The Spirit and Power

THE SPIRIT AND POWER. Power in the natural world has conditions and operates under certain laws; so spiritual power is subject to conditions and laws of the spiritual realm. The Bible’s prescription for power calls for a knowledge of our position in Christ and prayer. Many people and churches are weak, because they have hazy ideas of what it means to be “in Christ” and because they simply don’t ask for power! First, the power of the Spirit is a matter of prevailing prayer, the asking of God for it.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:13-16).

Paul coupled his prayer with his benediction.

Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think—according to the power that works in you—to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Unimaginable power is available to those who pray for it. Believers need to pray for each other, especially for God to grant the strengthening power of the Spirit to bear trials; to perform your duties; and to glorify His name. The indwelling Spirit’s power provides victory in the Christian life, development of Christian fruit, and the ability to win against the flesh and the works of Satan.

For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:13).

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to this worldly age, according to the ruler of the atmospheric domain, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and by nature we were children under wrath, as the others were also. But God, who is abundant in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. By grace you are saved! (Ephesians 2:1-5).

Not only are Christians made alive with Christ through the regeneration of the Spirit, they are empowered to overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil by the Spirit, who empowers the believer with power, love and self-discipline.

Therefore, I remind you to keep ablaze the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

“Spirit” should be capitalized since He is the gift of God. “Sound judgment” (swfronismov sophronismos) denotes self-discipline or self-control. Paul employed another Greek term for self-control (egkrateia egkrateia) in describing the fruit of the Spirit. Nevertheless, love and self-control are a result of yielding to the power of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:23).

No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s {Greek his} seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another (1 John 3:9-11 ESV).

This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5).

The presence of the Spirit’s power assures the believer’s victory over the world and the Devil.

You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

In the book of Ephesians, Paul sets forth the believer’s position in Christ, which is followed by how to appropriate his position of power. The believer’s walk merges into warfare. The apostle connects power for Christian conduct and conflict, writing, “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength” (Ephesians 6:10). Paul would have the believer be strong in his position that he
possesses already.

A primary condition of spiritual power consists in maintaining a right relationship to Christ; and this relationship may be defined by the familiar term “faith.”

Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Faith is having the bold assurance and conviction that Paul expressed, “I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). The Bible’s prescription for power requires faith to act upon our position and to claim our possessions by asking God for them. Strength and power requires the continuous exercise of faith in our position in Christ, converting the benefits of
that position into the power of daily experience.

Power requires a daily dependence upon the Spirit and yielding to God’s will and obeying God’s Word. Power requires the exercise of prevailing prayer. Look at what Paul added to “putting on the whole armor of God” for being strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).

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