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Power

 

In the Restoration Movement we have allowed ourselves to be denied any sense of power from God because of our reactionary response to the views of others and because of our unwritten creeds.

“Grace is God’s part, obedience is our part.”

This was quite a popular cliché in my neck of the woods.  It has several less than helpful implications.

Then I will sprinkle clean water and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.  Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will be careful to observe my ordinances.  (Ezekiel 36: 25- 27)

The apostles were told that when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit would come on them and they would receive power and they would be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the remotest part of the earth.

When Cornelius and his household received the gift of the Holy Spirit, they spoke in tongues and exalted God.

The Restoration Movement has correctly determined, I believe, that the extraordinary powers of the apostles and the miraculous powers exhibited by others, including speaking in tongues was to cease when “the perfect,” (the fully revealed will of God) came.  Some have incorrectly reasoned, I believe, that we are therefore powerless.  On the other hand I am appalled when some of our brothers write that the Holy Spirit helps them to find parking spaces for their cars.  We must not deny the blessings of God because of the excesses of some. In the Restoration Movement, our reaction has been to deny that God gives us any power.  We are defeated in our mind before we even begin, if we are convinced we can’t.

 

GOD WORKS WITHIN US.

For the, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2: 12, 13)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. (Ephesians 3: 20)

And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.  These are in accordance with His working when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand. (Ephesians 1: 19)

God gives those that are begotten by God the right to become children of God:

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.  (John 1: 12, 13)

This is perhaps the greatest right or power that Jesus gives to those that believe. Are these the “greater works” mentioned in John 14: 12? Perhaps.  It is difficult to be certain about the meaning, but it is certainly worth considering.

God gives the power to live for God 

For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. 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 delivered Himself up for me. (Galatians 2: 19, 20)

For not one of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself; for if we live we live for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14: 7, 8)

 

God gives us the power to love:

We love because He first loved us.  (1 John 4: 19)

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  (Romans 5: 5)

 

God has given the power and assurance to know that we are children of God

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry, “Abba Father.”  (Romans 8: 15)

 

God has given us the power to witness

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.         (2 Timothy 1: 7)

 But having the same spirit of faith, according to which it is written, “I believe therefore I spoke” we also believe, therefore also we speak.  (2 Corinthians 4: 13)

 

God has given us the power to abound in hope:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Romans 15: 13)

 

God gives us power through His Spirit:

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; and that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3: 16- 20)

 

God gives us wisdom and understanding.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling; what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints; and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe (Ephesians 1: 17- 19)

 

God gives us power to change:

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds, which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.  (Titus 3: 5, 6)

 

Our strength is not our own, but from God

Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.  (Ephesians 6: 10)

 

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2: 13)

 

Power to endure to the end

Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.  (Colossians 1: 11) (2 Thessalonians 1: 4; James 5: 11)

 

For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God.  For we also are weak in Him, yet we shall live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.  (2 Corinthians 13: 4)

 

We are protected by the power of God through faith for salvation.

Who are protected by the power of God through faith, for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1: 5)

 

God gives us the power to obey:

To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power.  (2 Thessalonians 1: 11)

 

God has given us the power to forgive others:

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  (Matthew 6: 12)

Be merciful, just as your father is merciful. And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. (Luke 6: 36, 37)

 

God gives us the power to control and discipline ourselves:

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.  (2 Timothy 1: 7)

 

What shall we do?  Do you feel powerless?  I hope the feeling is diminishing after reading these Scriptures.

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.  (Matthew 7: 7, 8)

 

Start reading about it, thinking about it, praying about it; and believe!

 

Closing thoughts:

For our gospel did not come in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.  (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

For the kingdom of heaven does not consist in words, but in power.  (1 Corinthians 4: 20)

 

God bless,

Arland Pafford,

 

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Last Update   09/26/12