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The Lord On Earth

Was there even a moment in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ when the Holy Spirit did not fill Him? Clearly not! The eternal Son of God became the Son of Man at the fulness of the time when God sent Him forth.

Matthew 1:20 says of Mary, "that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit". Luke quotes the words of the angel to Mary when he says: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most Hieli will overshadow you" (1:35). The conception of the Lord was a miracle of Deity, completely unique, and a cooperation of the three Persons of the Godhead. Both humility and majesty are seen in that unique Baby: unable to speak, yet Himself the Word; unable to feed Himself, yet the Bread of Life that whoever comes to Him should never hunger; unable to fend for Himself, yet come to save His people and the whole world from their sins!

When, thirty three days after the Lord's circumcision Mary brought her offerings to the Lord according to Leviticus 12:8, she presented Jesus to the Lord (Luke 2:22). The testimony of God through Simeon was: "And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ" (v.26). No wonder Simeon blessed God as he took this Child in his arms! Mary and Joseph were amazed at the things being said, yet the Spirit was making it clear that this Child was

none other than God in the flesh.

As Jesus grew, He was always doing the business of His heavenly Father, though subject to His earthly parents. He kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:49-52), proof of the Spirit's testimony about His identity and ~vide'nce of the Spirit's power within Him. his later testimony about Himself was "He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasin&~ to Him" (John 8:29). It was not simply that He never displeased the Father, but rather that He always pleased Him in everything Lie thought or said or did! So Paul writes about the Spiritfilled life of the follower of the Lord, "walk by the Spirit, and you will not caiTy out the desire of the flesh ... if we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Gal. 5:16, 25). The Lord is the perfect example.

Evidence of the pleasure of the Father is seen clearly at His baptism where, according to Luke 3:22, "the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am wellpleased". The first thirty years of His

life had ple~sed His Father well; so now too did His public ministry.

Paul commands the Ephesians to "be filled with the Spirit" (5:18). The disciple must walk in the same manner as He walked (1 John 2:6) and it is clear that the Master was full of the Spirit. In Luke 4:1, 2 we read: "And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil". We would naturally prefer to avoid that kind of exposure to the devil's wiles. Yet this perfect One did not resist the Holy Spirit as did those before Him and those who would come after Him (Acts 7:51). He did not quench the Spirit, something His disciples today must not do either (1 Thes. 5:19). In his responses to the devil, lie did not grieve the Spirit, the perfect example of the commanded response of the present day disciple (Eph. 4:30).

We read in Galatians 5:22 that ~oy is one of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, which fruit was seen clearly in the life of the Lord Jesus.

Though he was in a state of physical starvation, His strength came from the Spirit of God. No one who is full of the Spirit sins (1 John 3:6); conversely, one who sins cannot be full of the Spirit. In the greatest temp~ tation5 that any man ever faced, this perfect Man resisted the devil, and the devil departed from Him. Perhaps it was with this in view that James wrote

to disciples of the Lord and said, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (4:7, 8). The Lord said, "... the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me" (John 14:30). No wonder this One makes such a sympathetic high priest today in the presence of God! He "has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). What marvellous evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit!

Luke goes on to tell how the Lord, after the devil had finished every temptation, "returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit" (4:14). It was in that power that 1-Ic opened the book in the synagogue in Nazareth, his home town, and read: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor

Today this Scripiure has been fulfilled in your hearing" (4:18, 21). They began to speak well of him and wonder "at the ~racious words which were falling from his lips", no doubt an evidence of the power of the Spirit. Within minutes, however, they were about to throw Him down a cliff, so outraged were they at what lie had then said. "But passing through their midst, He went His way" (4:30); a different evidence of the power of the Spirit, not only that lie avoided them, but, still gracious, that He did not destroy them with a word.

Paul declared of his own ministry to the Gentiles that it was sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and that what was accomplished through him was in the

power of the Spirit (Rom. 15:16,19). Indeed, that was a fulfilment of the Lord's own words to His disciples in Matthew 10:20, "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you". That was the power in which the Lord spoke as well. John the Baptist referred to the Lord and said: "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He [God] gives the Spirit without measure" (John 3:34). With a word, He cast out demons by the Spirit of God (Mat. 12:28). So lie could confidently explain to His disciples that when they were in trouble, "the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say" (Luke 12:12). Not only did the Lord have the Spirit without measure, but His own disciples had and are to have the same as well (compare Titus 3:5,6). It is no surprise then to see Stephen, a man full of the Spirit, confounding men with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking (Acts 6:~0).

Paul writes to the Romans and says: "But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (8:9). What a testimony to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit of God resident in the person of Jesus Christ, that lie is seen to be equally the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God.

Luke 10:21 records that, upon the return of the seventy commissioned preachers of the Word of the Lord, and their delight that even the spirits were subject to them in the name of the Lord, "At that very time He

rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit", and praised His Father. Even His joy was motivated by the presence of the Spirit within Him. We read in Galatians 5:22 that joy is one of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, which fruit was seen clearly in the life of the Lord Jesus.

Another evidence of the fulness of the Spirit in the Lord is seen in Luke 5:16: "But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray" (ef. Mat. 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12). It is clear from a comparison of scripture with scripture that this was not so that lie might be filled with the Spirit, but ~as rather a result of that fulness (see also Jude 20). As lie was God the Son, unity with the Father and the Spirit compelled Him to pray. What depth and power were in His prayer! One marvels at the depth of the communication that took place in the garden of Gethsemane when the Lord Jesus prayed about His imminent crucifixion: "And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and his sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44). Was any prayer of the Lord not fervent? Yet here particularly His prayer was very fervent because of His agony of soul. No longwindedness or vain repetition here. The result was "not My will, but Thine be done". How could anyone but a Spirit-filled Man speak such words in the face of such torment!

His Spirit-led walk took Him to the Cross, where through the eternal Spirit, He would offer Himself with-

out blemish to God: the eternal Son, offering Himself to the eternal God through the eternal Spirit. As there was a miracle of Deity at His birth, completely unique and a cooperation of the three Persons of the Godhead, so also was there the same thing at His death. The Holy Spirit, present at His baptism at the Jordan was also present at that straightening baptism at Calvary where the Lord Jesus offered Himself without blemish to God by means of (Gr. dia) the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14). Yet the means by which

Christ offered Himself was not available in this one instance for companionship, comfort, communion. The Lord shared the agony of the Cross with no one (cf. Ps. 22:1,2; 102:6,7). Nonetheless, it was through the Spirit of God that Jesus was raised from the dead (Rom. 8:11).

What delight to consider the Lord on earth, One who was anointed by God "with the Holy Spirit and with power" (Acts 10:38).

(All Scripture references are front

NASB).