THE HOLY SPIRIT TOOK PART IN THE CREATION
Genesis 1:1–2, 26 (Tap to Expand)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters – The Spirit took part in creation.
Let us make mankind in our image – God refers to himself in the plural, recognizing the union of Jesus and the Spirit2 from the beginning.
THE HOLY SPIRIT EMPOWERED MEN OF GOD TO LEAD
Judges 3:7–11 (Tap to Expand)
7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. 8 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim,[a] to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. 9 But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge[b] and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.
- When they cried out to the Lord, he raised up a deliverer – God listens to and intervenes for his people when they call to him.
- The Spirit of the Lord came on him – God sends the Holy Spirit to empower men to accomplish his purposes.
THE HOLY SPIRIT TRANSFORMED PEOPLE
1 Samuel 10:6-7 (Tap to Expand)
6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.
- The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully on you – God occasionally used his Spirit to show his blessing on men who would be in service to him.
- You will be changed into a different person – The Holy Spirit accompanies a transforming event in Saul’s life.
- God is with you – Evidence of the Holy Spirit in Saul’s life were signs that God was with him.
THE HOLY SPIRIT COMMUNICATED GOD’S WORD TO MEN
2 Samuel 23:1-2 (Tap to Expand)
These are the last words of David:
“The inspired utterance of David son of Jesse,
the utterance of the man exalted by the Most High,
the man anointed by the God of Jacob,
the hero of Israel’s songs:
2 “The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me;
his word was on my tongue.
- The inspired utterance of David – David was known by the people to be inspired. He was an anointed man and the people recognized him to have penned many songs.
- The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me – David recalls how God spoke through him during his lifetime. Many of the Psalms in the Bible were written by David.
- In the New Testament, we see the Holy Spirit ushering in significant new beginnings.
- The Holy Spirit was present as the waves or stages of the kingdom of God were introduced
THE HOLY SPIRIT INAUGURATED JESUS’ MINISTRY
Matthew 3:13–17 (Tap to Expand)
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
- Fulfill all righteousness…Jesus was baptised – This is the beginning of Jesus’ public life.
- Heaven was opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending
– Many had believed that the Spirit was no longer available in their time.4
– The Holy Spirit inaugurates the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, a key kingdom event.
THE HOLY SPIRIT CONFIRMED THE ARRIVAL OF THE KINGDOM
Matthew 12:22–28 (Tap to Expand)
22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
- If it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons – Jesus argues that his ability to heal established his authority from God.
- The kingdom of God has come upon you – He stated that his ability to drive out demons demonstrates that the kingdom of God had arrived.
A POWERFUL HOLY SPIRIT EVENT WAS PROMISED BY JESUS
Acts 1:4-7 (Tap to Expand)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Promised Holy Spirit Baptism of Jesus disciples
THE HOLY SPIRIT USHERED IN THE KINGDOM FOR THE JEWS
Acts 2:1–13 (Tap to Expand)
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.
5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,[b] 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
When the day of Pentecost came…suddenly – This promised event took place on the Pentecost and came suddenly.
NOTICE: The disciples were not praying for this to happen.
They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues – When the Holy Spirit came on them, they were given the miraculous power to speak in languages that were not native to them (see Acts 1:8).
PURPOSE: The Holy Spirit ushered in the Kingdom with power (see Mark 9:1).
SIGNIFICANCE: The kingdom was open to only Jews (Israel) at this point.
THE HOLY SPIRIT USHERED IN THE KINGDOM FOR THE GENTILES
Acts 10:1–48 (Tap to Expand)
At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. 8 He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.
9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.
17 While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.
19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20 So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”
21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”
22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” 23 Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
Peter at Cornelius’s House
The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. 24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”
27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
30 Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. 32 Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ 33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”
34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues[b] and praising God.
Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
- I now realize that God accepts from every nation the one who does what is right – Peter had to open his mind to the idea of Gentiles being saved. God convinced him.
- While Peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard – As with the Jews, the Holy Spirit came with power to demonstrate God’s approval.
NOTICE: The disciples were not praying for this to happen either.
- The Jews were astonished that the Holy Spirit had been poured out on Gentiles – This Holy Spirit event showed the Jews that God also welcomed the Gentiles into the kingdom.
- Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptised with water – Peter saw that God opened the door for the Gentiles as a whole but they still were required to take individual action to get baptised for the forgiveness of sins as the Jews had (Acts 2:38).
PURPOSE: The Holy Spirit ushered in the Kingdom again with power.
SIGNIFICANCE: The kingdom was now open to Gentiles as well as to Jews (Acts 11:15-18).
These momentary acts of the Holy Spirit served their purpose. God saved the culmination of the Spirit’s power for his people in his kingdom. He placed his Spirit to permanently reside in the baptised believer to empower them to live out their resurrected life!
Acts 2:36–41 (Tap to Expand)
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
- Jews and Converts to Judaism hear the message about Jesus and are baptised in water for the forgiveness of their sins.
- They receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
Ephesians 4:4–6 (Tap to Expand)
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- In his letter to the church in Ephesus Paul talks about their existing only one baptism.
- Because Acts 2 & Acts 10 Holy Spirit baptism served the exclusive purpose of ushering in the kingdom of God, he must be referring to the baptism that still exists to this day – water baptism where we receive the gift of the indwelling measure of the Holy Spirit
FURTHER READING (Tap to Expand)
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
John 7:37-39 The gift of the indwelling measure of the Holy Spirit came after