The promise of the *Holy Spirit

The Life of Jesus Christ - Chapter 12 - Jesus lives again and returns to God - Part 5

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An online Bible Study course by Barrie Wetherill about the life of Jesus. This book is in EasyEnglish Level B. Use the links below for other online Bible Study books and commentaries that will help you. Or go to the Word List, which explains words with a *star.

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Why we need the *Holy Spirit

The *disciples had a very great task now. Many people would oppose them.

Paul warns us in Ephesians chapter 6 that we do not fight against powerful people. We fight against *spiritual powers. Jesus described himself as the light of the world, but these powerful *spirits do not want light. They want darkness. They want to behave like the Devil.

But when God calls people to a task, he helps them. He gives them all the powers that they need. Jesus promised his *disciples the power of the *Holy Spirit.

In general, the Jews had not obeyed God. He gave them his law, but they could not obey it. But God told the *prophets to promise them a new covenant. [That is, an agreement between God and the people. Each promises to obey the agreement.] 

Jeremiah 31:33,34  'Afterwards, I will make this covenant [agreement] with the people from Israel,' declares the *Lord. 'My law will be in their hearts and minds. [That is, they will know God's law. And they will love God's law.] I myself will teach them my law. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Nobody will have to teach his neighbour. And nobody will have to say to his brother, "Know the *Lord." Everyone will know me, whether they are important or not,' declares the *Lord. 'I will forgive their evil deeds. I will not continue to remember their *sins.'

There are similar words in Ezekiel 36:26,27. Jesus talked to the *disciples about the promise of the *Holy Spirit just before he died. John records it for us, in John chapters 14-16. Jesus promised that the *Holy Spirit would teach the *disciples. The *Holy Spirit would help them to remember what Jesus had taught them (John 14:26). The *Holy Spirit would teach the people about *sin, goodness and *judgement (John 16:8). Men would arrest the *disciples and take them to their rulers. Then the *Holy Spirit would tell the *disciples what they should say (Luke 12:11,12). The *Holy Spirit would give them calm when they were in trouble or difficulties. (John 14:27, John 16:33).

The *Holy Spirit gives courage to the *disciples

Soon afterwards, Jesus' words came true. We can read about this in the Book of Acts. Jesus had given the *disciples a task. He gave them all the qualities that they needed to do it. Peter spoke about that on the day of Pentecost. [That was the day when Jesus sent the *Holy Spirit.] The people who heard him realised at once about the *sin in their lives. This is what Jesus had promised that the *Holy Spirit would do. 3000 people believed in Jesus that day. 

Let us think about Peter. He followed Jesus to court. But then Peter said that he did not know him. When a servant girl asked him questions, he swore at her. He denied that he knew Christ. However, only a few weeks later, Peter spoke out with courage. Although people were ready to attack him, Peter was bold. (See Acts 4:1-22, Acts 5:17-42). Soon after Jesus became alive again, men took Peter to the Jewish leaders. These men had ordered the death of Jesus. They could easily do the same to Peter. They ordered him not to speak about Jesus. This was his reply.

Acts 5:29-32  But Peter and the other *disciples answered: 'We must obey God rather than men. You murdered Jesus when you killed him on the *cross. But God gave him life again. Now God has given him a place of honour. Jesus is Prince and *Saviour. He can help this nation to be sorry for the wrong things that they have done. If they decide to obey God, he will forgive them. We are witnesses to these things. And the *Holy Spirit is also a witness. God has given the *Holy Spirit to those people who obey him.'

And on another occasion, Peter said this to them:

Acts 4:12  'Nobody else can rescue us. God has appointed Jesus Christ to save us from our *sins. Only Jesus rescues us.'

The Jewish and Roman rulers tried hard to stop these Christians, but the new belief had spread too far. Nobody could not stop it.

 

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