The Sunday after the Ascension – Tuesday
And gave gifts unto men. – Ephesians 4:8.
The ascended Conqueror gave gifts unto us. What gifts? We will mention but one, in which all other gifts are comprised.
He gave us the Holy Ghost. Because Jesus fully atoned for the sins of the world, thus reconciling us to God, the Holy Ghost again and again comes to us through His Word. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, true, personal God, together with the Father and the Son. Him the Father, being reconciled, sends; Him the Savior gives to us; He comes to us, again and again, freely, offering an abundance of grace. He comes to us through the Word of Christ, the Gospel, the Author and real and first Preacher, of which He is. He comes to us through the Word, now found in the Holy Scriptures. He comes to us through the Word that is preached, taught, heard, and studied. Hence, He comes to us through the ministry of the apostles and of all true and faithful preachers and teachers, whom He gives to us. He has come to us and, through His Word, has converted our stony hearts into hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26); He works faith in us, true faith. And, through and by faith, He leads us to Jesus, our Savior; He makes us members of Jesus’ body, so that, in Jesus, we have all things: forgiveness of sins, righteousness in the sight of God, life and salvation, the adoption of peace, joy, comfort, courage, strength, victory, resurrection, eternal glory. Without the Holy Ghost, we have nothing. Without Him, we could not believe in Jesus Christ our Lord, or come to Him (I Corinthians 12:3). But, through Him, we have all things. If we lose the Holy Ghost, we lose all things; if we keep the Holy Ghost, through His written Word, we keep all things. The Holy Ghost is willing to abide with us forever. Here on earth, He will abide with us only through His Word.
Christian, continue to abide by the Word, that you may keep the Holy Ghost and all things that are given you through Jesus and in Jesus. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). Continue to utilize His Word, through which the Spirit is given, that you may continually grow in grace and in the knowledge of your Savior. In heaven, the Holy Ghost will fully change you into the image of God.
PRAYER – I thank Thee, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my Atoner and conquering Hero, for the gift of the Holy Ghost, which Thou hast given me in Thy Word. O Lord, by nature I am dead in sin, and unable to believe in Thee, and to obtain the blessings which Thou hast procured. But, through Thy Word, Thou hast given me Thy Holy Spirit and faith in Thee, through Him. So, now I have Thee, and in Thee I have all things that save me. Continue to help me, my Shepherd, that I may always abide by Thy Word and keep Thy precious Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Give to thy Word impressive power, that in our hearts, from this good hour, as fire it may be glowing;
that we confess the Father, Son, and Thee, the Spirit, Three in One; Thy glory ever showing.
Stay Thou, guide now; our souls ever, that they never, may forsake Thee, but by faith their Refuge make Thee.
Thou fountain whence all wisdom flows, which God on pious hearts bestows, grant us Thy consolation;
that in our pure faith’s unity, we faithful witnesses may be, of grace that brings salvation.
Hear us, cheer us; by Thy teaching; let our preaching and our labor praise Thee, Lord, and serve our neighbor.”
(Hymn 235, st. 2-3; TLH)