Summary: A sermon on the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is The Prophet, The King, and The High Priest (Material adapted from the book, Power From On High, by Dr. Jack Cottrell chapter 4)
When we talk about what the Holy Spirit did in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ we come to a difficult subject. 3 difficulties:
1) Talking about the Trinity, the Godhead.
2) Talking about the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Word became flesh.
3) We are not a member of the Trinity, nor are we God in the flesh.
We know some facts of the incarnation:
Mary ovum was supernaturally altered so that it became a complete human being, body and spirit, without the addition of the chromosomes provided by a male sperm. This was the specific work of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ birth is also tied up with John the Baptist’s birth in Luke 1. We know this about John
Luke 1:15: He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.
Luke 1:80: And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel. Some say that this “strong in spirit” should be strong in the Spirit.
As a prophet who was filled with the Spirit, John the Baptist’s preaching was fully inspired. Things were revealed to him that he could not have known on his own.
We could say that Jesus was the same but this is never stated. We are left to speculate on whether Jesus was like John in that He was filled with the HS from birth.
The Holy Spirit and Jesus’ baptism.
All 4 gospels place the HS at Jesus’ baptism in the accompanying descent of the dove coming down from heaven and lighting upon Him.
What was actually happening there at Jesus’ baptism?
In Matthew’s gospel it says this of Jesus baptism. 3:16: As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
John’s gospel has John the Baptist saying this of Jesus baptism: 1:32: Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
The fact is that the descent of the HS upon Jesus has all the appearances of an anointing ceremony. Such a ceremony was like an ordination service; the one being anointed was publicly submitting himself to God’s will and committing himself to the designated office.
We have said that in the OT the HS came upon people to equip them for a task or office. Few Wednesday nights ago we looked at Jephthah. Judges 11:29: Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah. Good example of how the HS worked in the OT era. We see this of David when Samuel anointed him as king. 1 Samuel 16:13: from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.
Jesus at his baptism was being anointed and the HS came upon Him. This anointing with the HS is why we refer to Jesus as “the Christ,” which means “the anointed one.” This is much the same language we see in the OT.
Some say Jesus was filled with the Spirit from his birth. But even those who say Jesus was filled with the Spirit from conception must admit that the descent of the dove at His baptism began a new phase in the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of Jesus Christ.