Welcome back! As we ended last week, we were discussing how all believers are meant to host and have His presence in us continually.
Old vs New
So just to summarize, in the days prior to Pentecost, the Lord’s Spirit would come and go, depending on circumstances. To repeat, this does NOT mean the person whom the Spirit “lifted off of” was any less of a believer or less “saved” when the Spirit departed. Once the person received saving faith by the power of the Spirit, that person was forever changed by faith. Nevertheless, the power of God’s Spirit was not permanently indwelling the Old Testament saint. This was a gift that men like Abraham knew was promised to them, but it was not for their day. Jesus even testified to this in Matthew 13:17. The Messiah was right in front of the Scribes and Pharisees, yet they didn’t perceive Him.
17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Jesus Fulfilled All Prophecy
In the same way, the Holy Spirit indwelling a man, was a promise about the Messiah, and we will see later, was promised to those on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus rose from the dead. However, before His death, Jesus was the first One to be promised by the Father to have the permanent presence of the Spirit:
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” Says the Lord. 21 “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”
We Have the Same Promise
And now, we as New Testament believers are promised to share in Jesus’ future, which includes the permanent indwelling of God’s Spirit. Halleluiah!
Have you ever thought about how the Gospels represent the transition between the Old Testament covenant and the New Testament covenant? They had Jesus with them physically who was modeling the life they would be empowered to live once they received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We can see this is true by looking at the disciples’ experience with Jesus in the following Scripture:
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! 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.
We Have The Anointing & Indwelling
Remember, this account occurs prior to Pentecost, so we must understand this as a moment when the Lord’s Spirit came upon the disciples as an anointing to strengthen them for the events that were soon to follow. The Lord was providing them with a tangible experience (i.e. the Lord’s breath) to show them they had received power from God. (In Hebrew, the word for spirit and breath are nearly identical). This anointing was not a substitute for the permanent indwelling of the Spirit, which was yet to come. Later in Acts chapter 2, the disciples received the indwelling of the Spirit, which was a permanent seal of their faith.
Now that we’ve laid the foundation, next week we will look at how we, because Jesus fulfilled all righteous through the Cross, can always have the Holy Spirit! He desires to always abide and manifest Himself in our lives in a greater way, as we become more aware of His ways and His presence.