Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford explores how the ancient promise of the Holy Spirit has become ours.

A Bible study for today’s devotion is available for printout as a pdf file. Click here.

Meet the Holy Spirit, Part 2

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:14, NIV)

If you like New Testament history, it can be easy to get caught up in thinking that the Holy Spirit came to God’s people during the feast Pentecost, not long after Jesus’ ascension into heaven. Jesus promised this would happen, and it did!

The promises given to Abraham were co-fulfilled by Jesus the Redeemer and the Spirit as our infilling, present God.But Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit was certainly not the introduction of the Holy Spirit to God’s people. As we noted last week, the Spirit was busy through the prophets and leaders of the Old Testament eras. This was the mode of the Spirit then, igniting one person at a time to give voice to his message.

Included in that message, though, were promises that the Holy Spirit would one day be the “ignition,” if you will, of any who call on the name of Jesus. Peter’s message to the assembled Jewish festival goers in Jerusalem drew heavily from Joel’s prophecy that “in the last days, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people.” He went on to identify sons, daughters, old men, young men, servants, men, and women as recipients of the Spirit’s outpouring. All are in!

Wonderfully, though, the promise of the Spirit spans a timeline both farther back and farther forward. Paul wrote of promises given to Abraham hundreds of years before Joel. These promises were given to a man who had been told he would lead a nation that was blessed to bless others. For centuries, the general understanding was that this blessing was contained within the framework of the Jewish people.

But then came Pentecost, where the Spirit was poured out in the midst of a prophecy for “all people.” And not so long after, Peter found himself standing in the household of the Roman centurion Cornelius, watching the same outpouring come to life among the Gentiles.

This is what Paul confirmed for the Galatians. The promises given to Abraham were co-fulfilled by Jesus the Redeemer and the Spirit as our infilling, present God.

A great golf architect builds the character of the course over 18 holes, each unique perhaps, but unfolding in overall excellence. So it is with God’s story—so many notable moments, yes, but a narrative built from the earliest records right into our hearts today.

Jeff Hopper
April 8, 2016
Copyright 2016 Links Players International
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