Summary: This message explores the power and work of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit Gives Power
I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The Spirit was not sent upon believers until the Son ascended to the right hand of the Father. Jesus instructed the believers to remain and wait for the coming of the one "promised", the Holy Spirit. Until He came upon them they would be unable to do the works of Jesus. When He did come it was with holiness, power, might, majesty.
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1-4
When I read this verse, I think of the sound of a tornado coming near. Before it arrives there is the eerie stillness and calm. Then, all of a sudden, the sound becomes deafening like the sound made by a rushing freight train. I read this passage with that in mind except, but instead of destruction, the Spirit brings power to witness of Jesus and to immolate His works. It is an appropriate picture because the Greek word for Spirit is "ðíåýìáôïò" (pneumatos), meaning breath. Remember in the Old Testament it was God who "breathed" life into Adam when He created man. Genesis 2:7 says,
the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
This Spirit breathes life in us and gives us the power to do God’s will. He is the same "yesterday, today, and always".
The Greek word for this power is "äýíáìéí" (dunamin). We get our words dynamite and dynamo from this word. It is a perfect picture of what God enables us with today. Not only do we have the explosive power to accomplish great and mighty works, but the Spirit has also given us power to keep on keeping on, to remain faithful to Him not only in the good times but in the harshest of times. I might have stated that the other way, He gives us power in the harshest of times and prompts us to stay faithful and alert when all is well.
The Work of the Spirit
The scriptures say the primary work of the Spirit in our life is witnessing of Jesus. Not only does this mean sharing the gospel verbally, but it also means living your life in accordance with the commands and life of Jesus. James 2:14-19 says,
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
The sign in our office says, "Preach the Word, if necessary, use words". "WWJD" while over used, is a good way to determine if you are operating in the power of the Spirit. A rule of thumb of determine if you are filled with the Spirit, if it looks and sounds like Jesus, it’s more than likely the Holy Spirit at work. When we are not living this life, the Spirit convicts us, makes us antsy, restless, and unable to find peace until we confess and change our behavior.
The other aspect of power is to begin to transform our lives so that we begin to bear spiritual fruit. The fruit of the Spirit is described in Galatians 5:22-26.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.