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Tony Evans - The Power

Tony Evans - The Power
TOPICS: The Names Of The Holy Spirit

We've been talking about the names of the Holy Spirit, the names or the synonyms given to him in scripture. And today I wanna talk to the Holy Spirit as, the power. In Acts chapter 1 the first 8 verses, Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and as he comes to the conclusion of the 40 day window, between his resurrection and his ascension, he comes and he meets with his followers, his disciples. And when he comes to them and gathers with them, he tells them things at the end of verse 3, concerning the kingdom of God. In fact, they wanna know more. "When," verse 6, "are you restoring the kingdom to Israel"?

There is a discussion about the kingdom. The book of Acts is about the kingdom. The kingdom that is to come, Jesus's millennial reign over the whole earth, from Jerusalem where he will rule the entire planet, and then the manifestation of the kingdom that is. Jesus will physically return and rule, in the meantime, he's left the church and birth the church, to be his kingdom representatives until he comes, modeling and manifesting the presence of the kingdom in the midst of the culture. And so, he's teaching them concerning the kingdom of God, that's what verse 3 says. And so the teaching is about the kingdom. But Jesus throws in a statement in verse 8. "But you will receive power," here's our word, "when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and even to the remotest parts of the earth". He talks to them about the power.

Now, so what Jesus has left behind in his absence, is the person of the Holy Spirit, and the power that accompanies that person. One of the most misunderstood, miss- and underutilized aspects of the Holy Spirit, is the understanding of his power. The Holy Spirit is a powerful person. He is a person, the third member of the Trinity who takes from God and delivers to us, so that the power of heaven is made available to you and me in history, while we wait for the power for one Jesus Christ to return. So let's talk about the power. Jesus has been teaching about the kingdom of God. Now, those of you who are familiar, both in our church and outside of our church with the philosophy and worldview of our ministry, it's about the kingdom. The kingdom agenda, the visible demonstration and manifestation of a comprehensive rule of God, over every area of life.

So before we even get into understanding the power, let's get something straight. Bible study is foundational, Jesus was teaching, but Bible study is not enough. Knowing scripture is absolutely critical, but knowing scripture is not enough. Memorizing scripture is meaningful, but it's not enough, because Jesus says, "You gonna need some power to go with it". That's why we see people who go to church stay unchanged. They may have the information, they may have the knowledge, but they don't have the power, so the word of God which is alive is not working for them, because the power of the Holy Spirit is missing even if the teaching is orthodox correct and kingdom centered, which it must be.

The Holy Spirit is the igniter and his job is to bring the truth of God, 'cause Jesus was speaking, teaching, off the pages of the Bible into your life experience. And if you are not ignited by the power, you'll not see the Word of God at work in your life and it will seem like a book that doesn't work, even though you may believe it. Now you need to know it, you need to study it, you need to read it, but you need the power to go with it. Far too many Christians aren't hooked up properly to the Holy Spirit, and they wonder why they can't go nowhere. They got the book, the book explains the information, but they don't have the power. The person of the Holy Spirit at work bringing the book to life, they don't have, they don't have the jumper cables working.

So they're not hooked up to Jesus properly. So they can't go anywhere, and they find themselves spiritually stuck. He says, I'm leaving but I'm going to leave behind a dynamos where we get our word dynamite. I'm gonna leave behind power. The word "But" in verse 8 is a hard contrast not a casual contrast. The word "but" here means, this is a significant difference. And I'm gonna give you something that's gonna blow your mind, this power source called the Holy Spirit. Let's go a little deeper about this battery, that every Christian has been given. He says, verse 5 of Acts 1, "For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now". So to be baptized spiritually, is to now be identified as a follower of Jesus Christ. Water baptism is simply a visible modeling of spiritual baptism. It says, "I am willing now to be known as a follower of Jesus Christ. I'm willing to be identified as a Christian".

See, you can get saved without being baptized. The thief on the cross got saved, Jesus said, "Today you will be with me in paradise," but he never got baptized. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1, verse 17, "I didn't come to baptize, I came to preach the gospel". In other words, baptism doesn't save you. The gospel saves you, but once you get saved, God expects you to now move into discipleship through your public identification with Jesus Christ. You go down if you want more information, read chapter 6 of Romans, it'll give you the inside scoop. You're buried with him in baptism it says, and you are brought up to walk in a newness of life.

So baptism means that you are now identified as a Christian, which means if you can't be identified as a Christian, if there's not enough evidence to convict you of being a Christian by the folks who know you, surround you, work with you, live with you, then you have undermined your baptism. God expects every Christian to be baptized, because they've now entered into a new relationship and a new kingdom. That's why the next thing is to learn about the kingdom through the church, because the goal of the church is not the church, the goal of the church is to learn about the kingdom, the rule of God relationally over every area of life. I love the statement, in the same scenario Jesus has risen from the dead, chapter 24, verse 49 says, "And behold, I'm sending forth the promise of my Father upon you, but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high".

So it's the same thing he's talking about in the book of Acts, but he uses the word "clothed". So the baptism of the Spirit from on high he says, "Is clothing". Well, what do you do with clothing? You wear it, okay? God expects you to wear Jesus Christ. He expects you to be identified as a follower of Christ or as Galatians 3, verse 27 says, that "if you are in Christ, you are clothed with him". And when you are, watch this, clothed with Christ, you are clothed with power from on high. And what's that power? Acts 1:8, the power of the Holy Spirit. A clothing identifies you. Baptism is what you're supposed to wear. It's visible, it's identifiable, so let me explain something.

Don't expect to experience the Spirit's power if you don't have on your uniform. If you are not wearing Jesus, Jesus is not going to give you the power, 'cause your clothes are still hanging up in the closet. You are not wearing him; that is, you're not visibly, publicly, lovingly, clearly, but unapologetically, identifying with Jesus Christ. And if you can't be known as a follower of Christ, let's get this straight. Not a believer in God, okay? That's not what he's talking about. He's talking about a follower of Jesus the Christ, then you are not identified with his kingdom rule, which means, he is not going to share with you his kingdom power. The job of the Holy Spirit, is to take heaven and bring it to earth, and empower you with it so that God's resident in you, on you, upon you, becomes visible through you.

So now let's review. Jesus is preaching the kingdom. He's proclaiming to them the rule of God to come, and the power for it while you're waiting on him to come back. Now you must understand God's kingdom is a different realm. Let me say that again. God's kingdom is a different realm. It's a different realm of talking, it's a different realm of walking. It's a different realm of thinking, it's a different realm of acting. It's a different realm of relating, it's a different realm of perceiving. The problem is, you need power to operate in this different realm 'cause it's not the realm you're used to. See, we are growing up in the realm of the five senses that allows us to operate in the physical world. The problem is, that you now belong to another kingdom.

So what God is expecting, is that you'll now operate from the realm of the new kingdom that you are a part of, but you're gonna need power to operate in that realm. The Holy Spirit's job, is to kingdomize you. Jesus is teaching about the kingdom and he wants to kingdomize you with the power, the ability to live out kingdom principles. Now, the question is, how do I get this power working, okay? You told me I have it, but how do I get it? Well, let me read a few verses from St. John, where Jesus is talking in chapter 16, about the Holy Spirit.

John 16, he's been again, teaching them verse 12. "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now 'cause it's gonna wipe you out. I got so much truth it's gonna be too much and too hot for you to handle". "But when he, the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own initiative but whatever he hears he will speak and he will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify me for he will take of mine and disclose it to you. All things that my Father has are mine therefore I said he will take of mine and will disclose it to you". Okay, let's try to walk with this now. What he says is, there's this hookup, it starts with my daddy, and everything that my daddy has, I have by his one of a kind, unique, only begotten Son. We are in sync 100% and my Father discloses to me, what's his. I disclose what's mine, that belongs to my Father, to my Spirit.

Watch, I don't wanna go too fast. My Father discloses it to me, I disclose it to my Spirit, my Spirit will disclose it to you. You see the hook? You get it from the Spirit, the Spirit gets it from the Son, and the Son gets it from the Father. 'Cause guess what? These computers are networked, Father gives it to the Son, Son gives it to the Spirit, and the spirit gives it to you. So what does that tell you? If you are not in sync with the Spirit, you are not gonna get it from the Son, because those three operate in sync. The Father gives it to the Son, the Son gives it to the Spirit, and it's the Spirit's job to give it to you, but give what to you? He says in chapter 16, verse 13, "And when he, the Spirit of truth comes".

The Spirit will only transfer truth. Let me say that again. The Spirit will only transfer truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life". He only transfers truth. So if you are not operating on the Word of God, you are not operating on truth. So you can pray till you're blue in the face, you can call on the Holy Ghost all you want, the moment you detour from scripture, you have canceled out the transfer, you have unplugged the electricity, you've cut the line, because the Spirit only deals with truth. And Jesus says in John 17:17, "Thy Word is truth". So leave scripture, you left truth. Leave truth, you left the Holy Spirit. Leave the Holy Spirit, you left power.

So a lot of Christians aren't experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit because they either have left truth, or they're mixing truth. You know what Christians do? They come to church on Sunday, get the Word, and then they leave out of church and they dip the Word in human wisdom. They dip the Word in human opinion. They dip the Word in, "I think my mother said, my friends say, the media says". They dip it, and they wonder why the Word isn't working, because truth has been compromised. The Lord said that "you do nullify the Word of God with the traditions of men". The second thing he says, is that "he is going to speak of me. He's gonna glorify me. The Spirit is gonna glorify me".

The Holy Spirit's goal is not to make a big deal of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit's goal is to make a big deal about Jesus Christ. That's why Jesus Christ in John 15, the first 16 verses, read it, it says, "I want you to abide with me. You gotta hang out with me, you must be identified with me. So you won't only hear me talking about God, I'm gonna be talking about Jesus Christ, 'cause the Holy Spirit glorifies me and I," Jesus said, "Glorify the Father".

So it is your connection to Christ that engages the Holy Spirit, not only in talk but in walk and he begins to engage with you. Every Christian has gotten hooked up to the power plant of the Holy Spirit, but every Christian, even though they're hooked up, haven't flipped the switch, because they do not have visible and verbal sight and sound of identification, glorification, of Jesus Christ.

The word "Glorify" means to amplify, it means to put on display, it means to market, it means to highlight. To glorify means to exclaim in a way that is unmistakable, our identification with Jesus Christ. The written and living word, gives you access to the work of the Holy Spirit. So the more you see Christ based on his Word, the more the power will take place and what will happen? He says, "And you shall be my witnesses," verse 8. Okay, now, here's what you need to know. If you've been empowered by the Holy Spirit, you are going to be a clear-cut public representative of Jesus Christ. He says, "When the power of the Spirit comes on you," verse 8 of Acts 1, "You shall be my," Jesus's "witnesses".

So when you get empowered, your testimonial is going to come out visibly and verbally. You shall be, not you shall try to be, 'cause it'll be natural. When you done switch kingdoms and the Holy Spirit is all on you because you have identified with Christ, you shall be my witnesses. See, we try to force people in representing Jesus, when they haven't even fully understood the kingdom they switched to, so they don't have power to represent him.

How can you give testimony to an earthly king and you can't say nothing about the King of kings and Lord lords, you got power to open up your mouth, about somebody here today and gone tomorrow, and you don't have the power to represent Jesus Christ the King of kings and Lord of lords who loved you, who died on the cross for you, who rose from the dead for you, who's coming back for you, who's going to give you an eternal home in heaven and let you rule with him on earth? Are you telling me you are ashamed of your candidate who's already won?

Okay, there's power available, Holy Ghost power. It's available to you. No matter what your background is, no matter how weak you are, the Holy Spirit is ready to empower you and lift you. He'll be helium in your life, lift you out of your defeat, lift you out of your addictions, lift you out of your cursing tongue, lift you out of your lack of sexual identity clarification. He will lift you out. Now, yes, he may use people, he may use processes because he uses different ways of doing it and sometimes he just uses himself, but he will do it because that's how powerful he is.

When I was a boy growing up in Baltimore, the way we went swimming on Saturday in my neighborhood was the fire hydrant. The fire hydrant was only a couple of feet tall, but it would be gushing our water and we'd running, playing the water when the fire marshal came and opened it up. Well, I went home to my dad one time 'cause I couldn't understand for hours, how all that water was coming out, that little tiny pipe for hours, I didn't understand that. My father explained to me that pipe has no water, the water is in the dam Druid Hill Park in Baltimore.

But there's a pipe underneath the ground, that connects with the dam at Druid Hill, that delivers the water to the pipe that allows it to gush with force and power. When you are running through the water. Jesus has a hook up to heaven, and it's got plenty of power, that he wants to deliver through your limited humanity and mind, so that it gushes forth. But you gotta be connected through the Word in relationship to Jesus Christ, so that his power can gush forth and when it does, other folk gonna get wet. 'Cause when you get that much power, you can't keep it to yourself.

All around us the power of God is visibly demonstrated in the creation of the Rocky Mountains. His handy work is without question and without doubt. It's that same power that raised Jesus from the dead and it is that same power that Jesus offered to his disciples upon his ascension, and it is that power that he offers to the people of God. He offers us the power to live a resurrected life, and have a resurrected impact by the presence of the Holy Spirit operating as a personal generator in our souls to produce the enablement to accomplish what he's called and equipped us to do.

You have a built-in power plan already located inside of you, but if you don't know it and if you don't use it, you won't benefit from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to equip and enable you to exercise whatever God commands of you, because his job is to make sure that you have the strength and the ability to pull off whatever God has created, has commanded, and expects of your life. The Holy Spirit is the power you've been looking for and if you are a believer, the power you need, you already have.
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