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135. Gospel promise of the Spirit.

Every covenant is founded on promises and sanctified with blood. So is the new covenant in the blood of Jesus founded on promises. Firstly, the promise of the Spirit. Therefore Jesus said: "Do not leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you heard me speak about. For John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."(Acts1:4-5) This promise was first made to Abraham and his "seed" who is Christ. 'The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scriptures does not say "and to seeds", meaning many people but "and to your seed", meaning one person, who is Christ.' (Galatians 3:16) 'It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring (seed) received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through righteousness that comes by faith.' (Romans 4:13) Abraham being the heir of the world, was told the Gospel in advance; that even the Gentiles who are of his faith would be reckoned as his children and that they too will receive the promise of the Spirit to establish God's kingdom on earth. 'The Scriptures foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and announced the Gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.' (Galatians 3:8-9) And in the fullness of time, the "seed" who is Christ, received from the Father the promised Spirit and poured it out on the day of Pentecost. Therefore Peter stood up and addressed the crowd saying: "God has raised Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of that fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear." (Acts 2:33) We who are Gentiles have received the Spirit because 'the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring - not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations."' (Romans 4:16-17) We too were the stars that Abraham was asked to count. "Look up to the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them ... So shall your offspring be." (Genesis 15:5) 'He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.' (Galatians 3:8-9,14) Amen.

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