DELIVERED FROM THE POWER OF SIN

Acts 1:8 – You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses.
The power which the Lord is promising comes from heaven’s authority. That authority was given to proclaim the good news of the gospel of the kingdom. It is an authority to live a life above sin. It is an authority to set captives free from Satan’s control. In Acts 1:7, the KJV uses the word “power” from the Greek word, exousia, which means “authority”. In Acts 1:8, the Greek word for power is “dunamis,” where we get our English word “dynamite.” The Lord is giving His disciples delegated authority which comes from His Father.

Many have the idea that the benefits of receiving the Holy Spirit are limited to being born again and going to heaven. Jesus makes it clear that receiving the Spirit is so much more. The Spirit of God brings “authority” and “power” to live a life of victory over Satan’s control through sin and darkness. As we walk in the light, as Christ is in the light, we walk in delegated authority to live out His life presently and release that life to others. The Lord has delivered us from the “authority” of Satan, his kingdom of darkness, and the power of the enemy through sin. READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE

DELIVERANCE FROM PENALTY OF SIN

John 5:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
What a powerful promise Jesus gave to those listening to His teaching. The disciples came to realize that only Jesus had the words of eternal life. “Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?’” It is God’s will that all would come to repentance (John 6:68). Judas’ heart was set against receiving the “words of eternal life.” His will was fully committed to his self-interests. Jesus carried the words of eternal life even for someone like Judas, but Judas would not hear.

In Christ, as a result of the cross, the penalty of sin has been addressed. Paul taught the Roman church that, “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). The biggest choice in this life is to choose between eternal “death” and eternal life.” Christ paid the penalty for sin, once and for all. We now must choose to trust and follow Him or continue on the path that leads to death and separation from God. “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-21). It took the blood of Jesus to deliver us from the penalty of sin, which is death and separation from the Eternal One. “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE

WHEN YOUR STRENGTH IS LIMITED

Proverbs 24:10 – If you are slack in the day of distress, your strength is limited.
Today, I want to tie together the area of strength and the will of man. Solomon is saying that when adversity comes, if you give up, you do not have much strength. I find in working with many people over the years that the “will” of an individual is in direct proportion to their strength. A good example is in the counseling arena. Many times, I find people come for counseling hoping that the counselor will provide the answer to their problems. They misunderstand the purpose of the counselor which is to help the counselee to understand the root of the problem and the principles that could help them change their circumstances.

When the counselee can hear the counselor and make the necessary application of principles to their situation, there is hope for change and healing. For many, “their strength is limited.” In other words, they do not have the strength to apply the counsel given. Their will is not strong toward resolving their issues. They want others to take responsibility or they want the counselor to side with their emotions and views. Many are weak in terms of their “will” to change and do their part in resolving their problems. Doing the will of God takes an inward strength and determination. Many times, the will of an individual is so set it overrides God’s will and purpose for their life. At times, individuals simply choose against common sense. READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE

NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS YOU WILL

Matthew 26:39 – My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, yet not as I will, but as You will.
This passage is the clearest picture mankind has of absolute surrender to the will of God. This is the turning point leading away from Adam’s rebellion, insisting on his will and not God’s.

Christ, whom Paul calls “the Last Adam,” fully fulfills God’s redemptive purpose for humanity. Jesus, chose to lay aside His will for the will of God. Once and for all He made it possible for the one who puts their faith in His redemptive work, to be able to do the same as He did. Our minds, emotions, and will have been liberated to fully surrender to God the Father.

Peter stood strong before the religious leaders that wanted to kill the disciples. Peter chose the will of God even in the face of death. One of the Pharisees named Gamaliel gave sound counsel to the group of religious leaders saying, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God” (Acts 5:33-39).

Because of what Jesus accomplished for mankind, setting our will against God’s will becomes a much more serious matter. Gamaliel’s counsel is good counsel for us as well. We never want to find ourselves setting our will against the Lord’s. When we do, we are fighting against God. Later, the disciples found themselves in need of help in caring for the needs of the people. They made a determination to appoint seven men full of the Holy Spirit to serve the people and their needs. They willed to do the will of God and to devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4-6). READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE

DO NOT LOSE HEART

Galatians 6:9-10 – Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
One of the most often encountered problems in the lives of God’s people is the loss of hope. Many times, I hear people say, “I have tried, but it does not seem to help.” Discouragement tries to find its way into the heart. When it does, it opens the door for unbelief. Unbelief is not just an attitude of the mind, but is a stronghold of the heart.

The writer of Hebrews establishes principles that will help to keep the believer strong in their heart when he says, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:22-25).

To keep our hearts from discouragement, we must be in regular fellowship with the Lord. “Draw near with a sincere heart.” Next, as we draw near to the Lord, come with a “full assurance of faith.” Come to the Lord with His word fresh in your heart and mind. Allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse you constantly, making sure your “conscious is clean.” Remind yourself of your baptism when you died with Christ. We must “hold fast” our confession that originally brought us to hope. The challenges of the Christian walk can cause some to “waver.” If one does waver in their faith, the enemy gets an upper hand. READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE

EXAMINING OUR HEARTS

Jeremiah 17:9-10 – The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.
The Word of God spoken through Jeremiah His prophet is a beginning point for our understanding of the heart. There are many verses before Jeremiah’s statement we could examine, but these Scriptures go to the depth of the human problem and God’s dealings with mankind.

David, as a young man, treasured God’s word in his heart. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You (Psalm 119:11). David understood his need to get the Word of God into the deepest area of his life, his heart. Many are aware of what God’s word declares, but have not treasured the word by memorizing and meditating on the Word.

Solomon exhorts us in Proverbs 3 concerning the heart. “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” How could I ever say it better? This is the Holy Spirit speaking through Solomon. READ MORE – CLICK TITLE ABOVE