The Coming of the Spirit.

In the second chapter of Acts, the Apostle Peter, through the Holy Spirit, brings before us the witness of the glorification of Jesus; witnessing also that He is in the Father; we in Him; and He in us. What a joy to our hearts to know that we have been brought into the circle of divine affections, where we can be at home with the Father and the Son. How this should produce in us desires and exercises that we might be maintained in moral suitability to the place God has given us, so that we might be able to contemplate Him in the rich enjoyment of that love with which He was ever loved.

By the Spirit there has been formed a habitation where God can dwell; the material being prepared for it by the ministry of the Lord Jesus, when here on earth. Although David was not allowed to build God's house, he had the privilege of preparing the material for it, and of instructing Solomon regarding it. David could say, "In my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lord… ." (1 Chr. 22:14); "I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God" (1 Chr. 29:2); and "Because I have set my affection to the house of my God. … I have prepared for the holy house" (1 Chr. 29:3). As the true David and the true Solomon, the Lord Jesus both prepares and builds. From the house goes forth God's testimony to man, with the injunction, "Today, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts."

What a powerful testimony sounded forth; all heard, in their own tongues, the wonderful works of God. How great the contrast to Babel, where God confounded the language of men to hinder them from their purpose, so that He might scatter them. Now God meets them with a rich unfolding of His love and grace, so that they might be gathered together in one in the bonds of divine love. And what a contrast to Sinai! There, three thousand perish when the Law is given: here, three thousand are saved when the Spirit is given. We do well to marvel at the rich mercy and love of God, as we see Him, through the testimony that goes forth from His house, securing man for His own pleasure, that He might give effect to His purpose.

Whenever there is a work of God, the enemy is busy endeavouring to undermine it. And so the mockers say, "These men are full of new wine," but Peter tells how this could not be, and then points them to the Scripture which foretold the effects of the coming of the Holy Spirit, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. … "What the mockers saw came within the scope of the prophecy of Joel. But the Holy Spirit came to indwell and to abide with Christ's own for ever.

Peter brings Christ before his hearers, first from Psalm 16, where His life on earth, His death, and His resurrection are clearly spoken of; then from Psalm 110, where His glory at God's right hand is foretold, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." Concluding, Peter says, "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ." As Lord, He has universal authority, and to Him every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess Him Lord to the glory of God the Father. Connected with His title as Lord is the power to give effect to all He has set Himself to do, in securing all for the glory of God. As Christ, He is the Man of God's pleasure, the One brought up with Him, Who was ever His delight, the centre of His counsels. And as the Christ He will give effect to all that has been spoken of Israel's Messiah, and will fulfil the promises made to Abraham regarding earthly blessing. Of this, one has said, "His Messianic claims, spurned on the part of Israel, founds the glory of God and the blessing of man in His cross. He is raised and seated, crowned with glory and honour. Now our position, portion, glory, and blessing as believers, are found in Israel's rejected King. Christ's new place as risen and glorified determines ours."
R. Duncanson.

Appreciation and Expression of Christ.

My appreciation of Christ up there determines my expression of Christ down here.
J. B. Stoney.