Saturday, 15 October 2011

Beyond Belief Part 1; an Introduction

Word and Power
 Part 1; an Introduction

1 Peter 4:10-11 “10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” NKJV

It’s been 9 posts in the last two and a half months all focusing on reinforcing our foundations, to know the name of God, the power of Jesus, the gift of covenant, the function of the church and how each one of us should be acting 7 days a week.  I’ve spent all this time preparing in order to present these messages that will follow to the next few weeks.  With out these foundations these messages would do more harm than good and leave us to put our trust in things other than a love for Christ.  For those who have missed the past messages, the Archive is waiting for you.

For the better part of the church’s 2000 year history we have been consistently working at one thing, talking.  We can preach from dozens of different translations (just in English), attend hundreds of universities and Bible Colleges.  And leave merely with an ability to talk the gospel each and every Sunday.  We have even created our own dialect called “Christianese” glory hallelujah amen, in order to explain the deep things of God without actually explaining the truth behind them.  We can talk yes, but so can the Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Mormons and Scientologists.  A gospel in word only is like a bird trying to fly with only one wing, or a car racing without tires, or Christmas tree with out electricity.  This is a safe gospel, an intellectual hands off gospel, one where converts are birthed through our own limited wisdom rather than the grace and power of I AM.  One that never takes the risk of relying on the Holy Spirit to show up and move in a miraculous way or even in a subtle whisper.  No, this is a gospel Paul warned us about in,

2 Timothy 3:5 “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…”

It can be hard to break centuries of tradition, from 300AD to 1700AD, what I am going to talk about would have been called blasphemous or reserved for only the most senior and elderly ministers.  But over the past 300 years Christ has given us back our Bibles, the knowledge of our Identity and Authority and the truth of

John 4:21-24 “21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. KJV

Yes, now is a time for us to receive all that the Father has for us and to go out and show every creature that salvation has come.  Not merely in vain words that may erode the minds defenses but leave the heart untouched.  But rather in the power of the Gospel that is accessible to every believer and follower of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  Removing vain excuses administer by those who have rejected the power and mercy of Christ.  Those who have raised their voices and decreed that “those things were for a different time”.  Such words are a farce, in our day we live on a world with 6 970 000 000 souls compared to the 250 000 000 that walked the earth in the days of Jesus and the Apostles.  And we are to believe that despite these numbers that the Hand of God is no longer needed or wanted?  Far be it, in these days we must shine brighter and brighter we have 1200 years of history were the church looked more like the devils “butt-crack” than a shining city on a hill.  And relying merely on our natural tongues will do nothing to rebuild the church of God into a Lighthouse for the planet.  There must be something more, something that was and must be again.  There have been glimmers and flashes of this light, yet were extinguished through pride, religion, fear, and the lack of knowledge of who we truly are as children of God and joint heirs of Christ immersed in the Holy Spirit.

Many speak of revival, praying for God to wake us back up from slumber, but I am calling for a Revolution, a returning to the ways of the first church.  In the ways they loved, helped each other, spread the gospel and moved in miraculous power with no fear.  It is time for the circle to be completed and the children of God to march with the Word in one hand, the power of God in the other hand and the love of God written on their hearts.  I am not saying that we are to abandon the knowledge of the Bible, never so I am saying that we must have both the Word and the Spirit.  Again I invoke the perfect circle; you cannot have one without the other.  This is why foundations are needed in matters such as these.  If we focus solely on miracles we eventually loose our holiness and honor, and if we focus solely on the word we eventually loose our compassion and love.  Our lives must revolve around Christ, in His fullness not in fragments.

I am not alone in this way of thinking and believing, even the Apostle Paul himself expressed to the churches at Corinth, Rome and Thessalonica that the Gospel of Christ was not some made up story peddled by clever men, but it was ordained and confirmed by the demonstrations of God power and mercy.  That Christ had truly risen from the grave and is alive, and continues to operate in our lives today in the same way He operated in His own life.  That he continues to show compassion, to heal the sick, restore sight to the blind,  raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, open deaf ears, cast out demons and most importantly cleanse our sins and unrighteousness.  Let us look at the exact words used by Paul in,

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 “1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” NKJV

And he repeats himself a few chapters later in,

1 Corinthinas 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. NKJV

Here we have two utterances of this truth, that when ever the gospel was preached signs and miracles followed (in that order!).  That God is always ready to move and act, and that we ourselves are the anchor keeping the ship at bay.  As I said before Paul also spoke this to other churches, so must turn to, 

1 Thessalonians 1:5 “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.  NKJV

Romans 15:18-19 “18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient   19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” NKJV

Paul calls it to “Fully Preach the Gospel of Christ”, we can only achieve this when we work with the Holy Spirit in all of our actions inside and outside of the church.  One can assemble a three point salvation sermon without the Spirit of God but no one can heal the sick or speak a true prophecy without the Spirit.  And how much more a sermon that would be if God was allowed to intervene and speak clearly through that person.  I eluded to this in “Pentephonics” where what would happen if an unbeliever entered the church and saw the Spirit prophesying through them.  This is not for the church leadership alone this is for every believer of Christ. 

Now Paul was not the only one to understand the connection between the Mouth and Hand of God, we have another witness the Apostle Peter also spoke of this in

2 Peter 1:16 “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” NKJV

Next week we begin to reveal exactly what Jesus has given to us and how we are to operate in our lives and in the church.

To Be Continued
Written by Cameron Conway

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