The Coming of the Holy Spirit
This week we are going to look at the spiritual battle for our minds. Before I expose the schemes of the devil, it is important that we understand the superior nature and role of the Holy Spirit. Christ made the New Covenant possible. The Holy Spirit is the One who makes it real in our experience. Jesus said, “But 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” (Jn. 14:26). “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth . . . He will glorify Me, for He will take what is mine and declare it to you” (Jn. 14:13,14). The Holy Spirit never seeks His own glory. He came to shine light on the death of Christ for our sins, and the resurrection of Christ so that we would have new life. Spiritual pride on our part is contrary to the work of the Holy Spirit. Humility is the evidence of His work in our lives and Christ-centered living is the result.
“Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled” (Acts 2:2-4). When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, Peter immediately associated those spiritual manifestations with the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:14-21, Joel 2:28-32).
The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is what distinguishes the Old Covenant from the New Covenant. Israel was under the law of God, but the Church is under the grace of God. Prior to Pentecost, the presence of God was with them. In the Church age after Pentecost, the presence of God is within them. Old Testament believers had a legal relationship with God. New Testament believers have a personal relationship with their Heavenly Father. The primary work of the Holy Spirit is to testify “with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16). “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Pet. 2:10).
In the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophets to the people, but in the church age, God personally leads every one of His children, “because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). God has also gifted every member in the body of Christ, some of whom may have the gift of prophecy, which is to be distinguished from the office of a prophet. The first is a gift, while the latter is a unique person who infallibly and authoritatively communicated the Word of God (Deut. 18:20-22).
Generally speaking, “the day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31) is an idiom used to emphasize the decisive nature of God’s victory over His enemies. Prior to Pentecost, Jesus disarmed the devil, and according to Paul, it is the eternal purpose of God to make His wisdom known through the Church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms which is the spiritual kingdom of darkness (Eph. 3:10-12). The enemy’s tactics are defeated when the children of God speak the truth in love in the power of the Holy Spirit. All the darkness of the world cannot dispel the light of one candle.
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