1. THE PARTING PROMISE
a. For what situation was Jesus preparing His disciples? John 13:33.
“[John 13:33 quoted.] The disciples could not rejoice when they heard this. Fear fell upon them. They pressed close about the Saviour. Their Master and Lord, their beloved Teacher and Friend, He was dearer to them than life. To Him they had looked for help in all their difficulties, for comfort in their sorrows and disappointments. Now He was to leave them, a lonely, dependent company. Dark were the forebodings that filled their hearts.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 662.
b. What comforting promise did Jesus make to His disciples? John 14:16, 17.
“Before offering Himself as the sacrificial victim, Christ sought for the most essential and complete gift to bestow upon His followers, a gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of grace.”—Ibid., pp. 668, 669.
“Christ declared that after His ascension, He would send to His church, as His crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take His place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit—the soul of His life, the efficacy of His church, the light and life of the world. With His Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin.”—The Review and Herald, May 19, 1904.
2. CHRIST’S REPRESENTATIVE
a. Why was it necessary for Christ to ascend to heaven before sending the Comforter? John 16:7.
“Before this the Spirit had been in the world; from the very beginning of the work of redemption He had been moving upon men’s hearts. But while Christ was on earth, the disciples had desired no other helper. Not until they were deprived of His presence would they feel their need of the Spirit, and then He would come.”— The Desire of Ages, p. 669.
b. What shows that the Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative? John 14:18; 15:26.
“The Holy Spirit is Christ’s representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high.”—Ibid., p. 669.
“The Holy Spirit is Himself divested of the personality of humanity and independent thereof. [Christ] would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 14, p. 23.
c. What was the evidence that Christ was now seated upon His mediatorial throne? What did this enable the disciples to do? Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 1:8.
“The Life-giver held in His hand not only the keys of death but a whole heaven of rich blessings. All power in heaven and earth was given to [Christ], and having taken His place in the heavenly courts, He could dispense these blessings to all who receive Him. The church was baptized with the Spirit’s power. The disciples were fitted to go forth and proclaim Christ, first in Jerusalem, where the shameful work of dishonoring the rightful King had been done, and then to the uttermost parts of the earth. The evidence of the enthronement of Christ in His mediatorial kingdom was given.”—My Life Today, p. 47.
3. THE GREATNESS OF THE GIFT
a. What prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus gave the gift of the Holy Spirit? Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8. How complete was His gift?
“Christ determined that when He ascended from this earth He would bestow a gift on those who had believed on Him and those who should believe on Him. What gift could He bestow rich enough to signalize and grace His ascension to the mediatorial throne? It must be worthy of His greatness and His royalty. He determined to give His representative, the third person of the Godhead. This gift could not be excelled. He would give all gifts in one, and therefore the divine Spirit, that converting, enlightening, and sanctifying power, would be His donation. . . . It came with a fullness and power, as if for ages it had been restrained, but was now being poured forth upon the church. . . .
“The Holy Spirit was sent as the most priceless treasure man could receive.”—My Life Today, p. 36.
b. What gifts of grace did the Holy Spirit distribute to the church? For what purpose were they given? Ephesians 4:11, 12; 1 Corinthians 12:8–11.
“The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. [1 Corinthians 12:8–11 quoted.] All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 327.
c. For how long would these gifts be needed? Ephesians 4:13.
“Here we are shown that God gives to every man his work, and in doing this work, man is fulfilling his part of God’s great plan. Every faithful worker will minister for the perfecting of the saints. All who have been benefited by the labors of God’s servant, should, according to their ability, unite with him in working for the salvation of souls. This is the work of all true believers, ministers, and people. They should keep the grand object ever in view, each seeking to fill his proper position in the church, and all working together in order, harmony, and love.”—The Review and Herald, November 12, 1908.
4. FILLED WITH THE FULLNESS OF GOD
a. What blessing did the New Covenant promise include? Galatians 3:14; Acts 3:25, 26.
“The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, it is His representative. Here is the divine agency that carries conviction to hearts.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 13, p. 313.
“The promise of the Holy Spirit is not limited to any age or to any race. Christ declared that the divine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. From the Day of Pentecost to the present time, the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service. To all who have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, the Holy Spirit has come as a counselor, sanctifier, guide, and witness.”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 49.
b. What experience will be ours when we receive the Holy Spirit? Romans 5:5; Ephesians 3:16–19.
“Here are revealed the heights of attainment that we may reach through faith in the promises of our heavenly Father, when we fulfill His requirements. Through the merits of Christ we have access to the throne of Infinite Power. ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:32. The Father gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of its fullness.”—The Great Controversy, p. 477.
“When Christ dwells in your heart by faith, this rich experience will be yours. Then you will know that love is flowing into your hearts, and subduing every affection and every thought, and bringing them into captivity to Christ. You cannot explain it; human language can never explain how the love of Christ can take possession of the soul, and lead captive every power of the mind. But you will know it by a personal experience.”—The Review and Herald, March 15, 1892.
“Since this is the means by which we are to receive power, why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, and preach concerning it?”—The Acts of the Apostles, p. 50.
5. PETITIONING THE THRONE OF GRACE
a. What must we do to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit? Luke 11:13.
“The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who serve Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children. For the daily baptism of the Spirit every worker should offer his petition to God. Companies of Christian workers should gather to ask for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that they may know how to plan and execute wisely. Especially should they pray that God will baptize His chosen ambassadors in mission fields with a rich measure of His Spirit.”—The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 50, 51.
b. What should our request to God include? Psalm 51:9–12.
“Repentance as well as forgiveness is the gift of God through Christ. It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convinced of sin, and feel our need of pardon. None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of the Lord that makes the heart penitent. He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and He will help us. He will hear the prayer of faith; but the sincerity of prayer can be proved only by our efforts to bring ourselves into harmony with the great moral standard which will test every man’s character. We need to open our hearts to the influence of the Spirit, and to experience its transforming power.”— The Review and Herald, June 24, 1884.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why was the gift of the Spirit such a comforting promise to the disciples?
2. Whom does the Holy Spirit represent to us?
3. Why is the Holy Spirit the greatest gift that Jesus could give to his followers?
4. What New Covenant blessing is realized as we submit to the Holy Spirit?
5. What should our prayer be in view of the promised gift?