LORD’S DAY 2, 2019.

On each Lord’s Day this year, we will examine the 52 devotionals taken from the Heidelberg Catechism which are structured in the form of questions posed and answers given.

The Heidelberg Catechism was originally written in 1563. It originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.

Along with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt, it forms what is collectively referred to as the Three Forms of Unity.

The devotional for LORD’S DAY 2 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer.

Q. How do you come to know your misery?

A. The law of God tells me.1

1 Rom. 3:207:7-25.

Q. What does God’s law require of us?

A. Christ teaches us this in summary in Matthew 22:37-40:

“‘You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind.’1
This is the greatest and first commandment.

“And a second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’2

“On these two commandments hang
all the law and the prophets.”

1 Deut. 6:5.
2 Lev. 19:18.

Q. Can you live up to all this perfectly?

A. No.1

I have a natural tendency
to hate God and my neighbor.2

1 Rom. 3:9-20, 231 John 1:8, 10.
2 Gen. 6:5Jer. 17:9Rom. 7:23-248:7Eph. 2:1-3Titus 3:3.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

The Gospel of John: Do You Now Believe?

His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” (John 16:28-32)

Self-assurance in our own abilities to both come to God and be saved or to understand all which God is doing in our lives as believers is a fool’s errand. It is a task of activity which has no hope of success.

Self-assurance refers to confidence in one’s own ability or character. As believers in Christ, we must place our confidence in God’s ability to draw us to Himself (John 6:35-66) and His never changing holy character (Isaiah 6:1-7). This was a lesson the disciples took a long time to understand. Perhaps, we as well.

The disciples correctly acknowledged that Jesus was God in that He knew all things (divine omniscience) and that He came from God the Father (divine origin). However, Jesus knew their limitations far better than they did.

Jesus predicted, hours before it actually occurred, that these very same disciples who so assuredly expressed their belief in Christ in the upper room, would soon flee from Him in the Garden of Gethsemane and at the foot of the cross. The only exceptions being the Apostle John and possibly Peter (18:15-27; 19:25-27; I Peter 2:21-25).

Robert Rothwell writes, “During most of Jesus’ earthly ministry, we see that the disciples misunderstood the nature of our Savior’s work. Even Peter, who before Christ’s resurrection understood Jesus perhaps better than did any of the other disciples, did not grasp the necessity of the atonement (Matt. 16:13–23). This failure to accept Jesus’ declarations regarding the purpose of His work betrayed their ignorance not only about Jesus but also about the Father. After all, not to see the necessity of the atonement evidences confusion about God’s holiness and what He demands to be reconciled to His creatures.”

The only one Jesus could truly rely upon was God the Father. However, how often do we humbly come to the Father for reliance instead of relying upon our own strength and understanding of life’s situations? It is easy for us to presume to know more than God does. How ironic it is for us to criticize the eleven disciples for such hubris when we often are guilty of the same sin.

May we humbly strive to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) and resolve never to think that we have learned all which God would have us to know and understand. Our Lord’s classroom is still in session.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

The Gospel of John: Figurative Language.

“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” (John 16:25-28)

What did Jesus mean when He used the phrase “figurative language” (NKJV) or as used in the ESV “figures of speech?” The phrase is from the Greek word παροιμία (paraoimia) meaning a parable, an allegory or a proverb. It also may refer to use of obscure words which are full of veiled or hidden meanings. John Bunyan’s masterful work Pilgrim’s Progress would qualify as an allegory or a parable, specifically concerning salvation.

Jesus had used figurative language to describe His person and work. Examples would include His seven “I Am” statements comparing Himself to bread, light, a gate, a shepherd, resurrection and life, the way, the truth and the life and a vine. (See respectively John 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14 and 15). These figures of speech were hard for the disciples to understand while Jesus was with them (Mark 4:10-20). The disciples would understand these allegories following His death, burial and resurrection and with the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:13-14; Acts 2).

Dr. John MacArthur writes, “They (the disciples) would actually understand the ministry of Christ better than they had while they were with him, as the Spirit inspired them to write the Gospels and epistles and ministered in and through them.”

The phrase “in that day” again refers to the Day of Pentecost (16:23) and the arrival of the Holy Spirit. It would be the initiation of the church age and the Spirit would enable each believer in Christ to boldly approach God the Father in prayer (Hebrews 4:14-16). Answered prayer from the Father would be based solely upon the imputed righteousness of Christ to the believer and the resulting glory and honor and praise of God the Son.

Theologian Robert Rothwell writes, With the outpouring of the Spirit, the disciples will enjoy a greater understanding of our Savior’s person and work. We can see this in the history of the Apostolic period. The same disciples who once could not accept that Jesus would die became mighty preachers of the cross (Matt. 16:21–23Acts 2). In fulfillment of today’s passage, they finally understood. Jesus spoke to them plainly.”

Can you recall in times past when you didn’t or couldn’t understand the Bible? However, when God saved you the doctrines and teachings of Scripture same alive and clear. Thank God at this moment for the illuminating ministry by the Holy Spirit on behalf of believers in Christ.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

 

The Gospel of John: Asking and Receiving

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (John 16:23-24)

The day to which Jesus referred to was the Day of Pentecost. It would become a day in which the disciples’ hearts would rejoice and their joy would never go away (John 16:22) because they would become permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13; Romans 8:1-9). The Day of Pentecost would also inaugurate what is biblically known as the “last days”  which follow the resurrection and ascension of Jesus and the Holy Spirit’s arrival (Acts 2:17; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:1-3; 2 Peter 3:1-3; I John 2:18).

Jesus said that on that Day of Pentecost the disciples would ask nothing of Him. This would be the case because Jesus would no longer be with them physically. However, the object of their prayers would be God the Father as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:9-13.

Jesus then invoked His familiar statement revealing His own authority as God: “Truly, truly, I say to you.” What is the true truth Jesus gave His disciples then and now? “Whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.”

Jesus’ statement was a cause and effect declaration. It would involve His disciples’ responsibilities as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). To do the ministry God called them to do, all disciples of Jesus would have the privilege of calling upon God the Father in prayer in order to accomplish His work.

Dr. John Walvoord writes, “They would be His ambassadors and therefore had the right to ask the Father for whatever they needed to accomplish His will. The words in My name are not a magical formula which enable the user to get his will done; instead those words tied the requests to the work of the Son in doing the Father’s will (cf. “in My name” in 14:13–14; 15:16; 16:24, 26). Up to this point the disciples had not prayed in the name of Jesus. Now they are to do this since Jesus’ death and the Spirit’s coming would enable them to enter into God’s new program of the Church Age. Answered prayer brings complete joy (cf. 15:11; 16:22) because God is at work in them.”

What was true for the disciples of Jesus then is equally true today. We pray to God the Father, in the name of God the Son, and in the power of God the Holy Spirit. The purpose of such a discipline and privilege is to hallow God’s name and character, to display His authority in our lives and to do His will. This brings lasting joy.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

The Gospel of John: Precious Promises While in the Depths of Despair.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:20-22)

When God’s Word gives us particular and specific promises, it is very wise to pay attention to what God says. Such is the case in today’s text when Jesus gave His disciples, the night prior to His crucifixion, several precious promises. What makes these promises that much more significant to observe is that they are given in the anticipated reality of the disciples’ deep despair because of Jesus’ death on the cross.

First, let us make sure we observe that once again Jesus invoked His own authority when He spoke these words to the eleven. He said, “Truly, truly, I say to you.” He spoke with the authority of God, for so He is.

Jesus then told the disciples that they would weep and lament. To weep means to cry and to lament means to mourn for the dead. The weeping and lamenting by the disciples would specifically be because of Jesus’ death.  However, by contrast Jesus said the world would rejoice. The fallen world system, which hates God and rebels against Him and His Word anytime it will and can, would be glad that Jesus would die.

The disciples would be sorrowful and distressed by the crucifixion, but their sorrow would turn into gladness and great happiness. In other words, joy! We know this is true because of the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the grave.

Jesus used the illustration of a woman giving birth to a child. While in labor, a woman experiences labor pains. They can be quite painful. However, the pain while giving birth to her child is soon replaced by the birth of her child. Whatever pain and sorrow she felt is exchanged by the great joy and happiness of a living and healthy baby.

Jesus acknowledged the disciples were sorrowful in the present but also that they would soon rejoice within their souls in the future. They would see Jesus alive again. Their joy would soon replace their sorrow and no one would take their joy away.

Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that, “Today’s passage records for us what our Savior said about the disciples’ grief. First, Christ told them their sorrow would be temporary. They would lament and weep for a time, but then they would be joyful (vv. 20–21). Why? Because while He would leave them temporarily in His death, He would be restored to them in His resurrection. They would see Him again and experience a joy that no one would be able to take away (v. 22). Of course, Jesus did not mean that they would never experience sorrow again. His point was that they would have an abiding joy because they would know Jesus had conquered death and hell. We can endure every trial knowing that we will live eternally in the new heavens and earth (Rev. 21).”

Whatever sorrow we have experienced, whether due to the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or friendship, or pain because of illness, Jesus gives us a lasting joy which no one can take away. Hallelujah!

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

The Gospel of John: Understanding Difficult Truths.

“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? ” (John 16:16-19).

A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. Upon hearing Jesus’ statements, which the Apostle John records in today’s text, the disciples were confused. To them, Jesus was speaking in riddles or nonsense. They did not understand what Jesus meant by what He said.

One of the evidences the Bible is the Word of God is that it accurately presents biblical characters as real human beings. The Bible describes people who follow the Lord as people who sometimes lie (Genesis 12:10-20), commit adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11), become furious in their anger (Nehemiah 5:1-6) and are sometimes confused when God communicates truth to them as today’s text reveals.

One commentator writes, “Among the many evidences that the four Gospels are accurate historical records is the Gospel writers’ willingness to describe the confusion of the disciples. If the Evangelists—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—had wanted to invent history for the Christian church, they undoubtedly would have portrayed the original disciples of Jesus in the best possible light. After all, these men would be heroes of sorts to Christian believers, and if the Gospels were fictional works, it would be in the interest of the authors to paint the best picture of the disciples and their faith and understanding that they could. A failure to believe on the part of the original disciples makes them less admirable as models of faith, so the only reason to include examples of their confusion is to tell the truth about Jesus and His ministry. That we find many examples of the disciples’ being confused (for instance, Mark 6:45-52) or not believing Jesus lends credibility to the Gospels as historical records.”

Jesus was not only speaking of His death and burial but also His resurrection and ascension. Jesus was telling the disciples that they would see Him alive following His resurrection and ascension. In fact, the only people who did witness the resurrection and ascension were Jesus’ disciples and apostles (Acts 1:1-11; I Corinthians 15:1-8).

The source of the disciples’ confusion lay not in Jesus being unclear about what was about to happen to Him, but rather by the disciples’ unwillingness to believe that it would happen. Sometimes we might want to refrain from telling someone the truth in order to spare them, and us, pain in the immediate. However, whatever discomfort we avoid by failing to tell someone the truth they need to hear only delays the inevitable reality they will eventually experience.

Jesus did not shy away from telling His disciples hard truths. Neither should we.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

The Gospel of John: The Work of the Holy Spirit, Part 2.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:12-15)

The Holy Spirit not only convicts the world of its sin, of righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-11), but He also accomplishes a number of other ministries. Jesus stated to the eleven disciples that He had many more things to tell and teach them but that they could not bear or understand them at that particular moment. Jesus then introduced another series of statements regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Notice that Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit in the masculine gender. He refers to the Spirit of truth as He. The Holy Spirit is never referred to in Scripture as “it.” What is it that the Spirit of truth will do on behalf of all of Jesus’ disciples through these men who Jesus would call apostles?

First, the Holy Spirit will guide the apostles into all the truth. This refers to the Spirit’s ministry of producing through the apostles the New Testament Scriptures. See 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:20-21. The complete canon of Scripture will be a product of the Spirit’s ministry but not the Spirit alone. The New Testament reflects the authority of the entire Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God the Father will tell God the Spirit what He will teach about God the Son.

Second, the Holy Spirit will declare to the apostles the things that are to come. The things that are to come, in this particular context, include the substitutionary atonement by Christ on the cross, the resurrection, the ascension and the soon return of Christ. The New Testament Scriptures are the fulfillment of this promise.

Third, the Holy Spirit will glorify the Son. This would occur as the Spirit illuminated the minds of the apostles in order to produce inerrant and inspired writings concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. As one pastor explains, The Spirit worked in the apostles’ minds so that they could perceive, understand, and teach about the Savior.”

One commentator writes, Jesus was not promising that new special revelation would continue until His return, for that would miss the uniqueness of the Apostolic office. The Apostles were directly appointed by Christ to speak in His name, bearing His authority. And plainly, the Apostles understood themselves to have an authority that other disciples of Jesus do not. (All followers of Jesus can be called disciples—even us—but not all followers can be called Apostles. All Apostles are disciples but not all disciples are Apostles.)”

Take the opportunity today, as you read the Scriptures, to give praise and thanks to God for the Word of God which the Holy Spirit of God wrought through the prophets and the apostles of God.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

LORD’S DAY 1, 2019.

Welcome to the first Sunday of 2019. On each Lord’s Day this year, we will examine the 52 devotionals taken from the Heidelberg Catechism which are structured in the form of questions posed and answers given.

The Heidelberg Catechism was originally written in 1563. It originated in one of the few pockets of Calvinistic faith in the Lutheran and Catholic territories of Germany. Conceived originally as a teaching instrument to promote religious unity, the catechism soon became a guide for preaching as well.

Along with the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt, it forms what is collectively referred to as the Three Forms of Unity. As one author describes the catechism, “It is a remarkably warm-hearted and personalized confession of faith, eminently deserving of its popularity among Reformed churches to the present day.

The devotional for LORD’S DAY 1 is as follows. Please take note of the biblical references given in each answer.

Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own,1
but belong—body and soul,
in life and in death—2 to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5
He also watches over me in such a way6
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;7
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life9
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.10

1 1 Cor. 6:19-20.
2 Rom. 14:7-9.
3 1 Cor. 3:23Titus 2:14.
4 1 Pet. 1:18-191 John 1:7-92:2.
5 John 8:34-36Heb. 2:14-151 John 3:1-11.
6 John 6:39-4010:27-302 Thess. 3:31 Pet. 1:5.
7 Matt. 10:29-31Luke 21:16-18.
8 Rom. 8:28.
9 Rom. 8:15-162 Cor. 1:21-225:5Eph. 1:13-14.
10 Rom. 8:1-17.

Q. What must you know to
live and die in the joy of this comfort?

A. Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are;1
second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery;2
third, how I am to thank God for such deliverance.3

1 Rom. 3:9-101 John 1:10.
2 John 17:3Acts 4:1210:43.
3 Matt. 5:16Rom. 6:13Eph. 5:8-102 Tim. 2:151 Pet. 2:9-10.

 May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

The Gospel of John: The Work of the Holy Spirit.

“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. Concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;” (John 16:8-11)

The Word of God, and specifically the New Testament, reveals many works of the Holy Spirit. We may be most familiar with the Spirit’s work among believers. This includes regeneration, sealing, indwelling, gifting, baptizing, and filling.

However, He not only works among believers in Christ but also among unbelievers. Today’s text gives us three specific areas in which the Holy Spirit works upon the lost. He convicts the world of sin, He convicts the world of its lack of righteousness and He convicts the world in judgment.

First, He convicts the world of its sin. The word convict (ἐλέγχω; elencho) refers to a rebuke, a reproving and a reproach. The word world (κόσμος; kosmos) in this context means the fallen world system of thoughts and behavior which are rebelliously anti-God. The word sin (ἁμαρτία; hamartia) means to engage in wrongdoing and evil.

The Holy Spirit points out to sinful people when they have done wrong or how they have sinned against God. The reason the fallen world sins is because it does do not believe in Jesus. The world is not committed to, dependent upon, trusting in or worshiping Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior.

Second, He convicts the world of righteousness. The Holy Spirit not only points out to sinners what they have done wrong, but He also shows them what God requires. The word righteousness (δικαιοσύνη; dikaiosyne) means doing what God says is right or righteous from His Word.

More than being a source of moralistic, therapeutic deism, the Holy Spirit brings sinners to an understanding that their self-righteousness before God is comparable to a filthy rag (Isaiah 64:6).

Thirdly, the Spirit convicts the world concerning judgment. This refers to the Spirit’s evaluation of a person’s standing before God. The word judgment (κρίσις; krisis) is a legal decision handed down from a judge. As Satan, the ruler of this world, stands condemned before God, so too are those who reject Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

As one theologian explains, The death and resurrection of Jesus were a condemnation of Satan (12:31; Col. 2:15), the prince of this world (cf. John 14:30). By Jesus’ death, He defeated the devil, who held “the power of death” (Heb. 2:14). (Though defeated at the Cross, Satan is still active [1 Peter 5:8]. But, like a condemned criminal, his “execution” is coming [Rev. 20:2, 7–10]. People in rebellion should take note of Satan’s defeat and fear the Lord who holds the power to judge. As the fact of coming judgment (both Satan’s and man’s) is proclaimed, the Spirit convicts people and prepares them for salvation (cf. Acts 17:30–31).”

Immediately prior to my conversion, the Holy Spirit convicted me in all three areas. He convicted me that I was a sinner. He convicted me that my righteousness fell far short of God’s righteousness. He convicted me that I was destined for hell.

It was in His sovereignty that God by His grace regenerated me by the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-8). He made me spiritually alive (Ephesians 2:4). He clothed me in the righteousness of Christ (Zechariah 3:1-5). I no longer stood condemned before God.

Do you have this assurance that your sins are forgiven? Do you know that you are no longer condemned? Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin, righteousness and judgment even at this moment in time?

If so, repent of your sin and trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord. May the Holy Spirit regenerate and enable you to become a child of God.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

The Gospel of John: If I Go, I will Send.

“But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:5-7)

For the fourth time in His Upper Room Discourse Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the Helper sent from God the Father and Himself. See John 14:15-18, 14:25-28, 15:26-27. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the Helper because He encourages, intercedes and is an advocate on behalf of each believer in Christ.

The disciples were filled with sorrow because Jesus was soon leaving them (John 14:13:36-14:7). However, Jesus wanted them to know that it was to their advantage that He leave them and return to heaven. Jesus’ return to heaven would coincide with the Holy Spirit’s coming down to earth.

This is a wonderful truth because as a follower of Christ, I am in need of the Spirit’s help. I am most grateful for the Spirit’s encouragement through the Scriptures. I am also blessed by the Holy Spirit’s promptings to do what is biblical, regardless of the situation. I trust that you are as well.

Ephesians 4:1-2 says, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.” Specifically, to be patient means to not be irritated by circumstances or by individuals.

Recently, I became irritated by a co-worker who without permission removed some equipment from my department in order for him to accomplish work in his department. His behavior left me without the necessary tools to accomplish to work that I needed to accomplish.

As I began to simmer with resentment towards this individual and to consider what I might do to correct this situation, the Holy Spirit brought to my memory Ephesians 4:1-2 about being patient. I gladly submitted to the Lord and prayed that He would forgive me of my lack of patience and to give me a spirit of humility and gentleness towards this other individual.

Immediately upon praying, one of the store’s managers came into my work area bringing with her the equipment taken from my department by my aforementioned fellow employee. How did she know? What, of Who, prompted her to return my department’s tools. I didn’t ask but simply thanked her. It was then that I looked up to heaven and thanked the Lord for not only His promptings in my own heart but also His providence.

Pastor Burk Parsons explains that, In terms of God’s larger plan of redemption, Jesus’ return to heaven would mean that the Helper, the Holy Spirit, would come (v. 7). Jesus had to die, be raised from the dead, and ascend to heaven before the Spirit could come, and the coming of the Spirit would mark the new covenant era as a time of powerful ministry on the part of God’s people and the rapid growth of the kingdom of God among the nations (Acts 2:33; see Ezek. 36:22–38Joel 2:28–32). That is because the Holy Spirit would minister powerfully outside of Israel; He would be newly active in the world to convict people of their sin and call them to repentance, convict people that they cannot trust in their own righteousness, and convict the world that Jesus has defeated sin and Satan (John 16:8–11).”

Are you sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings through Scripture? Ask the Lord at this moment to give you a sensitive soul to the Spirit Who is within your soul.

May truth and grace reside here.

Soli deo Gloria!