FAITH ALONE

FAITH ALONE

Rom. 1:16-17 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

This is the scripture that was like a lighting bolt in the 1500’s. These verse became the fountainhead of the revolution that birthed the Protestant Reformation. The righteous man will live by faith. How does one become this righteous man? For centuries, mankind had been bound by a system of human works and efforts, hopelessly trying to become that righteous man. They were praying to saints, paying money to purchase people from purgatory, and doing various deeds of penance trying to achieve the righteousness of God. Luther’s proclamation, “The righteous man will live by faith” was the beginning of a whole new era. Here is how Matthew Henry explains this powerful, important scripture.

“This evangelical righteousness, is called the righteousness of God; it is of God’s appointing, of God’s approving and accepting. It is so called to cut off all pretensions to a righteousness resulting from the merit of our own works. It is the righteousness of Christ, who is God, resulting from a satisfaction of infinite value. It is said to be from faith to faith, from the faithfulness of God revealing to the faith of man receiving; from the faith of dependence upon God, and dealing with him immediately, as Adam before the fall, to the faith of dependence upon a Mediator, and so dealing with God; from the first faith, by which we are put into a justified state, to after faith, by which we live, and are continued in that state: and the faith that justifies us is no less than our taking Christ for our Savior, and becoming true Christians; from faith engrafting us into Christ, to faith deriving virtue from him as our root: both implied in the next words, The just shall live by faith. Just by faith, there is faith justifying us; live by faith, there is faith maintaining us; and so there is a righteousness from faith to faith. Faith is all in all, both in the beginning and progress of a Christian life.”

In today’s world, we have slipped away from the message of justification by grace through faith. God has been painted as some kind of benevolent Santa Claus that, at the end of the day, just overlooks all of our sins. Absolute heresy, The Lord never overlooks sin. Sin has to be judged. It was judged by The Lord at the cross. We appropriate this righteousness on our own lives by faith. It is very simple. We accept the work of Christ for our sins at the cross or we bare the weight of that sin ourselves. I love the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, after all, it is the power of God unto salvation to all that believe.

THE EVIL MONK

THE EVIL MONK

Rom. 1:16-17 ¶ For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Luther said that he had an evil monk living inside of him. He actually believed that all of us have an evil monk inside of us. Today, we have progressed, we now have a celebrity preacher living in all of us. Most don’t want to admit it, but all of us have a bent toward religion and being different from everyone else; thus the celebrity preacher is born. All of this changed for Luther the day he was born again and it can also change for each one of us. Not only did that Augustinian monk meet Christ for himself, the protestant reformation was birthed. Luther had been laboring over the phrase “the righteousness of God”. While he was meditating on today’s scripture verse he suddenly saw it. The just shall live by faith. Check out Luther’s own words, he is funny but very powerful.

“Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God, and said, “As if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity by the law of the decalogue, with-out having God add pain to pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with his righteous wrath!” Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience. Nevertheless, I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted. At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’” There I began to understand [that] the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which [the] merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.”

We actually live or come alive by faith in the work of Christ on the cross. What a liberating message. It is not based on my performance but on the work of Christ. By faith I am viewed as righteous before God and by faith, His life enters into me. We are declared just and made alive by the sudden act of the Spirit in our lives. What a powerful gospel!!!

FINDING GOD

Finding the True God

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Romans 1:22–23

Humans are always trying to recreate God into their own idea of what He should be like. To some, He is the one who gives them material goods. From hummers to jewelry, real estate to new business deals, to them His goodness is defined by all of His gifts. For others, He is some kind of cosmic power behind all things, not really personal, just kind of a new age guru. Then there are the political people, “He is surely going to give us a conservative president and solve all our problems”. Sound familiar, people haven’t changed. The people in Israel during Christ’s time missed Him because of preconceived ideas of what the messiah should be like. Jesus was not what they had in mind. He would often say “he who has ears to hear, let him hear”. We can only recognize the Lord by revelation, human ideas of God can never grasp Him as He is. Martin Luther dealt with the same issues in Germany in the 1500’s, listen to his words.

“Human reason can’t quite identify God correctly. Reason knows that there is a God, but it can’t figure out which god is the true God. This is exactly what happened to the Jewish leaders while Christ was on earth. John the Baptist plainly told them that Christ was present. They knew that Christ was living among them and walking among the people. But they couldn’t tell which person it was. Hardly any of them could believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. If reason didn’t have any awareness of God’s existence, it wouldn’t attempt to identify God. If reason knew exactly who God was, it wouldn’t mistakenly identify something else as god. Reason just blurts out, calls something god, and gives divine honor to its own concept of god. By doing so, it misses the true God and instead finds the devil—or its own idea of god, which is ruled by the devil.”

The Lord is moving all around us today, most of the time we are clueless, unaware of Him and His works, because of other agendas and preconceived ideas of what He should be like. What is He like? He has revealed Himself to us in human form as Jesus of Nazareth. He is still the same, He never changes. His kingdom is not of this world, He is building His hidden, secret kingdom. He is still reaching out to the broken hearted, the poor, the sick and the hurting of this world. As His sons and daughters, we need to become involved in what He is involved in. Many times, we try to recreate God in our own image by trying to imagine Him having our goals and visions. I think we have it backwards, our happiness and purpose in life is found in yielding to His plan, not manipulating God to fulfill our personal wants.

SEENG THE INVISIBLE

SEEING THE INVISIBLE

Rom. 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

There is an entire other realm, Jesus called it the kingdom of God, that our natural senses cannot see. Our hearts know it is there, but the conditions that resulted from the fall of man keep us from perceiving this eternal world that is all around us. We are deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to this spiritual realm. Paul said that the Lord reveals His attributes in everything He has made, “His invisible attributes are clearly seen” what an amazing concept, seeing the unseeable. Albert Barnes spoke about those invisible things in his comments on this verse, listen to the words from another century reaching for the invisible in Christ.

“The expression ‘his invisible things’ refers to those things which cannot be perceived by the senses. It does not imply that there are any things pertaining to the divine character which may be seen by the eye; but that there are things which may be known of him, though not discoverable by the eye. We judge of the objects around us by the senses, the sight, the touch, the ear, etc. Paul affirms, that though we cannot judge thus of God, yet there is a way by which we may come to the knowledge of him. What he means by the invisible things of God he specifies at the close of the verse, ‘his eternal power and Godhead.’ The affirmation extends only to that; and the argument implies that that was enough to leave them without any excuse for their sins.”

Did you catch what he said, “there is a way by which we may come to the knowledge of Him”. Those invisible attributes, which we catch glimpses of in creation, are most clearly seen in the person of Jesus Christ. The awesome characteristics of God, hidden away for so long, are shining out from the face of Jesus Christ. In Christ we see God’s love for Himself in Christ’s passion for His Father’s glory. We see His love for fallen man as He willingly gave his Son as a representative of man to suffer and die in His place. We see His love for the sick and hurting as His miracle power flowed freely throughout the ministry of Christ. His power over creation is seen as He stilled the storms and multiplied the fish and the loaves of bread. His authority over all the works of the devil is revealed as He casts out demons with His word. Jesus is the outshining of the Father’s glory, in Him we begin to see the invisible world. Still, many people remain blind, the words of Christ fall on deaf ears. How can these blind eyes see and these deaf ears begin to hear? That is where the miracle begins. Just as it happened in the gospels, we come to Him, blinded by our sins, He loves us, forgives us, and opens our hearts so that our perception of His realm comes alive. Look to Him now, there is a beautiful unseen world beckoning you home.

SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW

SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW

Rom. 1:1-4 ¶ Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Inside of every human heart there is a desire and a knowing that there is more to our existence than what we can see. We know that we were created to experience something of eternity. From our earliest childhood memories we are captivated by stories like Peter Pan or the Wizard of Oz, eternity is in our hearts, like the scripture teaches. One of my earliest memories as a child was watching the Wizard of Oz and watching “Dorothy” sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. This movie would come on once a year when I was a child. I remember being riveted to the television. Thinking back, I believe it was the longing for heaven and the supernatural world that made this movie so attractive. We are all on the journey down the “yellow brick road” until we find our rest in the city of God. Adam Clarke spoke about spiritual horizons declared and revealed in Christ. Listen to his words.

“The word which we render declared, comes from to bound, define, determine, or limit, and hence our word horizon, the line that determines the farthest visible part of the earth, in reference to the heavens. In this place the word signifies such a manifest and complete exhibition of the subject as to render it indubitable(unquestionable or undoubtable). The resurrection of Christ from the dead was such a manifest proof of our Lord’ s innocence, the truth of his doctrine, and the fulfillment of all that the prophets had spoken, as to leave no doubt on any considerate and candid mind.”

The limitations of this life without Christ are frustrating, always searching but never coming to our destination. Paul said these limitations are shattered by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the first fruits or the first man to experience resurrection from the dead. You might say,”Wait a minute, Jesus wasn’t the first”. There was the widow’s son raised by Elijah and of course Lazarus. These men were raised from the dead in their mortal bodies only to die again at a later date. Christ was different, He was resurrected. He was the first man to receive His immortal body, a body that will never die again. That is the anticipation inside of all of us, we long to be clothed with this immortality. That is the searching inside of all of us. Christ “declared” it by His resurrection opening up to us the unseen world. There is a place “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. We all know it even as young children. We can find this place in Christ. That is where the journey down the “yellow brick road” finds its completion.

THE DISTURBED MONK

THE DISTURBED MONK

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Rom.1:16,17

Martin Luther said that there was an evil monk inside of each of us. What did he mean by such a strange statement. After all, Luther was a monk, an Augustinian monk. He of all people new about evil monks, he had been tormented by the one inside of him all of his life. All of us have a self centered part of our lives that seeks to justify ourselves and our actions. We all listen to that evil monk far too often.
Luther had come to faith in Christ after a long , hard struggle with his idea of righteousness, or right standing with God. He had been taught that righteousness was something that he did, some system he implemented or teaching that he followed. He knew he could never live up to the standard of righteousness seen in the Bible, none of us ever can. When he became tired of falling short and the frustrations of trying to live a righteous life came to a head, Luther came upon the revelation that changed his life and birthed the protestant reformation.
“Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God and said, “as if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity of the law of the ten commandments, without having God add pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with the righteous wrath!” Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience.
At this point Luther said “he beat upon Paul”, looking for the answer to his trouble. This is when the light burst on his soul, “the just shall live by faith”. He saw it, salvation was a gift, not something we performed, righteousness was given to us by faith. Luther then said “I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates”. As Luther discovered, there is an open gate into the joys of the other world through faith in Christ. Today, we can enter into that paradise. How? we join the throng who have gone before us declaring, “the just shall live by faith”.

Strangely Warmed

My Heart Was Strangely Warmed

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,* for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”*

John Wesley had started a club at Oxford called the “Holy Club”. He and his followers had quite a reputation of a life of self denial and various religious observances. After several years of unsuccessful ministry endeavors, Wesley became desperate. His greatest problem was that he had not been born again. Wesley atended a Moravian prayer meeting where they were reading Luther’s commentary on Galatians. During this reading, Wesley said that “his heart became strangely warmed”. Actually what happened is that John Wesley had become born again. Luther’s teaching on salvation that comes not by works but by grace through faith opened Wesley’s eyes. He could never be the same. From that day John Wesley began to preach salvation by grace alone. His ministry became explosive, effecting his generation as well as every generation to come. Have you tasted salvation that comes by faith in the precious blood of our Savior? If not, His love is just a prayer away. Call on the Name of the Lord and you will be saved. If Christ is in you life, then you understand how Wesley could never be the same. You also understand how England could never be the same. The preaching of this message by the Wesleys effected much of the world in their day. Lord, do it again!!!

Paul and the Testimony of Jesus – Acts 22:6-16

Paul loved to tell his story.  He must have told it hundreds, possibly thousands of times.  Luke, the author of Acts, recorded Paul’s testimony three times.  That is quite amazing, seeing Acts is such a short book.  If we believe that the Holy Spirit inspired Luke, we must believe that the Lord felt Paul’s testimony was very important.

What is our testimony?  John said that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy” Revelation 19:10.  This means that our testimony is actually Jesus’ testimony.  He lives His life inside of each one of us.  This is one of the ways He displays His glory.  Our testimony, the testimony of Jesus displays God’s glory, specifically the glory of His grace redeeming and transforming fallen man.

What about the spirit of prophesy?  Prophesy is a supernatural utterance.  Our testimony is a living, right now word from the Lord.  Our testimony does not end at our salvation, it begins.  Every step we take with Christ, becomes the testimony of Jesus, Christ displaying Hs Glory right now.  The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The preaching and teaching of the Apostle Paul is the testimony of Jesus in Paul’s life.  One of the great truths displayed in Paul’s life and teaching is salvation by grace through faith.  Paul did not earn his salvation, he called himself the chief of sinners.  Paul claims that he was saved or declared righteous by god, through faith in Christ, specifically His death on the cross.

Romans 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness

Romans 1:16, 17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is thepower of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

This truth was the foundation of the early church and became the foundation of the Protestant Reformation.  Martin Luther struggled with this idea of righteousness.  He struggled with his own thoughts and sinfulness and with the demands of righteousness in the law.  His life was changed as he discovered the beauty of salvation that comes by grace alone through faith alone.

Martin Luther

Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience.  I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction.  I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God, and said, “As if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity by the law of the Decalogue, without having God add pain to pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with his righteous wrath!”  Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience.  Nevertheless, I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted.

At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.”’  There I began to understand [that] the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith.  And this is the meaning:  the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which [the] merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.”  Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.  Here a totally other face of the entire scripture showed itself to me.  Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory…

Our testimony of Jesus is displayed as our life changes.  We are transformed from day to day to display Christ in our lives.  He becomes clearly seen in our words and in our actions.  Paul encouraged His converts to follow him as he followed Christ.  The testimony of Jesus was bearing fruit in others.

I Thessalonians 5-6 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. 
6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit

Martin Luther

Faith, however, is a divine work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God (John 1:13); it kills the old Adam and makes altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers, and it brings with it the Holy Ghost. O, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith; and so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question rises; it has already done them, and is always at the doing of them. He who does not these works is a faithless man. He gropes and looks about after faith and good works, and knows neither what faith is nor what good works are, though he talks and talks, with many words, about faith and good works.

The testimony of Jesus was clearly seen in the ministry of the Apostle Paul.  One of the clearest displays of the power of God in Paul’s ministry is seen in the outpouring in Ephesus in Acts 19.

First we see 12 disciples baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues.  Then we see these same men prophesying.  As we read on in this chapter, we see Paul leading daily meetings for two years.  Can you imagine; preaching, teaching, prayer led by the Apostle Paul for two years?  A supernatural explosion was the result.  The results of these meetings were incredible.  The Bible says everyone in Asia (modern day Turkey) heard the word of God.  It also says that “extraordinary” miracles began to be seen.  Prayer cloths carrying the anointing were sent out resulting in healings and deliverances.  That is the testimony of Jesus.

Today, the testimony of Jesus is being seen in our world.  Not only in the great crusades in Africa and India or in the underground church in China or the revivals of South America, but also right here right now in our very lives.  The testimony of Jesus continues every day, birthed in prayer and Bible Study.  Just as the believers soaked in the word and anointing in the Ephesian revival, we can soak in the word and the Presence of God in our private prayers and in our corporate meetings.  The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.  Let Jesus live and prophesy in you today.

PROTESTANT AND PENTECOSTAL

Our world is in a constant state of change, and regretfully many of these secular changes gradually but steadily affect the church. Regretfully we are losing our moorings, our connection to the heritage of our Christian faith.

Over the past fifteen years I have been on a spiritual safari, searching for the reality of God in my life and in His church. This journey inevitably leads me to the past, to the men and women who have gone before us. I find myself drinking from the ancient wells of our fathers. The wells of Augustine, Luther, Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, Matthew Henry and many others keep attracting me and calling me to drink. The more I drink; I am convinced of two things. First, I am a Protestant Christian. The message that birthed Western civilization penned by the Apostle Paul “The just shall live by faith,” and echoed by Martin Luther 15 centuries later is still the foundation of Western Civilization today, the undergirding of His church and the anchor of my soul.

Martin Luther was lost in the snare of human effort and a system of religious works until one day he read those words from Romans 1:17, “The just shall live by faith.” Those words brought freedom to his soul and began the revolution that drug Europe from the shadows of the dark ages. The Protestant Reformation had begun.

As a monk, Luther later wrote, he was tormented by the thoughts of damnation for sins, saying that he “hated this God who punched sinners, if not with silent blasphemies at least with huge murmurings. I was indignant against God. As if it were not enough that miserable sinners, eternally ruined by original sin, should be crushed…through the Law of the Ten Commandments…and so I raged with a savaged and confounded conscience.” He therefore turned to the Bible. The Catholic Church had always taught that grace was active, in the sense that it came into force at the Day of Judgment when the righteous would be separated from the damned. As he read Romans 1, Luther became convinced that the grace of which Paul wrote was passive, hence available to everyone. This led to his conclusion that salvation came not through penance and repentance, nor through the intercession of saints and martyrs or the prayers of the church, but by faith alone. It was an entirely new idea. As Luther re-read Romans 1:16-17, he wrote, I felt myself straightaway born afresh and to have entered through the open gates into paradise.” This led to the further belief that the Bible was the sole authority. In 1517, he nailed his 95 theses to the door of Wittenberg University.

Luther also taught us a second great lesson, the priesthood of the Christian believer. In I Peter 2:9 we are called a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” This teaching birthed a great revolution in the souls of those experiencing this new faith. No longer did they need an earthly mediator; they had a mediator in heaven, the man Christ Jesus. We all have direct access into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus. We are all priests unto God.
Luther also taught us the importance of the Word of God. He proceeded to translate the Bible into German for the people in his churches. As these new believers began to search the scriptures in their own language everything changed. Today we have access to many great translation, commentaries and word study books. Dig into the word of God; it is food for our soul.

Our Protestant fathers also taught us the importance of the local church. The ministries of the ministers flow out of the local church and become the centerpiece of our Christian lives.

In the revival of 1734-1735 in Northampton, Mass, the local church became the hub of everything. This is where our instruction, our relationships, and even our business found its protection. The local church is critical to our way of life in our western culture.

Ephesians 2:17-22 17And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Secondly, I am a Pentecostal, Protestant Christian. When Jesus left His disciples to return to heaven and told them to wait for the “Promise of the Father” [Acts 1:4]. This is a promise the Father made to Jesus in eternity. Father and Son entered an eternal covenant. If Christ would become a man and sacrifice his life for fallen man all those who believed upon Him would receive the Promise, the awesome baptism in the Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Spirit is the purchase possession obtained by Christ on the cross.

Secondly I want to honor the heavenly ministry of Jesus. John prophesied that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mark 1:8,9). When Jesus ascended into heaven His heavenly ministry as our heavenly High Priest began. This heavenly ministry is the ministry of immersion in the person of the Holy Spirit. We see the first occurrence of this on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Today His heavenly ministry continues. The modern church, many times, does not recognize or honor Jesus and His heavenly ministry. Many times we want to rewrite the emphasis of church and Christian life. To honor the heavenly ministry of Jesus we must be baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, we need supernatural power. Our world is become more dangerous everyday. It is becoming harder and harder for Christians to live a godly life in this dark, wicked world. We need the power of God, the tangible power that comes upon us when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. To live Holy in this perverse world we need His power.

We also need this power for effective ministry. Jesus told us this in Acts 1:8. He said we would receive power (dunamis-supernatural power) when the Holy Spirit comes upon us. We are dealing with addictions, illnesses, and all kinds of bondages when ministering to this generation. Christian slogans are not good enough, we must have power.

Finally, I am a Pentecostal because of the blessing given to me by the supernatural language of prayer. Speaking in tongues is the doorway to the world of the supernatural.

Paul said we are edified, built up spiritually (1 Corinthians 14:2,4) when we pray in tongues. He said the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses when we pray in the Spirit (Romans 8:26). He taught about our intercessory anointing that sometimes comes when we pray in tongues (Romans 8:27). He also taught about the prophetic nature of praying in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:15).

The prayer language is not an after thought, or an unimportant extra. The prayer language is foundational to the supernatural Christian life.

We live in perilous times (II Timothy 3:1). We need to return to the faith of our fathers. We have drifted toward a seeker sensitive, Christian light faith for far to long. We must return to our Protestant and our Pentecostal roots. The future of our families our cities and our nation are on the line. Join with me on my spiritual safari, we are sojourning to the city, the city that has a foundation whose builder and maker is God.