Links Daily Devotional

Links Players president Jeffrey Cranford discusses how God's plan has always been to give the Holy Spirit to all people who believe.

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

Meet the Holy Spirit, Part 3

“And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38b, NIV)

Some gifts are entirely free. Others aren’t so much gifts; instead they are what we will be given after we get past “the catch.”

In-between, though, we find what we might call rewards. No one is trying to sneak something past us. The presentation is clear up front: If you’ll commit to doing something, you will find that a wonder of benefits will come your way. And that’s a great in-between, because some of those free gifts are not things we would ever want (like low-end golf balls or a “world’s worst golfer” paperweight).

The Spirit who is Counselor and teacher and guide is God’s gift to you as a believer.This was the case at the end of Peter’s Pentecost message. The people had asked what their response should be to the work of Jesus among them—work done in fulfillment of the prophecies of a Redeemer and work now made vibrantly available via the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Peter responded with a definite action. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you,” he told them, “in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

We have established in previous weeks that the Spirit of God is his presence in and among those who believe in Jesus. God came in the flesh as Jesus the Messiah; now he is here in the Spirit, indwelling all believers. No wonder Peter called it “the gift” of the Holy Spirit! Can we really imagine anything better?

This entire scene was revisited when Peter was sent (by the Holy Spirit) to the home of Cornelius. This Roman centurion was known as a God-fearer, but he had not heard the message of salvation in Jesus. Once he had, he knew exactly what he wanted: his whole household to be saved. And sure enough, when they had given their lives to Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on them, too. Here was the confirmation that the prophecies of Joel really were for “all people.”

Part of our understanding of the Trinity that is Father, Son, and Spirit comes from this interwovenness of the salvation and the Spirit’s outpouring. Appeal to the Father by the work of his Son Jesus, and you receive the Spirit. You can’t have one and not the other (even if you’ve never wanted to be one of “those Pentecostals”!). The Spirit who is Counselor and teacher and guide—as we will explore in weeks to come—is God’s gift to you as a believer. And it’s a gift you really want this time!

Jeff Hopper
April 15, 2016
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