SEVEN // Part 7 of 7
Today is the last in the series of the steps to freedom in Christ and not coincidentally, it is Pentecost Sunday. For the last seven weeks, we have been applying tools given by Jesus to see the reality of our freedom in Christ manifest. These steps are mutually dependent: you cannot skip those that are difficult and move on to others that are easier. They all are important and serve a purpose – not my purpose but God’s purpose. We have learned that radical submission releases radical liberty. Today, we end with a teaching called, “I’m on Fire!”
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
/// Acts 1:4-8 (NKJV)
These instructions are the very last that Jesus gave His disciples before He ascended into heaven. In these instructions, He spoke of salvation (baptism in water). He said that there was a spiritual endowment yet to come. The endowment coming would be an impartation of power that would change the course of their lives forever. We’ve been talking about changed lives. This is an important part of that! This is the same enrichment we spoke of last Wednesday in “Holy Spirit Witness” – an endowment given that would remove all impossibilities, release gifts and fruits of the Spirit, and make the testimony of Christ alive within the believers. The power would change the believers. Declare it: “I am powerful, have (the) power, I am able, I can.”
This is little doubt that this power changed the receivers - overpowered fear with love, it drove out doubt and replaced it with confidence in God, it released gifts that made the receiver like Christ in attitude and action! Take Peter for example. Before receiving this power, Peter was afraid in the presence of the enemy. Yes, he loved Jesus but was missing the spiritual component that took things to the level of the miraculous – he was missing the component that carried him from loving Jesus to emulating Jesus! Upon receiving the power, Peter’s life changed. The things that used to stop him no longer did. Jesus still did the works but He used Peter as the conduit through which He worked. The things that prevented that from happening before were replaced with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit!
You cannot receive such power and riches without your life being changed!
On Pentecost, the Spirit came as wind and fire. When the Gentiles first received the Spirit, it fell upon them without the wind and fire and gifts were released. The process is determined by God – the outcome is the same: power. When Peter was explaining the coming of the Spirit, he said that the endowment was for all of us and our children:
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” /// Acts 2:38-39 NKJV
Today, we are going to cry out as the early church did for the release of the power of the Holy Spirit!
- Acts 1:4-8 (NKJV)
- Acts 2:1-4, 38-39 (NKJV)
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