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17th June 2012
Followers of Jesus are characterised in the Bible as those who know the power of God and the word of God. In fact, Jesus chastised the religious leaders of his day for not knowing the Scriptures and God's power, demonstrating that it's possible to have the outward signs of religion, but to be totally missing God's great salvation plan as it unfolds before your eyes!
We can be like that, too. It's possible to do a shadow of the Christian life or a shadow of church without actually involving God at all! But the Gospel isn't about a shadow – it's about the power of God! And this power radically transforms us, not just on the outside, but predominantly on the inside, right to the core of who we are.
This power comes from the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself was baptised in the Spirit before he started his ministry. If the Son of God was empowered by the Spirit, how much more do we need to be?!
When the Spirit was poured out onto Jesus, he received a commendation from his Father. This was before Jesus had healed anyone, forgiven anyone, gone through Gethsemane and died on the cross. Before he began his ministry, the Father loved him, accepted him and was "well pleased" with him.
The very same Spirit of God testifies to our sonship as well, enabling us to cry "Abba Father" (see Galatians 4). The Spirit guides us into the truth of our adoption into God's family and reveals the Father's love to us: his love that is broad – welcoming anyone, regardless of background, social standing, significance; it is long – reaching back past the creation of the world, redeeming even the very worst things that we have done or have been done to us; it is high – sweeping us into his family, lavishing us with grace, seating us securely with Christ; and it is deep – praying the price for all our sin, carrying the whole load so that we can be free.
Because of what Jesus has accomplished, we are not disqualified from receiving the Father's love. To keep in step with the Spirit is to be strengthened with power, grasping the Father's love, allowing it to embrace us, transform us and bring us into deeper relationship with the God who created us.
Verses: Luke 3:21-23 (see also Matthew 22:29, 1 John 3:1, Galatians 4:6-7, Ephesians 3:14-19)
Food for thought:
Posted by Paul Mann