Holy Spirit in the Gospels(1)
19 February 2017 AM – Luke 1:15 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Last week we studied the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Today we will begin looking at the Holy Spirit’s activities in the Gospels. It will help our thinking if we remember that the Gospels are really the conclusion of the Old Testament. Jesus said that the New Testament began with the shedding of his blood (Lu 22:20).
As we work our way through the Gospels, we will examine the Holy Spirit’s activities in different categories.
Transition: Today we will be looking at the Holy Spirit’s activities in John the Baptist’s life and in the early ministry of Jesus. As in every sermon, note principles that can strengthen your spiritual life.
1. Holy Spirit in John the Baptist’s Life
a. Before his birth
1) An angel told Zacharias of John’s coming birth.
2) (Luke 1:15) “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”
b. In his parents
1) John’s parents both spoke while filled with the Spirit.
a) (Luke 1:41) “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:”
b) (Luke 1:67) “And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,”
2) We will look in more detail at Spirit filling another time.
2. Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Ministry
a. In Jesus’ incarnation
1) The angel told Joseph of Mary’s Holy Spirit conception
a) (Matthew 1:18) “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”
b) (Matthew 1:20) “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”
2) The angel told Mary of her conception by the Spirit
a) (Luke 1:35) “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
3) Simeon’s testimony was guided by the Spirit
a) (Luke 2:25) “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.”
b) (Luke 2:26) “And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
c) (Luke 2:27) “And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,”
4) So, the Spirit of God was actively involved in the birth of Jesus into this world as the God/Man.
b. At Jesus’ baptism
1) John the Baptist baptised Jesus.
2) At his baptism, the Holy Spirit came down in the visible form like a dove for all present to see.
a) (Matthew 3:16) “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:”
b) (Mark 1:10) “And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:” (see also Luke 3:22; John 1:32)
c. During Jesus’ temptation
1) The Spirit led Jesus (Matthew 4:1) “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” (see also Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1) We often forget that facing temptation will actually strengthen us if we will, with the Holy Spirit’s help, resist the temptation.
2) The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus after his temptation. (Luke 4:14) “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.”
d. John predicted the baptism in the Spirit
1) John predicted that Jesus would baptise with the Spirit
a) (Matthew 3:11) “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”
b) (Mark 1:8) “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.”
c) (Luke 3:16) “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with [in implied by dative] water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:”
d) (John 1:33) “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.”
2) We must note the wording carefully.
a) Each Gospel tells us that John baptized with water. The word “with” is the Greek word en, which means in, by or with. (Luke did not use en but implied it). What does with mean? If you wash your clothes with water, what are you doing? You are washing them IN water. You do not sprinkle water on your clothes and call them clean. You dunk them completely in water.
b) In each verse above it is obvious that John did the baptizing. The water did not baptize. Water was the substance in which people were baptized.
c) At the end of each of these verses we read that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Ghost (Spirit). In all four Gospels the word “with” is the word en. Jesus will do the baptizing with (IN) the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the “substance” in which believers will be baptized by Jesus.
3) Later in the N.T. we see the same Greek words.
a) (Acts 1:5) “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
b) (Acts 11:16) “Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.”
c) (1 Corinthians 12:13) “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
4) Baptism in the Spirit is done by Jesus and takes place at the moment of salvation. This is what is often called the “baptism of the Spirit.” The believer is plunged in the Holy Spirit who cleans and indwells him at that moment (cf., Tit 3:5; Joh 14:16-17). If you are a true Christian, you were baptized by Jesus in the Holy Spirit at the moment you were saved. You do not need any other baptism of the Spirit. It is complete at salvation.
Conclusion: Today we learned that the Holy Spirit made supernatural announcements to people. He empowered people to say things that were divine predictions. He was involved in the virgin birth of Jesus. The Spirit led Jesus during His temptation in the wilderness and gave Him greater power after His victory over temptation. He will do the same for us when we yield to Him during temptation (Gal 5:16). The Holy Spirit wants to fill us and help us during temptations, but we must let Him. If you have been confused about the baptism of the Spirit, remember what I taught you about the word “with”. Jesus is the baptizer and the Holy Spirit is like the water. Do not be deceived by well-meaning Pentecostals who teach otherwise.
Song: I Am Resolved – 389 (verses 3 & 5)