Summary: If we are going to be all that God wants us to be, we must be powered by the Holy Spirit.
POWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
Pastor Jim May
Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
On the home page of our church’s website there is a small animated graphic that says “Powered by the Holy Spirit”. (Some of you may not know that we even have a website. It’s called victorytemplepcg.org) The graphic starts out as a solid black box, then the words “Powered By” appear, then there are several bolts of lightning that flash, and the next words that appear are “Powered by the Holy Spirit”. When I found that graphic posted, and saw that it was free to use, I quickly made use of it because, in my mind, I believe that we, as a church here at Victory Temple, must always remind ourselves that we must be empowered by the presence and anointing power of the Holy Spirit if we are to be the church that God intends for us to be.
As I thought of that graphic and what it really says I was impressed by the fact that we go through the same process as that graphic. We begin by being nothing more than an empty soul, lost in the utter blackness of sin, with no hope, no power to deliver ourselves, and only our own devices to help us get through this life, only to face an eternity of separation from God. Our future was bleak indeed – for we were lost sinners, on our way to the blackness of the pit.
Then, out of that blackness and hopelessness, there came the mercy and grace of God. It was God that moved upon us. He had to make the first move, because we were dead in sin, and there was no power in us to do anything.
Paul said the same thing in Ephesians 2:3-8, "Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God…"
Thank God for His grace. Thank God for His mercy. Thank God that He loved us when we could not love Him! How wonderful is our God. We could never praise him enough for the wondrous blessings of salvation and the precious infilling power of the Holy Spirit.
Suddenly, out of the empty blackness there came power – power to see the light, power to hear the word of the Lord, power to understand that God is, and that He will reward those who diligently seek Him. The lightning flashed from Heaven, coming from the very throne of God, as the Father let the light shine upon us. In the very beginning of the story of the Creation, there was nothing but empty darkness, but God spoke light and let His power fill the universe. Wherever God is there is light. The Bible says in 1 John 1:5, "… that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
First there came the light, to illuminate the hearts of men and open their eyes to the darkness around them, and to give man a choice, on whether he would enter into and live in that light, or remain in outer darkness.
I’m so glad this morning that I can live in God’s light. I’m so glad this morning that all of you, who have been born again by the power of the Holy Spirit and washed in the Blood of the Lamb, are also living in that light. Those who are still living in outer darkness can’t even see how dark it is. They don’t realize the power of darkness that has them in its icy grip of death. They are oblivious to the eternal darkness that lies beneath their feet and they must be awakened. They must be given some light and that light can only get to them by the preaching of the gospel, because that’s how God ordained that it should come.
None of us came to God without hearing the gospel first. We did not discover God on our own. God had to take the first step and bring the gospel to us. It came through some preacher, somewhere, whether it was a friend operating in the office of the “preacher” sitting at your dining room table, or a “preacher” standing behind a pulpit, that’s how the gospel came to you. The scripture lays out the pattern for how a soul can become empowered by the Holy Spirit.