This coming Sunday, June 4, Christians around the world will observe Pentecost - the day that Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit descended to bless His apostles.
Held just a few weeks after Jesus' death and resurrection, Pentecost is mentioned in the Acts 2:1-13. In these verses, the Holy Spirit descends from heaven to bless the disciples of Jesus Christ, causing them to speak in different tongues and fulfilling Jesus' promise He made upon His ascension
Describing the Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4 reads, "Suddenly, there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the houses where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, and the spirit gave them utterance."
After he was filled with the Spirit, the apostle Peter preached his first sermon and urged the crowds to repent, to believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Over 3,000 people, both Jews and Gentiles, were baptized that day, thus marking the birth of the early church.
The word "Pentecost" is taken from the Greek term "pentekoste," meaning "fiftieth." It was the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday when Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and the Holy Spirit descended upon His disciples.
Why is Pentecost significant for Christians?
The Pentecost is significant for Christians today because it marks the fullness of God coming to the earth and interacting with humanity. Now, we now live in the presence and power of the Spirit of God.
Dr. Charles Stanley puts it this way: "Since Pentecost, every believer has received the Holy Spirit. If Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, then the Spirit is the sap equipping us for the Christian life. Furthermore, He no longer comes and goes but rather remains permanently. He seals us in Christ-proof of the promise that we are forever in God's presence (Ephesians 1:13-14)."
As you observe the Pentecost this Sunday, reflect on the following verses to better appreciate this special, historic day.
Pentecost Bible Verses
"Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized. every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" ~Acts 2:38
"Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day." ~ Acts 2:41
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." ~Galatians 5:22-23
"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines."~1 Corinthians 12:7-11
"Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." ~Galatians 5:25
"And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God." ~Romans 8:27
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through." ~Romans 8:26
"Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit." ~1 Corinthians 12:3