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THE PROMISED GIFTS OF THE SPIRITĀ 
07 June, 2017

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (NKJV) -     Acts 2: 1-4 


Throughout the OT scriptures, we see the various instances of the manifestation of the power of God through some individuals. Examples of which include people like Moses, Deborah, Ehud, Gideon, Samson etc. However, in those days, the Holy Spirit came, took possession of the human vessels momentarily and used them to achieve a certain feat and left. In 1 Sam. 10: 11 -.13, we see Saul prophecing, hence the expression, 'Is Saul also among the prophets?' Joel 2: 28-32 refers to the future event, where the spirit of God will indwell 
man permanently and not just to come and go. 


Jesus Christ in John 14: 15 - 18 promised to give us the helper, who will indwell man forever. This helper is the Holy Spirit, the comforter, our guide, the Paracletos (John 16: 7-11). The disciples had a foretaste of this, only after the resurrection in John 20: 22, 23 and were emboldened. However, on the day of Pentecost, the universal confirmation of the Holy Spirit was made (Acts 2: 1-4). This was 
the prelude and empowerment for the great commission (ref. Matt. 28: 18-20). We note from Acts 2: 5-21 the following: 


1.    Fear gave way for boldness 
2.    The power to the gospel - Jesus is Lord. 
3.    The ability to speak in various tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 
4.    The great apologetics put forward by Peter, confirming the events of the day and what will unfold in the progress of events (cf. Joel 
        2:28-32). 
On a day like this, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit upon the Church, the promised gift from the Father to the Church (Acts 2:33 cf. Jn 14: 15- 18). This is the spirit of Pentecost. This gift is to empower the Church for His service and is manifested in the various gifts in the Church. The promised Holy Spirit has one major mission- to convict the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgement (In. 16:8-11) and to equip the saints for the task ahead. However, this is gift manifested in the body of Christ in various forms d. 1 Cor. 12- 
words of wisdom, words of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning spirit, diverse or different kinds of tongues and interpretation of different tongues. However, these gifts are not exhausted and based on this, He called the church into the ministry, all to the edification of the body of Christ (d. Eph. 4: 11-15). 


Today in our church, we celebrate the promised gift of the Holy Spirit to the church through the laying on of hands by the Bishop, it is our prayer that the confirmation candidates for today's service may so be strengthened with the Holy Spirit, empowered for His service and be sustained in the same, all the days of their lives in Jesus' name. Now, for those of us who had been confirmed and 
made His children by adoption, let us re-examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith. Perhaps, we may have derailed, let us go back to Him who has called us, and who alone has the power to absolve us, that He may convict us of our evil ways and draw us back to Himself and renew the various graces He has endowed us with for His service, that we may serve Him without reservation and 
receive the blessings of eternal life at last. 


Ven. Gabriel Chijioke Ezeanya 
 

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