Saturday, April 22, 2017
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
You are righteous, Friend
Many years ago I was called to the ICU to pray for a friend of a friend. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and was very ill. Though He was a Christian, he was laboring under terrible guilt from an adulterous affair. I ministered to him from 1 John 1:9. He seemed relieved, but when I prayed for his healing I knew he did not receive. He died that night. As I walked out of his room, a lady approached me. She said, “Are you a minister?” When I responded in the affirmative, she asked me to come pray for her dad. He was in ICU after having a serious heart attack while having surgery for a hernia. He was in grave condition. He was a long-lapsed Catholic, and had never heard the simple Gospel. When I read him Romans 10:9, he beamed, “I believe that!” We prayed, he received. Then I read James 5:14-15. He smiled and said, “Do it!” I anointed him and we prayed. He turned to his daughter and said, “I like this guy. He’s positive!” He went home the next day, totally well.
Two different men, two different outcomes. This is not an uncommon scenario. People who know God and believe in healing fail to receive, while newer believers with less experience in church receive immediately. The number one reason for this is a sense of unworthiness or condemnation. They feel they don’t deserve it. In other words, they believe they have to earn their healing in some way. For the Christian, healing comes by the same faith that brought them forgiveness of sin. Healing and righteousness go together. They require exactly the same works: none. None of us deserve any of God’s gifts. He gives them by grace, we take them by faith. An abiding sense of unworthiness, or condemnation impedes the ability to take hold of healing. The only way to help folks get past this “condemnation hurdle” is to take them to the Word of God until truth dawns on their heart:
· Right standing with God is a gift. Romans 5:17
· Righteousness comes when I place my faith in Christ. My past failures are gone, carried by Jesus. I now have the same standing with God as Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21
· My part is to “put on” the new man, changing how I think and believe about myself. Ephesians 4:24 / Romans 12:2
· When we sin as Christians, we simply confess it, and Jesus personally stands in for us. We are cleansed immediately. Romans 8:33 / 1 John 1:9-2:2.
For many, faith for healing can only come after revelation of righteousness. It can’t be simply doctrinal. It must be a personal heart-felt, even visceral, conviction that the work of Christ was more than enough to deal with my sin. Anything less diminishes the greatness of Christ’s work, and condemns me to only what I deserve. Remember: Repetition leads to revelation. Stay in the Word regarding righteousness until faith arises.
Somebody Said: “What does “righteousness” mean? First of all, it means right standing with God. Nobody has any better standing with God than you do.” Kenneth E. Hagin
Scripture Reading: And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. (Romans 5:16 NLT)
Every step into works is a step away from faith. If I let my personal position before God be determined by my performance, I will never receive my healing. It is not about me and what I have done. It is entirely about Jesus and what He has done. Keep it straight!
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Our Tuesday Evening services are focused on faith and healing. Check us out at www.fcftucson.org