Monday after the First Sunday after the Festival of the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 13, 2020 byunder
Scripture: St. John 1:29-34 (NKJV)
1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”
32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”
The Spirit descended upon Jesus according to His human nature. He didn’t need to receive the Spirit according to His divine nature because by virtue of being the Only-Begotten Son of God He already had the Spirit. Christ received this anointing of the Holy Spirit according to His human nature so that all who are baptized into Christ receive the same Spirit.
St. Peter preached at Pentecost after Jesus’ resurrection, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). In Holy Baptism the Triune God forgives sins and bestows eternal salvation. He enters into a covenant of grace with us which He will not revoke (though we can forsake it). He also gives the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit creates faith in our hearts to believe the Gospel because we cannot, by nature, believe God’s Word. The Spirit also dwells in our hearts by faith to lead us into good works, that we may know the things we ought to do, even as He gives us grace and power to do God’s will. Therefore, walk by the Spirit, trusting Christ and seeking His will today.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people who call upon Thee, and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.