Wednesday Night Lesson: ‘Strengthened With Might’

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Charles Ryrie writes in his book on the Holy Spirit –

“The solution to the problems of the church today lies in solving the problems of individual Christians, and the remedy is a person—the Holy Spirit. He is the antidote for every error, the power for every weakness, the victory for every defeat, the supply for every need, and the answer for every question. And He is available to every believer, for He lives in each believer’s heart and life. The answers and the power have already been given to us in the person of the Spirit who lives in each of us”.

Perhaps the most misunderstood person in the Godhead is the Holy Spirit. In some churches He is so magnified that everything becomes about Him and the spiritual experiences He can provide while in other churches He is completely ignored. Bible teacher, J. Vernon McGee used to say that the Holy Spirit could be absent in the average church on Sunday morning and no one would realize it.

Jesus said – “But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into all truth. He will not speak his own words, but he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come.” (Jn 16:13 NCV)

I. Who or What Is the Holy Spirit?

A. His Deity

The Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost as He is sometimes called, is God. He is the third person of the Trinity or to put it in a more biblical terminology  – the divine Godhead. (see Col 2:9) Scripture teaches us that the divine Godhead is made up of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere present. He was involved in the creation of the world, He revealed the mind of God to the authors of the Bible and guided them in their writing, He conceived the physical body of Jesus in the womb of Mary, He anointed and empowered Jesus during His earthly ministry, He gives new life to the believer and He empowers the believer to live the Christian life.

Though the King James translators sometimes used the word Ghost instead of Spirit in their translation, it is the exact same Greek word that they have translated both ways. The Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit are the same person and not two different spirit beings as some suggest.

B. His Personality

The Holy Spirit is one with God the Father and God the Son; yet He is distinct in His being, just as the Father and Son are distinct in their being. He possesses a mind, emotions and a will. In other words the Spirit thinks, feels and acts. Today Christ is in heaven, seated at the right hand of the Father, while the Spirit is upon this earth, indwelling the believer.

II. Do We Need the Holy Spirit?

A. The Spirit Lives In Every Believer

How important is the Holy Spirit? Is His ministry something necessary and essential for every Christian or is He only for certain believers? Jesus told Nicodemus that except a man be born again of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God. In addition, Paul says in Galatians 5:16 that is only by ‘walking in the Spirit’ are we able to overcome our fleshly nature. The Holy Spirit is necessary and essential for every Christian.

John writes –

1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Paul writes –

Romans 8:9 – “… if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

There is no such thing as a Christian who does not have the Holy Spirit. Why is it necessary that we as Christians have the Holy Spirit?

B. Clothed With Power

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Paul describes living the Christian life as someone putting on a garment. As the elect of God, we are to ‘put on’ the characteristics of Christ. We read also in Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

How do we put on the characteristics of Christ? How do we put on the new man? Can it be accomplish through our good intentions and self-will? The answer to this is – no. We do not have the power or the ability within ourselves to live the Christian life. No amount of rules and regulations will enable us. What then does it mean to ‘put on’ these things and how do we do so?

Jesus said – Luke 24:49 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.

The word ‘endued’ found in Lk 24 is the same Greek word that Paul used in Col 3 when he spoke of ‘putting on’ the new man. It means to be clothed with something. Jesus said that His followers would be clothed with – power from on high.

1.  Power From on High

The clothing that we put on is – ‘power from on high.’ The specific Greek word Jesus used here refers to a power that comes from God. It is God’s own power that He places within His children. How does God do this? God places His power in a believer when He places His Spirit in a believer. The power we are clothed with is the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Consider this in regards to the spiritual armor –

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Paul uses both words to describe the spiritual armor. Be clothed with the power that comes from God so that in His power, you may be able to stand against the ways of the devil.

2. Power of the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

III. How Does the Spirit Empower Us?

A. Strengthens the Inner Man

1. What it means

The inner man is the deepest part of our being; a place sometimes referred to as our soul, our spirit, our heart or our conscience. The Spirit indwells us in order to strengthen our inner man. According to the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible – Commentary, to be strengthened means to means to be made strong, tough, enduring; to have energy or force; to act, endure, or resist.

2. How it is seen

Consider the difference in the disciples before Pentecost and after Pentecost. Before the coming of the Holy Spirit, they were men full of good intentions. Yet they ran from persecution. Compare that to the disciples after the coming of the Holy Spirit. Scripture says that they rejoiced to be considered worthy to suffer persecution for Christ’s sake. What made the difference? The power of the Holy Spirit.

B. Energized by the Spirit

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that – worketh in us…

1. ‘Worketh’ –

a. Greek {energeo} – English {Energy}

b. Effective Power

c. The Holy Spirit is God’s Energy At Work In Our Lives

2. Example of a Flashlight

Suppose you had a flashlight and in this flashlight you had a bulb, a switch and a lens. But suppose that light wouldn’t burn. What would be the first thing you would check to determine what was wrong? Most likely it would be the battery. A flashlight without a power source will not burn. It is useless until it is ‘energized’ by a source of power.

Jesus said – “… without me ye can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)

IV. How Much Energy Is the Spirit Able to Bring?

Ephesians 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

A. The Spirit brings to the believer – the exceeding greatness of God’s power

B. It is power that –

1. Raised Jesus from the dead

2. Able to do – ‘exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think’

3. Able to do anything that pertaineth to live and godliness

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness …

 



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