”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
You can also hear the Japanese voice recording
Today is the day of Pentecost. We Christians have three big anniversaries. They are Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. Pentecost is the Greek name for the festival known in the Old Testament as the Feast of the Seven Weeks. It means fifty.
When the disciples gathered together, the Holy Spirit came down in the form of fire, and they suddenly began speaking in a foreign language. Jesus promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit poured on them.
That's right. After Jesus' resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit fell on the 120 believers who had gathered to pray. It was the 50th day after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and ten days after the day of his ascension.
The disciples quietly retreated to their homes because they were fearful to be captured by the Roman soldiers. But after receiving the Holy Spirit, they had the power to share the gospel with people boldly.
Pentecost was the catalyst for the spread of the gospel to many people and the world, but what exactly is the Holy Spirit? I don't know how to grasp it. Among Christians, some groups emphasize the Holy Spirit is called Another tongue and prophecy, the other groups seek the "fruit of the Holy Spirit", and there are groups hardly ever mention the Holy Spirit.
There are still many things we don't know either. Shall we praise and do the picture-story show we prepared and then discuss it?
What are the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23
After Jesus ascended to heaven, the disciples prayed hard in their homes. They believed in Jesus' promise that the Holy Spirit would descend.
Then a sound like the wind came from heaven and echoed throughout the house. Then tongues of flame split apart and appeared, stopping over each of the disciples. Then the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit and were thus able to speak the gospel message appropriately to people of different languages.
Peter and the other disciples spoke the gospel message before the people.
And about 3,000 people believed in Jesus and were baptized by the disciples.
Now, can you ask me any questions you may have?
What kind of "tongues" or "prophecy" was Grace talking about earlier?
Grace, Can you answer as much as you know?
Another Tongue is a kind of prayer with words that is difficult for both the speaker and people to understand. Prophecy means to predict in advance that something will happen in a certain way, and there were prophets in the Old Testament. I understand that the role of prophecy is encouraging the people who seek God's plan.
I believe in Jesus' miracles, I believe in the resurrection, and I believe in Jesus spending 40 days with the disciples. I think it's wonderful that the Holy Spirit came and did unusual things so that many people could believe in the gospel, but I think it's going too far to say that people don't have faith because they can't speak in tongues or make prophecies.
I see. I guess you could say that it is the Pentecostals who emphasize tongues and prophecy. Also, the groups that Aimi mentioned that place importance on the "fruit of the Holy Spirit" include Holiness and Methodist churches that are descended from the lineage of the English religious reformer John Wesley. Sanctification groups seek to purify self-centered thoughts to transform people into those who live God-centered lives. There are also so-called "sanctification" groups that seek to purify their self-centeredness and transform them into people who live God-centered lives. And other groups don't talk about the Holy Spirit but interpret it as "the beginning of the church. Mom is a pastor, and I guess she has more ideas about denominations.
I was born and raised in a conservative church, but I had fellowship with Pentecostals and was encouraged to speak in Another Tongue for a while. A pastor in the USA who could distinguish between the Another Tongue or not, I asked the pastor. Then he told me mine is not Another Tongue.
Then, I stopped. After our marriage and all of you were born we were also members of the Holiness Church, so we learned about the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. I don't want to put myself in those categories.
I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior and the human. Jesus is completely victorious over sin, and although I cannot see Him now in this body, it doesn't matter, does it?
Even though I do not understand the reality of the Holy Spirit, I am convinced that Jesus is the one who has a personality that I can interact with intimately every day. I believe the Holy Spirit that He is close to me and protects me in this way. It was difficult to explain the meaning of Pentecost today, but as I always say, our experience, wisdom, and knowledge are inadequate, so I hope we can learn from each other's good points without getting too hung up on doctrines. Now then, Aimi, could you please pray for us?
Yes, I will pray. Jesus, today we had a memorial service for Pentecost. I think it is wonderful that the disciples who were so frightened received the Holy Spirit and began to outwardly proclaim the gospel. I think it would be great if they could be with Jesus in the flesh, but the disciples didn't know how Jesus felt about them. I think that by receiving the Holy Spirit, they were able to understand Jesus more, and I hope that we can do the same. Please make us grow in our faith. We pray in the name of our beloved Jesus. Amen.
Notice & Prayer request
Thank you to all the readers who enjoyed the children's worship service.
We are planning to start messages from the Old Testament in June. We will send you a message each week. I hope you continue to read it.
On June 4, Dr. Michio will give a health lecture. Also, during the 10-minute break, Pastor Megumi will report on her trip to Ukraine last year to support refugees. Please remember us in your prayers.