A Spirit-empowered faith has many facets that each reflect the beautiful visage of God; let’s look at just three of those.
1) A Spirit-empowered faith begins with the end in mind: The Great Commission calls us to make disciples.
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, NLT)
The ultimate goal of our faith journey is to relate to the person of Jesus, because our relational connection to Jesus will produce Christlikeness and spiritual growth. This relational perspective of discipleship is required if we hope to have a faith marked by the Spirit’s power.
Models of discipleship that are based solely upon what we know and what we do lack the empowerment of a life of loving and living intimately with Jesus. A Spirit-empowered faith is relational and impossible to realize apart from a special work of the Spirit. For example, the Spirit-empowered outcome of “listening to and hearing God” implies relationship – it is both relational in focus and requires the Holy Spirit’s power to live.
2) A Spirit-empowered faith begins at the right place: The Great Commandment calls us to start with loving God and loving others.
“’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NLT)
Relevant discipleship does not begin with doctrines or teaching, parables or stewardship, but with loving the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and then loving the people closest to you. Since this passage gives us the first and greatest commandment, a Spirit-empowered faith starts
where the Great Commandment tells us to start. A disciple must first learn to deeply love the Lord and to express His love to the “nearest ones”—his or her family, church, and community (and in that order).
3) A Spirit-empowered faith embraces a relational process of Christlikeness.
“Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you.” (John 12:35, NLT)
Scripture reminds us that there are three sources of light for our journey – Jesus, His Word, and His people. The process of discipleship (or becoming more like Jesus) occurs as we relate intimately with each source of light.
A Spirit-empowered faith requires a lifestyle of:
- Fresh encounters with Jesus (John 8:12)
- Frequent experiences of Scripture (Psalm 119:105)
- Faithful engagement with God’s people (Matthew 5:14)
These are three attributes of a Spirit-empowered faith. What are others that you see in your life and the lives of the Spirit-empowered believers in your community?