Holy Spirit And Power
There is a power the Holy Spirit gives to each of us. Stop and think for a moment about what it means to call something “holy.” When God gives us the Holy Spirit what does that mean? The word “holy” means to be separated. There are a lot of other spirits and powers in the world. But God sets those aside and says this is my Holy Spirit and it is totally separate and different than anything else. It’s the same thing when we say we are a holy people or we are Christians. We’re saying that we are set aside, taken out, and separate from everybody else. There may be many different kinds of people but to be a holy person means that you are separated from everybody else even though there may be some semblance in the look and appearance.
2 Corinthians 13:1 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
This is a matter of a fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit. The Jehovah Witnesses believe the Holy Spirit is like electricity. You can’t fellowship with electricity. You can feel its effects and power, but it’s not a person. The Holy Spirit is someone you can know, not just some kind of force. Yet even people who acknowledge that the Jehovah Witnesses are wrong, most still have very little fellowship with the Holy Spirit. A true Christian communicates with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis, and each hour they feel the Holy Spirit working within them. In all the different ways the Spirit can work they have a sense of communion with Him. Even with all the things we have looked at in this whole series about the Holy Spirit, what it comes down to is actual fellowship with the Holy Spirit. All I am giving you is attributes. I am telling you what the Spirit is about, and how He behaves and acts. I’m giving you a small glimpse of it, but that doesn’t mean you know the Holy Spirit. Someone could write to you about my father. He could write in great detail about how my dad would act and talk if you were to meet him. But after you were done reading about my father you would still have to say you don’t know him since you’ve never met him personally. There’s never been any fellowship. You might be able to say, “I feel as if I know you,” because there is a familiarity with him and how he behaves. So in the same way, we can read all about the Holy Spirit and when we meet Him then we can say, “Now I know what you were talking about.” But until we have fellowship with Him, we don’t have anything. All we have at best is head knowledge about the Holy Spirit. We are talking about fellowshipping with the living God fellowshipping with someone who is separate and holy. If we begin to realize this, we would treasure the fellowship that we do have. If we knew how precious and holy it is, we wouldn’t take it so lightly. We wouldn’t spend half of our day doing what we want to do and then all of sudden have it dawn on us, “Hey, I’m not fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit.” We wouldn’t have to ask ourselves, “Where is God in all of this?” because we would value that fellowship above everything else before the day even got started. Even as we got out of bed, we would ask God for His plan for the day.
2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
This series on the Holy Spirit shows the love, grace, and power of God and the fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Right now we don’t see Jesus Christ but we should be filled with the power anyway.
Acts 1:6 So when they met together, they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
This sounds like your typical Sunday school Bible class. Everyone sits down and talks about dates, times, who wrote this letter and what the Greek means, all the while trying to get some kind of head knowledge. We teach our children to memorize certain verses. We sit down, examine, and get all the facts down about God. That’s not what we need to devote ourselves to!
Acts 1:7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”
There are still people trying to find out those times and dates. Verse 8 tells us what is crucial and important. God has a great blessing to bring forth.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The key is that you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. Anything else you do apart from the Holy Spirit has no power in it. Yet many don’t believe it because we continue to live our lives waiting on the Holy Spirit. We continue to hope that maybe some day God can give it to us. Yet Jesus is already willing and wants to pour out His Spirit upon us. At our baptism we received the Holy Spirit. At our commitment to God, He gave it to us.
Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Pentecost has already taken place. The Spirit has been poured out, just as Jesus asked the Father. Now the question we have to ask ourselves is whether or not we have this communion in our hearts with the Holy Spirit. Are we really listening to Him or are we just trying to witness for Jesus Christ but not with the power that should rest upon us? You can tell whether or not a person has that power by how much they treasure communion with the Holy Spirit. When they claim, “I felt the Lord wanting me to do this,” you can sense they are speaking the truth. They are not just mocking and saying the words or going through the motions. They really do have power from heaven. Before we can have fellowship like this, we first have to see how we oppose and even persecute Jesus Christ. We must see that all the acts of power we do in our own strength actually do more harm than good. All of our righteous deeds and works for God are actually persecuting Him if they are not done through fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 26:15 Then I asked, “Who are you, Lord?” “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” the Lord replied.
When we finally get to a place of humility where Jesus Christ confronts us, (and believe me, He has confronted us many times), we just don’t ask the question, “Who are you Lord?” A lot of you think God will some day come to you, when He has come to you a hundred times before. You just never bother to ask Him the question, “Who are you Lord? What are you about?” So you never hear Jesus turn to you with those blessed words, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. The things that you do are opposed to me. Your deeds cause more harm than good.” We never hear those words from the living God.
Acts 26:16-18 Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
If we are not immersed in the power of God and fellowship with Holy Spirit then we are controlled by Satan. Anyone controlled by Satan, of course, is not a child of God. We either have an overwhelming fellowship with Jesus Christ or the evil one works to manipulate our life. If you are in a “neutral stage,” then Satan is setting traps for you at very best. You are not overcoming. There’s no fellowship. Unless fellowship with the Holy Spirit is a prime treasure in your life, you will be trapped in Satan’s hands. There is no other way around it. However, don’t desire fellowship with God just to avoid Satan’s traps. That’s not the kind of relationship God wants to have with you. This is a relationship that values God because He is God. He’s the one we want to fellowship with and love. The scripture says to “open their eyes” so they can see who they really belong to. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit acts in people’s lives just as He did in this scripture with Saul. He opened Paul’s eyes to see who he really had been following. Think about the life of Saul up to this point. He was a religious, righteous man in terms of the law. In fact, he says he was perfect in terms of keeping the law. Yet he thought that all he did was holy and religious, was actually vile and corrupt in God’s sight, but he did not know it. He was completely ignorant to the fact of his true character because he did not have the fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. He reveals to us who we are and who we need to become. Do you have that kind of fellowship? Jesus Christ will open your eyes and turn your darkness to light so you can see. You can walk in the light, but the only way you can do that is by fellowship with the Holy Spirit. What do a lot of people do? They try to walk in the light without the Holy Spirit. Show them the scripture in 1 John and other places that talk about walking in the light and what do they immediately say? “I want to walk in the light.” So they attempt to walk in the light without fellowship with the Holy Spirit who is the very light that we are to walk in. They try to live the Christian life without the very thing that gives them power. It’s like a bird trying to fly without wings.
Acts 26:18 and from the power of Satan to God
Let those who know the Holy Spirit pause and consider what we were before God touched our lives. What held us captive? The lust and the greed of sin. Let’s begin to meditate upon what the Holy Spirit has delivered us from the power of Satan. Think about that, the demons controlled and manipulated your life and any person who doesn’t have the Holy Spirit can be one hundred percent sure that they have demons operating in their life. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus can say with 1 John that the evil one cannot touch us. Oh, he can shoot flaming arrows and send temptations, but he cannot touch those who have the Holy Spirit in them. Those who do not have the Holy Spirit are enslaved to Satan. Now they may be self-righteous like Saul. They may be not enslaved in terms of drugs or all the things the world considers evil, but they are nevertheless controlled by Satan. Jesus Christ told Saul that he persecuted Him as he went about doing righteous things. You don’t have to be a homosexual, drunkard, or junkie in order to do vile things. All you have to do is not have fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 26:18 so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
We do not have the assurance of being delivered from sin and the power of Satan until we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. We cannot rest at all until we know that we have that fellowship with God. That’s the gospel that Paul declared and the good news that was brought to each of us. Anything else is not good news. We will see that clearly in a little bit.
You can hang around church all day long and still have demons in you. You can be near people who are holy and seeking after God and be in church crying out for God and still be controlled by the evil one.
Mark 1:21-22 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out,
This man was in their synagogue. He was attending church and praying with them, yet he was possessed by an evil spirit. So don’t think for a moment that somehow demons are all outside the church. It doesn’t matter where you go to church, you either have the evil one working, manipulating, and controlling your life or you have the Spirit of the living God blessing your life. It is one way or the other.
Mark 1:23-28 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are the Holy One of God” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
Pray that we would never teach like the teachers of the law. We might have all the doctrines correct, can out debate everyone else, and prove from the scriptures every point that we make, but the demons can remain quiet. The sinful, demonic nature within us remains quiet because the teaching of most preachers has no authority and power. It doesn’t come from the Holy Spirit. When people preach the gospel devoid of the Holy Spirit, the demons in people remain silent. Nothing is revealed or brought forth to the light because most preachers are like the teachers of the law. There’s nothing about them that speaks by the power of the Spirit and so all evil can remain quiet. But when Christians speak boldly by the power of the Spirit, many things begin to be revealed.
You will never be able to share the gospel with anyone with the spirit of authority until you have the fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 1:3-6 I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
Now if anybody should be able to say with confidence that he had the Holy Spirit, it would be Timothy. He would be able to say, “Paul of Tarsus who saw Jesus Christ laid His hands on me and I know that I have the Holy Spirit.” But that isn’t enough. You might be able to say you were water baptized, someone prayed over you, or a certain miracle took place, but what does Paul still admonish Timothy to do? He tells Timothy to fan into flame the gift he was given, even though Timothy could say that Paul laid his hands on him. There has to be effort, faith, and zeal. We must fan into flame the gift God has given us so it becomes hotter and hotter until we just overflow with the flame of God. To remain idle, to count on the fact that you were baptized or to claim some scripture just simply is not enough. That fire will eventually go out.
2 Timothy 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God
Again he spoke to Timothy, whose mother and grandmother taught him the gospel. He says if you have a sincere faith, you belong to God. But is that all that is necessary? Does that make it complete? No, he said to fan it into flame and make it alive. My biggest fear with my own sons is that they will not live this passage. They might have a faith that I have taught them. I might even have laid hands on them to give them the gift of the Holy Spirit. They may count on all of those things but unless they fan it into flame, they will miss that holy flame of fellowship with the Spirit that God has in mind. You have to treasure and desire it.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self‑discipline.
God gave us a spirit of power and authority so that when you share the gospel with someone sin cannot remain quiet and hidden. I don’t mean that it will always be casting out demons and people yelling in the synagogue. It is a spirit of truth and authority when you communicate with someone. The Spirit is so alive that the sin within people cannot remain silent very long, because you speak with authority, truth, power, love, and self-discipline. You must fan it into flame if you want it. We shouldn’t have to be told to do it anyway. Once we experience a little bit of fellowship with the Holy Spirit the thing that should stir within us is a desire for a lot more. If we don’t want to lose our life then we will never fan it into flame. We will never treasure it. If we’re stubborn, slow or hard we won’t strive for it. We won’t want it. We blame God, other people, circumstances, or whatever excuse we use, but we don’t fan it into flame. It never is ours.
2 Timothy 3:1 is a passage we know well, but I want to look at it again and contrast it with 2 Timothy that talks about God giving us a Spirit of power.
2 Timothy 3:1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves. . .
It comes down to the fact that we want to do what we want to do. That’s what it means to love yourself. It doesn’t mean you walk around with a delusion that you are somehow great or noble. To love yourself merely means that you do what you want to do. That’s all. You are God.
2 Timothy 3:2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self‑control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
Why is there so much activity in the church that is nothing more than entertainment? People do not value fellowship with the Holy Spirit. If fellowship is not enough, if it doesn’t satisfy us, if the face of God isn’t what draws us to Him then we will turn to pleasure.
2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Again, don’t think for a moment that these people are atheists or agnostics. They will claim to be Christians. Scripture says, “Have nothing to do with them.” Paul wouldn’t have to write that about a Buddhist would he? If he tells us to have nothing to do with someone, it means you will have to have some discernment. There will be people claiming to be Christians who appear to belong to the same family, but there’s something that’s missing that is crucial. We will find out what it is in a moment.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith. . .
The Holy Spirit produces works by faith. If there is no fellowship with the Holy Spirit, your work is done totally out of law because you feel obligated or you want to impress your brothers and sisters or just because it’s the right thing to do. This is a work that is done totally and completely by faith. It is God alone whom you serve.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love. . .
The labor and work of these people was done from love. How many people labor, strive and give to the church, but it’s not a labor of love? Why do you think churches turn to gimmicks? Why is there so much outward pressure? Because it’s not a labor of love. If you labor for someone you love, you do not even consider it labor. You count it a privilege to be able to love and serve. There are a lot of people doing things for Jesus Christ, but it’s not a labor of love because true love comes from the Holy Spirit. If you do not have fellowship with the Holy Spirit, you do not have love and it’s impossible to serve Jesus Christ. So ask yourself how much of what you do is done from love and labor for Jesus Christ? Is it endured because of Jesus and He’s all that’s exalted? Is everything you do for God is a complete labor of love? Think how many bad attitudes would disappear from our lives if we labored out of love. You will no longer be concerned with whether somebody gains something or if they are doing more and you are doing less. It is a labor of love. Like the sheep that will say, “Lord, when did we see you hungry? When did we see you naked? We don’t remember any of those things.” It was a labor of love, not a labor because they read it in the word and had to do it. It was a labor completely motivated by a love for Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,
Do you want to hear those words by the Holy Spirit? Then fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Do you want to hear another man say to you, “I know you are loved by God,” and know he’s saying it with conviction and by the power of the Spirit? Then begin to fellowship with the Spirit and have a labor that is prompted by a love for Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
His teaching came with authority. He wasn’t like the teachers of the law. He said it with deep conviction. He could say this because they were loved by God. They fellowshipped with the Holy Spirit and had a love for God. These were a holy people who knew how to fellowship with a Holy Spirit. They were separated in everything they did. It wasn’t like the church now where people are motivated by programs, or just to be a good person. This is talking about a holy people fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit prompted by love.
1 Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
There are people who just want you to talk forever about Jesus Christ. They want you to continually discuss what needs to change in their lives, what can be different, or how God will move. But Paul said he didn’t come with eloquence or superior wisdom. He didn’t have a lot of words. He simply wanted them to fellowship with the Holy Spirit and know the grace of God. That’s all that he told them but it came with power. He didn’t come with an overhead projector or diagrams. We are won’t discuss this forever.
1 Corinthians 2:1-2 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
You, too, will have to resolve to do this, because the nature of man is to have superior wisdom. The nature of man is to find all the proper words and talk forever. The nature of man is to find just the right prayers to say or an eloquent speech before God in order to be justified. You have to resolve to know only one thing Jesus Christ and Him crucified. If you get before God in honesty and light, then you too will fellowship with the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean becoming puffed up and full of strength so you feel like you are just overflowing spiritual strength.
1 Corinthians 2:3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
Paul shook as he declared these simple words. To simply say, “Fellowship with the Holy Spirit,” carries no weight in and of itself. It doesn’t build you up with any kind of superior wisdom. Paul said he would only come to them with a simple speech saying that Jesus Christ is Lord, without all the fancy talk. It was totally up to the Holy Spirit to move. You better believe he came in weakness, because what if God didn’t move? If God didn’t move Paul’s words are vain and empty. Paul would walk away from the pulpit if God’s Spirit wasn’t there and say, “That was worthless.” How many of us walk away after a discussion and know the Holy Spirit wasn’t in it? We knew it was worthless. We are so used to eloquent speeches and trying to get everything just exactly as it needs to be that we don’t know if the Spirit is there or not. We move people by our words, not by the Spirit with which we speak because we don’t fellowship with the Holy Spirit or have that unceasing joy with Him.
1 Corinthians 2:4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
We know what wise words are, but what does persuasive mean? It means Paul didn’t add anything emotional that would move people to respond. In other words, the guy was as dull as all get out. He couldn’t come up with any words, but he just resolved to know Jesus Christ. There were no fancy programs or anything to captivate the audience and persuade them to come to Jesus Christ. He laid the gospel out in its clearest form with simple words and in such a way that it did not entertain. If the Spirit was able to move in their hearts, then the Spirit moved. If not then there was no response from the people. Let us quit trying to persuade people and be dependent upon the Holy Spirit. Let us just simply say what we need to say in weakness and fear begging God to be in the words that we say. Then you’ll quit worrying about all the specific details and words. How many of you come back to me and are fretting that you said certain words wrong, without realizing it’s the Spirit that gives life to anything that you say. He can correct any mistake, He can use a donkey or your dog, just as long as He is in it, it will speak life. I am not telling you not to repent of the things you say wrong, but some of you are so paranoid about getting the words just exactly right, that you don’t even get in and share the gospel.
1 Corinthians 2:4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
They knew God lived. Their understanding of God was not intellectual, it was real and powerful. After we share the gospel with someone, they should feel and know that God reigns.
This next scripture is how most people are born. Most Christians are like this. One of the reasons is due to all the preachers who preach with eloquent words and human wisdom. Another reason is the nature of people’s hearts that don’t want to surrender to God. They just simply don’t want to be lovers of God. They don’t have fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 4:28-29 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
There are two different sons noted in this passage. Each son belongs to the same physical family. They both have the same last name Christian. Both attempt to live within the same family and follow the same rules. Both are trying to please their father and mother. But there’s a difference between the two. One is born of the Spirit and one is born of man.
Galatians 4:29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
This is not some Old Testament teaching. We can’t say this doesn’t apply to us because it does. What does it mean? I come in contact all the time with people who claim to be Christians, but if they are not born of the Spirit, they will hate me. If I fellowship with the Holy Spirit, there is no fellowship between them and me. In fact they will wind up persecuting me simply because I am honestly born of the promise. I belong to the Spirit and so they begin to detest me. It’s the same with all of us. Those born of the Spirit come in conflict with those born in an ordinary way. They’re motivated to serve Jesus Christ in some other fashion than the Holy Spirit. I don’t care what it is or how noble the reason, unless they are motivated by the Holy Spirit, they will wind up persecuting those born of the promise. They may say the same words, live in the same family, dress the same, and have the same resources, but the bottom line is they are totally opposed to each other. It’s all over one thing C fellowship with the Holy Spirit. You can have everything in its proper place, and all the aspects of God can be evident, but if you don’t have the Holy Spirit you will persecute those born of the promise.
Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son . . .”
Get rid of the mother of this gospel and her offspring. Zealously confront anyone not born of the promise. It ought to be a natural thing if you are born of the Spirit. It’s not like you have to force this to happen. All you have to do is fan into flame the gift you have and it will begin to take care of itself.
Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”
If you do not fellowship with the Holy Spirit, if you don’t have His power, you will never, ever enter the kingdom of heaven. That’s why God calls it a Holy Spirit. It is separated, clean, and pure. It is something that is in us and we must treasure it with all of our heart. We must guard it zealously.
Galatians 4:31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
We are to be baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit, with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and all it can bring in our lives, unless we are children of the slave woman.
John 3:20-21 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
It’s God living in me that makes anything good. It’s fellowship and following the Holy Spirit that makes anything I do acceptable in the sight of God and men. But if I am of the ordinary, slave woman, if I do “righteous” deeds apart from the Holy Spirit, I won’t come into the light. The light reveals that what I did was really of my own strength, my own timing and born of rebellion. It might have been leading Bible Studies, prayer groups or some other religious activity. The point is if it’s not done by the Spirit they will hate and detest the light. They refuse to come into the light. At very best you have to drag them into it. We ought to learn to love the light. If we love God with all of our heart, we step into the center of the light, and we can say that anything we have done has been done through the grace and power of God. We are not ashamed of the light, we fellowship with it. We are immersed with power and belong to the Holy Spirit who speaks to us. It’s Him doing the work through us. But if we are on our own accord and design living our life in our own way, we will hate this kind of light. We will hate those who walk in this kind of light.
You must reach a place in your Christian life where you feel and know the power of the Holy Spirit. You must. Not because you will go to hell, but more than that. You will miss fellowship with God. It is an absolute and total necessity for salvation. To belong to Jesus Christ you must begin to feel the power of the Holy Spirit. The fellowship must be there.
Ephesians 3:14-16 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Through the power of the Holy Spirit we know the strength that God came to bring. We must have it in order to know the Christian life. It is impossible to live without the power that comes from heaven. The true gospel call is impossible to live without the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
We must have the power of the Holy Spirit if we expect Christ Jesus to live and dwell within our hearts. We do not give Holy Spirit His due, we do not treasure Him, and therefore we do not have Jesus Christ dwelling in us as He should.
Ephesians 3:16-17 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
We don’t have Jesus Christ in our hearts through faith because we treasure not the fellowship and power that comes from the Holy Spirit. We are so used to our own strength and we value ourselves. We are used to gospel calls that keep us built up, and we are no longer dependent upon the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 3:17-20 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledgethat you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Where should this glory be seen but in the church? Where collectively do we begin to grasp how wide, long and deep is the love God has for us? Where will the Holy Spirit manifest this kind of power and strengthen us in our inner being but within the church and our fellowship with one another? But we have to begin to fan it into flame, ask for it and say, “Oh, God, I bow down before you and plead that you fill us with power in our beings so that Christ may dwell and live there.” We have to ask if we want it. He will give you immeasurable more than you can ask or imagine. Then we too will be able to say verse 21:
Ephesians 3:21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
All generations. It didn’t stop in the second century. It continues on and on for those who seek it, value it and cry out for it.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do you overflow with hope? Do you even know what I am talking about? Is this a foreign concept? We are overflowing with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, not hope that comes from the world. This is a hope that comes from the Holy Spirit in heaven. That’s what we hope in, hold onto, and overflow with. This is done by the power of the Holy Spirit. Some of you deal with sin with such hopelessness. Some of you really wish He were a God of hopelessness. You really hope when you stand before God He really is a God of no hope because then you have an excuse. Some of you know your God, a God of grace and power. Others deal with sin as if there were no hope for God to ever deliver or work. Because we don’t fellowship or listen to the Holy Spirit, but other voices that Satan seeks to bring into our lives.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are so used to grabbing onto programs sponsored by the church. I am so sick and tired of radio shows, I could vomit. People say, “I heard this on the radio. I saw this on TV.” What difference does all the talk make? They say the same things over and over. It’s obvious what they will say before they say it. We can’t discern that this preaching is not from the Lord, and we are always looking for something new because we do not overflow with hope. We love preachers who come to us with all kinds of eloquent speech and resolve NOT to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified, because we don’t overflow with hope.
Let us not think for a moment that being filled with the power of the Spirit means that you don’t ever feel weak or that you are always loaded with confidence. Your confidence is different than the world’s. It’s a confidence in weakness, humility, and a dependence upon God.
2 Corinthians 13:2-4 I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power.
We say that we are crucified with Christ. If it’s true, we will begin to feel a greater sense of weakness and dependence upon God.
2 Corinthians 13:4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.
Paul said he was weak in Jesus Christ. He said he was nothing in his flesh. I sense that flesh, I know that battle and struggle. That doesn’t keep me from dealing with sin or speaking with power. What he spoke was by the grace of God only.
2 Corinthians 13:4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.
This is not referring to serving others at ice cream socials. Paul said he would serve them by not sparing those who sinned earlier and refused to repent. Let us learn the lesson and be able to say, “Yes, indeed I am weak in Him, but by God’s grace, fellowship with the Holy Spirit and strength that comes from heaven, I will live to serve you.” If we regard weakness before God as a treasure, we would love fellowship with the Holy Spirit. But our pride keeps us strong and we keep our strength while we hold ourselves together. We keep trying to copy the Christian life instead of becoming worms that lay on the ground before God or go into the tomb like Lazarus to die. Instead of smelling the rot and stench from a decaying body, instead of laying there in total weakness before God, we keep getting up and trying to live this life. We don’t want to lose our life before God. We are slow children.
2 Corinthians 12:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
How many people must have thrown that in Paul’s face? Those of the arrogant group probably taunted; “Paul, what right do you have to speak to us? After all, God gave you a thorn in the flesh. He sent a messenger from Satan to keep you from pride. You’re probably in pride right now as you try to deal with us.” Paul learned the very delicate balance of the humility, dependence upon God, and a sense of weakness and yet living by the strength and power of God. There’s nothing more terrible feeling than the weakness before the Lord. I don’t mean terrible in the sense of ugly or gross, but terrible in terms of its awesomeness and the way it works. It is a mystery.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
This is what it all comes down to. This is not a secret to living a powerful life in Jesus Christ. It’s not a matter of wearing a button that says; “I am weak in Jesus so I can be strong.” It’s not a formula. What is the crux of everything? What shows that everything that’s written in this publication has life? The cornerstone is that everything is done for “Christ’s sake.” So many people have a building without a cornerstone. They have their church buildings, but there’s no cornerstone. I see their works as they put one brick upon another. I see them building their temple doors and lighting incense, but I don’t see the cornerstone of Jesus Christ. I don’t see everything about their being say, “For Christ’s sake I delight in these things.” It’s a labor prompted by love and an overwhelming, consuming passion for Jesus Christ. Let me assure you, if it’s not done for Christ’s sake, your motives will never, ever be pure. Nothing you do will ever be right or complete.
2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
If you try to live this in order to be strong without doing everything for Christ’s sake, you will never make it. This is not something I can read and try to figure out. I just simply seek to do everything that I do for Christ’s sake and then if God wants to work weaknesses in my life, it’s up to Him. He will work weakness in everybody who seeks Him, and they will learn to delight in their weakness. Why do we do what we do? Is it because of fellowship with the Holy Spirit? Is it a result of communion with Him? Don’t take another breath until you have true fellowship with the Holy Spirit.
Luke 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert,
The Holy Spirit will take every Christian to the desert including those who say they want Jesus Christ but really do not. There are many people who die in this place. The Israelites went into the desert, and you will be led into the desert and will be taken to places to wrestle with things.
Luke 4:2-3 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Each of us will be led by the Holy Spirit out in the desert to see that we do nothing but seek to please ourselves. If we are hungry, thirsty or tired we fulfill those needs. What the Holy Spirit is desperately trying to teach all people who come to Him is that you fulfill none of your needs apart from the Holy Spirit. It may be within your power to do. You may be able to turn stones into bread. It may be within your resources to fulfill your needs. If the Holy Spirit isn’t in it, if the fellowship of God isn’t there, if His Spirit doesn’t guide and give the approval, then don’t do it. How many Christians don’t even face this situation because they never fellowship enough with the Holy Spirit to get into the desert and value the Spirit’s approval above everything else?
Luke 4:5-6 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.”
Satan always offers a nice, smooth way out. Granted he had to offer Jesus Christ all the glories and splendors of the kingdom. I have seen people leave for something much less than this. What will it be? Whom will we worship? Do we value enough of the Holy Spirit to turn to Satan and say, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only“? Everybody will have temptation where Satan says, “I’ll give you this if you will just worship me.” Then it comes down to the honest choice of who we worship and love. We either value the Holy Spirit and fellowship with God above all the splendors of this world so we can say “No,” or we give into the temptation. You cannot be at a place like this and stay with God only because you do not want to go to hell. We are talking about a labor of love for Christ’s sake only. This is from a pure heart that loves God. This heart says, “You can offer me anything in the world. You can offer me the smallest thing that I want, but if it costs me the Holy Spirit you will never see me bow down.”
Luke 4:9-10 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Satan comes with the classic scriptural text. How many people do we know say, “I claim the promises of God that I am saved”? What is missing in that statement? Is the promise void? Is it a lie? The only thing that’s missing is the Holy Spirit. Fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and the power and grace of God causes a person to say; “I claim no promise except that which I have heard from the Holy Spirit.” I might tell you that you are saved, but until you hear from the Holy Spirit, it’s nothing. How many preachers lift people up to the highest point of the temple and say, “Look how exalted you are and how close you are to God compared to everybody else.” But the truth is, the Spirit isn’t in any of that. We must ask ourselves one simple question, “Where is the Holy Spirit in all of these things that I claim?”
Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.
If we, too, let the Spirit lead us to the desert, and if we go out there to die there’s hope if we face our temptations honestly and by His grace overcome them, we too will return in the power of the Spirit. We, too, will be able to receive thorns in the flesh and be victorious over them. However, most people die in the desert and give into the temptations. Most people go out to the desert and never return. They just slowly die of thirst. They think it’s one doctrine they missed, one little gimmick, something they didn’t say just right or that they didn’t quite know the scriptures. It has nothing to do with any of those things. It has to do with having fellowship with the Holy Spirit and power from on high.
The following needs to be our prayer, not just this week, but for the rest of our lives. Don’t pray it just for yourselfpray it for everybody. Understand that as much as you feel the need for the Holy Spirit, everybody else needs Him too. Keep on praying for all the saints as scripture says:
Psalms 68:28 Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, O God, as you have done before.
This scripture shows a man who is not just satisfied with being baptized and tasting the joy of God. This man wants to fan into flame the gift that is in Him.
Psalms 68:29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring you gifts.
A pure motive is for God to be glorified not that you can be full of strength or have the peace that you desire. This is done for Christ’s sake, out of a labor of love and purity of heart.
Psalms 68:29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring you gifts.
I don’t gain anything from the gift, except to see God honored. That’s the greatest treasure of all!
Psalms 68:30-34 Rebuke the beast among the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations. Humbled, may it bring bars of silver. Scatter the nations who delight in war. Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush will submit herself to God. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, Selah to him who rides the ancient skies above, who thunders with mighty voice. Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies.
You can’t proclaim what you don’t know. You have to taste the power of the Holy Spirit in order to talk about the wonderful power and majesty of God.
Psalms 68:35 You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!
Let us pray that it is so. Plead for God that in this small body that God is awesome. Let us pray that it is so and then we too will say, “Praise be to God.” There’s power, but it only comes from the Holy Spirit. Let’s not be satisfied with anything else.
Father baptize us with the power from on high and teach us the secret blessing of being weak and yet being strong in You. Father, may we rid those born of the slave woman and drive them far from us, Oh, Lord. May You strengthen us in our inner being, Father, with Your power. May we overflow with hope, Oh, God, May we endure all things for Christ’s sake. May we labor in all things out of a labor of love for You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.