Electricity revolutionized how we live because of the power that flows from it. Another source of power that should transform how we live is the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:1-8, Jesus gathered the apostles to tell them about things regarding the Kingdom of God. In Acts 1:6, when the apostles began asking if this was the time Jesus would restore the Kingdom, Jesus responded that it was not for them to know the time for that, but also told them they would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, and that they would be His witnesses. The church would be Kingdom representatives, modeling and proclaiming the Kingdom‘s presence in the midst of the culture.
The power of the Holy Spirit is often the most misunderstood and underused aspect of His nature. As the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is powerful. He makes the power of Heaven available to us while we wait for the Powerful One – Jesus Christ – to return. However, one can have the living Word and the written Word and still need power if not connected to the Holy Spirit. Far too many Christians are not properly linked to the Holy Spirit and wonder why lives are stagnant. We become spiritually stuck and try to work ourselves out of our problems with our own determination instead of depending upon the right power source. We must rely on the Holy Spirit, who is the igniter and is responsible for displaying power. It is the Holy Spirit who helps to bring the truth of God from the Bible into your life experience.
If one is unwilling to publicly be known as a follower of Jesus Christ then they are unable to experience this power. Acts 1:5 states, “for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” To be baptized spiritually is to be identified as a follower of Jesus Christ. Water baptism is simply a physical representation of your spiritual baptism and shows you are willing to publicly identify with Christ. The baptism of Christ is to be worn like clothing (Gal 3:27), and we are clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). Just as some professionals wear uniforms that identify them as a military soldier, police officer, doctor, etc., baptism is the uniform Christians ought to wear to be identified as followers of Christ.
John 16 tells us how we get this power to work in our life. We receive power from the Spirit because Jesus and His Father are 100 percent in sync, and all things that Jesus gets from His Father, He, in turn, gives to the Spirit. Verse 13 points out that we will receive truth from the Spirit, and the Spirit will only transfer truth. John 17:17 reminds us God’s Word is truth. If you leave Scripture out of your life, you leave out truth, and in leaving out truth, you leave out the Holy Spirit. If you leave out the Holy Spirit, then you leave out His power. The Holy Spirit’s power will always be at work to glorify Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit’s power is at work in us, His power revolutionizes how we live so that we can effectively be Kingdom representatives who are witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
- What does it mean to be a believer in Christ but not a follower?
- What do you think the culture would look like if every believer lived like a follower of Christ? What impact could we have on the culture?
Let’s Get Personal
- Are you currently experiencing the Holy Spirit’s power in your life? How would you rate the amount of time you spend reading and studying God’s Word? Do you see the correlation between the time you spend learning God’s Word and the power you experience in your life? Share your thoughts with your group.
- The baptism of Christ is to be worn like clothing (Gal 3:27). Are you currently wearing the right clothing? How does it make you feel knowing God wants you to be a Kingdom representative? What can you do or suggest that is helpful to someone wanting to be a Kingdom representative?
- Share a time where you used your own strength and determination rather than the power of the Holy Spirit to solve a problem. Would you handle that situation differently now?
Take the Next Step
- Are you feeling spiritually stuck? Remembering what you’ve learned and talked about, what can you do or suggest to someone to help get unstuck? Discuss with your group and pray with each other that you move forward into this new year with the power of the Holy Spirit to see positive changes in your lives.
- Are you still holding on to some old thinking that you know has you confused and living a defeated life? Ask your group for help in identifying some Scripture verses or passages you can read and meditate on to replace that old way of thinking.
- Want to dig deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Acts 1:1-8; 28:31; 1 Corinthians 1:17; Luke 24:49; Galatians 3:27; John 16:12-15; 15:1-16; 17:17.
Renew Your Mind
“. . . you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses . . .”