The Promise of The Father
Why does it seem that many churches today are powerless?
Why does it seem that many churches today reflect what Paul spoke of in the last days in 2 Timothy 3:5 5 holding to a form of [b]godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these.
Many churches today feel more like a mausoleum to the past.
A mausoleum is a building housing a tomb or tombs
There are churches today that simply are spiritual dead
People attend week after week without encountering the Living God
Church attendance merely becomes rote ritual that is lifeless
I believe this is because many churches have closed their doors to the promise of the Father
Because of fear, ignorance, or pride, they have rejected the baptism of the Holy Spirit
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is known as the promise of the Father
It is the game changer to be the witnesses that Christ has called us to be that is empowered and enabled to display His life and power on the earth
We begin with Luke 24:44-49
Luke 24:44-49 New American Standard Bible
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all the things that are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their [a]minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “So it is written, that the [b]Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance [c]for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed [d]in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
In verse 49 Jesus speaks of the Promise of the Father
The question is what is the promise of the Father?
Jesus has connected the promise of the Father of being clothed with power from on High
The Greek word for power is where we get our English word dynamite
It is the word dynamis and it means force, specially, miraculous power, ability, abundance, meaning, mighty (worker of) miracle power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work.
The promise of the Father is connected to being empowered for being a witness for Christ
This is what Jesus spoke to the disciples in John 14:12
12 Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father.
Jesus says that we will not only do the same things He has done, but greater things
How is this possible?
For us to understand this we must understand how Jesus did all things during His earthly ministry
Philippians 2:5-11 states
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross. 9 For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus emptied Himself
He took on the life of a servant
He fully became man
He never stopped being God
But in everything Jesus did He did it through the work and power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus did not begin His earthly ministry until He was baptized by John in the river Jordan
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.”
After the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus and remained Jesus was led into the wilderness for 40 days and nights
When He came forth from the wilderness He began His earthly ministry
In all that Jesus did He relied fully on the Holy Spirit
He did nothing without the leading and power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus lived before the disciples and His life and ministry is recorded in the gospels because His life is a patten and model for every one of His disciples
This is what John said concerning Jesus
15 Now while the people were in a state of expectation and they all were thinking carefully in their hearts about John, whether he himself perhaps was the [i]Christ, 16 John responded to them all, saying, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but He is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the straps of His sandals; He will baptize you [j]with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
When John is asked if he is the Christ John responded with pointing out that he has come to prepare the way
He has come to baptize with water
Baptism in water represented a cleansing of sin and a preparing of one’s heart for the Messiah
But the distinction John makes is He says the one coming after him is mightier than him
He will baptize with the Holy Spirit and Fire
The Greek word baptize is baptizo and it means to immerse, submerge; to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet)
When a person is water baptized they are fully submerged in water
Proper biblical baptism requires that the person fully go down into the water and fully come up out of the water
It represents dying with Christ and rising to new life
But this will give us a greater understanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit
It is being immersed or submerged in the person of the Holy Spirit
It isn’t merely receiving the Holy Spirit, it is being immersed and empowered from on High
When is it that the disciples received the Holy Spirit?
John 20:19-23 states
19 Now when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were [b]shut where the disciples were together due to fear of the [c]Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and *said to them, “Peace be to you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be to you; just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sins [d]have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”
In verse 22 it says that Jesus breath on them and they received the Holy Spirit
Now Jesus spent 40 days on the earth after His resurrection
How do we know this?
Acts 1:3-5 states
3 To [c]these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of things regarding the kingdom of God. 4 [d]Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for [e]what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized [f]with water, but you will be baptized [g]with the Holy Spirit [h]not many days from now.”
During that 40 days Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples and over 500 brothers and sisters in Christ all at once
The ability for any of these believers to receive the Holy Spirit was based on faith in Christ alone and Him rising from the dead
Once Jesus was risen from the dead He breathed on the disciples and they received the Holy Spirit
So they already have the Holy Spirit
But Jesus says this in Acts 1:4-5 4 [d]Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for [e]what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized [f]with water, but you will be baptized [g]with the Holy Spirit [h]not many days from now.”
In Acts 1:8 Jesus says 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.”
So we know that Jesus has already breathed on the disciples and they have received the Holy Spirit
Why would He tell them to wait for the promise of the Father?
Because the promise of the Father and the initial receiving of the Holy Spirit are two different events
Jesus has connected the receiving of power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you
Looking back at baptism
Baptize means to be immerse or submerged
When the Holy Spirit comes upon someone they are submerged or immerse
Who is it who baptizes a person in the Holy Spirit?
It is Jesus Himself
One of the reasons I believe many churches today and believers fail to truly walk in the power of God is a misunderstanding of the baptism of the Holy Spirit
Some will claim when a person comes to faith that they receive the Holy Spirit and it’s the same as the baptism of the Holy Spirit
If that were the case why does it seem that the power, the gifts, and the presence of the Holy Spirit is absent from many churches
In all that we built our faith and practice on it must be based upon the word of God
Clearly the word of God shows us the receiving of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are two different events.
Every person when they come to faith in Jesus Christ is born again
The Holy Spirit seals them for the day of redemption
The Holy Spirit comes to live inside them
All that is required for salvation is faith in Jesus Christ
But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the promise of the Father
Its purpose is to be empowered to be a witness
When we become baptized in the Holy Spirit it opens our lives to the miracle working supernatural power of God
The baptism of the Holy Spirit opens the door for the gifts of the Spirit to be manifested in our lives
It is the game changer in every life of every believer