The Power of God and the Fruit of the Spirit
The power of God and the Fruit of the Spirit
Based on "The Amazing Spirit-filled Life" by Charles Stanley
Reading: Acts 1:8
1. Power-hungry people
Nobody enjoys power-hungry people.
They are driven by a desire
to control their environment
and everybody in it.
And they usually hurt the people closest to them.
Apart from all those power hungry people out there,
I’m also referring to believers
who are obsessed with the desire
to harness / exploit the power of the HS.
On the surface it may not sound like such a bad thing.
Didn’t the Father send the HS to empower believers?
Shouldn’t we learn to activate His power within us?
Wouldn’t we be poor stewards to allow all that power to lie dormant within us?
Wouldn’t we be better off if we could tap into the inexhaustible power of God?
Questions such as these have a tendency
to make us discontent.
They make us think we are missing something…
that God has made more available to us
than we are taking advantage of.
If you’re not careful,
these questions will send you
searching for the wrong thing…
in the wrong places.
A word of caution.
of any teacher, preacher, or anyone else
who encourages you
to do something, read something, or say something
to harness the power of the HS.
The Holy Spirit’s power cannot be harnessed.
His power cannot be used
to accomplish anything other than the Father’s will.
He is not a vending machine.
He is holy God.
People who are always looking for a way
to direct or control the power of the HS
The HS was sent to control us!
He is looking for surrendered believers
to do His will.
The power of the HS was given for a very specific purpose…
to enable us to be effective witnesses for JC (Acts 1:8).
The HS manifests His power
in whatever way He deems necessary
to enable believers
to be effective witnesses for Christ.
He is out to accomplish this one thing only.
That being the case,
those who are persuaded of His cause
can expect to see the power of the HS
manifest through their lives.
Those who are not, will not.
We cannot force His hand…
· not with faith,
· not with prayer,
· not with anything.
He is God.
We would do well
to stop trying to harness His power and, instead,
focus on allowing it to harness us.
The power of the HS
is manifested in a believer’s life
through 2 channels…
· the gifts of the Spirit,
· and the fruit of the Spirit.
Next time we’ll discuss spiritual gifts.
Today we focus on the relationship
between the power of God
and the fruit of the Spirit.
As we’ve said,
the power of the HS was given
for the express purpose
of enabling believers
to be more effective witnesses.
If that means healing people,
He can do that.
If that means enabling someone
to clearly present the gospel,
He can do that as well.
But neither is more or less
a demonstration of His power.
We must not allow ourselves to get caught up
in pursuing the more spectacular demonstrations
of the HS’s power.
Like so many today,
we are sidetracked by the unusual.
But Jesus refused to use his power
to satisfy man’s vain curiosity.
He pointed them back to the real issue…
who He was, why He came,
and how to enter into eternal life (John 6:28-35).
Jesus would not allow Himself
to be reduced to a circus act.
And He will not allow such a thing to happen today.
2. Power, Fruit & Witness
One might mistakenly assume
that the purpose of the fruit of the Spirit
is merely to make us good people,
but there is more to it than that.
The fruit of the Spirit
is one of two channels
through which God releases His power
in and through the believer.
Whenever and wherever fruit is being produced,
God’s power is manifested.
as expressed through the fruit of the Spirit,
enables us to be His witnesses in 3 ways.
- It attracts non-believers to the body of Christ
- It provides the relational qualities necessary to enable members of the body to work together in harmony.
- It protects believers from the destructive consequences of sin.
It attracts non-believers to the body of Christ
Nothing makes the kingdom of God
more attractive to unbelievers
than believers whose lives are characterised
by the fruit of the Spirit.
On the other hand,
nothing is a greater stumbling block for non-Christians
than believers who are always talking about Jesus,
but whose lives are characterised by their old nature.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
The fruit of the Spirit
is the most effective evangelistic tool we have.
Nothing is more powerful
than a life characterised by
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Because unbelievers “hear what we do.”
If you think they’re not paying attention,
let out a string of profanity
and watch their reactions!
In a world like ours,
a Spirit-filled life is an anomaly…
it doesn’t make sense…
it stands out like a candle in the dark.
It draws attention.
It makes some people uncomfortable.
There will always be a handful who say,
“There’s something different about you… what is it?”
Today our world desperately needs
to see men and women
whose lives transcends the norm.
The world needs to see
husbands and wives who really love each other…
business men and women who put honesty before profit and integrity ahead of a pay check…
young people who say “no” to drugs and “yes” to a fruit-filled life in Christ.
If that’s what the world needs to see,
the HS will bring it about
by producing it through us.
That is the promise of Acts 1:8.
Whereas the gifts of the Spirit
are for building up the body (Ephesians 4:12),
the fruit of the Spirit is the fragrance
that invites non-believers
to become members of the body.
It provides the relational qualities necessary to enable members of the body to work together in harmony.
The body of Christ is one big bundle of relationships.
It is made up of all sorts of people
who are expected to work together
to accomplish the purposes of God.
For this to take place,
there must be fruit.
The fruit function like oil in an engine,
lubricating the working parts,
protecting them from harm caused by friction.
When members of the body of Christ
work together “in concert”,
the whole becomes more than the sum total of the parts…
and there is a supernatural dynamic
that have no human explanation,
but that of the power of God.
It protects believers from the destructive consequences of sin.
When we allow the HS
to produce in us
the rare virtues of faithfulness and self-control,
we allow Him to provide us
with a powerful defence system against sin.
Consistent victory comes
when I focus not on becoming more self-controlled
(How can “self” be more “self-controlled” than it already is?), but on the things of the Spirit.
It is only then
that self-control and faithfulness
are produced in my life.
3. An Effective Witness
The HS wants to make you
an effective witness for Christ.
He is more than willing
to manifest His power through you to do so.
But first 2 things must be true.
- You must be willing to be used as a witness,
- and you must be bearing fruit.
Once these 2 elements are in place,
you’ll be surprised and amazed by His power.
You will catch yourself
- saying things you never dreamed you would ever say…
- you will find yourself talking to people
you would ordinarily be afraid to talk to…
The HS is waiting on us
to make ourselves available…
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses…”