To read Part 1 first click Here.
These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.
If you’ve been to a juice bar you would know that there are primary ingredients that make the juice and additional supplements you can add. It’s not necessary for the juice but you can add it if it suits your personal taste. This is how we can treat the power of God, as a supplement; an extra thing that we may or may not have a taste for, when it fact it’s the carrot in the carrot-apple-ginger juice. The Power of God is not a supplementary doctrine, it’s an essential component of the gospel itself. I would go as far to say that we can not obey Jesus’ command to proclaim the gospel unless we proclaim the whole thing.
Miracles are for today. You may have heard that the gifts of the Spirit ceased with the Apostles, but this is just bad theology that manipulates the words of the Bible and excommunicates the Holy Spirit. (I guess I’ll tell you how I really feel).
Power is what separates Jesus from an ideology. Anyone can preach the character of Jesus, in fact many belief systems do just that, without citing the source. But to preach Jesus is to preach his salvation… all of it.
We have a responsibility to example and teach others to be like Jesus. But to make disciples, we first have to be disciples. Discipleship is imitation. Biblically speaking this term means not just in character but in action. In ancient times people would even go as far as to adapt the mannerisms of their teacher. We are called to have the character and nature of Jesus AND to do the things Jesus did. We can not teach his principles divorced from his practical application of those principles.
It’s not discipleship without imitation.
We only give people part of the story when we say that “Jesus came to save you” and “You’re free from your past” without practically helping them live free. Without healing and deliverance we produced a version of Christianity like virtual reality. Everyone is looking at each other as they chant “We’re free in Christ!”… all the while the person addicted to porn is wondering why it’s worked for everyone else but not for them. The person full of depression can’t figure out why they can’t get out of the cloud…. Yet everybody’s smiling, so everyone thinks it’s only them.
This is a problem.
It’s not enough to say Jesus heals without demonstrating healing. It’s not enough to say Jesus sets us free without people walking away free from satan’s strategies that have kept them bound.
Of course there is another discussion that has to take place: What happens when you believe for the miracle and you end up embarrassed? What happens when the sick person dies? Why do people get healed or free and then find themselves with the same issue again? Isn’t this supposed to work all the time? In Part 3: “Help me with my unbelief” I want to address these questions and try to bring some context to the best of my ability. I sure don’t have all the answers but I have personally wrestled with these things for several years. I would love to bring some thoughts that I think can help all of us to live in the balance of bringing God’s will into a world where there is more than His will at work.