We are now proceeding to the climax of this series of articles on the power of God in us. As we have seen in previous parts, the power comes from God, through the Holy Spirit, after we repent of our sins and receive the salvation of Jesus Christ. Having the power of God is not for personal use or benefit though, but for the goodwill of the Kingdom of God.

After returning from their mission, the Apostles that Jesus sent out to minister were delighted with the power that worked through them. Jesus, who knows the heart of men warned them however.

Luke 10:20 WEB Nevertheless, don't rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

In other words, the power that flows through us to subject evil should never be the source of our joy, but rather the fact that Jesus saved us from eternal death. The power of the Holy Spirit is channelled through the different gifts that work through us, but only because of the redemption of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 WEB (4) Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. (5) There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord. (6) There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all. (7) But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all. (8) For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; (9) to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit; (10) and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. (11) But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires.

The point is that the gifts are just that: Gifts from God through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we cannot buy, sell or earn them. Neither should one person boast because he has more power than the next.

Romans 12:3-9 WEB For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith. (4) For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don't have the same function, (5) so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (6) Having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; (7) or service, let us give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching; (8) or he who exhorts, to his exhorting: he who gives, let him do it with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (9) Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good.

The eye cannot judge the ear or the foot, as the whole body suffers when one member has been hurt. Similarly, it should be in the body of Christ. All members should be working towards the good of the whole body. We never ‘own’ the gifts of the Spirit, and neither can we boast with ‘our’ gifts. In fact, we would not have the gifts if it was not for the grace of God in and through Jesus Christ.

Acts 19:11-16 WEB God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul, (12) so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the evil spirits went out. (13) But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches." (14) There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did this. (15) The evil spirit answered, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?" (16) The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

In this example, we learn more about the dynamics of the power of the Holy Spirit. The sons of Sceva did not take note of the authority of the name of Jesus through which Paul worked the miracles. They wanted to abuse the authority of Jesus’ name, rebuking evil spirits in the name of ‘Jesus whom Paul preaches’. Verse 15 says it all: "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?"

The evil spirits knew the authority of the name of Jesus. They knew who Jesus was, and even had respect for Paul, of whom they knew that he had legal right to function in the name of Jesus, but for the unsaved sons of Sceva they had no respect.

Mark 16:17 WEB These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; (Emphasis by author)

Clearly, if one could consult the sons of Sceva, they would confirm that these signs do not follow the unbelievers, because the authority by which Christian believers function, lies in the name of Jesus, which is not available for unbelievers.

Philippians 2:9-11 WEB Therefore God also highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name; (10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The authority of the name of Jesus can be likened to the authority with which a police officer functions. When the officer is in uniform, he has the authority to stop a 40-ton truck by raising his hand. Without the uniform, the officer has neither the power nor the authority to stop the truck and it could result in sudden death if he should walk into the road and try to stop the same 40-ton truck. The point is that the officer does not have the power in himself to stop the truck, but the driver of the truck knows the consequences of not obeying the order of an officer in uniform.

This is the same principal that worked through Paul, who donned the Spiritual authority of the name of Jesus, and did not work trough the sons of Sceva, who did not have the authority.

If we want power, we can have it, in the name above all names, Jesus Christ.

The next and last article teaches the reader how to have the power available permanently.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Gerrit van Vuuren [Ph.D.] is Principal of the Shepherd Leadership Institute. Visit Shepherd Leadership Institute!
At the age of 30 he accepted Jesus as Saviour, resulting in a radical conversion, a radical calling, and a radical ministry. Dr Gerrit wrote a research doctoral thesis on the 'leadership style of Jesus Christ', and has a calling to teach the body of Christ to understand and apply Jesus' leadership style, which he calls True Shepherd Leadership ©. For more information, e-mail him at gerrit@shepherdleader.co.za