The Power Of Godliness

There has never been a greater need for the church to walk in the power of God than there is in our world today. 2 Timothy 3:5 tells us that in the last days there will be those who, “have the appearance of godliness but deny its power.” It’s a dangerous thing to have the framework of religion without its very purpose. This is exactly how the pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day lived, and He called them “whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones.” They looked good on the outside but had no life on the inside. The Christian life is not something that works from the outside in. You can wash the outside as much as you want and still be full of dead men’s bones. However, when you repent and become a child of God, you are washed clean in the blood of Jesus and then He breathes life into from the inside out! That is only the beginning of the Christian life though. The only way to stay clean and walk in the power of godliness that Paul talked about is to be filled with the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit has always been the way that the Father moves in the earth. In Genesis 1, the Spirit hovered over the waters at the creation and there are a multitude of Scriptures that discuss the Spirit of God in the Old Testament. He did not come to the earth for the first time in the New Testament, however, there was a marked change in the way He operated in the life of the believer after the ascension of Jesus. Joel prophesied 600-900 years before Jesus was born saying,

“It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit” (Joel 2:28).

After Jesus was born, John the Baptist prophesied of Him in Luke 3:16-17,

“He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Finally, Jesus Himself promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to the church many times as He walked the earth. He said:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him” (John 14:15-17).

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all  things and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26).

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment…" (John 16:7-8)

“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

It is important to note the use of the future tense in those Scriptures. Jesus said, “will ask,” “will give,” “will send,” “will come.” When He said those things, He was indicating something was going to happen that had not yet happened. After He ascended to His Father, Joel’s prophecy and His promises were fulfilled as the Holy Spirit was poured out on 120 faithful disciples. Acts 2:1-4 says,

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

They received what was promised and from that moment until now, He has been available to every born-again child of God. Luke 11:11-13 says,

“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

The Father doesn’t reserve Him for the apostles or leaders or specific groups but is only looking for blood-washed believers with yielded hearts. He said He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28) and He is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). The reality is that there are many who don’t realize why the Father sent the Holy Spirit, but Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to endue us with power. The Holy Spirit is the power of godliness. He is how we overcome sin and every attack of the enemy. Ephesians 5:18 says to “be [continually] filled” with the Holy Spirit! We were created to be vessels of the presence of God and without the Holy Spirit, we have only self-made religion and any “godliness” we can muster up in our own strength. The world is desperate for the genuine presence and power of God, whether they realize it or not, and we can only be a demonstration of the kingdom of heaven by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit!

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