The Holy Spirit Acted Before Pentacost
We’ve been studying God’s Holy Spirit in church for several weeks in our sermon series, and I’ve been hearing more about it in the sermons of Jim Cymbala (from Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York) and in his book about God’s Holy Spirit. Today we read about the Angel Gabriel’s messages to Mary, Joseph, and Zachariah. I noticed that it was God’s Holy Spirit that was at work in advance of the births of John the Baptist and Jesus.
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18 NLT)
But the angel said, â€œDonâ€™t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. He must never touch wine or other alcoholic drinks. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. (Luke 1:13-15 NLT)
So we understand God’s Holy Spirit acted before Pentacost, but had not been GIVEN to the people / His church until then:
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, â€œLet anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.â€ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39 NIV)”