“Vindicated in the Spirit”

Tall claims!

Jesus made some outstanding (or as His detractors would have said, “outrageous”) claims for Himself during His ministry.

He claimed to be divine, to fulfill Old Testament prophecy, to be the only way to God, to have the authority to forgive sins, to be without sin, to raise the dead someday, and to judge the world.

Either these claims are true or they are false.

He was crucified for making such claims as these.

The Vindicator

How could He be vindicated of the slanders His enemies made against Him—that He was a deceiver, a blasphemer, in league with Satan, a mere man, a glutton and a drunkard?

Who would vindicate the one who was so unjustly arrested, mocked, slapped, spat upon, reviled, and executed as a criminal?

Jesus, Paul said, was “vindicated in the Spirit” (1 Timothy 3:16). How?

The Spirit enabled the prophets to predict Jesus’ death and glorification (1 Peter 1:10-12).

The Spirit descended on Him at His baptism (John 1:31-34; Matthew 12:18).

The Spirit empowered Him to preach and work miracles (Luke 4:14-21; Matthew 12:28). These miracles proved His claims (Luke 5:24; John 3:1-2; 5:36; 10:25, 38).

The Spirit powerfully endowed the apostles on the Day of Pentecost, as Jesus had predicted—thus proving the message Peter proclaimed, that Jesus is indeed “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:1-4, 33, 36).

Jesus now sits enthroned beside the Father—supremely victorious, fully vindicated.

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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What Made the Difference?

Jesus chose them???

“And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach . . .” (Mark 3:14).

So ordinary they were, so slow to understand, vying with one another for prominence.

Jesus rebuked their little faith (Matthew 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20).

At His arrest they all fled. Peter denied he knew Him.

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How it all turned out

But after Jesus’ ascension, they did well—surprisingly well!

How so?

Witnessing the resurrected Christ transformed them into men of strong faith, united with one another, willing to suffer for His name.

The Holy Spirit empowered them to deliver His message boldly and faithfully (Matthew 10:17-20; John 14:26; 16:12-15; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4).

Even today, how God delights to equip ordinary people for extraordinary tasks—to His glory!

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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