|Where the Spirit of God is there is Liberty|
Miss. Elizabeth Leelavathi Manasseh
The Jews celebrated three great festivals namely the Passover, the Feasts of the Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles as recorded in the 16th chapter of Deuteronomy. Although the presence of male members was required at these festivals, it was especially provided that female members attend the Pentecostal feasts. Therefore, the Jews had to include women. This is clearly stated in Deuteronomy 16:11, which is very significant in view of the Day of Pentecost that is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles (or Acts of the Holy Spirit), when men and women were anointed by the Holy Spirit in order to bear witness to the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT? The Holy Spirit is a person just as are the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19; John 15:26; 16:7, 13-15; 2 Corinthians 13: 14). The Bible equates the Spirit with JHWH (Jehovah) of the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:9-10; Acts 28:25). The Lord Jesus Christ includes the Spirit in the name of deity (Matthew 28:19). The Spirit of God has attributes that only God possesses such as omniscience (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-11) and omnipotence (Job 33:4). The Spirit creates and sustains life (Genesis 1:2; Psalm 104:30). The Spirit raises the dead (Romans 8:1).
The Holy Spirit is also the object of our personal trust, whom we may obey (Acts 10:9-21) or disobey (Isaiah 63:10). The Spirit of God works as God only can work as He is fully God, as are the Father and the Son.
GOD SENT THE HOLY SPIRIT TOEMPOWER THE CHURCH: On the Day of Pentecost God sent the Holy Spirit to empower the Church to carry out His mission (The Great Commission: Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18). A considerable amount of emphasis is given in the account of Pentecost to the unitive power of the Holy Spirit. There was a glorious liberty of the children of God, which is the rightful inheritance (Romans 8:21).
In Acts 1:14-15 we are told that men and women numbering about a hundred and twenty persons were gathered together constantly in prayer. All of them received the Holy Spirit with a living flame. They were filled with the Spirit and spoke about a dozen foreign languages. What had happened at the tower of Babel (Genesis 11 :8-9) was reversed through the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ at Pentecost as the Spirit of God united again the human race into one Body. Thus, the consequences of the fall were finally overcome at Pentecost.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD LIBERATES THE CHURCH FROM DISCRIMINATION: Filled with the Spirit of God, Apostle Peter delivered the most powerful sermon of his life. He quoted Joel 2:28-32 (Acts 2: 17-20) which declares the liberty that the Lord gives to the entire Body of Christ in order to fulfil God's plan on the earth. In the Old covenant period the Holy Spirit was extended to selected individuals to perform designated tasks such as Prophet, Priest, King, Judge, etc. However, in the New Covenant God will pour out His Spirit upon people from all ethnic backgrounds and all believers in Christ will experience the indwelling of the presence of the Holy Spirit. They are enabled to lead a Spirit-filled life. In view of this the Body of Christ will be liberated from all forms of inequalities and discrimination such as gender, race, caste, class and rank.
Conclusion: Thus, the often neglected person of the Trinity-the Holy Spirit is fully God, as the Father and the Son. Wherever the Spirit of God is there is liberty. We need to know Him and cooperate with Him in effective life and service for the Lord Jesus Christ, experiencing the freedom as His children. May the Lord grant that we may ever hold fast the unity which the Spirit gives, and living in His power, may we continue to be His witnesses to all people in the family, Church and society, thus impacting nations for the Lord Jesus Christ. May we sing/read this hymn prayerfully:
1. Breathe on me, Breath of God, Fill me with life anew, that I may love what Thou dost love, and do what Thou wouldst do.
2. Breathe on me, Breath of God, until my heart is pure, until with Thee I will Thy will, to do and to endure.
3. Breathe on me, Breath of God, till I am wholly Thine, till all this earthly part of me Glows with Thy fire divine.
4. Breathe on me, Breath of God, So shall I never die, but live with
Thee the perfect life of Thine eternity. (Edwin Hatch, 1835-1889 & Robert Jackson, 1842-1914)