Light in the Darkness: June 5, 2013

by Pastor David Grey

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 1:4-5

Samuel Chadwick, the great Methodist preacher, put it well when he said, “Christianity is hopeless without the Holy Ghost.”

Hopeless. That is a strong word, but it is true. The Holy Spirit is not simply helpful in the Christian life. He is not simply “available” should we decide to take advantage of some greater resource in our living.

He is essential. Without Him what one has is not the Christian life but a substitute powered only by self. When Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5-6)  He meant nothing.

Who were these men to whom Jesus said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised”? They were men who had been with him for his entire earthly ministry. They knew who He was, understood the message clearly. They had seen Him in ministry and had joined him in it.

They had already been sent out to preach the gospel, perform miracles and cast out demons. These were trained, prepared disciples and yet, while all around Jerusalem men and women were in need of the message.

Why were they told to tarry?  The reason is that the Holy Spirit is indispensible to a believer’s life and ministry. Without the Spirit, we can, indeed, do nothing.

Think a little further about these men for just a moment. Every one of them had followed Jesus faithfully. They swore their allegiance, looked forward to serving with Him in His kingdom and one of them, Peter, had even vowed that he would die before ever denying Jesus before men.

To read the rest of the column, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page. 

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