The Savior who cried “It is finished!” from the cross has purchased our salvation and accomplished the Father’s will. His atoning work on our behalf is complete, but His mission to gather people from every tribe, tongue, and nation is going forward.
That’s where we come in. Our service to God’s kingdom is an extension of Jesus’ works. It’s something we do with Him, not just something we do for Him. Or better said, it’s what He does through us.
What Jesus Continues to Do
At the beginning of the book of Acts, Luke writes: In my former book… I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach, until the day He was taken up… (Acts 1:1). The “former book” to which Luke refers is his Gospel, in which he recorded all that Jesus did during his earthly incarnation. Luke says that these things were only what Jesus began to do and teach, however. The book of Acts recounts what Jesus continues to do and teach—no longer through His incarnated body, but through His Spirit in the church.
In other words, it’s not that Jesus worked while He was here and now the church works in his absence. Jesus worked then through His bodily incarnation, and He works now through His church. In other words, He is as much at work through you in your city now as He was then in the streets of Jerusalem.
As believers, we possess the same Holy Spirit that Jesus had while on earth. We have access to that same power; we are in communion with the same person! In the Jesus, Continued Bible Study, J. D. Greear and I hope to ignite your passion for the Holy Spirit – knowing His ways, discerning His voice, and joining His mission. This is a eight-week study that looks at how Jesus continues His work today, through ordinary believers like you and me, filled with the all-powerful Spirit of God.
Bible Study and Knowing God
Bible studies fail if, when we close the book, we’ve grown in our knowledge about God but not in our knowledge of God.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been doing Bible studies – all kinds of studies, with all kinds of people, in all kinds of environments. The ones that I remember most are those that helped me study the Scriptures for myself, and in my study of the Scriptures, I encountered and experienced God.
I am praying that Jesus, Continued will be such an experience for those who work through this study. I’m praying that, as people take this journey through the New Testament teaching of the Holy Spirit and His role in the believer’s life, they will see His guiding hand in the past, rely on His power in the present, and be filled with His passion as they spread the news of King Jesus.
When it comes to the mighty rushing wind of God’s gospel blowing through God’s messengers and to all the nations of the world, Jesus says it’s better that we be indwelled by the Spirit than for Jesus to be here physically present with us. We need the Spirit’s power for this task.
The Spirit inside of us is better than Jesus beside us, J.D. Greear says. For now, that’s true. But one day, it won’t be one or the other. We’ll be filled with the Spirit of God and face-to-face with the Savior who sent Him. I can’t wait for that day.
Working on Jesus, Continued has deepened my gratitude for the Spirit’s work in my life, and as to be expected when the Spirit is doing His job, it’s a study that has increased my love for Jesus. I hope it does the same for you.