The Christian's Miraculous Ministry
Introduction: As we enter the year 2003, we enter into the 3rd stage in our church's relationship with our Senior Partner, the Holy Spirit. Two years ago, we welcomed the Builder of our church, the Holy Spirit, back into the church. We had been deceived by Satan to ignore Him because of excesses (eg. babbling, "holy laughter") attributed to His name by certain elements in Christendom. This event marked the beginning of a new phase in GLCC - which has dramatically changed the church.
Last year, we repeatedly preached on the glorious truth taught in Galatians 2:20: "Christ liveth in me..." and spent the year learning to walk with Him. While understanding this truth was simple, transforming our Christian walk from a "religious" one to a "relational" one was much more difficult. Mary of us are still struggling to develop a relationship with the Person of the Holy Spirit, and we more comfortable with a place of worship and a part in a religious program. Many still think of Christianity as a burdensome set of rules to follow and rituals to perform, rather than a glorious relationship to enjoy. Many still think of their Christian life as one limited to a certain place and time, from which one flees as soon as possible, rather than an ongoing, moment-by-moment relationship that needs to be nurtured continuously, through yielding and surrendering, which produces a blessed relationship that surpasses all other relationships. Those who have nurtured this relationship, enjoy the times spent praising Him, talking to Him, listening to Him and being encouraged and enabled by Him.
This year, we will learn the joys of working with Him - so that we can be what we should be and do what we should do. In other words, we have welcomed Him, walked with Him and now want to work with Him We should not only desire an enjoyable personal relationship with Him but also a powerful working relationship with Him.
The ministry of the incarnate Christ: Two thousand years ago, the eternal Son of God was born of a virgin and became the incarnate ("in the flesh") Christ - 100% God and 100% man. Though He was "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23), He was an ordinary looking baby who grew up to be an ordinary looking adult. However, when He entered His earthly ministry at the age of thirty, His awesome power was revealed as He went "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19: 10) in "all the cities and villages, teaching ... and preaching... and healing every sickness and disease among the people" (Matthew 9:35). The Gospels reveal that for the entire three-year period of His earthly ministry, countless awesome miracles were done by Christ as He went about fulfilling the will of His Father. We read of all types of physical and spiritual illnesses cured, storms stilled, food multiplied, hearts discerned, etc., in the course of His earthly ministry. These miracles were just a small " sample" of what He did, because John tell us: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should he written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written" (John 21:25).
The ministry of the indwelling Christ: The same Christ dwells in every Christian today (Hebrews 13:8), that He may live His life through every Christian - to fulfill the Father's will, "who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:4). We must stop thinking of our ministries in terms of our human efforts, which are limited by our training, experience, resources and organizational abilities. When we trust the Spirit of Christ to work through us, we must expect awesome miracles to happen through our ministries. We must believe that the "communion (ie, partnership) of the Holy Ghost" (2 Corinthians 13:14) in ministry will produce awesome miraculous results. We must not over-react to the so-called "miracles" done in flood-lit stadiums by flashy men and reject Christ's promise: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believed on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). According to this promise, we can expect more than thousands of physical illnesses to be cured or thousands of physically hungry to be fed - we can expect Him, who lives in us, to cure millions of spiritually blind men and feed millions of spiritually hungry men.
Conclusion: We have been given the Great Commission to "go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). This is a super-human task that only Christ, in us, can do by His miraculous power.
Welcome Him, walk with Him and work with Him to fulfill the Great Commission.