New Wine for New Wineskins July 2007

By , June 30, 2007 3:46 pm

Hear and Do!

 

 Faith without works is dead faith…

 

We need to hear what the Word of God says about healing because faith comes – is activated – by hearing what God says.  Hearing and healing are forever connected! 


Jesus came and not only confirmed what the Word of God says about healing – but he also  showed us what the Word of God does about healing!


We need to hear what the Word of God says about healing because faith comes by hearing what the word of God says.  But God’s Word says that faith without works – corresponding action  –  is dead faith!


 

James 2: 17 – 20, 26


 

17 …faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?…26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Jesus said that we would do the same works that he did.

John 14: 12 – 14

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

It is important that we have a clear understanding of what these works are.  Obviously the works that Jesus did were going to be in line with his mission statement.

Luke 4: 18 – 19

18 “ The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me
to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

This was outworked in doing good and ministering healing everywhere he went.

Acts 10: 38

38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Jesus passed on this mantle of ministry to his disciples.

Matthew 10: 7 – 8

7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Mark 16: 15 – 20

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 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.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

The works that Jesus did were supernatural works and so we are to do the same works.  You don’t need the power of God to do natural works but you can’t do supernatural works without the power of the Holy Spirit.

Because the church has often reduced its works to a natural level there has been a lack of dependency on the power of the Holy Spirit and there has been a prevailing attitude that we can manage fine without him – especially if he is going to insist upon us all speaking in tongues and prophesying, and if he is going to start messing with our established order!

The truth is that the church without the power of the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a gathering of people just like any other club or society.  It is the supernatural power of God that sets the church apart.  There are many agencies in the world that are doing good and charitable works and sadly the church is often seen as just another one of these agencies.  In fact, sometimes the church is criticised for not doing enough at a natural level, and is therefore deemed to be irrelevant and redundant.

But God has a better plan – a better purpose – a higher calling and function for the church!

It is right to help feed the poor etc, but we also have a mandate to supernaturally release people from the things that have restrained and oppressed them, and to introduce them to the kingdom of heaven – to a brand new way of living by faith in the promises of God.  Our message comes to transfer them from simply existing under the circumstances to a place of living in victory over their circumstances.

Remember Jesus – who is the message – was thirty years in preparation, during which time the message was sufficient to keep him free from sin, sickness, oppression and poverty. But when the power of God came upon the message it began to overflow into the lives of others.  Anyone who believed the message received a miracle!

We can continue to do religious church as yet another option on the smorgasbord of denominational divisions and worship styles or we can break out of the cultural mores (customs, conventions, way of life, traditions, practices, habits of the community) and into the MORE of God!

When Jesus returned to Nazareth in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4) he did what was his custom – what he had always done – and went to the synagogue.  He stood up to read from Isaiah 61 and then declared, “Today this scripture is fulfilled!”.  As he went on and preached the people were filled with wrath (the Greek word used here means inflammatory rage, exploding anger, and boiling agitation) at the words that he spoke and they sought to kill him!  Sadly, this is still the response given by many people to the GOOD NEWS of the kingdom!  Personally, I have been continually perplexed by those who prefer to argue themselves out of the blessing of healing rather than simply receive it!

When the power of God comes upon the message it is no longer dead letters on a page, but it comes alive and so it is not just what the word says anymore – but what the word does!

Jesus was out from under the cultural mores of religious life as ritualistically played out in the synagogue – and was into the MORE of God that would enable him to build his church.  Without the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus cannot build his church and so it falls back to men to organise their religious factions according to their personal taste.

You can decide that all you want is a place to go once or twice a week where you can mark your card and scratch your religious itch, where you feel like you have fulfilled your religious duty, and that you will live a “good” life to the best of your ability trying not to harm anyone else and giving occasionally to “good” causes.

Or you can decide that religion as usual is never going to scratch your itch and that you know that you know that you know that the life that you have been called to live is a life that is anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power in order to enable you to be a continuation of Jesus’ life, an amplification of Jesus’ message, and an extension of Jesus’ works and ministry!

We can spend our lives trying to make things better or we can choose to live in God’s best!   

Some folks even think that the old is better (Luke 5: 39) but the best (new) wine has been saved to last and it is a must!  God’s best is a must!  Those who come to God must believe that HE IS and that he rewards those who diligently seek him!

We have heard a lot of what the Word of God says  about healing – now it is time to look at what the Word of God does about healing and to begin to experience it!  When the power of God came upon Jesus – the WORD – he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil!

The WORD began to WORK!

We have often mistaken repentance to simply be about turning away from the bad – but it is more about turning to the good.  We don’t live by repentance – we live by faith.  In fact, repentance is about dying to the old way of doing things and faith is about being born again into a brand new way of living! It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance!  We should never preach repentance apart from faith.  The good news is that you can leave the bad behind and enter into the goodness of God and the fullness of his provision in salvation, healing, and deliverance!

 

IT IS TIME to see what the Word of God DOES about healing through those who have believed what the Word of God says about healing – through those who are determined to live out their faith with corresponding action, and who not only speak about what Jesus did but DO what Jesus did!

 

Mark 16: 19 – 20

 

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


The only thing that can create a distinction between a people who are simply involved in the mechanics of ritualistic religion and those who are living in dynamic relationship with the living God as active demonstrations of his living Word is the power of the Holy Spirit!

Romans 1: 16 – 17

16 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written,  “The just shall live by faith.”

Personally, I didn’t come out of the established church just so we could have a few musical instruments and lift our hands!  I recognised that I needed the power of God and that I couldn’t make it without everything that God in his love and wisdom had made available to us!  I recognised that without the power of God we were missing everything!

From that point on I simply decided that I was going to believe that everything that God promised us in his Word was available to us and that all of his New Covenant promises were still valid today!

Remember – faith works!  The word of God doesn’t just say something about healing – it also does something about it!

Luke 6: 46 – 49

46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

The vision statement of New Wine Church declares: “The people of the world under the Lordship of Jesus Christ – Saved, Healed, and Delivered”.  Our desire is to see a people who don’t just hear what Jesus says but go on to does what he says!  Hear and do – faith works!  Faith without corresponding action is dead faith – you live what you believe and everything else is just religious words!

When I or anyone else decides that they are going to take God at his Word, there is going to have to be a digging down through the traditions and doctrines of men – all of the faulty programming – in order to get back to the rock upon which Jesus said that he would build his church!  The solid rock of the revelation of his absolute Lordship!

The awesome thing is that as you dig down deep you don’t come into some super-spiritual revelation or some complex theological mess of religion that can only be understood by the highly educated – you actually discover the wonderful simplicity of the Gospel!  God said it – I believe it – that settles it!

You have to come to the place where you decide that if Jesus said that we are to do the same works that he did then that is what we are going to do.  And so you also have to acknowledge that in order to do the same works that Jesus did we must have the same power that Jesus had, and so we have to believe that the power is available!

Several years ago the LORD spoke to me concerning the sins of the Amorites not yet being full or complete (Genesis 15: 15 – 17).  He showed me that the Amorite spirit is manifested in those who say “I’m alright” – “I don’t need all this Holy Spirit stuff in order to be a ‘good’ Christian”.

But IT’S TIME!  For those who have said “I’m alright” without the power of the Holy Spirit – without the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and tongues – their time is up!

IT IS TIME for the power of God to come upon the message! What is the message? JESUS!  God loves you so much that he demonstrated his love by sending Jesus to reveal his perfect will for your life – to save, heal, and deliver you!  And then Jesus went to the Cross and paid the price for you in order that you might be qualified to receive his salvation, healing and deliverance!  So that it would not just be words – but actions!

2 Corinthians 3: 5 – 6, 17 (NLT)

5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6 He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death (the letter kills); but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life… 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

IT’S TIME!

1 John 3: 18 (TM)

My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality.

(NLT)

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

How can we do this?  How can we do the same supernatural works that Jesus did – preaching, teaching, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead?

Only by acknowledging our complete dependence upon the same anointing and power that Jesus had! 

Are you ready to move completely into the realm of the supernatural – where the Word comes alive in you and through you!  So that your words speak a message that is relevant to the broken hearted, to the sick, to the oppressed – a message that prepares them to receive the supernatural provision of God in salvation, healing, and deliverance!

Romans 5: 5

5 the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Corinthians 14: 4

 

 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself (builds himself up on the inside)

 

Jude 20 – 21

 

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

 

Some of us may never have been baptised in the Holy Spirit or might have resisted the gift of tongues. Others have not been diligent in maintaining the Holy Spirit’s fullness in our lives – keeping ourselves in the love of God and building our faith by praying in the Spirit.

It is the supernatural power of God’s love that makes the difference in our lives as the power of God comes upon the message!

Are you ready to HEAR and DO? 

IT’S TIME!  

 

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