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The Power of God Within

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

If we are living through Christ in the power of God, then why are Christians so weak? We can thank Beverly for these thoughts this evening as last Thursday night at our Durant Bible College class this question came up. Naturally it has been on my mind throughout this week as I, like all of you, would like to have more of God’s power in our daily lives. This weakness that Christians have gives an adverse effect in all parts of our life. We are often given in to temptation because we are weak in the power from God. We often fall into depression because of are straying from the narrow path because of the lack of God’s power in our lives. Often we fail to be an effective witness for Christ because of the absence of God’s power in our lives. So I spent this week searching for the reason that I am weak and have a lack of the power of God in my life.

Our journey on this question begins with Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. “Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:18-20) In this verses Paul is addressing those in the Corinthian Church who were opposing his teaching. Paul had sent Timothy and possibly they thought Paul lacked the courage to confront them himself. Those who opposed Paul were big talkers and spoke out of their arrogance and self-pride. Paul did go to the Church of Corinth but sent this letter first and told the believers that God’s Kingdom does not consists in impressive words but in the power of life, the life lived in Christ.

Before Jesus left the Apostles He told them that if He did not go then the helper would not come. “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7) Earlier Jesus had told them he had asked the Father to send another to help the Apostles in their mission that was set before them. This gift, the Holy Spirit, comes from God the Father at the request of Jesus the Son. We as Disciples of Christ also receive this gift of the Holy Spirit which dwells within each of us. As we repent, turning away from this world and its way, turning towards the Kingdom of God and living in His ways, we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) I realize we do not speak much about the Holy Spirit and maybe it is because some base the measure of their faith upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is though the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God that we have life everlasting. The Holy Spirit is the power of God within that gives us the power to do the work and fulfill His purpose for our Christian lives. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The power of Christ within us gives us the power to do the good works that Jesus preformed during His ministry here in the world. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12) If Jesus in the power of the Spirit was able to heal the sick, cause the lame to walk and the blind to see, then we who have His power living within us should be able to do the same. By faith in His word I should and can do these things according to His will and purpose in my life and the life of those to which I pray to glorify His name through. The key is prayer. Prayer is the foundation to all the possibilities that we can accomplish through Christ. (Mark 9:29) In prayer we must ask, seek and knock and the power of the Holy Spirit will be opened to us. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) In the service of our Lord we will always be enabled to do more that we can imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) We can move the mountains in life with a true simple faith. “And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you. “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:20-21) We see verse 20 but we must not forget verse 21. Again, prayer is the foundation to all the possibilities that we have through our Lord.

Preachers and teachers do their study and research, prayer and meditations, and prepare their notes but when they stand before you and speak it is in the power of the Spirit within them that you receive the message of God’s Word. I have known so many preachers and teachers who have walked away saying that they had really delivered a poor message. Then only to hear the people say what a powerful message they had delivered. My father taught me, thinking that I might follow his steps, that it is not so much what he said but was all about what the Spirit said through him. If there is but one person in this world that would not lie to me, it is my father. But I know it is true by experience. I have heard messages and talked to the preacher about them only to hear the reply, “That was a good thought but I don’t remember saying that.” The preacher and teacher is speaking but the Spirit is delivering the message of the Word. “And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4)

The power of our testimony comes to us from the power of God within. Christ preforms miracles not for the glory of Himself, not for the glory of the recipient, but for the Gory of the Father. The miracle of your salvation, the miracle of the change of your heart, and the miracle of your soon to come resurrection are not for your glory but for the glory of God. That is the purpose of man, to glorify God, and all will. Therefor our testimony is to glorify God through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Christianity is not based on emotions but based on truth. We testify to the truth of what Christ has done for us. He gives us the power to speak of His truth in full conviction without any doubt in full confidence by Christ living in us. “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5) Our testimony is in the power that God gives us from within. The world sees our faith in Christ as foolishness. The world cannot accept the simplicity of God’s free gift of salvation. Certainly it must take more that to just believe upon the name of Jesus. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) Yet this is the truth and it takes the power of the Spirit to convict hearts to know their need of a Savior. To those whose hearts have been opened to the truth through our prayer for them are being saved by the power of God within us. “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

We can rejoice in the Lord for all that He has provided for us in the power of God within. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

We can have this power, the power of God within, we as Christians have this power, the power of God within, so, why are Christians so weak in the power of God within? We claim that we have faith and if our faith falls short we can ask the Lord to increase our faith. (Luke 17:5) Our faith is a measureable commodity, we can have the faith of a mustard seed, we can ask for more faith, and the trials and tribulations that the Lord carries us through strengthens our faith. We walk with the Lord in faith. Our walk with Jesus is a daily walk in faith based upon the truth of His word. We trust the Lord by the exercise of our faith, as without faith it is impossible to please Him. So is it a faith problem? It shouldn’t be. Every time we turn the key to our automobile, pump the pedal of our bike, or step towards the ground ahead of us, we do so on faith.

You cannot have faith if you do not believe. If I was thirsty and someone set before me a glass of water and said it would quench my thirst and I believed them, then in faith I would drink the water. But if I didn’t believe them then I would forsake the glass of water and remain thirsty. So the question that Beverly and I had to answer last Thursday was do we believe? Do we believe that Jesus is the Christ and the Savior of our eternal life? Do we believe that the Word of God recorded in the Scriptures are infallible and true? Do we believe in our God Jehovah? “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Do we really believe? Do we really … really … really believe? If we do, then we should be souled out to Him. We should be in constant conversation with Him in prayer. We should be constantly in study of His Word. We should be constantly following His Son Jesus. We should be constantly asking, seeking and knocking so that we will know His plan and purpose for our life. Believing that we should be following Him in faith and acting on the truth of His word. Then we will have the awesome power of God within.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, August 20, 2014

Durant Bible College

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