Today's Foundations Devotional: The Spirit confirms the testimony of God’s Word
God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various
miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.
Yesterday we concluded by saying that all believers can expect the Spirit to confirm their testimony of the Gospel through supernatural signs and wonders. This was precisely how the first disciples interpreted and applied the commission of Jesus.
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs (Mark 16:19-20).
This supernatural testimony to the disciples’ preaching only came into full effect after the Lord Jesus had been received up into heaven and had taken His place at the Father’s right hand. Thereafter the Lord Jesus worked with His disciples and confirmed their testimony not by His own bodily presence on earth, but through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit poured out upon them on the day of Pentecost. Thus it was the Holy Spirit who was actually responsible for the supernatural confirmation of the disciples’ testimony. It is His special office to bear supernatural testimony to the truth of God’s message.
We find this illustrated in the ministry both of Jesus and of the disciples. Up to the time of His baptism by John in the river Jordan, there is no record that Jesus ever preached or performed a miracle. At the time of His baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him from heaven in the form of a dove, and He was then led into the wilderness to be tempted for forty days by the devil. At the close of this period of temptation, Jesus immediately entered into His public preaching ministry. For the next three and a half years His message and ministry were continuously attested to by a great variety of miracles, signs and supernatural gifts.
By quoting a prophecy of Isaiah, Jesus publicly declared that this supernatural testimony to His ministry was the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Luke 4:18-19).
Here Jesus very clearly ascribes to the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon Him, both in His preaching and the miracles of mercy and deliverance that accompanied it.
But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you (Matt. 12:28).
Here Jesus directly attributes to the Holy Spirit the power that He possessed to cast out demons.
Lord Jesus, what a miracle it is that we as Your born-again children
on Earth have been given the power over demons, sickness and also
spiritual weakness and afflictions. Help me, Lord, with boldness to
release in Your name all who are oppressed by the adversary. Amen.