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THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION SHED FORTH
III. QUARTER, LESSON II., JULY 10, ACTS 2:1-12
Golden Text—”When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth, … and he will show you things to come.”—John 16:13
VERSES 1-4. The most notable day in the history of the Church is the day of Pentecostal blessing which followed our Lord’s ascension. It marks definitely the beginning of Church history by marking the beginning of the Church. For although the disciples were called, and followed the great Teacher during the three and a half years of his ministry and sacrifice, they were not recognized by God as his sons until Pentecost, when the spirit of adoption was given.
True, they had consecrated themselves; they had even left all to follow Christ; but yet they were under condemnation as sinners and could not be recognized or treated as sons until their sins had been atoned for by the great sin-offering of “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” For this they must wait. And even after the Redeemer had “poured out his soul unto death” as our sin-offering, and after he had been raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, they must still wait until by the gift of the spirit of adoption God should recognize them as sons and empower them to teach in his name the forgiveness of sins: they must wait until he who gave our redemption price should ascend on high and there appear in the presence of God and offer to justice that sin-offering on our behalf—making it applicable to all those who believe in and obey him. The Pentecostal blessing was of the Father, but by the Son (Acts 2:33). It was the Father’s recognition of the merit of the sin-offering.
True, the Master had sent them out to declare the Kingdom at hand, etc., and they returned rejoicing, saying, “Lord, even the devils are subject unto us in thy name;” but the power by which they did their miracles then, while it was holy spirit or holy power, was not their own, but the Lord’s. He sent them forth in his name and gave them power over all manner of diseases, etc., but they received no power, no other recognition, direct from God, until Pentecost. Our Lord Jesus had the holy spirit or holy power, and that without limit, because he was a holy, harmless, undefiled son (John 3:34), but all others were debarred from this, because they were sinners until he had made reconciliation for iniquity. The disciples, then, had merely imputed or delegated holy power or holy spirit until the sacrifice was made and offered and until the Pentecostal blessing gave evidence to them and to us and to all that God accepted of Christ’s sacrifice—”the just for the unjust.”—1 Pet. 3:18.
To this agrees the statement that “the holy spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:39); and that other statement that to “as many [of the house of servants] as received him, to them gave he liberty [ability, power, privilege] to become SONS OF GOD.”—John 1:12.
VERSES 4-12. Concerning the gifts of the spirit which followed the begetting by the spirit in the early Church, for the purpose of attesting God’s favor to the newly begotten “sons,” as well as for manifesting them as teachers to those without, and the distinction between those gifts and the fruit-gifts of the spirit which now give evidence of divine favor and begetting, the student is referred to the leading article of this issue of this journal.
— June 1&15, 1892 —