Throughout the Old Testament, we read how God was with His people in remarkable ways. God was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God was with Moses and Joshua. God was with King David and His prophets and all His people. In the New Testament, however, there is a significant change that takes place. God is not only with His people in a remarkable way, He is in His people too!
I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)
This statement from Jesus must have been difficult to believe at the time. How could it be good for Jesus to be leaving His disciples? The answer, of course, is that when He ascended into heaven, He sent the third Member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to indwell them. And all those who come later—those who trust in Jesus Christ by grace through faith—receive this same gift.
It seems that our Lord was telling His disciples that inasmuch as it is a very good thing for God to be with us, it is an even better thing for God to be in us! God was with His people in the Old Testament. Jesus was with His disciples during His time on earth. But now our Lord is seated at the right hand of God the Father . . . and the Spirit of God dwells within us.
It must have been an unimaginable experience for Moses to stand before the burning bush that would not be consumed and actually hear the voice of God speaking to him. But as incredible as that surely was, you and I have something even more miraculous; we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, every moment of every day! Moses had to climb the mountain of God to commune with God; God the Holy Spirit has come down from heaven and has taken up residency within all those who have placed their trust in His beloved Son. We can commune with Him 24 hours a day, 7 days each week.
This truth is designed not only to inform us, but to transform us as well. The third Person of the Trinity has taken up residency inside of every believer, to guide, govern, and direct us into living a transformed life for the glory of God. Jesus told His followers that “the Holy Spirit would come on them and they would receive power” (Acts 1:8), and that power showed up all throughout the book of Acts, which records the growth of the church through the transformed lives of God’s people.
One final note of encouragement to you today: this supernatural power was flowing through ordinary people. There was nothing special about the saints of God . . . except for the fact that the Spirit of God lived in them. In Acts 4:13 we read of the courage of Peter and John, who were “unschooled, ordinary men,” yet had one distinguishing mark: “these men had been with Jesus.”
May that be what sets you and me apart also!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!