Pentecost is a bit like Christmas in a few ways. For starters, the dates we celebrate both are not the exact calendar day the original event occurred, but rather are based on tradition. Both celebrate birthdays (of Jesus and of the Church) and both deserve the greatest of celebrations because of what these days are about. Most people have a good idea of what Christmas is about, but I get the sense Pentecost could be better understood by the church and — well — EVERYONE. Please give this marvelous story song by a great Christian singer/songwriter Dean Ellenwood a listen, then come back for more on what makes Pentecost a day to rejoice.
Big day for God and man
Pentecost is one of God’s feast days in Scripture. The Pentecost recorded in Acts 2 was extra special. On that day, Jesus’s promise about the Comforter came to pass: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
On THAT Pentecost, huge benefits of Jesus Christ’s accomplishments up to that time — his life, death, resurrection, ascension — started to become evident. For the first time, men received the gift of holy spirit. They demonstrated they received the gift by speaking in tongues in front of a huge — and amazed — congregation. That day they were born again. They became sons of God with power. It was Christ in them, the hope of glory.
They were not freaks. They were not outliers. They were not the only ones. By the end of that day, about 3000 others also received God’s gift of everlasting life by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord. And countless millions have since then, still to this very day.
Speaking in tongues
I was not raised in a church that knew or taught about speaking in tongues, but I have learned more since. I’ll share a little here.
We can learn a lot about speaking in tongues from this verse in Acts 2:
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
In Corinthians, speaking in tongues is called a manifestation of the spirit. Some call it a gift, but that is a little confusing. In Acts 2, and everywhere else, The GIFT is the holy spirit they were filled with. Speaking in tongues was the MANIFESTATION — the evidence — of the gift of holy spirit.
When a person gets born again, they receive everlasting life. What kind of life? Holy spirit life. We are all born having only body and soul. When we get born again, we become people with body, soul, and spirit. It is THAT spirit that enables all Christians to speak in tongues.
In Acts 2, first they got filled with holy spirit, THEN they spoke in tongues. I’ve known so many people through the years who had been saved, born again for a long time, but had never been taught the abilities that come bundled with the new birth. Speaking in tongues is one of those abilities. As soon as this became clear, they, too, began to speak, as the Spirit gave the utterance. Simple, beautiful. The gift is supernatural. The manifestation is evidence in the senses world of the supernatural gift. Wonderful!
What is speaking in tongues good for?
Quite a bit! For example:
1) To edify [build] you—I Corinthians 14:4 and Jude 20
2) To speak to God divine secrets—I Corinthians 14:2
3) To speak the wonderful works of God—Acts 2:11
4) To magnify God—Acts 10:46
5) To pray perfectly—Romans 8:26, 27
6) To give thanks well—I Corinthians 14:17
7) To have the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit—Romans8:16
8) To know you are a joint-heir with Christ—Romans 8:17
9) To be a sign to unbelievers—I Corinthians 14:22 and Mark 16:17
10) To strengthen you with might in your inner man (spirit)—Ephesians 3:6
11) Rest to the soul—Isaiah 28:11, 12 and I Corinthians 14:21
12) Quicken your mortal body— Romans 8:11
Is speaking in tongues still available today?
Look at the benefits listed above. Do you think people still need any of those things? I do. If those needs still remain, why would we think this wonderful enablement would no longer be available?
It is not unusual for people to be down on things they are not up on. If someone tells you speaking in tongues is “out”, you can be pretty sure they don’t do it themselves. Go get a better opinion from someone who does.
God bless you lots!
LYRICS: Pentecost Song
Song by Dean Ellenwood
Jesus said to his apostles,
“Behold I send the promise of my Father by and by.
Go tarry in the City of Jerusalem
Until ye be endued with the power from on high.”
And when Christ was ascended
The eleven went to Jerusalem with joy in one accord,
For ten days praising and blessing God,
Continually sitting in the house of the Lord.
And Oh God how we love You;
Loving everything You do You do You do.
Oh God How we love You.
Pentecost was fully come now.
The twelve were in the temple and their prayer of joy they raised;
When they received God’s gift, becoming sons of God with power.
They spoke in tongues to prove it and the people were amazed.
God our Father has blessed us
As we declare His word in everything we do and say.
We’ve got the power to move mountains and cast them to the sea;
God’s gift of holy spirit – it’s available today.
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