​​​God’s Power IN the Believer
Acts 1:8

We’re continuing our series on “The Genetic Makeup of Maranatha Church of God of Prophecy.” The DNA of Maranatha Church of God of Prophecy.”

And our focus is going to be on God’s church is a Holy Spirit empowered church as Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire. I pray this will become the kind of church Maranatha will become.

I suspect you all are aware of what I’m going to cover but a refresher course is always good.

The story is told of a logging foreman who sold a city slicker a chainsaw guaranteed to cut down fifty trees in a single day. A week later, a very unhappy city slicker came to report that the power saw must be faulty – it averaged only three trees a day. The foreman grabbed the saw, pulled the cord, and the saw promptly went, “Bzzzzzzz.” The startled city slicker demanded, “What’s that noise?”

We laugh at that story, but, how many of us have had a similar experience when it comes to the Christian life?

We respond with great joy and enthusiasm when it comes to a salvation experience, but after a while, A doubt begins to come, maybe we’ve have been had. “This is hard. This is tough. I feel like a failure. I can’t do this!”

But, the Holy Spirit can help us do it, if we ask Him. He is the power source to live for God. We must plug into Him if we are going to live for Him!

Someone asked, what’s the big Deal about the Holy Spirit? So glad you asked, God’s Holy Spirit can help us do “it,” if we ask Him to! He is the power source to live for God. We must plug into Him if we are going to live for Him!

The Bible teaches that we receive the Holy Spirit at the moment we surrender our hearts to Christ (1 John 3:9, Romans 8:9-10, 1 Corinthians 6:19). God puts His Spirit within us and we are born again as children of God.

However, this is not the end, but the beginning of an exciting life lived under the control of and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let me explain what I mean by digging in to this topic in scripture. Begin by looking at John 20:

20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

This scene took place after Jesus rose from the dead. The disciples were gathered in a hiding place out of fear of being persecuted. They had heard rumors that Jesus was alive and some were claiming to have seen Jesus.

Jesus suddenly appeared bodily before them and gave His disciples the Holy Spirit. It is without question that this passage clearly says that they received the Holy Spirit, but the real power was to come later. It would not be until the day of Pentecost that the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon them and these fearful disciples would turn the known world upside down for Christ.

They believed on Jesus, received the gift of salvation and were sealed by the Holy Spirit, but the baptism of the Spirit would not come until 40 days later while they prayed in the upper room. Then, suddenly these fearful men hiding from their persecutors came out proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ before the very people they feared moments before. They received the gift of the Holy Spirit right here in John 20, but Jesus also said, “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:5).

It is because people do not understand that there is a difference between these two events that they do not seek the greater power of God that will completely transform their lives and ministries.

So what is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

My definition is simple; The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the primary empowering from God that 
New Testament believers can experience.”

Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Mark 16:17: 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Jesus demonstrated the importance of this Baptism by commanding His followers to wait in Jerusalem, (Acts 1:4)

On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about.

According to the Bible, all new testament followers of Jesus should follow the Lord’s command and be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Some Christians argue, “Pastor if I received the Holy Spirit when I was saved, then why do I need any more?”

Again, let me repeat, when you received Jesus as your savior you were born again by the Holy Spirit. You became a temple of the Holy Spirit as He now dwells within your spirit. This work is referred to as the Regenerating and the sealing work of the Holy Spirit.

The baptism is not the same as salvation. The baptism is the Empowering work of the Holy Spirit. Let me explain the difference this way.

When you were born again, you have the Holy Spirit. The question remains, how much of you does the Holy Spirit possess and control?

Jesus gave His followers some last minute instructions. In addition to His commission to go into the world and preach the gospel, Jesus reminds them that He will be soon going away. When He does, He will in turn send the Holy Spirit who would empower them in order that they can fulfill the commission they were assigned. I imagine that not all the disciples completely understood what Jesus was talking about. This confusion is expressed in the question they ask the lord,

“ Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Their question is an honest one. The question stems from the Jewish belief that the Messiah would come to restore Israel and establish the Kingdom of God on earth. They also believed that they would sit with Jesus on thrones to assist Him in wielding power over the rest of the nations.

So their question really reveals two inner desires that we all posses. First was the desire to want to keep Jesus near them. They did not wish to be away from Him. How could they possibly fulfill their mission without Jesus present with them?

Secondly, there was the desire for power.

These two desires are also the desires every Christian today expresses. They wish greater intimacy with the Lord, as well as operating with more power in order to fulfill God’s will for their lives.

The Baptism does not make you any more or less a child of God. The Spirit baptism is all about greater spiritual INTIMACY and POWER!

The first benefit of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is something that is just for YOU!. He desires to IMMERSE you in His Holy Spirit. This immersion is indicated in Acts 1:5

"For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

Here Jesus parallels John’s water baptism with a baptism or immersion in the Holy Spirit.

John the Baptist prophesied, (Matthew 3:11) "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

The greek word for ‘baptize’ is a word that literally means to be immersed or covered over. It means to be totally submerged.

It was also a word used to describe how some people would dye their cloths. A piece of cloth would be immersed into a colored dye, and come out a different color, totally immersed and changed by the dye.

Now let’s back up the train for a moment. Remember that God is one Being, yet HE is revealed in three eternally distinct Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When Jesus said that His disciples would be baptized in the Holy Spirit, it means that God wants to IMMERSE you in HIMSELF.

Or as Stanley Horton writes, The baptism in the Holy Spirit is immersion into a relationship with a DIVINE Person, not a fluid or influence. It is a relationship that can continue to grow and enlarge.”

Think about it a moment. Your creator God wants to have a living, personal, intimate lasting encounter with YOU! This relationship is not meant to be a static, once in a life time experience, rather we are to continuously live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Just as the first disciples entered into that experience you and I today are invited to enter into this living, vital relationship with the Holy Spirit. What happens to a person when they are immersed in the Holy Spirit?

There is an INTERNAL WORK of the Spirit.

Everyone will have their own testimony, but for me the Lord Baptized me in the Spirit when I was 31. It was at a time in my life when God was using me to teach His word yet I felt so unworthy. It was after one of those teaching sessions that this sweet elderly lady laid her hands on me and prophesized these words: “It is by My Grace you stand worthy before Me. I have paid a great price that you might be My son and walk boldly before My people.

You have looked on yourself as a sinner after I have redeemed you and given you a new nature, the nature of My Son. I long for you to take boldly your rightful place as a son and go unto My people with the power I have given you. Bring my message with authority.

Remember you are My son and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. I am the One that giveth you power and authority to speak and act in the Name of Jesus. Go My son, I will never forsake thee as you walk in My ways.”

I cried out at that moment Lord I need all of You please fill me with Your Spirit. He did and there was great celebration that day.

Following my personal baptism something happened. I became increasingly bolder in my testimony and witness. My prayer life changed, as I felt an increasing desire to pray for others, especially my unsaved friends. My walk changed as I became more confident in who I was in Christ. There was a closeness to God that I had never before experienced.

I do not know all that the Lord will do in your life, but I do know that if you wish to have a deeper, life changing intimate relationship with God then you need to follow Jesus' command and be filled, or baptized, in the Holy Spirit. Today God wants to fulfill His promise to you,

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.( Joel 2:28-29)

This immersion is first for our personal benefit. It is a spiritual experience that refreshes and blesses us internally, giving us an intimate encounter with God.

While the first benefit is for you, the second benefit is for OTHERS. God not only wants to increase your intimacy with Him, but also your spiritual POWER to minister to others.

In our text this morning we read Jesus' promise, 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Notice, Jesus promises POWER. The Greek word is Dynamis. It is where we get our word dynamite from. It is also translated ability, efficiency, and might.

The power of the Holy Spirit also involves courage, boldness, confidence, insight and authority. The disciples would need all these gifts in order to fulfill their mission.

Unlike dynamite or nitro glycerin, which has the potential for unrestrained destructive power, the Power which the Holy Spirit imparts is power that is under control.

For example, Power can be used in at least 2 ways. It can be unleashed or it can be harnessed. Drop an atomic bomb and just watch as raw power is unleashed. Or harness the power and it will produce energy to make enough electricity for an entire country.

The promise of the Holy Spirit is power, but this power has a purpose, "you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

This baptism is not just for our personal spiritual blessing. It also EMPOWERS us to bless others! The baptism is not just something that happens to me. It is something that works THROUGH me!

Perhaps an analogy will best clarify this. As Christians we may be compared with a reservoir for producing electrical power, like one of those you see when you drive past a Hydro electrical facility or even Niagara Falls. When we accept Christ, construction of our reservoir is complete. We now have the potential to be useful and to affect lives. But until the flood gates are opened and the cascading river waters pour through, no power is realized.

So it is when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. We open our lives to God and the Holy Spirit pours into us and through us. It is then we become most effective in God’s service.

As with the reservoir, this power-generating experience is not intended to be a one-time occurrence. It is to be an ongoing process. When our spiritual power runs low, we need to return to the Source and let the blessed Holy Spirit pour into us again, bringing fresh power. ...

So, how does this power function in my life? Jesus said those who receive the Holy Spirit, receive Power to WALK, power to WITNESS, and power to WORK miracles. In short it is the power to live like Jesus in our world.

First of all it is power to WALK like Jesus. It is Power to emulate Him with our lives.

How can we live for Jesus in this world? With the help of the Holy Spirit equipping us. With our immersion into the Holy Spirit comes an opportunity to be clothed in power from above.

So many people needlessly struggle in their Christian walk. Part of them wants to live godly lives in Christ but another part of them keeps them from being successful in doing so. So how can I be successful as a Christian and overcome sin? It is not in our strength but through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul compares the Christian life to walking with the Spirit. He says, Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians. 5:25)

In another place He presents the Spirit as the Sanctifier and the alternative to succumbing to the sins which weigh down so many. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians. 5:18)

It is the power of the Holy Spirit which enables believers to turn from the sins that hinder them and live in spiritual victory.

We are to witness with our lives, by what we are and who we are, as well as what we say.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit gives us power to live for Jesus.

Secondly we receive Power ... TO WITNESS for Jesus ... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses...

Notice the progression: 1, they would receive the Holy Spirit: 2. He would give them power and 3. they would witness with extraordinary results.

Often we try to reverse the order and witness by our own power. Witnessing is not showing what we can do for God. It is showing and telling what God has done for us.

Furthermore, this is less of a command and more of a promise. YOU SHALL BE my witnesses. The word is literally translated martyr. Now this does not mean that we have to die in order to witness for Jesus. It was a legal term used to describe someone who is brought before a court to bear witness.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit gives us the power to be witnesses for the Lord. The Great Commission tells us to make disciples of all nations ... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew. 28:20) That is why Jesus instructs us to receive the Spirit.

Power ... To WORK the MIRACLES of Jesus

It is Power to do the things He did - and even greater ones. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John. 14:12)

When Jesus had gathered His disciples together, HE gave them this parting promise, and commission, And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. (Mk. 16:17-18)

The power to have signs follow us is really the power to believe. These signs follow simple believers in the ordinary course of their lives as they respond in faith to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This is not super-Christianity we’re talking about. This is normal New Testament Christianity lived in the power of the Spirit.

Paul told the Corinthians, My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians. 2:4-5) Later he wrote, For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. (1 Corintians. 4:20)

It is wrong to suppose that only special, elite, high-profile Christians can do the things we read in the Bible. The truth is the least experienced; the most unpolished and unprofessional Christians see the miracles Jesus promised because of pure faith in the Word of God.

Peter was a fisherman. Matthew was a tax collector. Paul was a Pharisee. Much of the Holy Spirit’s activity we read about in the New Testament takes place outside of church, by ordinary men and women who dared to believe Jesus' promise.

Ordinary people were able to do extraordinary things because the Holy Spirit was at work in their lives.

Warren Wiersbe is so right on when he states, The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not a luxury it is a complete necessity.

All of this abounding power is available to every believer who simply asks and in obedience waits for God to fill or baptize them in the Holy Spirit.

With all this power available to every follower of Jesus, why are not more walking and living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit's power? Good question. I believe one answer is simply people have not asked.

Jesus said, You have not because you ask not… For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

The other option for not receiving is that a person has asked the WRONG question. Let me explain; I have had some Christians say to me, “Pastor, I understand about the Holy Spirit changing my life, but do I have to accept the power to work miracles; Or do I have to have tongues? Or can I have the power, but still live the same old life?

Listen, that’s the wrong question, because the Holy Spirit is a GIFT!!!!!!. At Christmas when you see all the presents under the tree, how many of you say, I’ll take this present, but not that one.

No, we take it ALL.

The question is not do I have to speak in tongues, or do I have to live a holy life. It is, rather I will take all that the Holy Spirit has to give me, because I know that the gifts He gives are ALL GOOD!

How do I receive? If you are wanting the Lord to Baptize you in the Holy Spirit,

1. ASK
3. THANK HIM, then open your mouth and

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!


 When Voices Of Hope Evangelistic Team is ministering in Word and Song, their Fire Choir will sing several songs and then lead the Congregation in singing. Since that isn't possible on-line, please click here and may you be blessed by the song, "He Abides."