June 5 I Sunday
2 Chronicles 23-24
“When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit…” —Ephesians 1:13
What comes to our mind when we see the word “church”? Do we think of a building with a steeple on the end of it that is closed for six days of the week? Or is it the plural form for a group of Christians? Like a group of cows is a herd, is a group of Christians a church then? The New Testament’s definition of “church” is more profound. Paul tells us, “Now you are the body of Christ…” (1 Corinthians 12:27). In other words, he says the Church is the body of Christ.
How? After Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised to life on the third day, he spent 40 days in His post-resurrection body with His disciples. Then, He ascended to His father, but before He did that, He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem. Ten days later, on the Day of Pentecost, while 120 of His disciples were gathered, God poured out His Holy Spirit to indwell them. Now, of course, the Holy Spirit had been active before then; He is equally God with the Father and with the Son, and has been eternally in existence. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is active and works in all kinds of ways, but this is something new that was happening.
When God poured out the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and came to indwell permanently the lives of the disciples, two things happened. Firstly, the disciples received the Spirit, as Acts 2:4 tells us: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Secondly, Jesus Christ received a new body. For 33 years Jesus had lived on earth in a single human body. He had spoken with that body, worked with that body, been active in that body. But now, He has been given a new body, as Paul tells us, “For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13). In other words, the disciples received the life of the Spirit and, by receiving that life, they were made part of the body of Christ.
Altogether, on the Day of Pentecost, the disciples, who by nature were spiritually dead, became inhabited by the life of God, the Spirit of God. At the same time, Christ received a new body—men, women, boys and girls who are incorporated into Him, and now, become His means of expressing Himself and doing His work. As Christians, we—the Church—are the body of Christ.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for Your Spirit that dwells in me when I became Your disciple. Work in and through me for Your kingdom. Amen!