God's Word For You is a free Bible Study site committed to bringing you studies firmly grounded in the Bible – the Word of God. Holding a reformed, conservative, evangelical perspective this site affirms that God has provided in Jesus Christ his eternal Son, a way of salvation in which we can live in his presence guilt free, acquitted and at peace.




When Jesus sent the twelve disciples out on mission in Matthew 10 he gave them authority to drive out demons and heal every kind of disease. He limited their ministry to the people of Israel, and instructed them to preach that ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ At that time, they had very little understanding of who he actually was, and none at all of his death and resurrection.

But, after his death and resurrection, after they realised that he is actually God incarnate, Jesus’ instructions to his eleven faithful disciples were different. He commanded them to to go into all the world telling the world the truth about him, taught and enabled to do so by his Spirit.
In his teaching in John 14 – 16, and briefly in his post-resurrection conversations, the Lord Jesus Christ promised his continuing presence with them, by his Spirit. So we need to ask – ‘What did Christ actually promise when he spoke of the coming of the Holy Spirit?’

Christ promised the Holy Spirit, by whose presence Father, Son and Spirit would all be present:

John 14:16 – Jesus says he will ask the Father to send the Spirit, and the Father will send the Spirit.
John 14:17 and 20 – Jesus states that he himself will come to them, and will be in them.
John 14:21 – Jesus says that he will show himself to them.
John 14:23 – Jesus says that both he and the Father will come and make their home in them.
John 14:26 – Jesus states that the Father will send the Holy Spirit in his (Jesus’) name.
John 14:28 – Jesus says he is coming back to them.
John 15:26 – Jesus says that he will send the Spirit from the Father.
John 16:7 – Jesus states that he will send the Spirit to them.

Jesus taught that this divine, trinitarian indwelling has several results:

That, because of it, we will realize that he is in his Father, and we are in him, and he is in us – John 14:20. This mutual indwelling, which is true of all believers, is the focus of Jesus’ teaching in John 15:1 – 7, and part of his prayer in John 17:20 – 26.

That, equipped by the Spirit’s presence and his teaching about Jesus Christ (John 14:20, 26; 15:26; 16:12 – 15), they will be his witnesses and testify about him (Matthew 28:18 – 20; Luke 24:46 – 49; John 15:27; Acts 1:8), so that the world may believe that the Father sent the Son (John 17:21).

That by believers’ testimony to the truth about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of guilt in respect to sin, righteousness and judgement – all related to its failure to recognize Jesus Christ and what he accomplished by his death (John 16:7 – 11).

And that is what has happened from the Day of Pentecost to the present as a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence, teaching and enabling – those who believe in Christ have testified to the truth about him:

Peter bore witness to the truth about Jesus Christ (Acts 2:22 – 36), and by that truth the hearers were convicted – ‘cut to the heart’ (Acts 2:37), regarding their rejection of Jesus, and said ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ As a result about three thousand repented – changed their minds about Jesus Christ – and were saved (Acts 2:40, 41).

Again, in Acts 3, Peter bore witness to the truth about Jesus Christ (3:12 – 26), and many people believed, increasing the number of believers to about five thousand (4:4).

In Acts 4:29 – 31 the believers, enabled by the Holy Spirit, spoke the word of God boldly.

In Acts 4:33 the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and in Acts 5:19 – 32 Peter and the other apostles testified to the things they had witnessed concerning the death and exaltation of Christ. Their preaching is briefly summarised: ‘the good news that Jesus is the Christ’ (5:42).

Stephen, instructed and enabled by the Holy Spirit, bore witness to Jesus Christ as the Righteous One foretold by the prophets, murdered by his contemporaries, and now in heaven at the right hand of God (Acts 6:8 – 7:56). Philip, instructed by the Spirit, testified to the Ethiopian eunuch about Jesus Christ (Acts 8:26 – 39). Paul (Saul) in Acts 9:20 - 22, testified that Jesus is the Son of God, and proved that Jesus is the Christ. Christ had commissioned him as his witness to all people (Acts 22:14, 15; 23:11; 26:15 – 18).

On that Day of Pentecost, on which its prophetic symbolism was fully and finally fulfilled, the Spirit of Christ came to live in those who had acknowledged the Lord Jesus Christ. By his teaching and his enabling, the Spirit equipped believers to be witnesses of Jesus Christ – proclaiming both his divine identity and the salvation accomplished through his death. That teaching, that enabling, that witness, continues to this day.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2024