#583 (20/4/22) FOR POWER, SHARE THE MESSAGE OF POWER
This week, as we finish our studies on the person and work of the Holy Spirit, we will be looking at the way that He gives us the power to witness.
THE SPIRIT GIVES POWER TO THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
Have you ever had the experience of looking at something on the internet only to find that you are bombarded with promotions and videos related to that issue or product? Maybe you looked at a holiday website only for every other YouTube clip to now be about Kayaking in Canada! The software wants to give you messages that it now thinks that you like and want to hear; there is a message that the Holy Spirit loves to hear. The Holy Spirit loves the gospel. He empowers the gospel message. He wants to keep telling you about Jesus, and He wants you to keep telling people about Him.
Gospel means ‘good news’. Good news about what? Good news about salvation through Jesus. It’s a message that, if believed has power to save and transform. Tim Keller summarises it:
'In the Bible, the term gospel is the declaration of what Jesus Christ has done to save us.'
‘All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.’ (Colossians 1:6)
The gospel ‘bears fruit and grows’. By the Spirit’s power, it causes people to become Christians and causes them to grow as the Spirit continues His work in them.
Power to witness comes from the power of the Spirit: He empowers us with conviction and courage and He also empowers the message that we share, as Paul says,
‘Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.’ (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6)
Without the message that the Spirit empowers, we have no potency. We can challenge and entertain but we cannot see supernatural transformation without the message that transforms. Let’s look at what Paul says to the Ephesians,
‘For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ (Ephesians 2:8-10)
He tells them that they are ’saved, through faith’. Faith in what? Faith in the gospel. We need to share the gospel in order for people be saved. However, Pauls doesn’t stop there. He tells them that they, through the gospel, have become those who can do ‘good works’. This message saves and creates a people who do good works - this is a powerful message!
Let’s briefly look at what we read in Colossians,
‘The gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.’ (Colossians 1:6-8)