The Nine Superpowers of the Christian: Part Four-The Redefinition of Power

Someone Has Redefined Power

The powers of the Hollywood superheroes operate independently of what kind of people they are. Often the most terrible people have the most wonderful powers. In fact, some of most popular superheroes are those whose thinking and behavior blur the lines between the hero and the villain. In direct contrast, the power of the Christian is entirely dependent upon to what degree his personality has been transformed to that of Christ.

Galatians 2:20 (KJV 1900) 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 5:22–23 (KJV 1900) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

We have said that the great power made available to the Christian must first be directed inward before it can effect changes in the world. There is a reason that God has not given believers x-ray vision, invulnerability, the ability to fly and similar abilities. Super strength or even super intelligence is not adequate for the spiritual conflict into which God sends every mature Christian. Jesus came into the world armed with unimaginable power that he used in an entirely counterintuitive way. Jesus defeated Satan and rescued mankind by using that power to live a sinless life, serve others and finally to die and be raised from the dead. His victory reverberates from time into eternity. Someone has redefined power and someone is the devil.

Luke 4:3–4 (KJV 1900) 3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Satan tempted Jesus to use God’s power in an unauthorized way. In fact, in this passage there were three attempts to convince Christ to violate the purpose and objectives of the incarnation to change his environment. Lucifer tempted Christ to act like a superhero: performing magic, throwing himself from buildings and attempting to rule the world prior to achieving the objectives of the Father. Each temptation involved a visible manifestation of supernatural power. Doing any of these things would have disqualified Jesus from the cross. Jesus, able to be tempted in his humanity, used the power of the Holy Spirit to reject Satan’s offer of celebrity status. This is the Christian’s model for the use of spiritual power [Jn 20.21].

The appeal of visible supernatural power has deceived a great portion of Christendom today. The superhero movement is the secular adjunct to this deception. It ignores the true source of all power, which is God. It avoids altogether the purpose for which God gives the Christian access to His power, which is the execution of the final phase of the spiritual warfare against the devil and his demonic allies.

Ephesians 6:10–12 (KJV 1900) 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Abiding in Christ, learning to love God and realizing his love for us results in spiritual development and qualification to be used by God in the spiritual warfare that engulfs the world.

Power for What? Standing Astride Heaven and Earth

Powerful Christians participate in the spiritual battle for the eternal destinies of men, women, and children [Rom 6.23; Rev 20.11-15]. God graciously allows human beings to play an important role in winning lost souls [Mk 16.15]. Believers are also the means used to make disciples of new believers [Mt 28.19], equipping them for their future roles in the struggle against Satan and his allies. Some believers are powerful advocates for the truth of God’s Word, the Bible, defending it against the constant pressure of false teachers and false doctrine [Jude 3-4]. Spiritually mature Christians, through their knowledge of the Word of God and their transformed character are beacons of light [Mt 5.14-16; Php 2.15] in the institutions of civilization, illuminating the policy of God for marriage, family, government, and every human system. Through the righteous character and behavior of Christians, the moral climate of every nation is purified and the consciences of fallen man are recalibrated, slowing the inevitable spiritual decay of this world [1 Pet 2.12]. God even uses the believer as a witness to the angels regarding the Plan of God [Eph 3.10]. God does not need man, but he has decided to use prepared believers in every generation to accomplish some of his purposes in the world, to become holy vehicles of his eternal power.

Acts 1:8 (KJV 1900) 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The Proof of Spiritual Power: The Fruit of the Spirit

The Christian who maintains the balance between the filling or control of the Holy Spirit and the intake of sound bible teaching will over time manifest what the bible calls the “fruit of the Spirit.” These fruits are character traits that demonstrate God’s control of the soul but also qualify the believer to perform many duties by which God influences people, communities, and nations.

Galatians 5:22–23 (KJV 1900) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Each of these traits have a counterpart that we can find among unbelievers and nominal Christians, but that counterpart is always wed to an underlying rejection of God, of His Son Jesus Christ, and His Word, the Bible [Rom 3.9-18]. These traits in the spiritually mature believer in Christ always partake of a supernatural character, as they are manufactured and sustained by the Spirit of Christ, who resides in every genuine Christian [Rom 8.9].

We will now begin to unpack each of these traits, or fruits of the Spirit to discover why they are superpowers and how they are put to use to serve God’s purposes in the world.

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