Sermon for the Feast of Pentecost – The Works of the Holy Spirit – by Br Mpumelelo, N/OHC

Scripture Readings

As I was contemplating on today’s Lessons during the week, the thing that attracted my heart the most in the book of the Acts is where the HOLY SPIRIT gives the disciples the ability to speak about GOD’s Deeds of Power in different languages so that everyone who is there can hear what GOD is saying to them in their own languages, which made me highlight the love of GOD that brings His people back to Him! The love of GOD that brings all nations back to Him! God’s love that brings back all languages to Him! God’s love that brings all races back to Him! This is the first thing the HOLY SPIRIT did to make it clear that no one living under the sun is shut out from hearing the Gospel. Everyone created in the image of GOD is invited to the Feast of the Kingdom of Heaven! That is why we must not fail to spread the good news of JESUS even today to all the people we live among or meet because everyone is called to hear the mighty works of our GOD who created us with His amazing love!

The second thing that attracted my heart is the works that the HOLY SPIRIT will do when He comes as JESUS said in the Gospel. But I really like the Name that JESUS gave the Holy Spirit: “The Advocate, The Comforter”. Perhaps in order to understand this word better we have to look at this: There is something that JESUS had hidden from His disciples – that when JESUS is ascended on high to His throne, the world will hate them so much that even the Jews will take them out of the synagogues and kill them, thinking that by doing so they are offering worship to GOD… That really terrified the disciples, their hearts were filled with sorrow. Therefore, when JESUS uses The Advocate – The Comforter as the Name of the HOLY SPIRIT, He is trying to reassure them that the HOLY SPIRIT is the One who will give them the strength not to be afraid of being hated, beaten and killed – and to endure the sufferings that come to them because of JESUS!

We have seen in Peter the courage he had to open his mouth and testify about JESUS who rose from the dead, after he had received the HOLY SPIRIT. The one who saw Peter during the Passover season denying JESUS three times before the rooster crowed after he boasted that “though all become deserters because of JESUS, he will never desert Him”, that one would be very surprised to see him today testifying about JESUS with such great courage in front of many people!

The truth is: Yes, Peter denied JESUS in the hour of his persecution, because he did not have the strength to admit that he is one of Jesus’ disciples, because of the fear of the high priests, and because of the fear of the sufferings that may befall him if he admits that he is a disciple of JESUS – The HOLY SPIRIT takes away the fear to testify about JESUS and then gives you strength and courage to testify about JESUS everywhere you go!

In that way, this saying that the HOLY SPIRIT is the Comforter is specific to those who carry the Name of JESUS, who acknowledge that He is Lord and Saviour! Every person who is a disciple of JESUS, who lives in the love of GOD by keeping the words of JESUS is in danger of being hated by the world because they no longer love what the world loves, and thus no longer belong to the world (John 15:19). Thus, the love of GOD for the world is viewed by the world as an attack on itself, on the things that the world values the most. So, because the disciples belong to JESUS, they are seen as part of the same attack on the world and are being hated accordingly! That is why JESUS promised His Church to give the HOLY SPIRIT the Comforter to strengthen them for the trials and even scandals that this collision will create for them!

Regarding the world, JESUS says the work of the HOLY SPIRIT is to prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement. Which means that the HOLY SPIRIT will reveal to the world how lost it is regarding sin, He will bring the world to the light to see its evil in not believing in GOD. What is true is that people do not want to be told of their wrongdoing, do not want to be told of their sin! What they want to hear is that GOD is Love! Yes, it is true that GOD is Love, but He is also a GOD who hates sin and wants His beloved people to separate from it and serve Him in righteousness, in Spirit and in truth! More than that, GOD is to go into judgment with Satan who has already been condemned because JESUS says: “This is the Judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate light and do not come to the light so that their deeds may not be exposed!” (John 3:19-20)

That light is exactly what the HOLY SPIRIT comes with to reveal people’s error due to sin. That Light is JESUS! When the HOLY SPIRIT brought you a lamp to see your sins, did you take the step to leave your sins and turn to GOD in truth? Did you leave the sin of lying? Did you leave the sin of gossip? Did you leave the hatred? Did you leave the pretence? Did you leave the deception? You are the one who knows. All those are works of the flesh that the HOLY SPIRIT came to fight against, to plant the works of the Spirit so that we may bear fruits of righteousness that glorify the Name of GOD our Father! The HOLY SPIRIT does not only reveal to the world its error but also reveals to it the nature of GOD and His righteousness through His Son JESUS, that for the one who repents there is the Blood that has been shed because of sins so that one can be cleansed from evil and become a child of the Kingdom of Heaven!

The last work of the HOLY SPIRIT JESUS mentioned is to lead His Church into all truth! He led the apostles to all the truth, and he told them what was to come. We can see that in their letters up to the book of Revelation, and even now the HOLY SPIRIT is working and so everyone should always be diligent to listen to the HOLY SPIRIT because as long as JESUS has not returned for His Church the HOLY SPIRIT is still continuing His work.

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