The Spirit of Life

It is the Spirit of God that imparts life, especially the everlasting life in Jesus of which the gift of the Spirit is the foretaste and guarantee .  In the churches of Galatia, “ false brethren ” were preaching “ another gospel ,” one that pressured Gentile believers into getting circumcised, and otherwise, conforming to some of the regulations of the Mosaic legislation.   But the Apostle Paul would have none of it. He responded with a series of arguments, most importantly, by appealing to the receipt of the gift of the Spirit by the Galatians - [ Mountain Stream - Photo by Luke Vodell on Unsplash ].

Blessing of Abraham

The promise of the Father, the gift of the Spirit, is dispensed by Jesus to believers to bless all the nations in him – Acts 3:25.  After the Day of Pentecost, Peter and John prayed for a man who was “ lame from his mother’s womb ” as he was begging for alms near the Temple. Rather than money, they commanded him to walk “ in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth .” Immediately, he stood up and began to walk, and then was seen and heard “ leaping and praising God ” -[ Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash ].

Promise of the Father

With the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost, the blessings for all nations promised to Abraham have commenced .  The “ promise of the Father ” is the gift of the Spirit that Paul links to the Abrahamic covenant, and its promises find their fulfillment in the new covenant inaugurated by Jesus. The bestowal of the Spirit on the church marks the commencement of the age of fulfillment, and “ in Christ ,” Gentile believers become full heirs of Abraham - [ Photo by Jorge Fern├índez Salas on Unsplash ].

The Kingdom of God

The message of Jesus focused on the “Kingdom of God,” the reign of God that bears little resemblance to the political systems of this age .  When Jesus appeared in Galilee, he began to proclaim the “ Kingdom of God ” – “ Repent, for the kingdom is at hand .” In his ministry, the reign of God began to invade the world. But His realm is of an entirely different nature than the political systems of this world, and on more than one occasion, Christ refused that kind of political power - [ Rome -  Photo by Jace & Afsoon on Unsplash ].

Servant of the King

His disciples are called to lives of self-sacrificial service for others, just as Jesus gave his life a ransom for many – Mark 10:35-45.  After predicting his trial and execution, the disciples jockeyed for position in Christ’s reign over his kingdom.  In words and deeds, he had demonstrated what kingdom citizenship means - self-sacrificial service to others . But as he was approaching Jerusalem and his inevitable death, even his closest followers continued to adhere to a very different vision of the kingdom of God - [ Cross in Storm - Photo by Harley Upton on Unsplash ].

Spirit of Antichrist

The Antichrist is a deceiver bent on destroying the church through deception, apostasy, and, if necessary, persecution .  In many interpretations, the  Antichrist  is a global political leader set on world domination. In the end, this may be the case. However, Jesus and the Apostles expressed far more concern about the many deceivers that would practice their trade within the church . For that matter, in passages about the Antichrist , the focused is on his deceptive activities inside the church - [ Photo by Mark Williams on Unsplash ].