Since I have been a believer (since 1978) I have witnessed many theological and thematic trends in the church. (E.G. “The word of faith”, “Inner healing”, “deliverance”, “prosperity gospel” and more.) The past decade we have witnessed a “radical grace” message sweep across the global church.
Through the past 37 plus years of serving and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, I have come to understand a very important truth. That the Holy Spirit is not only needed to heal the sick, preach with authority, and fill us with His fruits of the spirit, but to function as the greatest teacher and guide of the church.
There has been a growing trend among Evangelical pastors and churches over the past fifty years regarding the demise of theology and its subsequent replacement with psychology. (By theology I mean the serious systematic and orderly study of God.) There are numerous reasons for this, not the least of which is the failure of many seminaries to fully prepare potential pastors for the practical rigors and challenges of leading a local church, and that so many leaders find themselves burned out and unable to cope with all the pressures of the ministry and their personal lives.
The word of God teaches us that the Lord Jesus Christ stands in several primary offices: Priest, King, Prophet, and Apostle. This can be found in numerous passages but for now we will only cite a few passages.
My goal in this article is to make clear the difference between grace, which is God’s undeserved gracious actions and gifts towards us related to our salvation in Christ, and the consequences of sin that come from numerous sources and places.
The word of God is very clear regarding the call of believers to empower the disempowered and the disenfranchised of society.
Jesus opened up His ministry by reading from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, which is quoted in Luke 4:18, when He says the Spirit of the Lord has anointed Him to bring good news to the poor, heal the brokenhearted, and set at liberty those who are oppressed. Many evangelicals with an individualistic mindset have interpreted this merely as an individual salvific passage related to healing and deliverance. But when we read the context in Isaiah 61:1-4 we see that Jesus was also referring to systemic sin and God’s desire to bring cities to wholeness.
Those who believe in the God of the Christian Scriptures believe that world history is purposeful — not just church history — because it is based on God’s design for the nations of the world. (Read Ephesians 1:11; Colossians 1:15-20; Daniel 4:34-35; Acts 17:24-31.)
This is in opposition to those with a classical, cyclical view of history who believe that all societies and cultures continually repeat history, and also those with a naturalistic view of history based on evolution in which everything that happens is based on chance.
The Bible teaches us that God has a multi-generational plan. This is true in spite of most Christians and churches barely surviving one generation of faith and practice, usually without emphasizing marriage, family, or multi-generational influence.
The following is a general biblical survey showing how the plan of God unfolds in history through generations of faith.
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