Just added, a new message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie:
Outline notes available for this message:
What differentiated the Corinthians old dead religious experience from the new experience of Christ was the genuine presence of God amongst them:
Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Where Gods presence is.
That is the Christian gathering is not primarily a gathering:
- To talk about God
- To teach about God
- To debate about God
- To discuss about God
The distinctive feature of the Christian gathering is:
- To meet with God
Where Gods presence is, that presence is knowable.
Gods presence is knowable by:
Gods Peace – John 20
Gods Purity – John 9
Gods Pleasure – Psalm 16
Objectively – the Revelation of God:
God spoke (1 Corinthians 12:3)
God revealed Himself
What do we desire for our local Church / fellowship / assembly in the year ahead?
Unity of believers?
Good Bible teaching?
All of this certainly, but all is but a shell / sham if this is not true:
The Presence of God with us.
That is, as we gather together with:
Sin in my heart – It is exposed
Burdens pressing down upon me – they are lifted by His joy
Trouble in my heart – it is calmed by His presence
And this all from the defining feature of the assemblies :
not a multimedia extravaganza
All this form the fact that as we gather God speaks
This must be our defining feature
Not just the doctrinal claim of His Presence, but the power and reality and proof of His presence, that He is with us and that is known by the fact God speaks
This needs to be the expectation of Gods people
This needs to be the preparation of our preachers
We ought to settle for not giving less
Not only could they claim that God spoke but they could prove that God spoke!
In verses 4 to 11 the apostle will present the proof of it
9 distinct spiritual gets and yet all are:
Between individuals and over time
Drawn together by unity of:
- Origin (v4)
We noticed that as the Spirit of God gave:
‘Wisdom’ to Bezaleel in the tabernacle it was with the purpose of presenting the work of Christ as an elaborate parable, or more germane to 1 Corinthians chapter 12, when Joseph is given that ‘Word of Wisdom’ it is to complete an elaborate picture of the:
‘Person of Christ’
‘to another faith‘
All lead him to Christ
‘to another the Gifts of healing…’
We will notice in these Old Testament records of healing that we do not have a random collection of miracles but rather one consistent pattern of:
It has to be noted that when it comes to healing miracles that there is a very uneven distribution of this miracles through the Bible.
The distribution of helping miracles is certainly more akin to strawberry jam than jelly, a very lumpy distribution indeed.
Book of Genesis – 2300 years approx of Biblical history we have no examples of the gift of healing, one intercession prayer by Abraham for God to heal Abimelech
From Exodus to Malachi – approx 1500 years of biblical history we have approximately 7 occasions when we have the gift of healing:
- Exodus to Deuteronomy – 3 examples of the gift of healing
- 1 Kings – 1 example of the gift of healing – Widow of Zarephaths son by Elijah
- 2 Kings – 3 examples of the gifts of healing
- Healing at Marah – (Exodus 15)
- Healing from the fiery serpents (Numbers 21)
Healing during a period of Satanic attack
Satan as a serpent
3 animals in scripture linked with Satan:
- Serpent – deception by dissatisfaction and doubt – cf. Genesis chp 3
- Lion – Destruction (1 Peter 5)
- Dragon – Dominion (Rev 12:3-17)
- Healing of Miriams Leprosy (Numbers 12)
- Healing of the widow of Zarephaths son (1 Kings 17)
- Healing of the Shunammites son
- Healing of Namaans leprosy
- Resurrection of the dead man thrown into Elishas grave
From Matthew to Acts – mainly in the gospels, over a period of only 4 years we have a multiplication of healings, innumerable healings performed by Christ and His disciples, so any in fact that at times the gospels will record:
“healed all” – Matthew 8:16
“healed many” – Mark 1:34
“healed many” – Mark 3:10
The prototype of all healing miracles – Exodus 15:22-27
This is arguably the first time that God gives the gift of helaing, not necessarily the first time that God heals but the first time that God delegates this healing ability as a gift.
Interestingly on this occasion no one will be healed; yet Exodus 15 is the prototype of all gifts of healing
At Marah a principle or prototype will be established that will influence and impact on all other biblical healings
Why do I make such a claim?
At Marah God will reveal Himself for the first time as: Jehovah Ropheka (Exodus 15:26) – The God who heals thee.
In this miracle of healing God establishes :
- His identity (Exodus 15:26)
His Ability – His spiritual authority / method by which He heals
Why is it that the first healing miracle / gift of healing is not the healing of a person at all?
For this reason – in order that the tree can be thrown into the equation!
There is a tremendous problem with the gift of healing – the problem of sin and it’s moral consequences.
Sickness is due ultimately to sin.
“the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Sickness is the path from perfect health to death
Sickness is thus the consequence of sin
That link is reiterated in Exodus 15:26
We are not of course claiming and the Bible does not teach that our individual personal sin is the cause of our individual personal sickness; (John 9:1-3); any more than our individual and personal death is due necessarily to the cumulative effect of our individual and personal sins (Romans 5:12-14); otherwise the wicked would die young, the good would die old and the infant would never perish in the womb.
The effect of sins presence in this world is to corrupt the perfection of order and creation and this corruption, like pollution affects us all.
If death finds its origins in sin
If sickness is the means to death
Then sickness is ultimately authored by sin
To remove sickness is thus ultimately not purely a medical exercise but a moral one (Rev 21:4)
Thus God can no more arbitrarily deal with sickness than He can with sin
To deal with sickness there is a cost!
That cost is a moral and spiritual cost, just as it was for sin itself; only in the atoning work of Christ can God be both Just and the Justifier of those who believe in Jesus (Romans 3).
Gods power to heal lies as much in the work of Christ on the tree as much as His power to save does.
Healing draws it’s power from the cross of Christ (Isaiah 53:5)
For God to heal is ultimately for God to deal with sin – Luke chp 5:17ff; Mark 2:5ff.
It all depends upon the addition of the tree
We cannot remove healing from the work of Christ
Gods gift of healing is always designed to draw us to Christ.