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Home Sermon Collection (ENG.Ver) English version The Importance of Maturity: The Pentecost Message
The Importance of Maturity: The Pentecost Message PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ir. David Kurniadi   
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 07:30

The day of Pentecost is the celebration of the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Lord’s disciples, which then become the first church on earth (Acts 2). This was the first Baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the early believers after Christ had been exalted (Acts 2:33).   

 

“Exalted to the right hand of God, he (Jesus) has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33).

 

As our Lord, Jesus, was born of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35) and became the beloved Son of God, so the church was also born of the Holy Spirit and became the beloved children of God.

 

The church consists of men and women who have been redeemed by the blood of the Son of God (1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9). The church are empowered and equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit to become witnesses of Jesus to the utmost part of the world (Acts 1:8).

 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)

 

“They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14)

 

To recall the event most of the charismatic churches hold a ten days prayer rally following the example of the apostles and the early believers (Acts 1:12-14). The participants expect that they would receive again the fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit to renew their spirit. They search for the supernatural phenomenon and some spiritual gifts. But they often neglect one important thing that through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit God the Father expects them to achieve mental and spiritual maturity. Let’s take a closer look upon this matter.

 

“Until we all become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13)

 

If we look at the New Testament we shall see that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was not only happened on the Pentecost Day in the upper room in Jerusalem (Acts 2:2-4), but three years before, it had happened upon Jesus at the Jordan River (Mat. 3:16-17). There was a little difference between these two occasions.

 

At the upper room we read there was supernatural phenomenon. Acts 2:2-4 wrote: “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”   

 

Meanwhile when Jesus received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at the Jordan River it was told that when Jesus “went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said: This is my Son whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16-17).

 

The event of the Baptism of Jesus with the Holy Spirit was actually a ceremony of the adoption of sonship of Him. In this ceremony the Father considered that Jesus has reached His full measure of mental and spiritual maturity that Jesus might become the authorized representation of the Father, works out the work of the Father, using the power and authority of the Father, bearing upon His shoulder the glory and sovereignty of the Father.

 

“For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:20-24).

 

The “event organizer” for this important occasion was John the Baptist (John 1:31-34).

John the Baptist said: “the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” God the Father ordained John the Baptist to set up water baptism (verse 33) as the declaration of repentance (Matthew 3:11) and called people to come to the river to be baptized.

 

The water baptism became an “invitation card” from the Father to gather the people to attend at the ceremony that the Father was going to make for the adoption of Jesus as the Son.

 

So people came to John from Jerusalem, all Judea and the entire region round about Jordan (verse 5-6). When John was baptizing the people suddenly Jesus came and stood among the crowd (verse 13), waiting in line to be baptized. John in the beginning refused to baptize Jesus (verse 14) because he knew Jesus was not a sinner but a devout and upright man, while John’s baptism was for repentance of the sinners. But then Jesus asked John to baptize Him because it was God’s will that He should fulfill (verse 15).

 

After John had baptized Jesus in the water, at that moment when Jesus came out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him like a dove alighting on Him. And then the voice was heard from Heaven declaring: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

 

God the Father made a public declaration that Jesus is His beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. He made this declaration in front of the people and all hosts of the worlds, because He considered that Jesus had reached the full measure of maturity.

 

We must remember that the Son of God at that time was in His incarnation as human being, as the Man from Nazareth, leaving all “His equality with God” (Philippians 2:6). He was totally emptied Himself. “He made himself nothing” (Philippians 2:7) - though His status remained – He left all His power as Son of God and fully depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14; Acts 10:38). And as a Man He carried out the work of the Father on earth with the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38).

 

During His earthly ministry Jesus, in the fashion as a man (Philippians 2:8), lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was tempted like as we are, but He committed no sin (Hebrews 4:15). He lived in submission and obedient unto His earthly parent (Luke 2:51). He lived like normal man as a carpenter (Mark 6:3), took His responsibility as the eldest son in the family. He studied the Scripture like other Jewish men and He lived uprightly. Jesus increased in wisdom and knowledge, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).

 

As a man, Jesus was physically, mentally and spiritually matured. This was noticeable to God the Father who has sent Him and it made the Father well pleased with Him. So God the Father made a “sonship adoption ceremony” to declare publicly His approval. And as the sign of God’s approval, the Holy Spirit came upon Him and baptized Him, and a declaration from Heaven was heard (Matthew 3:16-17).

 

The Bible says that God the Father predestinated us to be conformed into the likeness of the Son of God (Romans 8:29) that is to become matured believers (Ephesians 4:13).

 

“Growing older is natural, but growing mature is a choice”

 

Why is maturity so important to God the Father? It’s because the Father wants to entrust many important things unto His beloved children, and it needs maturity to bear it. Only the mature Christian can do the work of God, to carry on His plan and purpose on earth.

 

“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working” John 5:17

 

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work” John 4:34

 

This was what happened with Jesus when the Father adopt Him as a “Son,” a mature young man who can be trusted to carry on the work of the Father in the world; to display God goodness to the people; to act on His behalf and using His authority and power by performing miracles and wonders; to declare that the Kingdom of God is coming.

 

The Father can trust only the matured Christians with the Kingdom responsibilities, with His power and authority, to do the same work as Jesus and even the greater work.

 

Let’s look more detail upon the maturity of the Son of God.

 

After Jesus had been baptized with the Spirit, the Holy Spirit then lead Him into the desert to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1). This was not just a Bible quiz to test Jesus how far Jesus could memorize the verse from the Scriptures. It was the test about how far the verse of the Scripture had become the principle of His life.

 

When the word of God has become the principle of our life then we can pass the test and successfully shut the mouth of the devil and overcome his temptation. This is one of the sign of maturity. This maturity pleases well God’s heart.

 

“Until we … become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching…” (Ephesians 4:13-14).

 

God the Father was pleased with the result. Jesus, His Son has passed the test and now He is ready to do the work of God with full authority and power. He can act on behalf of the Father’s name and doing great things for the glory of the Father. Jesus can use the power even to calm the storm, walk on the water and raise the dead besides the other miracles like healing the sick people, feeding the multitude or cast out the demons from the lunatic. God the Father allowed the Son to use all heaven’s facilities, even if He would to command the Heaven’s armies, because the Son has reached the fullness measure of mental and spiritual maturity. And the same will be happened if the believers reach their maturity and conform into the likeness of the Son – “attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

 

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father, who sent him” (John 5:19-23).

 

From the above verses we see magnificent things the Father could entrust to those who reach the full measure of maturity. He entrusts his great and amazing works; He entrusts his power to do miracles and wonders, even to raise the dead; He entrusts His authority that His sons might give strong influence in the world for the Kingdom’s glory.

 

Maturity also means stability. Stability is reached because one has expanded his capacity; he has a big heart, high minded, strong faith and wise. He knows the Father’s heart very well. He knows God’s plan and understand His will. His heart and mind are harmonized with the Father’s heart and mind.

 

That was what made Jesus so calm and ease even when the boat He boarded was in the midst of the storm and heave. His disciples were panic, but He was so calm, because He knew His Father very well. He has such stability that made Him did not fear at the situation. He knew the Father’s plan that He would not die in the water but on the cross as a Savior. Then using His authority He calmed the storm.

 

Stability as the sign of maturity is like a ship on the sea. The big ship like tankers, cruise ship or aircraft carriers will show different swaying compared to the small ship like a boat, though they are on the same sea and suffered the same wave. The big ship is so stable and not tossed around like a small boat. This illustrates the comparison between the mature and immature Christians.   

 

We need mental and spiritual maturity in order to obtain stability because we live in a changeable and unpredictable world situation. The pressure will be increased from time to time. Jesus already predicted this situation. He said that in this world we would face tribulations (John 16:33). If we were immature and spiritually unstable we would be crushed and become a looser. But if we were mature we would be able to overcome the situation and come out with victory.

 

This is what was happened with Christ. He was able to pass through the great tribulation in His life – His crucifixion and painful death – not because He is the Son of God, but because as the Son of Man He reached His maturity by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can see this in His ability to control His emotion and act against intimidation and provocation (Isaiah 53:7). Though He could, He didn’t use His authority as the Son of God to command His angelic armies to defend Him when He was arrested (Matthew 26:53). His spirit was so calm that He kept silent when people provoked Him (Matthew 27:13-14). He did not curse the men who nailed Him on the cross (1 Peter 2:23). He did not loose His faith in God, His Father (Matthew 26:39-42). That is why the Father was so pleased with Him that after His great suffering He was exalted by the right hand of God to the highest place: at the right side of the Father in heaven, far above all principalities and power and dominion (Philippians 2:9-11).

 

“Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, an every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

 

In the same way, if we could reach the full measure of maturity as the sons of God, we would be able to pass through our tribulations with victory. We would not loose our faith. Instead our faith will grow stronger and we will come out as conqueror (Romans 8:37).

 

Only the mature Christian can take the responsibility to do the work of the Father on earth as Jesus did, and even the greater work we will do (John 14:12). Unto such mature believer God the Father would give them power and authority that they might do great things and wonders.

 

Thus we see the importance of maturity, and this is one of the goals – and the most important one – of having baptized with the Holy Spirit. Every time we celebrate the Day of Pentecost we should evaluate ourselves how far we have reached our maturity? We do not celebrate Pentecost just for experiencing the supernatural phenomenon and satisfy ourselves with the sensation. We do not celebrate Pentecost just to get its power and spiritual gift, though it is important for us that we may become an effective witness. We recall the event of Pentecost to celebrate our maturity that makes God the Father well pleased with us because He considers us as His beloved children to whom He could entrusted His great work to be done on earth as Christ did. The Father will love to see us in conformity with His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

 

“For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:29).

 

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

To be loved by the Father is obvious, because He is a loving Father and we are His children (Psalms 103:13). But to make Him well pleased with us is a different story. We should become mature that we might be called “sons” of God to whom God entrust His Kingdom to be established, and His will might be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

 

Happy Pentecost!

 

 

 
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