In responding to the frequent stirrings of the Holy Spirit troubling my heart in 2007, I realized God was leading me to assess all my doctrinal beliefs and moving me into a conscientious stage of discarding so much of subtle mixtures of self righteousness with grace teachings. It was a three-year painstaking process concluded in a firm determination to preach grace-based messages. Strangely, as I had started preaching and teaching on salvation is by grace alone, I faced a rampant attack of legalism which was extremely disturbing. At a painful stage of my life, the Holy Spirit suddenly started to manifest in ecstasy, transformation, and miracles! As I preach Christ has forgiven us all trespasses (see Colossians 2:11), perfected us forever (see Hebrews 10:14), crucified our sinful nature (Romans 6:6), and given us a complete new life (see Galatians 2:20) without our added on punitive effort to make salvation better or surer, I witness the release of God's power for miracles, signs, and wonders.
The gospel of salvation by grace alone releases faith for us to experience the power of God to do the impossible in our life.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Gk. Christon ) (Romans 10:17 NKJV).
The Greek for ‘God' here is not Theos , but rather Christos which means Christ. Hearing the ‘word of Christ' means hearing preaching and teaching of the new covenant of grace that is based on His finished work (see also John 19:30). Faith for salvation, healing, miracles, restoration, renewal, deliverance, and provision comes when you hear the ‘word of Christ', which is the preaching of grace.
And they preached the Good News there. While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was listening as Paul preached, and Paul noticed him and realized he had faith to be healed. So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking (Acts 14:7-10 NLT).
When the man heard Paul proclaiming that he could be justified from all sins if he only believed on Jesus, faith arose and filled his heart. Paul commanded him to receive the healing.
An environment of grace perpetuates a revival.
The apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. The Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders (Acts 14:3 NLT).
The Lord gives ‘miraculous signs and wonders' to bear witness to the preaching of grace, not the preaching of the law.
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33 NKJV).
When the original apostles preached on the forgiveness of all sins brought by the substitutional death and resurrection of Christ, there was great grace for healing and miracles to take place.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. (Mark 16:15–20 NKJV).
Christ promised the apostles that ‘signs' of deliverance, speaking in tongues, divine protection, and healing would take place to confirm the gospel of grace which they preached. As they preached from place to place, ‘the Lord worked with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs'. A local church that has the culture of preaching of the gospel of grace will always witness the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in healing, miracles, restoration, and deliverance (see Matthew 10:7-8).
Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent (Revelation 2:4–5 NKJV).
God told the revival church at Ephesus that ‘first love' and ‘first works' would keep the revival of the Holy Spirit. ‘First love' is the perfect love of God proven on the cross (see 1 John 4:17-19) which is salvation by grace alone. ‘First works' which they did when Paul first founded their church were kingdom works of healing, miracles, and deliverance (see Acts 19:11-20). A culture of grace and a practice of kingdom works keep a church in continuous revival.
9 November 2012