The True Power of God - The Power of Love

There are a great many Christians who talk about the power of God. We saw God's power in action in the Bible in many different ways. There was the feeding of the multitudes, healing the sick, walking on water and a host of other things that showed the miraculous power of God.

But when people talk about the power of God in a personal sense they are usually not talking about these amazing showcases of God's awesome power. No, when they talk of God's power it is often in the sense of an inner and hidden power that changes lives. A power that moves a person from a state of sin, fear and all the problems of the world, to a place of peace, joy and hope. This is the real power of God: the power of love.

Why do I say this? Because the bible tells us that all of the miraculous things that are also manifestations of his power will in time cease (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). But love is eternal and it never passes away. The power of love supersedes every other form of power and only love has the ability to overcome human faults, weaknesses and failures.

When Jesus was resurrected from the dead he spoke to his disciples over a period of some forty days. When he was finally taken up into heaven he told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem saying that, "... you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." (Acts 1:8) This is significant because you would expect that in his last words he would give some clue as to what was really important about the mission to come.

There are some in the church today who believe that this power was to enable the disciples to perform miracles. And it is true that without the Holy Spirit this is not possible. But given that miracles are to cease, and given also that these were his last words to his disciples while on this earth, we can be sure that his meaning went far beyond just the transitory power to do miracles.

Knowing also that the greatest power of all is the power of love, and God is love, then it stands to reason that in his final words Jesus was talking of this greater power, which has the capacity to change lives. The power of love can transform people from cynical, self-centred individuals into a brotherhood of caring and sharing people.

Jesus spoke of the life transforming power of God when he stated, "... to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become the children of God." (John 1:12) This is the true power of God: to become the children of God. And if we are to become the children of God then we are to be like him. The apostle John showed this link saying, "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." (1 John 4:16)

Even in this world we see that children are like their parents. In so many ways they inherit or learn the traits of their parents, which are passed from one generation to the next. So too in Christ we are learning the traits of God. In Christ we see the essence of God's love as he gave us the example to follow.

Furthermore in receiving the Holy Spirit through Christ we have the love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit he has given to us. (Romans 5:5) And it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us to transform us into the image of Christ, which is the essence of God's love as he shows in 1 Corinthians 3:18 saying that we, "... are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."

This is the real power of God: the power to be transformed into his image and to become the children of God through the working of the Holy Spirit and the resurrection of Christ. Any other form of power claimed by the churches or anyone else is only transitory and temporary. The transforming power to change us into the image of Christ is the power of love, and the power of love is the power of God.
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