John 20:22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
He Gave Himself Away Jesus’ life on earth was characterized chiefly of GIVING – giving away. Whatever the Father gave Him, He gave to His disciples as well (John 15:15; 17:4, 8, 14).
He Gave Himself Away LOVE is like that. It is always giving itself away. When it is self-contained, it is not love. In this sense, Jesus brought clearly into focus before His followers just what was meant when "God so loved the world" (John 3: 16). John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
The Compulsion Of Evangelism Jesus IMPRESSED upon His followers the deep need of His own soul burning with the love of God for a lost world. Everything He did and said was motivated by this consuming PASSION. His life was simply the revelation in time of God's eternal purpose to save for Himself a people. This is what the disciples needed to learn, not in theory, but in practice.
The Compulsion Of Evangelism And they saw it PRACTICED before them in many ways every day. Though the demonstrations were often hard to accept, as when He washed their feet (John 13:1-20), they could not MISS what He meant.
His Sanctification Jesus’ sanctification was constantly renewed through His LOVING service to His disciples. This was brought out clearly in His High Priestly prayer when he said: John 17:18-19 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
His Sanctification His sanctification then was not for the purpose of benefiting Himself, but it was for His DISCIPLES, that they might "be sanctified in truth.”
Credentials Of The Ministry This was to be the measure by which they were to regard their own service in His Name. They were to GIVE as freely as they had received (Matt.10:8). They were to love one another as He loved them (John 13:34, 35). By this token they were to be His disciples (John 15:9,10.
Credentials Of The Ministry Love - CALVARY love - was the standard. Just as they had seen for three years, the disciples were to give themselves in selfless devotion to those whom the Father loved and for whom their Master died (John 17:23).
John 17:25-26 "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
The Work Of The Holy Spirit This kind of an experience with Christ could not be brought about by any HUMAN effort. Jesus made it clear that His life was mediated only through the HOLY SPIRIT. John 6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. John 4:14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
The Work Of The Holy Spirit Jesus was God in REVELATION; but the Spirit was God in OPERATION. The HOLY SPIRIT is the Agent of God actually effecting through men the eternal plan of salvation.
Another Comforter From the standpoint of their own satisfaction, however, the disciples needed to learn in a more meaningful way the RELATIONSHIPS of the Spirit to the Person of their Lord. John 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
The Secret Of The Victorious Life It is easy to see then why Jesus expected His disciples to WAIT until this promise became a reality to them. How else could they ever fulfill the commission of their Lord with joy and inward peace? They needed an experience of Christ so real that their lives would be filled with His Presence.
The Secret Of The Victorious Life Nothing less than a personal baptism of the Holy Spirit would suffice. The SUPERHUMAN work to which they were called demanded SUPERNATURAL help - an empowering from on High. Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
The Secret Of The Victorious Life This infilling of the Holy Spirit would be a continuous ABIDING and SUSTAINING experience of the early Church.
A Truth Hidden From Unbelievers However, it is well to mention again that only those who followed Jesus all the way came to know the GLORY of this experience. Those who followed at a distance, like the MULTITUDES, as well as those who stubbornly refused to walk in the light of His Word, like the PHARISEES, did not even hear about the work of the blessed Comforter.
A Truth Hidden From Unbelievers Jesus purposely reserved for His few chosen disciples, and particularly the twelve, His most REVEALING things (Luke 10: 22; Matt. 11: 27; 16:17) - Indeed, their eyes and ears were blessed.
The Principle Applied Today We must have Jesus’ life in us by the Spirit if we are to do His WORK and PRACTICE His teaching. Any evangelistic work without this is as lifeless as it is MEANINGLESS. Only as the Spirit of Christ in us exalts the Son are men drawn unto the Father.
The Principle Applied Today Of course, we cannot GIVE something away which we do not possess ourselves. The very ability to give away our life in Christ is the proof of its possession. Nor can we withhold that which we possess in the Spirit of Christ, and still keep it. The Spirit of God always insists on making Christ KNOWN.
Discussion Questions: 1. What was Jesus’ driving passion? How did He impart this to His followers? 2. Jesus’ whole evangelistic plan hinged on what? 3. What credentials are required to serve God? 4. What is the key to winning people to Christ? 5. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ strategy? 6. Would you rather have walked on earth with Jesus as the Twelve did, or have the indwelling Holy Spirit? Why?
7. What does Coleman say is the secret of the victorious life? How does he define this secret? 8. Explain Coleman’s statement: “Evangelism without the Holy Spirit is as lifeless as it is meaningless.” 9. How can we appropriate this empowering in our own lives? How about in our ministry to others? 10. What is the Lord asking you to apply to your life from this study?
Suggested Scripture memory: John 17:18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.