Receive the Holy Spirit! (1)

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The Breath of Life, and a Rushing Mighty Wind

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22)

The verse above reminds us of something similar that happened as far back as creation, when God breathed life into the lifeless body of clay that He had made for Adam. (See Genesis 2:7) Both Adam and Eve already existed, created in the image of God, and since God is Spirit, they were spirit-beings too. They were alive spiritually, but had no bodies yet. (There is a difference between spirit, soul and body)

God warned Adam that he would die if he disobeyed His command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But he disobeyed that one command, and died spiritually as he became separated from fellowship with God, the Source of life. Since all of us were born from spiritually dead Adam, we are of his kind – spiritually dead offspring.

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. (Romans 3:10-11)

Then Jesus came to seek and save the lost. It was not the Father’s will for mankind–made in His image–to be separated from Him. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin, and opened the door for us to be reconciled with our Creator again. After He rose from the dead, He breathed on His disciples, and, just as it happened with Adam in the beginning, they were made alive again.

This is one of the wonderful truths of Christianity! But, although the disciples received the Holy Spirit–and through Him newness of life–Jesus commanded them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promise from the Father. A group of 120 believers withdrew in the Upper Room, and spent the time praying. All of these men and women were already renewed to newness of life by faith in Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

The same people who received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them, now received what John the Baptist called the baptism in the Holy Spirit. That life-giving breath of Jesus turned into a rushing mighty wind–more of the same! Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…” (Acts 1:8) The disciples had two distinct experiences with the Holy Spirit.

After Peter explained to the crowd outside what had happened in the Upper Room, some of them were touched in the heart, and wanted to know what they could do. Peter answered:

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)

If you have already received the Holy Spirit to newness of life, there is a wonderful promise waiting for you!

Just as you had your own personal Passover when you applied the blood of the Lamb to save you from eternal death, you can also have your own personal Pentecost, and receive the Holy Spirit in an abundant new way. The promise was made for you–make it your own, and receive the Holy Spirit just as you received Jesus – by faith.

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