In His ministry, Jesus was anointed by the Spirit. Luke 3: 21-22 tells us, “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: 'You are my Son, whom I love, with You I am well pleased.'"
Jesus was then driven into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted. "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil” (Luke 4:1).
He returned to His ministry in the power of the Spirit. “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised Him” (Luke 4:14-15).
His miracles were wrought by the same Spirit. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor” (Luke 4: 18-19).
He passed through the mystery of His death, and on the morning of His resurrection He took up His life again by the power of the Spirit. He returned to human consciousness and stayed for forty days with His disciples. “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age'” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Luke tells us that Jesus instructed them about the Holy Spirit long before the Spirit was poured out on them. "Jesus said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you; everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.'Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, 'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high'” (Luke 24:44-49).
We see that from the very beginning the life of Jesus WAS life IN THE SPIRIT. We read that, “In Him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).
As Christ followers, the life we live is lived in the power of the Spirit of God. It is by His grace that we live and move and have our being. Can you imagine how terrible it is to take this incredible gift of life and use it in ways that hinder God's kingdom; in ways that block His will; in ways that insult His love and hinder His purpose?
When we are born again by the Spirit of God we do not become something other than ourselves. Through our second birth, through being born again, we become ourselves. We come to ourselves. We discover our God-given destiny.
The terms Jesus lays out are hard, but necessary. Before He can baptize a person with the Spirit of Life, that person must consent to die. In other words, we must give up our right to ourselves. And then what? We find the life that we lost. Jesus explained it when He said, “He that finds his own life shall lose it; and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). The life that is found is my own life in which Jesus Christ has been crowned Lord of all. Every area of my life will only find full, complete, and beautiful expression by, in, and through Him!
The Spirit of Life takes possession of us as we place our faith in Jesus. He fulfills God's meaning and purpose for us. May we yield ourselves completely to Him so that His plans for us will be completed. May we be people who are filled with Life and Light and are baptized with power. May we be people who live to God's honor and glory. May we be people whose lives demonstrate for all to see just how clear and open, how generous, how abundant, how courageous, how magnificent, and how vast in range and scope life IN CHRIST really is!