27/02/2007

Jesus our model - Sam Storms

When I said in my last post that I would be bringing reports from the conference, I had in mind to bring summaries of the key messages each day. However, I didn't bargain on the gloriously intense programme and also the extent of my notes - which are quite difficult to summarise, as I don't want to leave any riches out!

So I will commit myself to sharing one message each day while I am here and then next week posting summaries of the other messages. So please be patient!

Anyway, yesterday evening, we were thoroughly blessed through a glorious time of sung worship where we were caught up with the Lord, He spoke to us about drawing close to Him and then came time for God's Word. Sam Storms was the speaker.

I have done my best in note-taking. If anything seems odd don't blame Sam, blame me!! I will try and post details of how to get CDs of messages later.

Here goes:


Acts 10v34-38 (esp v38)

The WWJD phenomenon provoked important questions. Many asked the question – what would Jesus do about poverty, racial discrimination, social injustice etc. But one question is not really asked – what would Jesus do when confronted with the sick and demonised? We look to him for our strategies and models for everything else, but what about diseased bodies and oppressed souls?

Confronting poverty etc doesn’t require the presence of supernatural power (while these things are important, a person doesn’t have to be born-again to serve in these areas). But for the sick and demonised, mere human goodwill won’t do. Not more money, volunteers, or strategies. But Jesus should be our model!


Key point - The Identity of Jesus

“Of Nazareth”. A person who had a hometown. Shows his humanity – it is real humanity [there was an awesome prophecy about Christ the Man during the worship time at the conference, amazing given that only the conference leaders knew what Sam was going to speak on!].

Christ is God, but we mustn’t defend His deity by diminishing His humanity. According to Phil 2, He did not empty Himself by surrendering deity, but by taking to Himself humanity. He renounced the independent exercise of His divine power and prerogative. He didn’t pretend to be human. When we see Him doing superhuman things, our reaction is often “because He is God”. But He did these as a human in dependence on the Holy Spirit.

All these points are an exposition of Acts 10v38, although the first goes into a lot of depth to show the truth of the point from the gospel accounts.


1) His whole ministry was through the power of the Holy Spirit

If He did everything simply as God then His anointing was unnecessary. But John 3v34-35 tells us God the Father gives the Spirit to Him – without measure.

Luke 1v15 – if the herald is filled how much more One heralded? Luke 1v35 – bathed in the presence and power of Spirit. Luke 2v40 – being filled with wisdom (Is 11v2 fulfilled) – this text is a clear reference to the development of the Lord's humanity, being formed and shaped by Holy Spirit.

Luke 3 – baptism. The Spirit came like a dove, there was the audible voice of God. John says that the Spirit descended and remained, in contrast with all OT prophets that preceded Him whose anointing was temporary.

Luke 4v1 - led into the wilderness (Mark says thrust forth) by the Spirit. He resisted temptation as a man, relying on the Spirit. The Spirit brought to mind scripture.

Luke 4v14-15 – the power of His preaching ministry was in the power of the Spirit. Luke 4v16ff – His whole ministry.

Luke 5v17 – the power of the Lord was with Him to heal (power is always synonymous in Luke with the Holy Spirit). Luke 8v43-48 (esp v46) - power came out from Him – shows impartation. Matt 12v27-28 – explains source of His power – the Holy Spirit.

Heb 9v13-14 –how did He find strength to persevere? Through the eternal Spirit.

Acts 1v1-2 – teaching after resurrection. He only did things He saw His Father doing. He was given revelation by the Spirit.

Everything took place (according to Acts 10v38) because God was with Him. God gave Him the anointing.


2) It’s a good thing to heal and set free

But if it’s good thing, why doesn’t He do it more frequently? 6 responses:

a) Although we must be careful in giving more weight to faith than the NT, sometimes healing doesn’t take place due to lack of faith. Many times Jesus says “your faith has saved you.”
b) The presence of sin without repentance – James 5v14-16.
c) The person doesn’t want healing(John 5v6). In some situations a person’s identity is wrapped up in the affliction and so they don't really want to be free.
d) James 4v2 – people don’t ask. Do you pray for sustained seasons?
e) The demonic caused is not identified (Luke 13v16). Sickness can be demonic in origin (not always).
f) There are dimensions of spiritual growth and moral development that God desires more than physical health and in His wisdom can only be attained through what we learn in midst of and how we react to physical affliction – lessons of submission, humility and patience. God is at work (Rom 8v28).


3) How many?

“All.” Shows heart of God to set captives free.


4) Not merely the miraculous

It says “doing good and...”. Everything that Jesus did was in the power of the Spirit – preaching compassion, reaching to outcasts, forgiveness, teaching disciples, His acts of kindness.

They were not simple signs attesting to the presence of His kingdom, but are the essence of kingdom. Kingdom is more than these things, but not less than signs and wonders Jesus performed. “The kingdom of God has come upon you” – the Spirit is operating through Me, that shows presence of Kingdom.


Application

On the day of resurrection the disciples were hiding. In John 20v22 the first thing Jesus said, was, peace be to you. “As the Father sent Me I also send you.” I am sending you in the power of the same Spirit. His ministry did not terminate with His ascension, but is continuing. Luke 24v49, Acts 1v8. The same power that filled Him has filled and energised us.

Acts 1v8 – is not exclusively verbal testimony. Luke uses “power” (dunamis) 25 times in Luke-Acts, 10 of which relate to Jesus and 10 to us. Of the 10 that relate to Jesus, 8 refer to healing etc. Of the 10 that refer to us – 9 times refer to signs and wonders and the other is Acts 1v8!

So Acts 10v38 is a description of what should be true of us. Acts 6 tells us Stephen was “full of the Spirit”. Full as Jesus was full. That is so for us. How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?

So:

1) Read the gospels with new eyes. He is our example. A man empowered by the Father.
2) Expand your expectations of what God can do in your ministry. Do not yield to the temptation to give up.
3) Don’t back down to any disease, oppression whatever – physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological. Do not back down from any opposition of enemy. Never use perceived failures or excesses as excuse for disobeying God’s Word.
4) May God empower your preaching, teaching, prayer life, whatever your ministry. May He equip, awaken, expand your vision of what He can do through you.

No comments: