woensdag 28 oktober 2015

Victory over demons

Christ is Victor

In much of contemporary charismatic demonology we often come across a learned helplessness which results from focusing so much on the power of the demons who may be trying to influence us that people feel they are unable to resist them. Instead of feeling part of the victorious procession of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14) they feel victimized by the devil and anything he may have done to them in the past or still may be doing in their lives, Whether this is a case of trying to shift responsibility for past and present sins to the devil 'who made them do it' since they were 'helpless victims' or whether it is confusion caused by false teachers who put themselves forward as deliverance experts, this approach is not in agreement with the word of God. We are exhorted by the true apostles in the New Testament to focus on the far superior power of Christ who has already defeated and disarmed all of the demons. Christ is the truth by which we ought to live. Not just any Christ as he may be presented by some, but Christ as revealed in Holy Scripture in the writings of the apostles and prophets. Our faith should be build on Christ and His teachings as a strong foundation as laid by the apostles and prophets. We should not allow anyone, no matter how impressive his or her credentials, to lead us astray from simple trust in our victorious Lord. Christ is victorious over the powers and He has disarmed them (Colossians 2:15). The well-known church father St. Augustine understood this well when he described the demons as dangerous but limited in power: They are like fierce barking dogs already put on a chain. As long as we do not deliberately go to them they cannot bite. So why be intimidated by their barking? Lets trust in the One who lives within us and who has all power in Heaven and Earth. He should be our focus for in Him we find all the strength we need to resist even the prince of demons, the devil himself (Matthew 28:18, Eph. 6:10, James 4:17-18).

donderdag 8 oktober 2015

To follow Christ means to seek global justice

To follow Christ means to seek global justice

In 2014, Oxfam reported that the 85 wealthiest individuals in the world have a combined wealth equal to that of the bottom 50% of the world's population, or about 3.5 billion people. More recently, in January 2015, Oxfam reported that the wealthiest 1 percent will own more than half of the global wealth by 2016. What is our response as followers of Christ to such an injustice in the world where billions suffer because some hoard an immorally big amount for themselves? Through His prophet Isaiah God tells us that when such things happened in Israel that He hates injustice and He hates it when no-one does anything about it (Isaiah 59:15-16). He will bring judgement on both evil doers and those who collectively condone it (vs 17-19). But for those who repent and change their way and led by His Spirit stand for what is right there is salvation (vs 20-21). Those will follow God the way He has instructed in Isaiah 58:

6 I'll tell you
what it really means
to worship the Lord.
Remove the chains of prisoners
who are chained unjustly.
Free those who are abused!
7 Share your food with everyone
who is hungry;
share your home
with the poor and homeless.
Give clothes to those in need;
don't turn away your relatives.

8 Then your light will shine
like the dawning sun,
and you
will quickly be healed.
Your honesty will protect you
as you advance,
and the glory of the Lord
will defend you from behind.
9 When you beg the Lord for help,
he will answer, “Here I am!”

As James repeats in the New Testament:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).

So let us cleanse ourselves from the pollution of this world and its selfish desires, its never satisfied lust for more and more, and its boasting of earthly achievements, possessions and popularity in the eyes of humanity:

15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17).