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Bob Young

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Thanks for visiting the website! This month’s picture is of a group of church leaders, most of them are from newly established churches, Neyba, Dominican Republic, March 2019. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Haitian church leaders

Ministry and mission work is a team effort -- Jan and I have shared the task of ministry and mission work for over 50 years! (We traveled together to preaching appointments during the year before we were married.) Countless people have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob" or "Hermano Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. One of my favorite breakfasts is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of rich Colombian coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and to help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature as disciples of Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!


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Study Two: The Holy Spirit Confirms, Equips, and Promises [Acts 2-11]

The Holy Spirit Makes Clear the Presence of the Spiritual World in the midst of this Physical World!

God has powerful ways of announcing his plans. He has powerful ways of accomplishing his will. Holy men of God spoke through the Spirit (2 Pet. 1:20-21). As God prepared a few reluctant, doubting disciples for the task of taking the gospel to the world, he promised to send the Holy Spirit. The new order God was bringing to the world was to be characterized by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. There is a renewed focus on the Holy Spirit in many contemporary churches along with an emphasis on gifts and miracles; in the midst of much talk about the Spirit it is easy to forget that a primary reason for sending the empowering Holy Spirit was to enable and advance God’s plan for taking his message to the world. The first task of the Holy Spirit when he was sent to earth was evangelism. The first works of the Holy Spirit in the infant church described in the book of Acts were confirmation of God’s plan, equipping for God’s people, and guaranteeing God’s promises. In these can be seen a progression–past, present, and future. The Holy Spirit Confirms the fulfillment of God’s past actions and words, the Holy Spirit equips for the present, and the Holy Spirit serves as guarantee of God’s future promises.

Several phrases are used in the Bible to describe the coming of the Holy Spirit in the New Age. Jesus promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would come so that they could be witnesses. In Acts 1:5 the promise to the apostles is described as baptism of the Spirit. In Acts 2:1-4, the idea of baptism of the Holy Spirit is absent; the text simply says that they were filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was also promised for all people in the new order that was to be established in the last days. Whether in reference to the promise to the apostles, or in reference to the promise for all people, when people in Acts were filled with the Holy Spirit, the first thing they did was speak! (We will explore this point further in Study Five when we consider the role of the Spirit to empower and equip.)

This study focuses on Acts 2-11. The Holy Spirit brings words so that God’s people can speak. The Holy Spirit had been promised by the Old Testament prophets as part of the last days, a promise that extended to all people. Separate and specific promises concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit were given to the apostles, with specific mention of the purpose of his coming. In the early chapters of Acts, the Holy Spirit was promised, the Holy Spirit came, the Holy Spirit was poured out, the Holy Spirit was given so that the gift of the Holy Spirit was received, Christians who received the Spirit were filled (and re-filled) with the Spirit. We have numerous biblical descriptions of the presence of God’s Holy Spirit.

The coming of the Holy Spirit was proclaimed at Pentecost, and from that point onward the Spirit was present to do his work. To understand the coming of the Holy Spirit, first one must note the differences in the promises that were made (the promise to the apostles, and the universal promise). Second, one must correlate the different descriptions of the coming of the Holy Spirit with the biblical purposes for his coming. The focus of this study: in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit acted in confirmation, equipping, and expectation. These three concepts provide the main points for this study.

Note: In the early chapters of Acts, we find two very important concepts related to the HS: the promise or gift of the HS, and the filling of the HS. I have written essays on both of these topics to assist those who have a desire to dig deeper.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
Filled with the Holy Spirit

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