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Jesus and the Holy Spirit

May 14th, 2018
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We are taking a break from the book of John as we prepare for Pentecost.

I want to continue with the question: Where do we see the Spirit in the life of Christ?

As we saw in Luke the Holy Spirit overshadows Mary and she is with child. This tells a Jewish audience steeped in the scriptures, that this One has the Spirit from conception. This one was conceived by the Spirit (whatever that means, a wonder really beyond words), and there’s a deliberate contrast in the Gospels with his cousin John the Baptist.

John was unique. In the womb, he is moved by the Spirit. He leaps for joy by the Spirit. That is utterly unique. Jesus calls him the greatest prophet in Israel – the greatest, and yet he’s not worthy to stoop down and untie the sandals of his cousin Jesus. John in the womb is filled with the Spirit; Jesus is conceived with the Spirit.

But in the Old Testament, who has the Spirit? Prophets, priests, judges, kings (and not even all of them). King David is sort of a pattern. He is anointed with oil, a symbol of the Spirit; the Spirit of the Lord rushes upon him.

Before that the Spirit comes upon even panelbeaters – Bezalel, early on, he’s the one that beats the big bronze shields for the tabernacle The Spirit comes upon him. The Spirit rushes upon these people and sets them apart for ministry, for service, for something which they maybe could have done but not to the degree and not to the extent, not with the quality that God wants. A panelbeater can panelbeat, and not even be a Christian, but to produce stuff which is worthy to be in the tabernacle, you needed God’s Spirit upon you.

What would a Jew of that time hear? The Jews read the conception narrative of Jesus and ask: “Here is one conceived… What is this saying?” It’s saying he is unlike any individual you have ever seen in history before. These allusions, these echoes in the Old Testament: I will give you Spirit-filled people, I will pour my Spirit out upon all flesh… There is one coming, there is the coming one: he is one greater than Moses, he is the greatest prophet, the greatest priest, the greatest king.

But what are we seeing in Jesus? Is he a great prophet? Could be. Will he be a great priest? Could be. Will he be a king? Could be. They are the questions as we go through the narrative. He’s actually all three.

Now lets move to the baptism of Jesus, at the age of 30.

At the age of 30, a Jewish man, if he is so trained and prepared to accept it, enters the priesthood. Here’s Jesus, at the age of 30, entering public ministry.

He goes to John, who says, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Mark 1:9-12

9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan.

He baptizes Jesus and three things happen:

10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open

In the Old Testament, the heavens opened, you have one of two choices: run for the hills – God is judging, or you fall flat on your face in worship because he is about to bless. The heavens opened,

and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.

Secondly the descent of the Holy Spirit.

11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’

Thirdly the divine voice says “This is my beloved Son,”

He already had the Spirit – he was conceived in the Spirit – so why a second pouring out?

Here he’s being set apart as a prophet-priest-king – all three offices in one. He’s being set apart for the ministry of the Messiah, of the Anointed One.

12 At once (or immediately)the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness,

In Mark’s Gospel (short, punchy, immediate – everything is “immediately”), immediately the Spirit ekballo, literally threw Jesus into the desert to be tempted by Satan 40 days. Desert, wilderness, 40 days. This is, to a Jew, highly symbolic.

This is the Exodus. This is the 40 years in the desert. What did God’s son Israel do in the desert? Disobeyed. They disobeyed.

What’s Jesus going to do? That’s the tension, that’s the narrative. The Spirit pushes him after the baptism into ministry and for 40 days without eating, he defeats Satan. He resists temptation. How?

Luke 4:1,14

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

By the Spirit. He is a man, a God-man, who is so filled of the Spirit of God that he resists the ultimate temptation of the devil.

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

He comes back and in the power of the Spirit. He does his ministry. His ministry is specific: he gives sight to the blind, he heals lepers, he heals paralytics. He’s doing all the things which if we read when we turn to the Old Testament, they say, this is what God will do in the last days.

This is what God will do in the last days through an individual person – a prophet, a priest, a king – through someone special who has the Spirit.

And here is Jesus doing these ministries. The Gospels are telling us, by the Spirit, in the power of the Spirit.

They begin to talk of him as the Messiah.

Messiah, which means “The Anointed One.” Anointed with what? The name “Messiah” is reminding us of the role of the Spirit, the importance of the Spirit. Jesus is saturated (smeared, literal translation of “anointed”)by the Spirit.

If we read any Gospel (it doesn’t matter which one) – and we should read it with the understanding that Jesus is fulfilling prophecy, fulfilling all of Israel’s promises – that there is a coming one.

We could say the old is covenant is the promise and the new covenant is the fulfillment. And God’s faithfulness is the continuity between the two.

Israel couldn’t know of how that all the promises came together until the coming of Christ –

1Peter1:10 -12

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.

12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

As we read what the prophets wrote, we see they didn’t fully understand even what they were writing about. Paul talks about the the mystery(Greek mysterion). Jesus’ coming is the answer to the mystery.

So in history, the Holy Spirit’s role was to make human the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Through the work of the Holy Spirit the Word became flesh. And the disciples could hear him, touch him and see him throughout his life. He was as human as you and I.

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Message for the Day, News

Jesus and the Holy Spirit(Introduction)

May 13th, 2018
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To watch Bible project on the Holy Spirit please click here.

We often overlook the role of the Spirit.

One of the exciting things to discover if we go back to the Gospels, and re-read them is the answer to:  Where’s the Holy Spirit? Where do we see the Spirit in the life of Christ?

Lets start with how does Jesus come into the world. Observe the role of the Holy Spirit as you read Luke 1:1-57

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Message for the Day

John6(2b)

May 6th, 2018
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It said there are two sides to an issue. Two ways to look at a subject. Sometimes at first they may appear to contradict. Yet together they can give us a more complete picture.

This is true in John 6:30–40

It has two parts: verses 30–36 and verses 37–40.

In these verses we can see what’s happening in the world with regard to faith and salvation from two sides — from the side of man and his responsibility to receive what God offers, and from the side of God and his rule to accomplish his saving purposes.

In verses 30–36, we are looking at things from the side of man’s responsibility.

In verses 37–40 we are looking at things from the side of God’s rule.

In these verses Jesus is still talking to the crowd in the synagogue that followed him across the lake because he had filled their stomachs with food (verse 26). He has directed their attention away form the food that perishes to the “bread that endures to eternal life” (verse 27). Then in verse 29, he said that the way to “work” for this eternal food is to believe in the one God has sent — Jesus the Messiah.

So the crowd questions him again:

John6:30-40

30 So they asked him, ‘What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

Even though they had seen him feed five thousand, this was another day, and their stomachs were not full any more. They remembered that in the wilderness Moses gave God’s manna every day.(The Friday was twice as much so as to rest on the Sabbath). They didn’t just have miracle bread one day. But every day, for forty years.

So Jesus, if you want us to see and believe, keep on working. Keep on doing your signs.

32 Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven,

Moses did not give you bread from heaven.

but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.

The bread God gave through Moses was not the main point of the miracle. It pointed to something bigger. The point was that there is a “true bread from heaven,” namely, Jesus (as we will see in just three verses). All things point to their fulfillment in Jesus.

Remember we are looking at things from the side of God’s offer and human responsibility.

Don’t miss the word “you.” Most of them are not going to receive it. But Jesus says, God is giving it. This is the way we go to the world. God has given you the bread of life. That is, he offers it to you. It is free. Take it. Eat it.

33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’

It is the “bread of God,” and it is offered here, not just to a few, but now for the life of the world. Here we have a global offer and the responsibility of man rises even higher — the responsibility to see and believe and eat the bread of God.

Their response to this is similar to the woman at the well in

Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water. (John 4:15 )

34 ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘always give us this bread.’

Be like Moses — just keep on giving us the bread of God, the manna that fills our stomachs.

35 Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Jesus — Jesus himself and all that God is for us in him — is what we hunger for and thirst for -even though this world doesn’t know this as it chases everything else to fill the void. He has been merciful to us to come and offer himself as the supreme Treasure of our lives.

That doesn’t mean hunger and thirst in our souls does not rise up every day. It means now we know what it’s for. Now we know where to turn. Now we know what to drink and what to eat. We drink down Jesus. We swallow the glory of Jesus.

And there is a never-ending supply. This is what we were made for. All other treasures, all other pleasures point to this. Jesus is the all-satisfying end of every longing.

Saving faith is being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus.

This changes everything.

We never read our Bible the same again. We never think about the obedience that flows from faith the same again. We never fight for purity and holiness the same again.

When we see that saving faith is being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus, we understand what Paul wrote in the “good fight of faith” becomes a fight for joy. And from then on, everything is different.

And the fight for joy is doing whatever we must to see Jesus for who he is, and to delight in Jesus above all things. He is our good news. He is our assurance.

He is the one who reveals and leads us to the Father, and sends to us the Holy Spirit from the Father.

But notice the human response of many in that synagogue:

36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.

Seeing they didn’t see. And they didn’t believe. That is, they didn’t come and eat to their soul’s satisfaction.

So, the first section of the text ends with the gift of God rejected. God offers his bread — his Son — to his own people, and his own did not receive him. This is the way the saving purpose of God looks from the side of man and his responsibility.

God offers his Son, and man is responsible to see.

Did God fail with that generation? If not, why not?

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Message for the Day