Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pentecost: The Holy Spirit pointing to Jesus our Lord

After the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples on the day of Pentecost, Peter’s sermon to those questioning the event in Jerusalem gives a clear understanding of what the Holy Spirit’s message was then and is now. First Peter quoted a prophecy of the Old Testament book Joel about the coming of the Holy Spirit and then he proclaimed the good news which is the news of salvation in Jesus Christ. “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

And the promise is to all of those to come.

And then Peter preaches Jesus Christ; crucified according to God’s plan but by godless humanity. Next, the resurrection of Jesus and the fact that Jesus is Lord. Finally Peter tells his listeners that they must repent, be baptized and that in the name of Jesus is the forgiveness of their sins. And that is the foundational teaching and message of the Holy Spirit. Not some new truth but Jesus Christ Lord and Savior.
The Holy Spirit guides, comforts and gifts the church with his power as he points to Jesus. He calls the church to holiness, faithfulness and obedience while at the same time confronting the world concerning “sin, righteousness and judgment.” (John 16: 8-11)

The Holy Spirit discloses that which belongs to Jesus. As Jesus states in John’s gospel. “He will glorify me for he will take of mine and will disclose it to you.” This includes all that belongs to the Father, as Jesus also states, “All things that the Father has are mine; therefore I said that he [the Holy Spirit] takes of mine and will disclose it to you.”
As Dale Bruner puts it:

The work of the Holy Spirit is the honoring of Jesus Christ. The work of other spirits is the honoring of themselves or other realities. … wherever a church or a person centers thoughtfully (That is, biblically and evangelically) on honoring the person, teaching and work of Jesus Christ, there we may be quite sure, we are in the presence of the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit’s work is the thoughtful honoring of Christ. (The Holy Spirit: Shy Member of the Trinity)

I watched today the interview of two Iranian women who were terribly persecuted by the Iranian government because of their faith in Jesus. When asked why they did not give in and reject Christianity, one of the women said because they loved Jesus. That is truly the work of the Holy Spirit.


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