Thursday, November 30, 2017
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Jesus is alive, Amigos!
Every once in a while, I am compelled to ask the question, “If Jesus or the Apostle Paul came to one of our meetings, would either of them have any idea that he was in a church?” The Bible descriptions of the early church are pretty vivid. They weren’t bound by the clock, there was no worship band, the seats were not padded, and the AC didn’t work. The Holy Spirit even anointed the preaching without an amplifier. Maybe most shockingly, the Holy Spirit manifested Himself in their midst on a regular basis, doing things the Bible calls signs and wonders and miracles. It seems to me we have lost a good deal of the gritty reality of Christian experience. Instead, we try to manipulate the environment to enhance the “user-friendliness” of our meetings. Christianity is a supernatural thing. It is grounded in a personal encounter with God based on belief in, and a commitment to, a man who is God. This man has been raised from the dead. We call our experience with Him “conversion.” It’s essential. It’s a new birth by the Spirit. It’s a miracle.
After His resurrection, Jesus spent time with His disciples. During that time, the Bible says, “He proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive.” (Acts 1:3 NLT) Believing that Jesus Christ is alive is the crux of the Christian faith. (Romans 10:9) You can’t get to Heaven without believing God raised Jesus from the dead. In our godless age, it’s not sufficient to simply tell the unbeliever that the Bible says Jesus is alive. They don’t believe the Bible. They need proof. If those who walked with Him on the earth, were there for the crucifixion, and saw the empty tomb still needed proof, then so do those who think of Him as either a dead religious leader or a curse word? That’s reason #1 we must contend for the place of the supernatural in the Church today. Without Holy Spirit power demonstrating a living Jesus, we are left with dusty, intellectual arguments about an historical event.
Somebody Said: “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.” Timothy Keller
Scripture Reading: And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. (1 Corinthians 15:14 NLT)
In approaching the unbeliever, I usually couch it this way, “Jesus is alive, and I can prove it. Will you let me pray for you?” The power of the Holy Spirit and the authority of the Name of Jesus allow me that boldness. He still shows Himself alive through His Church. Let’s continue our quest for supernatural power by going to church with this thought: “What would I expect to happen if the resurrected Jesus were in the service?” Well, He is.
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.