The Advent Part 66
Acts 2:32-33, “This Jesus God raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”
God raised up Jesus, and Peter attests to the fact that they were all witnesses to this greatest of events. In essence Peter and the rest of the disciples were simply relaying what God had done. They could neither add to nor take away from the miracle that had occurred, and they realized it was their duty to testify to what they had seen, to be witnesses to the fact that Jesus had risen from the dead. It is the duty of us all, to be witnesses to what God has done, and to what God is doing, and proclaim the truth boldly, courageously and fearlessly.
The greatest witness, the greatest testimony to the resurrection of Christ is the new life that He births in us when we are born again. We can speak great and swelling words, we can attempt to convince people of the greatness of the God we serve with well-chosen platitudes, but a life lived wholly in submission to God, a life surrendered to His will does more to turn the heart than would a thousand sermons.
It is the discrepancy between what we say and how we live that the world finds so off-putting in many modern day Christians, seeing the disconnect between the words we speak and the lives we live, and rightly surmising that the two cannot be reconciled. Much shame has been visited upon the house of God these last few decades because men who preached one thing lived in direct opposition to that which they were preaching. Hypocrisy is a stench in the nostrils of God and the world alike, it is something neither can readily stomach, yet it is something many spiritual leaders of our day practice with nonchalance.
Jesus is not our co-pilot, He is not our plus one, He is not someone we run to when we hit a snag, He is our life, and in Him we live and move and have our being. We can no more live being deprived of Christ, than this human flesh can live being deprived of oxygen.
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The reality of a risen Christ was alive in the heart of Peter and the disciples, and they testified of this truth, also testifying to the fact that what they had just witnessed was the promise of the Holy Spirit that had been poured out upon them.
Herein once more we see the three Persons of the triune God being presented by Peter, declaring to those who were present that after His ascension Jesus received the promise of the Holy Spirit, which He poured out over His disciples after ten days. God the Father gives the promise to God the Son, the promise being the Holy Spirit, and the Son pours the Holy Spirit upon the household of faith.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was such a real event that though they would have liked to, none who had gathered could deny it. Peter draws the men’s attention to their own eyes, to their own ears, and tells them that indeed what they had seen and what they had heard was nothing less than the Holy Spirit being poured out upon the faithful.
This was a new experience for both Peter and those who had been in the upper room, something that in and of themselves they could not describe or explain, but because the Holy Spirit was present in them, and flowed through them, the explanation Peter gave was sound, and biblical and to the point.
When the Holy Spirit is present in the heart of an individual the sings thereof are undeniable. The first thing that is evident once the Holy Spirit is poured into a heart is the power, which brings the flesh under subjection that we may grow in the fruit of the Spirit, and the second thing that is evident is the presence of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed in the manner in which God sees fit for the building up of the body of Christ.
Galatians 5:16-17, “I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12:7-11, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
This is what the prototype of a spiritually healthy church looks like, wherein both the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are visible, and operating, wherein it’s not just a group of individuals mumbling and grumbling and barking and clucking but in whom there is no love, no joy, no peace, no longsuffering, no kindness, no goodness, no faithfulness, no gentleness, and no self-control.
A healthy church, a biblical church lives the life of Christ, it possess the aforementioned fruit, not only living in the Spirit but also walking in the Spirit, knowing that the gifts are given to each one for the profit of all, and also knowing what the gifts are as described and defined in the Word of God.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.