Saturday, April 20, 2013

Power evangelism

Peter heals Aenas - artist unknown
Peter heals Aenas - Artist Unknown
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Acts 9:32-43

TO CHEW ON: "And Peter said to him, 'Aenas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.' Then he arose immediately. So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord." Acts 2:34,35

Have you noticed how many times in the New Testament healings and miracles led to people accepting Christ?

Jesus predicted that would happen - Mark 16:14-20

And it did;
  • When the disciples did signs and wonders "multitudes of both men and women" were added to their numbers - Acts 5:12-16.
  • On Paul's first mission trip his witness to the proconsul of Paphos (Cyprus) was ineffective until Elymas the sorcerer—who had been trying to keep the proconsul from believing—was struck blind. Then the proconsul believed - Acts 13:4-12.
  • People brought clothes like hankies and aprons to Paul to touch, then laid these on sick folks and they became well. These and other miracles resulted in many believing - Acts 19:11-20.
  • In our reading today, the healing of Aenas and raising of Dorcas from the dead also resulted in many coming to faith - Acts 9:35,42.

A sidebar article in my Bible comments on this New Testament phenomenon:

"Faith in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5;4:20) or 'power evangelism' does not diminish the importance of preaching about sin, the cross or Christ's resurrection. It does affirm that seeing God act opens people's hearts" - Todd Hunter, "Power Evangelism," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1508 (emphasis added).

Do you long to see more of such things? If so, you're not the only one. Chad Norris, in explaining why he wrote Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher says, "So my point in this book is this: I simply want to explore whether or not it is possible to operate on this planet in the way that Jesus commanded His disciples to operate. It is time to put our old paradigms down for a while. Actions we consider abnormal are really quite normal to the One who spoke the world out of nothing. I want my normal to match Jesus' normal" - Chad Norris, Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher, Kindle location 143.

He goes on to tell how God has worked in his life, healing him and performing miracles and healings through his ministry.

Our Bible commenter carries on discussing how we can correlate what we see in the Bible and our own experience:
"As we are available to be used of God in this way, we need to be aware that the words and works of God  function together (John 14:8-11); we cannot 'use' God to make Him act for us, and seeing signs and wonders does not convince everyone (Matthew 11:20-24)" - Todd Hunter, Op. Cit.

PRAYER: Dear God, I would love to see more of Your power in my life, so that the sick are healed, the blind see, the crippled walk. Help me to be completely open to be used by You in such ways amd that people will believe in You and be saved as a result. Amen.

MORE: 'Christianity with demonstration'
"Heaven is yearning for Christianity with demonstration. Deep theology with no experience is like a museum—big, beautiful and fun to explore, but at the end of the day it is just a building full of artifacts. I want more than that. I want a theology that leads me to believe that the dead can be raised and that atheists will come to Jesus" - Chad Norris, Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher, Kindle Location 984.
My review of Signs, Wonders and a Baptist Preacher.


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
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