PENTECOST was no ordinary experience, but it happened to and within ordinary people as God's Holy Spirit appeared among and within them. Ordinary men and women became full of faith and fearless. Fearful men and women became courageous witnesses to God's mighty and saving acts. ... From that day until this, those who repent and are baptized receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, God with us always and in every circumstance of life (Acts 2:38).

Norman Shawchuck and Rueben P. Job, A Guide for All Who Seek God

WHEN I AM BAPTIZED or converted by the gospel, the Holy Spirit is present. He takes me as clay and makes of me a new creature, which is endowed with a different mind, heart, and thoughts, that is, with a true knowledge of God and a sincere trust in God's grace. ... The very essence of my heart is renewed and changed.

Martin Luther, Luther's Works, vol. 24

THE FIRST EVIDENCE of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us is that people will see Jesus in our lives (see Acts 4:13).

Tom Skinner (sermon)

THE GATHERED CHURCH is the place of God's own personal presence, by the Spirit. ... The local church is God's temple in the community where it is placed, and it is so by the presence of the Spirit alone, by whom God has now revisited his people.

Gordon Fee, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God

GOD'S MISSION is nothing less than the sending of the Holy Spirit from the Father through the Son into this world, so that this world should not perish but live. ... The sending of the Holy Spirit is the revelation of God's indestructible affirmation of life and his marvelous joy in life.

J├╝rgen Moltmann, The Source of Life

THE GIFT of the Spirit is the gift of becoming involved in mission, for mission is the direct consequence of the outpouring of the Spirit.

David Bosch, Transforming Mission

WHERE THE SPIRIT is poured out on the church, it sweeps the believers along as though in a great river of obedience, praise, and mighty works. Empowered by the Spirit, the community can dare and hope great things, seeing visions, dreaming dreams, turning the world upside down. ... Where the Spirit is at work, liberation is underway: good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, deliverance to the oppressed.

Richard B. Hays, The Moral Vision of the New Testament

PAUL FIRST SAID, "Every one has a [spiritual] gift"; then he said, "Let everything be orderly." We too need the first truth, as Good News, before the second.

John Howard Yoder, Body Politics

THE SPIRIT gives different Christians different gifts ... but he works to produce the same fruit in all.

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John Stott, Baptism and Fullness

Related Elsewhere:

Past Reflections columns include:

He Is Risen (April 08, 2004)
Jesus' Cross (March 15, 2004)
Lenten Inventory (Feb. 25, 2004)
Following the Star (Dec. 23, 2003)
Advent (Dec. 10, 2003)
Wisdom for Ministry (Nov. 10, 2003)
Discerning God's Will (Oct. 6, 2003)
Work and Vocation (Sept. 17, 2003)
Bumper Sticker Theology (July 30, 2003)
Songs from the Soul (July 8, 2003)
Walk Humbly (May 28, 2003)
Mercy (May 8, 2004)
Cross and Resurrection (April 16, 2003)
Justice (March 18, 2003)
Sex, Love, and Marriage (Feb. 14, 2003)
Mountaintop Spirituality (January 23, 2003)
Word Made Flesh (December 20, 2002)
Desert Springs (November 25, 2002)
Matters of the Mind (October 16, 2002)
Bumper stickers (August 6, 2002)
Preaching (July 18, 2002)
Prayer (June 24, 2002)
Suffering and Grief (May 20, 2002)
Writers and Words (April 18, 2002)
Crucifixion (March 28, 2002)
God's Mission (February 13, 2002)
On Enemies (January 8, 2002)
Life After Christmas (December 26, 2001)
Love & Marriage (November 13, 2001)
The Word of God (October 22, 2001)
Leadership (October 11, 2001)
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)

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