Paul wrote in Romans concerning the life within us. He says:
The purpose of God then is to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within you that the Holy Spirit might be moulding you into the person who God wants you to be. It’s the process called ‘sanctification’.
After you’re born of the Spirit, God wants to change you from the person you were before you became a believer in Jesus, into the person who God wants you to be. He does this by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer, in Jesus Christ.
We saw last week that the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament moves upon people, comes upon them by the Spirit as God raises up people to lead and to guide the people of God, speaks through Moses, through the Prophets, through the elders of Israel, and He speaks in the scriptures through the prophets who were moved by the Holy Spirit to write down the things which they wrote.
Prophets also foretell the coming of the Messiah who would be filled with the Holy Spirit and give us also a prophecy of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon all flesh.
So, let’s have a look at what it says in the New Testament.
Today we’re going to look at what we see in the Gospels concerning the Holy Spirit leading up to the day of Pentecost which I won’t go into. We’ll look at that next week, and next week we will look at the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and subsequently, in the Book of Acts.
Coming to the New Testament and the Gospels, we see that Jesus tells us about the Holy Spirit. He tells us He is going to come and dwell within us, make us the people God wants us to be.
He tells us to be to be born of the Spirit and to be baptized, to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we have Christ in us, the hope of glory. That’s the purpose of God for each one of us:
I have said that we can’t work it out ourselves, that we can’t make ourselves to be the person He wants us to be, we have to receive It from God. Then, we have God’s Spirit dwelling within us to change us from the person who we were to the person who God wants us to be.
When we look through the Gospels, we can see that the Holy Spirit is involved right through in the incarnation, in the ministry, and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Right back to the birth of Jesus in Matthew 1 verse 18 it says:
A unique event took place when the Holy Spirit came upon Miriam, mother of Jesus, and Jesus was incarnated in her womb supernaturally by the work of the Holy Spirit.
And when the angel came to reveal this to Miriam, she said: how can this be? And the angel answered her in Luke chapter 1 verse 35:
Interestingly, Jesus’ forerunner also had some connection with the Holy Spirit in John the Baptist. In Luke chapter 1, as John was conceived in the womb of Elizabeth who had been barren up to that time, the angel said to his father Zacharias, that his son will be filled with the Spirit even from his mother’s womb.
So John, would demonstrate a different dimension if you like, to be filled with the Spirit even from his mother’s womb. Even as he was in the womb of his mother, he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
You have a very interesting little detail which often people miss but which, I think, is fascinating, in the fact that John was conceived six months before Jesus. Miriam became pregnant with Jesus six months after Elizabeth did.
And we read in the Gospel of Luke that Mary went to visit Elizabeth at her home and, this time, Mary was just pregnant with the seed within her, Jesus, was just a tiny, tiny little baby and Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John. It says:
How did the babe leap in her womb?
Well, it says John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit.
So, when Mary came into the room with Jesus in her womb, the baby John, in Elizabeth’s womb, leapt for joy because he recognized Jesus coming into the room.
Isn’t that amazing? It just tells you something about the work of the Holy Spirit and the supernatural power which is behind all of this. That Jesus is indeed God with us, God, Emmanuel, God in the flesh.
We see that John the Baptist himself also had a ministry when he began preaching to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus and one of the things which John said concerning Jesus in Luke 3 verse 16 is:
Therefore, John knew that Jesus was going to come and that Jesus was going to bring something which he called ‘the Holy Spirit’, some Person called the Holy Spirit who Jesus was going to baptize them with: the Holy Spirit.
And only a little later, Jesus comes to John and asks to be baptized by him. John says: You should baptize me, but He says: No, let it be done to fulfil all righteousness.
As Jesus is baptized in water, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all come together so that Jesus is anointed and confirmed as He is about to begin His ministry.
Another fascinating scripture if you really understand what He’s talking about. Chapter 3 verse 22 of Luke says:
So the Father speaks from heaven and says you are my beloved Son, the Holy Spirit comes upon Jesus and comes upon Him like a dove as He is baptized in water, as Jesus then begins His public ministry.
You have this confirmation of Jesus by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as he begins His public ministry. And it says:
Then, later, in verse chapter 4 verse 14 of Luke’s Gospel, it says:
Another amazing event taking place in the life of the Lord Jesus. Note that it says He went to the synagogue as was his custom. This is telling you, of course, that Jesus was Jewish, and that He kept the Jewish customs.
He was going to a synagogue where He was known and they gave Him the scroll of the Book of Isaiah to read which would be the ‘Torah reading’ if you like; in modern terms, you read from the prophet. And it just so happened that it opened up at this prophecy from Isaiah chapter 61. Then, Jesus reads these words that you’ve just heard: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor.
Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel, to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives; incredibly, to give sight to the blind, to set at liberty those repressed, and to proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord.
In the next verse in Isaiah, it actually says: and to say and the day of vengeance of our God
It’s interesting that Jesus actually stops at this point, because, at this point, He has come as the Messiah to bring the good news of salvation.
At His Second Coming, He’s going to come to bring the day of vengeance of our God, the day when He will judge the world in righteousness according to how we have responded to the Gospel message.
But, even those fascinating little details in the scriptures tell you something about the ministry of Jesus. That He came at this time to bring good news.
He’s still bringing good news. If you want to believe in Jesus, you can have your sins forgiven, you can have an eternal life, you have a hope for the future and He will comfort you in your distress, and He’ll help you in your life to live a life pleasing to Him.
As Jesus closed the Book, He gave it to the attendant and said: today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
Therefore, Jesus was saying: this is about me. This scripture, which was written by Isaiah 700 years or so previously, is actually a prophecy of Jesus the Messiah coming in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring a message of good news.
Commenting on Jesus’ ministry in Acts chapter 10, Peter, speaking to Cornelius, says:
And we read right through the Gospels how Jesus did just that. He went and preached the Gospel, brought the good news, healed the sick, drove out demons, gave new life to people, even raised the dead, and showed that He was the Messiah by the works that He did.
How did He do those powerful works?
a) Because He is God Himself, and
b) because He had the Holy Spirit working upon Him.
And they were demonstrations of the fact that Jesus is God, Emmanuel, God with us, that He is the One who can minister in areas where we can’t minister because He is God and He made us in the first place.