Daily Devotional | Day 311
“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” (Acts 24:49, NKJV).
Understanding Abraham is key to understanding your blessings in Christ. It is your privilege as a Christian to trace your spiritual ancestry to Abraham. And it is this connection to Abraham which ensures that you inherit the blessings which God has ordained for His people. From eternity God planned to bless a multitude of people who would believe in Him. To execute this plan, God chose Abraham to be the progenitor from whom all His blessings of grace will flow to the nations: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). Today, we begin a two-part series on this subject. In the first part, we will look at how the Scriptures show that the giving of the Holy Spirit is the Father’s chief promise made to Abraham and his descendants. Tomorrow, God willing, we will finish by looking at why receiving the Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in fulfilling the promises made to Abraham and us.
God made several promises to Abraham, including the birth of Isaac and possession of the land of Canaan (Genesis 17:1-22). Of all the promises made to Abraham, there is one which does not get sufficient attention. Yet, it is what holds the other promises together. That promise is the Holy Spirit. Jesus called the Holy Spirit, “the Promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). He makes the same reference in today’s opening Scripture. He told His disciples He was sending upon them the Promise of His Father. Reception of this Promise was so crucial that He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem for it. As a result of receiving the Promise the disciples would be clothed with power from on high. This tells us that there are promises and there is the Promise. The Holy Spirit is the Blessing of all blessings and the Promise of all promises. Therefore, if you receive the Holy Spirit, you have received the essence of the Father’s blessings promised to Abraham.
Examining God’s interactions with Abraham in the Old Testament, you will not find an explicit reference to the Holy Spirit being the chief promise made to Abraham. However, the New Testament sheds light on this subject and reveals the deepest meaning of God’s promises to Abraham. For example, Paul wrote, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law . . . that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14). Notice what Paul is saying here. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law to make it possible for the blessing of Abraham to come upon us. But what is that “blessing of Abraham” which must come upon us in Christ? Paul says, it is “the promise of the Spirit.” And we receive this Spirit through faith in Christ and obedience to Him (Acts 5:32).
Jesus was the promised seed (descendant) of Abraham through whom God would accomplish His promises (Galatians 3:16). As Messiah, He was anointed with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:16-19) and had to die for our sins. But Jesus had another critical mission: to send the Holy Spirit upon all who obey Him, in fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham. This explains why He told the Apostles that it was in their interest that He depart so that He could send them the Spirit (John 16:7). Without the giving of the Holy Spirit, the covenant with Abraham would have been meaningless.
Once risen from the dead and exalted in glory, Jesus could now send the long-awaited blessing upon Abraham’s children. On the Day of Pentecost, Peter reminded the people about this: “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He [Jesus] poured out this which you now see and hear” (Acts 2:33; see also v. 38-39).
You are a child of Abraham. Yours is the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, welcome the Spirit with open arms and an open heart. He wants to do marvelous things with you. Let Him. Amen.
For further study: John 7:37-39 and Galatians 3:1-14