An Empowered People

MEMORY VERSE: “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.” —Colossians 1:11

EPHESIANS 1:16 through 2:7

JESUS in his ministry emphasized that the words that he spoke were not for the ears of many of his hearers. In Matthew 13:15-17 he says, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. This was in answer to a question asked by the disciples, “Why speakest thou unto them in parables?”—Matthew 13:10

Jesus here indicates that the disciples had an ability or a power of discernment that was not possessed by others.

Later in Jesus’ ministry, in an endeavor to comfort his disciples, he said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth … and he will show you things to come.”—John 16:12,13

The Spirit of truth, or the Holy Spirit, was thus promised to the disciples, and this would empower or activate their minds to a discernment of truth and would enable them to understand things that they could not understand before.

In Acts, the first chapter, we have the account of a gathering of the apostles to witness the ascension of our Lord, and in verse 5 we read, “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” And in due time, on the Day of Pentecost, the apostles had gathered in the upper room to await the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit when “suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind … and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:2-4) The apostles immediately felt the power of the Holy Spirit. They were able to speak in foreign languages and dialects so that the Gospel message could be preached in all lands without hindrance. Their minds were enlightened and they were enabled to discern the plans and purposes of God that were hidden from them previously.

The Apostle Paul states that this gift of the Holy Spirit and enlightenment of mind is enjoyed by all the footstep followers of Jesus. In I Corinthians 2:6-10 we read, “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught: but we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: … neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

The Apostle Peter, immediately after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, on the Day of Pentecost, appeared before a group of scoffers and told them that this was a fulfillment of the prophecy by Joel. Then Peter preached a sermon about the plans and purposes of God that required a discernment that he did not possess before.—Acts 2:15-39

After the death of the apostles, this gift of the Holy Spirit, or power of God, was limited to an enlightenment of mind, but this was for a purpose.

Our memory verse is part of a prayer by the Apostle Paul in behalf of the brethren at Colosse. And in this prayer he asks “that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (Col. 1:9) This knowledge was for one purpose, “that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.”—verse 10

This is the reason that God has so empowered his people; that they might know his will and conform their lives in a manner that will be good and well-pleasing to him. In our selected text the Apostle Paul expressed the thought thus: “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.”—Eph. 1:18

Dawn Bible Students Association
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