He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he [Jesus] of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
— John 7:38,39
If anyone ever understood the ministry of the Holy Spirit, it was the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus’ earthly ministry was completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit. From His birth, nothing that happened to Him and nothing He did was apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, when He sat down at the Father’s right hand in Heaven, the first thing He did was send the Holy Spirit upon the Church on the day of Pentecost.
The ministry of Jesus and the ministry of the Holy Spirit are inseparable. In fact, when Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit’s future ministry to His Church in John 7:38 and 39, He was describing the Holy Spirit’s present ministry through Him during His earthly ministry: “…Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he [Jesus] of the Spirit)….” The Greek word translated “flow” is a form of the word rheo, which pictures a rushing stream, so full that it actually overflows its banks.
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This is how Jesus described His own relationship with the Holy Spirit as He walked this earth — and how He foretold the nature of the relationship that those who believed on Him would one day experience with the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus depended on the continual flow of the Holy Spirit’s power, wisdom, counsel, and ability through Him and upon Him during His earthly ministry. And as He is, so are we to be in this world (1 John 4:17).
So let’s take it further and consider these important facts about the workings of the Holy Spirit in the life and ministry of Jesus on this earth:
- Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary (see Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:35).
- Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb was confirmed by Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, when she was filled with the Holy Spirit (see Luke 1:41-45).
- Jesus’ dedication as a baby in the temple was accompanied by the supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit as Simeon, the priest, and Anna, the prophetess, prophesied over Him (see Luke 2:25-38).
- Jesus’ public ministry was announced by John the Baptist, who, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, declared that Jesus was the One who would baptize in the Holy Spirit and with fire (see Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 11:16).
- Jesus spoke of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they had received this special endowment of power (see Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4,5).
- Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit at the Jordan River when He was baptized by John the Baptist (see Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32).
- Jesus was given the fullness of the Spirit without measure (see John 3:34).
- Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit (see Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1).
- Jesus returned from the wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 4:14).
- Jesus stated publicly that His ministry was a result of the power of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 4:18).
- Jesus proclaimed that we must be born again by the Holy Spirit (see John 3:5-8).
- Jesus warned about the danger of blaspheming the Holy Spirit (see Matthew 12:31,32; Mark 3:28,29; Luke 12:10).
- Jesus taught about the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit (see Matthew 10:20; Mark 13:11; Luke 11:13; Luke 12:12; John 7:39; John 14:16,17; John 15:26; John 16:7-15).
- Jesus offered Himself upon the Cross, like a Lamb without spot or blemish, through the power of the Holy Spirit (see Hebrews 9:14).
- Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples after His resurrection (see John 20:22).
- Jesus, once exalted to the right hand of the Father, poured out the Holy Spirit upon the Church on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:2-4, 2:33).
- Jesus instructed the disciples through the ministry of the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:2).
Jesus and the Holy Spirit were always together when He was on the earth. If Jesus needed this kind of ongoing partnership with the Holy Spirit in order to accomplish His divine role in the earth, you must have that same partnership with the Spirit of God to fulfill what God has asked you to do. The Holy Spirit has been sent by Jesus to give you everything you need to be a victorious, successful, faith-filled, overcoming child of God in this world. With Him at your side, you are equipped for every situation you could ever face in life.
Because no one has ever known the Holy Spirit better than Jesus, we must look to see what Jesus had to say about His personality, His power, His gifts, and His character. In John 14, 15, and 16, the Lord Jesus Christ gives us important instruction about how to develop our own partnership with the Holy Spirit. If you are hungry for more of the Holy Spirit, carefully read every Sparkling Gem in this month of June, for it is totally dedicated to the ministry of the Holy Spirit!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, my heart yearns to know the Person of the Holy Spirit more deeply and to experience His power personally. I ask You to reveal truths and grant me understanding so I can cooperate with and respond to the Holy Spirit’s ministry in my life. Father, I desire to walk in the spiritual depth and fullness that Jesus made available to me when He prayed in John 14 that You would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to indwell me. I ask You to open the door for me to embark on a spiritual path that I’ve never been on before. I know that this is Your will for me, so today I come before Your throne boldly and confidently to receive this with gratitude and joy!
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that it is God’s will for me to know the Person, power, and work of the Holy Spirit. In John 14, 15, and 16, Jesus taught explicitly about the Holy Spirit so that every believer could learn about the Spirit of God and knowledgeably respond to and experience His power. I recognize that this is why Jesus taught so much about the Holy Spirit’s ministry in those three chapters. Therefore, I boldly declare that I will act on the truths I learn in the days to come about the Holy Spirit and His work in my life. I choose to cooperate with God as I embark on a new, deeper, and higher walk with God’s Spirit than I’ve ever known before in my life.
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- Can you describe what you know about the Person, power, and work of the Holy Spirit? Honestly, how well do you understand the work of the Holy Spirit?
- When you approach this subject, what feelings do you have? Excitement and anticipation — or bewilderment, intimidation, and fear?
- Does your church allow the Holy Spirit to move in its church services? In what ways does the Holy Spirit operate there? Are gifts of the Holy Spirit in open manifestation in your church? What are these gifts?