When Jesus was about to ascend into Heaven, he promised his disciples the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit represents the spirit of Jesus and of God the father.
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In John 16:4-11, Jesus told his disciples that he would soon go back to his father. They became very sad. Jesus then explained to them that he would not leave them alone. He said he would send them the Holy Spirit who would be their counsellor. The Holy Spirit would teach the world righteousness and condemn evil in the hearts of people.
On Pentecost Day, the Holy Spirit was sent on the twelve apostles. Later, other believers started receiving the spirit because the promise was for all who would believe in Jesus.
The Holy Spirit guided the early disciples in their work of spreading the gospel. The same Holy Spirit is also guiding us today as Christians.
Evidence of the guidance of the spirit of Jesus
- a) The choice of Paul and Barnabas
In the Church at Antioch in Syria, there were prophets and teachers. Paul and Barnabas were among them.
One day, while they were worshipping and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them.’ The work the Holy Spirit said he had called them for was missionary work or evangelism as the messengers of God. She started following them screaming, ‘These are the servants of the Most High God who proclaim to you the way of salvation’.
Paul had to cast out the evil spirit in her and she got converted. She was no longer practicing soothsaying. This is because the evil spirit in her that was helping her in that pagan practice had been cast out.
The owners of the slave girl who were making money out of her soothsaying got angry with Paul and. They took them to the magistrates at a market place and lied that they were disturbing people and teaching them bad things.
The people there at the market place attacked them. The magistrates did not wait to find out the truth. They immediately gave an order that Paul and Silas should be beaten with rods.
Paul and Silas in a market place before the magistrates
After beating them with rods, they bound them and put them in the inner prison with very tight security While they were in the prison bound in chains, the Spirit of Christ in them made them not to be afraid. They were praising and worshipping God and other prisoners listened to them.
As they were singing at midnight, God sent a very strong earthquake that shook the prison house. The fetters they bound Paul and Silas with broke. The prison doors opened but Paul and Silas did not run away. When the prison guard saw that the prison doors were open, he wanted to kill himself because he thought that Paul and Silas had escaped.
He did not want to face the punishment of being killed. As Paul and Silas saw him trying to kill himself, they stopped him and he saw that they did not run away after all having seen all that happened, the prison guard changed. He took Paul and Silas to his house that very night. He washed their wounds and served them food. He was converted with all the members of his family.
While Paul and Silas were in the prison guard’s house, the magistrates sent policemen to tell them that they had been released. Paul said that the magistrates must come and apologise to them for not respecting their rights as Roman citizens. They were punished without being given fair trial.
The magistrates had to come to the prison guard’s house and apologised to them. After that Paul and Silas left Philippi.
Guide to Bible passages
Acts 8; 13:1-3; 16:6-40; Galatians 5:22-23; John 13:25; 14:25; 16:4