When you are facing responsibilities, do you rely on your own strength? It’s easy to do. We do it without thinking—without thinking about who we belong to. We belong to and are connected to our heavenly Father through our faith in Jesus Christ, His Son. One of the astounding blessings of salvation is a new relationship with God. We see with the eyes of faith that the Father of Jesus Christ has become our Father!
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (4:7). This great truth unveils the second identity principle we considered last month: Identity has to do with power. As believers in Christ, we have become connected to the greatest power source known to mankind. He is available all the time and in any circumstance. Let’s look at what God’s Word reveals about the Holy Spirit and His relationship to power in our lives.
Identity Principle Two: Identity has to do with power—the Holy Spirit dwelling within us is our power from God
The following verses attest to the source of power dwelling in Jesus–it was the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ life could not be explained apart from the indwelling and ministry of the Spirit of God.
Luke 1:35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”
Luke 4:14 And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.
The Holy Spirit’s presence confirms Jesus has been glorified
What an indescribable gift we have been given by the Father and the Son! Because we are sons/daughters of God, He has given us His Spirit to fill us and empower us. Let the truth and the abundance of these verses thrill your soul. We know Jesus has been glorified before the Father because the Holy Spirit lives in us. John 7:38-39. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
The power of the Holy Spirit has been given and is available to every believer. It is our birthright.
The power of the Holy Spirit is primarily for holy living and thus, powerful witnessing. It is the Holy Spirit who manifests the life of Jesus Christ—His presence—in the lives of God’s children. He gives us gifts for ministry to others as a means of building up the body into the full image of Jesus Christ.
Believers, however, must be discerning when it comes to the gifts of the Holy Spirit because there are counterfeit spirits who will produce destructive results in the lives of the unsuspecting and undiscerning. God’s Word clearly teaches that gifts are not for show, but for ministry to the body of Christ and that signs and wonders were also acts of ministry and deliverance.
1 Cor. 12:4-7 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Cor. 14:26 What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
Therefore, ecstatic experiences such as speaking in tongues without interpretation, slaying in the spirit, barking like dogs, or “holy” laughter are exposed for what they really are: the manifestation of spirits other than the Holy Spirit. None of these manifestations are affirmed in the Scriptures and thus should be suspected. God’s Word is our rule for faith and practice. These counterfeit experiences are powerful, but their source is a dark power masquerading as light. Their presence judges God’s children to see if they will live by God’s Word for His glory or by their experiences. Often people who are not born again by “God’s Spirit open themselves to these experiences and are led to think they are Christians because they can speak in tongues or have been “slain in the Spirit” by a “prophet”. Others gain an attitude of spiritual superiority and pride because they have received the “blessing.”
The fruit of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is clearly stated in Scripture. In all of the Apostle Paul’s writing, the ministry of the Holy Spirit leads believers to put to death the flesh-life and to put on the life of Jesus Christ (Gal. 5:16-17, Rom. 8:12-16). This is the direction of the power from above. Notice the power available to believers in the following verses.
Luke 24:49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Acts: 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
Rom. 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Cor. 4:20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
2 Cor. 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves...
Eph. 1:19 [may the eyes of your hearts be enlightened to see] what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
Eph. 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man…
Phil. 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
Col. 1:11 [I pray that you be] strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience;
2 Tim. 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
1 Pet. 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
2 Pet. 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
Eph. 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t have the strength to do what God requires? Sure you have! All of us have. We don’t have the strength without a conscious reliance and relationship with Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit. How are we to love our children? How are they to love us? How can a husband and wife be faithful and love one another? How can children obey their parents? How can we obey our Lord? The answer to all of these questions is the same: Only by the power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why He was given to us!
The verses above inform us of the riches that are ours because we belong to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. If you belong to Christ, then you have His Spirit. If you don’t have His Spirit then you don’t belong to Christ. Rom. 8:9. “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”
Why be connected to Jesus?
As we studied the previous lesson, we discovered the reason a person wishes to connect or belong to another person is that he obtains something he values from that association. A teen befriends another teen because he or she thinks they can increase popularity or gain certain social or financial advantages. It’s about power. The same is true about our relationship with God through Jesus Christ—it’s about power. Why should you or anyone seek a relationship with Jesus Christ? Because He is the only way to the Father! Because He has publicly and historically demonstrated the power to defeat death, sin, and Satan! Because we are sinners and His death and resurrection set us free from sin’s penalty, power, and ultimately, its presence! Because the Father and the Son have promised the Holy Spirit to those who believe in and daily apply what Jesus has done and promised.
The Holy Spirit, who empowered the Son of God, Jesus, is the only way anyone can live to glorify God as they fulfill their daily responsibilities to love, serve, and be light. You need Him. Your children need Him. Without Him, you cannot experience fullness in life. Have you been content to live without the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Have you tried to train, teach, and love your children without being filled with the Rivers of Living Water? Have you and your family members been careless in their relationship with the Holy Spirit?
This lesson has focused on Identity Principle Two in Christ: Identity has to do with power. You connect to Jesus because He provides everything you need. The following exercises are purposefully designed to help you grow in your identity with Jesus Christ. Take a moment to jot down your thoughts or questions below as a result of reading this lesson.
1. How is it with you and the Holy Spirit? I recommend a Holy Spirit relationship check. After reading through the verses above, take some time to consider your relationship with the Holy Spirit. He is the presence of Christ in your life. Have you grieved or quenched Him in any way? Read Ephesians 4:25-5:33, and as a family, make a list of what grieves and encourages the presence and fullness of the Holy Spirit.
2. What do you think one will experience if he or she has been careless, grieved the Holy Spirit, not repented, or made the relationship right? What might one expect from the Holy Spirit if he or she valued a relationship with the Holy Spirit and kept the relationship free from grievances?
Personal Prayer Invitation
What have you learned about the Holy Spirit and yourself in this lesson? Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. You need the Holy Spirit to guide you as you pray. Listen to Him as He tells you where and when you have grieved Him. Write down what comes to mind. Express your heart to Him honestly and often. If you belong to Christ, walk in and with His Spirit—He is your power source!
Excerpt From: Norm Wakefield. Walking Worthy As a Son of God - The Walking Worthy Series, Volume 1. Available in print and ebook format at www.spiritofelijah.com