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3 Scriptures on the Topic: Why Churches Lack Holy Ghost Power.

This message started out to be a short Study Thought to promote interest in The Power of The Holy Spirit. I then included an expository exposition of each verse and added illustrations, examples, and my personal opinions.

The topic of why some churches may lack Holy Ghost power is profound and significant, especially within the Pentecostal tradition. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit are central to Pentecostal theology and practice, emphasizing a direct, personal experience of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by speaking in tongues and other Spiritual gifts. Let's explore three Scriptures that shed light on this issue: expository insights, illustrations, and a Pentecostal perspective

1. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Scripture: "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!"

Expository Exposition: This passage warns of a Spiritual decline characterized by self-centeredness and moral decay, even among those who claim to follow God. The key phrase "having a form of godliness but denying its power" suggests a religious exterior devoid of true Spiritual vitality. For churches, this implies a disconnect from the power of the Holy Spirit, resulting in a lack of transformative impact on congregants and communities.

Illustration: Consider a car with a powerful engine that is never turned on. Though it has the potential to transport its passengers to their destination, it remains stationary because the power within is never utilized.

Example: A church may have solid doctrinal statements and engaging services, but if it prioritizes outward appearances over genuine encounters with the Holy Spirit, it will lack the dynamism and transformative power characteristic of Pentecostalism.

My Opinion: The remedy is a return to heartfelt worship, earnest prayer, and a deep, personal reliance on the Holy Spirit. Churches must seek a genuine revival that goes beyond surface-level religiosity, embracing the fullness of the Spirit's power to transform lives.

2. Acts 1:8

Scripture: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Expository Exposition: This verse highlights the promise of Jesus to His disciples that they would receive power through the Holy Spirit. This power was not for personal glory or comfort but for the purpose of witnessing and spreading the Gospel. The implication for churches lacking Holy Ghost power is that they may not be fully engaging in their mission to witness and evangelize, possibly due to a lack of emphasis on seeking and experiencing the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Illustration: Imagine a lamp plugged into an outlet but not switched on. The potential for light is there, but without the action of turning it on, the room remains dark.

Example: A church that focuses solely on intellectual understanding of Scripture without encouraging personal experiences with the Holy Spirit may find itself lacking in the power that fuels mission and outreach.

My Opinion: Churches must prioritize seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues to empower believers for service, witnessing, and living a victorious Christian life.

3. Revelation 2:4-5

Scripture: "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent."

Expository Exposition: This passage, addressed to the church in Ephesus, criticizes the congregation for abandoning their initial deep love for God. This loss of passion for God can decrease Spiritual power and effectiveness. For today's churches, it serves as a warning that neglecting a deep, loving relationship with God can result in a lack of Holy Ghost power.

Illustration: Consider a marriage where the partners no longer cherish or prioritize their relationship as they once did. The love may still exist, but the passion and intimacy have waned, affecting the dynamism of the union.

Example: A church might maintain correct doctrine and perform good works, but without a sincere love for God and a passionate pursuit of His presence, it can become Spiritually stagnant.

My Opinion: The solution is a heartfelt repentance and a return to the "first love" of God. This involves reigniting passion for God through prayer, worship, and the pursuit of His presence, which is the true source of Holy Ghost power.

These scriptures and expositions highlight the importance of maintaining a vibrant, Spirit-filled relationship with God, which is essential for accessing the Holy Ghost's power within the church.

The Pentecostal perspective emphasizes not just the form but the power of godliness, which transforms lives and communities. Let's delve deeper into how churches can rekindle the Holy Ghost's power, building on the foundations laid by the scriptures discussed.

Rekindling Holy Ghost Power in the Church

Emphasize Personal and Corporate Prayer

A return to fervent prayer is critical. Acts 2 describes how the early church was continually devoted to prayer before the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. This model shows that persistent, faith-filled prayer is a precursor to experiencing the Holy Spirit's power. Churches should encourage, not just, routine or run-of-the-mill prayers but passionate, earnest intercession that seeks God's presence and power.

Foster Deep, Genuine Worship

Worship that is in Spirit and Truth attracts the presence of the Holy Spirit (John 4:23-24). Churches should cultivate worship experiences that move beyond mere performance or entertainment, focusing instead on heartfelt expressions of love for God. This environment allows the Holy Spirit to move freely among the congregation, facilitating encounters that can empower and transform.

Teach and Preach on the Holy Spirit

Knowledge and expectation can lead to experience. By teaching and preaching about the Holy Spirit's role, workings, and gifts, churches can cultivate an atmosphere of expectancy and openness to the Spirit's movement. This includes addressing any theological misunderstandings or fears about the manifestations of the Holy Spirit and providing a balanced, Biblical perspective that encourages believers to seek a deeper relationship with the Spirit.

Encourage the Exercise of Spiritual Gifts

The Holy Spirit distributes Spiritual gifts to believers for the edification of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). Encouraging the congregation to discover, develop, and use their Spiritual gifts can lead to a more dynamic and powerful church life. This builds up the church and serves as a witness to the power of the Holy Spirit to transform lives.

Prioritize Holiness and Repentance

The Holy Spirit is often called the Holy Spirit for a reason—His presence is incompatible with persistent sin or unrepentant attitudes. Churches must teach and model holiness, calling believers to live lives that are pleasing to God. Repentance should be embraced not as a one-time act but as a lifestyle, continually turning away from sin and toward God.

Create Space for the Holy Spirit to Move

Finally, churches must be willing to make room for the Holy Spirit to move in their services and meetings. This might mean altering or foregoing traditional service structures to allow time for prayer, prophetic ministry, or the laying on of hands. It requires a level of Spiritual sensitivity and flexibility to follow the Spirit's leading, even when it deviates from human plans or expectations.

By integrating these practices, churches can position themselves to experience a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit's power. It's a faith journey requiring dedication and a sincere desire to see God's power manifested in and through the church.

Pentecostalism at its core is about this dynamic interaction with the Holy Spirit, believing that He is as active and powerful today as He was in the days of the early church. Reviving Holy Ghost power within the church starts with a collective and individual return to a deep, passionate pursuit of God and His presence.

Pastor Terry

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