Working Together With God
When Jesus left this world, His work would not stop. He had already told His trainee apostles that persecution and suffering would be part of their lifestyle, being hated by those who refused to submit to the Gospel (John 15:18-25). Such pressures might persuade faint hearts to retreat into isolation away from the people who needed to hear the Gospel, so that they might be saved as they believed. So Jesus commanded them that they must tell people the truth about Him, describing His miracles and explaining His teaching.
Their task would be propelled by God the Holy Spirit. Jesus and the Father agreed to send the Holy Spirit to the apostles to help them understand all that Jesus did and said (John 14:26). Once they realised the full meaning of His life, welcoming the seekers and challenging the rebellious, the apostles could do the same. Before the Holy Spirit came, the disciples had muddled thinking. They could not piece together the enormous truths that Jesus was God; that He died as a sacrificial Passover lamb to pay for the sins of the world: nor could they grasp the challenge of proclaiming Christ to all nations. However, after Pentecost, they saw the divine character of Jesus with stunning clarity, and the first ‘testifying’ opportunity resulted in 3,000 being baptised.
We cannot understand the mind and purpose of God by ourselves: our human logic can never master the mind of God. That is why He gives us His Holy Spirit. We need the Holy Spirit to understand Jesus and have the power to explain His character and work to a world which is in desperate need of a Saviour. It is true that some will mock or express their hatred more violently, but at the same time others will be saved. So do not stop because of opposition: press on in the power of the Holy Spirit.
© Dr Paul Adams