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You Need the Power of God | God's Work, Our Witness #4 Sermon Notes

From the January 1 sermon, "Receive Power" preached by Pastor Mark Driscoll: People are trapped in 1) sin, 2) religion, or 3) spirituality. Sinners assume they can’t change, religious people assume they can change themselves, and spiritual people want to change but open themselves to any spiritual force or power to do so, including the demonic. You do need to change and you do need another power to change you, but it must be the power of the Holy Spirit—which is what empowered Jesus’ life. Repent of your sin, religion, or spirituality; receive the Holy Spirit; become a new person; and live a new life.
Now the truth is you need to change, but you can’t change yourself, and you do need another power to change you, but that has to be the power of the Holy Spirit. It has to be God coming to take residence in you and to birth new life through you. So what I want to talk about today is the person and work of the Holy Spirit because we’re in an area that believes in the spirits, but doesn’t know who the Holy Spirit is; believes in supernatural power, but doesn’t understand the power of God. When you look at Jesus’ life, even if you’re not a Christian, I’m assuming you respect his life—the most famous, powerful, amazing person who’s lived in the history of the world—and you’ve got to ask the question, "How did he do it? How did Jesus live his life?" And the Bible is repeatedly, emphatically clear. He lived by the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe this is really important for us because Jesus is not just a good example. You can’t just look at Jesus and say, "Well, he lived this kind of life; I want to live a life like him," thinking you can do it by your own power or thinking you can do it by just any old supernatural, spiritual power. You need the power of God to live a life that is patterned after the life of Jesus.
Here’s the whole Trinity, one God, three persons. God the Father speaks from heaven. God the Son is coming up out of the water. God the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove. Here’s the whole Trinity, and God the Father speaks from heaven, "In you I am well pleased." And I would say this to you: if you are in Christ, then God the Father says the same thing to you. If you are in Christ, then he is well pleased with you because your life is in Christ, your forgiveness is in Christ, your righteousness is in Christ. We don’t labor so that God will love us. We labor because he does. We don’t labor so that God would make us holy, but in Christ he has.
Here’s when Satan really will hit us: when we’re hungry, isolated, and tired, okay? That’s when he’s going to hit you: when you’re hungry, isolated, and tired because then you’re weaker. Here is Jesus getting hit. He’s hungry, isolated, and tired. He’s in a weak moment. And if you have weak moments, you’re hungry, isolated, tired, you’re vulnerable. [...] How did Jesus say no [to temptation]? By the power of the Holy Spirit. How can you say no to temptation? By the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not a sin to be tempted. You need to know this because Satan is also a liar, it says in John 8. He’s going to lie to you and say, "Well, you’re tempted. It’s too late. Might as well finish." Temptation and sin are different. Temptation is not a sin. Temptation is an opportunity to sin or to worship God. Jesus was what? Tempted. You will be what? Tempted. But Jesus never sinned. He said no to sin and yes to God. You can do that by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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