The Purpose Of The Holy Spirit (Part II: Empowerment To Fight The FOrces Of Darkness)

Introduction: Another work of empowerment by the Holy Spirit is recorded in Acts 13:6-13. Here we see how the Holy Spirit can empower us to fight the forces of darkness. Paul and Barnabas had just been commissioned as Missionaries (v 4) and they went about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Synagogues of the Jews (v 5). Immediately they set out to do the work of God, they had an encounter in Paphos with a man called Bar-jesus who was a sorcerer or false prophet. Bar-Jesus also known as Elymas the sorcerer had established himself as a person of influence in the Island of Paphos and he was a confidant or an adviser of the proconsul (governor) of the Island.

(Acts 13: 6 – 13)

Lesson 1: There are principalities and powers that govern and influence the decisions in every territory. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. We need to be conscious of our environment and pay attention to the spiritual climate of the place. Many of us are on the Eastern Shore for the first time or have been here for a while for studying or living. Regardless of what brought us here, we must be conscious of our spiritual environment. There are principalities and powers that govern this territory and we cannot afford to be careless. Be watchful about the associations you keep, be watchful of the places you go. Be sober and be vigilant (I Peter 5:8).  
Lesson 2: Seek the Truth. Unlike Elymas the sorcerer, the governor Sergius Paulus was a man who had a genuine intention to seek the truth. He was described as a prudent or an intelligent man and he wanted to know more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He called for Paul and Barnabas because he desired to hear the word of God (v. 7). As you live your life daily, you must seek to know the truth about God and His kingdom. The Bible says in John 8:32 that you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.
How do you know the truth? By studying and hearing the word of God, by praying and fasting, by sharing the word.            
Lesson 3: Be not ignorant of the devices of the devil: The devil will do whatsoever he can to prevent you from coming to God. He can discourage you from coming to Church, he can discourage you from hanging out with good friends, he can discourage you from studying the Bible or from praying or fasting. There are endless ways to which the devil can prevent us from coming to God. In the scripture we read today, the Bible says that as soon as the governor sought to know the truth, Elymas the sorcerer (an agent of the devil) withstood Paul and Barnabas because he did not want the governor to know the truth (vs. 8).            
Lesson 4: Be Ready to Fight: when Apostle Paul saw what the devil had done through the sorcerer, he became angry in the spirit and took a decision to exercise his God-given authority over the forces of darkness. The Bible said in Acts 13: 9-12 “Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord”. When we exercise our God-given authority through the help of the Holy Spirit, the devil will have no choice but to bow. When the governor saw the power of God at work, he was astonished and he believed God. 

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