Man of the Spirit

From the beginning, the activity of the Spirit dominated the life, words, and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth. He was “Jesus, the one called Christ,” the “Anointed One” and the long-awaited Messiah of Israel. When an angel informed Joseph that Mary carried a child “conceived of the Holy Spirit,” it indicated that something far more than a miraculous birth was about to unfold. He was and is the true Man of the Spirit.

Neither his mission nor his present reign can be understood apart from the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life, or the significance of the Spirit in his Church for the remainder of this age.  With his arrival, the life of the Spirit began to fall where before there was thirst and desolation. He came to give water “overflowing into everlasting life” – (John 4:14).

Downpour - Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash
[Downpour - Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash]

His anointing along the banks of the Jordan set in motion the events that culminated in his death, resurrection, exaltation, and the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The “
Last Days” had commenced, and nothing would ever be the same again.

At the river, the Spirit “descended on Jesus” as he beheld the “Heavens rent asunder” in fulfillment of Isiah’s prophecy, “Oh, that you would REND THE HEAVENS, that you would DESCEND, and the mountains might quake at your presence!” The opening of the Heavens demonstrated not only the arrival of the Holy Spirit but also the Cosmic significance of that day - (Isaiah 64:1, Mark 1:1-9).

With his anointing, access to God was no longer limited to one nation or the Temple “made with hands in Jerusalem.” From now on, “Heaven is open, and the angels of God are ascending and descending on the Son of Man,” present tense. An era of immense significance began to dawn that day, the “Last Days” - (John 1:51).

Not only were the old barriers removed that kept men from the presence of God, but Jesus himself was and remains the only way to access His presence. “I am the way… No one comes to the Father except through me!” – (John 14:6).

When the Spirit descended on him, from then on, it “remained on” Jesus. Moreover, he received the fullness of the Spirit - “Not by measure” – unlike all his predecessors, whether kings, priests, or prophets - (John 3:34).

It was the Spirit that equipped Jesus for his Messianic ministry, and he attributed his miracles and deeds to the Spirit of God. When he was accused of exorcising demons “by the power of Satan,” he retorted, “But if I, by the Spirit of God, cast out demons…” Years later, Peter described how “God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit” - (Matthew 12:28, Acts 10:38).

After his baptism, the Spirit “drove” him into the wilderness where he was tested by the Devil. He overcame every challenge hurled at him by Satan.

Afterward, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit” and began to proclaim the Gospel in “Galilee of the Nations. The people that sat in darkness saw a great light, and to those who sat in the region and shadow of death did light spring up.”

With his arrival, the presence of Yahweh visited His people, and the nations began to “quake” as he proclaimed the Good News to one and all – (Matthew 4:12-17, Luke 4:14-19, Isaiah 42:1-7).

PENTECOST


In his first sermon as an Apostle, Peter described Jesus as a “man pointed out by God by mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him.” Though crucified by his enemies, God raised him from the dead and exalted him to reign at His right hand where he “received of the Father the Promise of the Holy Spirit” which he began to pour out that very day.

The “Promise of the Father” is the “Gift of the Spirit” that all men and women receive who repent and are “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” between the Day of the Pentecost and the “Day of the Lord” – (Acts 2:22-38).

Not only is the Spirit integral to the identity of the Messiah, but he also is the one who bestows the Spirit on his people, just as he promised to send the Spirit after his resurrection. “Behold, I send the Promise of my Father upon you! But wait in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. - (Luke 24:49, John 7:37-39, John 15:26).

Jesus poured out the Gift of the Spirit on his disciples on the Day of Pentecost, setting them apart for divine service and empowering them to proclaim the Gospel “to the uttermost ends of the Earth.”

He is the exalted Messiah and reigning Lord who possesses and dispenses the promised Gift of the Spirit. As Paul wrote, “Having ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men” - (Acts 1:7-8, Ephesians 4:8).

In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter declared that the outpouring of the Spirit that began that day was in fulfillment of the prophecy in the Book of Joel. As the Apostle proclaimed:

  • THIS is that prophesied by the Prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the LAST DAYS, I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood before the Day of the Lord arrivesthat great and notable day. And it shall be that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:16-21).

Jesus gave the Spirit to his Assembly and the “Last Days” began. The Great End-Time outpouring of the Spirit promised in the Hebrew Scriptures had commenced, and the Church has lived in the final period of History ever since. Moreover, Jesus will continue to bestow this Gift on everyone who calls on his name until the “Day of the Lord” at the end of the age.

Rainbow Panorama - Photo by Andi Kleeli on Unsplash
[Photo by Andi Kleeli on Unsplash]

All this is the result of the anointing of Jesus. He was the Messiah who proclaimed the Gospel to Israel and “
went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil,” and he is now the Lord who equips and sends his disciples throughout the Earth to announce his sovereignty and salvation to all nations.

Not only is he the Messiah and Savior of the World, but he also is the true Man of the Spirit. Hence, the Apostle Paul calls the exalted Messiah the “Life-Giving Spirit” and the “Man of Heaven” – (1 Corinthians 15:45-47).



RELATED POSTS:
  • The Life-Giving Spirit - (Jesus dispenses the Life-Giving Spirit without which there is no enduring life. His words are spirit, and they are life)
  • The Great Harvest - (The outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost fulfilled what the feast symbolized and marked the start of the Final Harvest)
  • The Promise of the Father - (With the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the blessings for all nations promised to Abraham commenced)

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