|Sin and its consequences.||God’s provision in Christ.|
|Being under the judgement of God.||Justification and forgiveness.|
|Being separated from God.||Reconciliation.|
|Being spiritually dead.||Regeneration.|
|Being powerless.||The Holy Spirit.|
After Jesus had been raised from the dead He appeared to many groups and individuals of his disciples as we have seen in a previous part of our study. After ten days He ascended to heaven where He received the Holy Spirit from His Father and whom He poured out upon His waiting people.
Jesus had promised them this, that they would know power to live.
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”. Acts 1:8.
The Greek word for “power” is the word “dynamis” from which we get our English words like dynamite, dynamo, etc.
The power that the disciples needed was a power to live. This promise must not be taken to mean that it refers specifically to the receiving of certain supernatural gifts, like speaking in foreign languages, languages otherwise unknown to the speaker. These are amazing gifts and the New Testament gives several lists of such gifts. This is not primarily what is in view here however.
The power that the disciples needed was supernatural power to live by the life of the Holy Spirit that they had received.
Up until this time they were still struggling to understand Jesus and certainly did not understand the power released in the resurrection. The contrast between the days when Jesus was appearing to them, and the immediate days after Pentecost is immense. By the coming of the Holy Spirit they had been transformed from a group of fearful men and women, locked up in the upper room, doubting, confused, afraid, and riddled with guilt and shame, to an altogether different group. Now they were filled with the Holy Spirit and were boldly preaching Him in the very place, and among many of the same people, who, only a few days ago, were crucifying Him. Those who had deserted Him and had run away at the scenes of the cross, were now fearlessly declaring His claim on their lives, and His power to transform all who would receive Him.
Nearly all of the disciples – or apostles as they were later named – experienced martyrdom for their faith. The only rational explanation of this remarkable transformation is that God had given them divine power to live.
They had been regenerated by the power of God. They went on to preach the gospel and share their faith all over the then-known world as Jesus prophesied that they would.
When Jesus was crucified the Bible teaches that we were crucified with Him. Not only did He die for us, in our place, as our substitute, He also died as us, for our freedom and deliverance, from self and sin.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. Galatians 2:20.
“Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Romans 6:11.
“There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death”. Romans 8:1.
“The normal Christian life” is not just the title of a very helpful book written by Watchman Nee; it is an expression that should describe the experience of every believer.
Are we all living the quality of life described in the New Testament, or have we settled for something “safer”. There is provision for all of us to be in something new and radical and that is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us?