This is My Son!

In Mark, Jesus first appears when he is baptized by John the Baptist. The passage identifies him with his hometown, Nazareth, a small village of no consequence, though its very insignificance plays a part in the larger narrative.

Jesus is the Messiah who does not fit popular expectations even as he is anointed Messiah at the Jordan River in fulfillment of Scripture.

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Under the guidance of the Spirit, Stephen gives eloquent and effective testimony to the leaders of Israel.

Early on, the church experienced conflicts between its Greek and Aramaic-speaking members. The apostles instructed the community to select seven men “full of the Spirit and wisdom” to take charge of the matter. One of the seven chosen men was Stephen, and Acts notes especially that he was “full of faith and the Spirit.”

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Do the different terms used for the receipt of the gift of the Spirit refer to different experiences or even multiple ordinances?

When describing the receipt of the Spirit, Acts applies several Greek verbs, including “baptize,” “receive,” “filled,” “given,” and “came upon.” But do they refer to different experiences or aspects of the gift, or does each refer to the same event? In other words, do “baptized with” and “received” refer to the same experience common to all believers?

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It is the Spirit of God that imparts life, especially the everlasting life in Jesus of which the gift of the Spirit is the foretaste and guarantee.

In the churches of Galatia, “false brethren” were preaching “another gospel,” one that pressured Gentile believers into getting circumcised, and otherwise, conforming to the regulations of the Mosaic legislation. But the Apostle Paul would have none of it. He responded with a series of arguments, most importantly, by appealing to the receipt of the gift of the Spirit by the Galatians.

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With the ascension of Jesus, the gift of the Spirit has arrived with blessings for all believers as promised to Abraham.

The “promise of the Father” is the gift of the Spirit, and Paul links it to the Abrahamic covenant. The promises of the Abrahamic covenant find their fulfillment in the new covenant inaugurated by Jesus. The bestowal of the Spirit on the church marks the commencement of the age of fulfillment, and “in Christ,” Gentile believers become full heirs of Abraham.

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