Pentecost is not Pentecostal

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).

On Sunday, May 19th, 2013 the historic New Hope Baptist Church of Oakland, California will make history, yet again. For the first time in its 92 year legacy the congregation will host an official celebration of Pentecost Sunday. This year Pentecost Sunday will close the spiritual campaign, “50 Days of Power”.

This campaign, which began on Resurrection Sunday, has been committed to reading through the Book Of Acts, seeking greater intimacy with the Holy Spirit through dedicated days of prayer and fasting and preparing to serve the Church and their communities with their spiritual gifts. The theme is “The Power To Serve”.

A traditional Baptist church is celebrating Pentecost Day because Pentecost is not Pentecostal. Pentecost Day is not the celebration of the Pentecostal movement or any Pentecostal denomination. Pentecost is not the celebration of spiritual phenomenon or speaking in tongues. Pentecost is the celebration of the Exalted Lord Jesus Christ. I said it!

When Peter preaches on the first Pentecost Sunday he says, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (2:33). What happened on Pentecost Day was proof positive that the Resurrected Jesus was now back in heaven as the Exalted Lord. It is the Exalted Lord who poured out the Spirit upon all flesh. It is the Exalted Lord who baptizes in the Holy Spirit. Pentecost celebrates Jesus!

Pentecost then belongs to every believer! Resurrection Sunday is celebrated universally throughout modern churches. Even churches that are not evangelical or gospel-oriented acknowledge Resurrection Sunday. It is the biggest Sunday in the Body of Christ. What is the celebration about on Resurrection Sunday? Our Savior is alive! What is the celebration of Pentecost about? Our Savior is alive and exalted!

What are the implications of a Baptist Church celebrating Pentecost? I think you can safely conclude the following:

1) The exaltation of Jesus is primal, essential and central to all the Church aspires to accomplish.

2) The atmosphere in the congregation must be welcoming of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in daily life, at every assembly and in every worship experience.

3) The pastor is Spirit-filled and attributes all effective and transformative ministry to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Join us Pentecost Sunday, May 19th @ 8:00am or 10:45am at New Hope Baptist Church, 892 36th St., Oakland, Ca.

With Power To Serve,