The Holy Spirit & The Apostles
For the past few weeks we have noticed Paul’s teachings on the Holy Spirit. He takes time out in every book to emphasize something about the Holy Spirit and His work in the church. However, He is not the only New Testament writer to talk about the Holy Spirit. Who would be more qualified to talk about the Holy Spirit more than the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ?
The 12 were witnesses to the ministry of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the establishment of the church. They were commanded to be witnesses of what they had seen and heard (Luke 24:46-48, Acts 1:7-8, II Corinthians 12:12, I John 1:1-2). During the ministry of the apostles, when Jesus was with them, the Holy Spirit was already working in a limited way as they performed miracles (Luke 11:13, John 20:22).However, they were instructed to wait for the full baptism (Acts 1-2).
The 12, who were significantly impacted by the Holy Spirit, went out into the entire world preaching and teaching as witnesses of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16). What were they preaching? What were they teaching? Consider their letters! Peter teaches that the Holy Spirit sanctifies us (I Peter 1:2), He enables us to obey the truth (I Peter 1:22), and that He enables some to preach the gospel (I Peter 1:12). The apostle Peter also taught that the Holy Spirit moved holy men of God to write the Bible (II Peter 1:21). Obviously, the Holy Spirit must be active!
John, the beloved, adds to the abundance of Scripture and teachings about the Holy Spirit. In his letters he teaches us that the Holy Spirit enables us to know that Jesus abides in us (I John 3:24, 4:13), He confesses that Jesus came in the flesh (I John 4:2) and that He beckons: “Come, Lord Jesus” along with the bride (the church) in Revelation 22:17.
The Holy Spirit worked in a mighty way through these great men of God. He enabled them to testify as eyewitnesses (Mark 16:19-20, John 15:26-27, Hebrews 2:3-4, I Thessalonians 1:4-5). He aided them in their defense of the gospel (Matthew 10:16-20, Acts 5:13-31). He taught them and inspired them with great authority (Matthew 18:18, John 14:25-26, John 16:12-15, I Corinthians 12:3, 14:36-37, I John 1:1-3, 4:1-6). Where would we be without the work of the Holy Spirit of God?
In addition to the apostles, remember that the Holy Spirit enabled Mary to conceive Jesus (Luke 1:35), He is the author of Scripture (Matthew 5:17, II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:21, Act 2:16), and the interpreter of Scripture (I Corinthians 2:10-14, Ephesians 1:17). He is mighty! Next week we will notice that not only is the Holy Spirit deity, but that He is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. The author of your Bible wants you to know more about Him! Will you study your Bible to learn more?
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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