Category Archives: Gift of the Spirit

BAPTIZED, FILLED, RECEIVED

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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HEIRS OF THE COVENANT

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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SPIRIT AND MISSION

Jesus now dispenses the gift of the Spirit to his people, and it empowers them to carry out gospel proclamation to all nations.

In the second Psalm, the Messiah is the Son of God and the ideal king anointed by Yahweh to reign over the nations, the one to whom the “kings of the earth” will pay homage. And in the gospel accounts, he is anointed by the Spirit at his baptism to equip him to proclaim the “kingdom of God” to all of Israel.

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A NEW AGE DAWNED

The commencement of the “last days,” the time of fulfillment, began following the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus.

When we hear the term “last days,” quite naturally, we assume it refers to the final short period of history just prior to the return of Jesus in glory. This is a logical assumption. Yet, the New Testament presents this period as the era of fulfillment that began with the death, resurrection, and exaltation of Jesus. In him, the “ends of the ages” have come upon the people of God.

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RESURRECTION AND THE SPIRIT

The gift of the Spirit is the “first-fruits” and foretaste of the future resurrection and the coming New Creation.

Paul presents Abraham as the great exemplar of faith. God counted his faith as “righteousness” even when he was uncircumcised. This means He justified him apart from the “works of the Law.” Therefore, he became the father of all men who are also “from faith.” Circumcision was added later as the “seal” of his justifying faith.

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PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT – GALATIA

OVERVIEW – The “promise of the Spirit” is part of the “blessing of Abraham” promised to the nations, and those who receive it become the “children of Abraham.” 

In his letter to the Galatians, the Apostle Paul referred to the “promise of the Spirit,” which he identified with the “blessing of Abraham.” Jesus came under the “curse” of the Law to redeem believers from it, so that, the “blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

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