit, a continual source of strength and energy flows through the life of the believer.
How does this divine strength and energy—this dunamis—show up? Take a look at the promises of Scripture: in Romans 15:13, we are filled with hope because of dunamis. In Ephesians 3:16, dunamis equips us to serve God successfully. According to this same passage, in verse 20, dunamis allows us to do more than we can possibly imagine. According to Ephesians 6, dunamis enables us to overcome the enemy. According to Colossians 1:11, dunamis gives us perseverance in the tests and trials of life and the discipline to know righteousness each day. In Colossians 1:29, we’re told that dunamis causes us to work energetically for God. In 1 Peter 1:5, dunamis protects us. Second Peter 1:3 says that dunamis provides everything we need to live godly lives.
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