The Holy Spirit can be a difficult topic to study. As a topic, it probably ranks as one of the most critical in applying a disciplined, Scripture interprets Scripture approach without Scripture weighting. The promise of the Holy Spirit, along with miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are all important aspects to understand. Together, they form a very vital foundation to know what the Holy Spirit is doing (and not doing) for Christians today.
How Scripture answers "What is the promise of the Holy Spirit?"
The promise of the Holy Spirit can be broadly traced back to what God promised through Ezekiel13. It’s then announced by John the Baptist1 and Jesus2 as each comes on the scene in the first century. At last, it begins to unfold with Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit (e.g. “Helper”) to the apostles in the upper room3, which He repeats again to them after His resurrection4,5,6,7.
The promise of the Holy Spirit for these special messengers of God included both guidance into “all truth”3,4,5,6 but also an outward manifestation of power7,8 to confirm their word with miracles. “Not many days” later, on the day of Pentecost, they would experience the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” for the first Jews7 (and once more for the first Gentiles). But God’s “Spirit promise” didn’t end there…
Remember God’s promise of the Holy Spirit was for all that obeyed Him13, and that’s what Peter tells the crowd that was responding to the gospel message9 for the first time. This is the “Spirit part” of what Jesus shared with Nicodemus2 for those born again. It is the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit” for all/any (e.g. Jew or Gentile12) that would respond to the gospel12 in baptism2,9 and obedience10,11,13.
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