Monday, October 10, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 71

The Advent Part 63

Acts 2:29, “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.”

After quoting the passage from the sixteenth psalm, Peter sets his sights on the David the patriarch. A patriarch is the head, or the father of a family, and biblically speaking David was indeed the patriarch of his family.

There is an undeniable connection between the prophets of old, and those called to be apostles of Christ. The first of these, the prophets, wrote out their prophecies under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, while the latter group, the apostles, explained or interpreted the prophecies the prophets of old had given, also under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Under what is now referred to as apostolic teaching, we see the prophecies of old interpreted by the apostles, encompassing the Christ the Messiah, from His birth, to His death, to His resurrection, to His ascension, to His being our intercessor and High Priest, and also to His return when He will come again for a bride without spot or wrinkle.

In this verse, as well as the subsequent two verses, Peter lays out the resurrection of Christ apostolically. The prophets, via the Holy Spirit, heralded the resurrection of Christ, and the apostles now explained His resurrection and reiterated its veracity by their own testimonies.

The connection between the prophets and the apostles also signifies the bond and connection between the Old and New Testaments both inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. If and when we find the apostles quoting the prophets of old, and interpreting their words, we must understand that it is the Holy Spirit inspiring them to expound upon and explain these things. It is not of their own volition, it is not of their own intellect that the apostles began to tell the people the significance of these prophecies and what they meant, it was by the unction of the Holy Spirit that they ventured to do this.

The Jews to whom Peter was speaking, based on their tradition, had a wrong understanding of the prophetic words of old, and now Peter with the authority rightfully his as apostle of Christ as well as under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was beginning to shine a new light on what the prophets had written centuries beforehand.

As painful as it might be to admit it to ourselves we must acknowledge the fact that in many instances where the Scripture is concerned there is a tendency to understand it based on tradition, on ceremony or on hearsay, in essence understanding it wrongly, and because we have a wrong understanding of the Word our Christian walk suffers, and in some cases it is no Christian walk at all.

What would the world look like today, if there were truly over one billion Christians, all sold out for Christ, all sanctified and set apart, all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit? One billion after all is the number of people who profess Christianity, who claim to follow Christ and adhere to His precepts.

It is sad that we spend more time and energy attempting to defend certain pet doctrines which are biblically ambiguous than we do defending the Christ, and telling all who would hear of His life, His death, His resurrection and His soon return. Often times we get so heated in our squabbles, we get so vitriolic in our disagreements that we are quick to stencil ‘Ichabod’ upon the forehead of anyone who would disagree with us, or who would question why we believe what we believe. If our beliefs are tethered and rooted in the Word of God, if what we believe is Scriptural and Biblical, then we can give a defense of our faith to anyone and at any time because we have the Word of God on our side. If however, what we believe is tethered in the doctrine of a certain individual, or the interpretation of a certain denomination, then when we are called to give account for what we believe, we grow angry and our only answer will be, ‘well that’s just the way it is.’

I’ve been on the receiving end of that line more times than I can count, especially when attempting to Biblically discuss the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the power of the Holy Spirit for our day. I’m usually a calm individual, I don’t get rattled often, so all I would do when someone would come up and say ‘God doesn’t do that anymore’ is ask where they found that in the Bible.

‘Maybe I missed the passage, maybe I glossed over it in my reading, would you please point me to the scripture that says the Holy Spirit had an expiration date, or that it was a temporary thing?’

When confronted with the Word, or the need to prove their stance biblically, such individuals can only resort to ‘that’s just the way it is, because I say it’s so’ mentality.

Because they misunderstood the Scriptures, or understood them wrongly the Jews of old likewise wrongly understood or misunderstood the life and death of Christ Jesus and this wrong understanding of Jesus has been perpetuated from generation to generation.

In his discourse Peter the apostle clarifies the truth about the life and death of Jesus the Messiah, informing those who had gathered that He had truly lived the life of a man, He had truly been put to death, and He had truly risen from the dead on the third day.

Yes, David the patriarch was dead and buried, and even to that day his tomb was with them, Peter was not denying this fact, but what he was disputing was that Jesus had had the same outcome as David, wherein He still lay in the earth. Peter was attempting to open the eyes and hearts of his hearers to the reality that Christ had risen from the dead, that He was greater than David who still lay in his tomb, and that death could not hold Him.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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