Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The Power of the Church
What power does the church possess under God's authority in spiritual warfare? What can we, as members of the local church, expect to see happen when God is truly ruling there? The power of the church is the power of every single Christian: the Holy Spirit. But in the church that power is enlarged through unified believers. Remember, before the disciples received the Holy Spirit they were in a sense powerless, the same way any unbeliever is today. However, afterward, they experienced incredible power as together they began to impact their society. In the book of Acts we see three amazing results occurred when the Holy Spirit came upon the church: 1. The church experienced growth in numbers (Acts 2:5-11). 2. The church experienced growth spiritually (Acts 10:47-48; 15:32; 19:17-20). Spiritual growth typically results in numerical growth. Healthy Christians reproduce themselves. 3. The church experienced persecution from her enemies (Acts 5:17-42; 14:3-7). I'm not saying these are things that will always happen to any church where the Spirit is working. Sometimes, depending on the situation and for other reasons, a church does not grow dramatically or even incrementally even though there seems to be real spiritual growth. Keep in mind, however, that any church where Christians develop genuine maturity and/or numerical prosperity is subject to spiritual assault by the great deceiver. In fact, I believe the enemy will certainly launch a counterattack. He recognizes that Christ's kingdom is the ardent enemy of the kingdom of darkness. When Satan sees his own strongholds tumbling down, he must act. Often this comes in the form of persecution. It's then that the power of the Spirit is so crucial. This power rarely happens in one person alone. Generally, God uses it in the many, uniting them together in a cause that is greater than any single person's vision. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.