Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Holy Spirit #03

"The Power of the Holy Spirit."
Believers are powerless and ineffective in their daily lives because they do not partake of the vast storehouse of power that is available to them in the person of the Holy Spirit. As a result, they depend upon personality traits and psychological manipulations rather than the power of God. They forget that God says in Zechariah 4:6: . . . Not by [human] might, nor by [human] power, but by my spirit . . . . Man, with all of his reliance on tricks, gimmicks, and manifold activities, could accomplish so much more if God, the Holy Spirit, originated, motivated, and activated the program. 

He alone supplies the power needed by powerless human beings.

He alone is the match to ignite the fire, the fuel to propel the motor.

A person cannot move without His assistance. Acts 1:8 states: . . . ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you . . . .

Do you have this power?

Or are you still serving God in the energy of the flesh?

Just as there is a difference in cultivating a field with a shovel or with a tractor, so there is a mighty difference in one's service when empowered by the all-powerful Holy Spirit. May I also say that there is no power shortage in God's Spirit because:

The Holy Spirit is Omnipotent
The Holy Spirit manifested this power on numerous occasions:

At creation, this blessed Spirit was active because the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2). Job 26:13 states: By his spirit [God] hath garnished the heavens . . . . Again, Psalm 104:30 declares that mankind, animals, birds of the air, fish of the sea and all other created objects came because thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created....

At the conception and birth of Christ, the Holy Spirit again displayed His power. The Bible teaches that Christ was an unembodied spirit in eternity past, for He was in the form of God (Philippians 2:6), and God is a Spirit (John 4:24). However, one of the members of the Trinity had to become embodied because God had decreed in the councils of eternity that the blood . . . maketh an atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11). Animal blood was only an inadequate temporary covering looking toward the planned, prepared, permanent sacrifice (I Peter 1:20). This eternal offering also had to be a sacrifice of blood. 

Man's blood was already poisoned through Adam's transgression (Romans 5:12). 

Therefore, since animal blood was inadequate and man's blood was tainted, the only solution was that a member of the Godhead should take a body containing blood. However, if this One were to come into the world through natural generation, the seed of a man deposited into the womb of a woman, the tainted blood would then be passed on to the newborn Christ. 

Thus God planned and prepared a body for His Son (Hebrews 10:5), which the Holy Spirit miraculously placed in the womb of the virgin, and the result was the incarnation -God in the flesh, with sinless blood. That is why I Peter 1:19 declares that we are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Perhaps this information may help some seeking soul see why the entire program of redemption and salvation stands or falls upon the foundation of the virgin birth.

The blessed, all-powerful Holy Spirit was the agent in carrying out this miracle of the ages. The story is unfolded in Luke chapter one. The angel appears to Mary and says: . . . thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. Mary, in her astonished frame of mind, replies: "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" The word know in Scripture often refers to the sex act. 

For instance, Genesis 4:1 says: And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived . . . . So Mary is actually saying, "How shall I have a child when I have never known a man intimately?" The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (verse 35). Oh, blessed be the wonder-working, omnipotent Holy Spirit who took the body and blood prepared by the Father and placed the Christ - the sent One - into the womb of the pure virgin.

Again, notice the power of the Holy Spirit in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. First Peter 3:18 declares: 

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened [made alive] by the Spirit. Romans 8:11 also states: 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.

We have thus far witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit in the work of creation, incarnation, and resurrection. We have discussed the unlimited power of the Holy Spirit for one primary reason: to show every child of God that this power is available in each believer's life.

Holy Spirit Power for Believers

. . . ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you . . . (Acts 1:8). This power is released in a Christian as the indwelling Holy Spirit is allowed to take full control. 
Do not misunderstand - every saved person has this Holy Spirit indwelling him . . . [we] have been all made to drink into one Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13). All means ALL. In fact, it is correct to say that it is impossible to be a child of God if one does not have the Holy Spirit, for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Romans 8:9). Romans 5:5 says: . . . the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 


A select few? 


. . . the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (I Corinthians 12:7). One cannot have the manifestation of the Spirit without having Him, and this manifestation is given to every man who says: Jesus is the Lord (verse 3).

While it is true that every believer has the Holy Spirit (and has all of Him, for He does not enter in percentage portions), this does not guarantee that He has all of us. Therefore, subsequent to salvation, every believer needs the filling of the Spirit (also see Chapter 4). Ephesians 5:18,19 says:. . . be filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. One evidence of the filling, then, is a heart overflowing with spiritual songs.

Another evidence is Holy Spirit power for witnessing . . . ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: [the result:] and ye shall be witnesses unto me. . . (Acts 1:8). Seek the power the apostles had to witness as they bore ridicule, hatred, persecution, and death for the Lord Jesus Christ.

May I go one step further?

I care not what you call your experience with the Holy Spirit. 

However, do not pray for "the fulness of the Holy Ghost" unless you are willing to become hated and even slaughtered for the name of Jesus. This is where the power of the Holy Spirit usually leads the sold out, dedicated, Spirit-filled Christian. 

Let's look at the Book of Acts for a moment and see.

Peter, after being filled with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4 (not baptized, which takes place at salvation, but filled, which is subsequent to salvation), becomes a power-laden giant for God. Earlier in his life - in fact, only 7 weeks earlier - he sat by a fire denying the Lord (Matthew 26). At that point in his life, he was a powerless witness. After he allowed the Holy Spirit to take full control and possession of his body, he became a one-man army for the Saviour. 

Please notice that the texts to be quoted mention "boldness" and "power" as the results of the filling of the Spirit. These two attributes, which the indwelling Spirit generates in the believer when He is allowed to have control, cannot be easily duplicated "in the flesh." "Boldness" and "power" in the face of persecution and death can only be produced by the blessed Spirit of God.

The Boldness of Peter

First, let's consider the boldness of the Apostle Peter. Acts 4 states: Then Peter, filled [filled - not baptized, but filled] with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel . . . Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This [Christ] is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (verses 8, 10-12). Verse 13 states that these people saw the BOLDNESS of Peter and John. Imagine the high priest and his relatives and a great multitude of those who had put Christ to death gathered together as Peter denounces their sin publicly and declares that this Christ they killed is the only way of salvation! It takes Holy Spirit boldness to be uncompromising.

Are you seeking the fulness of the Holy Ghost for the same reason or because it is the popular thing to do?

This same crowd hated Peter's message and threatened Peter and John in verses 18-20: And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 

For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

That is boldness, my brother!

Did they quit? No! 

Acts 4:33 states: . . . with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. In Acts 5:40-42 they are beaten for the sweet name of Jesus and guess what?. . . they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Did it stop them?

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. The only thing that stopped these Spirit-filled warriors was death. Beloved, to be filled with the Spirit is to die daily (Luke 9:23).

The Power of Paul

In Acts 9:17, Paul, too, was filled with the Spirit - not baptized, but filled. He was baptized by the Spirit at salvation, as all believers are (I Corinthians 12:13), and then filled as all believers should be (Ephesians 5:18). This filling prepared him for the Lord's plan: . . . I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake (Acts 9:16). Has anyone ever suffered as much as Jesus or Paul? 

This battle-scarred apostle enumerates his sufferings in II Corinthians 11:23-27: . . . in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Why was he so hated?

Because. . . he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 19:8); because his preaching caused an uproar in the city (Acts 20:1); and because he called sin and sinners by name. In Acts 13:9,10 we see Paul filled - get the exact word -filled with the Spirit, setting his eyes on Elymas the sorcerer and saying: . . . thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? 

A Holy Spirit-filled life denounces sin in an uncompromising way. 

It also often brings death because they beheaded Saint Paul. Stephen also experienced the same in Acts 7:55 when he, being full of the Holy Ghost, BOLDLY exposed sin PUBLICLY and was murdered.

Friend, do you want to be filled with the Spirit? 

Think twice before asking Him to take full control of your life. It may cost you everything you have. However, it will be worth it all when we see Jesus. 

He said in Matthew 5:10-12: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.