Thursday, April 9, 2015

John 20:19-31 Regenerating Jesus' Disciples

KEY VERSE: John 20:22-23 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld." 

KEY THOT: Jesus’ act of breathing on His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit is similar to God’s act of breathing into Adam (Gen. 2:7) to become a living person. In this instance, the disciples received the Spirit of life and was regenerated—or “born again”. 

So, even though the disciples were already regenerated and therefore given divine authority to grant or withhold forgiveness of sins (just like Jesus himself), they were nevertheless told not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for the "promise of the Father": “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are CLOTHED WITH POWER from on high" (Luke 24:49).

When we are regenerated we are transformed from death to life, and transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. But when we are filled with the Spirit, we are claiming our spiritual right as children of the Father to be empowered with God’s spiritual graces and gifts to engage the Enemy in spiritual battles to rescue the lost people who are enslaved by Satan, their flesh and the world. Christians not filled with the Spirit are not equipped to do spiritual battles.

I feel affirmed by today's reading to do what I am doing through the QLC Alpha and Alpha team this weekend. Last night, I focused on regeneration by calling for repentance and regeneration. This Alpha weekend, I will be focusing on the need to be filled with the Spirit so God's people can be equipped with spiritual gifts and graces to seek and save the lost. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of mission. This weekend, we will be praying for Alpha participants to become Spirit-filled “witnesses” of Jesus Christ, renewed and released for God’s missional agenda.

I must learn to walk by faith, not by sight. I believe that last night, many have been set free from spiritual and emotional bondages as they went through the process of repentance: forgiveness has been offered to all who need it. This coming Friday, we will continue this process of repentance. Come Saturday, we will teach and pray for those who want to be filled with the Spirit. When we are regenerated we have the Spirit; when we are filled, the Holy Spirit HAS US!

Father, thank You for the promise of the Spirit. You have given us Your Spirit to regenerate and renew us for Your missional agenda. Do it Lord! Amen.

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