Month: December 2014

December 21: The Gospel Is? – The Power of God For Salvation

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“The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. ”  (Luke 4: 18-19 AMP)

The Gospel, “euaggelion” (gr); the “Good News,”  comes from the same origin as the greek euaggelízō which refers to sharing, proclaiming, or preaching, the Gospel. It literally transliterates as “gospelizing” that activity that announces the complete message of “the good news.”

This passage of scripture from Luke, read by Jesus, in the synagogue of his home town of Nazareth, is a modification of the same passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah Chapter 61 verses 1 & 2; Jesus makes it personal. He reads it in a manner that is convincing, gracious and respectful  to the message that is written.

When he handed back the scroll and sat down (a significant gesture in and of itself) his rendition of this piece of scripture, that these men had probably heard many times before, was so convincing that they were astonished. They looked and continued to look at Jesus, waiting for the next words that would come out of his mouth.

Even when he said “that’s about me!” they marvelled at how full of grace this proclamation was. They didn’t baulk at what he said. They rocked on their heels for a moment and then spoke to oner another: “Isn’t this Joseph’s Son?” They appeared to be fine with that.

It wasn’t until Jesus appeared to be comparing himself to Elijah and Elisha, two of their greatest prophets that they got angry and wanted to kill him.

leap-of-faith_724_482_80But, let’s go back to this passage for a moment. Because, it is the point in Jesus’ life where he reveals his whole purpose in being there among the people. I’ve referred to it as his ‘Mission Statement.’ He is outlining the work that he has come to do.

Acts 10:38, also written by Doctor Luke, reveals to us that Jesus actually accomplished his part of that mission; even outlining the source of the problems in the first place; the devil; Satan; Lucifer.

But, this is where it also gets interesting for us as the church; the body of Christ; in the world today. Because, as Jesus was departing this Earth, for the last time, until he eventually returns; he turned around and gave the self-same mission to the disciples, in what is fondly referred to as “The Great Commission.”

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe:In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mark 16: 15-20 AMP)

And elsewhere:

“ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28: 18-20 AMP)

This mission wasn’t just being given to the 72 disciples he had established by this time. But, as Matthew points out, this commission was to be passed on through a process of discipleship; this was to be an ongoing mission; their purpose of being.

Even today, that same mission hasn’t changed. The church still has the task of preaching the Gospel and as I pointed out previously, we have that samebreak_chains01 anointing upon and within us to be able to fulfil that mission. But, the key to actually doing the work of this mission is dependent on doing it in Faith.

All of these elements of this good news outlined in the prophecy can be summed up in the wonderful word that is “Salvation.” The greek word used is ‘soteria‘. Strong Bible dictionary defines this as referring to: welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety.

This soteria has at its root the greek word ‘sozo‘ pertaining to: God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety. Under the definition of deliverance, prosperity and safety two other words can safely be added to the list: Healing and Wholeness; So the word salvation contains much more than just scraping it into Heaven’s gates.

In factual of the promises that are made available through this great ‘Salvation’ actually pertain to the “Here and Now.” Through religion many of the church live and in the past have died without experiencing everything that this Salvation; this soteria can bring into their lives NOW!

This is why Paul can proclaim in the opening chapter of his letter to the Church in Rome: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Rom 1:16)

Notice, he says that “The Gospel is the POWER…” The proclamation, the preaching; the announcement of everything that God can do produces the Faith that is needed for God to be able to act.

IMG_0025When Jesus could only heal one,or two people, the next thing he did was preach and teach; similarly Peter, Paul and all of the other disciples. Because as Paul points out: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”; the Gospel that brings Salvation. The Good news that declares all that is soteria.

It is therefore incumbent upon us, as the Body of Christ in the Earth today to do exactly the same. We need to ensure that people get to hear the Gospel. We don’t need to terrorise them into salvation. We need to give the Hope thatGod is the same today as he was yesterday. They need to hear it enough so that Faith can arise and they can then begin their journey to experience that Great Salvation.

The Same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus, Peter, James, Jude, John and Paul. That same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in the heart of every person who has made Jesus the Lord of their life.

I don’t mean by just saying “The Sinner’s Prayer.” That is a good start. But, those who have continued and drilled down into all that is contained in that prayer and made it real in their lives. They have been nurtured and ‘discipled’ and pastored in a way that has made Christ real to them. They have that power, that Gospel to share.

We all have the great commission on our lives. We need not be ashamed.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

The Gospel Is – The Power of God For Salvation

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Please consider supporting this ministry by becoming a partner in the work of this ministry by sowing your seed gift through the methods listed under our Giving menu at the top of the page. Your gift will enable the ministry to continue to be a blessing offering these messages freely each week. 

I Pray: That God bless you and your family as you sow your offering and gift and that he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!

Praise the Lord!

Pastor Graham

December 14: The Gospel Is? – Liberty to the Captives

So He came to Nazareth, [ that Nazareth] where He had been brought up, and He entered the synagogue, as was His custom on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read. And there was handed to Him [the roll of] the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened (unrolled) the book and found the place where it was written,

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound].

Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing [attentively] at Him. And He began to speak to them:Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing. And all spoke well of Him and marveled at the words of grace that came forth from His mouth; and they said, Is not this Joseph’s Son?  (Luke 4:16-22 AMP)

In this short piece of scripture Jesus provides his listeners, and us with what can effectively be called his ‘raison d’etre’, his “Mission Statement;” his purpose in being.  He is reading from the prophecy written of the Prophet Isaiah regarding the Messiah; the promise of the one who would come to deliver Israel from bondage; to ‘Liberate’ the “children of God” (Isa 61:1-2).

Encapsulated within these two passages is the essence of the Gospel, the “Good News” that we, as Christians; “little Christs”; are to proclaim to the whole world. The Gospel is not the establishment of a whole new set of laws and edicts by which people are to order their life; Jesus did not come to fulfil and accomplish the benefits of redemption and reconciliation with God, only to establish another set of commands whereby we are to struggle and fail to accomplish as we try to earn the new relationship with God.

Isaiah (Isa 10:27) also prophesied that the anointing that Jesus would have,  would in fact break the yoke that was upon our backs when we deliverance-1320x742were distanced from God. In point of fact, the burdensome relationship that many Christians experience is due to a set of religiously imposed rules and commands established by men to maintain a form of control and order over the people that they are supposed to nurture and help to maturity, In Christ. It is politics; that unfortunate malady that human beings so easily fall victim to once you get 3 or more of them in a group.

Jesus proclaimed that this was his mission; that the anointing was “Upon” him. He was the fulfilment of that prophecy. Yet, we still see sickness, poverty, as well as all the effects of a people dead to God around us.

The Great Commission, as it is referred to is for the church to be Christ to the world. For every one of us to pick up that Apostolic mission and with it, that same anointing.

You see, God has never given, any of those he has called, a task to do without also providing the wherewithal to be able to complete that task. The only key to fulfilling the mission has been to rely on, trust in and settle down in the Faith: “That he who has called, is faithful to deliver.”

Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as his replacement; he is to take his place with us and in us because Jesus would not be here bodily. But, to be legally allowed to do anything in this world it is essential to have a body; spirits can’t just do whatever they like. In the passage where he is informing his disciples that he is going away, but he would not leave them ‘Comfortless’, he describes the attributes of the Holy Spirit; that he would be both WITH and IN you.

When we accept the Holy Spirit in His baptism (separate to Water overflowBaptism) we are Immersed (Baptismo) into Him and we invite Him to FILL US to OVERFLOWING. We are anointed with the Holy Spirit and with Power. Acts 10:38 tells us exactly what Jesus did with that same anointing.

Paul continually refers to the church as “The Body of Christ” Jesus hasn’t lost that anointing. So, even if you are the tiniest cell on the bottom of the  little toe on the foot of Christ’s body YOU have that anointing residing in You. You have GOD Living in you.

The children of Israel have a word for this very moment: “Selah;” Pause and calmly think on that for a while. I don’t know about you, but I find that even meditating on that for a couple of seconds blows my mind and gets me VERY excited.

You might very well say: “Well I don’t feel very anointed!” “I’ve prayed for people and they haven’t been healed.” Ask yourself this: If you went to a lighting store and bought a lamp and a globe to go into that lamp. Put it on a table in your house and switched it on, What would happen? Just stick with the question. Don’t go beyond the question for a moment.

Seriously! What would happen? Nothing! The Sun would go down and you’d be in darkness.

It’s like the fellow from the Back of Burke who came into the city for the first time and visited a friend in his home. It was a very hot day and the friend went over to the wall and turned a dial on a small box on the wall.

A few minutes later the whole room was cooled right down and the first fellow thought “I’ve got to get one of those for my shack. He asked his friend what it was called and he told him that it was “A Thermostat.” 

Heading back home he stopped at a hardware store and asked the assistant for a thermostat. He described it to the assistant and was brought exactly what he had asked for. He paid for it and headed home, proud as Punch.

When he eventually got home he screwed the thermostat to the  wall of his shack and was mighty proud of himself. A few days later it was 46 degrees in the shade. So, he went over to the wall and turned the dial on the thermostat and, you’ve guessed it, NOTHING happened.

Like the Lamp on your table and this fellows thermostat, unless they are plugged in to the power source and have the infrastructure built in to your home they can’t work.

You might well say: “I’ve been a Christian for years.” Without meaning to be rude, you’re a lamp; with a globe. Even if you have been plugged in to the socket; unless you throw the switch and are connected to the grid; you’ll still be a lamp, with a bulb.

The wiring that is needed is, as Paul says: “The renewing of your mind.” Like that lamp on your table. you may well know there’s supposed to be light coming from it when you switch it on. Your house may well be connected to the grid and your bill paid up. But, until you actually make the connection all you have is the POTENTIAL for light in your home.

There are hundreds of thousands of Christians out in the world who have the potential to be the Light to the world; to do the works that Jesus promised they would do and the greater works. But, unless they make the connection and apply Faith to that connection they will remain ‘potential’ freedom1Lights to the world.

Re read these passages from Isaiah and from Luke and meditate on them. think the way Jesus himself thought about what they had to say to him about his ministry and dare to step out into the fullness of the anointing that you have the ‘potential’ to access.

We are charged to bring the Gospel, the good news, that brings Liberty and Peace to the Captives. The revival that I believe is coming will require people to stand up and live to their potential.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

 The Gospel Is – Liberty To The Captives

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Please consider supporting this ministry by becoming a partner in the work of this ministry by sowing your seed gift through the methods listed under our Giving menu at the top of the page. Your gift will enable the ministry to continue to be a blessing offering these messages freely each week. 

I Pray: That God bless you and your family as you sow your offering and gift and that he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!

Praise the Lord!

Pastor Graham

December 07: God Gives Grace To The Humble

Humility is an attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. It is the ability to be teachable, to allow your own ideas and beliefs to be subject to and in many cases dismissed, in light of what God has actually said about you.

The Proud, often referred to as “stiff-necked,” or “hard of heart,” are humility-helpingthose who believe that their opinion is more true, or a better perspective than God’s opinion regarding a situation.

In the path to Christain discipleship, the goal of all Christians, the ability to subject your beliefs, your will and your ways to those of the master, Jesus Christ, by his Holy Spirit, is a true demonstration of humility. It doesn’t mean dressing in sack-cloth and ashes or; dragging yourself on hands and knees through broken glass; using a scourge on your flesh to purge desires; starving yourself, because you believe that that is fasting; or, for that matter, allowing sickness and disease to ravage your body, because you believe that God is teaching you something. All of these and many more have been touted, over the centuries, as demonstrations of humility.

So, 1Peter 5:5-7 tells us that: “God gives Grace to the Humble, but, he Resists the Proud.” The sense behind that word Resists is quite Stand in Aweinteresting. It means: “To clothe himself in armour to see off the Proud.” If that is the caseI think it would be important to stay on the right side of God.

I recently listened to the series “Who Cares?” by Jeremy Pearson. If you find a way to get a copy of that series I can highly recommend it. He refers to the statement made by Jesus, familiar to anyone who has hung around a church at any time in their life, on what we love to call “The Sermon on the Mount.” Jeremy hones in on the phrase used by Jesus in Chapter 6: 25-34 of Matthew’s Gospel where he says: “Do not worry about anything.” Pearson points out that this is effectively a command and that those listening to Jesus would have heard him more along the terms of: “Your Food, your clothing; stop worrying about those things. I mean Literally ‘Stop It! Just Stop It! You are worth more to the Father than the Sparrows and the Lilies.”

I think it helps to give a clearer picture of how God feels about our worrying and in many ways it speaks volumes about our level of trust in his ability to look after us. Until we get it, into our minds and our hearts, that: “He who promised is faithful to fulfil what he has promised.” (Num humility 223:19; Heb 10:23 and 1Thes 5:24) AND that as Jesus said in Matt 6: 25-34 Your Father knows what you need and He values you much more than even the birds of the air and the grass and the lilies; you will remain easy pickings for the enemy to keep you believing that God wants you poor and struggling.

(Well if you’ve been sold that bill of goods, I’ve got some shares in a coat-hanger shaped bridge in Sydney I’d like to talk to you about.)

Reading through the Old Testament and the New Testament it is very plain to see that when the people of God Trust in and rely upon him as their source they do well. It is when they start to think that they can do it in their own strength and by their own ability that they find themselves subject to sickness, disease, poverty and far from God. In the Old Testament they had usually turned back to worshiping Baal and were in bondage to strangers.

True bible humility is “Casting ALL of your care on Him (God) because he cares for you; it is trusting in and relying on Him as your source in ALL things and ALL matters. Recognising that if your Job is the conduit that God is using to bring, at least some of, your wealth to you the ability and the strength to do that originated with him in the first place; he is the Origin, the Source.

Casting your cares does not involve becoming complacent and lazy. But, it does take an act of will to stop from taking them back. Remember, that if you do take them out of God’s hands you are effectively saying: “I can’t trust that God can do anything about this, I need to get it done myself.” That, my friend, is pride.

We are told to be watchful and vigilant. In other words, we are to be actively involved in the process. But, our eyes are on God as our source. Because once we get our eyes off of God, that is where we will begin to cross-and-jubilent-arms-upliftedfind ourselves in trouble. It is only when we open wide our hearts, our minds, our wills and our hands to God, recognising that He is All that he says he is, that we will truly reach humility.

In this weeks teaching we conclude this series on the ABCs of Christian Living, with part 2 on humility. Download your copy and if you haven’t already listen to the whole series to get a better understanding of those 3 very misunderstood words in Christendom” “Faith, Righteousness and Humility” and begin to live a more victorious life here in this world.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

God Gives Grace To The Humble

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Please consider supporting this ministry by becoming a partner in the work of this ministry by sowing your seed gift through the methods listed under our Giving menu at the top of the page. Your gift will enable the ministry to continue to be a blessing offering these messages freely each week. 

I Pray: That God bless you and your family as you sow your offering and gift and that he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!

Praise the Lord!

Pastor Graham