United Church of God, ia
Portland and Hood River Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

May the Force-God's Power-Be With You

In the Star Wars series, some of the movies' heroes draw on a supernatural power called The Force, which enables them to perform feats that normally would be impossible. Did you know that an analogous power really exists?

God's Word describes a supernatural power, a spiritual force, that He makes available to His believing and obedient servants. It enables His true followers to resist the evil dark side, the pulls of our selfish, self-serving nature. This real force is God's Spirit.

Jesus Christ, in His last recorded words to His disciples, told them they could have access to this power:

"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

Directly connected with that promised power would be the apostles' work of witnessing of Him, starting in Jerusalem, then spreading throughout the region and ultimately to the ends of the earth. The book of Acts records the early years of that effort, including the apostles' dramatic miracles.

Christ made it clear that the Holy Spirit is connected with power. The Greek word translated "power" is dunamis. It is translated "power," "strength," "mighty work," "miracle," "might," "virtue" and "mighty." It is the same Greek root from which we get modern English words such as dynamic, dynamo and dynamite-all terms connoting great power, force and energy.

Writing to his fellow elder Timothy, Paul describes the effect God's Spirit should have in the lives of Christ's true followers:

"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power [dunamis] and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

God's Spirit is a source of power-of activity, energy, dynamism-and a Spirit of deep godly love and a sound, rational, self-controlled mind. It removes the spiritual blindness that shackles and enslaves our minds.

That Spirit enables us to be like Jesus Christ, to have the same power available to us that Jesus had in Him. Luke 4:14-15 describes that power at work in His ministry:

"Then Jesus returned in the power [dunamis] of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all"

In Acts 10:38 Peter sums up Jesus Christ's ministry, showing that "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power [dunamis], who went about, doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."

We see here that God's Spirit and power from God are synonymous. That holy power enabled Christ to perform His mighty miracles of doing good and healing during His earthly ministry. That Spirit is the very presence of God's power actively working in His servants (Ephesians 2:22; Philippians 2:13). God's Spirit plays a vital role in our lives, allowing a miraculous transformation to take place.

God tells us that we, too, can receive the power of this unseen force. And He tells us how:

"Repent, and ... be baptized ...; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).

God now commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30) so we can receive that Spirit-God's power and force at work in our lives. To learn more, please request your free booklets What Is Your Destiny? and The Road to Eternal Life.

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