Word and Spirit seminar
Becoming a Word and Spirit Christian: Living with an open window and a good screen!
Bring power point, notes for people to write on (include the quotes), prop, books for people to review; my books; nametags
It is great to have you tonight and I am very excited about this seminar.
Please introduce yourself (name and church or ministry of which you are a part) and why you are here.
I want our time to be interactive so feel free to ask questions or offer comments at any time. If it gets too much, I will let you know.
This seminar is about becoming a Word and Spirit Christian. Not that I am trying to create some new type of Christian in using this phrase. We certainly don’t need another label that separates us as Believers. But this phrase simply describes to me biblical Christianity. You will see in this seminar about the bringing together of God’s word/truth, etc. and His Spirit/power is what is found throughout God’s Word, both in the OT, the NT, in the life and ministry of Jesus, in the early church, and throughout church history.
Then why the need for this seminar? Because too often we have separated these 2. We are either all about the Bible, or we think, but we neglect the Spirit … or we are all about the Spirit, so we think, but it is totally emotion driven without the checks and balances of the Word.
Some of you have a strong word background but not much in the Spirit. Some a strong Spirit background but weak in the word. Some have had neither.
Question: how many would say more Word? More Spirit?
Personal journey: Let me share with you a bit of my personal journey…I was raised in a traditional church …. Saved in highschool ….discipled in a very evangelical and Word oriented ministry and church …. Through my being in Gods Word I developed a real hunger for the fullness of the Holy Spirit. From that I began to get exposed to some very balanced charismatic ministries which gave me a hunger for more of the Spirit… my brother was a missionary in Japan and began to experience some genuine signs and wonders and miracles and this really peeked my interest … I went to seminary at TEDS which is an incredibly sound biblical seminary and there I got great theology and also was mentored by Dr. Wayne Grudem who is totally a Word and Spirit theologian. And I was the graduate assistant to Dr. Tim Warner who had a deliverance ministry. After seminary I pastored a church of 17 years in WI, and there I sought to bring the Word and the Spirit together in ministry and in my personal life, and that is what I desire to do now, and that is what I believe the Lord wants to restore to His church today, and that is why this seminar.
My 2 books: I describe in my book in greater detail some of my personal journey and some experiences I have had which were undeniably God’s power and presence at work)
The bottom line for me has been that I want to know God and experience Him more and more, thus the Word – to know Him, and the Spirit – to experience Him. So, if you want to know God and experience Him then you will want to be a Word and Spirit Christian.
Don’t forget this: there is always more of God to know and experience, so seek to know and experience as much of God as you can. The bible says that we are to seek hard after God, to seek him with all our heart. Adopt this attitude as we go through this series.
Ex. Ocean: waters shallow and deep.
Quo: until your shadow is healing someone, there is more of God for you to experience and tap into.
Acts 5:15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
Now, Let me define what I mean by a Word and Spirit Christian:
A Word and Spirit Christian is someone who is totally committed to the authority of the Bible while also being open to the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
I would scratch out “be open to” and replace it with “pursue the fullness of” – because being open to something is one thing but pursuing it is another. 1 Cor. 14 says to earnestly desire spiritual gifts ….
Window/Screen: Let me illustrate it this way. Thanks so much to Rich Wilbur for building my prop: This wall and window is your life. Exciting huh! Actually enter the Holt house. Catherine, help me out please. C: it is really stuff in here, Dad. Yea but it also safe. It is kind of windy out there and I don’t want anything to mess up the nice and orderly house I have here. C: But it is hot and stuffy and I am about to suffocate. Let’s open this window and get some fresh air. That feels so much better. Stop there. Opening this window is allowing the HS to come in and refresh us. The bible actually refers to the Spirit as the wind. John 3 Jesus said, “the winds blows where it wishes.” The Hebrew word for Spirit is breath or wind. Now Catherine, even though we are getting a nice breeze there are some trees out there shedding their leaves and we don’t want leaves coming in or birds flying in or dirt coming in either. C: that’s right. Well, guess what? There is a nice screen on this window. The screen is the Word of God, the Bible. The Word is what keeps out things that are not of God and helps us to discern whether or not things are of God. Keep this in mind as we go through this series. Thank you Catherine.
(Here is an obvious example: we want grace and love and acceptance (Spirit) but that doesn’t mean that we compromises the truth that Jesus is the only way to God. An open window without a screen on this point becomes universalism. A closed window is one that doesn’t show love for non Christians and is very judgmental. In the book of 1 Cor. Paul did this with prophecy: seek gifts and esp. to prophecy … open window …. And when you prophecy, here are some guidelines: screen!
On the Word side/good screen
A Word Christian is one who respects God’s Word, the Bible, is committed to reading and studying and living for the Bible. A Word Christian is one who gets His doctrine and beliefs from the Word, even if it goes against what is culturally popular or accepted. A Word Christian makes sure that anything new or different is evaluated by the Word. A Word Christian is careful to obey God’s Word and not live by His feelings.
On the Spirit side:/open window
And He also fully embraces the Spirit. This means he has received the H.S. … seeks to be filled with the H.S….wants the fullness of the Spirit’s presence … welcomes all the gifts of the H.S….wants the H.S. to be free to move and do whatever will glorify Jesus….and though he does not depend on His feelings he grows to realizes that sometimes the Spirit does work through our emotions, and we realize that when we open the window and the wind blows, our neat and tidy papers on the desk just might get blown off.
So, you can have a house where everything appears to be neat and in order but there is no fresh air, and you can also have a house with fresh air but kind of wild. We don’t want either. It doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other.
My brother, who is a pastor, has a great quote:
The Word without the Spirit equals “Dry Up.”
The Spirit without the Word equals “Blow Up.”
The Word with the Spirit equals “Grow Up.”
I want to grow up, and I want to help others grow up, thus Word and Spirit Christianity.
Chall. Can anyone relate to this? Anyone want to share where you have seen this be true?
TS My first point tonight and this is in your notes:
- God wants His people to embrace both the Word and the Spirit.
In other words, becoming a Word and Spirit Christian is what God wants for all Christians.
In the book of Revelation there is a unique and specific letter to 7 local churches. In these letters God affirms them and also challenges them. One repeated line in these letters (to all 7 churches) is
“to him who has ears let him hear what the Spirit of the Lord says to the churches”
God is always working to see His bride, the church, become more and more what He wants her to be. Historically we have seen this in things like the Reformation ….worship … evangelism …. Missions….care for the poor …
Steve Holt: Martin Luther, John Calvin and the reformers used a term that is apropos in our day, “semper reformanda,” which is the Latin phrase, “always reforming.” I believe there is a reformation afoot in the church today, especially among younger pastors. There is a resurgence of interest in charismatic power and reformed theology. Historically the two camps have opposed each other. But God is doing something new in our time. Churches that are occupying this middle ground are exploding in growth.
I believe that one of the things that God is saying to the churches today is this: “I want you to be a Word and Spirit Christian….I want to bring the rivers of the Word and the Spirit together. For too long these rivers have been flowing separately. Either you a Word church or you are a Spirit church, but I want my church to be about both. Both are of Me. Both are good. You don’t have to be one or the other, I want you to have both.
History: times in church history when doctrine was weak and we needed the Protestant Reformation and then times when God brought about the Azusa Street revival in the early 1900s and the charistmatic movement in the 60s and 70s and 80s and then the 3rd wave movement with John Wimber and others where it was evangelical in theology but charismatic in practice. I think God births movements when his church needs it. I would like to see a Word and Spirit movement in my generation.
“But I would bring everything to the test of the Word and Spirit. Not the Word only, but the Word and the Spirit. ‘God is Spirit,’ says our Lord, ‘and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.’ While it is never possible to have the Spirit without at least some measure of truth, it is, unfortunately, possible to have a shell of truth without the Spirit. Our hope is that we may have both the Spirit and the truth in fuller measure.”
A.W. Tozer, The Divine Conquest
Tozer nails it here. So right on!! Is this your heart?
TS Let’s go now to some passages to defend what I am talking about. Get your bibles out and let’s do a quick sword drill and here our point is this:
- The Bible supports the union of both the Word and the Spirit.
What I want to show you now is how God’s Word speaks to us about the need for both the truth of the Word and the power of the Spirit, and those are the words to look for here: Word/truth and Spirit/power. The verses will be on the screen and in your notes but I encourage you to look them up in your bible and consider marking your bible in some way later.
We are going to go fast for the sake of time. Feel free to interrupt and ask questions or make comments. Other points I make will reinforce these passages but this is our quick fly-over and we will later land right back on some of these, especially as we look at Jesus’ life and ministry and the early church in Acts.
2 Sam 23:2
2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
Here we see God’s Spirit birthing the Word, producing the Word, inspiring the Word.
"This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
Here it is the human spirit but it still shows the union of the two.
6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.
So the Word is calling us to live by the Spirit. This next one in John really nails it:
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
I want to say a few things about this passage and especially about worship. Worship is one of those areas that often divides Christians on this topic, but it need not because the kind of worship God desires is worship in Spirit and in truth. Word and Spirit. Worship that is free and expressive and full of God’s Spirit, while also being full of truth and the Word of God. This is what we should have: worship that is full of God’s Spirit and has emotion and expression and also is full of doctrinal truth and is solidly consistent with the Bible. We should evaluate songs theologically and eliminate songs that are not theologically accurate. Worship should be simple at times and very intimate while at other times very thoughtful. I think of the song “In Christ Alone” …. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- 17 the Spirit of truth.
The Holy Spirit is actually referred to as the Spirit of truth. Remember, He is the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit. Holy means pure and consistent with God’s holy Word. So if something is truly of the Spirit it will be consistent with God’s Holy Word. And the Word is meant to lead us to the Spirit’s work. They are to be like a hand in a glove.
We will get into this more next week but Jesus certainly had a word ministry – of preaching and teaching and discipleship, and He also had a ministry of healing and miracles – Spirit!
"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
More on this later but here we see proclamation of truth with demonstration of the Spirit.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
This passage is very interesting because they are asking for boldness to preach the word and for God to grant powerful works of the Holy Spirit. Some will argue that all we need is the preaching of the Word, but here they are asking for more. Word and Spirit. Word and miracles.
John Piper makes a very interesting observation on this prayer in Acts 4:
“The fact that the early Christians prayed so earnestly for signs and wonders is all the more striking when you realize that they, of all generations were in least need of supernatural authentication. This was the generation whose preaching (of Peter, Stephen, Philip, and Paul) was more anointed than the preaching of any generation following. If any preaching was the power of God unto salvation and did not need accompanying signs and wonders, it was this preaching.”
John Piper (“Signs and Wonders” article, 1991)
Chall. And yet they were praying for the Spirit to manifest Himself alongside their preaching. How much more should we be praying this prayer???!!! Have you ever prayed this prayer? It is a biblical prayer!
18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done- 19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.
This is the verse used by some in the Pentecostal movement to call themselves “full Gospel” churches. I will issue a concern here and that is in using a term like “full Gospel” it can lead to a bit of a divisive and spiritual elitism … as if others only have a partial gospel.
I mentioned proclamation and demonstration, and we see that again in this passage:
1 Cor 2:4-5
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,
1 Cor 4:20
20 For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
Here’s a great one: part of the armor is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word. Word and Spirit.
17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
1 Thess 1:4-5
5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.
Speaking the Word and seeing the Spirit manifest God’ power.
So you can see that the bible is full of this union, these 2 rivers flowing together. Word and Spirit are friends that like to be together,
Any thoughts or questions from these verses?
TS What about after the book of Acts? Did this stuff continue in church history? Or was this just for that time and now all we need is the bible?
- The Word and Spirit fill the pages of church history.
We saw in Acts that the first century of Christ followers lived Word and Spirit and we will look more closely at Acts in a minute, but what about after the 1st century? Did this combination of Word and Spirit continue? Yes it has. The pages of church history are full of the activity of the Word and Spirit. Certainly there have been times when it was stronger than others but God’s Word has always been at work and his Spirit has always been moving – then and now. I love church history and so should you. We can learn a lot from church history. We can be challenged by the good times and learn from the bad times.
Church history is filled with both the Word and the Spirit. Most evangelicals are familiar with how much the Word was emphasized and taught. Obviously there were times when the Word was stronger than other times. There were times when the Church got away from the Word and God used people like Martin Luther to restore the Word
But what about the Spirit? Especially the gifts of the H.S. and miracles. Did that stuff cease with the passing of the 12 apostles and the closing of the NT canon of Scripture?
Some say these things ceased and that doctrine is called cessationism, and the passage of scripture used to defend this doctrine of cessationism is
What about cessationism?
1 Cor. 13:8-10 …. They teach that perfect means the closing of the canon of scripture or when the NT was put together and determined that these were the exact books to comprise God’s written Word and so now that we have the full written Word things like prophecy, tongues and the gift of knowledge will cease. Is this what the passage is teaching? I don’t think so. Actually it teaches the opposite in that the perfect here is defined by the context: v. 12 perfect is Jesus and seeing Him face to face. When Christ returns we will not need these things because we will finally know fully! But until then we most certainly do need all the Spirit would give us.
Resources: For a more complete biblical refutation of cessationism, read Grudem and Jack Deere and Sam Storm and D.A. Carson (Showing the Spirit) ….
One of the most powerful arguments Jack Deere makes is this: take a brand new Christian …. Only has his bible how will he come out? “Where is the stuff?”
Enough of that, let me now show you some very important statements about the activity of the Holy Spirit beginning as early as the 2nd century – soon after what we see recorded in the book of Acts: Now in quoting these people I am not endorsing everything they taught. These are simply statements showing how the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit continued in the life of the church even after all the N.T. books were written:
“We do also hear many brethren in the Church who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages …those who are in truth His disciples … do certainly and truly drive out devils … they see visions … others still heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole.”
Irenaeus (A.D. 130-202) in Against Heresies, ii.32.4, Anti-Nicene Fathers, 1:409
“The Gospel has a demonstration of its own … this method is called by the Apostles the ‘manifestation of the Spirit and of power:’ of ‘the Spirit’ on account of the prophecies, which are sufficient to produce faith in any one who reads them … and of ‘power’, because of the signs and wonders.”
Origen (3rd century) Against Celsus, I.2, Anti-Nicene Fathers, 4:397-98
“Many miracles were wrought, the same God who wrought those we read of is still performing them … One miracle was wrought among ourselves …There were 7 brothers and 3 sisters…all of them seized with a hideous shaking of their limbs … and praying suddenly he fell down, and lay precisely as if asleep, but not trembling as he was wont to do even in sleep. All present were astonished … and behold! He rose up, and trembled no more, for he was healed.”
Augustine (late 4th, early 5th century) in City of God, viii.
“If the physicians are at a loss to find a remedy, you may be sure that it is not a case of ordinary melancholy. It must, rather, be an affliction that comes from the devil and must be counteracted by the power of Christ and the prayer of faith. …Graciously deign to free this man from all evil, and bring to naught the work that Satan has done in him … Then, when you depart, lay your hands on the man again and say, ‘These signs shall follow them that believe; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.’”
Martin Luther (16th century), Letters of Spiritual Counsel, Library of Christian Classics, 52.
Others not on notes or PP but found in Jack Deere’s book
“Many of those that heard began to call upon God with strong cries and tears. Some sunk down, and there remained no strength in them; others exceedingly trembled and quaked: Some were torn with a kind of convulsive motion in every part of their bodies, and that so violently, that often four or five persons could not hold one of them.”
John Wesley (during the Evangelical Revival of England in the 1730’s). Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, p. 88
Jonathan Edwards in Surprise book, p. 89 and p. 94f where Edwards defends critics.
One more thing about church history that is probably worth mentioning and that is that within church history you have had various movements and denominations and people that God has used to bring revival or an emphasis that had been lost or grown weak in the church. This is true today and it has always been true.
The strengths of the Word have been those things that have accompanied the evangelical movement and the strengths of the Spirit have accompanied the charismatic and Pentecostal movement. In the evangelical church you have had the strengths of strong bible preaching and solid doctrine and bible studies and literature and a real concern for doctrine and systematic theology and bible colleges and seminaries. There has been a good emphasis on thinking right and discipleship.
And in the charismatic movement you have the strengths of worship and freedom for the Spirit to move …. the gifts of the Holy Spirit …. prayer for miracles and faith and believing God to do mighty things….spiritual warfare … the prophetic. All of these are good. We should desire all of what I have just said.
The reason there has tended to be a bit of a polarization is because some evangelicals have been stuffy and rigid and not very joyful – not very willing to open the window, and some have taught against the gifts of the HS and taught what has been called cessationism. And on the Charismatic side you have had a window open with no screen and thus emotionalism and excessive emphasis on faith to the point where people were told if you aren’t healed you lack faith and services without order and gifts like tongues not being practiced with balance and order.
Obviously each movement has its strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses of evangelicals can be legalism and dead orthodoxy and weaknesses of charismatics can be wild emotionalism and overly depending on feelings. Let’s embrace the strengths of both and learn from the weaknesses of both!!! Again, an open window without a screen can lead to chaos. A screen with a closed window will be quit stuffy and stale.
Let’s be Word and Spirit Christians. Spirit under the Word’s guidance and the Word operating with the Spirit’s power! Let’s be evangematics or charimelicals!
Any Qs or comments up to this point?
“Learning From the MASTER”
Now we want to examine the Word and the Spirit from the life and ministry of Jesus, because if we see this in Jesus then certainly it is something we should seek to emulate, because a Christian is a follower of Jesus. We should seek to be like Him and do as He did.
1 John 2:6
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
So whatever we see in Jesus we are to imitate because we are called to become Christlike. Now there are some limitations as to our imitating Jesus. We are obviously not to die on the cross and live a completely sinless life but we are to seek to be more and more like Him, and so today as we see how He was a Word and Spirit example, we can follow that example.
(Keep in mind as we look at the life and ministry of Jesus that the bible tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He doesn’t change and what He did then He can still do today, and furthermore, He lives in the hearts of all who have received Him.
See I know there is a tendency for us to study the life of Jesus and conclude “that was then, this is now; that doesn’t happen anymore.” Who says so?? Just because we haven’t experienced it doesn’t mean it isn’t happening, and it certainly doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want to do it.
Remember what I said earlier: there is always more of God to know and experience than you currently know and experience. I hope that statement motivates you to always seek to go further with God, to seek to know Him more and more, to have Him mold and shape your character, to hear His voice more clearly, to experience His supernatural work more and more.
I like the way Chuck Swindoll (former E. Free pastor and then Pres. of Dallas Seminary, formerly a cessationist) says it in his book called Flying Closer to the Flame and maybe some of you can relate to what he says here:
“What we need is a balanced, experiential view of the Holy Spirit …During my growing-up years, including my years in seminary, I kept a safe distance. I was taught to be careful, to study Him from a doctrinal distance but not enter into any of the realms of His supernatural workings or to tolerate the possibilities of such. Explaining the Spirit was acceptable and encouraged; experiencing Him was neither. Today, I regret that. I have lived long enough and ministered broadly enough to realize that flying closer to the flame is not only possible, it is precisely what God wants.”
Chuck Swindoll (Flying Closer to the Flame, p. 14)
I would guess with most of you that the challenge is more on the open window part of my illustration. I had someone email this week and say “I realize that my window is not only shut but it is painted over and shut.” You know those kind where it is hard to open because the paint has sealed it shut.
TS Let’s now look at Jesus because He is our supreme example and we are called to become more and more like Jesus – that is what growth and discipleship is all about: becoming more and more Christlike.
- Jesus was a Word and Spirit Messiah
- Jesus studied the Word.
He was well prepared for ministry at 30 because during his growing up years He learned the Word well. He studied the OT and knew it such that even at 12 He was instructing some of the local leaders. He probably had the entire OT memorized.
TS 2ndly because He knew the Word so well, He used the Word to:
- Jesus resisted temptation with the Word.
Mt. 4:1-10 We also see that the Word was what Jesus used to resist the temptations of Satan …. It is written, it is written, it is written. Everytime He was tempted He resisted by quoting scriptures.
Chall. I can tell you folks, if we are going to live holy in our very unholy culture. If we are going to follow Jesus in the day we live in where we are bombarded with temptations: sexual, financial, emotional, with things that make us feel good but violate God’s word (i.e. alcohol) we must be people of the word with a good screen so that when temptations come we will be able to quote scripture and obey God.
When that lustful thought comes up, you need to be able to take every thought captive and make it obey Christ – 2 Cor. 10:3-5.
- Jesus spent time with the Father.
We also see that Jesus frequently would slip away to pray and spend time with His Father, and for us this would be like having a quiet time where we read God’s Word and prayer.
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
This passages you actually have the Spirit and the Word: He is doing miracles (Spirit) and also getting quality time to pray and spend time with the Father.
Mt. 4:4 Jesus said, man shall not live on bread alone.
Ps. 119 thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to feet.
Ps. 1 blessed is the man who meditates on the Word day and night…
TS 4th, He
- Jesus taught the Word.
A lot of Jesus’ ministry was that of teaching and preaching, and He did this because He knew how much we need to be taught, about God, about himself, about life, about salvation, about the devil, and about God’s will, about ourselves, about money…..
Jn. 8:32 Jesus said, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Well, where do we find truth? In the Word!!!
Look at a few of the many passages about how teaching and preaching and instructing was a big part of Jesus’ ministry:
He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.
44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
TS and as He taught, I want to make another important point: He was always about the heart of the Word.
- Jesus got to the heart of the Word.
He came against legalism and the letter of the law and He was always about getting to the heart and not just having things at a surface level (you have heard that it was said … but I say to you…). He was about applying the word and living the Word vs. just knowing the word in the head like the Pharisees. He was about the spirit of the Word!!!
His commitment to the Word was way beyond intellectual information, His commitment to the Word was about transformation – man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
In other words, when He taught the Word He never presented it in a legalistic, outward obedience basis, but He was always about the heart. He wants our obedience to the Word to be from the heart. The Pharisees were only about outward righteousness and obeying the rules but their hearts were not right. They were about impressing people and looking religious and condemning those who didn’t tow the line. Jesus confronted this hard in the Pharisees. He did not allow their outward obedience to the Word to impress Him.
Rather, He would confront them about heart issues.
Mt. 23:27 He called them whitewashed tombs.
Looking all white and pretty on the outside but inside, at the heart, full of dead man’s bones.
This is important because a Word Christian is someone who is deeply committed to the Bible, being in it and seeking to obey it, but also allowing it to change your heart so that your outward obedience comes from the heart. A word Christian is not legalistic – legalism is when you think you are OK with God based totally on outward behavior. It is about outward behavior and heart motives!
Studying the bible should never be an end in itself merely to have knowledge, but rather the written Word should always be to know God better and become more like Jesus. The Written Word should always lead us more to the living Word, Jesus!
39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
There are people today who just want information and facts but they are not interested in truths that transform; they may know the written word but not the living Word. Many will say to Jesus “Lord, Lord” and he will say “I never knew you”
TS Speaking of Jesus being the living Word, the final point under Jesus and the Word is this:
- Jesus is called the Word of God.
Our study of the written word should always lead to a deeper relationship with the Living Word, Jesus!
I think you can see clearly how important the Word was to Jesus. How much more important it should be to us: to read it, study it, be in it everyday, to meditate on the Word so that it becomes part of your life and transforms you from the inside out.
Chall. Are you a Word Christian? How important is this book? Are you spending time in it? From this book are you getting to know and grow in the Living Word, Jesus???
TS Now what about Jesus and the Spirit side?
- Jesus was anointed by the Spirit.
Right when Jesus began His public ministry at 30 years of age He is publicly baptized and at His baptism something very significant happens. The Holy Spirit comes upon Him and anoints Him and puts the approval of God on Him that everyone could see and recognize. It was the Spirit’s anointing, and what this shows us is that if Jesus needed the Spirit’s anointing for his public ministry, how much more we need it for our life:
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
It is interesting that in OT prophesies about Jesus, we see the Spirit mentioned as the One who would anoint Him for ministry:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
This is the passage Jesus quotes about Himself in the temple. By the way, do you see Word and Spirit here? Spirit anoints and He preaches, preaches what? good news/gospel/ the Word. And we see Spirit here in that He also would be anointed to do signs and wonders. Isn’t this cool how much we see this?
TS Anointing is when the Spirit comes on you for a specific situation. We say that was a really anointed message or really anointed worship … when we anoint something we cover it (with oil), so the anointing of the Spirit is when the Spirit covers something. In addition to being anointed by the Spirit, Jesus was also filled with the Spirit. This is a more ongoing, continuous empowerment to do God’s will.
- Jesus was filled with the Spirit.
4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert,
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
Jesus’ life and ministry was one of being filled with the Spirit. When you are filled you are empowered by God. We will see a bit later how this being full of the Holy Spirit resulted in some very powerful stuff.
Oh, again, notice again Spirit and Word: the Luke 4 passage: he returns in power and what does he do? Teaches in the synagogue.
Chall. Are you filled with the Spirit? remember we are to be like Jesus. Jesus was filled and we are to be filled. Matter of fact, we are commanded in
Eph. 5:18 to be filled with the Spirit. To be continually empowered and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that filled Jesus and raised Jesus from the dead is available for us today. That is good news my friend!!!
(why the reference to drunkenness? …..
TS Now look again at the Luke 4:1 passsage; there is another interesting word used: led by the Spirit
- Jesus was led by the Spirit.
4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert,
Full of the Spirit and led by the Spirit. One leads to the other: being filled helps us to be led by the Spirit. Jesus was directed by the Spirit in what He did, where He went, who He ministered to, how He went about his ministry. He was sensitive and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is one of the most exciting parts to me about being a Word and Spirit Christian.
Pers. One of my greatest passions as a follower of Jesus is to be led by the Spirit. To have that open window with a raised sail so that when He blows (fan come on) I will catch the wind and sail how and where He wants me to go.
We will see this more in part 3 because it is very common on Acts.
Rom 8:14 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Gal 5:18 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Isa 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Chall. I believe we can be led by the Spirit when we are filled with the Spirit.
Personal example: One thing I am trying to do more of is take time to listen in prayer….
TS 4th area is that Jesus knew how important it was that we learn about and understand the HS that He:
- Jesus taught about the Spirit.
John 16 it is to your advantage that I leave …
He spent a lot of time instructing His followers about the HS because He knew that we cannot live the Christian life apart from the power of the Spirit. He especially taught them about the HS as His departure became more and more eminent. Just before He ascended He said “wait until you are clothed with power” before we try to live for me or share the gospel with others.
We must understand that the HS is the engine that runs the car. The HS is the power source. The HS is the one we are given at conversion to enable us to live the joyful and victorious Christian life. He is the One who provides strength when we are weak. Guidance we know not what to do. Power to overcome sin and addictions. The one who convicts us when we sin, encourages and motivates us to follow God. It is vital that we understand and experience the ministry of the Spirit!!!
TS 5th point:
- Jesus ministered in the power of the Spirit.
As the Son of God, Jesus in His humanity depended on the HS to do ministry. How much more must we? As He was anointed, as He was filled, and as He was led by the Spirit, He also do His ministry in the power of the Spirit, and this resulted in supernatural things happening, what we call miracles and signs and wonders.
Understanding this issue of Jesus ministering and living by the power of the Spirit helps me to understand and bring together the mystery of His being fully God and fully man and how that all works together, even with temptation, etc.
As we look at some passages on this, keep in mind that Hebr. 13 tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Just because He isn’t physically on earth any more doesn’t mean he has stopped doing these things:
11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
It is also important to note here that if words alone would have done it Jesus would have just taught. He did teach and as we have seen this is important. And He also physically touched people in the power of the Spirit. Jesus was about Word and Spirit.
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Again, word and spirit: teaching and healing. If Jesus did both, don’t we need both? Also very important to note that His healings were motivated by compassion for hurting people. This is very important to think about. Healings by God were because God cares about hurting and needy and afflicted people. He doesn’t heal to put on a show but to meet the needs of those He cares about. As we pray for healing, we should seek to have the same compassion.
Now that in these next passages:
14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
TS Some may say, “that’s great David, but that was Jesus and that was then. That doesn’t happen today.” Really. I happen to believe that it does because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and based on the fact that Jesus imparted His power to His disciples and to us as well:
- Jesus imparted the Spirit.
Here we are talking about Jesus imparting or passing on the Spirit to His followers, because He knew how much they would need Him, and so do we and that is why the Bible says we receive the Spirit when we are saved.
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
7 As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Proclamation – Word. Demonstration – Spirit! Both.
I happen to believe that these verses have application for us because He has given us the same HS that He gave His disciples. I don’t believe this was just for them. You have to wrestle with that yourself, but I believe Luke 9 applies to us. Here it is: preach the word – Word; and heal the sick and drive out demons – Spirit!!
“The Spirit’s enablement - that’s heaven-sent power! And the good news is that the same Spirit who filled believers in the first century can fill us in the twentieth. And the same dynamic can be ours - the same boldness and determination, invincibility and perseverance in the midst of danger…Nowhere in the Scriptures do I find a statement that limits the Spirit’s presence or dynamic to some bygone era.”
Chuck Swindoll, Flying Closer to the Flame, p. 33
(explain Swindoll’s background
Chall. Is he right? Can we experience today the same power the apostles experienced? This is a very important question to wrestle with. Has God changed? Is this a new era where we shouldn’t expect miracles? Maybe a better question is to ask “Is God still compassionate and caring toward people’s needs?” If so, then would He still be healing and delivering and giving personal words to people and still working through dreams and visions? I think so, and we will see that in part 3 as we look at the book of Acts.
Qs and comments
- The early church was a Word and Spirit church.
We have talked about his already but just to reinforce what we have said:
- They were taught the Word and studied it for themselves.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
This verse reveals to us some of the most important things they committed themselves to once they received Christ. Once that salvation candle was lit for them, then what? Well, here’s what: devoted themselves means they were personally committed to these things in living out their faith: and the first one was the Apostle’s Teaching. The sat under the teaching and instruction of Peter and John and others, and eventually Paul. And we will see later that their teaching was a combination of preaching Jesus through the OT and then their own teachings are what we now have as most of our NT. So the apostle’s teaching was the teaching of the Word!
Chall. You are doing something very similar in being here each week. Every Christian needs to be active in a bible believing, Bible preaching church where you get solid biblical instruction about God, salvation, the Christian life, morals, etc.
1 Peter 2:2 says that a newborn baby grows by the pure instruction of the Word.
In addition to sitting under solid teaching, they also studied it for themselves. They didn’t just take what the Apostle’s said hook, line and sinker. They were careful to make sure that what they taught was consistent with the Bible they had which was the OT. Check this passage out:
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
This is a remarkable statement in that they did not even take what Paul said as being solid unless it was found to be consistent with the OT. They had such a high view of scripture (OT at that time) that they would not believe something to be of God unless they could see the consistency.
Prop: window: They had a good screen on their window. Think about it. Here they are hearing and seeing things that were very different than they were used to. Some wind is blowing into their house and it seems like a good, fresh wind, but we better be sure so let’s get our bible out, our screen, and make sure that what Paul is saying is really consistent with what we know to be God’s Word.
Appl We should do the same. We need to be under solid teaching and be like the Berean Christians. Berean Christians are clearly Word Christians!!! 2 applications here: have a high view of scripture, and weigh everything, filter everything through the Word: this sermon, any sermon here, books, experiences, tapes, etc.
Question: Are you a Berean Christian? A Berean Christian is a Word Christian.
TS Secondly, they made decisions based on the Word.
- They made decisions based on the Word.
Acts 1:18-22 they choose a replacement for Judas based on a passage of scripture from Ps. 109.
What do we do? Oh yea, we remember this passage and that guided them. Wow. It shows how well they knew the OT.
Chall. God’s Word should guide our decisions today. This is why
Ps. 119 thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path
Mt. Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word
Person. This week I did the Proverbs challenge in my own life ….
TS In addition to being guided by the Word in decisions, they also went back to the Word whenever they had an experience that they wondered “is this God or not.” Think about it, they were experiencing things they had never experienced before, getting saved and filled with the spirit. This was new territory for them, so this next point is very practical for us:
- They filtered their experience through the Word.
In Acts 2 we have a very unusual experience taking place: believers were filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues and it was so weird that onlookers thought they were drunk. Here is a very practical issue of what do we do when unusual things happen that might be of God but we aren’t sure and don’t want to be led astray.
Ex. Window: a strong wind blows into our house and blows some things around and we are at first tempted out of fear to just shut the window but if this storm of sorts is of God we don’t want to miss it so this is when we make sure we have a good screen.
What does Peter do when people were questioning whether or not this wind was of God?
Even though it was weird and unusual and strange, Peter defends it by saying “listen carefully … this is not what you think … NO, this is what the OT prophesied!!!! He goes back to the OT and shows them how this is all what was prophesied in the book of Joes. He filtered the experience through the Word. And we should do the same.
Chall. This is very important so listen carefully: be careful to never discount something just because it is different or weird. Also, never embrace something just because it is different or weird.
Quo Jack Deere, p. 75 about the strange things in the Bible.
When in doubt, go back to the Word. Is it addressed in the Word? Is it consistent with God’s character? What fruit does it yield?
Quo Jonathan Edwards in his masterful piece “The Surprising Work of the Spirit of God.” Says the ultimate test of whether or not something is of God is the fruit it yields. Jesus said you can tell a tree by its fruit. So, by fruit we mean the affect it has on your relationship with God, your character, holiness, etc.
TS Recently I read through the entire book of Acts looking for Word and Spirit and this next point is one thing that really stood out to me. Whenever they preached about Jesus being the Messiah they did so by showing how He fulfilled prophecies on the OT, so this point kind of builds further upon point #2 – as they examined what Paul said with Scripture, Paul and others did just that: they preached about Jesus through the OT
d. They proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus by using the Word.
2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said
27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Do you see what is happening here? This is remarkable stuff. It shows that Paul and others had a high view of Scripture. It shows that Jesus did fulfill OT prophecies about the Messiah, and it shows that the listeners had a high view of Scripture because Paul and others knew that the way to convince them was to show them where it is in the Word.
Now if you have a study bible or one that sets apart in some way OT passages, you can do a quick flip through in Acts and see the many places where Jesus is proclaimed and defended by the use of the OT: We don’t have a lot of time but I want to show you a few:
There are many more you can find on your own. This is good apologetics by the way…
Appl. When we share with others the gospel or answers people’s questions, we need to bring in the Word as much as possible because this is where the power is!
The bottom line for us in this first section is this: Are you in the Word, do you go to the Word for decisions, etc.?
TS Let’s move now to the Spirit side:
It is very important to note here that Jesus had told his followers to not do anything until they were clothed with power from on high.
In other words Jesus felt that the HS was so important for us to live a fruitful and joyful and powerful Christian life that He made it clear that we were not to even try to live it out without this divine enablement. Don’t try to live it and don’t attempt to spread it with the gift!
So did they heed Jesus’ instruction? Yes. And what happened? The Holy Spirit came in power and they were filled:
e. They were repeatedly filled with the Spirit.
Acts 2:4 all 120 were filled with the Spirit. They were empowered with the Spirit to live and minister. To live in them and flow out of them. Those 2 are very important!
Now note that this filling was not a one time only deal. They were filled again and again as the need arised. And we need to be repeatedly filled as well.
Acts 4:8 Peter was in the group in Acts 2 and here he is being filled again.
Acts 4:31 Peter is again filled here, and notice the result: bold proclamation
Acts 7:55 Stephen, part of some of those other verses, is filled here just before he dies. What a way to go out
Acts 9:17 Paul is saved and filled with the Spirit. We, too, need to be saved and filled with the Spirit.
God gives us His Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised Jesus, in order to empower our lives, live in and through us, and anoint us to minister for Jesus.
Ex. Chocolate milk
Let me illustrate it this way: the milk in this cup represents your heart or spirit. When you receive Christ you receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. Though all Christians are indwelt with the Spirit, not all are filled with the Spirit. To be filled is to be controlled and empowered by the Spirit. Here is what it means to be filled (stir up the chocolate) and notice the milk is increasingly being affected by the chocolate. Are you being filled? Are you asking to be filled? God wants you to be filled with His Spirit!!!
TS From this filling comes the next point:
f. They were empowered by the Spirit to do signs and wonders.
43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
The phrase signs and wonders is found throughout Acts. Wonders make people wonder, and signs point to something. Signs and wonders are extraordinary moves of God’s power that shows the goodness of God and that point to His reality and to salvation for the lost.
Mt. 10:7-8 Remember, Jesus told His followers to go and preach and also to heal and cast out demons.
Jn. 14:12 He said greater works than these shall you do.
So did this happen? You bet it did. Let’s quickly look at a few examples:
Acts 3:1-16 this is a classic example of signs and wonders. God heals a person in pain and need through ordinary people like you and me and through it people are drawn to Jesus.
Chall. What if we more boldly prayed for people to be healed and delivered, even non Believers?
The NT is filled with miracles happening through these ordinary Christians – through the apostles as well as non apostles. It was not just the 12 apostles that this happened through. And these were mostly physical healings and demonic deliverances.
Chall. I want you to ask yourself “could God do that kind of thing through me?” If you answer no then you are putting the emphasis on the word “me”. If you answer yes then you are emphasizing “God”
Ex. My tract and chapter from book: I encourage you to read my tracts in Signs and Wonders. And I encourage you to read Jack Deere and John Wimber’s books
They were ordinary people trusting an extraordinary God!
Signs and wonders were so important to the early church in their ministry that they actually prayed for God to grant them:
I think this prayer is so important: trusting in God’s sovereignty … word … spirit
I think we should all pray this prayer regularly.
“There is nothing inappropriate in seeking miracles for the proper purposes for which they are given by God: to confirm the truthfulness of the gospel message, to bring help to those in need, to remove hindrances to people’s ministries, and to bring glory to God.”
Dr. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 371.
Now just to provide balance and thoroughness, I must add that when it comes to signs and wonders, the bible says that Satan can produce false signs and wonders to even mislead the elect if that were possible:
Matt. 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Mark 13:22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
2 Th. 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
TS Let’s look at another cool way they were Spirit Christians, and I think this one flows out of being filled:
g. They were directed by the Spirit.
What we are talking about here is simply learning to have your spiritual antenna raised high such that you are hearing God’s voice and being led by the Spirit. As we go through these rather quickly, really look at these with a teachable spirit and allow these passages to give you a hunger to experience this more in your life. And remember, God’s voice is often quiet and gentle vs. loud and thunderous (1 Kings 19):
Acts 10:19 Spirit said
Acts 11:12 Spirit told me
Acts 13:2-4 HS said…
Acts 16:6-7 Here we see the HS restricting them from ministry. Interesting. He is not just a Spirit of “green light” but also of “red light.”
Acts 20:22-24 compelled by the Spirit
I believe we, too, can be led and directed by the Spirit and hear His still, small voice in our spirit as we just go about our days…
Person. I was visiting someone in jail this week and felt led to share a specific passage of Scripture…
Ex. Sailboat in front of window – this may seem a bit goofy but let me illustrate my desire as a follower of Jesus: I want to be like a sailboat with its sails lifted high so that when the Spirit blows I catch the wind and am moved along by the Spirit.
2 Peter 1:21 “as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”
TS the final area of the Spirit I want to point out is this and it is closely connected to hearing from God because NT prophecy has to do with hearing from God and then giving a Word to someone else:
h. They gave prophetic words through the Spirit.
The NT gift of prophesy is where you hear from God and sense a message for an individual or group and you offer it to them. You do it gently, not with a “thus saith the Lord” and you encourage them to simply pray about it and filter it through the written Word.
Acts 21 note the issue of the word not really happening just like it was said. NT prophesy does not have to be 100% accurate. Seems to say he would be bound with a belt when in fact he was bound with chains.
1 Cor. 14:2 we should all seek this. It is the one gift that seems to be elevated above all others as one we should earnestly desire.
Chall. Have you asked for this gift? Why not?
1 Cor. 14:29 Idea of “weigh what is said” means filter it through the Word.
1 Thess. 5:19-21 don’t treat prophecies negatively but simply test them
“Careful study reveals that prophecy in the New Testament, unlike prophecy in the Old Testament, is not equal to Scripture in authority, but contains a mixture of infallible divine revelation with fallible human interpretation and application, and thus must be judged or evaluated in the light of the Bible.”
Sam Storms, Convergence – Spiritual Journeys of a Charismatic Calvinist, p. 182
And this is exactly what Grudem says in his ST.
First Free policy on prophesy
I think you can see clearly today that the Christians in Acts were Word and Spirit Christians. Should not we? What is God saying to you about this?
Quote from Word and Power Church book, p.. 20f ?
Qs and comments?
Now I want to focus on bringing this all together and making it practical.
- God wants all of His children to be careful to avoid extremes on either side.
Biblical Christianity is Word and Spirit Christianity!!! It is not something new or innovative; it is what has always been in the Bible and we are just realizing it afresh. If you don’t believe this then please go back and review the verses in my previous 3 messages.
Ex. Gears and grease; need both: gears without grease is rough and grease without gears is messy.
We have also been learning that God wants both and balanced. An open window with no screen can bring in some things that aren’t healthy. A good screen with a closed window will produce a stale environment. The Word can be dead and stale orthodoxy without the Spirit – i.e. Phariseism; And the Spirit can be wild and excessive and even demonic without the truth of the Word for protection. Seek to avoid both extremes and seek to have both the Word and the Spirit fully active in your life.
Ex. Picture of a highway lane with ditches on both sides of the road; the lane is labeled Word and Spirit of extreme: thinking of driving a car along a road where there is the wonderful lane called “Word and Spirit” but there are ditches on both sides. The ditch of
ditches would have this wording and each come up with a click:
Word only ditch = joyless orthodoxy; head only Christianity; legalism; judgment of others
Spirit only ditch = emotionalism; experience only Christianity; misuse of gifts; pressure to perform
Another way of thinking of this is: Word with little to no spirit you will drive too slow; And the Spirit with little to no word will get a speeding ticket….
TS Now this next point is very important so please listen carefully:
- The message of the kingdom of God is essential in becoming a Word and Spirit Christian.
The central message that Jesus came to preach and model was the message of the kingdom of God. Passage after passage says He preached the kingdom…. Told parables ‘the kingdom of heaven/God is like this….” When He did signs and wonders it says he was demonstrating the kingdom of God.
So, what is the kingdom? It is the reign and rule of God. Wherever God is having His way, the kingdom of God is there. Obviously in heaven the kingdom of God is 100% taking place. On earth not 100%, but Jesus said we are to pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …”
And everywhere He was about ushering in the kingdom of God. And often he did this by performing signs and wonders and doing miracles, not to entertain people but rather out of compassion for people in need, and as we seek to be a word and spirit people it is important that we minister to people out of compassion and pray for them out of compassion and listen to the voice of God to share something to them, out of compassion.
In other words, this all needs to be all about God’s glory and not our own. So often when the Spirit begins to move in power, man gets in the way and starts thinking it is because of Him.
Ex. Pensecola revival and my hike: when man steps on the stage, God steps off. That may be why things that started off so pure began to get off base. It so often happens. And when it does many word only Christians throw the baby out with the bathwater.
The Gospels have a lot to say about the kingdom:
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Notice here that the kingdom was about Word and Spirit: preaching the kingdom – Word. And healing the sick – Spirit. The proclamation of the Gospel in Word and demonstration of the kingdom through signs and wonders - Spirit.
We see this again in passages like:
20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
The reason demonic deliverance was often a part of seeing the kingdom come is that we must remember when you talk kingdom theology you have 2 kingdoms at work: God’s and Satan’s. Don’t forget that. Kingdoms in conflict. When you have the demonic dominating then you don’t have God reigning, and vice versa. The bible says our battle is not against flesh and blood abut against the powers of darkness. Col. 1 says when you get saved you get transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son. When someone is not saved the reign and rule of God is not operating in their life; when they get saved, the reign and rule of God begins in their life. Make sense?
God’s ultimate goal is that His kingdom come to earth in ways that it is happening in heaven. Again, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
We need to also realize when it comes to the kingdom that there is a now and a not yet as aspect. We will never fully have the kingdom of God here on earth. That will come when we get to heaven, and we can really look forward to that.
D.A. Carson: There are some Christians that get imbalanced when they expect the full kingdom to come here and fall into what I call over-realized eschatology – thinking that everything in heaven can be experienced here on earth and so with healing for example, they teach you just name and claim it and if you aren’t healed you are claiming heaven enough.
This is imbalanced on the Spirit/faith side.… however, others fall into an imbalance when they don’t really expect any of the kingdom to come here on earth.
Here is what I believe is the proper and biblical perspective: we should do all we can to see the kingdom of God come to earth because we are told that by and large God brings His kingdom through His body, us, the church, His hands and feet: we should pray for it, work toward it, be a body that models it, ask for it, and seek to be vessels of the kingdom wherever we can.
For example, when we see something that we know is not the reign and rule of God (injustice, immorality, demonic oppression, some sicknesses) then we should seek to penetrate those corners of darkness in our society and bring the kingdom of God to bear.
Having a kingdom mindset is essential in living out the Christian life.
As it relates to being a Word and Spirit Christian, we learn of God’s reign and rule through His Word. We learn what is important to Him. We learn His will. We learn what He wants. We learn all that we have in Christ. And through the power of His Spirit we are energized to be His hands and feet. It is through His Spirit that He leads us and guides us and empowers us to do the supernatural, to be His presence in a dark world, to caste our demons when necessary, to lay hands on the sick, to engage our culture and bring the kingdom in those pockets of the world where we live and minister.
Word + Spirit = the Kingdom of God
Ex. It was George Ladd’s book Jesus and the Kingdom that influenced John Wimber in such a powerful way and birthed the Vineyard movement ….. power evangelism, power healing….evangelism with power (not just with words but with a demonstration of power)
Chall. I challenge many of you to do a study on the kingdom of God.
And the areas that I see coming up over and over in the NT when it comes to the kingdom is preaching the Word and doing signs and wonders, especially healing and demonic deliverance.
9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Again: kingdom … word ….preaching… Spirit … healing … deliverance…
This is happening all over the world…we regularly hear of signs and wonders from our missionaries…
A kingdom church is one that is very passionate about and committed to bringing God’s kingdom to earth as it is in heaven: in sharing our faith…. In praying for the sick … in casting our demons …. In engaging our culture …. In being very concerned for our community and not just being about me and Jesus. Sometimes we are far too focused on our kingdom instead of God’s kingdom.
TS This next point is a very interesting one as well because one thing we see in the Bible is that for Word and Spirit to operate effectively you need faith to be present.
- Faith is an important element in Word and Spirit Christianity, but it is not the ultimate when it comes to the supernatural.
This is similar to salvation; God does the saving but our faith plays a part. Our faith in Jesus does not save us; God does, but He uses faith as the means by which He saves. God’s sovereign will is the ultimate when it comes to an issue like physical healing, but faith is the means by which God often uses to bring healing.
This is why:
Hebr. 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please God.
Hebr. 11:1 faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen
Mt. 13:58 Jesus could not do many miracles because of their lack of faith
Mt. 21:21 Say to this mountain…
Acts 3:16 the name of Jesus and faith in that name the sick person was made well
James 5 the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.
Faith does contribute to God doing miracles. You cannot get around this biblically. However, faith is not the ultimate issue when it comes to the supernatural. Then what is? The sovereign will of God. You can have all the faith in the world and yet if it is not God’s will to heal, then it won’t happen. Where some in the faith camp get imbalanced is when they make our faith the ultimate and this places us above God and almost becomes a faith in faith. It makes our faith the ultimate determiner of whether or not the miracle occurs. God is the ultimate determiner.
2 Cor. 12 thorn in the flesh. Paul wasn’t delivered and it wasn’t his lack of faith but rather the sovereign will of God.
The role of faith and God’s sovereignty is not one we can ultimately put into a formula or figure out entirely. Both are important and yet the sovereignty of God comes above our faith and God wants us to rest in this so that if things don’t happen like we want or pray for we can still trust God and be at peace with Him.
I have seen many people damaged by elevating faith to a role that it is not assigned in the Bible.
Ex. Kathy Friedhoff – you aren’t healed because you don’t have enough faith.
Sometimes it is God’s will that people die and sometimes it is God’s will that people not be healed so that He might be glorified in their sickness.
Ex. Joni Erickson Tada and her ministry.
However, I think it is God’s will that more be healed and delivered if we would but ask.
James 4:2 you have not because you ask not.
Chall. So step out in faith and be willing to pray and ask.
Faith is not the bottom line, the sovereign will of God is the bottom line and sometimes in God’s sovereign’s will He calls us to suffer in sickness but to give glory to Him in that suffering. Other times, it is His will to heal. I am going to ask for healing until He clearly shows me otherwise, because there is so much in the bible about healing. My part is ask and believe and God’s part is whether or not to heal. I will do my part and not worry about God’s part. Again, word only tend to never ask and Spirit only tend to think it is all up to their faith. Avoid both ditches.
Once again: there are extremes on both sides: all about faith …. All about sovereignty so we never ask for miracles and healings. Neither extreme is biblical!!!
Jack Deere p. 154-155
TS next point:
- Have fun becoming a Word and Spirit Christian.
I realize that some of you are being stretched during this seminar and might even be a bit fearful of opening your window more, but I want to set you at ease and just encourage you to have fun with opening your window. If your heart is right, you cannot go wrong. The better you know God’s Word, the more confidence you can have in opening your window!!!
Regarding the Word: go hard after God in His Word and really expect God to speak to you through His Word. Pray before you get into the Word and ask God to personally speak to you and to reveal to you His heart. Take a small section of scripture and really learn to meditate on the Word. Seek His face and not just His hands. Seek to know who He is!!!! Take to heart verses like:
Hebr. 4:12 the Word of God is living and active and sharper than ….
2 Tim. 3:16 all scripture is inspired by God and profitable
As it relates to the Spirit and opening your window more, be willing to take some risks and step out in faith and don’t be afraid of failure. We have heard about some today that have done just that…… (it took faith for Susan Bamberg to ask to pray for that person at work but it is also fun…I blew it this week at Menards….
Ex. Batter: be willing to take a bat, come to the batter’s box and swing at the ball. You won’t hit a homer every time. You won’t even hit a single every time. You will strike out a lot but don’t worry about it. I am specifically thinking about things like praying for people to be healed, following the leading of the Holy Spirit, paying attention to dreams, asking for the prophetic (1 Cor. 14:2 says to desire it)…..
The story I think about here is when Jesus is walking on water and the disciples see Him.
- Step out of the boat. Be a water walker instead of a boat hugger, even if only for a few minutes. I would rather walk on water for 10 feet and fall into the water than to never get out of the boat. For all the guys who might have made fun of Peter, he could have said to them, “at least I got out of the boat.”
- I would rather pray for 100 and see 1 healed than to never pray for anyone and not see anyone healed.
- Will you be a water walker or a boat hugger?
You and I have been given the commission and call from Jesus to do this stuff. We have permission from our Master to have fun with this stuff. Remember earlier we saw this passage?
9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
They were not experienced when He sent them out. They were rookies and so are most of us.
What I want to do now is take us past Luke 9 and see how Jesus expanded the circle of permission and calling: Look closely at what we see in
10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves….. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' ….16 "He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." 17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." 18 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
We saw the authority given to the 12 and now to the 72, and we don’t even know who these 72 were, just ordinary followers of Jesus, kind of like you and me. Notice the mention of the kingdom …. Note that not everyone will respond positively, so don’t take it personal. Relax and have fun ….. notice the delegated authority: from the 12 to 72 to you! Ordinary followers of Jesus with an extraordinary God working in and through them. Kind of like us, right? Is there any reason to believe that what we see here doesn’t apply to us today? Finally, notice that even when God begins to display His power, don’t get so caught up in that where you get more joy from the manifestations than the manifester. Don’t get more joy from the gifts than you do the Giver!!! Balance! Avoiding ditches.
Challenge: so my challenge to each of us is this: have fun becoming a Word and Spirit Christian! Take risks. Step our in faith, and see what God might do. Be willing to pray for an unbeliever to be physically healed …. Take time to listen in prayer and go with an impression you get (I did this week at CRCS….)….. pay attention to dreams you have (there are lots of cases in the Bible where God used dreams) …. Get prayer from others and allow them to share with you impressions they get ….. and finally, here is one we all need to really take to heart: pursue after, ask for the gift of prophesy. What? Yes. Look at
1 Cor. 14:2-3 we should all seek this.
1 Cor. 14:29 Idea of “weigh what is said” means filter it through the Word.
1 Thess. 5:19-21 don’t treat prophecies negatively but simply test them
“A fresh examination of the New Testament teaching on this gift will show that it should be defined not as ‘predicting the future,’ nor as ‘proclaiming a word from the Lord,’ nor as ‘powerful preaching’ – but rather as ‘telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.”
Dr. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 1049
Example: So, you are praying for someone and you take time to listen and you get an impression. You step out in faith to share it with them, you simply say “here is something I am sensing ….”, you tell them, and you leave it to the person and God. You don’t say “thus saith the Lord” and speak in King James language to try to make yourself look more spiritual. You simply share it, and then you encourage them to filter it through scripture and measure it against 1 Cor. 14:3: strengthening, encouragement and comfort.
You see how freeing this is when you go about it in a balanced manner?! Have fun with this stuff. God doesn’t require perfection for us to experience Him! Get out of the boat!
Quote Bannister, p. 103?
Speaking of boats, some of you have been in the boat of living for self, and it is time to get out of that boat and step out in faith and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You can do that today!!! God created you to know Him. We learn that in the Word. And He wants you to have His Spirit living in and through you. That is the Spirit side.
- Consider the following suggestions for becoming more of a Word and Spirit Christian.
- Be in the Word so that your screen is actually a tight filter.
2 Tim. 3:16
- Pursue a passionate relationship with Jesus.
He is the ultimate word.
Jn. 5:39 He said you search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life… they speak of me. The written word should always result in a greater love relationship with the Living Word, Jesus.
- In your prayer times, allow time for listening.
· In your prayer times, take time to listen to the Lord’s “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12 KJV) in prayer.
- Carefully follow impressions you get in prayer.
Jesus said my sheep will hear my voice.
“Listening prayer” has become a more common practice for me in recent years. In the past my conversations with God included too much talking on my part. How interesting would a phone conversation be if the other person did almost all of the talking? Yet this is how most of us pray.
Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice” (John 10:27). I have never heard an audible voice, but I have certainly had strong impressions from the Lord in prayer when I refrained from talking and took the time to listen. The indwelling Holy Spirit allows us to sense the voice of the Lord.
A practice I have found meaningful is to have a “listening time” in prayer when I simply pause and quietly listen to the Lord. Whatever I sense Him bringing to my mind—often words of love and affirmation—I write in my journal. Frequently I have sensed something like “David, know that I love you. I am proud of how you are seeking Me in this time. Be encouraged that I am at work even when you don’t see My activity.”
I say carefully, but also, it is risky and you have to be willing to step out in faith:
· Be willing to step out of the boat, even if you’re not sure about it.
I once visited a friend who lived near an airport. Though I was annoyed by the sound of planes flying over constantly, he was oblivious to the roar. Because he failed to give expression (i.e., acknowledge or be bothered by the planes) to his impressions (i.e., planes flying overhead), the noise lost its ability to affect him. We can do the same thing in our journey with God. If we fail to give expression to the impressions of the Spirit, we will lose our ability to hear from God.
I am learning to act on impressions, even if I am not totally sure they are from God, and in so doing, I am learning to better discern which impressions are from God.
In my pursuit of the Spirit, I have hit some home runs and I have definitely struck out.
Examples of prophetic words:
a. One home run came the Sunday I was dedicating some foster children at First Free. As I prayed for the two children, I sensed that the couple who was to permanently adopt them was present in the audience. So, I prayed something like this, “Lord, if a couple is here who is to adopt these two boys, please make it clear to them.” One year later, these two boys were permanently adopted by a young couple in our church. Sure enough, they were present the Sunday I gave this prophetic word.
b. At other times, I have struck out. In my chapter “Experiencing God in Tangible Ways: Passion for Building Projects and Capital Campaigns,” you can read about one of these instances in which I thought I heard from God but didn’t. I have had impressions that proved to be of God, while other times I have followed impressions that were not from God. I take comfort in the fact that some of the best homerun hitters in baseball are often the same men who lead in strikeouts.
I admire the apostle Peter’s courage in getting out of the boat to follow Jesus. Though Peter went down, at least he got to walk on water for a few steps. I can just imagine the other disciples ribbing him about falling in: “Hey Peter, did you get a little wet? What were you thinking in stepping out of the boat? You must arrogantly think you are the Messiah or something.” I can also imagine Peter responding, “Maybe I fell in, but at least I got out of the boat and did some water-walking.” In my opinion, Peter had the last laugh, not the other disciples.
Seeking to follow the Spirit will involve stepping out of the boat, even when you are not totally sure what will happen.
Mark Batterson describes following the Spirit as a “wild goose chase,” hence the title of his book.[i] I would rather walk on water for just two steps and “go under,” than to hug the boat and never walk on water. My good friend Dave Busby said, “I would rather be a water-walker than a boat-hugger.”
Many pastors are boat-huggers. They have to be in control and know that everything is in order. Stepping out in faith involves sinking sometimes, but even if we begin to sink, God will grab our hand like He did Peter’s. Isn’t it reassuring to serve a God whose mercies are new every morning!
- Don’t expect 100% success.
revivals often featured strong and anointed preaching along with signs, wonders, and miracles—and even at times, aspects of the flesh and the demonic. Seldom does a revival include one without the other. If you expect perfection you may get an orderly house, but the air will be stuffy. I would rather have fresh air and life, along with some disorder, than perfect order but no life. Only a corpse is completely predictable; nothing new will happen there!
- View every need as an opportunity for God to manifest His power.
Every need is an opportunity for God to show Himself strong. Think about that statement. Believing it can have a major effect on how you live and minister to others. Every need you experience or come in contact with is an opportunity for God to manifest His reality. “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known . . . ” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
As pastors, we are often exposed to needs, especially physical needs. We are called to the hospital to pray for someone before surgery. Frequently we hear people requesting prayer for a physical ailment. When this occurs, we are certainly to show care and compassion, but I believe we also are to take the opportunity to pray for healing, not only in our personal prayer time, but also right there with the person! After all, healing was a huge part of Jesus’ ministry and we are to “walk as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6).
My first direct experience with healing came one night during a leadership training group. I was training about ten small-group leaders. We took prayer requests, and a woman shared about a worsening knee injury she had suffered in a skiing accident. Thankfully, we had moved beyond the stage of “Okay, we will all pray about that need this week.” We were to the point of actually praying for people during the group time. As I laid my hands on her and prayed for her, I felt heat go through my arm and hand. She reported feeling heat in her knee as I, and others, prayed for her. She was instantly healed and this was later confirmed by x-rays. God had visited this woman and touched her with His powerful Spirit.
My first experience with demonic deliverance was a homosexual man coming to me for counsel.
For balance, let me add that I do not believe it is always God's will to heal, nor do I believe healing occurs because we “name it and claim it.” However, I do believe His will is to heal more often than most of us are experiencing. Perhaps many times "we have not, because we ask not" (see James 4:2 KJV).
Healing is a mystery in many ways. Sometimes it is not God’s will to remove the thorn, but rather to give grace to endure it (see 2 Corinthians 12). My perspective is this: I would rather pray for fifty people to be healed and see only one person healed, than to never pray for anyone to be healed and thus never see anyone healed.
Many are concerned that if they pray for someone and that person is not healed, the person might somehow be worse off. In other words, we hesitate to pray for healing because we are concerned the person might be discouraged or disappointed in God if he is not healed. I certainly understand this concern, but I have never found this to be the case, provided we pray with compassion and don’t give the impression that the person is not healed due to their lack of faith or inability to say the magical formula.
Here is the method I seek to follow in praying for someone’s healing: Listen to the person’s concern; ask him for permission to pray; take time to listen to the Lord in silent prayer before starting the prayer; and then pray with faith, asking for a spiritual and physical touch from God. After I pray for the person, I encourage him to remain in a posture of “receiving from the Lord” for the rest of that day and into the next. I have had some tell me that even though they were not healed at the moment I prayed for them, they were healed later. Delayed healing is like the blind man who at first saw trees walking (Mark 8:24) and then received full healing after a second touch from Jesus. If Jesus’ ministry of healing was not always instantaneous, then who are we to think ours will be?
I believe healings can be a way for God to draw unbelievers to himself.
Driscoll tape: 42:30 – 4:10
- Pursue the gift of prophecy.
I single out the gift of prophecy because God’s Word does so. First Corinthians 14:1 says, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.” Why are we encouraged to pursue this gift above others? Because of its incredible benefit to the body of Christ. Prophecy speaks to men for their “strengthening, encouragement and comfort” (1 Corinthians 14:3).
Dr. Wayne Grudem has a wonderful definition of New Testament prophecy: “A fresh examination of the New Testament teaching on this gift will show that it should be defined not as ‘predicting the future,’ nor as ‘proclaiming a word from the Lord,’ nor as ‘powerful preaching’—but rather as ‘telling something that God has spontaneously brought to mind.’”[ii]
God is restoring this wonderful gift to His body, and many are being blessed by it. Numerous books affirming this position have come out in recent years that are biblical, balanced, and practical. Sam Storms said, “Careful study reveals that prophecy in the New Testament, unlike prophecy in the Old Testament, is not equal to Scripture in authority, but contains a mixture of infallible divine revelation with fallible human interpretation and application, and thus must be judged or evaluated in the light of the Bible.”[iii]
If you think you have a prophetic word for another person, gently offer it to him or her prefaced with something like, “I am sensing something that I think might be from the Lord for you. May I share it with you and encourage you to pray about whether this is from God?” Once you deliver the word, then your job is done. You leave the results with God and the other person.
If you are the recipient of another’s word for you, humble yourself and receive it. Pray about it. Examine it carefully through Scripture. Then enjoy seeing if it is from God for you.
God has used prophetic words in my life in some powerful ways. When I was seriously contemplating whether or not I was to resign as First Free’s pastor, some fellow pastors came to our church for a regional prayer meeting. Later that day I received this e-mail from one of those pastors: “Pastor David, I don’t know if this is of the Lord or not, but as we were praying for you this morning, I sensed the Lord say to me that you are going to be leaving this area.” He had no idea I was feeling the Lord’s call to leave. Now I did not resign that day over this single prophetic word. In fact I didn’t resign until six months later. However, this prophetic word was one of about sixteen things God did to show me I was to leave.
Upon leaving First Free and moving to Georgia, I went through a very difficult time of transition. Two months into the move, Satan was attacking me with doubts and lies. On many occasions I had thoughts such as, “What in the world did I just do? Am I stupid or what? Look what I gave up, and look at what I have now—no job, and an uncertain book project.”
On one particularly discouraging day, I got an unexpected but prophetic call from a man I did not even know. This man has just learned of my situation from a mutual friend, and he immediately sensed he was to call me and give me a “word.” This word happened to be a passage from the Bible. While driving in my car and wrestling with God in prayer, I received his call. He said, “Pastor David, I was on the phone with Jeff, and he told me about your recent step of faith. I believe I have a word for you. Check out Psalm 105:19 in the New King James Bible.” As soon as I was able, I turned to the passage and read, “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him” (Psalm 105:19 NKJV). God used this to confirm to me that I was being tested and would be further tested before the word (i.e., clarity of direction) would come to pass in my life. This prophetic word did for me exactly what 1 Corinthians 14:3 speaks of: “strengthening, encouragement and comfort.”
I am so thankful for the wonderful gift of prophecy, and I desire to experience it more and more—on both the giving and receiving ends of it. How about you?
Play Driscoll’s 3 minute portion of his message from 11:30 – 13:40 about prophesy.
Let me add something to this idea of prophesy: be open to dreams and to visions. God still does this today.
Ex. Dede regarding Michael. Me regarding moving to GA. Benji Lavender regarding his recent missions trip.
Jack Deere’s 2nd book
- Have others pray for you and over you.
In chapter one of my book, I encouraged you to have a “prayer shield.” Your prayer shield (i.e., those who pray for you on a regular basis) will serve to advance you in the Word and in the Spirit. Prayer is like putting gas in your tank.
In addition to this prayer for you, you also need prayer over you. Prayer over you is when you invite others to come around you, lay hands on you, and pray for you for an extended period of time. God has used this in my life in many ways. I love to have it before I preach, when I am in need of special direction, and whenever I am around anointed people. I actually believe that something powerful can be “imparted” to you through such prayer times. “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6).
When you receive prayer by others, be open to what some call “prophetic prayer.” Prophetic prayer occurs when those praying over someone sense a prophetic word for the person being prayed for. This form of prayer has blessed my life on numerous occasions. Recently, I was in a season of intense “waiting on God” for my future, and I received prophetic prayer by a team of intercessors. As they began to pray for me, one man said he had a vision of my digging a perfect hole for a plant. However, God had not yet brought the plant for the hole. He said I was doing my part and needed to hold fast and wait on God to bring the right plant. This reinforced for me what I was already feeling from God: not to rush into an “Ishmael” situation but to be willing, as hard as it was, to wait on the “Isaac” of God. His prophetic word gave me strength in my season of waiting. God has fulfilled that vision in me now ministering as a Pastor of Discipleship and working as a consultant with Injoy Stewardship Solutions.
Personal: my experience at Pensacola revival
- Be a student of Word and Spirit Christianity.
iii. Church history, especially times of revival.
See my resources list
- Keep coming back to God’s Word.
To have that solid screen on your window, you must come back to the Word. The Bible is the infallible and inerrant Word of God. The Bible is our only certain source of truth, and God will never violate His Word. If you stick to the Word, you are always on solid ground. Live your life by the Word, preach the Word, and pastor according to the Word. When you have questions, dig into Scripture. And if something is not supported in Scripture, then stay away from it. The grass withers, the flower fades, manifestations come and go, revivals pass, church strategies change, but the Word of the Lord endures forever!
k. Get your greatest joy from just knowing God.
Luke 10:18-20 don’t rejoice in this but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.
l. Beware of personal pride and causing division.
I have tended to challenge more of the Word only camp in this seminar but for those who do experience the manifest presence of God and/or signs and wonders/healings/prophecies/tongues, etc., it is very easy for pride to come in, thinking “I Have something others don’t. I am more spiritual, etc.” and you can come across a bit arrogant or where the other person is led to think they are inferior in their walk if they don’t speak in tongues or whatever. And this kind of attitude has caused much divisions and churches and it grieves the Lord.
Let us never forget 1 Cor. 13 is in the middle of 1 Cor. 12 and 14. Love should be our aim!
1Cor. 12:25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.
Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.
I want to close with this quote:
My brother is the pastor of a Word-and-Spirit church in Colorado Springs, Mountain Springs Church. He has a great slogan that I love:
The Word without the Spirit equals “Dry Up.”
The Spirit without the Word equals “Blow Up.”
The Word with the Spirit equals “Grow Up.”
I am a discipleship pastor so I want people to grow up, to grow in to full maturity in Christ, and I believe with all my heart that the Word and the Spirit is the best and most biblical way for people to grow up.
Questions or other suggestions?
If time allows: discuss some of the resources:
- Banister, Douglas. The Word and Power Church. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999.
- Batterson, Mark. Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God. Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2008.
- Chan, Francis. Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009.
- The ministry of Graham Cooke: www.grahamcooke.com
- Cymbala, Jim. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1997.
- Deere, Jack. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit: Discovering How God Speaks and Heals Today. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1993.
- Deere, Jack. Surprised by the Voice of God: How God Speaks Today Through Prophecies, Dreams, and Visions Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996.
- Edwards, Jonathan. Growing in God’s Spirit. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub., 2003.
- Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.
- Grudem, Wayne. The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today. Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1988.
- Holt, David. Pastoring With Passion: Ministering Effectively With Heart and Hands. ChurchSmart, 2010.
- Swindoll, Charles R. Flying Closer to the Flame: A Passion for the Spirit. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1995.