Sermon for Saturday

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witness unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8

We have all heard of people who have heard the Gospel and have come under conviction of their sins, but who have become frightened at the prospect of becoming a Christian. These folks compare their sinful life styles with those of the faithful Christians they have met, and are convinced that they will be unable to live up to such a high standard. They are right, of course. Before they are saved, they are incapable of living as a Christian should. We were the same before God saved us. The natural person cannot even understand the Bible, let alone live as a victorious Christian. The power to live a Christian life is not within ourselves, but is in the Holy Spirit Who comes to reside with us when we are saved.

When we read the account of the early days of Christianity, as outlined in the first few chapters of Acts, we are amazed at the transformation of the believers. The same men who ran and hid when the mob came to arrest Jesus are now boldly preaching in the temple and other public places in Jerusalem. In the face of persecution and death threats, they launch confidently into a life of witnessing, preaching, and service for their Lord. The contrast in their lives is amazing, and we can understand how the people around them could be so amazed. Unaware even of the existence of the Holy Spirit, the spectators would have no way to rationalize the difference they saw in Jesus followers on and after the day of Pentecost. Do people today have the same confusion when they see how the life of a Christian is changed from what it was before Salvation?

There are some Christians whose lives have not changed much since they were saved. For some of them, they have simply failed to allow the Holy Spirit to live through them and to empower them to victory over sin. For others, they had been living as moral and respectable people before, and there were few obvious signs of a sinful life for the Holy Spirit to remove. But the Holy Spirit’s indwelling of each believer is the provision of the power of God to not only change the believer from sinner to saint, but to empower that believer to reach heights not remotely possible to the unconverted. Paul could say, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’. And He was not exaggerating or overstating. He was declaring the limitless capabilities of a life submitted to the Spirit’s guidance and control.

As believers, we have a power that goes beyond the world’s understanding. This power is for our blessing and for the glory of our Lord. – Jim MacIntosh

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