The Purpose of Christ’s Coming
The Bible says that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. He came to save sinners and to give to us life eternal (Luke 19:10). He came to those who were burdened and in need of a Savior (Matthew 11:28). The Scriptures clearly reveal that Jesus did not come to start a small movement. He was more than a worldly revolutionist. The transformation He brought about was so great that eternity would never be the same once His work was completed.
Jesus came to transform people’s lives – spirit, soul and body. To those who would receive Him, He also gave the ministry of reconciliation and enabled them with spiritual gifts.
Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Ephesians 4:8)
The ultimate purpose of every child of God is to be transformed by the power of Christ. This is the purpose of everyone called by His name, but in order to be competent in manifesting the power of God, we must be convinced that when we are dealing with the supernatural, we are not dealing with carnal things, but spiritual. These are things that we ought not to take for granted. The gifts are sacred and holy and must not be looked upon lightly.
Sadly, there are many who find it easy to criticize those involved in supernatural ministry, especially if they do not have supernatural manifestations of God in their own ministry. Looking upon the ministry of God in such disdain only affirms their own lack of faith in God to do miracles today, which brings me to another point: if we are to ever work the works of God, we must be convinced that the supernatural gifts of God are for today. There is no Scripture in the Bible that suggests an end to the working of spiritual gifts. The Bible does say, however, that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. If He healed in times past, He still heals today. If He did miracles 2000 years ago, He still does miracles today. His ministry continues today, but only through a Church that is filled with His Spirit.
I have come across many ministers who say that we do not need miracles, but rather that people need to learn the “deep things of God.” But what is deeper than the supernatural? Such ministers are missing the truth in the Word of God. Theological training for ministry is extremely valuable, but it is more important to put into practice what has been taught.
Over my years in ministry, I have come to understand that it takes more than having a Bible, a concordance and a Bible dictionary to give a competent message. It takes more than humorous stories and jesting.
I do not have anything against theologians, Bible scholars or those who are in any kind of training; but if you are truly going to be a profitable servant of God, you will need His power. Clearly, scholastic knowledge is necessary, but such knowledge is not all you need in your life and ministry. There is a deeper need, and we must strive to attain what is needful.
Early in 1998, I was contacted by a friend who had felt God’s call on his life to pastor a local assembly in the northwest region of South Africa. He was a noted Bible teacher who had gone to seminary. He had earned two degrees: a Bachelor of Theology and a Master of Divinity. He had also attended ministry training schools and been awarded a diploma in Pastoral Ministry, plus a certificate in Evangelism. But all of that knowledge and all of those degrees had been earned 25 years ago! He had sat on all of that education for a quarter of a century without using it to fulfill, or even get started with, what God had called him to perform.
I sat down with him one afternoon, and we talked about why he was not carrying out what God had initially called him to do. He tearfully told me, “I just don’t have the courage to plant a church.”
My team and I conducted a full-week tent crusade in the heart of his township where 107 souls professed their faith in Jesus Christ and were in need of a place to be fed the Word of God. We laid hands on my friend and charged him with God’s anointing. He received an impartation of power from God, and from that campaign a new church was pioneered of which he is now the senior pastor. It is one of the fieriest and fastest-growing churches in his district. They do not only preach the Word of God, but they also execute what the Word says they should; they do the works of God.
In doing the works of God, the precious believers in this newfound ministry continually push forward to destroy the agenda of the devil. They are disarming his works at every hand. They have been infused with power from on high and are a force in the Kingdom of God.
Shouldn’t You Do Likewise?
If Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, then shouldn’t you do likewise? In Greek, “destroy” is apollumi, which means, “to render invisible or unrecognizable, lay waste to, ruin, kill, inflict a worthless existence, causing the loss of one’s well-being, not the loss of one’s being.”
Jesus came to render the devil’s schemes powerless. He came to inflict a worthless existence, causing total loss of the devil’s interests towards God’s people. Satanic activities will wane to the point of being unnoticeable.
Jesus commissioned us with a mandate of preaching the Gospel to the entire world and making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). He delegated His power and authority to us, to nullify the forces of darkness as we go on to advance His Kingdom. Through your hands, miracles, signs and wonders are waiting to take place (see Mark 16:16-18, John 20:21).
Are you ready to let Him use you more than you have ever thought or expected? Are you ready to receive the power of His Spirit? If indeed you are ready to receive His power, He will take you in His hands, put you back together, mold you and make you into what He has created you to be. Then, you will be able to appropriate and enforce the ministry of Christ upon this earth. Yes, you will begin to destroy the works of the devil at every hand.
Next week we start with Chapter four - Prepared To Use His Power.
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