December 11, 2019
Jesus's Gift of the Holy Spirit
At this time of year, we Christians contemplate the gift of the Son of God to mankind. It still blows my mind that God would send a part of Himself to this earth to deliver me from the penalty of eternal death. That precious baby in the manger spent the next 30 years preparing for his short-lived ministry of three years which would change the world forever.
But even though the Son of God only walked the earth for 33 years, He left us a gift that in many ways was His greatest act for mankind: the gift of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I know that Eternal Life is unquestionably a gift that is beyond compare, and one that will keep on giving for eternity. But note that I said the gift of the Holy Spirit was an act for mankind. For the time that I am on this earth, the Holy Spirit is my source of power to fulfill my assignment for the Kingdom.
Yes, we each have a purpose and an assignment. And it surpasses our salvation experience. Have you ever wondered if accepting Jesus as your Savior is the sole intention of God for your life? How many have thought that after coming to that glorious decision, you receive Christ, and then automatically begin a new life filled with a new purpose and a new way to live in this world? Are you disappointed that life still seems the same in so many ways? And how many Christians do you know who still struggle, even though they have heard it preached a dozen times or more that they are "a new creation", but have no evidence of that reality in their lives?
I think that sometimes we believe that the importance of Jesus is summed up in His life, ministry, death, and resurrection. That seems to be where many in the Body of Christ stop in their understanding of what He has done for them. But I urge you to read John, Chapter 14, because what Jesus has to say to His disciples is just as relevant for us [and perhaps even more so, since I believe the Body of Christ has lost some of the magnitude and importance of His message].
In this chapter, Jesus is informing the Disciples that He will soon be leaving them to return to His Father in Heaven, stressing the truth that everything He has taught them was not by His own authority, but the Father's, who dwelt in Him. Furthermore the works [miracles] Jesus had done were evidence of the power [and works] of the Father [in Jesus].
Then Jesus says something that every Christian should rejoice in: "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father." Can you comprehend that Jesus is telling us that because we believe in Him as our Savior, we will do the works that He did, and it will be possible for the same reason it was possible for Him -- because the power of the Father is in us [to do His works]? How can that be? We have the ability to do the works of the Father -- the same works Jesus did -- because our Lord tells us that He will send a Helper to be with us forever.
Let me continue ... Jesus says this Helper is "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." Of course, that Helper is the Holy Spirit, which is the very breath of the Father. So, just like Jesus, we have the power of the Father dwelling in us to do His works. Then Jesus tells them, "I will not leave you as orphans". And here is where I think that we 21st Century believers run into a stumbling block. I believe we often act like orphans. And here is why ...
In John 14 Jesus tells the Disciples, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me." I will tell you that I am astounded at the number of Christians who do not know the Word; who do not read, let alone study and know their Bible. We act like orphans who don't know we are part of God's Kingdom family even though we are saved, which gives us the right to enter the Kingdom as sons and daughters of the King! (Read John 3:5).
Have you ever tried to give your theological view to another Christian that, based on your salvation, you are now an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven; stationed here to represent your King's way of living, and have been given an assignment to continue His works on the earth to defeat the works of the devil and reclaim dominion of the earth as God intended in Genesis? Well, I have, and the question I usually get is, "Can you show me where it says that in the Bible"? At that moment, I know they have not read the Word for themselves, nor have they received revelation from the Holy Spirit. And you don't have to be a biblical scholar, having spent years studying the Scriptures. Just read the Book of Matthew and it should open the eyes of your heart to see the truth of the Kingdom and our purpose! I do not put myself forward as someone special or anointed; I am just an obedient follower of Christ who one day woke up with a hunger to know, for myself, what the Bible could reveal to me. And I do not credit my human mind, but the mind and the heart of the Holy Spirit to show me what I could not discern on my own.
How many of you, like me, sat in churches for years and were never encouraged to read the Word for ourselves or to seek a relationship with the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus calls "the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." Is the Body of Christ willing to be taught? Do they hunger to know and remember all that Jesus has said to us through His Word? Sometimes I wonder. Because the concept of the Kingdom is not that hard to discover if you spend anytime at all with the Holy Spirit in the Bible! And just because I can't give you Chapter and verse that I'm an ambassador of the Kingdom, etc., does not mean that my theological view of the Kingdom and my position and responsibilities to my King (stated above) are not the truth.
So, I will state Proverbs 25:2 again, as I have so many times before, It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out. That's Chapter and verse. but are they going to accept that word to mean that it is incumbent upon us to not only read the Word, But how many will seek the counsel and direction from the Holy Spirit to connect the dots in all of Scripture to receive greater revelation than just what we've heard someone else preach or teach? For instance, to even comprehend this verse in Proverbs it means we have to understand that we are "kings and priests" as is written in Revelation 5:10, And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (KJV).
In summary, the Lord had three years to spend with the Disciples to teach them all the Father wanted them to know and to do. Knowing that He would be crucified, resurrected, and returning to the Father, Jesus made sure to let His Disciples know that He would not leave them alone; that He would send the Holy Spirit to help them continue God's plan to dwell in them and give them the power to do His works and defeat the devil, whom Jesus called "the ruler of the world" in John 14:30. Nothing has changed. He still sends the Holy Spirit to those who are called His disciples. It's the greatest gift He could give us this side of Eternity. And we have all of our lives to receive this teaching!
I pray that the Body of Christ will celebrate not only the birth of the Christ child this season, but will seek greater understanding of the Kingdom of God through the Word of our Lord. It is my prayer that all who love Jesus will embrace the gift of the authority and power of God [in us] to grow us in the wisdom and the knowledge of the height, the breadth, the width, the depth and the immeasurable revelation of the Holy Spirit to guide us to seek His Kingdom. It's more than we've thought, folks. Salvation is the entry point into the Kingdom. There is more for us to do in this life! Do not put a limit on your purpose based on your denominational doctrines, religious mindsets, or the fear that you might be deceived. You have an assignment! And if you are seeking the Kingdom, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to reveal it according to the righteous desires of your heart. Trust Him and receive Jesus's gift to faithful men on the earth. It's the gift that keeps on giving!
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.