Study 3 HIS MINISTRY IN THE LIFE OF OUR LORD
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: Luke 1:26-38)
For thirty-three years our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, lived on this earth in a human body. The Son of God became the Son of Man, that we, sons of men, might through faith in Him become sons of God – look up Galatians 4:4-7. His was the most wonderful life ever lived on earth; it was absolutely unique. It is wrong to compare His life with that of other men because although He was (and is) very MAN, He was (and is) the UNIQUE Man, unique as the Son of God and as the Son of Man. In the four Gospels we have a portrait of His life, and it is important to remember that the only authentic record we have of His life is that supplied by the four Evangelists. It is vital also for us to remember that our whole conception of the Person of Christ and of the value of His Finished Work depends upon our acceptance of the four Gospels.
The explanation of this unique life lived among men is the Holy Spirit: for though the Lord Jesus was the Son of God, He lived among men as man in the power of the Holy Spirit. To those of us who love Him, trust Him as our Saviour and follow Him as our Lord, He is our EXAMPLE. Look up the following references, all of which tell us that we are to be like Jesus and do what He did:- Matthew 10:25; Luke 9:23; John 13:15; 14:12; 20:21; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6.
Yes, He is our Pattern, our great Example, and we are to follow in His steps. But how can we be like Him and do what He would do? By the Holy Spirit, for the same Holy Spirit who filled the human body of the Lord Jesus and by whose power He lived His earthly life, is waiting to fill our human bodies and to reproduce His life in us. Look up John 14:16. The word ‘another‘ here is very significant, for it means ‘another of the same kind‘. We use this word in two senses: If we buy an article which proves to be useless we do not buy another of the same kind, but another of a different kind. However, if we are pleased with the article and would like another like it, then we buy another of the same kind. When the Lord Jesus promised to send “another Counsellor”, He promised that the same Holy Spirit who indwelt and filled His human body would come to indwell and fill the bodies of His followers.
Let us look at the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of our Lord and see to what extent His life has been and may be reproduced in us.
1. HE WAS BORN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Look up Matthew 1:18-20, and compare Luke 1:34-35. The Lord Jesus became a partaker of our life, of our humanity (apart from sin), by a supernatural birth; we become a partaker of His life, of the divine nature, by a supernatural birth. Now look up John 3:3; 2 Peter 1:4. For Him there was only one way of entrance into our life – by birth; for us there is only one way of entrance into His life – by birth. Have you been born again?
2. HE WAS ANOINTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
For thirty years He lived a Spirit-filled life, a life entirely apart from sin; but before He began His public ministry He received a definite anointing of the Holy Spirit – look up Matthew 3:13-17, and compare Luke 4:18. This anointing preceded His public ministry. It was the anointing for His work as Prophet, Priest and King, and if it was necessary for Him to receive this empowering before He commenced the work committed to Him, how much more necessary is it for those who follow Him to receive power for service! – look up Luke 24:49, and compare Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4. Do we know anything of this anointing for service, or are we struggling and seeking to serve in our own strength?
3. HE WAS LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT ALONG A PATHWAY OF COMPLETE VICTORY OVER SATAN
Look up Matthew 4:1, and compare Luke 4:4. The Lord Jesus “was tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). In other words, in the power of the Holy Spirit He was victor every time. Temptation plays a very real part in the life of every Christian, but the wonderful message of this study is that the same mighty power that enabled Him to conquer Satan is offered to us to make us ‘more than conquerors’, and that power is the power of the Holy Spirit. Are we experiencing victory or humiliating defeat?
4. HIS WHOLE LIFE AND MINISTRY WAS LIVED AND PERFORMED IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Why did He speak with such authority? Look up Acts 1:2. How did He cast out devils? Look up Luke 11:20. What was the secret of His joy? Look up Luke 10:21. Why did He have such power to heal, to comfort and to bless? Look up Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38. God gave Him His Spirit without limit (John 3:34); the Holy Spirit filled and flooded the human body of the Lord Jesus, and this same fulness is available for every Christian.
5. HE POURED OUT HIS LIFE IN SACRIFICE IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In Hebrews 7:27 we read that “He offered himself…” How did He do it? Hebrews 9:14 tells us. We can only lose our lives by the same enabling. Look up Luke 9:23-24; Romans 1:12.
As we view His life so utterly controlled by the Holy Spirit, let us seek that the same Holy Spirit may utterly control us, and thus reproduce the fulness of His life and victory in us.
It is enough for the servant that he be ‘like his master‘ (Matthew 10:25). Look up John 20:21-22.