CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 28

KEY SCRIPTURE:

Acts 15:12 ” Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.”

We will continue with our discussion on how to work miracles. We will major on how to heal the sick. The Lord Jesus spent a great part of His time to heal the sick and he commands us to do the same. (John 20:21) Luke 10:9 “Heal the sick that are therein and say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you”. The disciples speeded up the work of saving souls through healing the sick. Men, no matter their background will respond and attend to the working of miracles.

To be successful in bringing healing to the sick you must be convinced about God’s willingness to see the sick healed. You also have to accept that healing of the bodies of men was settled by the Lord Jesus in His atoning work through His passion. Isaiah 53:4 & 5 says “surely he has borne our griefs (sickness) and carried our sorrows (pains) yet we did esteem Him stricken smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and by his stripes you were healed”. He has settled the sickness question, just as he has done for our sins. (Ps 103:3)

Learning from how our Lord Jesus ministered to the sick; we see that he either commanded the devil to leave or just asked the sick to do that he could not do. He never prayed for the sick. He treated sickness as an enemy or personality that must be cast out. From his example you must treat sicknesses as a personality that must be cast out. When casting out a demon or ministering to the sick, don’t focus on yourself. You must be aware of Jesus presence in you. He works the miracles You should not worry about how it is going to turn out. Focus your mind on His presence in you, and on the Lord’s promise that says.  Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Always come in anger against the devil and his works in the life of the victim. Expect the sick to be healed immediately. After your command encourage the candidate to act on his faith. He must do something he could not do earlier.   There are various ways to minister to the sick. In Acts 3 Peter commanded the cripple to rise and walk, and he did. Some blow air unto the sick and they are healed. others may declare be healed and they get results. Another person will command the devil to leave its host and it will have to go. Let your faith be in God’s word and how the Holy Spirit leads you and not on somebody’s approach. 

   PRAYER

I pray for boldness for all children of God to arise and be miracle workers in Jesus name. May Christians leave their closets and get on the streets and visiting homes to bring healing to the sick in Jesus name.

FURTHER STUDIES

Psalms 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Matthew 8:16-17 ” When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 27

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:12 ” Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.”

Apostle Paul and Barnabas rehearsed the many miracles that the Holy Spirit used them to wrought among the gentiles. Can every Christian be used to work miracles? The scripture teaches that every Christian has the ability to work miracles, especially bringing healing to the sick.

To be able to work miracles in the name of the Lord one has to know certain biblical truths.

The very first truth to know is that God has declared that if you believe in Jesus you would work miracles.  John 14:12. “verily I say unto you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my father”. The main condition to be a candidate to work miracles is to believe in Jesus.  In John 6:28,29, the disciples asked Jesus what must we do that we might work the works of God?  The Lord gave the following answer.  “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent “. Believing in Jesus means believing whatever he told us. The Lord Jesus is the eternal word of God, and faith in Him gives one the ability to work miracles.

In Mark 16:17-20, the Lord reveals that certain signs would follow all those who would believe in him.  They would cast out devils, lay their hands on the sick and they would be healed, and many other signs. After the Lord was received into glory, the disciples went everywhere and the Lord worked with them confirming the word with signs and wonders following. Miracles are confirmations by the Spirit of God as we act on the word of God. 

The next truth to know is that as a Christian you have the same Holy Spirit as was in Jesus.  The Holy Spirit in us means we are anointed with power. His presence in you is the same in every child of God.  Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come unto you. And you shall be my witnesses (proof producers) both in Jerusalem Judea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”. The Holy Spirit in you is the anointing.  He is the worker of the miracles.  Fellowship with the Spirit through prayer and bible study to activate His power in you.

There are a few other information to know, yet you can go along with these truths and do miracles in the name of the Lord. FAITH IN JESUS AND ACTING ON HIS WORD IS WHAT PRODUCES THE MIRACLES.  In working miracles, we act or speak for God in his name, against the devil.  In working miracles, you do not consider yourself but acknowledge the almighty power of God at work in you.  No glory goes to you as well, because he does the miracles for His glory to bless men.

  CONFESSION

I am one with Christ. He lives in me and works through me. His presence in me works the miracles. Nothing is too big for Him to do because He is the creator of all things. Indeed, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. As I speak and command, He commands through me.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Luke 10:19 ” Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Matthew 10:1 “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 26

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:10. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Peter the apostle asked those who were trying to call for the circumcision of every male before they could be saved, that they should not tempt God by putting a yoke on the Gentile Christians neck, which even their fathers could not bear. He was referring to the law. He says the law is a yoke.

What is the law? The law is the righteous demands of God with no divine provision for its fulfillment.

God gave the Israelites about four hundred and thirty laws. Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 3:10 as follows “As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse for it is written cursed is everyone that continueth not in all the things which are written in the book of the law to do them”. The real challenge about the law is not one’s inability to follow through with all of it but the lack of provision or ability to do it.

Galatians 3:11 continues “but that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God it is evident for the just shall live by faith”. The law exposes the weakness of man and makes him a slave to sin. 1st Corinth. 15:56 “The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law”. Sin is made stronger because of the law.

The following lamentation of Paul the apostle is what the law does to man. Rom. 7 :9-11 “For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment(law) came sin revived and I died. And the commandment(law) which was ordained to life I found to be unto death.

For sin taking occasion by the commandment deceived me and by it slew me.

Paul says he was living a free happy life but when he got to know or informed about the law, his nature which was death because of sin began to show its true nature. He could not overcome the desire and the urge to sin because he had a sinful nature. The law made sin stronger. All men are dead in their sins. (Rom.5:12) The law exposes this deadness. This is why Peter says the law is a yoke of ‘bondage’. The grace of God is very different. The grace of God is a divine ability that works in your heart such that you are able to fulfill the righteous demands of the law (Rom. 8:3-4). Grace is the answer to the question posed by the law. Grace is not a license to sin but a provision for excellence.  Grace is the person of Jesus Christ taking His abode in man and expressing His life through man.

 CONFESSION

I am free from sin because the grace of God is at work in me. God’s divine provision for perfection works in me. I have a great life of peace power ,purity and prosperity because the grace of God. Hallelujah!

FURTHER STUDIES

Romans 8:3-4 ” For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Romans 7:14 ” For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 25

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:4 “And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.”

In our key scripture the two groups of opposing views ensued fully in Jerusalem and were received by the Apostles, elders and the church. Paul and Barnabas declared to the congregation all the things God had done with them.

  Paul testified of all that God had done with them. It is good to testify of the goodness of the Lord. What does these testimonies do?

  • Testimonies declare the faithfulness of God. It is an act of praising God for His faithfulness. It is also a way of thanking the Lord for His faithfulness.
  • Testimonies makes you count your blessings. This helps you to be assured of your next victory. When David got to King Saul during the challenge of Goliath, he recounted or recaptured what God had done in his life. 1st Samuel 17:36 ” Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them seeing he has defiled the armies of the living God “. David after rehearsing all that God has been doing with him said this one would be like one of them.
  • Testimonies overcome the devil. Revelation 12:11. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto death “. Testimonies show the defeat of Satan and it overpowers him. (Note anytime you declare your defeat it is testifying to Satan’s victory and it makes the enemy rise mightily in your life). Never testify of the victory of the devil.
  • Testimonies strengthens the faith of others. The brethren in Phenice and Samaria rejoiced over the testimonies of Paul and Barnabas. Joy is an expression of strength, inner strength.
  • Testimonies become the point of references for others to trust God in similar challenging times. When Elisha got to the bank of Jordan he shouted where is the Lord God of Elijah and then he strokes the river with Elijah’s mantle dividing the river. Elijah’s victory of dividing the river was the reference point for Elisha to do same.
  • Testimonies gives us grounds to follow the faith of those who conquered. Heb. 13:7-8 “Remember them which have the rule over you who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow considering the end of the conversation (manner of life). Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”. If you do what they did you will have the same results because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.

 CONFESSION

I testify of God’s goodness and love towards me. I testify of His deliverance from the claws of wickedness. I am more than a conqueror. My faith is continually made stronger because of His praise in my mouth.

FURTHER STUDIES

1 Corinthians 2:1” And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.”

Revelation 19:10 ” And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 24

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:3 ” And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.”

Paul and Barnabas with some of the Jewish Christians left for Jerusalem. On their way they passed through Phenice and Samaria. These were towns close to Jerusalem.

They made sure that they stopped over to visit the churches in these places and shared testimonies of the conversions among the gentiles. This bought a great joy to them. Paul was on a mission going to Jerusalem to receive the verdict of the Apostles about whether Christians should observe the laws of Moses before one could be saved or not? I believe this assignment should have kept his attention and not to divert anywhere. Paul who is a lover of all Christians and the spiritual and natural welfare of the churches was so important to him. He stopped over in these two cities to visit the brethren to share testimonies of what God has been doing through them. This was a selfless man.

In our modern times, most of us are so denominationally inclined such that we are almost careless about what happens to “those of the other churches”. Every Christian is in the big family of the household of faith. Whether Pentecostals, Orthodox, or Charismatics, we are one big family with one Lord, one Holy Spirit and one father. Just consider Paul’s passion for Christians as a whole is seen in this statement ;2nd Corinthians 11:28,29 “Beside those things that are without that comes on me, the care of all churches. Who is weak and I am not weak, who is offended and I burn not”?  His life epitomised God’s wishes for his children. This was a man who had a care for every Christian on the face of the earth. The prayers he made or said in his epistles to the Christians speak volumes.

It is a big error to find Christians back biting each other. Some brethren rejoice at the fall, failure or the shame of other brethren. Some of our brethren find themselves in crises and become isolated such that, it seems they are in an island. No one seems to care or notice what is happening to them. Hebrews 10:24 admonishes us that “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works”. We must take steps that would encourage others to express trust and love among the brethren. To provoke means to incite or motivate. We must share with brethren their burdens.

Some brethren became a symbol of ridicule because their weakness or shortcoming got to the domain of the public through one person, he or she might have confided in. How can such a brother be inspired to love others if treated this way? Well we do not respond to evil and wickedness in the same vain, we overcome evil with good. If a brother disappointed you, do not generalise and say everybody is like that.

Do not allow bitterness to consume you. Hebrews 12:15. Forgive and release the brother or sister from your heart.

 PRAYER

Father, I pray for all Christians to walk in love. Strengthening one another by our kind deeds that we demonstrate to one another.

FURTHER STUDIES.

John 13:34 ” A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

Romans 12:21 “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 23

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:2. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

After Paul and Barnabas had disputed over the legalistic teaching brought in by the Jewish brethren, they finally decided to take the case to the Apostles in Jerusalem who would finally decide on what to be done.

Paul had had an encounter with the resurrected Christ who taught him all that he was teaching. The people. (Galatians 1:11). The Lord had used him to do so many miracles which could have caused him to feel proud yet he acknowledged the Apostles in Jerusalem were superiors who were the ultimate authority of the church on the earth. God always have human authorities that he has set on the earth. Romans 13:1 “let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God, the powers that be are ordained by God”. No matter how powerful you may be, or how much you may be   lifted in life, you need to give honour to the authorities that are over you.

In Jerusalem there were apostles and elders. We would remember that Peter speaking in his letter to the Jewish believers scattered in the gentle region in 1st Peter 5::1, acknowledged that he was an elder. This implied there were elders who held special ministerial offices and those who had no specific office. A ministerial office includes Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. An elder hold governing roles as well as teaching.

In our churches we may have certain elders who may also operate in a ministerial office and others who don’t.

 Please understand that governing does not mean dominance. It is service unto God and His people. The Lord said in Mark 9:5 as follows: And he sat down and called the twelve and said unto them, if any man desire to be first the same shall be last of all, and servant of all”. This word servant has the idea of waiter, one who runs errands. He is at the command of his master. From our Lord’s teaching every leader, elder is a servant. It is a big error for any elder to Lord it over the members. If you have been gifted in any way then you must open up to bless the brethren with the gifts. Many gifted men of God allow the praises of men to inflame their pride. They want every other member to bow to them. They declare that miracles are their own doings. This is wrong. Whatever you are and have comes from God and must be used to glorify His name and to bless men. Do not attract attention to yourself.

PRAYER.

Father, in these; last days pending your coming, may the church be committed to walking humbly towards one another.

FURTHER STUDIES.

Proverbs 29:23. A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

Proverbs 16:19 “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

CHARACTER STUDY: PAUL 22

KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 15:1. And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

Our key scripture says certain men came down from Judea who taught that the brethren had to be circumcised as Moses taught the Israelites before one could be saved. Apostle Paul and Barnabas had a very sharp dispute with them over this. Paul was very vigilant concerning issues about the grace of God. He defended it even to the peril of his life. Let’s be reminded Paul was and ardent Pharisee who defended the law strictly.

What these Jewish Christians were teaching was works are necessary for salvation. This teaching is the basis for all other religions. This is the main difference between Christianity and other religions. The bible teaches emphatically that “For by grace are ye saved through faith not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast”. Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is a gift of God. Gifts are received. They are not earned or worked for. Circumcision is the works of the flesh. Galatians 5:3,4 iterates this point clearly “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you whosoever of you, who are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace”.

Many religious people believe it is too simple to claim that when one believes in Jesus he is justified and therefore saved. Jehovah witnesses teach one has to teach the materials of the watch tower before he or she can be saved. One needs only to believe in Jesus to be saved, nothing more.

The bible said Apostle Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension with them. Why was Paul so aggressive to defend the truth? Paul had a great love for the disciples or brethren. He would not want one of them to fall away. A little leaven leavened the whole lump. The scriptural security of the brethren, especially the young ones must be our true concern. Let us go to any length to secure them from the wrong doctrines. These days we have multiplicity of voices speaking to them. There are so many television stations, countless radio stations, outdoor preaching with a very vibrant social network. One way to protect them is by prayer, travailing prayer for their preservation. The second means is by teaching them the truth.

 PRAYER

May all Christians come to know the essence of God’s grace, so they may accept its provisions in Jesus name.

FURTHER STUDIES:

Acts 20:28 ” Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

Acts 20:31. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

sharing simple truths