Theology: The Holy Spirit – THE HOLY SPIRIT’S EMPOWERMENT OF THE BELIEVER

“And, behold, I send the promise of my father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until Ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49

 

The term relates usually to the putting on of clothing or garments. Thus, it would relate to the putting on of power in some way. (endued is Strong’s 1746, “enduo”) The term is used of putting on armor in Ephesians 6:11; of putting on royal apparel in Acts 12:21; and John the Baptist being clothed with camels hair in Mark 1:6.

 

Paul in Romans 13:12, 14 mentions that we are to put on the armor of light and the Lord Jesus Christ. This may relate to the idea of the armor of Ephesians 6 and the warfare that we are in at the present time.

 

Acts 1:8 uses the term as well. “But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me….”

 

It would seem that this is something we do, or that we can control. It seems to me that this is a result of the Spirit controlling us and working through us. If this is true then as we are filled we have this power available to us.

 

The promise of Luke 24:49 is for the disciples and they received that power on the day of pentecost. As a sidelight, let’s look at a question for a moment. What happened on the Day of Pentecost? We all know that the Holy Spirit came upon the people in the upper room after the sound of a wind, and there appeared tongues of fire over their heads. So what? What happened?

 

Were they empowered? Yes, Acts 1:8; Luke 24:49

 

Were they indwelt? Since they hadn’t been, and since they were promised indwelling it would seem that yes, they were.

 

 

Were they filled? Yes, they were controlled and the gifts were operative.

 

Were they sealed? Since they were indwelt and this is the seal, yes they were sealed.

 

Believers after the book of Acts experienced the indwelling and sealing at salvation and the filling and empowerment as they were controlled by the Spirit. Filling and empowerment come as the believer allows the Spirit to control them.

 

FACTS CONCERNING POWER

 

The power is from God. The power is for the propagation of the Gospel. The power is secondary to the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

 

The term is quite descriptive. It is Strong’s 1411 and is the Greek word dunamis, which we gain our current word dynamite from. It is translated a number of ways. Wonderful works Matthew 7:22; mighty works Matthew 11:20; power of God Matthew 22:29; power Matthew 22:30; ability Matthew 25:15; virtue Mark 5:30; miracle Mark 9:39; miracles

Acts 2:22; power Acts 4:33; miracles Acts 19:11, 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28; power Romans 1:20; principalities nor POWERS Romans 8:38; etc.

 

1 Corinthians 2:3-5 uses the term in stark contrast to our own power. “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” We must learn that we have no power in and of our own. We must learn that the power that is available to us is from God. What A Kick In The Pride.

 

And what might we assume that this power is for? Since we have this power for evangelism and the furtherance of the Gospel, then we need not expect to see this power at any other time in life. In short when you go out to buy a car, don’t wait for the power to dicker to come upon you cuz it won’t.

 

When might we expect the empowerment? When witnessing, when teaching/preaching, and when writing if the communication of the information is to further the Gospel, or any time preceding and leading up to any of the above.

 

Epp asks a question, then answers it for us. “We have the assurance that the Spirit is given to comfort us. Why does He teach us? Why does He guide us? Why does He set us apart for Himself? Why does He provide power? For our personal joy and satisfaction? Not primarily. There is satisfaction and joy in receiving these things from the Spirit of God, but these are only a means to an end. The primary goal is something higher and better. It is all to make us better witnesses for Christ.” (Epp, Theodore H.; “The Other Comforter”; Lincoln: Back to the Bible Broadcast, 1966, p 249)

 

In all that Mark Epp mentions, I think there may be far more than even he indicates. I think that we need to think back over our study of the Spirit and consider some of the things that we have learned.

 

True the power in Acts 1:8 is for witness however from a brief look at the term power there are other items of business that the Spirit is into with the term power. He indwells us and offers many ministries to us that are in essence an empowerment.

 

1. Grace: What benefit do we derive from grace which involves the Spirit?

Salvation — that takes power.

 

2. Conviction: We as believers are convicted of the sin in our lives and as such are brought forth to be holy people prepared for a purpose. His conviction is powerful at times.

 

3. Indwelling: We are indwelt by God Himself and all that implies. Personal protection from all foes. As we look at the Devil and demons we will see this protection takes power.

 

4. Filling: We can be controlled by the Spirit and produce in our lives the fruit of the Spirit and maintain holy and pure lives. Knowing man’s nature, I think that we can safely say that takes power.

 

5. Sealing: We can be ever sure of our salvation and ever sure that He will one day finish the redemptive work that He has begun in us. We can also know that there is nothing that can keep these things from happening.

 

 

6. Comfort: We saw that He comforts us so that we might comfort others that are in the same infirmities. Many can speak from experience and state that to properly comfort someone else, there is a cost to the comforter. They become involved and begin to share in the hurt. Power to commit one’s self to this is needed. The Spirit, voluntarily placed Himself in the hurt of the believer.

 

7. Teaching: He is teaching us through the Word so that we can know the Lord’s will and what direction our lives should take in reference to Him and His holiness.

 

8. Communion: We can have fellowship with Him that is as close as any fellowship that we can find with man, indeed it should be closer, in that His side of our fellowship will be of a perfect nature.

 

9. Praying: He is interceding in our prayers for us with the Father so that all that is requested will be within the Lord’s will.

 

10. Gifting: He has gifted some to train us to do the work of the Lord. Not only evangelism but all work of the Lord. 2 Timothy 2:2 tells us that we are to be teaching faithful men so that they can teach faithful men. Etc.

 

11. Leading: He is leading us into different types of work and ministry so that we can minister to the lost as a witness, and to minister to the saved as a part of the body of Christ.

 

12. Baptism: He has baptized us into the body of Christ so that we are a part of a large organism that is dependant upon each and every member. We have value to the body even though we may have the smallest of jobs to perform.

 

In all of these areas, we can see the power of the Holy Spirit. To what conclusion have we come?

 

We are being ministered to by the Spirit so that we can minister the Gospel to the lost and minister in a number of ways to the saved. We are to be trained within the local church to do that job and the Holy Spirit gives a large portion of that training, not only directly but indirectly through teachers and ministers.

 

 

All this is backed up by the power of the Holy Spirit as it is manifested to the lost and to the body of Christ through Spirit controlled individuals.

 

As We Used To Say In The Navy — Stick That In Your Pipe And Smoke It. Since That Phrase Isn’t Fitting For Our Setting, May I Suggest That You Stick That In Your Mind And Meditate Upon It.

 

So What? There are 2.5 billion lost people in the world, the majority of present missionary workers are coming home, and others that are ready to go to the field can’t raise support.

 

So where is the POWER of the Spirit?

 

We see little evidence of His power in the church today. Part of the reason may be found in the following.

 

In People: People are not being filled — people are not in the business of furthering the Gospel.

 

In Churches: There are no missions programs. The churches are filled with people that are not interested in missions.

 

In Mission Agencies: They are wrapped up in mechanics and organizationalism.

 

In Missionaries: Materialism/meism/strategies/programs

 

“Lighting Central Fires”

 

“Dr. E. Stanley Jones said: ‘Whenever we have been troubled in conscience about our spiritual impotence we have added a new wheel, a new commission or a new committee, a new plan or program, and in the end we have discovered that we have added one more wheel, but with little or no power to run either the old or the new. we are busy turning old and new wheels with hand power instead of lighting central fires.’

 

“If those early disciples had not received the gift of the Holy Spirit they would have scattered and their cause would have come to naught. They had the gospel but they lacked that impelling power that sends all of us out as living witnesses of that which we have seen and felt. Prior to the Day of Pentecost they were timid and fearful, now they were courageous and willing to die for Jesus if need be. On the Day of Pentecost they learned nothing new about Jesus but they received a divine unction which completely transformed them. They were different afterward and the world has never been the same since the Day of Pentecost. It is very interesting to observe what took place on the Day of Pentecost,

but it is far more interesting to observe all that has taken place through the lives of spirit-filled men since that great day.” A. R. Clippinger (Stuber, Stanley I. and Clark, Thomas Curtis; “TREASURY OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH”; New York:

Association Press, 1949)

 

You have read this information concerning the Spirit and His relationship to you. What are you going to do? Are you going to move forward in your life? Are you going to leave control up to Him?

 

The knowledge you have places you in a position of needing to respond one way or another. I trust that this study will bring some into that precious, close, walk with the Lord that so many desire, and that so many reject.

 

THE CHOICE IS YOURS, NOT HIS. HIS CHOICE IS TO WALK WITH YOU. WHAT IS YOUR CHOICE?[1]

 


[1] Stanley L. Derickson Ph.D. B.A. (n.d.). DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

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