If you could have one super power, what would you have and why?

When I asked the question, “If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?” I realized I was asking people what they valued in life and what means they thought they’d need to achieve it.  In other words, people gave me a mission-desire and a necessary step to accomplishing that mission.  Some said they would want to fly.  The mission-desire was to avoid traffic or excel in a basketball game.  Some wanted to read minds.  The mission-desire was to no longer need to ask questions, to know what people thought about them, or to help people with their problems.  We desire a super power not purposelessly but for a very specific purpose.  And that purpose or mission is revealed in the power desired.  This can help us view the mission of the Christian and the church and and the power required to accomplish this mission-desire.

Acts 1.6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 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.”

In verse 8 we see that the disciples will receive power.  So that means someone, namely Jesus, will give them power.  When will they receive power according to verse 8?  When the Holy Spirit has come upon them.  And what will the effect be?  What is the purpose of this power and Holy Spirit coming upon them?  It’s for them to be Jesus’ “witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

So the power is for the mission.  The mission is defined as being Jesus’ witnesses in the world and to the world.  The Spirit is the one empowering and enabling Jesus’ followers to be faithful and effective witnesses of who Jesus is and what he has done and what God calls people to now believe and do.  This is the primary reason the Holy Spirit is given to the disciples and to the new covenant church. Everything else the Holy Spirit does in and for the believer and the church before Jesus returns is subservient to and directly for this great commission. If the Spirit gives spiritual gifts to build up the church, it is for the church to be witnesses (1 Cor 12-14).  If the Spirit bears fruit in your life and kills sinfulness in you it is for you the greater purpose of being Jesus’ witness.  If the Spirit fills the church to speak to each other with joy, songs, and truth; if he gives insight into Scripture; if he convicts of sin; if he fills one to relate to family and the neighborhood better, it’s all for the greater mission of telling the world about Jesus.

Jesus mission to humans is to save the world through his work and life so that people will see, intimately know, and enjoy God the Father.  That’s what he wants and that’s what he did and does.  The Spirit does not show us the Father directly.  The Spirit glorifies Jesus (John 16.14) in the hearts and minds of people (2 Cor 3.18) and when they see Jesus they see, know, and enjoy God the Father.  That’s his mission to humans.  So they have the same ultimate mission, but they have different functions and roles in this grand mission.  They are united in the mission of God to humans,[1] but their particular functions and sub-missions are distinct.  Yet they are interdependent.  Without Jesus doing what he does the Spirit has nothing to point to and open our eyes to see.  Without the Spirit we wouldn’t be able to see Jesus because we could not open our eyes, nor would we have Spirit-breathed-out Scriptures testifying to Jesus nor Spirit-empowered people proclaiming Jesus.

What Jesus gives is power.  What the Spirit gives is power.  Apart from Jesus and the Spirit we wouldn’t have the ability to do what we’re called to do, namely, be Jesus’ witnesses.  Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15.5).  No Jesus, no abiding in Jesus, no fruit.  Paul teaches us,

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Gal 5.16-17).

And,

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him… 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God (Romans 8.8-9, 13-14).

No walking by the Spirit, you can only gratify sinful desires.  No Spirit against the flesh, no keeping you from doing what you sinfully want to do.  No Spirit, no submission to God’s law and no killing sin in your life.  Apart from Jesus and the Spirit, you have no power, no ability, no freedom.  You are bound to fruitlessness, gratifying sinful desires, and the inability to please God and kill sin in your life.  The best you can do is exchange one life-destroying sinful misery in your life for another one that doesn’t let you feel the immediate destructive effects that another sin does.

You need the power that only Jesus gives.  But this power for fruit and life and joy and holiness and killing sin and pleasing God is for the mission of being part of a team of witnesses (the local church) for Jesus in this world.  This is the best power you can imagine receiving!  It’s better than the ability to fly, to have perfect memory, to heal people physically of the worst cancers and viruses, to teleport, or to read people’s minds.  Those are fruitless and unable to help in the most significant and glorious mission humans can be part of, witnessing to Jesus Christ who is saving and renewing all ethnic people groups for the New Earth!


[1] There are also indirect functions to humanity.  For example, part of the Spirit’s mission is to enable Jesus to fulfill his work.  That is the Spirit’s function toward Jesus directly under the authority of the Father, but it is not a mission or task directly related to humans but only indirectly through Jesus’ work which is in part for humans.

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About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
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