Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Christ's Sending of the Holy Spirit

"I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth." (John 16:12–13).

Just as Moses called the people together on the plains of Moab to pass his mantle to Joshua, so Jesus calls His disciples to the Upper Room and explains to them that the Spirit will come to take His place. This notion of “dynastic succession” is all-important in understanding the events of the Day of Pentecost. Jesus, enthroned on high after His ascension, was sending the Spirit to continue His work.

Why does the King James Version call the Holy Spirit the Comforter? Is it because He comes to comfort us when we are distressed? No, that is not the reason. In the English of that time, “comfort” was understood to come from two Latin words, cum and fortis, which meant “with strength.” The Spirit is called the Comforter because He comes to strengthen us in all that we do.

In John 14:16, Jesus had said, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.” If the Spirit is “another Counselor,” who is the first? Jesus Himself. The actual Greek term translated counselor is parakletos, and refers to an "attorney" called alongside to help.

Here we see that Jesus was saying, “I hold the title Paraclete. I am your Defense Attorney. I am the One who stands beside you. But I am leaving, and because I am leaving I’m going to send you another Paraclete. And I will be with you always, even to the end of the age. How am I going to be with you? By the presence of this One whom I will send to you.” It is the Spirit who makes Christ present to us, and us to Him.

How do you account for the seeming weakness within the church and in many individual believers? Is God selective in granting His power for righteous living; is the Spirit impotent to perform His ministry; or are believers negligent in appropriating the power made available to each of us? Read the opening chapters of Acts to see how the Spirit was unleashed upon the church with power.