This has been a tremendous week for us as we traveled to and participated in Camp American, where we were training up the next generation of leaders who have a Biblical understanding of Law and Government and grasp the reality that the Word of God speaks to all areas of life. Tom Deweese, one of the presenters, told how the attacks are coming fast and furious against his work. Even Newsweek Magazine was weighing in on him as the prime target. Someone commented, “You know you are over the target when you receive lots of flack.” Indeed perhaps it is when we feel we are at our weakest that God can most powerfully work through us.
Think of a time when you felt weak. Perhaps a physical illness took you down and you felt overwhelmed; or you have worked and run so hard you are just exhausted and don’t feel you have the energy to take even one more step. It is when we actually recognize our own weakness that Christ can be strong through us. That describes the church before Pentecost, weak, exhausted, without any strength of its own, and that was when the Holy Spirit descended, filled them with supernatural power to accomplish the work Christ had left for them to do; and look at the results of that first day in the life of the church.
On our long drive to and from Camp American, one of the books we were reading was the biography of Joy Davidman, who eventually married C.S. Lewis. She grew up as an atheist and eventually became a communist. She was an accomplished author at a young age who was highly regarded and outwardly her life looked very successful. Yet, inwardly there was that continual nagging feeling that something was missing. She found that success and fame didn’t satisfy her. She kept feeling that there must be something more and ultimately she discovered it in a living relationship with Jesus Christ.
As we proclaim the gospel with the lost, we need to recognize that this is the case with all for whom Satan has blinded their eyes. They cannot initially even see their condition. They cannot see beyond mere survival. They require real healing.
Let’s examine the miracle of healing. Matthew 21:14 records that on Palm Sunday Jesus went into the temple, “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.”
Nothing is too hard for God. You may recall that Jesus in the Upper Room discourse before going to the Garden of Gethsemane told His disciples in John 14:12 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth 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.”
Greater works! In other words the miracles which Jesus did could be done by His disciples as well. If they did equal works to those of Jesus, couldn’t we consider those greater? Think of a soldier devoid of any medical training whatsoever. On the battlefield, his buddy is wounded by a piece of shrapnel. It doesn’t look good to remove him from the field to the hospital, so the untrained, unskilled does surgery without anesthesia, without proper medical instruments to remove the shrapnel and sew up the wound.
Now contrast that with a surgeon who has the finest training, the latest equipment in a pristine medical facility doing that same surgery. Who would be considered doing the greater work? It is when the disciples of Jesus Christ accomplish what He did while here on earth.
We consider the physical healing of the lame man a great wonder and it is, but actually there is a greater wonder, and that is the spiritual raising up of those who are born spiritually, deaf, dumb, blind and lame, raising them up with the gift of eternal life is even a greater miracle than the physical healing of this lame man. Spiritual healing can only be done by a call for repentance and faith in Christ – it is a call to recognize that sin is sin. Violations of God’s Law are not some mere indifferent lifestyle choice you are free to make without consequences. His Law requires the consequence of sin to be that of death.
There is hope. The call to repentance means that the sinner recognizes his offense against God, knows the full consequences of that evil and consciously chooses to turn away from and renounce the evil he had formerly participated in against God. Let us follow in the footsteps of Peter and John and tell the world the Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Video of the Sermon:
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