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Famous Last Words. 10 September 2023

I find people's last words riveting

--especially when they know they will soon be gone.

For that reason, Jesus' last words are so very valuable to us.

Our setting: the Mount of Olives

Those present: Jesus, his disciples, closest followers

Purpose: Jesus has something invaluable to communicate:

His message: You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1.8

In short, Jesus promises those standing near that they will receive power for living through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a Person, the third Person of the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is not a vague, ethereal shadow, nor an impersonal force. He is a Person, equal in every way with the Father and the Son.

Before Jesus mentions him on the Mt. of Olives, he had talked about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Please consider carefully these words of our Lord, read them slowly, perhaps aloud:

John 14:16 – He [God] will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.

17 - the world cannot accept Him because it neither sees Him or knows Him but you know Him for He lives with you and will be in you

26 – The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name will teach you of all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 16:7 – Unless I go away the Counselor will not come to you.

John 16:13 – 16 But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own. He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine.

That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you.

The Holy Spirit is a WHO, not an it.

WHAT does the Holy Spirit do?

->takes up residence in believers/followers of Jesus Christ at the time of our decision to put our trust in him.

[Note: there is to be a particular point in time where we make that decision for ourselves. It is not a decision our parents or anyone else makes for us. It does not happen when christened as an infant. Hmmm, I remember teaching on this point one day about 18 years ago; a pretty young woman, with long blonde hair clearly got miffed with me, Not surprisingly, she asked to speak to me privately as soon as I got done teaching. We walked into a nearby room for privacy and she lit me up. 'Are you saying that my Lutheran baptism as a baby has no significance?!' Her face was filled with indignation.

Dang, hadn't seen this coming.

'Of course it does--it is really great that your parents pledged themselves to raise you in the Church and to baptize your little soul should you die before you could choose to follow God on your own, but you must choose to follow Christ yourself when you have the knowledge that

a) you are a sinner in need of forgiveness from the Savior, Jesus Christ, who went to the cross on your behalf, and

b) he alone is the way to life in God, including eternity!'

Sonship is not forced on us--that is to say, we receive the invitation to become children of God, up to us if we say 'yes'']

*Prior to this point in time of which Jesus is speaking, the Holy Spirit empowered certain individuals for specific purposes--

-Jesus is telling them here in Acts 1.8 that each of them will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. . . amazing.

The importance of this must not be overlooked as the Holy Spirit does the following things in our lives:

-breathes new life in us and affirms in us that we are God's children2

-initiates power for change in our character -> behavior -

The Holy Spirit grows in us the evidence of his presence--Paul refers to this personal growth as fruit of the Holy Spirit which will be present and growing in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.1

-brings conviction and also comfort

-unites the Christian community -> creates the bond between 'brothers'

-equips believers with gifts (see 1 Corinthians 123, Romans 12.6-84, Ephesians 4.11-135, below)

-gives guidance and direction through promptings

-helps us to be effective witnesses--to tell others what we know and have experienced in Christ

-intercedes for us - that is to say, He goes to the Father on our account.

'Need some encouragement today?

Who is praying for you?______________________________

The ways of the Holy Spirit can seem mysterious at times, but then again, as we grow in our understanding of God's ways which he reveals in his Word, not really. O, that we would desire to know the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives like never before!

Look over the above list--is the Holy Spirit alive and working in you? For instance, do you see growth in your character, breakthrough in peace as you trust God, increased self discipline as the fruit of the Spirit, self control, grows? Or, do you see lack? Talk to the Lord in prayer about it. Let us be desirous of the person of the Holy Spirit for he does not go where he is not wanted.

Famous last words of Jesus:

you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.

Let us heed these last words of our Lord, as we are meant to live in the power of the Holy Spirit,


2 - Romans 8.16

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