By Reuben Archer Torrey
Jesus Christ Himself is the one perfect manifestation in history of the complete work of the Holy Spirit in man.
1. Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit. We read in Luke i. 35, R. V., "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee; and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God." As we have already seen, in regeneration the believer is begotten of God, but Jesus Christ was begotten of God in His original generation. He is the only begotten Son of God (John iii. 16). It was entirely by the Spirit's power working in Mary that the Son of God was formed within her. The regenerated man has a carnal nature received from his earthly father and a new nature imparted by God. Jesus Christ had only the one holy nature, that which in man is called the new nature. Nevertheless, He was a real man as He had a human mother.
2. Jesus Christ led a holy and spotless life and offered Himself without spot to God through the working of the Holy Spirit. We read in Heb. ix. 14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." Jesus Christ met and overcame temptations as other men may meet and overcome them, in the power of the Holy Spirit. He was tempted and suffered through temptation (Heb. iii. 18), He was tempted in all points like as we are (Heb. iv. 15), but never once in any way did He yield to temptation. He was tempted entirely apart from sin (Heb. iv. 15), but He won His victories in a way that is open for all of us to win victory, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
3. Jesus Christ was anointed and fitted for service by the Holy Spirit. We read in Acts x. 38, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him." In a prophetic vision of the coming Messiah in the Old Testament we read in Isa. lxi. 1, "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." In Luke's record of the earthly life of our Lord in Luke iv. 14, we read "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about." In a similar way Jesus said of Himself when speaking in the synagogue in Nazareth, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the poor; He hath sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke iv. 18, 19, R. V.). All these passages contain the one lesson, that it was by the especial anointing with the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ was qualified for the service to which God had called Him. As He stood in the Jordan after His baptism, "The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him," and it was then and there that He was anointed with the Holy Spirit, baptized with the Holy Spirit, and equipped for the service that lay before Him. Jesus Christ received His equipment for service in the same way that we receive ours by a definite baptism with the Holy Spirit.
4. Jesus Christ was led by the Holy Spirit in His movements here upon earth. We read in Luke iv. 1, R. V., "And Jesus full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness." Living as a man here upon earth and setting an example for us, each step of His life was under the Holy Spirit's guidance.
5. Jesus Christ was taught by the Spirit who rested upon Him. The Spirit of God was the source of His wisdom in the days of His flesh. In the Old Testament prophecy of the coming Messiah we read in Isa. xi. 2, 3, "And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears." Further on in Isa. xlii. 1, R. V., we read, "Behold My servant, whom I uphold; My chosen in whom My soul delighteth; I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles, etc." Matthew tells us in Matt. xii. 17, 18, that this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.
6. The Holy Spirit abode upon Jesus in all His fullness and the words He spoke in consequence were the very words of God. We read in John iii. 34, R. V., "For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for He giveth not the Spirit by measure."
7. After His resurrection, Jesus Christ gave commandment unto His Apostles whom He had chosen through the Holy Spirit. We read in Acts i. 2, "Until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandment unto the Apostles whom He had chosen." This relates to the time after His resurrection and so we see Jesus still working in the power of the Holy Spirit even after His resurrection from the dead.
8. Jesus Christ wrought His miracles here on earth in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Matt. xii. 28, we read, "I cast out devils by the power of the Spirit of God." It is through the Spirit that miracle working power was given to some in the church after our Lord's departure from this earth (1 Cor. xii. 9, 10), and in the power of the same Spirit, Jesus Christ wrought His miracles.
9. It was by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. We read in Rom. viii. 11, "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."
The same Spirit who is to quicken our mortal bodies and is to raise us up in some future day raised up Jesus.
Several things are plainly evident from this study of the work of the Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ:
First of all, we see the completeness of His humanity. He lived and He thought, He worked, He taught, He conquered sin and won victories for God in the power of that very same Spirit whom it is our privilege also to have.
In the second place, we see our own utter dependence upon the Holy Spirit. If it was in the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, lived and worked, achieved and triumphed, how much more dependent are we upon Him at every turn of life and in every phase of service and every experience of conflict with Satan and sin.
The third thing that is evident is the wondrous world of privilege, blessing and victory and conquest that is open to us. The same Spirit by which Jesus was originally begotten, is at our disposal for us to be begotten again of Him. The same Spirit by which Jesus offered Himself without spot to God is at our disposal that we also may offer ourselves without spot to Him. The same Spirit by which Jesus was anointed for service is at our disposal that we may be anointed for service. The same Spirit who led Jesus Christ in His movements here on earth is ready to lead us to-day. The same Spirit who taught Jesus and imparted to Him wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, and knowledge and the fear of the Lord is here to teach us. Jesus Christ is our pattern (1 John ii. 6), "the first born among many brethren" (Rom. viii. 29). Whatever He realized through the Holy Spirit is for us to realize also to-day.