Peter’s message on the day of Pentecost was a bold declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a potent explanation of the overflow of the Spirit at work in the early Church. The Church’s manifestation of the Spirit was evidence of the fulfillment of God’s promises and a demonstration of Christ’s exaltation. Peter’s message was not about an invisible, intangible, unnoticeable and un-manifest work of God, but about the incarnation of God Himself and the outpouring of His Spirit, which could be seen and heard in the lives of the disciples. The Spirit was on display in the Church. There was a bold, ecstatic expression of the power and person of the Holy Spirit that flowed out of the upper room and onto the streets.
The Lord still desires and requires an expression and demonstration of the Spirit in His Church. Jesus promised his followers, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). The Spirit of Almighty God lives with us and in us. In all of His enormity, power, and goodness, He can still fit within us. We were made to be His temple, carrying, and expressing His person on the earth. He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6:17); the Holy Spirit is joined to our spirit, wrapped around the inside of us, making us more like Him and expressing Himself through our soul and body.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians “my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Cor 2:4). His ministry wasn’t based on his own words, or natural communication at all, but in a demonstration, expression, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit and His power. Later in the same letter, Paul encourages them again to express the Holy Spirit, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (1 Cor 12:7). Each of us was made to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit and to express Him in a unique way that blesses the Church, the world, and our Heavenly Father. We are meant to grow and display the fruit of the Holy Spirit, expressing His love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and temperance to those around us. We are meant to express the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2). In our words of encouragement and blessing, in our praise and worship, in our actions of love and self-sacrifice, we have the ability to show the Spirit of God to the world. Even as Jesus showed God to the world, we are called to be like Him and show God alive in us. We were meant to express the full life of Jesus Christ. “always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor 4:10-11). I want my life and actions to be saturated and flooded by the Spirit of God.
Read the rest of the November 2012 Newsletter.
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