In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In previous weeks we’ve seen that God made a ‘covenant of works’ with humans which we broke by sinning. Next we saw that God made a ‘covenant of grace’ with sinful humans which means he has graciously provided eternal life through a mediator when we believe in Jesus. This week I want to demonstrate that God’s grace is shown in his ‘covenant of grace’ by God giving the Holy Spirit to us.
In the Old Testament we see the Holy Spirit descend with power on people at different times. For example in Numbers 11 the Spirit of God comes on the elders of Israel: ‘Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied’ (Numbers 11:25). After this incident Moses speaks his mind and says: ‘I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!’ (Numbers 11:29).
Then God promised in the Old Testament that he would send his Holy Spirit to his people. We read in the book of God’s prophet Joel: ‘ I will pour out my Spirit on all people’ (Joel 2:28).
So does God send his Holy Spirit to his people? Yes. This is most marvelously done after Jesus ascended into heaven. We read: ‘When the day of Pentecost came, they [the disciples] were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’ (Acts 2:1-4). This outpouring of the Spirit on Christians occurs again and again in Acts.
And by God’s grace, it still occurs today. Paul says about all Christians: ‘You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ’ (Romans 8:9). If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are in God’s covenant of grace and have the Holy Spirit in you.
Do you have the Holy Spirit in you by God’s grace?