SPIRIT SPOTLIGHTS JESUS, NOT US (2)

THE THIRD DAY OF MAY, IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Evangelism that is Spirit-powered and Spirit-led testifies to what Jesus did and what he suffered--the perfect doing and dying that set us right with God--instead of what we do in response to that work. We see more evidence today in Acts chapters 8-20. The gospel message goes beyond the Jews through Philip, whom Luke says … [Read more...]

SPIRIT SPOTLIGHTS JESUS, NOT US (1)

THE TWENTY-SIXTH DAY OF APRIL, IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN In his Gospel, Luke relates Jesus' teachings and doings while in person on earth. In Acts, his second volume, Luke describes Jesus' work accomplished from heaven and performed through his Spirit on earth (Acts 1:5). The word "Spirit" appears 70 times in Acts, almost twice as many as in the New Testament book with … [Read more...]

EVANGELISM WITHOUT EVANGEL IS AN ISM

THE NINETEENTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN My late friend J. D. Clanton faithfully attended the opening Sunday morning service of his congregation's annual "Gospel Meeting," but he also held them to their advertising. Each year the visiting "gospel preacher" decried the evils of sin, the horrors of hell, and the list of things an "alien sinner" must do to be … [Read more...]

IS THIS EVANGELISM?

THE TWELFTH DAY OF APRIL IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN Today we are accustomed to hearing the gospel presented as if it were addressed to one person at a time, assuring him or her of God’s provision for sin through Jesus’ death and resurrection, and urging that person to make a decision for Christ, to profess faith in him, to be baptized and begin to live as a disciple of … [Read more...]

INVITATION TO PENTECOST

Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010. Today much of the Christian Church remembers and celebrates Pentecost, the day when Jesus began to baptize in the Holy Spirit as predicted by his prophetic forerunner John the Baptist. A cross-section of the population were listening when John made that promise, and he addressed it to them all (Luke 3:10-16). This baptism in the Holy Spirit was not limited to Jesus' … [Read more...]

WHAT ORDINARY CHRISTIAN PROPHECY IS (Prophecy – 6)

We have seen that ordinary Christian prophecy does not result in new Scripture, new doctrine or new commands from God. It does not necessarily mean foretelling the future. It is not an infallible word from God. It is not the same ministry as preaching or teaching. If it is not all these things, just what is ordinary Christian prophecy -- that gift which Paul says we should especially desire and … [Read more...]

WHAT PROPHECY IS NOT (Prophecy – 5)

According to both the Old Testament (Joel) and the New Testament (Peter), one manifestation of God's Spirit in this messianic era is the widespread gift of prophecy -- not through a select few as in past ages but through God's children in general -- men and women, young and old, servant and master alike. Because God bestows this gift so indiscriminately, I refer to it as "ordinary Christian … [Read more...]

HEBREW PROPHETS AND CHRISTIAN APOSTLES (Prophecy – 4)

Ordinary Christian prophecy comes through ordinary Christian people -- "your sons and daughters," to use Joel's words which Peter quoted on Pentecost (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:17-21). As we learn more about ordinary Christian prophecy we will learn also not to confuse this kind of revelation with the "Thus says the LORD" messages given through Moses, Elijah, Isaiah and Jeremiah. The great prophets of … [Read more...]

THE BIBLE IS NOT ‘PERFECTION’ (Prophecy – 3)

We will see later that ordinary Christian prophecy is fragmentary, time-oriented, specific and local. For all those reasons it is "in part," and it will cease "when perfection comes." Then we shall "see face to face" and "know fully" even as we are fully known (1 Cor. 13:8-12). Some believers think this text refers to the time when the last New Testament book was written and the Bible was … [Read more...]

THE END OF A GOOD THING (Prophecy – 2)

Ordinary Christian prophecy is a hallmark of the Christian era and a particularly desirable gift (Acts 2:16-21; 1 Cor. 14:1). Yet when prophecy has fully served its purpose, it will come to an end. The Apostle Paul explains: "We know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. . . . Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face. Now I … [Read more...]