Preparation for ministry
We continue our celebration of Eastertide, the 50-day period following Easter. This season gives us the opportunity to reflect on the power and the presence of the resurrection in our lives. It culminates on Pentecost Sunday (May 23rd) which marks the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on man. In discussing the resurrection, we would be remiss if we ignored the source of “that power”. That source is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus directed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem “for the promise of the Father, which, they had heard about” from Him” (Acts 1:4). That promise was the Holy Spirit. With His arrival would come “power” needed to fulfill their commission. This would not be temporary nor external power. But this power would come from the indwelling of the Spirit within each of them (John 14:17). For God’s kingdom to grow, the Disciples would need the power of the resurrection Spirit.
The Disciples laid the groundwork for the spread of the gospel message after Jesus’ ascension. It would later be the work of the New Testament writers, like the Apostle Paul, to teach the Church how that gospel would be lived out in the believers’ daily life. That would include the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul’s teachings in the book of Ephesians gives us great insight into the power of the resurrection Spirit in those who are in Christ.
Role of the Holy Spirit
In Ephesians 1, the Apostle Paul focuses on the work of the Triune God in fulfilling the work of salvation. God the Father provided the way to redemption (Eph. 1:3-8). He chose believers and predestined them to adoption. Jesus Christ the Son offered Himself for the redemption and forgiveness of sin for those who accept Him by faith. He paid the righteous demand for sin (Heb. 9:21-22). The Holy Spirit’s role in the work of salvation would be to seal those in Christ until eternity future (Eph. 1:13a-14).
A seal, in biblical times as today, is used to guarantee security or indicate ownership. Ancient seals were often made of wax, embedded with the personalized imprint of their guarantor. In both the Old and New Testament, the significance of the act of sealing was dependent on the authority of the one doing the sealing. It would authenticate the guarantor’s ability to “make good” on that which was promised within the sealed document. In this case the promise of the believer’s salvation and future inheritance.
Sealing of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit not only endows the believer with power to accomplish the purposes of God (Phil. 1:6; 4:13) but He also gives assurances that God will do and can do all that He has pledged—promises and blessings for today and an inheritance in the future (2 Pet. 1:3-4; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
The Holy Spirit seals those who trust in Christ (Eph. 1:12, 13). His presence is God’s guarantee that believers are owned by Him and secure in Him. Since the Holy Spirit’s task is to apply Christ’s work to God’s people, He anoints those in Christ the moment they believe (2 Cor. 1:21-22).
The believer is then secured as a member of God’s family, not in their own power, but because the Spirit is applying the promises made possible by God through our relationship with Christ. His sealing comprises the initial down payment or the earnest of the full redemption of God’s possession in eternity future (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
The Holy Spirit is the power of God for the people of God. Our position in Christ makes resurrection power available to us. It is our responsibility to access it (Eph. 1:18-20).
I leave you to consider these thoughts from preachers, past and present, who speak clearly on the power made available to each of us through the resurrection Spirit.
Smith Wigglesworth, British evangelist, influential in the early history of Pentecostalism, wrote this about the Holy Spirit:
Enter into the promises of God. It is your inheritance. You will do more in one year if you are really filled with the Holy Ghost than you could do in fifty years apart from Him.
Charles Stanley, Pastor, televangelist, and theologian, offers this insight:
The power of the Spirit is God’s divine energy and authority released in believers’ lives for the purpose of righteous living and fruitful service. When we walk in the Spirit, we’re relying on His strength to accomplish God’s will. When we do God’s work by His strength, in His way, and with His wisdom, we’ll be blessed no matter what goes on around us. Walking in the Spirit doesn’t mean life will be easy—but we never have to walk through it alone, because our Helper is always with us.
Is it time to access the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit? Absolutely! Today, take hold of God’s divine power living within you.