“With”—or “In” and “On”

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you.—Acts 1:8

The Holy Spirit is a resident counselor. The Greek word here is interesting: parakletos—para (beside), kletos (call)—one who is called alongside to help. There isn’t a single thing needed in the Christian life that He isn’t there to provide. Note the difference in the prepositions that are found in these passages: “He remains with you and will be in you” (Jn 14:17) and “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you” (Ac 1:8). Jesus said that the Spirit was “with” them, but later would be “in” them and “on” them. I take these prepositions to mean that the Holy Spirit was “with” them prior to Pentecost but was “in” them and “on” them subsequent to Pentecost. Prior to Pentecost their lives lacked character and consistency. They cast out devils, but, on other occasions, they seemed to be somewhat influenced by them.

Simon Peter is a case in point (Mt 16:23). The disciples were loud in their assertions of loyalty and loud in their blunderings and misunderstandings. The Spirit was most certainly “with” them—helping, encouraging, and revealing—but He was most certainly not “in” them or “on” them. When the Spirit came “in” and “on” them at a later date, then fitful living became faithful living; erratic loyalty became everlasting loyalty.

Today, in the lives of many Christians, the Holy Spirit seems to be working on the outside rather than on the inside. Actually, of course, the Holy Spirit is resident “in” every Christian, but He wants to be more than just resident—He wants also to be president! How is it in your life and experience? Is the Spirit a passing guest or a permanent guest?

Prayer

God, forgive me for not utilizing the resources of the Holy Spirit You have placed within me. Help me see that the Spirit within makes for adequacy without if I avail myself of Him. Amen.

Further Study

1Co 2; Neh 9:20; Lk 12:12; 1Jn 2:27

What has God revealed to us by His Spirit?

What does the Holy Spirit bring to us?

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