Archive of Daily Bible Lessons
March 1-7, 2004
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3.1.04 Jesus and the Holy Spirit
3.2.04 More on Jesus and the Holy Spirit
3.3.04 Once More on Jesus and the Holy Spirit
3.4.04 Holy Spirit Power to be Witnesses
3.5.04 Holy Spirit Empowering: 3 Terms, 1 Reality
3.6.04 Spirit Fullness: A Way of Life, Not Merely Events
3.7.04 Results of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

Bible Lesson for 3.1.04
Jesus and the Holy Spirit

That which is conceived in her {the virgin Mary} is of the Holy Spirit . . . and He {John the Baptist} saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him {Jesus} . . . Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 1:20; 3:16; 4:1)

You gain great insight into the work of the Holy Spirit in your life by considering the work of the Spirit in the life of Jesus.

From the very beginning of Jesus' history upon earth as Emmanuel {God with us}, the Holy Spirit was involved. When Joseph was troubled over Mary's pregnancy, an angel comforted him by announcing: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." Jesus' conception was not of man, but of the Spirit.

When Jesus was identifying Himself with sinful humanity through His baptism by John, the Holy Spirit was again at work.
"And He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him." Here, as Jesus was presenting Himself for the commencing of His public ministry as Messiah, the Spirit of God came upon Him for authentication and empowering.

The Son of God came to earth as a servant, laying aside the independent exercise of His ongoing deity. Jesus "made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:7). He would serve in dependence upon the Spirit. Jesus' ministry would not be of man (even the perfect Man), but of God.

When Jesus went forth from His baptism to fulfill His calling, the Spirit was still fully engaged in His life.
"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." Although Jesus never ceased to be God, the Son, He would not lead Himself about through reliance upon His divine omniscience (His perfect and complete knowledge). His guidance would not be of man, but of God.

These three glimpses into the work of the Spirit in Jesus' life have implications for you.

  • First, the Holy Spirit had to be working for Jesus to be birthed here on earth. The same Spirit of God had to work for you to be born into the family of God. "Unless one is born of . . . the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).
  • Second, the Holy Spirit was active in the ministry of Jesus as Messiah. The Spirit must be the one who brings you spiritual validation and power in your service to God: "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit" (Zechariah 4:6).
  • Third, Jesus looked to the Spirit to lead and guide Him through life. You also need that same work of the Spirit. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
O Shepherd of my soul, please lead me in this Christlike path. Thank You for bringing me new birth by Your Spirit. O, Lord, I ask that You will now empower my life for service unto You. I ask You to lead me by Your Spirit day by day. I admit my total need for such works of the Holy Spirit in my life. Please work in fullness, in Your name, I pray, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.2.04
More on Jesus and the Holy Spirit

A Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:1-2)

In this prophecy of the Messiah, you are told how the Lord Jesus (walking upon earth as a human being) would function in order to manifest godliness. He would live by this prophetic promise: "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him."

The Holy Spirit operating in Jesus would be to Him
"the Spirit of wisdom and understanding."

  • No one ever displayed wisdom like Christ. Whether dealing with the woman taken in adultery (John 8:2-11) or answering provoking questions about Caesar's image on a coin (Luke 20:20-26), He wisely circumvented every attempt to undermine His ministry.
  • Jesus also demonstrated perfect understanding. When confronting the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:13-35), He applied perfect discernment, exposing the corruption of their hearts.

Operating in Jesus, the Holy Spirit would also be to Him "the Spirit of counsel and might." Jesus was truly the "Wonderful Counselor" (Isaiah 9:6).

  • When counseling Nicodemus, the religious ruler (John 3:1-21), and the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:7-42), He fully gave them what their hearts were seeking in the truths they needed to hear.
  • Also, Jesus distinctively exhibited the might of God. Whether boldly speaking to calm the raging sea (Mark 4:35-41) or courageously remaining silent at His trial (Matthew 27:11-14), the mighty power of God was on majestic display.

Ministering to Jesus, the Holy Spirit would also be to Him "the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD." No one ever possessed knowledge like the Lord Jesus. "Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men" (John 2:24). "Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father" (John 13:1).

Jesus not only had thorough knowledge, but that knowledge was always controlled by "the fear of the LORD." Everything that Jesus ever did was under the full influence of His godly fear (reverential trust and loving respect) toward the Father. "The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him" (John 2:17).

Remember, all of these wondrous expressions of Jesus' character were based upon the enabling work of the Holy Spirit.
"The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him." This same Spirit of God can bring forth in your life every appropriate application of these same realities manifested in the life of Jesus.

Who is like You, O Lord? Who could ever match Your majestic character certainly not me. Yet, I need manifestations of such fruit in my life. Please work deeply in me by Your Holy Spirit, producing such Christlikeness, I pray, in Your holy name, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.3.04
Once More on Jesus and the Holy Spirit

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. (Isaiah 61:1-2)

In this prophetic scripture, you see the ministry of Christ is attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit (as noted before in the manifestation of His godly character). "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me."

By the empowering of the Spirit, Jesus was sent forth to
"preach good tidings to the poor." This refers to the gospel of salvation. "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages . . . preaching the gospel of the kingdom" (Matthew 9:35). This good news of salvation would be received by those who admitted their spiritual bankruptcy. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).

Also, Jesus was sent forth to
"heal the brokenhearted." The heart of a person can be broken by so many things: condemnation, grief, failure, betrayal, and more. Jesus comforts and restores those who trust in Him. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4).

Additionally, Jesus was sent forth to
"proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound."

  • As with the captive people of Israel of old, people today get into bondage to the world system. They become captivated by worldly thinking, bound by bad habits, and imprisoned by ungodly relationships.
  • Jesus is the great liberator for all who cry out to Him and feed thereafter upon His inspired word. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:32, 36).

Furthermore, Jesus was sent forth to "proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Ultimately, this speaks of the entire age of grace, whereby life are accepted by God through faith in His beloved Son and enriched by Christ with immeasurable spiritual riches. "God . . . has blessed you with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ . . . to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made you accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:3, 6).

You are also sent forth to minister.
"As the Father has sent Me, I also send you" (John 20:21). As it was with Jesus, you can only fulfill your calling by the same Holy Spirit who empowered His ministry.

Dear Father, please apply all of these ministries of the grace of Jesus to my life in fullness. Then, Father, would You empower me by Your Holy Spirit to go forth in the name of Jesus, offering these same realities to others who need them as well. I place my hope for effectiveness in the enabling anointing of the Spirit, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.4.04
Holy Spirit Power to be Witnesses

You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

After the cross and the resurrection, the Lord Jesus taught His disciples for forty days before He ascended to the Father. One of His strategic messages of preparation concerned the Holy Spirit enablement they would need to fulfill their ministry. "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." After this vital promise was given, Jesus was taken up into heaven to the right hand of the Father.

Ten days later, on the day of Pentecost, this promise was fulfilled by the outpouring of the Spirit. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:4). The grand result of this empowering would be the spread of the gospel, region by region, throughout the entire world. "You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Their success is documented in the scriptures.

  • The religious opposition admitted that Jerusalem was promptly reached. "Did you not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine" (Acts 5:28).
  • Soon thereafter, Judea was being touched. "At that time a great persecution arose . . . and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea . . . Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word" (Acts 8:1, 4).
  • Next, the message of Jesus entered Samaria. "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip" (Acts 8:5-6).
  • Finally, the gospel of grace poured out around the world. "The word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world" (Colossians 1:5-6).

This worldwide outreach was an astounding development, considering the unimpressive human credentials that characterized Jesus' followers. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). The explanation for their effectiveness was contained in the last phrase. These men had spent time with Jesus, had been impacted by Him, and were now walking in the spiritual strength of His Spirit.

The lesson taught by these verses is clear: For you to be an effective disciple of Lord Jesus, and thus show forth the reality of the risen Christ, you must live by the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way.

O Lord, my strength, make my life a daily witness, declaring in word, deed, and attitude that Jesus is alive. Lord, my own abilities will never be sufficient to accomplish this. So, I humbly pray, empower me by Your Holy Spirit, in Jesus name, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.5.04
Holy Spirit Empowering:
Three Terms, One Reality

You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now . . . you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:5,8; 2:4)

When the book of Acts addresses Holy Spirit empowerment for ministry, three different terms are used to describe the same reality.

  • When Jesus promised this power, He used the term baptized with. "You shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
  • When Jesus indicated that this power would result in a worldwide witness, the term come upon you was used." "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you."
  • Then, when these promises of the Spirit were fulfilled, the term employed was filled with. "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."

It is clear that these three sets of terms in Acts 1 and 2 are all referring to the same spiritual phenomenon -- namely, the Holy Spirit empowering Jesus' followers for witness. Each term carries its own descriptive implications...

  • To be baptized with the Spirit is like being inundated by Him.
  • To have the Spirit come upon you is like being impacted from above by Him.
  • To be filled with the Spirit is like overflowing with Him.

Nevertheless, although each term brings its own picture, they all are describing the same reality. All three terms are biblically accurate, although filled with the Holy Spirit is used most frequently throughout Acts.

These promises of Holy Spirit's empowering cannot be monopolized by any denominational group or theological heritage. Nor can these promises be ignored by any individual or segment within the body of Christ. These truths are for all of God's children, including YOU. Every disciple of the Lord Jesus must continue to learn and to grow in this essential spiritual empowerment.

Perhaps a word of clarification is in order. These promises are not about the Spirit indwelling you.

  • The Holy Spirit definitely indwells you. He lives within you, and within EVERY born again believer in Jesus Christ. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).
  • The Spirit already lived within the apostles when they were given these promises. "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John 20:22).
  • These promises are about the indwelling Spirit flooding and overflowing your life with the empowering reality of His presence.
Dear Lord Jesus, You came to give me life abundant. Please fill my life to overflowing with the empowering work of Your Spirit. Lord, I am not seeking personal benefits. I am asking to become a more effective witness. I need the Holy Spirit's power that I might reflect the reality of the risen Christ, in Your mighty name, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.6.04
Spirit Fullness: A Way of Life, Not Merely Events

Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire ... And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit ... Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them ... the place ... was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit ... And do not be drunk with wine ... but be filled with the Spirit. (Acts 2:3-4; 4:8,31; Ephesians 5:18)

When you were born again through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit came to dwell in your life thereafter (First Corinthians 3:16). At times after new birth, your life may be repeatedly filled to overflowing by the empowering presence of the Spirit. The testimony of the early disciples illustrates this fact.

On the day of Pentecost, 120 believers on Jesus were filled with the Spirit.
"Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire . . . And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."

  • Subsequently, the Apostle Peter, who was originally filled on Pentecost, was again filled as he stood before the religious hierarchy of Israel. "Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them."
  • After this encounter, Peter joined the other disciples for a prayer meeting. "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." In this event, those who had been filled with the Spirit at Pentecost were filled a SECOND time.
  • Peter, who had been so filled twice before, was filled a third time. Therefore, it is evident that the filling of the Spirit is not a once for all time matter.

All Christians are indwelled by the Spirit -- otherwise, they are not Christians {Romans 8:9-11}. On the other hand, being *filled* with the Spirit is NOT automatic or universal for Christians. This fact can be clearly seen in the instruction given in Ephesians 5:18. "And do not be drunk with wine . . . but be filled with the Spirit."

Since "be filled" is a command and not a description, it only becomes a personal reality to those who respond properly. Additionally, the form of this command contains tremendous insight concerning the fullness of the Spirit and God's desire for you.

  • The injunction to "be filled with the Spirit" is in the present tense, indicating an ongoing condition. It could properly (though awkwardly) be translated "be (always) being filled."
  • This command is a call to a way of living, not merely periodic events. It is the will of God that you actually live, day by day, more and more, by the fullness of the Spirit's empowering work.

What does this mean for you? It means that you should humbly pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit as you face each day, each challenge, each opportunity of life.

Lord God of all power and might, I rejoice that Your Holy Spirit dwells within my heart. I thank You for those times when Your Spirit has worked powerfully upon my life. Help me to see that the fullness of Your Spirit is not merely an event-to-event experience, but a lifestyle to be developed. Lord, with great expectation I humbly seek You now for a fresh, ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in me. In the name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.

Bible Lesson for 3.7.04
Results of Being Filled with the Holy Spirit

Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of your Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:18-21)

When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, what will the results be in your life? What evidences will develop to validate the work of the Spirit in fullness? In some church traditions, which give considerable attention to the fullness of the Spirit, limited evidences are stressed (such as those mentioned often in Acts: tongues, prophecy, or boldness). The full biblical picture is much larger than this viewpoint.

Ephesians 5:18-21 is a classic example of the scripture's broad perspective on this subject. In verse 18, the command is given to
"be filled with the Spirit."

As stated In today's Bible passage, the following is a list of SOME of the spiritual empowerment that will follow when your life is Holy Spirit filled...

  • When you are living in the fullness of the Spirit, you will be led and empowered unto fellowship with, and ministry to, others: "speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." These words fit those times when believers gather together for spiritual celebration through music. Some of the music of the church is directed toward other believers in the form of exhortation and edification. A Spirit filled Christian will be involved in "one another life" in the body of Christ.
  • Closely related to this, however, is the essential presence of a worshiping heart: "singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Genuine fellowship and effective ministry flows forth from an inner life focused in adoration upon the Lord Himself. A Spirit filled Christian will be a worshiper of the true and living God.
  • Further, when you are filled with the Spirit, your life will overflow with thanksgiving: "giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of your Lord Jesus Christ." The world and the flesh produce complaints and dissatisfaction. The Spirit of the Lord stirs gratitude and appreciation.
  • Additionally, servanthood submission is a common attribute when you are Spirit filled: "submitting to one another in the fear of God." Natural humanity wants to control people and exercise mastery over them. The Spirit of Christ, the servant of all (Matthew 20:28), brings forth humble service from those who revere the Lord.
Father, I bow before Your command to be filled with the Spirit. This I need; this I desire. Lord, forgive me for times of isolation and selfishness. Flood me with Your Spirit unto fellowship and ministry. Forgive any lifeless religion in me and fill me unto true worship. Forgive my griping and complaining and inundate me unto thanksgiving. Forgive my desires to rule and fill me unto servanthood, through Christ, I pray, Amen.

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