April, 2014

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The Demon Is In Too Deep For Ordinary Ministry. It’s Time To Pray!

Monday, April 28th, 2014

In 1959 Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave a series of messages on revival. One of these expositions was on Mark 9, where Jesus comes off the mountain of transfiguration and discovers his disciples trying unsuccessfully to exorcise a demon from a boy. After he rids the youth of the demonic presence, the disciples ask him, “Why could we not cast it out?” Jesus answers, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:28-29). Jesus was teaching his disciples that their ordinary methods did not work for “this kind.” Lloyd-Jones went on to apply this to the church:

“Here, in this boy, I see the modern world, and the disciples I see the Church of God…I see a very great difference between today and two hundred years ago, or indeed even one hundred years ago. The difficulty in those earlier times was that men and women were in a state of apathy. They were more or less asleep…There was no general denial of Christian truth. It was just that people did not trouble to practise it…All you had to do then was to awaken them to rouse them…

But the question is whether that is still the position…What is ‘this kind’?…The kind of problem facing us is altogether deeper ad more desperate…The very belief in God has virtually gone…The average man today believes that all this belief about God and religion and salvation…is an incubus on human nature all through the centuries…

It is no longer merely a question of immorality. This has become an amoral or a non-moral society. The very category of morality is not recognized…

The power that the disciples had was a good power, and it was able to do good work in casting out the feeble devils, but it was no value in the case of that boy (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1987, pp. 9, 13-15).

Put simply, Jesus is saying, the demon is in too deep for your ordinary way of doing ministry.

(Excerpt From Timothy Keller The Gospel and the Supremacy of Christ)

The Holy Spirit Is Really Good At What He Does!

Friday, April 11th, 2014

“Is the Holy Spirit some force – some kind of impersonal power or influence?”

Simply put — the Holy Spirit is God! He is the third person in the Trinity (Triune nature of God). He has a mind, emotion and will (Acts 5:3-4; Psalm 139:7-8; Ephesians 4:30; Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; John 14:16, 26, 15:26).

The question becomes …

“What is the mind of the Holy Spirit?” “What is His will?” “What is the Holy Spirit ‘really good at’ (so to speak)?”

When the Holy Spirit has His way in our lives there is:

Intimacy with the Father. 

  • “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”(Gal. 4:6)

Christians are strengthened and the church is strengthened. 

  • “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all…” (1 Cor. 12:7)

The Lord works through His church to draw people to Christ!  

  • “… He will convict the world of sin…because they do not believe in Me…”  (John 16:7-10)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
  • (The Bible does not say that the whole world should go to church, but rather the church should go to the whole world.)

The person and work of Jesus becomes front and center. 

  • “But I will send you the Advocate–the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.” John 15:26
  • The Holy Spirit will inspire hearing from Jesus, being informed and renewed by Jesus, a heart inclined to Jesus; sins confessed to Jesus; and one’s worship to Jesus!

There is order and edification in church gatherings. 

  • “Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Cor. 14:40)

The Holy Spirit is really good at these realities!

Perhaps we can better understand why Jesus said, “…I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7)

You can see then that Christianity is not merely a psychological phenomena.It is not something that merely brings “new ideas” and a “unique experience” to to our lives.But rather, Christianity brings the living God into our lives!