266. Power of Christ.
When Jesus gave up his divinity to become man (Philippians 2:6-8), he had to give up his divine virtue of power and therefore had to live by the power of God and minister by the power of the Spirit during his days on earth. And now he *'lives by the power of God'* ( 2 Corinthians 13:4) following his death and resurrection. As a man among the Triune God, he has become our representative before God and the channel of God's power unto us. Since Jesus gave up the glory he once had, to become man, he therefore prayed: *"Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."* (John 17:5) He gave up his divinity only to receive it back again! And he also wants his disciples to see it. So he also prayed: *"I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."* ( Vs 24) Just as the Father glorified him, we too will be glorified! *"Where I am , my servant also will be. My father will honour the one who serves me."* ( 12:26) He has become an example for us in everything that we should imitate him in all things. He has shown us how to become channels of God's power in this world. Just as God anointed Jesus *'with the Holy Spirit and* ( not 'or' meaning they are not one and the same but different events) *power'* before *'he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil',* ( Acts 10:38), we too need to be anointed by Jesus with the *Holy Spirit and power* to go around doing good and healing all who are under the power of the devil. However, there was a gap of 40 days between these two events in Jesus' life. *'Jesus FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, returned from the Jordon and was led by the Spirit in the desert where for 40 days he was tempted by the devil ... Jesus returned to Galilee in the POWER OF THE SPIRIT.'* ( Luke 4: 1, 14) It might take more than 40 days or even 40 years until we are tested and found trustworthy - worthy to be entrusted with the power of the Spirit! Just because we have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it doesn't necessarily mean we have received the power of the Spirit. The anointing in the Holy Spirit is to live a Christian life whereas the anointing in the power is to witness Christ. And it is only through Jesus that we can receive both these baptisms! For John said, *"I baptize you with water ... He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and* ( not 'or' meaning they are not one and the same but different events) *with fire.'* ( Matthew 3:11) He is the one whom the Father has entrusted the task of perfecting our faith in Him ( Hebrews 12:2) and his grace in us! So he said to Paul, *"My grace* (Gk: *charis* means the state of kindness and favour to someone) *is sufficient for you, for MY POWER is made perfect in weakness."* Paul joyfully responded to this assurance by stating: *"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that CHRIST'S POWER may rest on me."* (2 Corinthians 12:9) When the early church was persecuted, *'much grace was upon them all.'* (Acts 4:33) The power of Christ was not only for that generation but also for us in this generation and for the generations to come, until Christ returns. And remember that the synonym for *Grace* in the new testament is *Power* for he not only shows us favour but causes his power to flow into us and through us to change our lives and that of those around us. Amen.