Empowered


Acts 2:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Who receives the power of the Holy Spirit?  How do they receive it?  “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  You receive it when you repent, call Jesus your Lord and get baptized.

I want to focus on the real reason Jesus came to earth and what the power of the Holy Spirit does in a believer’s life.  First of all, the real reason that Jesus came to earth we already said was to BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.  I could say it a different way:  To restore closeness to His people, for His enjoyment.

When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden, they were kicked out of the presence of God.  Throughout the old testament we see glimpses of God’s presence in the form of a pillar of fire, a cloud, a burning bush, etc.  But the presence of God is withheld from God’s people because of their sin.  But then Jesus came and He triumphantly restored His people to His presence!  He, the sinless one, took the cross, died a cursed death – the perfect sacrifice for the sake of the rest of us.  He made a way where there was no way.

Many people believe that “If only Jesus was here…” But this stems from a poor view of the Trinity.  Jesus didn’t come to earth to empower us for this life.  He came to bring us everlasting life and to give us hope for that life.  He sent the Holy Spirit to EMPOWER us for this life.  Jesus could only be in one place at a time.  The Spirit is with every believer, all the time.  He never leaves.

Before Adam sinned, He had full access to God in the garden.  He walked with Him and talked with Him.  It wasn’t until Jesus came that man was able to walk and talk with God again!  But when Jesus was here he was limited to how many people he could talk to at once intimately. People ask me all the time, how come God spoke so much in the old testament but He doesn’t anymore?

Oh! how the men and women of the Old Testament would give anything for the opportunity to have God living on the inside of them!!  We don’t need visitations from God by miraculous ways, He is now closer than even the skin on our bones!  Paul says that “the Holy Spirit dwells within us” In the greek the word dwell means to live in a person and influence him for the good.

By having the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you he gives you POWER.  What does that power do in a Christian’s life?

It allows you to be BOLD.

In John chapter 18 Peter is sitting by a fire and a little girl recognizes him and says “you’re one of the guys that is always with Jesus, right?” (paraphrased)  And being afraid of a little servant girl Peter says, “no… not me!”

Three times he denies Jesus out of fear.  Then the next time we really see Peter is in Acts 2 and he gives a long message to a bunch of devout men representing every nation on earth. In verse 36 he says this: Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.

What has changed in Peter from being the little girl afraid of a little girl to being a mighty man of God standing before thousands of people not only declaring that Jesus the Christ is our Lord but also condemning each one of them for being responsible for the murder itself?

THE HOLY SPIRIT!  The Holy Spirit is the factor which gave Peter the ability to be bold.  Notice, when Jesus was with him on the earth, he was fearful on multiple occasions.  He denied Jesus this time before a little girl. Other times, although he walked on the water (which is nothing to scoff at) he became fearful and sank.  He cut off a man’s ear out of fear.  He cried out on the boat when the seas were stirring out of fear.  There’s a vast difference between this scaredy-cat and the courageous man who we see in the book of Acts.

What has God called you to do?  The whole book of Acts can be summed up in this phrase… “GO AND DO.”  What is God calling you to go and do?  Are you listening?

 

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