New Wine for New Wineskins October 2021

By , October 1, 2021 9:07 pm

Perspective Is Everything (Part 3)

BEING BAPTISED DISABLES THE LABELS

Ephesians 4: 11 – 12

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ.

Remember, perspective is everything.

perspectivea particular attitude toward or way of regarding something / someone

Put simply, perspective is the way you see yourself, other people, the world, and what happens to you. It’s the foundation of your outlook on life and the source of your attitude.

We have been looking in this series at the fact that although there are many ways to be equipped for ministry there is nothing or nobody that can really prepare you for ministry.  I would say that particularly applies to a ministry that is a continuation of Jesus’ ministry.

And so, I believe that if we are going to fulfil our calling and commission and break out of the cultural mores and break into the more of God we will need a change of perspective from that which has been formed by tradition. Because perspective is everything.

Personally, I grew up in a Presbyterian church tradition and so as a child of believing parents I was sprinkled as an infant and that was supposed to cover obedience to the command of Jesus in Matthew 28: 19.

Much later, after being born again and discovering from God¿s word that there is no Scriptural justification for substituting the sprinkling of infants for the immersion of born-again believers I broke out of the cultural mores and broke into the more of God.

I discovered from Romans 6 that there is real supernatural power attached to obedience to Jesus’ command in regards to baptism and that he never asks you to do something simply as an observance of a religious ritual. I learned that in being baptised I was dying with Christ to the old life of sin, being buried with him, and being raised again to live a brand new life in a brand new way in that I was now equipped with a powerful testimony regarding the death of my old life of sin and the birth of my new life of righteousness. A testimony that overcomes the devil because it is supercharged by the power that is in the blood of the Lamb of God who has taken away my sin and the sins of the whole world. my perspective on sin and its grip on me was radically changed as I saw that I am no longer a sinner trying to get righteous but I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus with power and authority to resist sin in Jesus¿ name.  What a change in perspective. And perspective is everything.

In Mark 7: 13 Jesus said to the religious leaders that they had rendered the word of God ineffective through the tradition which they had handed down.

Please forgive me for referring to myself so much but I could have missed this opportunity of experiencing a break out from the cultural mores and into the more of God if I had rejected the simple and plain truth contained in the word of God.  Many years ago the Lord said to me that our desire to hear and obey God’s word and to experience the reward of our obedience must exceed our allegiance to family or denominational or cultural traditions.

Listen to what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 2: 13:

13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

It would appear that the perspective from which you hear the word of God – whether you receive the word of God as the word of men or as  the word of God himself – will  determine whether the word of God works in you effectively or not. Perspective is everything.

A few weeks ago some people asked me what I was doing at the weekend and so I mentioned that someone was going to be baptised on Sunday in the sea. Because of the church tradition that those asking the question have been programmed by they thought that was a big laugh. They have little or no understanding that there is actually supernatural power that works in us effectively when we hear and apply what God says in his word. The word of God has been rendered ineffective by the tradition that has been handed down.

Jesus himself was baptised and he calls us to follow him.

Matthew 3: 13, 16

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptised by him….16 When He had been baptised, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

That is a major shift in perspective for anyone who is really listening. Jesus the carpenter’s son from Nazareth just had the Holy Spirit descend upon him and the voice of the Father from heaven declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

If you continue to see and hear him from the perspective of him being the carpenter’s son from Nazareth you are going to miss everything that he came to say and do as the Son of God from heaven.

Jesus told us to baptise those who choose to follow him.

Matthew 28: 18 – 20

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 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.” Amen.

Knowing that he is with you always in all circumstances should supply us with a whole new perspective. And perspective is everything.

Romans chapter 6 teaches us that when we are baptised we are identifying with Jesus’ death, his burial, and his resurrection.

3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

There’s another mighty change in perspective as we launch into a brand new life of faith.

To baptise comes from the Greek verb baptizo which means to dip or to immerse which should clear up any misconceptions about the methodology. Scripture also clearly places believing before baptising.

Mark 16: 16

16 He who believes and is baptised will be saved

When we believe and are baptised it gives us a brand new perspective on life. And perspective is everything.

Through repentance we came to the cross, and by faith we came through the cross, and on the other side of the cross we are a brand new creation with a brand new life.

2 Corinthians 5: 17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 

The Message Translation says, “The old life is gone; a new life emerges.”

Our perspective has changed and so from now on we look back to the Cross where Jesus already provided everything we will ever need to live this new life as a new creation.

And perspective really is everything.

The Cross changed the way that God looks at people forever. And so we no longer view people from the perspective of their past performance, we now view them from the perspective of their potential. And perspective is everything.

Remember, Jesus said that he hadn’t come to condemn people and to put them down. He came to save people and to raise them up.

The good news is that Jesus came to disable the labels. He continually spoke words that disabled the labels that held people captive and released them into the freedom they were created to enjoy.

And guess what?  He didn’t give us a mandate to create and apply new negative labels,

but to continue what he had begun and remove the limits on the lives of those who are contained by the labels that have been applied to them.

We are here to prophetically announce that the day of labels being disabled has arrived.

Luke 7: 36 – 50 (The Message)

36-39 One of the Pharisees asked Jesus over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee¿s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him.”

How often do we miss the potential of what someone could be because we limit them to a label that has been applied to them and that we foolishly think describes everything they could ever be?

There is no question here that this woman was the town harlot, but a prophet is not concerned with holding people captive to their past. A prophet is there to release you from your past and throw open the door that invites you into your future – to abandon your history and release you into your destiny. The prophet comes to disable your label.

So that who you were can no longer prevent you from being who you really are and fulfilling your potential to be everything that your heavenly Father has planned and destined you to be.

Simon, who doubted that Jesus was a prophet is just about to discover how much of a prophet he really is.

40 Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Oh? Tell me.”

41-42 “Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?” 43-47 Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.” “That’s right,” said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, “Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn¿t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal.”

The town harlot has her label disabled and is identified by the purpose for which she was created as a generous and extravagant worshipper. Jesus prophetically confirms her new life of freedom from the limitations of the label she had carried.

48 Then he spoke to her: “I forgive your sins.”

He is telling her, “Your past is past – the old has gone and the new has come.”

49 That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!” 50 He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Religion said her label disqualified her, but Jesus disabled the label and told her that she qualified for a new life where there would be nothing missing and nothing broken.

Perspective is everything. Your perspective will determine whether you see people as those who deserve condemnation or as those who need salvation.

God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. He demonstrated his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.  God made him who knew no sin to become sin for us so that we could become the righteousness of God in him. He wiped out the certificate of debt that was against us and he took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.

Jesus said that as the Father sent him, he is sending us. He is sending us to disable the labels and strip them of the power of limitation.

Paul said that we have been given a ministry and a word of reconciliation. We are to prophetically speak words into people’s lives that disable the labels that have held them bound. We have been given a ministry to speak a word that informs them that whoever they are and whatever they have done their sins are forgiven and whoever believes that will discover that their label has been disabled and there is a brand new life available to them where there is healing and restoration.

If others don’t like what we are saying or who we are saying these things to then we just need to ignore them and keep on speaking.

Jesus disabled the “multiple-marriage and living in sin” disqualification label of the Samaritan woman he sat down with at the well and prophetically qualified and released her into her destiny as a worshipping prophetic evangelist.

Perspective is everything.

Jesus disabled the “Roman soldier who is part of the occupying enemy force” disqualification label from the Centurion whose servant was sick and prophetically qualified him as a prophetic teacher of faith and of the authority of the believer.

Perspective is everything.

Jesus disabled the “Gentile dog” disqualification label attached to the Syro-Phoenician woman whose daughter was demon-possessed and prophetically qualified her as a prophetic teacher of faith and deliverance.

Perspective is everything.

Jesus disabled the “unclean” disqualification label attached to many sick and leprous and paralysed and blind and deaf and demonised people and prophetically qualified them to live and enjoy the full life they were created and destined to live.

Perspective is everything.

As we go locally, regionally, cross-culturally, and internationally with this message and ministry of reconciliation let’s always be aware that labels that have been applied to people – even if they have been self-applied – cannot limit their potential to be everything that God in his infinite love and mercy has created and planned for them to be.

Let’s go and speak words of life that disable labels and set the captives free. Let’s give people good news that they can believe in. And let’s empower them by baptising them and giving them a time and a place they can look to and say to anyone who tries to re-apply the old labels – whether that is a person, a demon, or even themselves – that the old negative label-wearer is dead and only positive labels apply to the new creation. Now they can boldly testify, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.”

Have you noticed that it can be very difficult to remove a label from a jar or a bottle – until you soak it in water and then it just slides off. 

God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power and he went about doing good by disabling labels and healing those who had been bound by them.

Galatians 5: 1

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Perspective is everything.

Let’s go and disable some labels.

More next time….

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