The last time Mark spoke was on the topic of ‘Immanuel, God with us.’ Last night he continued the topic to look at ‘God in us.’ Only one word difference, but a new sermon!
Romans 8:11 TNIV tells us that ‘if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.’ The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us.
Power can be defined as energy. We like powerful appliances (from the relatively mundane hair straighteners to powerful cars and motorbikes to music amplifiers!) Often, though, we like powerful gadgets because we don’t feel powerful in ourselvevs. The good news is that it is God’s power in us, not our own. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 TNIV reminds us that ‘Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour.’ Because of God’s nature, He is generous enough to share His power with us: ‘In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.’ (reiterated also in Ps 68:35). God is willing to share His power and strength with us.
The purpose of this power in us is explored in Colossians 1:9-11 TNIV: ‘being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.’ God’s power in us enables us to hold fast, to achieve, to endure, to withstand opposition. His strength enables us to be strong (see Eph 6:10 TNIV) and because His Spirit lives in us, life is given to our mortal bodies (see Rom 8:11 TNIV).
The most powerful car in the world is useless, however, if the accelerator is not pressed down! If we don’t use God’s power, it’s wasted. This power is stored in ‘jars of clay’ (2 Cor 4:7-9 TNIV). We might not look anything special on the outside, but God’s power makes us resilient people, not easily squashed or crushed. We need to ensure that our ‘jars’ are emptied so that God can fill them. We need not fear that God is incapable of doing this for He has glorious riches with which ‘He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being’ (Eph 3:16 TNIV) and is able to do ‘immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us’ (Eph 3:20 TNIV). God is working in us in unquenchable force, but we need to allow His power to work within us rather than remaining dormant and unexplored. We need to let God’s power loose!
We also had a birthday to celebrate: