From the book of Acts we read,
- “He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times and epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8 – NASB)
Jesus told His apostles (V-2) why they should not be concerned about the “times and epochs (“an occasion, i.e. set or proper time” – Strong) because “the Father,” takes care of that. What Jesus wanted His apostles to understand is that they would be “receiving power when” He sent “the Holy Spirit” to indwell them. They would then be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Through the “witnessing” of the apostles Jesus was going to build His church (Matthew 16:18), as those who heard God’s gospel message and repented and turned to Him as Lord and Savior would be saved. These redeemed of God also would also “receive power” to be “witnesses.” The church was to be redeemed individuals who were born again by the “Spirit” of God and empowered by “the Spirit” of God to proclaim God’s truth to a lost and dying world.
Sometimes though, it seems as if the church is not exhibiting that “power,” not using it to do what the Lord would have them do. Why would this be? Dr. John MacArthur writes and addresses this issue as it pertains to our very own time,
- “Two major factors contribute to the church’s powerlessness today. First, many are ignorant of biblical truth. Second, those who may know biblical truth all too often fail to live by it.”
Dr. MacArthur goes on to say that,
- “Proclaiming an erroneous message is tragic, yet so is proclaiming the truth but giving scant evidence that one’s life has been transformed by it. Such people cannot expect others to be moved by their proclamation.”
That said, consider the words 19th century Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne shared with an aspiring young minister,
- “Do not forget the couture of the inner man — I mean of the heart. How diligently the cavalry officer keeps his sabre clean and sharp; every stain he rubs off with the greatest care. Remember you are God’s sword, His instrument — I trust a chosen vessel unto Him to bear His name. In great measure, according to the purity and perfections of the instrument, will be the success. It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus. A holy minister is an awful weapon in the hand of God.”
The “power” that we have as believers, that “power” that is the Holy Spirit within us, it is unleashed with great threat upon Satan’s kingdom when “the sword” is kept clean, “the success” having much to do with “the purity and perfections of the instrument,” and the “likeness” of “Jesus” being evident in our lives.
Have a good day. . . and if you are a believer then the Holy Spirit is within you and you have great power to walk in a manner worthy of the calling by which you have been called and to be a powerful witness for Jesus.
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