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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


16. Jesus' Farewell Words to His Disciples (Luke 24:44-49)

LUKE 24:48-49
48 “And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

As true event can only be described by those who saw and witnessed it. This is why Christ commissioned his followers to testify to the world of his life, how he lived, suffered, died, and rose from the dead. This privilege was only for the first Christian generation, for they were eyewitness of Jesus’ life.

Today, we bear witness that those witnesses communicated the good news of their testimony with faithfulness, love, power, joy, and sacrifice to the following generations. We thank them for this service, for without their gospels and epistles we could not have received remission of sins, or everlasting life. We thank the Lord Jesus that he put his holy Gospel with simple words in the mouths of his disciples. However, his divine words, which the apostles spoke, did not lose their power in their mouths, but remained mighty as they were in the beginning.

Jesus knew that none of his disciples could preach the word unaided. Peter denied him, Judas betrayed him, and the others ran away and hid themselves. They did not believe in his resurrection. So he commanded them to remain in Jerusalem until the Promise of the Father was fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. Jerusalem was the place where the salvation on the cross was accomplished, and at the same time the place where the new body of him who was raised from the dead appeared as a token of our resurrection too. God chose this city that it might experience, before all other places in the world, the power of the Holy Spirit who is filled with love, joy, and peace. This city, which is called “the city of peace”, will be the place to which Jesus will come again. His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives. No wonder if, before this advent, the false christ sat down in the renewed temple that men might worship him. However by Christ’s coming the redemptive plan of God will be completed in the city of peace. Waves of redemption will expand from this center to all nations and come back to it with praise and gratitude.

Christ said that he would fulfill the Promise of the Father and send the Holy Spirit. This gracious Spirit comes equally from the Father and the Son, for he is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son at one time. If you wish to know the quality of this Spirit who is strange to the spirits of men, look at Christ and then you will know from his words and behavior the nature of the efficacy of this Holy Spirit.

Christ testified that his outpouring of this Spirit on his followers signified the fulfillment of the Promise of the Father. The most important word in the statement is “the Father”, for it testifies that God is a father who wants through this outpouring many children be born to him. No one can go to God or see him except him who is born through the Holy Spirit. We hallow the name of our heavenly Father when we give his Spirit a place in our hearts, that he may lead our perishable bodies to the pure love, and we may be renewed in the power of his Holy Spirit.

From the beginning, the aim of creation was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, who is God himself. God breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, and formed him in the image of his glory. But sin separated us from the Creator, and corrupted the image of his love in us. So we became selfish, murderers, and hateful. This is why Jesus came to our world: to overcome the sin in the flesh, to wipe out our faults, and to sanctify us to the uttermost, that all separation between God and us might end. The Holy Spirit could not come to the whole world before Jesus had provided atonement for our sins on the cross.

Nothing prevents the coming of the power of God’s Spirit since this reconciliation was made, for Christ has justified us, and the Spirit himself sanctifies us. Jesus’ death was not the end of God’s salvation, but the means to open the door of heaven. Christ died on the cross that we may receive everlasting life, live as one in his blessed church, and wait for his second coming.

Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit’s power and authority. This power dwells in those who believe in Christ, who were formerly unprofitable in themselves. Yet divine power makes the coward bold, the selfish loving, and the sinful holy. This Holy Spirit not only creates a new creation in us, but also regenerates us to everlasting life. In pouring out this Spirit on believers, God shows his creative power coming to us in his authority, for this Spirit is God himself who dwells in his born-again children.

PRAYER: O heavenly Father, we thank you through Jesus Christ, your Son, you have given us your Holy Spirit, and put him in our hearts. Open our minds and hearts completely to your heavenly power that we may be born again, regenerated, and sanctified by word and deed so that your virtues may appear in us, and we may glorify the death of your Son, who chose to give this great privilege.

QUESTION 149: What does the Promise of the Father signify?


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