Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians 1:25-28:
“I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” NIV
The Christian life is a supernatural life from beginning to end. The entire experience is initiated by God Himself Who is a Spirit. It was His plan from the beginning for Jesus to offer Himself as the perfect sacrificial Lamb for the sins of the world. Then in three days He broke the power of death and appeared to His followers. After ascending to the right Hand of the throne of God, He filled 120 of them with the Holy Spirit, empowering them to prove to the world that He was truly the long awaited Messiah of Israel and Lord of all! (Acts 2:36).
This power is intended for everyone who believes in Him. God had previously dealt with the people of Israel through the prophet, John the Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. He convinced many that the time had come for the Kingdom of God to appear, and that they should repent for all their wrong doings. Soon afterward Jesus began to travel and teach what the Kingdom of God was all about. Again we see evidence of the supernatural throughout His ministry in miracles and healings.
Once He explained to Nicodemas, a Pharisee and teacher in Israel, that life in the Kingdom of God was a spiritual experience. The only way a person could even see the Kingdom of God was to first be born from above. To enter the Kingdom of God we must be born of the water and the spirit. (John 3:3-8) He also wanted Nicodemas to see that Kingdom life is quite mysterious. Like the wind, you do not know where it came from, nor where it is going.
It is a fact, however, that those who were born again knew they were born again. How can a blind person not know that his sight has been giving to him? Still, the whole process is very mysterious. Some people can remember the time and the place it happened to them. Others just wake up one day after a long process of God’s dealings, and find they have changed! The only thing the new person in Christ can do is be grateful for what the Lord has done, whenever and wherever it happened to him or her!
There is an interesting story in Acts 19. Upon coming to Ephesus, Paul found some believers who had repented and followed the teachings of John the Baptist. He asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit since they had believed. They had not even heard of the Holy Spirit up until that time! So Paul explained unto them that John himself even said to believe in the Messiah who would come after him. Upon hearing this they were baptized in the Name of Jesus. After Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came upon them. Then just like the original 120 they were supernaturally able to speak in languages unknown to them and to prophesy the Word of the Lord!
Sometimes even in our day, people accept what the Bible teaches and give their hearts and lives to obeying God. This is course, by the working of His Spirit. But like these Ephesian disciples they are unaware of the fullness that is available to them. Here is the reality of the New Covenant, which states that God Himself will write His laws upon the hearts of His people. They can know Him personally and even have His life, His power, His Holy Spirit living within them. (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 26:25-27, John 7:38-39).
It was God who filled John the Baptist while he was yet in his mother’s womb. It was God who used John to call the people in Judea to repentance and preparation for the Messiah and the Kingdom of God. It was God Who fulfilled all His promises in Jesus through His Life, His ministry, His death and resurrection. It was God in Jesus Who told His followers to wait in Jerusalem for the power of the Spirit to come upon them. It was also God Who spread the teachings of John as far as Ephesus, to prepare these 12 men to receive the ministry of Paul and the power of the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus.
Apollos and the believers in Ephesus were not judged or criticized for what they had not known. It was with humility and pleasure that the way of God was more completely explained unto them! (Acts 18:24-19:7). What wonderful news it is that we do not have to live this holy and abundant life on our own human strength and will power! We too can receive the power of God to overcome our past, and our failures, weaknesses and doubts. We have a great and marvelous hope. We have Christ Himself within us!
Even those who have experienced His power within them can become discouraged, and tempted to work things out on their own. (Galatians 3:3). All of us need to know and be reminded of the Word of God in it’s fullness, which has been hidden from other generations but is now made known to the saints, to whom God Himself has chosen to make known among the nations the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory!
This Christian life is supernatural from beginning to end. Let us be determined to remind one another of this fact! You can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST, Who empowers you! It is He Who has begun this good work in you and He Who will continue to perform it unto the Day of Jesus Christ! (Philippians 4:13, 1:6).