Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spirit Empowered Church

As pastors, we understand that one of the greatest tasks that we have is to train God’s people to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13).  It is a never-ending task as people continue to come to know Christ as Savior.  However, one of my greatest concerns is that this work is often done within our own power, wisdom, and strength.  Christians can be consumed at striving to accomplish great things for God apart from the empowerment that He continually provides through His Spirit. 

The promise of God’s Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ (John 14) was meant to indwell believers as they put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9).  Christ’s desire is that His followers accomplish wonderful things for His glory.  However, the same Spirit that leads, directs, empowers, enlightens, convicts, protects, and secures believers is too often not acknowledged or embraced in the Christian walk.  The Spirit is the power for this new life.  He begins a lifelong process of change as believers become more like Christ (Galatians 3:3; Philippians 1:6). Those who receive Christ by faith begin an immediate, personal relationship with God and it is the Holy Spirit who works in them to help them become like Christ.

I stand amazed at how the Spirit unites the Christian community in Christ (Ephesians 2:19–22).  In the series that we are currently studying, The Church in Motion, we see this week that those onlookers of Christ’s new church stood in amazement at the work of the Holy Spirit in the believers (Acts 2:1-13).  It may sound child-like but that is the type of church that “I want”—for His glory.  What truly marked the church for greatness was an unusual unity that could only come by the work of the Holy Spirit.  The great tasks that the church would accomplish came through keeping in step with the Holy Spirit of God (Galatians 5:25).  

 The coming of the Holy Spirit to the church at Jerusalem was only the beginning of many great miracles to come.  God’s Spirit would work in hearts to transform believers, convict the world of sin, bring Jews and Gentiles together, serve as a Counselor to believers, bring unity in the church, empower the church to do great things in the community, help believers to understand the truths of God’s Word, and so many more!

The CHALLENGE remains:  We strive to work independently from the Spirit of God!

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