Showing posts with the label Spirit

Anointed by the Spirit

From the beginning, the activity of the Spirit dominated the life, words, and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth. He was “ Jesus, the one called Christ ,” the “ Anointed One ” and the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. When an angel informed Joseph that Mary carried a child “ conceived of the Holy Spirit ,” it indicated that something far more than a miraculous birth was about to unfold. He was and is the true Man of the Spirit.

The Age of the Spirit

The history of Israel includes national sins that caused her expulsion from the Land of Canaan. However, God foresaw her failures and determined to institute a new covenant, one  energized and characterized by His Spirit . This covenant included the salvation of the nations and would culminate in the “ New Heavens and the New Earth ” at the end of the age. With the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the Age of the Spirit had commenced in earnest.


In the  Book of Acts , the application of Joel’s prophecy to the events in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost links the initial outpouring of the Spirit to the start of the “ Last Days .” The activity of the Spirit beginning on the Day of Pentecost and continuing thereafter is essential for understanding the rapid spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem to the  center of the Roman Empire, a process that must continue until the “ arrival ” or ‘ Parousia ’ of Jesus at the end of the age.

First Fruits of the Resurrection

The history of Israel includes national sins that resulted in her expulsion from the Promised Land. However, God foresaw her failures and determined eons ago to institute a  New Covenant  that would be energized and characterized by His Spirit, and a people,  singular , that would include the Gentile nations. This covenant would culminate in the resurrection of the righteous dead and the arrival of the “ New Heavens and the New Earth .”

Life-Giving Spirit

Jesus declared, “ The Spirit makes alive. The flesh profits nothing. The words which I have spoken to you, they are spirit, and they are life .” His statement echoes the principle that life and the Spirit of God are inextricably linked. The “ flesh ” is not inherently evil, but it has no lasting life apart from the Holy Spirit. This principle was demonstrated at the original creation, and now the same Spirit is essential for the bodily resurrection of believers and everlasting life in the age to come.

Heirs of the Covenant

The Apostle Paul calls the Gift of the Spirit the “ Promise of the Father ” which he links to the Abrahamic covenant. The promises to Abraham and “ his Seed ” find their fulfillment in the New Covenant inaugurated by the death and resurrection of Jesus. The bestowal of the Spirit on his Assembly marked the start of the age of fulfillment, and Gentile believers now become heirs of the Patriarch and coheirs with Jesus along with believing Jews.

Inheritance of the Saints

Israel’s possession of Canaan was an earlier stage in God’s redemptive plan, which always envisioned something larger than Israel or a small plot of land in the Middle East. With the arrival of the Messiah and the outpouring of the Spirit, the covenant promises began to find their fulfillment in the true “ Seed of Abraham ,” and in his “ brethren ” and “ coheirs ,” the promised inheritance that would include bodily resurrection and New Creation.

In the Last Days...

The use of Joel’s prophecy by Peter on the Day of Pentecost links the arrival of the Spirit to the start of History's final era. With the Spirit’s outpouring, the “ Last Days ” began in earnest.  The Gift of the Spirit is the “ Promise of Father ,” and an integral part of the  New Covenant  prophesied in the books of  Jeremiah  and  Ezekiel . Its arrival pointed to a fundamental change of eras - The time of fulfillment had commenced  - (Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:17-21).

When Pentecost Arrived

On the day of Pentecost, the time of fulfillment arrived when Jesus bestowed the gift of the Spirit on his church  – Acts 2:1-4.  The second chapter of  Acts  lays stress on the theme of  fulfillment . The things foreshadowed in the Hebrew scriptures were actualized when the disciples were “ filled with the Spirit and spoke in other tongues ” on the Day of Pentecost. This was the seminal event that marked the inauguration of the Church and the age of the Spirit.

Between Law and Spirit

Between the ascension and the outpouring of the Spirit, the apostles pray and appoint Matthias to complete their number  - Acts 1:12-26. After the ascension, the apostles return to Jerusalem to wait for the “ promise of the Father .” In the meantime, they appoint Matthias to the apostolic office held previously by Judas Iscariot. As the leaders of the new covenant community, they need twelve representatives to demonstrate continuity with the people of Yahweh.

Tarry in Jerusalem

The  Book of Acts  begins  IN JERUSALEM  with the ascension of Jesus and the outpouring of the Spirit. It concludes with Paul preaching the Gospel in the heart of the  World Empire , the city of Rome. Following his resurrection, Jesus ascended to reign “ at the right hand of God .” He then bestowed the Gift of the Spirit on his Assembly to empower them to proclaim his Gospel to all nations.

Redemption of Our Body

According to Paul, there is “ now no condemnation ” for anyone who is “ in Christ Jesus .” This happy condition exists because the “ law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and of death .” Moreover, he links our salvation to the inheritance of Christ and the coming redemption of the creation. Adam’s transgression condemned the entire universe to bondage and death, not just humanity. However, “ much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus, abound to the many .”