Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Holy Spirit Power

Acts 2:37   Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is not only about God’s Spirit abiding with man. First of all, man must see his need for the Savior. Man is broken in sin and must be reconciled to God.
The Apostles, themselves, were given great boldness and confidence to preach in the name of Jesus. They thought their Lord was dead but He came back to life. Then they thought that He had left them alone on the Earth but He sent His Spirit to dwell with them always, even to the end of the age. When the Holy Spirit arrives at Pentecost, the Apostles are renewed in strength, boldness, wisdom and zeal.
They are enabled to proclaim the guilt of men and the answer for their guilt. Men are guilty of the body and blood of Jesus but God has granted them forgiveness through that same Jesus.
When the Spirit comes in power, He animates not only the Apostles words but also the ears of those who hear. The Spirit gives life to the Word proclaimed and enables the deaf to hear and the blind to see. Before Pentecost, the multitudes looked to Jesus for a different kind of salvation. They wanted victory over the enemies of Israel. But after Pentecost, they realized that the true enemy is their own sin that keeps them at a distance from God, Himself. This is a marked change in the ministry of Jesus and the disciples.
All of a sudden, they get it and know that something in themselves is a barrier to true fellowship with God and with mankind. All of a sudden, they understand that something must happen in them and to them in order to stand before God. All of a sudden, they understand that they are not only sick and in need of a physician but dead and in need of life. Thus, the Holy Spirit is the means whereby men not only preach boldly but also hear savingly. He convicts of sin as well as assures of forgiveness.
The people are undone and call upon Peter to tell them what to do to reconcile with God. But we must realize that they had not really seen this need before. Even in John’s baptism, we do not get this great sense of being cut to the heart. They repent of sins so they can be cleansed but that was not necessarily new. The Jews had many washings for sin. At the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the masses realized that they were the problem. Their hearts were pricked because they needed new hearts. The Holy Spirit reveals the need through both preaching and hearing. A preaching that testifies of the truth of our guilt and hearing that feels the weight of the offense against God.

Only when there is real confession and repentance, can there be real forgiveness and assurance.

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