For the Christian, everything hinges on this statement. Paul made it very clear that “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:14). But there are indisputable proofs that “in fact Christ has been raised from the dead” (15:20); “He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24:6).
But the point Jesus was making in John 11:25, to a family who had just lost a loved one to death, was that resurrection power resided in His person! If you are in Christ by virtue of faith in His death for your sins, then HIS life is yours by virtue of HIS resurrection! Again, Paul expresses this far better than I can; “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20).
To live this resurrection life is to live knowing that nothing in this world can take away, diminish, mar or by any power separate us from Christ! “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37–39). Begin the New Year with this confidence!
Below is a testimony received from a group of Lahu disciples we trained last fall using illustrations from the new revised God's Plan for His Church.
Our teaching consisted of showing them how the Gospel spread from Jerusalem (Pentecost) to the world. This is what happens when disciples, with childlike faith, take seriously the Holy Spirit and Christ, the Living Word. We have seen this happen over and over again throughout the world.
“After teaching the book of Acts, the Pastors are so happy to go out to share the Good News with the people. We dedicated the 9th daughter church on March 15, 2014. Members of the new church are from Ah Kha tribe. Your teaching is so effective. Thank God for that.”
Here is a current testimony of what is happening when believers use God’s Plan for His Church manual to get them back into the Scriptures as their sole guide for personal walk, the family and the church.
“I was urgently invited to Ghana to attend the International Missions Leaders Workshop in Kumasi Ghana. The Theme for the Workshop was “MOVING FORWARD”. The director for Baptist Foreign Missions Rev. Phil Knott shared with us the Mission’s Vision and goals that is to multiply disciples, leaders, Churches and ministries that are reproducible and sustainable.
The Workshop was held because many of churches were relying on foreign support and when that supports ceased, the church fell or pastors moved to other ministry that will support him. So we were called and encourage that our churches should be self-sustainable and focus on God and the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Brother, what we have been studying from the training manual is exactly what is going on with so many pastors and churches here in Africa. We have been encourage that our churches should be self-sustaining; not money to be it lifeblood, because when money stop ministry stops. Thanks for the material that open our eyes and understanding. I took along the Training manual (GOD’S PLAN FOR HIS CHURCH), with me and I seized the opportunity to meet with pastors and church leaders from Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo and other African countries discussed with them the goodness and Biblical teaching of Planting and Church Renewal of the material. Having shared the introductory part of the manual many of them express their desire to be part of the study. While I was away the men studying with me in our church were busy in carrying on their studies and at times we shared our discussion on phone after our meeting.
I am going through the manual as well as a brother who has gone to Hungary with a copy of the manual. He will be back on the 26 of February, so that we can all do the completion of the material together.
It is our prayers that the Lord will give us strength and open our understanding as we study His Word to win souls for him.”
We are very excited to announce God’s Plan for His Church, (GPHC) a new manual for Church Planting and Church Renewal. This revised edition has new lessons not previously covered, illustrations for better visual understanding, and a format that makes it easy for anyone to follow.
Considering Christianity is growing at a 0.5% rate in the USA (Operation World p.862), we believe this revision is momentous and relevant for today’s church because GPHC:
· Lays a foundation in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture in the Holy Spirit.
· Provides an opportunity for a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in willing hearts and churches.
· Reveals the value of marriage and family in the process of church planting and renewal.
· Visually illustrates the principles of God’s plan for His Church from Pentecost forward
· Helps churches and leaders become Christ centered and self-sustaining like Paul.
· Uses powerful supra-cultural and timeless principles from Scripture.
· Gives biblical solutions to many of the current issues facing today’s family and church.
· Teaches a time-tested and proven model of church planting, growth and renewal that can actually thrive in financial deficiency, illiteracy, and persecution.
We ask that you take a serious, prayerful look at this enclosed material for a way that God would begin a fresh work of the Holy Spirit in you, your family and your church. There are life changing testimonies on pages 3-5 from those who have worked through previous editions published in 30 languages so that you can read firsthand how God has used this tool around the world.
We are so convinced of the importance of God’s Plan for His Church that we are willing to personally meet with you face to face. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us via information on the "contact" page for further details. A digital interactive CD or Internet copy is available upon request. All the materials and services are offered at no charge.
We are praying for you as you consider this timely opportunity for a new beginning of power, oneness, freedom and joy in serving our wonderful Savior.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is traditional at the beginning of a "New Year" to preach a sermon on "new beginnings", or "new resolutions", or some other slant on the New Year that we think will help people do better this year than they did last year. But let me ask you; is this really a biblical idea?
As I review Jesus in the gospels, Paul and Peter's letters, I see a very different challenge for us. All three challenge us to examine our foundation. What good is a 'New Years Resolution' if our foundation is faulty or we build with the wrong material? Let's look first at Jesus' words.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus presents a wise man and a foolish man. The wise man "built his house on the rock". We know that Jesus is referring to Himself as that rock. The foolish man "built his house on the sand", unstable, shifting material. In both cases, Jesus points to one outlook for both - a storm that will test our house and will reveal what we have done in the building process. But there are two different outcomes. The house of the wise man did not fall because he laid a 'rock-solid' foundation. His future was sure because of that "one decision". The house of the foolish man fell because he built on ideas, methods of men, traditions of man, and not on biblical truth.
Paul approaches this issue a little differently but with the same test and results. In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 he says that "...no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." What he is really saying is that Jesus Christ is the only foundation and anyone trying to lay a foundation other than Him is not laying any foundation. Paul takes this challenge further by saying "Let each one take care how he builds..."! (3:10-11). If we are not building on the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, we can be sure that a test will come - fire will either purify what we have built with or it will be destroyed. (See also Galatians).
Peter points to one stone, the cornerstone (1 Peter 2:4-8). There are some who will reject this stone and "stumble" over what God has laid and chosen. But for those who believe in Christ and choose Him as their foundation, they become a "living stone...built up as a spiritual house...a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God..." (2:5). Rejecting God's chosen foundation results in judgment (2 Peter 2).
In all three references, the issue is whether Christ is the only foundation of our lives and ministries. Then the question is; what are we building on that one foundation. If we build with anything of man, it will fall and be destroyed. There is a big difference between 'man's resolutions' and the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer. We may need to return to our foundations and make sure they are the right ones. Jesus said to Ephesus, "...repent, and do the works you did at first" (Revelation 2:5).
My desire for this year is that you will make sure to build on Jesus Christ, nothing else! If there is bad material, repentance will remove it. The Holy Spirit will help you build so you will never be ashamed.
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