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  • Sam Matthews. K

265. Power of the Spirit.

Everything that has been created exercises some form of power independent of God, be it physical or spiritual power. Angels have been created to have spiritual power independent of God and men have been created to have physical power independent of God, so also every creature in all creation! Nature too has power of its own, independent of God and man has harnessed the power of water, wind, sun, fire etc for his needs. If all of creation has power independent of God, then it would be absurd to think that the Spirit of God alone has no power independent of God the Father! Each person of the Trinity has power of their own, but we usually make no distinction between their powers because we consider God as a single entity. However, Scripture does refer to their powers distinctly, but we consider them all as one and the same! At times Scriptures refer to the *power of God* and at other times, refers to the *power of the Spirit* and sometimes even refers to the *power of Christ,* though he lives today by the power of God. *'For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by the power of God. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve others '* ( 2 Corinthians 13: 4)

Unlike angels, who were created to have spiritual power of their own, man has no spiritual power of his own and has limited physical power too, because God wanted man to live by his power. Therefore, he has given us access by faith to his unlimited power so that we no longer have to live by our limited physical strength. And when Christ, who being in very nature God, put on flesh and became a man, he too was clothed in weakness, *sharing in our humanity* (Hebrews 2:14), but lived by the power of God and ministered by the power of the Spirit. The power of the Spirit was never operational in him before he began his ministry. He lived by the grace of God until then. *'The child grew and became strong ... and the grace of God was upon him.'* (Luke 2:40) *'Now Jesus himself was thirty years old when he began his ministry. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove.'* ( Luke 3:31-32) ... *'Jesus returned to Galilee in the POWER OF THE SPIRIT.'* ( Luke 4:14) *'And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. '* ( 5:17) *'And the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.'* ( 6:19)

However, in his hometown of Nazareth, *'he could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them'* ( Mark 6: 5), because the Holy Spirit was grieved by their unbelief and withdrew! Jesus couldn't operate in the *gift of miraculous powers* because the power of the Spirit was not present. That is why Scripture says that the gifts of the Spirit are administered by the Holy Spirit and they become operational only by his power. *'Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for common good ... All these are the work of one and the same Spirit and he gives them to each one, JUST AS HE DETERMINES.'* ( 1 Corinthians 12:7-11) We all have received some gift or the other, which are lying dormant in our lives because we haven't received the power of the Spirit to activate them. Therefore, Paul exhorted Timothy : *'For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands'* ( 2 Timothy 1:6) *'Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.'* (1 Timothy 4:14) Speaking of his own ministry, Paul testifies how his *'message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the SPIRIT'S POWER'* (1 Corinthians 2:4) and how *'by the power of signs and miracles, through the POWER OF THE SPIRIT'* - he led the Gentiles to obey God. (Romans 15:19) Unless we receive the power of the Holy Spirit, the gifts we have received will not function! That would be like receiving a home appliance as gift but having no electricity to operate it! *The need of the hour is for the Spirit's power!* Amen.

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