Holy Spirit Empowerment

Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. The greatest gift Jesus gave humanity was Himself. The greatest gift He gave the Church was the Holy Spirit—the promise of the Father!

Fifty days after Jesus resurrected from the dead, the Holy Spirit was poured out on 120 disciples who waited in Jerusalem for the outpouring the Spirit. When the day came, they were gathered in unity, and God birthed His Church that day!

While there is only one Pentecost in Church history, the Holy Spirit continues to come in power upon those who wait for His empowerment in faith and simplicity of heart. Let’s talk more about how the Spirit empowered and anointed Jesus and how—in similar manner—He anoints those who believe today.

Jesus Anointed for a Purpose

While in Nazareth, Jesus reads from Isaiah while in the synagogue of His hometown of Nazareth, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me…” (Luke 4:16-21 NKJV).

From Isaiah 61:1-2, the passage describes the deliverance of Israel from exile in Babylon in terms of the Year of Jubilee, but its ultimate fulfillment awaited the coming of the Messianic Age.

The Messianic Age would be a time of the establishment of God’s Kingdom, one of power—not political power, but power of God’s Kingdom. This means power to heal the sick, deliver the oppressed, and free humanity from the power of sin. Jesus declared to those gathered that He is the promised Messiah.

His defined ministry was the proclamation of the good news of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. This meant not only salvation, but it also meant declaring the Kingdom message with signs and power of the Spirit. Consider what Peter declared concerning Jesus’ mission:

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did…” (Acts 10:38 NKJV)

Jesus healed all who came to Him and all manner of disease as one dependent upon the Holy Spirit, not from His divinity. By coming in the form of human flesh, He limited Himself to be reliant upon the Holy Spirit while on earth. Notice in this passage that God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power.

The anointing of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus was for a purpose: for good works, to heal the sick and deliver the oppressed. The anointing by the Spirit gives power to witness about God’s kingdom. Look at the results of His anointing by the Spirit:

“Wherever he went—in villages, cities, or the countryside—they brought the sick out to the marketplaces. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.” (Mark 6:56 NLT)

Notice that the anointing upon His life even caused those who touched His garments to be healed (see Luke 8, woman with the issue of blood).

Christ (christós) isn’t his last name; it’s a title meaning “anointed one!”

Christ—or the Greek ‘christós’—comes from the Hebrew word ‘māšaḥ’ which means “to anoint, smear, or spread a liquid (such as with oil)”. It is a root word from which the English word ‘messiah’ comes, which means “anointed one”—hence Jesus the “anointed one.”

Anointing with oil leaves residue and a fragrant smell that lingers. What is the anointing? It is both the presence and power of God. It is the power that created the universe and created man, and it is the power that raised Jesus from the dead!

Like Jesus, you are “anointed” by the Holy Spirit for a purpose!

The same ministry Jesus walked in, Luke declares, is passed to the disciples and ultimately to the entire Church.

“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1-2 NKJV)

Your union with Christ clothes you with the potential to walk in the miraculous as normal. Expect God’s power to work with you, similar to how the Holy Spirit worked with Jesus to heal the sick, to deliver the oppressed, and to boldly proclaim the gospel!

Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem, and there they would be “baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4-5, 8). They would receive power, and then they would witness of Christ.

The word “baptize” comes from the Greek “baptizo” (pronounced bapp-teedzo) which means to “overcome or overwhelm something or someone”.  In classical Greek, a sunken ship, lying on the bottom of the ocean, drenched or overwhelmed by the waterwaterloggedwas said to be “baptized.” Historians found an ancient Greek pickle recipe describing “baptizo!”

On the Day of Pentecost, the Promise of the Father Fulfilled

“… And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-4). The Holy Spirit gave birth to the Church and continues to empower the Church today.

Acts provides five accounts of people receiving the fullness, or infilling, or baptism in the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4; 8:14-25; 9:17-20; 10:44-48; 19:1-7).

In these accounts, five results are evidenced:

  1. There was an overwhelming inbreaking of God’s presence experienced by all who were present.
  2. There was a transformation in the lives and witness of the disciples who were filled.
  3. What they experienced became the impetus for the growth of the Church, as “daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42).
  4. A manifestation of the Spirit in three of the five accounts was tongues: “For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” (Acts 2:4; 10:46; Acts 19:1-6).
  5. The ultimate purpose of this experience was empowered witnessing (Acts 1:8), character and fruitfulness (Gal. 5:22-23), gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12), and greater joy (Eph. 5:18-21).

While there was only one Pentecost, the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s empowerment for the Church has not ceased. We need to continue to be filled!

However, our love for rationality and control resists surrender to the Spirit. To receive a fresh anointing of the Spirit requires us to be childlike (Mark 10:15). Sadly, too often, the Power of the Spirit has been subjugated to Powerless Religion.

After Pentecost, Peter’s very shadow healed the sick. (Acts 5:15) Why?

The anointing of the Holy Spirit upon him. ‘Shadow’ is from the Greek ‘skiá’ and can mean “shadow, reflection, or copy”. Do you realize that you reflect the Lord? How? Because of the anointing of the Spirit upon your life as a follower of Christ!

Jesus died on the cross not only to provide for the forgiveness of our sin, but He died so that the Holy Spirit and the Spirit’s anointing would be in and upon us.

What was Peter’s secret? It was his faith in Christ, spending time with Jesus, and being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Learning how to commune with God is vital.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NKJV)

To prevail in spiritual power, we must pursue intimacy with the Lord. Choose to continually spend time in the Holy Spirit’s presence. The Holy Spirit is God, and He is on earth with us!

Anointed Handkerchiefs!

“Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12 NKJV)

Why? The Holy Spirit’s presence upon Paul and that same presence of God was even on articles of clothing from Him! The anointing is tangible and transferable.

We see another example of this in the Old Testament when a dead man was laid on the bones of the prophet Elisha. Suddenly, the man came alive (2 Kings 13:21)!

Learning to live in God’s presence, abiding in the anointing, is central to the Christian life. Operating from His authority and presence are essential to see His miracle power released.

The Secret to Ministry: Labor with His strength and energy!  We need His energy and His foresight because ours is too little!

Jesus said for His followers, “the works that I do, he will do also…” (John 14:12), and they would “lay hands on the sick, they recover…” (Mark 16:18). Christians, little Christs, little anointed ones!

Like Jesus, we are to do good works: healing the sick and delivering the oppressed.

If we see ourselves as merely human and don’t recognize the anointing by the Spirit we have been given, we won’t pursue or see as normal the power of God in our lives.

The Holy Spirit has anointed us for a purpose; it is divine, and it is powerful. It is to be cherished and valued. Recognize His presence and power, and release the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. Both are needed!

Don’t Grieve the Holy Spirit

Paul states, “you were sealed with the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 1:13). But, in Ephesians 4:30, Paul also warns the Ephesians not to “grieve the Holy Spirit” by whom they were “sealed.”

Twentieth-century healing evangelist, Kathryn Kuhlman, was used mightily by God. She was close to the Holy Spirit. She said this, “I don’t fear the devil; I fear losing the presence of the Holy Spirit.” We must protect the anointing; the presence of the Holy Spirit is like a dove.

When we sin, it hurts the Holy Spirit—sin quenches the anointing.

When we don’t have faith, it quenches the anointing.

Pursue a lifestyle which seeks to walk in fellowship with God, His holiness, His power, and His anointing in order to do the greater works.

Do you know what grieves the Holy Spirit? Do you know what pleases Him?

Here are some keys to Kathryn Kuhlman’s anointing of the Holy Spirit:

  • She honored the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit on earth.
  • She believed in miracles. “I believe in miracles” every meeting.
  • She set an atmosphere (arena) where the Holy Spirit had freedom to move. Structure is good, but God must be allowed to move.


Final Thoughts

Paul labored according to God’s Power in him (Col. 1:29)… not Paul’s Power, but the Holy Spirit’s Power!

It’s not about what we can do with our intelligence, strength, personality, wealth—but the work must be accomplished by His power and anointing in our lives.

Power comes by God’s Spirit working through us. We must become hungry; we need to be able to say, “God, I want to see your glory!” Don’t be satisfied—ask God for MORE!

We have been anointed for a purpose: to heal the sick, deliver the oppressed, and do the good works of Christ. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8)!

Pray this prayer today:

Father, I come to You now, and I ask Your forgiveness for when I have sinned, fallen short, and grieved You. Holy Spirit, forgive me for when I have quenched You. From this day forward, I want to be led by You and obey You.

Precious Holy Spirit, come! Fulfill the promise of Christ! Fall fresh on me. Immerse me in Your presence and power to be witness for Jesus and do the greater works of Christ!

For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message “Holy Spirit Empowerment”:

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Bob Sawvelle

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