Recognizing the Holy Spirit

Read: Acts 18:24–19:7

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (19:2)

We may be surprised to read that some of the early Christians had not even heard of the Holy Spirit. This is especially true in light of the fact that some have called the book we are reading through, “The Acts of the Holy Spirit.” Truly it was the Holy Spirit who was leading Paul and the apostles forward in their worldwide mission of proclaiming Christ as Savior.

However, not everyone understood that. Although Jesus had promised the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 16:5-16; Acts 1:8-9), even Apollos had not completely understood this. It took Aquila and Priscilla to more accurately explain the gospel to him. Actually, it would take centuries for the church to fully develop a doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s work is somewhat mysterious, “under cover” and “behind the scenes” in our lives. Some have called him “the quiet person of the Trinity.” The Holy Spirit never calls attention to himself, but has as his goal always to point to Jesus.

Even Christians today sometimes overlook the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to do. But as Apollos learned, the reality is that although knowing Jesus as a historical figure is important, knowing him in his living presence through the Holy Spirit is even more wonderful. —John Koedyker

As you pray, thank God for the Holy Spirit.

About the Author

Rev. John Koedyker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in America for more than forty years. His ministry began in Japan where he served as a missionary for ten years. After that he has served churches in Iowa and Michigan. He has served as the Stated Clerk of Muskegon Classis, RCA, for the past sixteen years and also presently serves as pastor of congregational care at First Reformed Church of Grand Haven, Michigan. John has written a number of times previously for Words of Hope and he has a bi-monthly religion column in the Grand Haven Tribune. He is married to Marilyn, and they have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

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