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With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
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AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.



Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Anyone Who Believes

Spurred on by a dear friend’s thoughtful inquiries lately I have been reading back through the book of Acts. It’s always been a favorite of mine given the inspiration and history it reveals for the beginning days of the New Testament church.

Even though I’ve read these passages many times they are ministering to me in a marvelous and wonderful way as I’m being refreshed in my spirit. It causes me to weep when I imagine the power, excitement and boldness of God’s people in those early days. My heart longs for the church (starting with me) to wake up and take hold of what the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ has already provided for us.

So today I thought I’d share some of my random thoughts about what I’m reading.

In Acts 3:6 Peter spoke to a lame man, “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” How thrilling to have such boldness in God.

… was this the first time he had done such a thing? I mean he had witnessed Jesus heal the lame but had he ever been so bold as to speak the NAME and declare to a man of 40 plus years -lame from birth -to get up and walk?

No wonder when (Acts 4:20) the council chamber tried to stop Peter and John from healing anyone else by telling them NOT to EVER again speak or teach about Jesus --Peter and John’s answer to them went something like this, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than Him? We CANNOT stop telling about the wonderful things we have seen and heard.”

Isn’t that the way it should still be? Shouldn’t we still be telling the wonderful things we are seeing and hearing? Peter and John were experiencing first hand the power they had just received after being baptized with the fire of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. But the command and authority given to them to go out with Jesus’ authority was given by Jesus before ascending to heaven after His resurrection. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus makes the statement, “I’ve been given complete authority in heaven and earth… now YOU go. Why would He say I’ve been given such and such now YOU go? He was delegating to them the authority God had bestowed on Him after His resurrection. Mark 16:15 records that same conversation and goes on to list the signs that WILL accompany “anyone” who believes.

All this says a couple of things to me. 1) the accompanying signs aren’t just the signs that should follow those 11 disciples who were present at the time. 2) #1 is argument enough that these signs didn’t pass away with those 11 disciples and somehow later Paul slipped in under the radar. 3) Back to Acts 3:16 Peter gives credit to FAITH in Jesus’ name as the cause for healing the lame man which confirms the two passages from Matthew & Mark… this authority is for anyone who BELIEVES it... then and now!

3 comments:

M, J, B, G...and Sam. said...

Hey! I lost your blog for a bit there. Couldn't remember what it was called. Then I remembered that I had posted about it in one of my posts..so I had to look back! SO glad to be back reading your stuff! Will be commenting regularly now!

MLM said...

Sam:

Hey, it's mlm, thanks for finding us again. Just so you know, this blog is a group blog, meaning I'm not the only posting on it. There's also Meems, and soon will be Nathan Talbot, a regular contributor. But I'm able to post every once in a while. And I'm always glad to have you around!

Meems:

Great post! Makes me think I use the name of Jesus a bit too flippantly. Yes, I do.

Nathan Talbot said...

Meems,

This was a great post. I really appreciated it.

You said:

"In Acts 3:6 Peter spoke to a lame man, “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” How thrilling to have such boldness in God."

I had not thought of it in those terms before. When I did it blew me away. Like you I am astonished at the boldness they showed.


You said,

"In Matthew 28:18 Jesus makes the statement, “I’ve been given complete authority in heaven and earth… now YOU go. Why would He say I’ve been given such and such now YOU go? He was delegating to them the authority God had bestowed on Him after His resurrection. Mark 16:15 records that same conversation and goes on to list the signs that WILL accompany “anyone” who believes."

For some reason it seems a lot of Christians have a hard time grasping this for some reason. I guess they can not intellectualize it so they they don't excercise it. Of course Salvation is just as hard to "intellectualize" to me. I am thankful that I was able to grasp this concept with the help of the Holy Spirit at work within me. I don't know what I would do without this authority as a believer. It seems so vital to the application of our Christian walk.

I certainly don't look down upon anyone who has not come to a complete understanding of this authority that has been delegated to us. Nor do I question their love for God or their faith. In fact in some ways I admire their ability to stand steadfast in their faith without the full understanding of this authority we have in Christ.

I just wish that every believer could understand it and excercise it in their life. Because there would be a lot more victorious Christians our there.

Paul in Ephesians was praying over the people at Ephesus praying that they would understand this very concept.

Eph. 1:18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Paul talks about God's mighty power which has been delegated to Jesus which has been delegated to the church or "those of us who believe". The NLT tranlastion says to "benefit" the church. The NIV translation above says "for" the church. That power (that rose Jesus from the dead), that authority (which put everything in subjection under His feet) is for us "the body of Christ". We just have to receive it and excercise it.

Oh the excitement Peter and John must have had when they invoked that powerful name of Jesus for the first time and at the Name a lame man walked!!!