Articles

The Power of Love

God is Love. A lot of people have that sign hanging in their homes, or as a sticker on their car, some even have it tattooed on their body. But do you know that there is great power, even divine power in love? We often don’t stop to think of the implications of that statement that God is Love; and not just any kind of love, but divine love. You see the world has greatly corrupted the idea of love… some see it as synonymous with sexual intercourse, while others see it as something cruel and hurtful. However divine love is not like our corrupted human ideas of love. Divine love is so much more, and so much better, and so very powerful

The Bible says that we can have all knowledge, all wisdom, and all understanding, but if we do not have love, we are empty… we are noise without substance, and what we will be studying today, is the power of divine love. Because there are many who think that love is weak, but in reality, it is the strongest and greatest of all.

Behold, All Things Are New

A verse of scripture that is well known among believers is 2nd Corinthians 5:17, which says “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. It is an amazing statement – if we stop even for a few moments to meditate on what it means and the reality that it presents to us, we will be wonderfully amazed. I would imagine that most of us have at the very least one thing in our life that we want to change… and that is exactly what this verse is offering through Jesus Christ.

Even so, most people never see the reality of this in their life – they are still very much entrenched in the old; they are still bound by who they used to be, instead of who they are in Christ Jesus. There are a great many believers still spiritually living in the past, hanging out in the graveyard of what now is dead, instead of living in the newness of life which Jesus brought. So today we will be studying how to live in the present reality which Jesus has brought, and to live in it now without any more delay. If you have been looking for a breakthrough in your life, this study will set you free through Christ today.

Live in the Power of the Spirit (Part 2)

In our study last week, we examined how God actually wants us to have power, and how Jesus has given us power, both through His redemptive work on the cross and through the sending of His Spirit (one act facilitating the other). These concepts are often not even touched in many Christian circles, often seen as fringe. Indeed many people are afraid to take an honest look at the topic of the Holy Spirit in connection with the power given to us because they have been jaded by past experience or the horror stories that people tell about what happened in some charismatic group previously.

Yet these things are spoken of in scripture and so they should not and can not be ignored. And so today we will continue with Part 2 of our study on living in the power of the Spirit, by taking a look at the baptism of the Spirit – specifically what Jesus said about it, because His opinion is the only one that carries any weight, and as we see the truth from scripture, we will be moved from a place of weakness, to a place of great strength in the power of the Spirit through Christ Jesus.

Live in the Power of the Spirit (Part 1)

One of the most overlooked areas in the life of a believer is the area of power. It is often not even mentioned in sermons, nor is it brought up in connection with the Holy Spirit. In some Christian circles it is considered wrong to think of ourselves as having any power at all, and others that it it is possible to operate in power, but only once-in-a-while when God feels like it – and therefore it is not reliable or consistent. All of these different ideas and opinions on the power of the Spirit have given rise to generations of believers who are quite literally living in defeat and confusion, and feeling helpless against the advances of the enemy in their life.

In this study today, we will be examining the truth of what the scripture says regarding the power of the Holy Spirit, and specifically the power that Jesus came to give us. It is important to see that it is not wrong to look at these things; in-fact they were written down for us precisely so that we would know and understand them. And by seeing the truth directly from scripture, we can start living in the power which Jesus paid for us to have.

You Have Been Freed From the Curse

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself bound. Imagine your hands, arms and legs bound with chains; imagine being shackled tightly and how you would feel, not being able to move at all. Now imagine that there was a divine miracle, all of the chains that bound you have instantly fallen off; you are no longer bound. You were not able to move at all before, and now you are free to move around as much as you desire. You have a reason to rejoice! You have a reason to celebrate! You were a prisoner, and now you are free!

This scenario is actually more than just an imagination – it is a wonderful reality. You and I were prisoners once; prisoners to sin, prisoners to sickness, disease and all the curse of the Law of Moses. Now however, we have been set free. We have been released from all of the curse, however many people do not yet realize that they have been set free. They are behaving and living as though they are still bound, even though the shackles are no longer holding them in-place. Today we will be studying the wonderful reality that you have actually been released from the curse. You do not have to live in bondage and fear any longer. Jesus has delivered you.

Living Through the Relationship

Most of us have heard the phrase before that “Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship”. It has become a somewhat cliché catch-phrase, or something clever and witty to say. Many people say it, many people hear it, and nod in agreement,, but their relationship is really empty on the inside of them; and I am speaking of believers when I say that. And please understand that I am not saying that in a judgmental way and certainly not in a condemning way. I am going to be completely open and honest right up-front that my intention today in this study is to encourage you in your personal relationship with Jesus and how to live every day through that relationship, because really that’s the only way to live.

I have encountered a vast number of people in my time, who will readily claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus because it is expected of them to say that. It’s the “proper Christian response” but inside they are desperately hurting and empty and their spirit is starving because they honestly don’t know how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. So, these people walk around empty, but too afraid of the ridicule of those around them to actually admit that they don’t understand, and suffer in ignorance. In many churches today, Jesus has been reduced to nothing more than a Fire Net that saves you from going to hell when you die and that is it. Yet He is so very much more, and He came to give you much more as well. He’s didn’t come to just be merely a Fire Net, He came to give you Himself, and to enable you to live through Him, and this personal relationship is what we will be studying today.

Remember the Love of God Always

When you hear the word “God” spoken, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it is terms like “all powerful”, “ruler”, “judge”, “creator” and it is certainly true that God is indeed all of these things. Yet He is so much more. One of the more popular cliché statements used in our current culture is that Christianity is not about religion, but about relationship… and while that is absolutely true, for many of us, the truth of that statement is lost in our daily lives.

For many people the relationship with God does not progress beyond the basic “Christian behaviors” and rituals that most people perform because it is what they think a good Christian is supposed to do. I’ve spoken with people time and time again who are not actually living out of a true relationship with Jesus, but out of rituals and traditions that are empty and unfulfilling. And they flounder around – many of them their entire life, searching for something that they don’t even know exactly what, because they can sense something is missing but they have not made the connection, that what is missing is the foundation of a real relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what we will be studying today.

Jesus Is Your Answer

It’s considered cliché these days to say Jesus is the answer. People upon hearing the phrase will typically react with an eye-roll, or say “Yeah, I know, but…” – as if to admit that they do not really believe that He is the answer at all. Believers continue to search for new truths, new ideas, new philosophies and theologies every day because they are still searching for answers. They are searching for something more, as if Jesus was not enough, and in the eyes of many, He secretly isn’t enough.

Now it’s okay to admit feeling that way. It’s okay to admit thinking that… because the honest admission that sometimes we feel or think that Jesus isn’t enough is a starting-point upon which to build the true Gospel foundation of Jesus Christ. I’ve watched many professing believers over the years, who were too afraid to make that admission, live their entire lives searching for answers, going from this thing to that thing, attending every conference they come across, reading every book, laboring in all kinds of works – so busy, yet still not finding their answer, because in all of their busy-ness, they have missed Jesus… never even truly realizing that He is the One and Only Answer that they need. Today, we will be taking a look at how Jesus is our true answer, and saying that will no longer be an empty cliché.

Being Secure in Christ

Many times in scripture God has said to not be afraid (it’s not actually 365 times, closer to 110), but really once should be enough for anyone who takes the word of God seriously. However, we still find it difficult to not be afraid in certain circumstances. Often we think that being afraid of certain things is normal. Just a part of being human. However we still have the very words of God that tell us to “fear not”, “do not be afraid”. Was He just saying it for the sake of saying it… or is there something for us to learn and see in His words?

It might be interesting to note that whenever God said to not be afraid, it always accompanied a revelation of Himself… who He is and His nature, character and power. This is key when considering His words. God never tells us to not be afraid, without telling the reason why we do not have to fear. It’s one thing to simply say “aww, don’t be afraid!” – but it’s quite another thing to say “Don’t be afraid, because I am here!” and when God is the one saying it, you now have a very solid foundation upon which to securely stand. What we will be studying today is the security that we have in Christ, and how His words of fear not, are not just empty suggestions, but a reality for us to live in – all because of Jesus.

Jesus: The Perfect Will of God For You

As believers, I think it is safe to say that all of us want to know the will of God. We all want to know what His desire and His intentions are in every area and in every situation. Many times we cry out to God asking Him to reveal His will to us, and we preface our prayers with “Lord, if it’s your will…”, and we pray this way because we do not know His will… we are unsure of what His will is. However it is very difficult; some would even say impossible, to act with boldness and confidence if we are not sure that God is backing us up. It’s very difficult to step out in faith if we are uncertain whether God’s will is for us to do that.

The good news is that He knows that we want to know – and He has not left us wondering what His will is. God has given us the perfect image and example of His will. And as we look at the living image of God – Jesus – we will know what the will of God is, and not be in doubt or uncertainty any longer. This is what we will be studying today.