Power From On High

by Scarlett Stough

For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Clothed With Power.

Power from on high (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:3-8) is distinctly different from the power which is humanly exerted to accomplish human goals. Power given by God has a different purpose and different means of accomplishing that purpose than the aims and means of the powerful people of this world.

The power used in this world comes from persuasive personalities, wealth, political and military power to expand or defend personal or national control. There is also a spiritual evil which stirs up strife and greed from the lowest strata of society to the highest positions (Ephesians 6:10-20; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Only "power from on high" has the clout to defeat this invisible but very real evil. Each person has a choice: resist evil or yield to it (James 4:7).

All Christians, at least those familiar with the Bible's teachings, are familiar with the Great Commission, proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ bringing salvation to people of all nations and ethnicities. God has sent his Holy Spirit who empowers those he has called to carry that message. Jesus said the Father draws those who will be saved, but how does God do that?

The Holy Spirit is sent to reveal truth to those who hear and believe (John 14:16-17; 15:26-27). Salvation is given to those who renounce the world and its ways of "doing business" as they return to God pledging their allegiance to him, living in agreement with his way—the way of love, of generous giving and forgiving. Wouldn't you think such a message would be received with great joy and shouts of "Save us, O Lord!"?

But, instead, the messengers are ridiculed, imprisoned, slandered, and even murdered simply because the ungodly think they have all the power needed within themselves to get what they want without the power and authority of the Sovereign God of the Universe (John 15:18-25). He is patient (2 Peter 3:9); but now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:1-2). Paul urges Christians to "not receive his grace in vain." His Spirit is calling now offering power to overcome the evil of this world and within our own selves by the greatest "weapon" of all—love and truth.

Volume 18 Issue 06 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation

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