The Pentecostal Blessing
George H. Morrison
Let us reverently try to understand what happened on that day of Pentecost. It is rightly called the birthday of the Church. Ten days before, the Savior had ascended. He had passed into the presence of the Father. He had left His little band of faithful followers to be witnesses for Him. And yet the strange thing is that though they trusted Him and were perfectly convinced that He was risen, they were not ready yet to be His witness-bearers. All of them believed in Jesus, but for witness-bearing something more was needed: some new power and fullness in their lives that would carry conviction to the world. And that is what the disciples got at Pentecost-that new power and fullness of the Spirit which changed them from convinced believers into equipped witnesses for Christ. Without it they would have returned to Galilee, "the world forgetting, and by the world forgot."1 Without it, in daily fellowship with Christ, they would quietly have lived and died. With it there was a spiritual power about them that was mightier than any argument. They were witness-bearers to the living Christ. The Pentecostal blessing was equipment. It was adequacy for vocation. It was endowment for the stupendous task of the evangelization of the world. And of all this the sound as of the wind and the appearance as of tongues of fire were but the vivid and evanescent symbols.
We may illustrate the day of Pentecost from the experience of the Lord Himself. He, too, born of the Holy Spirit, had to tarry for power from on high. For thirty years He lived at Nazareth. It was a life of the most perfect beauty. In every thought, in every word and deed, He was inspired and guided by the Spirit. And yet these years, so spiritually beautiful, were for the Redeemer waiting years. He was tarrying for power from on high. That was given at His baptism when the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. Then was He endowed with power from God for His stupendous vocation of redemption. And like that moment in the life of Jesus when the fullness of the equipping Spirit rested on Him was Pentecost to the earliest disciples. It was not the hour when they were born again. They were saved followers long before that morning. They would have won their crown and had their welcome though the day of Pentecost had never dawned. Pentecost was power for witness-bearing. It was equipment for vocation. It was the needed and adequate endowment for the evangelizing of the world.
It is thus we see the very deep significance of the first expression of that adequacy. They began to speak, we read, with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Parthians, Medes, and Elamites were there-people from every country under heaven, of diffe ...
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