Summary: WE BELIEVE – The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
• Acts 1:8 (NIV)
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.
Like my family and me many of you have visited Niagara Falls. We have visited many times and I’m always amazed by the beauty and wonder of the falls. I’ve journeyed behind the falls and listened to the roar of the water thundering over the falls; I’ve’ ridden on the Maid of the Mist and looked up to see the blue sky over the horizon of falling water, and as I did the vapor of water would fall upon my face. I’ve seen the rainbow glimmer within the falls during the day, and enjoyed the colorful lights shine upon the falls at night (although I must say the rainbow outdoes the manmade lights). I’ve stood in the cold and was amazed to see the falls covered with a mountain of ice. Regardless of where you stand Niagara Falls is a beauty to behold.
It is one thing to visit the Niagara Falls and it’s another to live there. When you live there you not only appreciate the beauty of the falls, but you are also thankful for the POWER of the falls every time you turn on your lights. Hydroelectric generators along the Niagara River produce electricity not only for the city of Niagara Falls but much of western New York as well. That’s a lot of power.
In this sense Niagara Falls is much like the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is a wonderful and glorious experience for all believers, but it’s more than just an experience for us to marvel over. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit provides the believer with power to live by!
Someone has rightly said, “Every believer receives the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit does not have every believer.” That is to say that at salvation the Holy Spirit is RESIDENT within the life of the believer, but with the baptism in the Holy Spirit the Spirit becomes PRESIDENT within the believer’s life with authority and power to transform their way of living.
We have been look at the “We Believe” series—four defining truths of the Assemblies of God or what have been called our cardinal doctrines: Jesus saves, Jesus heals, Jesus baptizes in the Holy Spirit, and Jesus is coming again. This morning we come to the third foundational doctrine of our church, the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is:
1. God’s provision of power,
2. power with a purpose, and
3. a planned placement of power.
I. God’s Provision of Power.
• Acts 1:8 (NIV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.
1. God provides you with POWER.
a) Power can mean a lot of different things. So what kind of power does God provide us with?
i) Power can refer to a NATION, as in a world power or sovereign state.
ii) Power can also mean AUTHORITY, to have the control, right, or prerogative to act; authoritative power gives authorization.
iii) Power also means STRENGTH; it is an energy, force or muscle.
iv) Power also means ABILITY, capability, potential.
b) In the New Testament there are two different Greek words that are both sometimes translated power.
“exousia” It is from this word that we get the word “exertion.” You might think that this has to do with strength but it doesn’t. “exousia” has to do with the POWER OF AUTHORITY. It is the power that is conferred or given to someone by another.
c) Jesus had previously given the disciples power, that is “exousia” authority to cast out demons and heal the sick (Matthew 10:1). After His resurrection Jesus told the disciples that all power and authority “exousia” had been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). When the disciples asked Jesus after his resurrection if He would now establish His kingdom Jesus told the disciples that it was not for them to know the time set by the Father’s power or authority “exousia” (Acts 1:7).
d) But there is another kind of power that Jesus promises that His disciples will receive in Acts 1:8.
“dunamis” It is from this word that we derive the word dynamite. Again you might think in terms of strength, but “dunamis” power is more than just strength alone. “dunamis” is ABILITY; it is one thing to have the strength to do something and its something else to have the know how combined with the strength; that is “dunamis” ability.
ILLUSTRATION: A pastor friend of mine told me about a missions trip he took as a young man to Mexico to help with the construction of a church. When they were digging the foundation they came across a large bolder, bigger than any of them could move. My friend and his brother took turns hitting the rock with sledge hammers, after hours of work they had made no progress; the rock just seemed to laugh at them. Finally their dad asked if he could give it a try to which the exhausted brothers both laughed. They watched as their dad took a small hammer and a chisel and began hitting the rock; with precision accuracy and hit by hit their father was breaking pieces of the rock away. In about an hour the entire rock had been broken down into smaller rocks and carried away. The two sons had more strength than their father, but their dad had an ability that they lacked. His lesser strength combined with ability was greater than the combined strength of his sons. That’s what it means to have “dunamis” power.