Category: Confused Church

Confused Church – Week 15 – Q&A

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Here are the three questions that were asked in light of Sunday mornings sermon on having the authority to rebuke satan. My answers are below in the form of a blog. Hopefully this clears up any confusion that might have been caused on Sunday.

  1. Is this a close handed issue or open handed?
  2. What authority does a believer have?  Jesus says  “all authority is given until Me” and then the Word states that we are joint heirs with Christ, what is you understanding of this?
  3. Does that mean the prayer, “satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus” doesn’t work?

These are some good questions that I personally wrestled with myself as I was preparing for the message. Like I said at beginning of the sermon, when I started studying this, I didn’t realize how in-depth this topic was.

Here are my thoughts on the following questions:

I honestly don’t think this is a matter of either one (open hand or closed hand), I think it’s just a matter of understanding where the authority comes from and not feeling the need to tackle satan head on. The benefit of the Holy Spirit is that He is way more powerful than satan and He is willing to fight for us. I think that’s such a beautiful truth, we as believers, get to rest in. I know of so many people who walk fearful of satan because of his destructive ability, and I think the truth of a Warrior God fighting for us cancels all of those fears. I love the truth of being able to run to God in times of crisis & trust Him to defeat satan for me. (He already has, and will do it again). This leaves us to focus putting on the Armor of God – and getting our perspective right – so that we are able to stand against any cheap shots that satan might try.

Now regarding the prayer, I certainly don’t think that God is going to withdraw His loving care or support from us if we get the wording wrong, as He clearly promises, I will never leave you nor forsake you’.  So I think the prayer, ‘satan I rebuke you in the name of Jesus’  still works (maybe I should have made that clearer yesterday), I just don’t think we need to wander down the route of personally confronting satan, especially when scripture never tells us we need to, in fact it tells us that we have a God who will do that for us.

On the point regarding authority. I definitely believe we can walk with all confidence in the authority of God… All I was attempting to do on Sunday (& maybe I didn’t do a good job of it) was communicate that we can never forget the author of that power and authority. It will always belong to God, It’s no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me. The only reason that we can walk with any Kingdom Authority and confidence is because the Holy Spirit is now in us.

I’m not sure if being co-heirs with Christ means that we receive the same authority He has, instead it’s my personal understanding it means we get to enjoy the authority that he has. I come to that conclusion, based on the fact that I don’t believe being co-heirs with Christ means that we share in all the attributes that he has. There has to be certain areas that are uniquely left for Jesus himself. Take Philippians 2:1-11 as an example:

[1] So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, [2] complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. [3] Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [4] Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [5] Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, [6] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, [7] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. [8] And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [9] Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, [10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I don’t think that being co-heirs with Christ means that we are now highly exalted, and at our name every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. Certain attributes clearly remain unique to Christ, and based on my understanding of Scripture the issue of Authority would be one of them.

The term co-heirs doesn’t mean sharing in all of Jesus’ attributes, it means sharing in all of Jesus’ inheritance (the Kingdom of Heaven, state of perfection etc.).

I have no issue acknowledging the power and authority that we get to enjoy as believers because the Holy dwells inside of us; just so long as we are never claiming it for ourselves; just so long as we are alway pointing back to Jesus as the author of that authority. He is the one that is deserving of all recognition and honor, He is the one that should be given the spot light.

I am always super grateful for the congregation’s questions, I love the we have a body that is open and honest and not afraid to ask important question, church should always be a place where that atmosphere is present. Preaching is one of those jobs that will always challenge me to grow as an effective communicator, especially when you’re not trying to confuse people on ‘non-essential’ or ‘non-dealer-breaker’ questions. This series in particular has presented that challenge in it’s rawest form. It has been a tough but exciting 15 weeks together. I’m looking forward to jumping into the Book of Acts with you all in September.

I hope this blog cleared some things up.

Announcing Confused Church

Today is the day that we launch our exciting new initiative for Christians and the non-churched, we’re calling it Confused Church.

One of the main frustrations for people not daring to darken the door of a church, or for plateauing Christians in our generation, is that they have questions that were never answered. Often times the non-churched will approach a Christian they know and love with their questions, in search of hope, love & answers, but only to be received by a nervous unappealing response because the Christians themselves are too embarrassed to acknowledge that they don’t know the answer either.

As a church we believe that our responsibility is two-fold. First, we are called to help equip Christians successfully reach a world with the Good News of Jesus, the Gospel. Second, it is also our calling to lead by example and extend the same grace that we received from Jesus, to the rest of the world. We are called to be accessible and ready to help them along life’s terrain, no matter how tough/rough it can be sometimes. Life can deal some pretty daunting blows, and Christianity can be pretty confusing, especially if you open up the bible in the Old Testament.

We want to make sure that you understand it’s never stupid to ask any questions about Jesus, the Bible or Christianity, in fact it’s important that you do, because a question unasked will always remain a question and all unanswered questions do is lead to frustration and defeat. We don’t believe that it is God’s intent for the world’s greatest news.

Confused Church

That is why we are introducing Confused Church. We hope that this page will provide a comfortable, risk free environment to ask the questions that you have always had about Christianity.

How will we answer the questions?

We plan to take the questions that you ask between now and March and compile them into a 20 weeks series that we are also titling, Confused Church (launching April 27 – the Sunday after Easter).

I know that we live in a world of instant results and ideally you would like a timely response in the space of a couple of seconds, however we want to make sure you understand that each question asked will be dealt with a great amount of respect and prayer and it would be unwise of us to rush a response back to you. So we would ask for your patience in the process and obviously extend a huge invitation to you and anyone you might know to ask those burning questions and then attend the 20 week series.

Goal for the future

It is our goal that in the future we would be able to provide more concrete and speedy responses to the continued questions that I know are going to fall on your doorstep as you journey through life, but that comes with a larger team than we currently have at Wilson FBC.

So it is our desire and prayer to, one day, have a team of Pastors, theologians, godly men and godly women all with a passion to equip the church and un-churched with real, raw, applicable answers & blogs to life’s tough questions.

We prayer that the people of Western NY would never feel that Jesus is unapproachable, because his church was.