faced as He was with a groaning nation, the malice of selfish rulers, and the cruel tyranny of Satan their oppressor. For eighteen years He knocked, and knocked, and knocked; until at length the door was opened and the Spirit descended upon Him with all the mighty power of God, and He went forth in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14) to do His Father's will.
To those who, like John Baptist (Matt. 11:2-6), or the leaders of the Jews (John 5), doubted His message, He appealed to the miraculous works which accompanied it. And He told His disciples that they too would need the same attestation in their world-wide ministry, and warned them not to move till they had received it. God's words need the witness of His acts (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 1:4-8), and Our Lord spoke of His followers doing even greater works than He had done Himself (John 14:12). To put it another way Our Lord looked forward to doing even greater things in His new Body, His Church, than He had done in His Galilean body of flesh and blood. The Church as a whole is now Christ's Universal Body, and each local Church is a local Body to meet local needs (Eph. 5:22-32; 1 Cor. 12:12-31).
It is against this background that we turn to the consideration of the Gifts of the Spirit. They are the essential means whereby Our Lord can prolong His earthly ministry, cut short by His crucifixion, in His new and splendid Body of countless members. It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the only real reason for seeking the Baptism in the Holy Ghost is to enable Our Lord