Today's Foundations Devotional: From Jerusalem into the world
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of
the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Yesterday we read that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is like a personal letter to us from heaven, of the glorified Christ. It is proof that He lives and has all power!
In 1 Peter 3:22, Peter writes about Christ after His resurrection:
… who [Jesus] has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
I am reminded of a conversation I once had, while serving as principal of a college in East Africa, with a minister of one of the older denominations. This minister was questioning me about my personal experience of receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He designated the experience by the title “Pentecostalism,” and he obviously regarded the whole thing with some suspicion, as the product of some new and eccentric religious sect.
“Now let me see,” he said. “That started in America, I believe. It comes from the United States, doesn’t it?”
“Oh, no!” I replied. “You’re quite wrong about that! This thing started in Jerusalem, and it comes from heaven!”
So it is with every believer who has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit as the first disciples received it on the day of Pentecost. This experience gives him a new, direct contact in two directions:
1) with the glorified Christ at the Father’s right hand in heaven
2) with the New Testament Church as it came into being in Jerusalem and as it is thereafter pictured in the book of Acts
The baptism in the Holy Spirit gives a new meaning, a new reality, a new assurance, both concerning the exaltation of Christ and the life and activity of the New Testament church. Things that before were historical or doctrinal facts accepted by bare faith become, for each Spirit-filled believer, thrilling realities in his own experience.
This is in line with the statement that in the days of Christ’s earthly ministry “the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39).
We have already seen earlier that the Holy Spirit could not be given to the Church before Christ was glorified with the Father in heaven. Only the glorified Christ was worthy to exercise the privilege, bestowed by the Father, of giving this wonderful gift. Therefore, the fact that this gift was bestowed upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost was in itself evidence that Christ had been glorified.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for letting me also experience that
special fullness of Your Spirit daily. Thank You for that faithful,
loving Helper, Comforter, Guide, and Teacher, as the Lord Jesus
Himself has identified the Holy Spirit. I praise You for that
wonderful Supporter! Amen.