Weekly Devotional - August 9, 2017
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.” (John 15:26)
Scripture Reading – II Corinthians 4:1-6
God never gives up on the world. In spite of their hatred towards the Father, their rejection of the Son, and their persecution of the church, God has a plan to draw the lost to Himself. God knew that Satan would oppose Christ and His church. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4). We are in a spiritual battle and God’s response to the world’s rebellion and hatred of Him was to send the Holy Spirit. Because this opposition to Christ is spiritual in nature, God sent His Spirit to engage the world so that they will know the truth about the Son.
The Spirit desires that the truth about Christ will be known, believed, and honored by the world. He accompanies the bearers of the gospel as they enter hostile areas and share the Good News. In the very city of Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified, before the very religious leaders that had condemned Jesus to death, Peter proclaimed the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter testified saying, “And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:32). The Spirit of Truth accompanies our gospel presentation so that the testimony of Christ is recognized as true in spite of the opposition.
The mission of the Holy Spirit is clear: The Father has planned the redemption of many for the praise of His Glorious Name; the Son has completed that plan by dying on the cross to pay our debt of sin so we can be free to live for Christ, and the Spirit has been sent to apply that salvation on the hearts and minds of those who hear the Good News. And as the Son is sent by the Father, now the Son sends the Spirit. The Spirit is not some impersonal “force,” but proceeds from the Father. He is God. The Father makes available all His own power through the Spirit, so that His plan of redemption will bear fruit. We can engage in proclaiming the gospel because we know that God is at work convicting sinners of their sin and calling them to repentance.
As the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit reveals the Father and the Son, impressing on people the truth about God and the glory of His plan of redemption. Because people are enslaved to sin and their minds blinded by Satan, they can’t recognize Christ, but the Spirit of Truth comes to open their minds. On one occasion, Jesus asked His disciples what conclusions people drew about Him. Then He asked Peter what his conclusion was? Peter declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. To this declaration Jesus replied, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17). The Father revealed the truth about the Son to Peter not through Peter’s own logic but through the work of the Holy Spirit. The truth about Christ is known because the Father sent the Holy Spirit to testify about Jesus. The Spirit empowers our testimony so that people will understand the truth about the Son.
Don’t be surprised with opposition to your witness because, just as many opposed Christ, they will oppose you as well. The power of our testimony is not limited by the strength of the opposition. No one can shut the door that God is holding open, so we rely not on our clever plans or fancy words. We are engaging in a God-sized endeavor and only He can bring it to a successful conclusion. Rely on the Spirit. Let Him work through you. He will turn even the most resistant hearts towards Christ.
God never gives up on the world. Have you given up on it?