Participation and Power: Dunamis Conference Speakers Discuss the Context of Christians, the Holy Spirit, and God’s Kingdom

From Oct. 18-22, Regent University’s School of Divinity hosted the “Dunamis Project 2: In the Spirit’s Power” conference.

The Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International (PRMI) put on the conference. Its key theme centered on the concept that Christians receive the Holy Spirit so they can participate with God in bringing His kingdom forth.

During one session, Rev. Frank Drake discussed the reason God empowers Christians with the Holy Spirit.

God brings us into His plan of redemption, he asserted, by bestowing spiritual gifts on believers so they can do God’s work in both the world and the Church. He cited numerous Pauline letters to the early Church and referenced the joys and challenges he and others have faced when utilizing the gifts.

“The kingdom is present where God’s will is,” Drake said. “Where God’s will is done, the kingdom is present.”

Drake also referenced Acts 2:17, which says, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”

According to Drake, we are living in the “time between the times” — days in which Christians wait for Christ’s second coming.

Christians, he said, aren’t supposed to defend, but go on the offensive against the “gates of hell” referenced in Matthew 6:18. It says, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

“When the kingdom of God comes, it replaces the kingdom of darkness,” said Drake. “When we pray, ‘thy kingdom come’ … we join with God in overthrowing the kingdom of darkness.”

In another session, Rev. Debbie Kemp talked about how believers can participate with the Holy Spirit.

Kemp said grasping a proper sense of “identity” is a foundational principle in participation. Christians must hold to the truth they are loved by God, and that “we were created by love, in love, and for love.”

Furthermore, spiritual gifts are for sharing the love of Christ, not showing off.

In short, ministry is joining God in His work. Learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit is a key element in participation.

Kemp likened the partnership to a dance. Christians must learn to stay in step and work with the Holy Spirit’s timing.

Doing so requires both time and patience. It’s a slow, but worthwhile process of “baby steps,” according to Kemp.

“When you’re working together, it can be beautiful. The more we cooperate … we’ll learn to be able to follow His leading,” she said. “The Father is saying, ‘Come, I’ve got great things, and I want you to be a part of it.’”