Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Receive God’s Gift
… a new beginning!
Terry R. Baughman
“You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38–39).
Have you ever had to be persuaded to receive a gift? If so, it is probably because the person giving the gift was not to be trusted. We are caused to be skeptical and a little cautious when such a person offers a gift that is out of character for them. Good gifts are to be received with joy, not with suspicion. When there is an absence of suspicious motivation, there is no reason to be reticent when offered a gift.
God is a good God. His gifts are not frivolous nor intended to deceive us. As a matter of fact, James said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). When God promises good gifts we can rest assured that they are for our good.
When God promised His Holy Spirit it was one of the greatest gifts he could ever offer. Jesus taught the principle that if our earthly fathers love to give good gifts, how much more would our heavenly Father. He said, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11–13).
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the greatest gift we can receive. It is literally the Spirit of Christ that dwells with us and in us continually. Jesus said, “The Spirit of truth, … He dwells with you and will be in you.” Then He made it more personal, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:17–18).
Before Jesus departed from this earth He promised the outpouring of His Holy Spirit upon His followers, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me … to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Those who waited in prayer in the Upper Room were among the first to receive this special gift. This was the fulfillment of the “Promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4), and the object of Joel’s prophecy, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh” (Acts 2:17).
Peter spoke to the curious crowd that came to investigate the shouts of jubilation and the ecstatic utterance of spiritual experience. He declared the good news of Jesus, His death, burial, and resurrection, “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Among the crowd were some who had been responsible for the crucifixion or at least had consented to His death. With great consternation they cried out, “What should we do?”
Peter’s response is still the answer to all who feel the load of guilt and the condemnation of sin, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.…” He concluded with the promise that continues beyond the initial crowd who heard his message, and its fulfillment is still being experienced, “You shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38–39).
Receive His gift. It’s your promise!
“We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4 NIV).