The Urgency and the Way of Spiritual Reality (continued)
The Second Effect of the Spirit's Coming is Power
Now listen, the second is power, Power! That means an energy coming in that is entirely supernatural, it is not just human ability or strength or anything else, it is another power coming in. And the mark of Pentecost was, of course, "With great power did they give witness" (Acts 2). There was an energy in them that was not of themselves.
Now so many Christians today, as well as the next, will look at what happened in the early days as sort of a beautiful ideal and say, 'Was it not wonderful, how they were all filled with power?' Yes, but what about us? 'Oh well, we do not have power, we just read about it and have sermons about it and so on, but of course, they had power.' Now that needs to be removed far from us. We are in the same dispensation, and the same energy, the same power, the same Holy Spirit is for us to know as a living reality. Yes, we are in the time when it all ought to be in power and reality. The kingdom of God is not in word, but in Power.
And so we come to this great burden of Paul, he cries to God for the saints. What for? "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, that you may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man" (Ephesians 3:16). Now listen, this is not just being filled with power so that we can have power, not at all, but "With power through His Spirit in the inward man." What for? "That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (3:17).
The effect of the Spirit being here is that you and I may know the indwelling Christ as a reality. That you and I may know Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith. Our great need and urgency, dear friends, is to know the indwelling Christ. it is really to be able to say, as Paul could say, "Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20). Now here we get very near to the heart of what it means to be a Christian. A Christian is a person who is not just living his or her life, it is Christ living; it is Christ dwelling in the heart through faith.
Yes, we know because we have received Him as Saviour, because we are born of the Spirit, Christ is in us. If you have trusted the Lord as your Saviour, remember Christ is in you, no doubt about it. God's Word said, "If Christ be not in you, then are nor none of His" (Romans 8:9). But you are His! Christ is in us. But what is lacking? What is really lacking? Because our great need surely is evidence, proof that we are people of another order, that we have another Person, Who really dwells in us.
We need much more evidence, dear friends, that Christ Himself is the secret of our life. That we are not just people who hold certain doctrines, but that there is Another Person that you have to reckon with when you meet us. Is not that it? It is an urgent thing that we should be a people who know that He dwells in our hearts through faith, that His dwelling is a powerful working reality. That we are not continually baffled and defeated by every little thing that comes because we are meeting it ourselves. But we are going through things and over things because we have a far greater secret than anything to do with what we can produce.
(continued with # 25)