God's Twofold Power Source: Jesus Christ and Pentecost
- Summary: Is God's power to be found in Pentecost or in Jesus Christ? The Bible reveals the ultimate source of spiritual power to be in the relationship of Jesus and Pentecost.
Acts 1:8; 2:4 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.... [2:4] All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
- •• Divine power, immense spiritual power, via the baptism with the Holy Spirit ... right?
- • Certainly, but that’s not the entire story.
- • There's a key to that power, a Source behind it.
John 15:26 When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 16:14 He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.
- •• The purpose of the Holy Spirit is not to bring attention or focus or glory to Himself. No.
- •• Jesus tells us the real purpose of the Holy Spirit:
- • “He will testify about me [Jesus].”
- • “The Father will send [the Spirit] in my name.”
- • “He will bring glory to me.”
- •• There are many powerless evangelical churches because they correctly focus on Jesus but limit the Holy Spirit.
- •• There are many powerless Pentecostal-charismatic churches because they divorce the baptism with the Holy Spirit from the Spirit’s purpose of focusing on Jesus.
Acts 1:8, KJV But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
- •• T.L. Osborne’s The Purpose of Pentecost speaks of Holy Ghost power being given to empower us to go and be witnesses for Jesus.
- •• The power of Pentecost is to point to Jesus, to be witnesses to Jesus.
- •• Furthermore, that very power of Pentecost is given by Jesus, the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit [see next Scripture quote].
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 [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
- •• Jesus is the “more powerful” One, the One full of power, the Son of God, the Savior, the Co-Creator.
- •• It’s our infinitely powerful Savior who gives us the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
- •• In turn, it’s the infinitely powerful Holy Spirit in us and through us who brings the focus and glory back to Jesus.
So what can we identify as the ultimate power source?
- •• Not trying, as many do, to bring the focus onto Jesus without the power of the Holy Spirit...
- •• And not, as others do, isolating the power of the baptism with the Holy Spirit from the Person of Jesus.
- •• Power to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission comes from:
- • Exalting the preeminence of Jesus (Colossians 1:18), and...
- • Allowing the Holy Spirit His full operation in our lives and churches to bring that focus and glory to Jesus, and...
- • Remembering that the very power of the baptism with the Holy Spirit springs from Jesus the Baptizer.
Acts 4:7-10 They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them ...  it is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
- •• Pentecostal Peter, “filled with the Holy Spirit,” explained the Source of the healing power — “It is by the name of Jesus Christ ... [the man was] healed.”
- • Peter understood where the real power of Pentecost lay.
Acts 4:33; 5:12a With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.... [5:12a] The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people.
- •• Healings, signs, wonders, manifestations of “great power” —
- • Not in isolation ... not as a public testimony to the Person of the Holy Spirit.
- • No, but rather as part of their “testify[ing] to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.”
- •• Do you want to see healings, signs and wonders? want to see the “demonstration of the Holy Ghost and power”?
- • Then testify of Jesus.
Acts 6:8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.
- •• How? Why? — While on trial for his faith, Stephen showed where his true focus was:
- • Acts 7:55-56 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.  “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
- •• Spirit-filled Stephen “did great wonders and miraculous signs” because he stayed focused on exalting Jesus.
Romans 15:18-19 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done —  by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
- •• The secret of Paul’s powerful Pentecostal ministry? the key unlocking the “power of the Spirit”?
- • [KJV] “I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel — not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
- •• “The message of the cross [of Christ] ... it is the power of God.”
- •• So what is the real ultimate power source given by God to reach this world for Him?
- • Receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
- • Remember that the Holy Spirit’s declared purpose is to bring glory to Jesus.
- • Release that Holy Spirit power by testifying of Jesus and of His death on the cross for our sins and His victorious resurrection from the dead.
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©2003, 2006, 2015, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.