Summary: The ministry of Christ was accomplished within a partnership with the Holy Spirit.


Isaiah 42:1-7; Acts 10:34-38; Luke 3:15-22

+ + +

Three excerpts from each of the lessons for

today inform this message. First, from the

inspired prophet Isaiah, speaking of the

coming Messiah, "I will put my Spirit on

Him." In Acts, the apostle Peter says of

Christ, "...God anointed Jesus of Nazareth

with the Holy Spirit and power." Finally,

from the trustworthy account of Luke, "the

Holy Spirit descended upon [Jesus] in bodily

form, as a dove..." THESE ARE YOUR WORDS,

HEAVENLY FATHER, sanctify us in Your Truth,

Your Word is everlasting Truth. Amen.


Grace, Mercy and Peace be yours because you

are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live

Godly lives that bear there mercies, and many

more. Amen.

Pastor Fred often makes fun of my

Scandinavian background-- and I would say

this even if he were here today! And if he

were here today, and heard what I am about to

say, he would mumble to himself, "It


There was a time when I was a bit confused

about the presence of the Holy Spirit in the

ministry of Christ. Maybe this is simply

because I am Norwegian, or perhaps there are

some Germans that have been a little confused

about this same thing.

In a movie about two mountain men, the two

mountaineers were discussing how they get

around in the mountains. The one suggested

that the other might have gotten lost. To

this the second feisty mountaineer replied,

"Lost! I’ve never been lost! Fiercely

confused for a month or two... but I’ve never

been LOST!"7

Well, for those who might be “fiercely

confused” about the place of the Holy Spirit

in Christ’s ministry, I want to explore what

the Bible seems to suggest in this area.

The first thing we see is that the Holy

Spirit begins a very definite presence in the

three year ministry of Christ. Matthew,

Mark, and Luke all record that the Holy

Spirit came to be physically seen as Christ

began His active ministry.

Clearly God wanted to make evident the

mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit within

our Lord’s Ministry. In fact, when Jesus

leaves the Jordan to go into his 40 days of

testing and temptation, Matthew and Mark say

he was led by the Holy Spirit into the

wilderness, and Luke says it even more

boldly, introducing his wilderness experience

with the phrase, "And Jesus, full of the Holy



OR FIERCELY CONFUSING. If Jesus is God, then

why does He need the Holy Spirit, who is also

God? The Bible says that the Holy Trinity

shares all characteristics of power,

knowledge, holiness, and the like mutually.

If this is true, why did there seem to be a

need for the Holy Spirit in the ministry of


The clue to answering this question is

recorded by the inspiration of the Holy

Spirit in the book of Philippians. Listen to

how Christ entered into the womb of the

virgin Mary-- “Your attitude should be the

same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being

in very nature God, did not consider equality

with God something to be grasped, 7 but made

himself nothing, taking the very nature of a

servant, being made in human likeness.”

(Philippians 2 NIV)

The Apostle Paul is encouraging the

Philippians to have a mind-set like Christ--

a noble desire for all of us. But the phrase

I want to call your attention to is this:

"Who, being in very nature God, did not

consider equality with God something to be

grasped, but made himself nothing..."


unpack it from the original Greek to see its

awesome significance.

The phrase rendered "something to be grasped"

comes from one Greek word. At the time of

Paul, it meant a prize or windfall which was

immediately ours!

When our church school basketball teams have

recently received trophies for winning

various levels of competition, you could see

their enthusiasm as the players couldn’t wait

to get a hand on the trophy and hold it up--


The prize which Christ would win for us was

not to be taken by His coming in glory, as

the Jews of His time expected. No, Jesus

would come by way of a cattle shed, nurtured

in a humble carpenter’s house, and then die

the death of a criminal on the cross.

Paul continues by telling us that Son of God

was "made nothing"--other translator’s use

the phrase "emptied Himself"-- a better

translation, and I want to come back to this


But before developing what it means for

Christ to have "emptied" Himself, note what

He emptied Himself to become... He took on

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion