Pastor Jonathan Chow

Pentecost —meaning ”fifty”—is a special day celebrated fifty days from Easter Sunday. It is the day we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early disciples, and with it powerful manifestations of spiritual gifts. On that day, filled with the Spirit, Peter preached his first sermon and brought three thousand people to come to know Christ as their Saviour.

Churches today have very different ideas about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. On the one hand, there are those who are convinced that spiritual gifts are no longer available to believers today. These Christians believe that the gifts described in the Bible were just meant for the early church. On the other hand, there are those who exclusively seek after the Spirit and his gifts. These Christians place utmost priority on the need to live a life that is fully dependent on and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

No matter where you stand on that spectrum, one thing is clear: Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit lives inside every believer forever, teaching us his commands, comforting us when we are troubled, guiding us through each day and enabling us to testify the good news of Jesus to the world through our words and actions (John 14-16). 

The problems come when we pay too little or too much attention to the Holy Spirit. God is not a “Binity” – just Father and Son. Likewise, God is not a “One-nity” – just the Holy Spirit. Rather, God is Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each distinct, yet co-equal as one God. The Son only does what the Father wills, and the Spirit only speaks what he hears from the Son (John 5:19; 16:13-14). It is by the Holy Spirit in us that we are being conformed to Christ, and it is through knowing Christ that we come to know the Father. We must learn to recognise the place and role of each Person of our triune God.

At a recent Alliance seminar, a speaker gently pointed out that if we do not serve out of the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, we inevitably serve out of our own strength. This Pentecost, I want to encourage you to reflect on that. What is the Spirit’s place in your life? What gifts has he given to you? What mission has God given you? And how will you let the Holy Spirit lead you to fulfil that calling?