Bluewater Bay Community Church

Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen

Naturally Supernatural (iii)

by Erik Momsen

As we long for the kingdom of Jesus Christ to be extended on earth we must recognise the miraculous character of the New Testament accounts of what Jesus and the first disciples did.  Even today it is claimed that about 70% of the church's growth is among Pentecostal and charismatic groups.  The preaching of the gospel is not enough.

Paul tells us: "I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom but on God's power." (1 Corinthians 2:3-5)

This does not look like the professional religion of the West, but a Holy Spirit inspired message of a simple man.

THE HEALING OF THE LAME (Acts 3)

The account of the healing of the lame man launches Peter into a sermon that changes lives.  The gospel is first demonstrated and then spoken about.

A few verses are helpful for us.

"Look at us" (Acts 3:4)
 - It is as if Peter is saying, "Do we simple men look like we have any money to give?"  He is also saying, "Give us your attention and your heart."

"Why do you stare at us as if by our own power and godliness we made this man walk?" (Acts 3:12)
 - The clear truth that the miraculous is not dependant on our qualities.  It is purely about faith and obedience.

"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.  It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see." (v.16)
 - The name of Jesus must again be our delight, focus and joy.
 - A focus on his name, character and presence brings faith and power.

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing (anapsuzews) may come from the Lord." (Acts 3:19)
 - Even though this message was meant for unbelieving Jews, it is relevant for Christians today.  The level of secularism among us is too high.  Our focus is on the world and not on Jesus.  We are in the world and of it as well.  The "refreshing" is the result of repentance and is the pouring out of the Spirit.

"When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways." (v.26)
 - The presence of Jesus among us leads to purity and this leads to more of his presence and power.

THE CHURCH IN NEED OF "REFRESHING"

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing (anapsuzews) may come from the Lord." (Acts 3:19)

"Repent" has the meaning of "adjusting your course".  It is time for all believers to do this.  The promise is that we will be "refreshed".  This term "refresh" is not often used in scripture and when it is relates to matters of the heart, spirit and Spirit.

"Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed (anapepautai) the hearts of the saints." (Philemon 7)

"For they refreshed (anapausan) my spirit and yours also." (1 Corinthians 16:18)

"So that by God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed (sunanapausoomai)." (Romans 15:32)

The most interesting use of this root word "anapsuxoo" is in Timothy:
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame (anazoopurein) the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and of self discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6,7)

Paul is telling Timothy to "refresh" the gift of the Spirit which was given.  He is not to live by fear but by love, power and self control (soophronismou).  The Spirit demonstrates His power in our lives through - Love, power and self-control (a sound mind or wisdom).  The word "soophronismou" has roots in the Greek word for wisdom. The "fear of the Lord" we know is the beginning of wisdom and it this Godly fear that also calls us to repentance and holy living.

Peter and Paul know that repentance and a return to the Lord usher in the power and work of the Spirit.  The demonstration of the Spirit's power is encouraged in an environment of love and holy living.

Simple people who love the Lord Jesus, long for His presence and healing power and who walk in repentance are the people who will see the Kingdom come.

Date Added: 2010-07-04

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