Please click on the link for a full copy of the newsletter: Pentecost 04062017
Jesus “breathed on them.” —John 20
Jesus knew that his disciples would need the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission entrusted to them. After his death and resurrection he promised to give his disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit. He said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit! (Jn. 20:22).
The gift of the Holy Spirit was conditional upon the Ascension of Jesus. That is why Jesus instructed the Apostles to “wait in Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high” (Lk. 24:49). Why did they need power from on high? The Gospels tell us that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he was baptized at the Jordan River. (Cf. Jn. 1:32,33; Mk. 1:8; Matt. 3:11).
Just as Jesus was anointed with the Spirit at the beginning of his ministry, so the disciples needed the anointing of the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission entrusted to them by Jesus. The Holy Spirit is given to all who are baptized into Jesus Christ to enable us to live a new way of life – a life of love, peace, joy, and righteousness (Rm. 14:17). The Holy Spirit fills our hearts with the love of God (Rm. 5:7), and he gives us the strength and courage we need in order to live as faith-filled disciples of the Lord Jesus. The Spirit helps us in our weakness (Rm. 8:26), and enables us to grow in spiritual freedom – freedom from doubt, fear, and from slavery to our unruly desires (2 Cor. 3:17; Rm. 8:21). The Spirit instructs us in the ways of God, and guides us in living according to God’s will. The Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness. Isaiah foretold the seven-fold gifts that the Spirit would give: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord (Is.11:2). The gift of Pentecost – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the spiritual gifts and blessings of God – are made possible through the Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of the Lord Jesus. After his resurrection Jesus “breathed” on his disciples and gave them the Holy Spirit. Just as God breathed life into Adam, so the gift of the Holy Spirit is an impartation of “new life” for his people. With the gift of the Holy Spirit a new creation begins. God recreates us for his glory. Jesus’ gift of peace to his disciples was more than an absence of trouble. His peace included the forgiveness of sins and the fullness of everything good. Do you want power to live a faith-filled life as a disciple of Jesus? Ask the Father to fill you with the power of his Holy Spirit.