Friday, November 22, 2019

Evangelist Max Solbrekken & Joseph Desreveres 
Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, W.I. Crusade,1969

                                  By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.

    The power of God to the church is anchored in Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead. His vicarious death on Golgotha’s Hill purchased our Pardon and our justification by His resurrection from the dead. If He had not been raised from the dead, He would not have been exalted to sit on His Father’s Right hand!  
    The Bible states: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; 
   “That ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward, who believe, 
   "According to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the Heavenly places, far above all principalities and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in the world to come:

                                  THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH!

    “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1: 17- 23)
  St. Paul stated: “And I brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom delivering unto you the testimony of God, I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2: 1,2)
  St. Paul’s entire life was enveloped in the Gospel of Christ. Two things drove him day and night in his pursuit  of precious souls in the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God. They were, namely: “The testimony of God about His Son and Jesus Christ Crucified.” 
  St. John stated: “If we receive the witness of men, the Witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son.
    “And this is the Record, that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath Life and he that hath not the Son hath not Life.

                                    CALLING GOD A LIAR?

  “These things have I written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God: that ye may know that ye have Eternal Life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God.
   “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever that we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1 John 5: 9-15)
   This is the Record that Almighty God testified of His Eternal Son, who humbled Himself and was incarnated, True God from Eternity and True Man by His Virgin birth, to die on the Cross for the sins of the world as God’s Paschal Lamb and to rise from the dead, victorious over death, hades and the grave! 
   For thousands of years the Jewish people had waited for their promised Messiah. Year after year, Jewish priests publicly cried out: ‘Let One Innocent Come and Make Atonement For The Guilty’, but no-one qualified. It was called, ‘The Cry of the Synagogue.’  
   Then, John the Baptist  announced: “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29). The Innocent One had finally come! 

                              THE CRY OF THE SYNAGOGUE!

  Regarding,‘The Cry of the Synagogue’, theologian Alfred Eidersheim states that Jesus Christ is that Innocent One: “Such an high priest became us, Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the Heavens.” (Heb. 7: 26) - Alfred Edersheim, 'The Temple, in Ministry & Service'
     In the book, ‘The Cruciality of the Cross’, Dr. Henry Mabie wrote: “The Greek word used by Paul in 1 Corinthians 1: 18, is Logos...” not preaching but, “the subject matter of preaching; with the very essence of that which was to be preached; with the Logos of the Cross, which constituted a rationale, it’s Divine reason, a reason which…he declares to be the wisdom of God.    
   This ‘Logos of the Cross’ is conceived by Paul to be the key which unlocks the riddle of the universe, solves all mysteries and reconciles all things.”
   The One who hung on that cross created the universe. Jesus solved the ‘riddle of the universe! Jesus created man and His Word details the purpose for life and eternity. As believers we love God and our fellowman. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have eternal life! Finally, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we are reconciled to God to one another!

                           SUBJECT MATTER IS MAGNANIMOUS!

  The sacrificial death of the incarnated (God in human flesh) Son of God to redeem the world, is a subject matter so powerful, so magnanimous and so incomprehensible that mortal man can only stand in holy awe at its immensity, enormity and grandiose love that we are left speechless!
  The blood of Jesus Christ which He freely gave for sinful, rebellious and hell-bound, guilty sinners, purges our consciences from all guilt, delivers us from the power of sin and liberates us from Satan and his evil kingdom, for time and eternity!
     And as Dr. Henry Mabie states: “This Logos of the Cross is conceived by Paul to be the key which unlocks the riddle of the universe, solves all mysteries and reconciles all things.”
  I agree one hundred per cent with that analysis and commentary - which is the greatest I have ever heard - but still doesn’t even begin to cover the eternal consequences of the incarnation, passion, death and resurrection of Christ Jesus our Lord, Creator and God!
    St. Paul came closer when He wrote: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2: 9)
     How helpless we are without His indwelling presence and yet how strong when He is moving within us by His awesome power. How amazing that the God of Heaven and Ruler of the Universe would deign to identify Himself with mere earthlings and to dwell within us.
   He stated: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power. Another great truth is that he relied on the power of God to demonstrate  that his message was true!
     Without God’s supernatural power in casting out demons and healing the sick, he would not have been able to convince the pagan that Jesus Christ, who had been crucified was indeed the resurrected Son of God.

                                    THE MYSTERY OF GOD!

   St. Paul declared that the wisdom of this world and the princes of this world came to nought! He states: “But we speak the wisdom of God in  MYSTERY, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
     “Which none of the princes of the world knew: for had  they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God had prepared for them that love him.
   “But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 
   “Now we have received, not the spirit  of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
    “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth; but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-14)
                           THE FOUNDATION OF THE CHURCH!

    St. Paul stated: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2: 16); 
    “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon, But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that, which is laid, which is JESUS CHRIST.”
     Then he warns: “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood. hay, stubble: Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by FIRE; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 
  “If any man’s work abide which he have he have built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be SAVED; yet so as by fire.
    “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the temple of God dwelleth in you? If any man  defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy; which temple ye are. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
   “Therefore, let no man glory in men, for all things are yours. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death; or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3: 10-23)
   We are called Ministers of God and Stewards of the Mysteries of God: “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4: 1,2). 
   St Paul writes: “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the Mysteries of God. For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, ye have not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus, I have begotten you through the Gospel. 
   “Wherefore, I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4: 1,2,15, 16, 20) 

                                 NO OTHER FOUNDATION!

     The Bible makes it plain that Jesus Christ is the Chief Corner Stone and there is NONE other: “For other foundation can no man lay than that, which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
     “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 
      “Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a Chief Cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe, He is Precious...” (1 Peter 2: 4-7)
    It behooves us to study the Word of God and obey it. Jesus defeated the Devil (Liar) with the Word of God. He said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 
    “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence Satan (Enemy);  for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and only shalt thou serve.
   ”Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.” (Matthew 4: 1-11). 

                                   HIS VCTORY IS OUR VICTORY!

    Our Victory is because of His victory and  our spiritual power is Christ working in us by His Holy Spirit. We are strong because He is strong within us. We are filled with His peace because He dwells within us. Any goodness that we have is His goodness and His joy becomes our joy because, as He is so are we in the world! 
     “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, Beloved if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time.    
   “If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us because he hath given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world.

    “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in Him, and He in God.” (1 John 5: 10-15). Amen.