November 25, 2017 The Power of Faith in Jesus

The Power of Faith in Jesus

         Dr. Clay Stauffer writes, quoting author Charles Taylor: “‘Belief in God is no longer axiomatic. There are alternatives. This will also likely mean that at least in certain milieux, it may be hard to sustain one’s faith’” (The future of Christianity is unclear, Faith and Values Opinion, The Tennessean, 171028, p. 19 A; A Secular Age). One of the chief purposes of the Scriptures is to “sustain one’s faith”, as Jesus discusses in His Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13.18-23) and Apostle Paul in his letter, Colossians (2.8-10). The ‘mindfulness’ rage is a current attack on Christian “faith”; an existential philosophy being taught in school rooms and board rooms. Mindfulness and yoga are ways of worshiping Hindu or Buddhist gods. These philosophies, and Islam, are rushing into the American cultural void left by Christians who have reduced Christianity to a “form of godliness” but “[denied] the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3.5); i.e., behaviors rather than mindset We have watered-down the power of faith in the Name above all names (Philippians 2.9-11). How can we recapture this power from within the Name ‘Jesus’? The healing of the paralytic at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple illustrates the following ways; Acts 3.1-10.

A. By understanding Whose Name is ‘Jesus’

  1. Apostle Paul clearly states that Jesus is the name of the God-head, in Philippians 2.9-11; all in Heaven bow to it. See, also, Hebrews 13.8 and Ephesians 1.21.
  2. Apostle John writes that the “Word”,i.e., ‘Jesus’, literally took upon Himself flesh like His created mankind (John 1.14; Hebrews 2.14-15).
  3. The Apostles rejoiced that they were criticized by the Sanhedrin because of their teaching of the ‘Name” (Acts 4.12 & 41). The context was healing. Peter and John knew the power of the name Jesus they spoke; Acts 3.16. See James 5.14-15, also.
  4. Jesus, Himself, said we are to baptize new disciples “into” the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28.19). Paul discusses the power of this in Romans 5.1-5 and gives an example of Matthew 10.7-8 in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5.
  5. Jesus, also, said that His was His Father’s name, in John 17.6,11, & 12 (NASB).
  6. God wrote that His name must be spoken in faith (Exodus 20.7), and Jesus said it must be ‘hallowed’ (Matthew 6.9); i.e., the Christian mindset. This is because of the power within His name that is only released by faith, illustrated in Hebrews 3.16-4.2. This is how Paul measures maturity in Ephesians 4.13.

B. By understanding that temporal and eternal salvation are contained within the Name ‘Jesus’

  1. God makes this clear in Isaiah 45.22: “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” What is the implied clause that should begin this verse? Perhaps, ‘In every way, everyday, look to Me and be saved.’ God is Spirit; John 4.24.
  2. What do John 3.16 and Acts 4.12 have in common? How does Matthew 9.4-7 explain the connection?
  3. When the wandering Hebrews were bitten by snakes in the desert, God instructed that a figure of a snake should be lifted on a pole for the bitten to look upon and be healed (Numbers 21.8-9). Faith healing in action, but only for those who received God’s salvation by looking.
  4. Jesus replaced the snake at Calvary for the eternal salvation of mankind (John 12.32; Hebrews 9.12-14). Remember that He is the “Word that became flesh” (John 1.14). ‘Nehushtan’ symbolized Jesus; 2 Kings 18.4.
  5. Jesus demonstrated that the power to heal is in the Name ‘Jesus’ by healing all who had faith to receive healing from His Name (John 1.12; Matthew 9.22 & 29; Luke 8.46-48; Mark 9.25). His offer without acceptance leaves a person sick.
  6. The Holy Spirit knew that the paralytic in Acts 3 was ready to receive healing through the name Jesus. He identified him among all beggars. Similarly for Paul in Acts 14.9.
  7. Paul acknowledges that every need is satisfied by the Name ‘Jesus’, in Philippians 4.19; also, that the anointed Name ‘Jesus’ gave Paul the ability to do anything (13). This sounds like Jesus’ description of the Holy Spirit’s work on our behalf, in John 14.26. Also Mark 16.20.
  8. Jesus demonstrates satisfying all needs by “feeding thousands from meager rations, healing untold numbers beset by satan’s sicknesses and diseases, and raising named persons from the dead” (Painter, Continuing Jesus’ Service,, 171030); Matthew 10.7-8 and Acts 10.38 {the God-head in action}.
  9. Further, Paul states that Jesus is our holy hope for escape from this dying planet, in Galatians 1.4.

C. By following Jesus’ instructions for the use of His name

  1. Jesus states this as an expectation of us in Matthew 18.19 & 22, Mark 11.24, and John 14.13-14 & 16.23-24.
  2. Jesus has given us the right to use His authority through using His name, as is illustrated in Luke 10.1-11, 17-19.
  3. How are Luke 10.17 and Acts 16.18 like Mark 9.25? Do you have faith to do this? Why is this included in Genesis 1.26?
  4. Peter moved the mountain holding down the paralytic and released him to enjoy the good health God had created.
  5. James reminds us that doubt is a spade for digging up what we plant by faith; see James 1.5-8.
  6. God created mankind with the expectation that they would use the ‘tools’ He would give them to carry out His prime directive: exercise rule and dominion over the Earth (Genesis 1.26). You were created to rule using Jesus’ name!
  7. Apostle John states that God has given us what we need: forgiveness and adoption, with the right to use His Name ‘Jesus’; see Revelation 12.11.
  8. John explains this further in 1 John 5.4-5. See this in 1 John 4.4, also.
  9. What does “manifest Myself to him” mean in John 14.21? Is “him” you and me? Jesus manifests Himself through the power of His name. Paul confirms this in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5. Is this the same purpose as John (1.18) states? See Jesus’ Lord’s Prayer in John 17.20-23. This is like Mark 16.20 to fulfill 15-18. Consequently, is this how Jesus wants to ‘manifest’ Himself to the world?
  10. Remember from John 1.18, that the name Jesus took on flesh (verse 14) so that He could manifest God. From John 17.23, we are made perfect through manifesting the name Jesus to the world. This is being “One” with the Father and Son, Jesus.
  11. Similarly, in John 15.5 we cannot do anything without the name Jesus, which brings Him on the scene (verse 7). John 15.8 points back to the power of Jesus’ name. See Mark 16.20.
  12. Therefore, Paul writes that we must do all things in the anointed name ‘Jesus’, in Colossians 3.17! The name is the power we need!
  13. In John 16.24, Jesus commands that we ask in the name Jesus, so that our joy of receiving may be full from seeing the power of the name in our lives personally.
  14. John 16.33: the name Jesus overcomes the world! If only Jesus the Person overcame the world, the world would have been reconquered by satan after Jesus left. But, it is Jesus’ name that continues to overcome, when Christians recapture the power of the name ‘Jesus’! Is the power of the name Jesus that we display what Paul gives in 2 Thessalonians 2.6-7 as the ‘Restraint’ of satan’s lawlessness? Consider John MacArthur’s commentary about verse six: “The power that holds back Satan from bringing the final apostasy and unveiling of his Satan-possessed false Christ must be divinely supernatural. It must be God’s power in operation that holds back Satan, so that the man of sin, the son of destruction, won’t be able to come until God permits it by removing the restraining power” (MacArthur Study Bible Notes).

D. But, following through is up to you and me.

  1. Peter and John stood on their faith in the name Jesus before those who did not believe. See Acts 4.1-20, especially verses 12, 19, & 20.
  2. Jesus told the Parable of the Persistent Widow to encourage persistent faith, in Luke 18.1-8. He describes satan (2-5) and challenges us to faith (6-7).
  3. Then, Jesus asks the crucial question (8): “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
  4. Will your faith stand in the contemporary milieux?

Stauffer continues: “There is still a deep spiritual hunger in our age that I believe is directly tied to our ongoing search for God…If Christians today can show the same courage as Martin Luther in getting this message to a hurting world, then Christianity will always have a future and a purpose.” [Luther nailed his ‘Ninety-Five Theses’ to the door of Wittenberg Castle Church on October 31, 1517].

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2017.

October 29, 2017 Continuing Jesus’ Service

Continuing Jesus’ Service

         I was reading Dr. Michael Youssef’s book, The Leadership Style of Jesus: how to make a lasting impact (2013), this week and was stopped by the Holy Spirit on Dr. Youssef’s inclusion of Matthew 20.20-28 in his Chapter 10, Power, page 102. The chapter contrasts the power advocated by Niccolo Machiavelli with that expressed by Jesus; that is, “amorality, deception, power, ego, and personal advantage” versus “morality, truthfulness, servanthood, humility, and meeting the needs of others”, respectively (p. 100). We see this contrast in leaders today. Verses 25-27.

What caught my attention was the conjunction, “and”, in verse 28. The verse reads in the English Standard Version: “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, AND to give his life as a ransom for many” (my emphasis). From this, we understand that Jesus came for two distinct reasons. Hebrews 10.1-10 clearly explains “to give his life as a ransom for many” (see also John 1.29 & Revelation 5.9).

Jesus’ behaviors of feeding thousands from meager rations, healing untold numbers beset by satan’s sicknesses and diseases, and raising named persons from the dead express His thinking developed by the mindset He advocates in Matthew 6.9, “hallow” the Name of Father God, ‘Jesus’. His “kingdom come” guided Jesus’ thinking, and His “will be done” found expression in binding and loosing “whatever…shall have been bound [or loosed] in heaven” (Matthew 6.10 & 16.19, NASB). Thus, Jesus “served” mankind and encourages us to do the same (John 17.18, Matthew 28.20).

But, Jesus also “served” in another, most important way. The “Cosmological Logos” showed God to mankind (Dr. Ronald Nash, The Word of God and The Mind of Man, 1982, p. 67)! This is John’s deduction in John 1.18. The Metaphysical became Physical, as Apostle Thomas declares in John 20.27-28. Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah 7.14, evidencing such Himself in John 14.7-11 & 15.24 (by others in John 3.2, 7.31, 9.32 & Matthew 9.33) fulfilling Exodus 34.10.

So, the Holy Spirit continues to “make [God] known” through us daily, as Paul writes in Romans 8.14, Colossians 3.17 & 23, and 1 Corinthians 10.31. May our mindset be Matthew 6.9, our thinking Matthew 6.10a, and our behaviors Matthew 6.10b. Otherwise, we will wind up in prideful imagination, like Zebedee’s wife and the jealous disciples in Matthew 20.20-27, ending like James 3.16. Which of these two pictures reveals the Father God? In which picture are you?

Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2017.