The Church: Remarkable Witness
In Matthew 28: 18 Jesus said, "All authority, in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations ...." The last words of Jesus while on earth have become our first course of action. We are to go into all nations making disciples. A disciple is a fully devoted follower of Jesus, born again by the Spirit of God and walking in His power.
Cliquez sur le lien ci-dessous pour la version Française; Commentaires du Président Mars 2015
We have seen how the scattered disciples had become powerful, transformational disciple-makers. They had been eyewitnesses to the reality of the living resurrected Jesus. They were indwelt by the very Spirit of God coursing through their lives and activities with remarkable results. Yet, there is still one more lesson to be learned in being a Church that knows how to be a witness. The disciples needed to have authority. A truly healthy church is one in which the outside world can sense the authority of their faith. This authority comes from the person of Jesus Himself.
Years ago I heard an illustration which I will share today. Use your imagination and put yourself into the scene. Imagine that you wanted to be a traffic policeman. You study and observe all the techniques for directing traffic in urban heavy congestion zones ... think ofVancouver,Calgary,TorontoorMontreal. Once you have become fully versed, you step out into the intersection and wave your hands and arms just like the training manual says. The logical result would be dangerous, even traumatic. At best, totally ineffective as chaos builds until you jump to safety. Now, imagine the same scene with one important difference. You put on the uniform of the traffic policeman, complete with gloves, and whistle etc. The transformation is immediate. Now everyone obeys and traffic begins to flow. There is no challenge to your activity. The obvious difference is one of authority. The uniform gives the requisite symbol of authority which activates the power to work.
The apostles learned this lesson well. Knowledge wasn't enough. Human experience wasn't sufficient. The indwelling power was residing with great potential to act. Yet, they needed one more thing. They needed authority that was beyond them.
In Acts 3:6 Peter said to the crippled beggar, "Silver or gold I do not have, but ... In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." And he did... In Acts 3: 16 we read "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong ...." Acts 4:18 says the Jewish rulers "commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus." Then, in Acts 4: 29-30 the apostles are praying, "Now Lord.... Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." Everything they did was in the name of Jesus. Why? Simple! Jesus had all the authority in heaven and on earth and He was working in that authority. Whose authority? His own, as the resurrected Christ of the living God.
A healthy, witnessing Church is one that has the knowledge of faith in the resurrected Jesus. It is one that is filled with the presence and power of the Spirit of Jesus. And it is one that lives in and under the authority of the living Jesus. Is this true for each one of us and for our churches? If so, we can expect to see a remarkable witness for Him in this world.
God bless you as you pray this month,