The Fundamental Truth of the Christian Faith

June 3, 2019

Acts 1:1-5 (NIV)

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. 


E. Stanley Jones, the great Methodist Missionary to India said it best:

“Unless the Holy Spirit fills, the human spirit fails.”

I consider this to be the fundamental truth of the Christian faith.

It makes sense. Remember in Genesis 2, after God fashioned us from the dust of the earth he breathed into us the breath of life. We aren’t talking here about a breath of oxygen. This is about the gift of eternal life, undying life—the very life of God. Of all the loss that occurred because of our disobedience, this loss of the breath of God, eternal life, was the greatest. Sin and death were never the intended outcome for the world. God wills just the opposite: love and life.

This is precisely who the Holy Spirit is—the personal presence and power of extravagant Love and eternal Life.

“Unless the Holy Spirit fills, the human spirit fails.”

Imagine if someone told you, “In a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” What would you do? I would raise the level of my readiness and expectation.

There remains far more life available to us than we presently know. Let’s pursue this Life with all we have. That’s what it means to follow Jesus.

Soon we will be observing the day of Pentecost, the day the Holy Spirit baptized the Apostles and created the Church. It all started for us that day. This Life-Gift of the Holy Spirit is the very meaning of Life. Life on Life on Life.

Who doesn’t want that?

Our simple prayer going forward: COME HOLY SPIRIT!


On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, where would you place your understanding of the Holy Spirit? Where would you place your experience of the Holy Spirit? Which ranks higher? What is the gap between them? What it might mean to move toward closing that gap?

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt

P.S. Omar did a great job with his reflections on the smaller letters over the last few weeks. It sounds like you appreciated them as much as I did. A book called Between You and Me containing these writings is headed into production and now accepting pre-orders. Get yours here and we’ll ship it to you this fall.

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

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