The Promised Gift of the Holy Spirit
by Pr. Dave Mann
At one point, Peter denied that he even knew Jesus and then went into hiding. Fifty days later, he was proclaiming the name of Jesus publicly. Even when he was arrested and threatened, he rejoiced to have the honor of being persecuted because of an association with the Name. What happened? First, Jesus came back to life. The resurrection gave substance to all that Jesus had taught the previous three years. But Jesus made good on the promise to send the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.
The ministry that the apostles had and which they have passed on to us certainly includes sharing and proclaiming the truth of God’s Word. We want to communicate accurately the salvation history of God’s people and the doctrines that clearly describe God’s character and the way of salvation.
But our ministry goes beyond history and doctrine. It also includes the infilling of the Holy Spirit an empowerment of God’s presence within us. The work of the Spirit is one aspect of the difference between the Old and New Testaments. In the former days, the Holy Spirit filled and worked primarily in the prophets and royalty of the kingdom of Israel. But the promise given through Joel (2:28-29) is for ALL believers. Joel’s prophecy, fulfilled beginning on Pentecost and still continues today.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
God did not intend for us to accomplish the important gospel ministry in our own strength. He told the early believers to wait to start the ministry until they had received the gift promised by the Father, the Holy Spirit. If the apostles needed the power of the Spirit to accomplish the ministry, how much more do we need Him?
Jesus’ physical presence is no longer with us on this earth, but we have something better. The physical body of Jesus could only be in one place on earth at a time. But the Holy Spirit can be in all places at once, encouraging, empowering, and equipping the whole Christian church on earth.
Pray for the power of the Spirit. Look for the power of the Spirit. Anticipate the power of the Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit. Fill us anew. Flow, Spirit, flow. Inspire us to speak your Word and to accomplish what you call us to do, in Jesus’ name, Amen.