Sunday, June 21, 2015

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     My body is the temple of the Living God. He lives in me and I live in Him. I am hid with Christ in God therefore I am secure!
    No weapon that is formed against me will prosper and every tongue that shall rise against me in judgment I shall condemn. This is the heritage of God's children, and because I am God's child it belongs to me!
      I do not deserve the great honour to be called a son of God. In no way, am I worthy or even close to being worthy of such an honour. It is because of Jesus Christ's Redemptive work on Golgotha that this grace has been given to me. 
    His love and mercy has been given and is available to all who will believe and receive His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life!
  You might say: "How can a lost and condemned individual, who was once a sinner by birth, nature and choice, lay claim to so great an inheritance? 
    And to be cleansed, redeemed and lifted to a position of son-ship with the Eternal God, the Ever Living One Who is pure, righteous, all knowing and all powerful?"
     Eternal Salvation is a gift from God. It had nothing to do with me. It is all because of Calvary and what happened there! The spotless, holy Son of God took upon Himself my sins and my diseases and by His precious BLOOD paid the awful price to SATISFY the Demands of God's Justice!
    I am saved by the grace of God, through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has foreordained that we should walk in them. 
    In short, I have been lifted from my previous position of spiritual poverty, condemnation and shame, and given a seat at His table!
    Oh, the wonder of it all! How can it be that my God would die for me? Yes, He took me by the hand and led me to the Promised Land. Oh, how can it be that my God would die for me and grant me Liberty? It is only and all because of Calvary!
    I repeat, it is only because of His great love, mercy and grace to a poor lost sinner like me, and to millions more who have trusted in His Promises. St. Paul assures us that we are now, "heirs and joint heirs with Christ!"
    It sounds too far - fetched, unreal and impossible, but there it is in black and white in the Holy Scriptures; and in actual reality, a changed life by the power of the Holy Spirit:
     "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. 
     "And if children then heirs; heirs and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him that we may be also glorified together." (Rom. 8: 14-17)
     Like St. Paul, I cried out: "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Rom.7: 24). And Jesus came to me in my despair and washed me whiter than the snow and made me an heir and a joint heir with Him.
    We died with Christ through the New Birth. We were buried with Him through water baptism. We were raised from the dead with Him as we came up from the water. We sat down with Him in Heavenly places when we received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And when Jesus Christ returns, we will come with Him and forevermore live with Him!
    I am bone of His (Jesus) Bone and flesh of His (Jesus) Flesh and a member in particular of His (Jesus) Body, the Church!  (Eph. 5: 30)
   "There shall no Evil befall me, neither shall any plague come nigh unto my dwelling! WHY IS THIS? My Lord, Saviour and God has promised: "I am the Lord that healeth thee." (Ex.15:26):
    "And He hath sent His Word to deliver me" from all sickness, disease, fear and untimely death. (Psalms 107:20); "For He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53: 4, 5)
    I join with King David who said: "Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities and healeth all thy diseases; 
  "Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that they youth is renewed like the eagles." (Psalms 103: 1-5)
    I have no reason to fear because Jesus Christ is my PEACE! He said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27)
    Again my Lord has promised: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” (Isa.41:10); 
    “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim.1:7)
   Almighty God chose the Children of Israel as His peculiar nation. He raised them up as His Covenant people. They were to be for SIGNS and WONDERS and to preach by Word and deed His Mighty Salvation.
    What a blessed People the Jews are, beginning with the great MIRACLE that the Lord gave Abraham and Sarah! Abraham being impotent due to his advanced age of 99 years and the deadness of Sarah’s womb did not hinder His will in their lives. Down through the centuries the Jews have been for Signs and Wonders!
    When Napoleon Bonaparte’s Army were camped on the outskirts of Milan, Italy he demanded the Archbishop to prove the existence of God. The Archbishop pointed to his leading General, Messina, who was a JEW. 
   Napoleon got the message – No God, No Jew! He shouted a command to his troops, swung his horse around and galloped away from Milan without firing a shot!
     When Sarah was 90 years of age, she gave birth to Isaac the son of Promise! And by the Word of the Lord, Isaac’s son Jacob was renamed Israel, thereby making Abraham the father of the Jewish people. 
    And since he was justified by FAITH in His Word, we are the children of Abraham through faith in God’s Crucified, Risen and Glorified Son, Jesus Christ!
     The Holy Bible states: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…that the BLESSING of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through FAITH.
   “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many. But as of One, and to thy SEED, which is CHRIST.
   "And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to Promise.” (Rom.7:13-29)
    By Gods grace, I have carried His Gospel to multitudes across the world for the past 50 years and have witnessed His great Signs and Wonders, compassion, love and power out-poured upon the heathen. I am so grateful to our Lord Jesus, for His wonderful presence wherever His name has been exalted and His Gospel preached!
   I sense, however, as the years come and go that we are witnessing far too little of His power in the Church, than we need to fully declare His Goodness, Greatness and Majesty to an increasingly lost and needy world and hurting Church!
     I cry out: “Forgive us, O Lord, for our lack of love for Thy Word, dedication for Thy Church, compassion for Lost and reverence for Thy Presence! We thirst for the manifestation of Thy almighty, unlimited and enduring power in our midst and the notable miracles which attended the Early Church on a daily basis!
   “Personally, as Thy servant, O’ Lord, I confess that I am totally dependent on Thy presence at all times. I trust Thy Truthfulness, Faithfulness and Righteousness in hearing and answering my Prayer for a out-pouring of the Holy Spirit and His accompanying Gifts with Signs, Wonders and Miracles.”
     As my good friend, BOB ROSIN, used to say: “It is one thing to start. It’s another thing to finish.” He was speaking, of course, about the Christian life. My point, however, concerns God’s Word which promises that He will answer our prayers when we approach His throne in humility, repentance and faith.
    And secondly, that we will be privileged to witness the glorious finish or wrap-up of the End-Time Church which our Lord started on the Day of Pentecost. St. Luke wrote: “The former treatise have I made O Theophilis, of all that Jesus BEGAN TO DO and teach, until the day in which He was taken up…” (Acts1:1,2)
    The implication is that JESUS would CONTINUE to DO His works and teach His truth through His followers. He had spent about one third of His time teaching and preaching and about two thirds of His time healing the sick and casting out demons! And He gave much time in private prayer to His Heavenly Father!
     It seems clear to me that this should be the pattern we must follow if we are to see the desired results our hearts yearn for! In His High Priestly Prayer, He stated: “As Thou has sent Me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world.” (John 17: 18)
     St. Mark states: So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into Heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16: 19, 20).
    What were the SIGNS that followed the preaching of God’s Word, the Gospel of Christ? They cast out unclean spirits, believers received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and spoke in unknown tongues, supernatural protection was given them, and the sick and deceased were healed!
    The Holy Record states: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing GOOD and healing all who were oppressed of the Devil for God was with them.” (Acts 10:38)
    Jesus promised to send upon His followers, the same blessed HOLY SPIRIT which had anointed Him, and that even greater miracles would occur after His arrival. 
    His presence and power would implement the fledgling Church in His absence and it would be so great that they would carry His Gospel to the ends of the world!
    He promised: “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. 
     "And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
     “Dear Lord, without Thy Presence and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit we are useless and Thy Church is ineffective.     "Come Holy Spirit and direct Thy Church, lead us in Thy way and give us the same compassion, love, faith and power as our Saviour had and Thy apostles, disciples, deacons exhibited in the beginning of the Church! In the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray. Amen.”