Today's Foundations Devotional: Life and power through the Holy Spirit
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much
more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
The experience of the apostles stands as a pattern for all who enter into the new birth. It contains two essential elements: a direct, personal revelation of the resurrected Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit as divine, eternal life. This agrees with the words of Paul, “the Spirit is life because of righteousness”; that is, the righteousness imputed to all who believe in Christ’s death and resurrection (Rom. 8:10).
Yet even after this wonderful encounter Jesus made it plain to the apostles that their experience of the Holy Spirit was still incomplete. In His final words to them before His ascension He commanded them not to go out and preach immediately, but to go back to Jerusalem and wait there until they were baptised in the Holy Spirit and thus endued with power from on high for effective witness and service.
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high (Luke 24:49).
For John truly baptised with water, but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now (Acts 1:5).
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me (Acts 1:8).
Almost all interpreters of the Bible agree that this promise of being baptised in the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on Pentecost Sunday.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4).
It was on resurrection Sunday that the apostles received the inbreathed Spirit from Christ and thus entered into salvation and the new birth. Yet it was not until Pentecost Sunday, seven weeks later, that they were baptised in – or filled with – the Holy Spirit. This shows that salvation, or the new birth, is a distinct and separate experience from the baptism in the Holy Spirit, although each is described as “receiving the Holy Spirit.”
Later on Pentecost Sunday Peter explained that it was Christ, after His ascension, who had poured out the Holy Spirit on the waiting disciples.
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 (Acts 2:33).
We can then sum up the differences between the two experiences of receiving the Holy Spirit.
On resurrection Sunday it was: the resurrected Christ, the inbreathed Spirit, the result: life.
On Pentecost Sunday it was: the ascended Christ, the outpoured Spirit, the result: power.
Father God, thank You for the life and the power that I have received from You
as Your child, for free. Help me to live from that reality every day. Amen.