God With Them
Jesus had earned their trust. He had performed miracles right before their very eyes. They had a front row seat witnessing a blind person gain sight; a lame man getting up to walk; a hemorrhaging woman healed and a dead man rising from the grave at only the command of [his voice]. Yes, Jesus had proved himself to be the great I Am, and the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 8:58; John 14:6).
Everywhere the disciples went with Jesus, they had witnessed him testify about himself. As they walked the paths of Israel, he was right there with them showing them that he was indeed God. But now, Jesus was telling them the horrifying news that he was leaving. Imagine the fear and confusion that his disciples must have felt when he said:
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
The disciples didn’t know it yet, but while they were soon to mourn the loss of Jesus in their daily midst, they were about to receive a deposit of the coming Kingdom of God, in the form of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) that would empower them to do things even greater than they had already witnessed (John 14:12).
While Jesus was a physical representation of God, Immanuel (God with us), he was now promising The Helper (Holy Spirit) who would indwell his disciples (God in us) as they continued to testify to the reality of the gospel, not only in Israel (Jews) but to the ends of the earth (Gentiles) as God began to also bring his kingdom to earth (Matthew 28:16-20).
God With Us
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is never ending. He is always working to do many things, not only as he helps mature his disciples, but also as he advances the gospel throughout the world, bringing God’s Kingdom closer and closer to its anticipated revealing.
Until then, we who make up God’s Church are here to do the same as Jesus and his inaugural group of disciples during their 1st century ministry, which is to testify about the person of Jesus Christ. For those of us who call Redemption Gateway home, we have an opportunity to establish a permanent ministry outpost here in the East Valley of Phoenix, for generations to come, and hopefully until Jesus returns to establish in full, his earthly kingdom.
As we continue to pray for our resource initiative Home Away From Home, let’s remember to lean into, depend upon and commune with the third person of the Trinity as we hope together for an amazing outcome to our prayers.
While it would be impossible to share all of the specific details about the Holy Spirit in a short blog, here are a few of his ongoing ministries as revealed in the Bible. I would invite you to break out your own Bible to study these and even find a few of your own:
• The Holy Spirit Convicts the World of Sin, Righteousness and Judgment (John 16:8)
• The Holy Spirit Saves People (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5)
• The Holy Spirit Testifies of Christ (John 15:26; 16:14)
• The Holy Spirit Leads His People (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18; Matthew 4:1; Luke 4:1)
• The Holy Spirit Empowers His People (Luke 4:14; 24:49; Romans 15:19; Acts 1:9)
• The Holy Spirit Fills His People (Ephesians 5:18; Acts 2:4: 4:8, 31; 9:17)
• The Holy Spirit Teaches his People to Pray (Romans 8:26-27; Jude 1:20)
• The Holy Spirit Produces Fruit of His Work and Presence (Galatians 5:22-23)
• The Holy Spirit is a Deposit of the Coming Resurrection of Christ (2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5)
• The Holy Spirit Sets us Free from the Law (Romans 8:1-2)
Image Credit: Chris Koelle