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The Spirit Reveals Who Jesus Is

Acts 2:22-24
'Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God's deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.' (NIVUK)

That Pentecost morning in Jerusalem saw quite a stir for three reasons. Firstly, the Holy Spirit had been given to the apostles and the once-petrified men (John 20:19) were now unafraid of the gathering crowd. Secondly, the apostles spoke in many languages about what God had done through Jesus. Thirdly, the Holy Spirit empowered Peter to tell the crowd, who had demanded Jesus' death (Luke 23:23), that He was now alive and would judge His enemies.

What Jesus had said, came true: "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. (John 16:12-14)". The Spirit made the apostles unashamed to identify themselves with Jesus, and able to proclaim Him to all the nationalities who came to Jerusalem for the feast (Acts 1:8).

The message was simply that Jesus was God's Man. The evidence of His divine power was undeniable: the blind could see, the lame could walk, the dead were raised and rejected people had been welcomed to come to Him (Luke 7:22). And yet the crowds demanded that He be killed. It was no surprise to God; He had woven human hatred into His loving plan. Not that it freed the people from their guilt; indeed the resurrection made them even more accountable. The more the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostles about Jesus, the more the crowd realised their sin (John 16:8; Acts 2:37).

The primary work of the Holy Spirit today is still to embolden believers to declare Jesus as God's answer to a sick and rebellious world (Isaiah 61:1-3). Only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to the depth of our sin and our need to be saved; only the Spirit can convince us to repent; only the Spirit can give us courage to face Jesus and say how sorry we are; only the Spirit can assure us of God's grace in forgiving us and making us His children. But the Spirit mostly works through believers who keep in step with Him. As they speak truth, show love, pray and serve - people who have rejected Jesus will realise that He is their only hope. If you belong to Christ, let the Spirit work through you, bringing hope as you live a transformed life, telling people about Jesus and encouraging them to submit themselves to Him.

Gracious God. Thank You for giving Your Spirit to convict me of my sin, leading me to repent and put my trust in Jesus. And thank You for sending Your servants to tell me the truth. Forgive me for my reluctance to walk in step with Your Spirit, failing to live like Christ and missing opportunities to proclaim Him as Your Saviour for a sick world. Please fill me again with Your Holy Spirit so that I will be unashamed of Jesus, speaking of Him and loving those He came to save. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams