Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Knowing Your Authority in Christ

"Peter, along with John, fixed his gaze on him and said, 'Look at us!' And he began to give them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, 'I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you...'"

There are a couple of ways we can approach this scripture from Acts, 3.  We can do what the pastor of a First Baptist Church told his congregation one Sunday morning (paraphrased):
"Never take doctrine from Acts, or use Acts in support of doctrine: it is an historical account of the birth of early church, that's all."
And yet, he still preached from that book. I was a confused young man not to question that logic in the light of 2 Tim. 3:16.

Or you can apply it to your life, by asking the question, "what's going on in this passage that might be applicable to me?"

Peter didn't say, "Let me pray for you." Rather, "I'm going to give you something I have." In other words, he understood (knew) the tangible deposit which had been made within his life. No beseeching of the Father was necessary.

The doctrine of dispensationalism teaches that "God doesn't do that any more."  And by that, it teaches us to live in ignorance of the deposits and authority we have through Jesus Christ.  This type of deception isn't reserved only for one class of theologians, however.  Consider for a moment that an honest hyper-calvinist can't bear the suggestion that they're a steward of God's grace.  Such a thing would certainly mean to them that we have a leash on God's sovereignty.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God (1 Peter 4:10 ...)
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you;  that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. (Eph. 3:1-3)
The point is this:
when we live in ignorance of the deposits God had made in our lives, we fail to write the checks that are equal to that which God has given us.
So I would leave you with two thoughts: praying for someone is not wrong - rather it is encouraged. Neither is praying for healing wrong, it is encouraged. But know this: you do not have God on a leash - He has you on a leash. And that circumference is your realm of authority.  Ask God to show you what the realm involves, but also be open to the opportunities that present themselves.

And regarding that theory of dispensationalism:
And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” (Matt. 15:6-9)

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