Tuesday, September 18, 2018


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The Rev Andries Combrink is a Presbyterian Minister of the Gospel. He lives in Centurion, South Africa.  He is amongst others a blogger and lyrics writer. To teach the Word of God is his calling,  based on the Reformed tradition. 

 

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John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you continue in
My word, you really are My disciples.
You will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."

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May 14

Written by: Andries
Sunday, May 13, 2018 11:45:47 PM  RssIcon

What difference does it make that the first Christians were baptized with the Holy Spirit, 2000 years ago, on the Jewish festival called Shavuot (Hebrew) or Pentecost (Greek)? It is that all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour receive “the indwelling and power of the Spirit”.
 
Pentecost matters because it clearly shows that the Church plays a central role in God’s work in our world.
We know that the Holy Spirit was poured out on individual disciples of Jesus as they were patiently waiting on the fulfillment of the promise Jesus made to them about the coming of the Holy Spirit to help them in their great commission from Christ. They were praying for 10 days, starting on Ascension Day, waiting upon the Lord to fill them and share the power of the resurrected Christ with them, by baptizing them with the Spirit of God.
 
The first Pentecost day turned followers of Christ into the first congregation of the Christian Church, as they received the power of the Holy Spirit to do God’s work. On the very first Pentecost Sunday, many new believers were baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ as they were initiated into the Church. Along with the first disciples they also shared in becoming a Christian community or family.
 
They taught about the resurrected Lord, broke bread, prayed and enjoyed such a special fellowship with each other that many new believers came to join in their faith and in celebrating the resurrected Jesus. They cheerfully gave of their belongings to feed the hungry and maintain the ministry of Word and Sacrament. And “the Lord daily added to their number those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
Pentecost matters, because it tells us about the birthday and role of the church in the coming into our world of the Kingdom of God.
 
It was no coincidence that the congregation was praying together when the Spirit was poured out. The first “grandmother church” in Jerusalem would be the root from which the worldwide Church of our Lord would grow. Their experience on the first Pentecost teaches that the Church is central to God’s vision for his work.   Paul calls the Church the Temple of God in which the Holy Spirit dwells. (1 Cor 3.)
 
Pentecost matters because it clearly shows us what place the Church of the Lord has in our personal relationship with God and for our worship. The truth found throughout Scripture is, that the Church in which the Spirit dwells, is central to the Father’s work in the world and is central to our worship, growth and service.
 
Pentecost insists that we reflect on our own participation in the work, mission and life of the Church of God. We need to continuously renew our covenant with the God of grace, received at baptism and confirmed by our public confession of faith, to live as a contributing member of the body of Christ.
 
Blessed holy Pentecost calls us to build the Church of our Lord by preaching the Word, sharing in her holy sacraments and spreading the salvation, love, power and justice of Jesus Christ across the entire world, beginning with our own community.
    

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