I would like to address a problem that has over taken our nation.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the Apostle Paul writes, “You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.”
What I want you to understand from this passage is the power that is being rejected.
The people of our nation line up to take part in numerous religions and disciplines.
We can’t wait for the next self-help seminar or book.
The Christian community offers all kinds of leadership training, Bible studies, prayer events and encouraging retreats.
I do not have a problem with any of these well-meaning events. But the issue of the day is the lack of power people have to live godly lives in a world that is becoming more and more chaotic.
See, the true teaching of the work of the Holy Spirit, in a person to make them right with God, has become foreign in our midst.
The power of the Holy Spirit is the missing link that will bring the rest of the issues Paul listed in the Scripture above to fulfillment in an individual’s life.
The Holy Spirit is not a power that I release with my words to make things happen. The Holy Spirit is not a power that will make the world a better place for me to live. The Holy Spirit is not a power that I press on other people so they will do what I want. The Holy Spirit is God working in an individual to empower that person to live life as Christ would live it if He were here right now.
In the Christian world we call this process of God working in us sanctification.
What it really means is God will come into your life and help you to live a life separated or holy unto Him.
The Holy Spirit’s focus is God and holiness before Him. The Holy Spirit, dwelling in a person, is fed and built up by the Word of God. The Holy Spirit works in a person to draw them to God.
Are you starting to see that even the desire for this type of power is missing in our society, community and even churches today?
Most seem to want nothing more than a self-power that will help them to gain and attain in this world.
This is not the work of God’s Spirit in a human being. Christ calls us to deny ourselves. This can only happen when the Holy Spirit is leading a life.
Some may pretend to be holy for a time but truth will be exposed and without the Holy Spirit’s work they will revert back to their self-centered ways.
As Paul teaches many have a form of religion or act religious but they lack and even deny the power that will make them holy or godly.
To receive the Holy Spirit a person must seek God and not just be seeking for self.
This is why I hear people say, “Christianity doesn’t work for me.” It wasn’t intended to.
It’s God’s work in you to make you right with Him. Do you want this power?
Pastor Thomas R. Swain,
First Church of God,