"It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty" (Zech.4:6 NLT).
A six volt battery will never activate machinery that requires 220 or more volts. Neither is our human energy sufficient to fulfill our personal spiritual responsibilities. God knows that. "He understands how weak we are, He knows we are only dust." (Ps.103:14 NLT). "The flesh is weak" (Mt.26:41). "The flesh profiteth nothing" (Jn.6:63). "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of" (Mt. 6:8).
Jesus surprised His disciples with: --"It is actually best for you that I go away, because if I don't, the Counselor won't come...I will send Him to you" (Jn.16:7). At first they didn't understand. Jesus made it clear, that to be able to defeat the devil and fulfill God's will, they needed more power than what they possessed. He promised them: "When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power" (Acts 1:8). He emphasized: "I will send the Holy Spirit, just as I promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven" (Lk. 24: NLT). He stressed the importance of the power of the Spirit in the believer's life.
I. Who is the Holy Spirit?
- He is God, one of the Three Persons of the Godhead. "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one" (1 Jn.5:7). (See Mt.28:19; Jn.14:26; 15:26; 2 Co.13:14; 1 Pe.1:2). When the Spirit works, it is God who is working!
- Jesus describes the Spirit's ministry: He Comforts Jn.14:16. He is the Counselor- Advocate (14:16 NLT), and the Promoter of Truth (14:17; 15:26). He ever abides with us (14:16,17). He is the divine Instructor (14:26) . He testifies of Christ (Jn.15:26). He convicts of sin and emphasizes God's righteousness(16:8). He glorifies Jesus, (16:14) and communicates Christ's Word to us (16:14,15)
- The Spirit's Power and Authority demonstrated:
- His appearance at the chaotic scene of earth's darkness and disarray, described in (Gen.1:2), brought a spectacular change of light, beauty and order to our planet.
- His breath gave Adam and all of humanity a "living soul" (Gen.2:7).
- He imparts life to all of creation (Jn.6:63; 2 Co.3:6).
- He empowered Jesus' earthly ministry (Lk.4:,14).
- He raised Christ from the dead (Rom.8:11; I Pe.3:18).
- His anointing gave authority, ability, power, boldness and miraculous success to such as: Moses, Samson, Gideon, David, the prophets, disciples of Jesus, and to a host of others. The promise of the Holy Spirit is for "as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39). This means, He still anoints with His Holy Spirit.
II. Christ's intense desire for the Spirit to abide in His followers.
- I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever" (Jn.14:16). "He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (vs.17). "The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name" (vs.26). "When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father...He shall testify of Me" (Jn.15:26). His repeated words, "I will send Him to you," (Jn.16:7), clearly indicates Jesus wants to fill our need for the Holy Spirit.
- The believer is actually "the temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Cor.6:16). The Spirit abides within us. It is mind boggling to even imagine that God lives in us. But Jesus promised, "He will be in you" (Jn/14:17). We must make every effort to give Him honor, worship, adoration and obedience. But oh, how often we have disappointed Him! Forgive us, Lord!
- The Spirit is the Agent of our salvation. On believing in Christ, it is the Holy Spirit who validates the "New birth" (Jn.3:3-8). "The Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God's children" (Rom. 8:16 NLT). "God chose you...to experience salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy" (2 Thes.2:13 NLT).
- The Spirit is our Source of spiritual power. The baptism in the Holy Spirit helps us mature in God, produce the "fruit of the Spirit," (Gal. 5:22), develop "gifts of the Spirit," (1 Cor. 12:5-11), become strong enough to work and witness for Christ, and to live a life that glorifies God.
III. Maintaining the Power of the Spirit in our lives
- "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph.5:18). The verse actually means - keep being filled. It's not a one time experience, but a daily refill, a recharge of our spiritual battery by perpetually coming to the Source of strength. (See Mat. 5:6).
- "Walk in the Spirit" (Gal.5:16). This calls for constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and being aware of His presence with us at all times. He is a Person. He will talk to you. Allow yourself to "Be led of the Spirit" (Gal.5:18). This calls for submission to His directions, to His will. We must permit Him to direct our lives. "Live in the Spirit" (Gal.5:25).
- Be seriously concerned about manifesting the "fruit of the Spirit...love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance" (Gal.5:22). This "fruit" is a portrait of Jesus, depicting His character. Paul was eager to "Know...the power of His resurrection" (Phil. 3:10). That "power" is the same Holy Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead. (Rom.8:11). His power will help pattern and develop our lives after Christ.
- "Covet earnestly the...gifts" (1 Cor.12:31). Believers should earnestly desire to be used of God for His glory. We may not have outstanding talents, but by His Spirit, God will manifest Himself miraculously through any person whose heart is open and willing to serve the Lord for His glory.
- "The people who do know their God shall be strong and do exploits" (Dan.11:32). The Holy Spirit will help us to Know our God. Let's keep coming to Him daily to "Be filled." It's not an option; it's a must. Without Him we fail. With Him -- it's victory!
A translation of "Fred's Epistle to the Ukrainians."