SPIRIT POWERED CHRISTIANITY
We all know that the Father is in Heaven “Our Father who art in Heaven” taught Jesus. We all know that the Son had to leave in order that the Comforter could come. Jesus is also in Heaven preparing a place for us and being our mediator to the Father. Here are the very last words of Jesus to His followers before He ascended into Heaven.
“ … but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Acts 1:8
In Poland different camps divided themselves around the Holy Spirit. Some were non-charismatic, some charismatic and others very charismatic. Other divisions also continue between Protestant and Catholic understandings. Everyone in Poland comes from some church background, so to seek only those who have no preconceived ideas or those who have perfect theology is a waste of time in different ways. So in all of this our calling in Poland is to first bring them to an understanding of salvation by grace, through faith in Christ alone and all that this means in time and eternity. Secondly our calling (yours and mine) is to see through the variety of Christian movements and call them to Spirit Powered living based on the full council of God’s word.
Jesus said much on this subject in the sermon on the mount where He stated twice that by their fruits we shall know them and that many thinking they are doing great signs and wonders in Jesus name will be shocked to hear that Jesus never knew them. Matthew 7:17-29
The fruit of the Spirit is, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23
This is not to say that Spiritual gifts are not important, but to say that every spiritual gift must bear the fruit of the Spirit or it is like 1 Corinthians 13 states to all of us,
“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
It is not by our gifts and talents that the world will know that we are from God. We must glorify the Giver and not the gift.” They will know you are my followers by your love for one another” said Jesus.
Finally, in the history of revival from the day of Pentecost on to today. It was the preaching of the Gospel and glorification of God in an understandable language that brought about a wave of new believers. I grew up in a church that spoke a language I could not understand, though I was taught to memorize the words. It was when I heard the Gospel in plain English that I responded. So today a new wave of belief must come by making the glorious Gospel of Christ clear in the language of the hearer. The beauty of the Gospel cannot be hidden and should not be overridden by uncertain tones and manifestations. The Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation. Rom. 1:16
Goals and Strategy for Poland
A. Evangelism of the religious lost by the preaching of the Gospel according to God's Word.
B. To concentrate on Poland and key areas around the world where Poles live or to encourage others who are believers to take up the Lord's mandate.
C. To teach the depth of true discipleship and the scope of its presence in our lives from God's word.
D. To cooperate with all believers/followers of Christ who place him above churches, organizations, movements and spiritual leaders. Our most important relationship must be with the Lord Himself and we all have access to to Through the blood of Christ.
E. To see believers become complete in Christ in faith, knowledge and practice.
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ
Martin Luther saw that salvation came by faith, and understanding the difference in teaching in the book of James and Romans is critical in our ministry. James was not a reply to Romans, as James wrote his epistle years before Paul wrote any of his. James was a warning to the Jew who took God's grace for granted and misunderstood Genesis 15:6 which is the basis for justification by faith. James asks and answers what faith is in chapters one and two. Faith demands an action response as seen in Rahab and Abraham. The one example of worthless faith James gives us is of the demons that could not help but believe the God they knew, but who also believed Lucifer. Theirs was a divided faith and our faith (however small) must be in Jesus alone. Eph. 2: 8, 9 and Titus 3:5 clearly state that it is true faith alone and not any of our "good" works that will save us from the curse of Adam's sin. However Eph. 2:10 and Titus 3:8 follow those passages and show us that the new creation (new birth) enables us to act with good works now pleasing to God. Simply put, Jesus said it best - "without Me you can do nothing". We must first have the Lord Jesus as our personal savior.
Some folks have gotten the notion that salvation comes from the Church. In fact, the Church is the saved and salvation comes directly from God to the one who believes. The Church is made up of all those saved from sin and our head who is Christ alone. God alone saves us. No man, church or hierarchy can "improve" or "fix" the Gospel. It is perfect and any modifications simply detract from God's word. The church is us and we cannot save ourselves. The Church believed and believes unto salvation. Our Lord and Creator taught us whom to believe in. We are always taught to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and never once taught to believe in any church. Our faith and the Gospel message preceded the Church. Jesus picked the twelve Apostles, trained them and died in our place before the Church began. The faith was given to the church and the churches calling is to be faithful to the faith Christ gave to us. Whom we are to believe in; to whom we should pray; in whose name should we bring our requests before the Father; who is our only acceptable mediator and much more was all given to the Church to follow and obey in good faith.
All men were born of Adam's corruptible seed and by believing like the example Jesus gave in John 3: 14, 15 we are born anew by the incorruptible seed of God - never to perish. This is why John later wrote in 1 John 2:19, that once you are in God's family, you will never leave. This October 31, 2012 will mark 50 years of this new birth for me. I have known thousands of believers, and though some have strayed who always came back in tears of sorrow, no one I have known has left the fold. God will ultimately judge who is and who is not saved, but if they departed for good, they never did belong to God's family according to 1 John 2:19. If you have been born again by grace through faith you have become part of the divine nature. You were born of God's Holy Spirit. John states it plainly, "you were born of God". 1 John 5:1
Romans 6:23 summarizes the Gospel this way, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Salvation is a gift!!! It is not earned in part or in whole. You can never earn salvation or pay for it. The price was paid in full by the blood of Christ on the cross. We insult God and do not believe Him by offering our "good works" which are like "filthy rags" in His sight. Only the "good works" done in the power of the Holy Spirit are pleasing to God. If it is a gift, you cannot pay for it. When the world speaks of free gifts, there are always strings attached, not so with God. The religious Jews tried to earn their salvation by good works and died in their sins unless they instead placed all of their faith in Jesus alone - Romans 9: 30-31. In Matthew 28:18-20 2 Timothy 2:2 and 1 Thessalonians 2:8 we can summarize what making disciples involves.