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April 1 – Introduction to the Holy Spirit

I Corinthians 12:3 tells us that “no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit.” This means that if you have sincerely professed your faith in Christ, this can only be because the Holy Spirit has moved you to do so. In fact, the Holy Spirit has made His home in you. You are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

But, who is the Holy Spirit and what else does He do? I recently heard a pastor say, “Many people see the Father as the angry God, the Son as the loving God, and the Holy Spirit as the weird God.” Such a sentiment is sadly mistaken and contrary to what God’s Word teaches. But still, the Holy Spirit can be difficult to grasp. We understand “fatherhood” and are familiar with “sonship.” But “Spirit” or “Ghost” are concepts that are harder for us to fathom.

And so this month we will focus on the Holy Spirit. We’ll see that He was sent by the Father and the Son at Pentecost; that He is true and eternal God; that He is one of the three persons of the trinity; and that He is essential for our salvation. But we’ll also see that He is essential for our sanctification and we will then focus on what Paul calls, “the Fruit of the Spirit.

No April fools

“Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’”” – Matthew 28:13 

Scripture reading: Matthew 28:11-15

My calendar doesn’t acknowledge it, but today is April Fools’ Day. There doesn’t seem to be agreement on how this all got started, but it has become a day when you can do pranks, practical jokes and hoaxes on others and then call out, “April Fools.” It’s usually quite innocent and all involved, the prankster and the pranked, have a good laugh.

It’s rare, though, that April Fools’ Day is the day after Easter, and there couldn’t be a greater contrast. And yet, when the guards told the chief priests about the resurrection of Jesus, these spiritual leaders decided to play a hoax on the people. They instructed the guards to say that the disciples came at night and stole the body. They instructed the guards to tell a lie.

Yes, yesterday was Resurrection Sunday. After His death and burial, on Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the grave and conquered death. This really happened. It was no hoax. Jesus’ body was not stolen. In I Corinthians 15, Paul makes the point that Christ’s resurrection was not a hoax. It was prophesied in the Old Testament, He was seen alive by the disciples, by 500 other people, and then by Paul himself. He even goes on to say, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins;” and that “we are of all people most to be pitied.” (vv. 17-19)

But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead!! This is no April Fools.

Suggestions for Prayer

Give thanks that God’s plan of salvation is accomplished because of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection.

Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen was born and raised in California and has been an ordained minister of the Gospel for nearly 33 years. He is now serving as pastor of Coram Deo Reformation Church (URC) near Denver, Colorado. He is also the General Editor of the Trinity Psalter Hymnal. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.

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"Be Fruitful and Multiply" tour comes to Albertan April 19-22

Families are having fewer babies, and the world’s population is expected to peak and then decline later this century. The world isn’t prepared for the impact that this is going to have. However, what may be the greatest challenge of this century can also be a huge opportunity for the Church to shine…. if we embrace the blessing of children, and are prepared to raise them faithfully.

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WHO IS THIS FOR?

Ages 16-116, single or married, children or no children, these presentations are suitable for all mature Christians.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Edmonton: April 19 at 7:30 pm at Immanuel Canadian Reformed Church

Barhead: April 20 at 7:30 pm at Emmanuel United Reformed Church

Ponoka: April 22 at 7:30 pm at Parkland Reformed Church

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