by the Spirit
…being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water (1Peter 3:18b-20).
(We’re working our way through the Book of 1Peter. Google has a collection of pictures about Jesus preaching to the spirits in prison)
CHRIST WAS "QUICKENED," - made alive by the Spirit. In our text yesterday and today, we read: “being put to death in the flesh but quickened by the Spirit:” This may appear to be a contradiction of Scripture since Jesus said: Therefore, doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18)
THERE IS NO CONTRADICTION in His being raised by the Spirit, and His statement that He could raise Himself from the dead. Even though He had the power to physically resurrect Himself from the dead, He relegated His resurrection to the Holy Spirit. Christ raised Himself from the dead in that he was the executive in charge of His resurrection. Today we have the executive branch of government that oversees or carries out government edicts and programs. A familiar officer in corporations is the CEO: The Chief Executive Officer.
THE TRINITY WAS AT WORK: In creation, in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, and in the salvation of lost men and women. The Trinity is one.
JESUS SAID: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44) Here, the Father is pictured as drawing those who come to Christ.
IN NOAH'S DAY, GOD, THE FATHER is at work through His Spirit: And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. (Gen 6:3)
IN CREATION: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:… (Genesis 1:26) Who is “us?” It is the Godhead, the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. John says that Jesus participated in the creation: All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:3)
PETER TELLS US THAT CHRIST PREACHED TO THE SPIRITS IN THE PRISON of the damned, BY THE SPIRIT. It was not preaching as we know it today but was an announcement, a confirmation that their doom was sealed.
EVERYTHING JESUS DID IN HIS MINISTRY was in the power of the Holy Spirit. That is easy to overlook. He was God in the flesh, the God-man, but he did not do his work in the power of the God-man. He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness (Luke.4:1) to be tempted by the devil and every step thereafter it was by the power of the Spirit.
HE DID ALL HIS MIRACLES IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. It is equally true that the only thing we are doing for God that’s of any value, will be by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. We are not more interested in God’s work than He is. Salvation is of the Lord. We get to help Him a bit.
NOAH PREACHED IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT to the rebels of his day. And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years (Genesis 6:3).
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
McGee tells us: “For 120 years Noah had preached the Word of God. He saved his family but no one else. It was the Spirit of Christ who spoke through Noah in Noah's day. In Christ's day, those who rejected Noah's message were in prison. The thought is that Christ's death meant nothing to them just as it means nothing to a great many people today who, as a result, will also come into judgment.” (McGee)
JESUS PREACHED TO TWO KINDS OF SPIRITS. First, it was to demon spirits and He was not preaching for their conversion. He was making an announcement to them that he had triumphed over them and had the keys to death and hell (Rev.1:18). Secondly, human spirits. Whatever preaching he was doing to the human rebel souls was not for their conversion but to confirm the message of Noah whom they had rejected with derision and contempt. This verse gives a little more on that:
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (2Peter 2:4)
It is fashionable today to scoff at the message of salvation through Christ’s death on the cross just as it was fashionable to mock Noah, “the old fool” who was building a boat on dry land and was talking about rain that had never happened before. Christ has never come to set up a political kingdom on the throne of David in Jerusalem to reign over the earth, but, he is coming to do just that.
THE SPIRIT THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD will Raise God’s People from the Dead. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9b) But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17). Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MARCH 7, 2018 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. Deuteronomy 3-4 P.M. Mark 11:20-33
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verses to Memorize:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
Song for Today:
I’ll Meet You In the Morning (3:31) (Gaither Group)
(One of my mother’s favorites.)
(I could use some of Guy Penrod’s hair.)
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