Bible Study Tools / Holidays And Holy Days

The Gift of Pentecost

by David Palmer
Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

What is the greatest gift God could ever bestow on the human race? If you asked a dozen people, the chances are you would get a dozen different answers. Some might say good health, others might say life itself and some might say eternal life. All of those answers would be acceptable. Jesus referred to that gift as being like a hidden treasure called the “pearl of great price” (Matthew13:44-46). To find the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price, where do we start?

Let’s begin with a powerful sermon message delivered by the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts, chapter 2. Following a miracle from God where every individual listening to Peter could understand his words in their own language (Acts 2:6-9) and, after a dissertation in which he makes reference to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. he tells his audience (and by extrapolation) all of us, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).

There is nothing we can do on our own, but in harmony with God’s Spirit and looking to Jesus Christ as our elder brother, Master and Teacher, we can have access to that hidden treasure. Recall what Jesus told His disciples: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when it, the Spirit of truth, has come, it will guide you into all truth; for it will not speak on it’s own authority, but whatever it hears it will speak; and it will tell you things to come” (John 16:12-13). He also told His disciples: “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

When Jesus stood in the synagogue and read from the book of Isaiah, He made specific reference to the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit. When He finished reading, “Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21). What’s interesting is earlier, in verse 16, the Sabbath referred to when this event took place can be translated “weeks” meaning that Jesus may have chosen to read these words from Isaiah on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).

The wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit works in different ways. We are, after all, different and unique with different personalities, talents and abilities. Paul understood this. “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,” (1Corinthians 12:4-8).

It is the same spirit, but just a different manifestation because of the personality, talent or capability of the individual. Paul goes on to show “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).

God through the power of the Holy Spirit created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1-2) and brought His only begotten Son into the world, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, (Mary) and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

Jesus promised His disciples that when the day of Pentecost came they would receive the power of the Holy Spirit “…for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. . . But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:5, 8).

The Holy Spirit is our very source of eternal life. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. . . It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life’” (John 6:53-54, 63).

God’s wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit is also our source of wisdom and knowledge. Recall the promise Jesus made to His disciples: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:13). But that same promise is given to those whom God has called even today: “But as it is written, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things (mysteries) of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

It is with the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit that we build Godly character, which the scripture calls the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-25).

Jesus tells us, in a parable, that when we find the pearl of great price we should be willing to give up all that we have to purchase that one precious possession, meaning a change is needed in the way we think and act. We no longer follow the ways of this world. “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God…The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:13-14, 16).

Our ultimate goal is to attain resurrection into the Kingdom of God, and the down payment that gives us the opportunity to inherit that Kingdom, is God’s precious gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s what Peter told his audience on the Day of Pentecost, repent, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38) – a gift that leads to eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

© 1995-2024 United Church of God-Canada

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All correspondence and questions should be sent to info@ucg.ca. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to webmaster@ucg.ca.

To Page Top
  • Vision & Mission Statements
  • Fundamental Beliefs
  • Donations
  • National Office
  • National Council
  • Local Congregations
  • Home Office
  • Privacy Policy
  • Literature
  • Bible Study Lessons
  • Booklets
  • Français
  • Beyond Today Magazine
  • United News Canada
  • Resources
  • Bible Study Tools
  • Daily Bible Reading Schedule
  • Change of Address
  • Festival Information
  •   >> Festival Calendar
  •   >> Festival Locations
  • Local Congregations
  • Bible Scripture Flash Cards
  • Online Bible
  • Updates
  • Congregations