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JOIN Us AS WE STUDY THE fundamental BIBLE CONCEPT OF "POWER!"

matthew 28:18 reminds us:

 "AND JESUS CAME AND SPAKE UNTO THEM, SAYING,  ALL  POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH."

 

 

My wife and I each month study some specific area of Scripture, either in a verse-by-verse manner or by means of surveying the Scriptures looking for a certain theme.  In February of 2005 we have felt led to examine some Bible Passages that deal with the "POWER" of God.  We invite you to join us as we begin!  It will be exciting I'm sure!

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

LESSON 1:

One of the finest verses in Scripture concerning the POWER of God is found in the Book of Acts.

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

Notice that here spiritual power is a GIFT!  "Ye shall receive power!"  It cannot be earned or bought or stolen.  The verb "receive" translates the Greek word "lambano."  This means to take or lay hold of!  No idea of force is present either! However, let me say this.  Grammatically the word indicates that God makes the power available ... but we must at least have enough desire to "lay hold" of it!  ("Dechomai" is the Greek verb that's more passive.  It would have suggested power being GIVEN whether you wanted it or not!  And "haireomai" is the verb that's more aggressive!  It means something like ... "To take for oneself!"  We can never receive power ... or seize it either ...  without God being willing to give it!)

Next notice the GROUNDS of that power!  It is distributed by God the Holy Spirit! He is the "Dynamo" of God!  Here He is called the Holy Ghost.  "Hagios Pneuma" is the Greek Name.  The old-timers used the term Ghost instead of Spirit for Him because to them a Ghost was the Presence of one who had died ... but returned! They actually viewed the Holy Spirit as Jesus in Essence working in them and through them!  Wherever you see the Holy Spirit working in liberty ... there you will also find the great POWER of God!  To have more POWER ... be more yielded to the Holy Spirit!

Now let's look at the GRAMMAR of this power!  The Greek word here is "dunamis" and means strength, ability or might.  This root word gives us English words such as dynamo, dynamic, dynamite and a host of others.  Technically it (being in a family of about 5 or 6 different but synonymous words for power or strength) has the idea of "inherent" power.  That means power within!  Power which you were granted!  Not borrowed power or bought power ... just (as it were) birthed power!

Our verse proceeds to reveal the GOAL of this power.  It seeks to make us "witnesses" for our dear Lord and Saviour!  The noun here is "martus," which gives us primarily the word "martyr!"  It means one whose very life illustrates his faith and beliefs and convictions!  (I guess the power to be burned at the stake is "witness" enough!)  God needs such "witnesses' today to His Deity, His Plan of Salvation, His method of separated living, His strength to answer prayer, His comfort in trials and sorrows, His abiding Presence, and His grace to die!  Plus so much more!  That kind of "witness" can only be produced via Holy Spirit Power. This is real Christianity!

Lastly observe with me the geography of this power!  To the folks whom Luke is writing, the power began at Jerusalem, their home area!  Then it spread outward in ever widening circles until it literally reached Rome and beyond, the uttermost parts of the world!  God wants us to live for him ... purely and sincerely and transparently ... everywhere we go!  And that, my friend, is powerful living!

Here's the whole verse again:  "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

Amen!

Let's try to live by it!

By the way, the whole verse in reality it a GUARANTEE also!  That's because it is a promise from God!   You can depend on it!  "For he is faithful that promised." (Hebrews 10:23)  And furthermore as Joshua reminded the Israelites:  "Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof."  (Joshua 23:14) You can base your whole Christian life on Acts 1:8. God has so promised!  (And that IS a guarantee!)

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2 ...

This Lesson will deal with Zechariah chapter four.  (Especially verse number six!)  You know it I'm sure:  "Then he (the angel) answered and spake unto me (Zechariah), saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."

The Holy Spirit is God's Agent of Power on earth!

 Now it's clear to see that the whole emphasis here is on the "Spirit" of God.

There are some situations and conditions and problems Israel is facing in Zechariah that can ONLY be handled by reliance on the Holy Spirit of the Lord!

These issues cannot be faced and conquered by "might." 

That noun in Hebrew is "chayil" and is translated in the King James Bible as "army" (56 times), "man of valour" (37 times), "forces" (14 times), "valiant" (13 times) and even "riches" (11 times)!

It's etymology points to a root word that means to twist or whirl (in a circular or spiral manner) and has taken on the meaning of "force," like a tornado I would think.

Anyway, the army can't help with Zechariah's (the priest) and Zerubbabel's (the governor) and Israel's (the nation) problems here.

Nor can "power."  This noun is "koach" (pronounced "ko'-ak") and means that which is FIRM!  It is rendered the following ways in our Bible:  strength, power, might, force and ability. If it has a particular nuance of meaning, it may reside in the fact that it often suggests BIG things!  Sheer size implying strength!

God just told those men that the army can't help them!  Nor can anything big do the job!  (Nothing's big enough for this task!)

BUT One exists Who can help!

Who?

"My Spirit!" says the Lord.

"By My Spirit!"

The noun "ruach" just means by definition breath, breeze or wind (air)!  Yet that's the word picture the Bible uses for the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments!  ("Rucah" and "Pneuma!")

He is The very Breath of God!

In fact He is God!

We serve One God ... Who exhibits Himself in a Triune Manner; Father, Son and Spirit!

The SPIRIT can do things today to help us!

Mighty things apparently!

Fighting things apparently!

Things an army can't do!

Massive things too!

Things the biggest ________________ you know can't handle!

We must serve a BIG God then!

This chapter in Zechariah teaches us that the Holy Spirit is God's Source of Power for us today!

Isn't that exactly what Jesus declares in Acts 1:8 --- "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ...."

Yes!

Lord willing, about "power" soon!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

I've just found a "power" verse that is quite thrilling!

Psalm 62:11 says ... "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God."

Isn't that amazing?

The Hebrew Name used for God here is "Elohiym."  That prefix, "El," means power or strength or might!  (God's very Name, the One used 2,606 times in the Bible, includes the word POWER!)

The verb "hath spoken" is a Piel form of a standard action word in Hebrew.  "Dabar" is used 1,143 times in the Bible.  It means to declare.  BUT in the Piel, it includes speaking with great intensity and force! 

And the verb "heard" ("shama" in Hebrew) means more than just sound waves entering the ear canal!  It means to listen and understand and (when required) to obey!

Then the word "power" ("oz" in Hebrew)' only found 93 times in Scripture, means strength (as a noun or adjective), might or even boldness (1 time).  Additionally once it is rendered "loud!"  (2nd Chronicles 30:21)

And the verb "belongeth," plainly being italicized ("belongeth") is supplied by the King James translators to clarify meaning.  It is probably gleaned from the preposition "unto:"  Power unto Elohim!

But let's examine that little word "unto."  In Hebrew it has these meanings:  to, for, towards, in regard to, according to, or belonging to!  Another Hebrew lexicon says:  "of" or "by!" 

Power is of God and comes by means of God and belongs to God and must be considered according to God!

How very accurate our Bible is!

So ... to acquire any true power needed for everyday Christian life ... one must make application to the Almighty God of Scripture.  He's the Source of it all!

And isn't that the same thing Jesus said 1,000 years after the Psalmist?  In Matthew 28:18 He declares:  "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

Amen!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

Psalm 68:35 says:  "O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God."

Wow!

The adjective "terrible" (in Hebrew = "yare") means fearful or awesome!  It also has the idea of being "reverenced!"

"Holy places" (in Hebrew = "miqdash") in the King James Bible is translated "sanctuary" (69 times) and "holy place" (3 times) and "chapel" (1 time) and "hallowed part" (1 time)!

The verb "giveth" ("nathan") means to bestow or grant or permit or even lend!

Then things get even more interesting!

The noun "strength" (in Hebrew = "oz") is the usual word for might!  It is used as such 93 times in the Old Testament.  (As follows:  strength 60, strong 17, power 11, might 2, boldness 1, loud 1, and mighty 1 time)  So far things are pretty normal linguistically.

BUT then comes the word for "power!"  In Hebrew "taatzsumah" means just what it says --- "power."  YET it is a hapax logomenon!  That means it is only used once in all the Bible!  Its "root" meaning seems to be "to crunch the bones!"  It is a dramatically forceful word!

Precisely what this word means we cannot tell!

God has not chosen to use it often in Scripture.  (That's how to best tell God's definition of a term!)  Just this once does the Spirit of God draw this noun from His infinite vocabulary!

So ... what ever God gives us ... it's unique!  It's special!  It's un-definable perhaps! But it's great!

Suffice it to say this:  Whatever we need in the area of strength, power, might and ability ... HE can provide ... as a gift!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

I heard a Preacher say this.

It sure excited my soul!

He simply reminded the people of God that we actually live the Christian life based upon two great truths!

Each of those truths is learned from a mountain top!

The first Fact is learned at Mount Calvary, Golgotha's Hill!

Jesus shed His precious Blood to save us!

The second Fact is learned at Mount Olivet when Jesus ascended back to His Father in Heaven!

There He said:  "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."  Matthew 28:18

Mount Calvary ... salvation!

Mount Olivet ... power to live for Jesus once we are saved!

Two mountains!

Two Truths!

Each vital to the Christian life!

Without the first (salvation at Calvary) there is no Christian life!

Without the second (power at Olivet) there is no victorious Christian life!

We must have both His Life (provided in the past at Golgotha) and His Power (granted moment by moment from the Right Hand of The Father) to successfully live for Him!

Appropriate both in your life!

That "all-power" that Jesus possesses, He shares with His children!  It is in reality the "power of the Spirit!"   After Jesus' 40 day Temptation, Luke 4:14 tells us:  "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee!"

With that Power in mind, Jesus told His Disciples ... then us:  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."  John 14:12

The last thing Jesus promised His followers before ascending to Heaven was:  "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ...."  Acts 1:8

Dear friend, do live at Mount Calvary ... but you had best visit Mount Olivet every day too!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

  "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified."

Loosely based upon the Scripture you just read, John 7:37-39, I give you the following little story.

It is said to have happened in the State of Colorado.

A little town, normally dry from a lack of rain, had discovered a cool clear lake in the mountains above and not too far away.

An ingenious little plan was developed and implemented that dug a channel, inserting into it the proper pipe-work, that brought torrents of that precious liquid to kitchens and baths all over the city.

News of this newfound blessing  rapidly spread throughout the region.  Naturally many families begin moving into the vicinity.  Water!  No one had enough and this little village had plenty!  (All because of the channel!)

The economy exploded in growth!

Things were just great ... then:

Suddenly one day ... no water!

It was gone!

Days became weeks ... folks grew discouraged and some made plans to leave!

One adventurer decided to investigate.

He would discover the problem.

Off he went!

And guess what?

The lake was still full ... and the water clean and cold and clear as ever.

Nothing wrong with the that!

But back in town all was dry!

The problem was found.

An animal had drowned and been sucked into the pipe that drained the water from the lake up above!  The pipe that sped the water on its swift journey to the city below ... to the thousands upon thousands of thirsty mouths ... was totally blocked!

The channel was "clogged!"

It was that simple!

Something had stopped the flow!

Once proper removal and cleaning and disinfecting had been done ... again came the water!

As much as ever ... if not more!

Does anyone see the moral of this little event?

We Christians are to receive torrents of Holy Spirit Power day by day also ... like rivers of water!  (Again, John 7)

But sometimes we get all kinked and blocked and obstructed too!

With sins and filth and things that quench and grieve the Holy Spirit.

Once that happens ... only detriment can come!

We just MUST see to it that the channel is open and flowing!

Keep sins confessed!

Commune with the Holy Spirit hourly!

Paul says, "Walk in the Spirit!"  Galatians 6:16

Better yet, Galatians 5:25 --- "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

Brethren, keep things flowing!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

I just saw the association of two great truths in John 1:29-34 as never before!

I am astounded!

John the Baptist first sees Jesus and this is recorded of him:

"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.  And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God."  John 1:29-34

First ... John names Jesus as the Lamb of God ... pointing to Calvary and our salvation!  Then ... he immediately goes to the subject of the Holy Spirit, the Bringer of Power for the Christian!

Jesus will not ONLY save the lost through His shed Blood ... He will also baptize them with His Holy Spirit!

The two truths must be linked!

The Holy Spirit does IN me what Jesus did FOR me!

The Lord Jesus, via His Blood, redeemed me!  The Holy Spirit daily applies that redemption price to my earthly life and activities!

What Jesus did at the Cross to my heart (cleansed it) ... the Spirit does on earth to my feet and hands and eyes (sanctifies and keeps them clean)!

In the Old Testament all Jewish males had to go to Jerusalem to the Temple 3 times a year.  (Deuteronomy 16:16)

Those times were at the Feasts of:  Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles!  (Not JUST Passover!)  Passover celebrates the Blood of salvation!  Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit!  And Tabernacles celebrates thanksgiving for all God's blessings!  Hence I say ... three things are necessary for the execution of a godly successful vibrant Christian life:  Calvary's Blood (Jesus), Pentecost's Oil (Holy Spirit) and Tabernacles' Thanksgiving (The Father)!

Our Source of forgiveness and our Source of power must both be in focus as we live day by day!

Still ... it all ultimately focuses on Jesus!  For as John 7:39b says:  "For the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified."  Without Jesus' Death, Burial and Resurrection (and Ascension) ... the Spirit could have never come in His POWER!

Think about it!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

I was thrilled!

I had learned a new verse!

On the surface it looks rather ordinary ... but what that Preacher taught me was astounding!

It is taken from the life of Gideon, the Judge of Israel.

And here it is:  "But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him."  Judges 6:34

Look at that little verb:  "came upon."

In Hebrew it is "labash" and is used 112 times in the King James Bible.

Now get this.  It's main meaning is "to be clothed!"

Of its 112 uses in the Bible, 51 times it is rendered "clothed" and 22 more times it is "put on" as one does with his clothing!  It's to be "arrayed" another 6 times and "wear" 4 times! Plus "apparel" or "apparelled" 2 more times!  In fact, it is only translated "came upon" this one time!

The word picture is obvious!  The Spirit of God CLOTHED Gideon in Power ... Power for his God-given job ahead!

Wow!

Or scholars teach us that it could be visualized this way:  The Holy Spirit clothed Himself with Gideon!

Wow again!

Then the Lord reminded me of another verse with similar meaning.

Jesus told His Disciples that after His Ascension they should return to Jerusalem and wait ...!  Here are His exact words:  "And, behold, I send the Promise (the Holy Spirit) of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with Power from on high."  Luke 24:49

See that verb "endued?"

It in Greek is spelled:  "enduo!"  The English language just "borrowed" it from the Greeks!

What does it mean? 

"Duo" means to sink down into something.  (As one steps into his clothing!)  And the preposition/prefix "en" just means "into."

Endued means to put one's clothes on!

Here again ... we see a Believer "clothed" with the Power of the Spirit!

What a blessing!

Friend, what are you "wearing" today?

I do hope it is He, God the Holy Spirit!

Glory!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

Perhaps four of the hardest words to define are:  life, light, love and power.

Philosophers and teachers and social engineers of all kinds have pondered them for years.

Even theologians tackle them!

Without being boastful or simplistic, I believe that any Believer (with an opened Bible in his hand) can define them all ... rather quickly too!

Life?  Jesus is Life!  He said so!  "I am the way, the truth and the Life!"  John 14:6  And later in John 17 He defined eternal Life.  He said to His Father:  "And this is Life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom thou hast sent."  Amen!

Light?  Again,  listen to Scripture (John 8:12) ---  "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of life.  There it is!

Love?  You guessed it!  "God is Love!"  1st John 4:8

But, since it's our subject this month, what about Power?

Same kind of answer!

Jesus promised just before He went back to Heaven:  "But ye shall receive Power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight."  Acts 1:8-9

Power comes when the Holy Spirit comes!

He is Power!

The more of Him you have ... or should I say the more of you He has ... the more Power you will experience.  Power to live for the glory of God!

Power is not a thing ... It is a Person!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10 ...

The Shekinah Glory Cloud ("The Pillar of the Cloud") was given to Israel even before they crossed the Red Sea!  It is first mentioned as "a pillar of a cloud" in Exodus 13:21.

However, about a year later, when the Tabernacle was completed, we see the Cloud of God's Presence do something unusual.

"Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle." Exodus 40:34-35

The Cloud filled the tent, the Tabernacle!

That earthly Tabernacle is a picture of Jesus for sure!  But it also can be a picture of a Believer today in whom the presence of God rests through the precious Holy Spirit.

Now watch these 4 lessons develop.

1.  Prior to the cloud doing this "new" thing ... a great emphasis has been placed on obedience!  I counted 15 times the people "did as the Lord commanded Moses" in the last two chapters of Exodus alone!

Here's the point:  Only by obedience comes the "filling" of the Spirit!

2.  Next comes the "filling" of the tent!  When the Cloud "covered" the tent the verb used is "kasah" and means hid, concealed, overwhelmed or even clothed!  The companion  verb "filled" is (in the King James Bible) rendered "overflowed" and "satisfied" several times!

The point:  Complete saturation by the Spirit of God!  Enveloped in His Presence!

3. After that ... every move Israel made was "Spirit led" or Spirit controlled!  In Numbers 9 there are dozens of times the Cloud moves ... and so does the nation! (45 lines of Scripture I am told!)  Jesus said the Spirit would GUIDE us!  John 16:13

Point:  Walk in the Spirit!  Galatians 5:16 and 25

4. Then, consequently, came intimacy of communion with the Lord!  Let me show you what I mean.  Here's the last bit of Exodus (in red) and the first words of Leviticus (in blue).  Let's put them together without a break:  "And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys:  but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys. And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD ...."

See the linkage?

And this last point:  The lines of communication are wide open ...when the fullness of the Spirit is in effect!

We've just had a Lesson from the Tent of Meeting ... for the literal temples of the Lord (His saints) in this Church age!

Therein is the secret of Power in the Christian life!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

In Judges 15:14 we are told of Samson:  "And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands." 

The verb here, "came upon," in Hebrew is "tzsalach" and means to "break upon" someone ... to "rush" upon someone, to "go over" someone or even to "prosper" someone!

The Power of the Spirit here enabled Samson to take ... "a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith!"

Now, that's power!

HOWEVER ... sadly, in just a few verses another fact is recorded. 

"And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him."  Judges 16:20

The Spirit came!

The Spirit left!

What's this all about?

Of course we are studying an event that occurred in another dispensation.  We are in the "Old Testament" days of the Spirit's ministry.

Yet we must believe all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable! (2nd Timothy 3:16)

While in our New Testament age of God's Grace ... the Spirit of God does NOT forsake true Believers ... He still can be grieved or quenched according to Paul. 

Now back to my question .... what happened in Samson's life to cause the Spirit to depart?

Well ... between Judges 15:14 (the Spirit UPON Him) and Judges 16:20 (the Lord DEPARTED) is an event that can't be overlooked!

Samson had an immoral love affair!  Maybe two!

THAT cost him his communion (and therefore his power) with the Lord!

Now if that's the only time such a happening is recorded in Scripture, one might question my whole thesis.

But ... in the life of King Saul it occurs again!  (The Spirit upon Him ...the Spirit departing from him!)  That departing action of the Spirit was again due to sin ... on Saul's part.

Then in Matthew 17, just after Jesus' Transfiguration, the Disciples could NOT cast a demon out of a little boy. Before that occasion they had cast out demons readily. What happened?  Why did they now lack "power" to help a suffering Dad and his son? How could the problem be solved?  Here's the answer.  "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him (the demon) out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."  Prayer and fasting are just other ways of saying "communion" with the Godhead!  And their "unbelief" may have been directed toward the Holy Spirit as well!  They had temporarily lost their power due to some kind of sin!

Power is available to us ONLY as we abide in constant conscious communion with the Lord!

As long as we do not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit!

Let us seek to live daily in ... "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost."  2 Corinthians 13:14  (That's Paul's closing prayer in that Epistle --- "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.")

And sin breaks that communion!

Christian, this is important!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12:

Look with me at Romans 5:5 --- "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

We have already agreed in this study that POWER from God is mediated through the Holy Spirit today.

I now just want you to notice the mode of the Spirit's operation.

He is the Spirit of _____________________.  (Any of God's Attributes could be placed in this blank space because the Holy Spirit IS God!)

But He is especially the Spirit of LOVE!

The foremost quality of the Fruit Of The Spirit is LOVE!  Galatians 5:22-23  ("But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.")

Romans 5:5 tells us that when we're saved the Holy Spirit "sheds abroad" in our hearts LOVE, the love of God!  And this Love leads to Hope as well!

BUT learn the WAY He works!

The Spirit "sheds abroad" that love!

The verb for "shed abroad" is in Greek "ekcheo" and means to pour ("cheo") out ("ek")!  To pour out!  That sounds like a copious amount!  That's a lavish application!  Plenty of love!  (No wonder real Christians are such loving creatures!)

Here's my point today.  What the Spirit of God does, He does prodigally!  Liberally! In great abundance!

In the King James Bible that verb "shed abroad" ("ekcheo") is used 27 times.  It is translated "poured out" 12 times!  (Not a thimble full, but a bucket full!)  And even "gushed out" (1 time)! One lexicon says it means "to bestow or distribute largely!"

In its first New Testament use, speaking of wine ... it "runneth out!"  See Matthew 9:17.

Its second use deals with blood being shed!  Matthew 23:35!  (Many subsequent uses are blood related too, including the Blood of Jesus!)

In John 2:15 it is used in connection with a clean-up job.  Money is poured out! And Jesus did it!

In Acts 2:17 and 33  Simon Peter describes Jesus "pouring out" the Holy Spirit upon us in these last days!

And in Titus 3:5-6 Paul says God shed the Holy Spirit upon us ("ekcheo") abundantly ("plousios")!  The adverb here means with wealth!  From a verb meaning "to fill full!"

In Jude verse 11 our word is translated "greedily!"  (See the "intensity" it incorporates!)

And Revelation 16 uses our word 9 times in the "pouring out" of God's wrath (vials) upon a wicked earth during the Tribulation!

What the Holy Spirit does, He does heartily!  With great zeal!  Fully!

And that adjective I believe well describes His POWER giving traits also!

What else could I think?

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you ...."  Acts 1:8

God not only saves us ... but also empowers us to live for Him!

Abundant Life!  And Abundant Power too!

Amen!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13:

I read this account in an old book about the Power of God.

A lady had been given a small harp.  It was a beautiful instrument.  And she was an accomplished musician too.

However, try as she would, no lovely harmonious sounds could be produced.

Yet she had been told that this harp was prone to yield unutterably sweet melodies!

Disappointed, she returned to the letter that had accompanied the harp.  Then she learned something vital!

This harp was meat to simply be placed in a window, preferably the one facing the prevailing wind!

After a relatively calm day, twilight finally came ... and so did the breezes!

It was as if the harp came alive!

The gentle (and occasionally not so gentle) wind began to produce some of the loveliest music she had ever heard!

That was the secret of this harp for sure!  Let the winds blow!  (It's like the Shulamite Bride said of her Groom:  "Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits."  Song Of Solomon 4:16)

Now to those of you with a discerning eye, that "wind" and those "breezes" are a type of the Holy Spirit of God!  (We Christians are like that little harp too!)  While we can make no lovely music on our own ... if we place ourselves in the path of that holy Wind, at the disposal of the Spirit of God, ... what pleasant melodious sounds can be heard!

Christian, get in place!  Right where God wants you to be!

The pray ...  Blow, Wind, blow!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14:

Perhaps the best place in Scripture to find truth about the Holy Spirit and His Power (for us Christians in the latter days of this Church Age) is in the Epistles of the New Testament.

They do contain some "jewels" of information too!

We will select just four precise statements.

"Quench not the Spirit." (1 Thessalonians 5:19)  The verb "quench" means to extinguish a flame!  This verse likens the Holy Spirit to a gentle flicker of fire warming one's heart!  A "fire" that needs to be tended!

Twice to the Galatians Paul advised walking in the Spirit too!  In Galatians 5:16 we find:  "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."  The Spirit here is a Sphere in which we live and walk and have our being!  This is repeated in Galatians 5:25 --- "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

Then ... "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."  (Ephesians 4:30)  That verb "grieve" basically means "to hurt one's feelings" or "to make feel sorry!"  Do not offend the Holy Spirit!  He is a Person of the Godhead!  He is God!

Lastly, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."  (Ephesians 5:18)  The "tense" of the verb "filled" here implies an on-going action!  Constantly be in the state of being filled!  Filled to overflowing!  (This verb also is passive.  We cannot fill ourselves!  But we can empty ourselves of flesh and self and sin ... so the Lord can fill us!)

These descriptions of what to do and not do in reference to the Spirit of God insist that we commune and fellowship with Him at all times!  Actually we are to live in what Paul calls the "communion" of the Holy Spirit!  (2nd Corinthians 13:14)

My, what power will ensue!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15:

Yesterday I got to thinking about the POWER of God again!

I asked myself ... What are the most astounding Bible statements about God's almighty Power?

I came up with a short list, as the Spirit reminded me of a few things that both Paul and Peter  said.

To me the greatest single statement in the New Testament (for the Believer in Christ) about Power is found in Ephesians 1.  The great Apostle Paul mentions his desire that "we may know ... the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His Own right hand in the heavenly places!"  Wow!  Paul just said that the POWER available to us Christians is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead!  To me, that is awesome!

Second on my list is Ephesians 3:20.  Paul speaks of God as One Who "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us!" Think of that!  He has placed within us the power (Holy Spirit) Who can do MORE ... MUCH MORE ... than we will ever be able to ask or think! 

Then I have one of Peter's verses in mind.  He tells us that we are "kept" saved by the power of God!  Writing to Believers he says:  "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."  (1st Peter 1:4)  If God's Power keeps me saved, I am secure!

Lastly I would include 2nd Peter 1:3 where the Preacher tells us that God has, by His Power, given us ALL we need to live for Him!  "According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness!"  That's amazing! Everything I need for godly living!

Let's put my "list" together.

We have access to Power that's almighty!  (It raised Jesus from the dead!)

We have Power that's ABOUNDING!  (More than we can ask or think!)

We have Power that's ABIDING!  (It keeps us saved day by day!)

And we have Power that's AMPLE!  (It gives us ALL things we need to live for God!)

Preachers, your list will no doubt differ from mine ... but it sure is an interesting thought we've pursued together, isn't it?

What are the greatest POWER verses to you?

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

                                                                   

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