It is doubtful most of us understand how much God wants our cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Before I say more about this subject, let’s back up and take a look at a few statements Jesus made during His ministry that built in the disciples an expectation of greater things than what they were seeing. Nathanael wondered how it was that Jesus saw him before Philip called him. “Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these”” (John 1:50). This was followed by many miracles, both in public and private.
Something happened at the end of Jesus’ ministry that focused their attention on what would happen after He left this world and returned to the Father. In the context of instructing the disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, ““Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (14:12). What were these “greater works” going to be?
At the end of John 15, Jesus makes a very insightful statement that helps understand these “greater works”. “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27). While the disciples carried on the work of healing after the Holy Spirit came, there was a “greater work” they would do in being a witness of the kingdom and gospel of grace that saves the souls of people. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Healing is temporal – for a limited time, until physical death comes. Salvation of soul is eternal. That perspective helps us understand what Jesus meant by “greater works”.
“So those who received his [Peter’s] word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). THAT IS A “GREATER WORK” WHICH IMPACTS ETERNITY! This leads into my subject tomorrow--How do we cooperate with the Holy Spirit?
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