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The Holy Spirit in the Life of Jesus

You're listening to a Derek Prince Legacy Radio podcast.


Derek Prince made a noteworthy point when he said, “The person and the work of the Holy Spirit is one of the most profound and distinctive revelations of the whole Bible.” Find out why that is true as you listen to today’s message.

The Holy Spirit in You


It’s good to be with you again. Today I’m continuing with my exciting theme for this week, “The Holy Spirit in You.”

In my introductory talk yesterday I emphasized that the Holy Spirit is a person, just as much as the Father and the Son. And through the Holy Spirit, God is omniscient and omnipresent, two theological words which mean really that God knows everything, everywhere and that God is present everywhere at the same time. God, through the Holy Spirit, is omniscient and omnipresent.

And then in my talk yesterday I went on to outline the activity of the Holy Spirit from eternity onwards. First of all, I pointed out that the Holy Spirit was active right in creation. The spirit of God moved upon the waters, then the word of God went forth and when the word and the Spirit of God were united, creation took place. And then I went on to show you how the Holy Spirit inspired and empowered all the men of God in the Old Testament: leaders, judges, kings, singers, craftsmen, and prophets. All the men that had served God acceptably were inspired, directed, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Today we’re going to look at the part played by the Holy Spirit in the ministry and teaching of Jesus Himself. First, we need to see that John the Baptist, who came specifically to introduce Jesus, to prepare the way for His ministry, introduced Him under one particular title, the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. For instance, in Matthew 3:11, this is what John says:

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Notice that specific statement, the distinctive thing that made Jesus different from all the men that had come before Him. “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” This ministry of Jesus as baptizer in the Holy Spirit is mentioned in all four gospels. The Bible attaches particular importance to it. We find, too, that the Holy Spirit was the sole source of power for the entire ministry of Jesus. Until the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at the River Jordan after John’s baptism, He never preached, He never performed a miracle, He did nothing. He depended and waited for the Holy Spirit to come upon Him.

Later on in the book of Acts, chapter 10, verse 38, Peter, speaking to the crowd of people gathered in the house of Cornelius described the ministry of Jesus in this one verse. He says:

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and... he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

So the power, the source of the ministry of Jesus on earth, was the Holy Spirit. And notice, we’ve pointed out already that God is revealed as a triune God: three persons, one God; Father, Son and Spirit. In that one verse all three persons are identified. God the Father anointed Jesus the Son with the Holy Spirit. And I’m always so deeply impressed at the result. There was the total God in action on the level of humanity and what was the result? Healing. “He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil.” That’s the secret and the source of the ministry of Jesus.

Even after the resurrection, Jesus still depended on the Holy Spirit. This is a remarkable fact. It’s revealed in Acts 1:1-2, where the writer of the book of Acts, who was Luke and also the author of the gospel of Luke, starts with these words:

“In my former book [that’s the gospel], Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.”

That speaks about the ministry of Jesus in the forty days between resurrection and ascension and it says that He gave instructions to His apostles through the Holy Spirit. So Jesus is our pattern in every aspect, a pattern of total dependence upon the Holy Spirit. He relied on the Holy Spirit for the power for His miracles. He relied on the Holy Spirit for His teaching. He did nothing apart from the Holy Spirit. And He is our example. The challenge of the ministry of Jesus is the challenge to depend on the Holy Spirit just as He did.

Jesus not merely moved in the power of the Holy Spirit Himself throughout His ministry, but He also promised that His disciples would receive the same Holy Spirit that had empowered and inspired Him. For instance in John 7:37 and 39, we read these words:

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’”

By this he meant the Spirit [capital “s,” the Holy Spirit], whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit [Holy Spirit] had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

So we see that for every believer the Holy Spirit is to be a limitless resource. There’s a tremendously dramatic contrast. We’re first presented with a thirsty man, “If any man thirst,” and then through the incoming and indwelling of the Holy Spirit this same man who had been thirsty and without sufficiency for himself becomes a channel of streams of living water. No longer in need, but a source of supply, through the Holy Spirit.

But the writer of the gospel goes on to make it clear that though the promise was given during the earthly ministry of Jesus, it would not be fulfilled until after Jesus had been glorified. He says, “Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

And then, further on in John’s gospel, in chapter 14, verses 15 through 18, Jesus says this to His disciples:

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth [that’s one of the titles of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth]. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

There’s some important points we need to notice there. First of all, Jesus says, the Father “will give you another Counselor.” What’s the meaning of the word “another” in that context? It means this: Jesus, as a person, had been with His disciples for three and a half years. He said, “Now, as a person I’m going to leave you. But when I go, another person, the Holy Spirit, will come in my place.” And then He uses a particular word to describe the Holy Spirit. It’s translated “Counselor” in the version that I read. The Greek word is paraclete and in the Catholic versions that’s the translation used. Paraclete means somebody called in alongside to help you. Other translations that are familiar are “Comforter” and “Helper.” So we have the three related concepts: counselor, comforter and helper.

And then Jesus goes on to point out that the Holy Spirit will remain with the disciples forever. Again, there’s a contrast with His own relationship to the disciples. He said, “I’ve been with you just a brief three and a half years. I’m leaving. Your hearts are broken. You feel you’re going to be left without help. But I’m going to send you another helper, the Holy Spirit, and when He comes, He’ll never leave you. He’ll be with you forever.”

And then He says, “I will not leave you as orphans, but I’ll come to you.” So the implication is that without the Holy Spirit they would have been left as orphans without anyone to care for them or help them or instruct them. But through the Holy Spirit, full provision has been made for them.

And then in John 16:7, a little further on in the same discourse, Jesus returns to this theme and He says:

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

Again, I’m going, another person is coming in my place.

And then, a little further on in the same 16th chapter of John, verses 12 through 15, Jesus returns once more to this vital theme. He says:

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

Notice how Jesus emphasizes the personality of the Holy Spirit. He says, “when he” using the personal pronoun “he.”

“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.”

You see, the Holy Spirit is the personal resident representative of the Godhead now on earth since that promise was fulfilled. He’s the interpreter, the revelator, the administrator for the Father and for the Son. Jesus says, “He’ll take from what is Mine and impart it to you.” But then He goes on to say, “I say what is Mine because all that the Father has is Mine.” So you see that the Holy Spirit is the interpreter, the revelator, and the administrator of all that the Godhead has: all that the Father has, all that the Son has, all are revealed, interpreted and administrated by the Holy Spirit. He’s the personal, resident representative of the Godhead now on earth.

Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about the wonderful new thing that happened when the Holy Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost.

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Code: RP-R060-102-ENG
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