The Spirit of the Lord is on Me

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Luke 4:16-30 The fact that Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue would not have struck those present as unusual. What was remarkable were his next words: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (v. 21b, rsv). Jesus, a young man familiar to all of them, was claiming that the Spirit of the Lord was going to work in a unique way through him to bring about the conditions Isaiah foretold. The reaction of the …

In Power and in the Holy Spirit

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 Paul gives all the credit to the Holy Spirit for his ministry in Thessalonica. Paul says, “Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (v. 5, rsv). There is a false modesty prevalent in the church today that would take issue with Paul’s confident rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. My wife and I are as confident as Paul …

The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : 2 Corinthians 13:5-14 We don’t have much trouble relating grace to our Lord Jesus Christ. Or love to God our Father. But what does fellowship, koinonia, have to do with the Holy Spirit? Imagine for a moment that you and your family, for whatever reason, are thinking of leaving your congregation. Suddenly you think, “What about that brother or sister who prayed with us when we were in crisis? That friend who came up with money when our …

The Gift of Prophecy

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 In the twelfth chapter the Apostle Paul told the church that prophecy is one of the “gifts of the Spirit” (v. 10). Here in Chapter 14 he elaborates on that. In the Old Testament the prophets were the people God used to call his people back to the foundation of their faith when they had strayed from it. New Testament prophecy is similar. Prophets are gifted by the Spirit not only to recognize when the …

Even Our Prayers Are Spirit Inspired

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : 2 Samuel 23:1-7 Did you ever hear someone preach the gospel whom you knew was inspired by the Holy Spirit? And did you ever hear anybody whom you knew was equally inspired pray with power? The Psalms are the response of David, a believing, born-again child of God. They testify to the saving, liberating work of God. We love to claim the words of the Psalms as our own response to God. But David is sharing something very …

Inner Strength

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Ephesians 2:14-21 I sat through two hours of television last night watching the story of the “Battle of Britain” in 1940. Hitler had forced every British soldier off the continent. He was pounding the island with his Luftwaffe (air force). The U.S.A. and Canada declined to send aid. Churchill stood alone in defiance of the evil hordes. Lord Halifax of Canada counseled “accommodation.” Churchill refused. He said, “We will fight on the beaches. We will fight in the …