Dr. Peter J. Prime. 

No baby was ever conceived like Him; no child ever grew up like Him; no youth ever matured like Him; no adult ever achieved like Him. Who is He? His name is Jesus. No one was ever tempted like Him; no one ever prayed like Him; no one ever taught like Him; no one ever obeyed like Him. Who is He? None other but Jesus. No one ever healed diseases like Him; no one ever calmed the sea like Him; no one ever fed the crowds like Him; no one ever forgave sins like Him. Who is He? The one and only Jesus. No one ever loved like Him; no one ever lived like Him; no one ever died like Him; and no one was ever resurrected like Him. Who is He? Jesus and Jesus alone. No one ever ascended to heaven like Him; no one will ever judge the world like Him; no one will return to claim His own like Him; no one will ever reign in glory like Him. Who is He? "Sir, thou knowest"; nonetheless, I will tell you over and over again, His name is the one and only Jesus.

What was the central cornerstone on which the whole life and ministry of Jesus was constructed? What made His life so sublime, so divine—the perfect model for all humankind? Does the decisive secret of His life lie in His incarnation? If it were so, no human person could ever successfully follow in His steps, for we are all "shapen in iniquity" and "in sin" did our mothers conceive us (Psalm 51:5). Does the decisive secret lie in His fasting and praying for 40 days? Others beside Him have done similarly and yet, like John the Baptist, one of the tallest of them all, they dared not untie the latchet of His shoes.

Does the decisive secret, then, lie in His knowledge of the Scriptures? There were others not only gifted in the Scriptures but writers themselves, and yet they pale in significance before Him. The list of probable factors that may be identified as the decisive secret of the life of Jesus Christ may go on without end, yet without coming to the real truth. This supreme revelation of Himself only Jesus is qualified to give, and give it He did so very plainly and without fanfare and trumpets that all may understand, and having understood, may follow in His steps.

The decisive secret, which He Himself read from the Scriptures, is this: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." The power of this affirmation is better appreciated when it is viewed within its biblical setting, which is as follows:

"And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. 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. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recover sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4:13-21).

The preceding biblical reference does not merely detail WHAT the essence of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ was and still is all about, but also emphasizes HOW the life and ministry of Christ would both realize their complementary ends. The HOW is nothing less and nothing more than the Holy Spirit.

Accordingly, Jesus Christ's absolutely constant and perfect cooperation with the Holy Spirit, who filled Him without measure (for Cod giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him—John 3:34), constitutes the decisive secret of His perfect life, perfect ministry, and perfect sacrifice. The Scriptures assert:

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from the dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:14).

Thus the two complementary components of Jesus' spotless life and flawless victory are (1) His perfect infilling with the Spirit, and (2) His perfect cooperation wit the Spirit. Iterating His total commitment to the divine will, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work" (John 3:34). "Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).

Accordingly, He was more than delighted to announce in the opening ceremonies of worship on the Sabbath day in the synagogue of Nazareth the prophetic Oracle pertaining to Himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me ..." Consistently His total life and public ministry with His teachings and miracles carried the insignia "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me."

Accordingly, Jesus' Sermon on the Mount did not bear His exclusive stamp, but that of "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." Jesus gave orders to the apostles by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:2). Similarly, His parabolic teaching bore this indelible emblem, as did every miracle. Confirming the Holy Spirit as the divine instrument of His miracles, Jesus declared, "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matthew 12:28).

Finally, His sacrifice, His death and resurrection carried the selfsame stamp—"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God" (Hebrews 9:14). "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" (Romans 8:11). "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me" was indeed the decisive secret of Jesus' totally commanding victory over the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and His simultaneous fulfillment of His substitutionary role and function as the world's Redeemer; and it is likewise our only means of victorious Christian living. Plainly, there is just no other, for all others are empty vanity and a vexation of spirit.

A Christianity without the Spirit of Christ is nothing but a devious satanic device. A Christian without the Heavenly Dove can never enter the portals above. If we are to enter our heavenly homeland, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit, will have to take us there. The way of the Spirit, which is the way of the cross, is the only way that leads toward home, our sweet heavenly home.

This Spirit is readily available to all, for this was one of the principal reasons why Jesus Christ came. Successfully He came to win back for us our supernatural privilege of having the Holy Spirit in us without measure. In this regard, John the Baptist commented, "I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost" (Mark 1:8). Jesus endorsed how available the Holy Spirit is when He declared, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13).

From the womb to the tomb, the Spirit of the Lord was upon Jesus. They never parted company, not even for a fleeting moment; for Jesus to have done so would be to have exposed Himself and His mission to the threat of certain failure. Therefore, Jesus and the Holy Spirit remained inextricably bound together. Never did the Holy Spirit, the symbolic dove that descended from above upon Him, ever desert Him, but rather He saw Him through to a sure and unassailable victory, a victory that is ours to share.

The Holy Spirit is very much available, but it will be given on request, sincere request. Therefore, let us all together, the total leadership and membership alike of this church body, on the threshold of the new millennium, embark on the largest prayer-request program ever undertaken in quest of the most historic movement of the Holy Spirit ever encountered. This movement must equip us and successfully prepare us and our communities for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May each of us, like Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, be able to honestly say from today on, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me."

"Let the Holy Spirit be upon me is my earnest cry, for without the Holy Spirit upon me I dare not live or die. Let me so live that the whole world may see that without a doubt the Holy Spirit is upon me."

This article is excerpted and adapted from the practical resource, The Spirit of the Lord Cod is Upon Me: Introducing Holy Spirit Emphasis Week to Your Congregation by, Dr. Peter J. Prime. The entire book is available for purchase at <www.ministerialassociation.com>.