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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Healing Principles – The Word

BeamI’m taking a few posts to talk about the Biblical principles surrounding divine healing. I believe that God wants to use the church to the same degree that Christ healed the sick when He walked the earth. The problem is that we don’t understand all of the things involved.

One big key to healing is found in the book of James.

Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
James 5:14-15

I feel that in this modern age we really don’t get what James means by the prayer of faith. I get the impression that we think it’s all about quoting the Bible and tacking on “in Jesus name” at the end. James has a whole different perspective.

Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
James 5:17-18

The example he uses is Elijah stopping the rain from falling in Israel. What would cause him to do something like that? There’s an assumed chain of events that led to his famous prayer.

He was at home, in prayer, when suddenly he heard a Word from God. That’s the only explanation for the boldness he had. God spoke to him and said that the rain would stop when he delivered the message to the king.

This is the very example that James uses to illustrate healing prayer. The assumption is that to pray this kind of prayer, you must have heard from heaven. It’s based upon hearing a Word from God.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17

This verse literally says that faith comes by hearing the rhemaWord of God. That’s the Word that God Himself speaks to us. But in order to hear this Word, we have to spend time in His presence listening to His Spirit.

That’s what we find so hard to do in this generation. We want everything to come instantly. No waiting on the Lord in prayer. We just want the perfect spiritual formula that will assure us the answer every time we pray it.

Unfortunately that’s not how God operates. Over and over again in the Scripture we see that healing is associated with receiving a Word from God.

He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Psalms 107:20

If we want to see more healings in the body of Christ then we have to do it His way. We must spend more time in prayer and prayer in the spirit. That’s how we will position ourselves to hear from God. Faith will rise within us. Then the Word of healing that we speak will be powerful and effective.

Question: How have you seen divine healing operate through God’s people?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Faith, Healing, Prayer, Word of God

 

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Healing Principles – Truth

MirrorFor the past couple of posts I’ve been talking about God’s divine healing that was provided by Christ on the cross. So far we’ve seen that sickness is a part of the sin nature and our healing is based in the authority of God.

Today I want to talk about a problem I see in the lives of some believers who erroneously believe that denial is the path to their healing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But first, I need to make it clear that I wholeheartedly believe in the confession of the Word of God. We need to speak out our faith. The words of our mouth must line up with God’s view of life as found in the Scriptures.

That being said, there are those who take this too far. If the doctor gives them some bad news, especially when it’s something like cancer, they start to deny it. When they’re with other believers they’ll act as if there’s nothing wrong. You ask them how they’re doing and they say, “I’m healed and whole.”

It actually all comes down to fear. They’re afraid that if somehow they slip up in their “faith confession”, God will never heal them.

The fact is that because sickness is a part of the sin package, it’s to be treated the same way that any other kind of sin is taken care of.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
I John 1:8

Because sickness is a part of this package, you can replace the word sin with sickness. The principle is that claiming you’re not sick, when you are, means that you’ve deceived yourself. We cannot sweep sickness under the carpet and expect to be healed. Denial is never God’s method for anything that needs to be removed from our lives.

God’s way is just the opposite.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
I John 1:9

Never deny your sickness. Denial is based in fear and it causes us to leave the path of truth. What we must do with sickness is to confess it so that He can remove it. We do this to let Christ purify us – body and soul.

This agrees with the Word in other parts of Scripture.

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
James 5:13-14

This verse tells us some good advice. If you’re going through troubled times, then pray. If you’re cheerful, sing. If you’re sick in some way, call elders in Christ.

Please realize that depending on the church this may or may not be the official elder board. This verse is talking about those who know God’s Word concerning healing.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.
James 5:15

This is God’s divine order for the sin package. Confession of the problem and removal by the prayer of authority based upon faith in God’s Word. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a physical sickness or a sinful activity.

Question: How have you experienced confession and removal in your Christian walk?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Faith, Healing, Power of God, Prayer

 

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Healing Principles – Authority

KeyI’m taking a few posts to talk about the guiding principles that surround God’s provision of healing for His people. In my last article I showed that sickness is a part of the sin nature. It misses the best that the Lord wants for us.

Now I want to talk about our authority in Christ Jesus. We’ve been given that name that’s above all other names.

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11

The Lord expects us to walk in and use His name in all of our activities. That means I need to strive to live the way He lived. That’s the only way I can adequately represent Christ to the world. It also means that I have a responsibility to seek the Lord’s way of ministry.

How did Jesus heal the sick? He’s our example for how it’s to be accomplished.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Mark 10:51-52

This is one of the many healings that are recorded in Scripture. One thing that strikes me right away is the boldness that Jesus had. We see the same thing in the ministry of the Apostles after the resurrection. Look at what happened in the Temple courts when Peter met a crippled man.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.
Acts 3:6-8

In both cases Jesus and the Apostles were acting under the authority of God. What we need to understand is that the prayer for healing is a prayer of authority. That means that you don’t have to ask God to do it. It is a command that the healing be manifest.

It’s the same as when demons are cast out of an individual. I’ve had the privilege of delivering someone from the bondage of demonic possession. I didn’t ask God to do it. I took authority over the demon in the name of Jesus Christ.

I commanded it to leave based upon the clear teaching of Scripture that we’ve been given authority over all the power of the enemy. Sickness is the same way. The Word shows us that God hates sickness. It’s a blight on His perfect creation. We have His authority to command it to be healed.

The church needs to once again walk in the authority we’ve been given. Of course, as I’ve said before, this carries a responsibility to live as Christ lived. I think this might be the biggest hindrance to us living it out.

One more thing about our authority in Christ. Some people think that this is the only issue and run off to try it and fall on their face – spiritually speaking. In my next post I’m going to deal with another major principle that needs to be in place for us to see more healings taking place in the church.

Question: How have you used the authority of the name of Jesus recently?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2015 in Healing, Power of God, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Healing Principles – The Sin Nature

TargetI believe that Christ is the Healer. I believe that in His death, burial, and resurrection He paid the price for all sickness and disease to be healed. That being said, I also understand the reality that not everyone is healed at this point in church history.

Just like it’s God’s desire for all to be saved, I believe He wants us all healthy and whole. But please understand, I’m not one of those who lightly says, “You just didn’t have enough faith” when someone’s not healed.

There are certain kingdom principles that I think we’ve missed along the way. I want to take a few posts to talk about some of these as they relate to the healing that’s available to all believers.

The first is the principle of the sin nature. We need to understand how this relates to sickness. I covered this aspect in great detail in a series I posted called Healing 101. To read that series click here.

The bottom line of what Scripture teaches is that sickness is a part of the sin nature. Let me be clear – sickness is not always caused by a specific sin in our life, but it is a part of the total sin package that Adam embraced.

Sin means to miss the mark. Adam was created to never be sick. Sickness misses the mark of God’s desire for our health. Jesus Christ himself made reference to this fact during His ministry on earth. This took place when a group of men lowered their sick friend to Jesus through a hole they cut in the roof.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
Luke 5:20-26

In looking at this event in the life of Jesus, it’s important to note that the Greek word that we translate as forgive literally means to remove. Therefore, according to Jesus’ own testimony, in order to prove that He could remove sin – He removed sickness.

Jesus would not have made such an amazing statement unless it was true. This is one of the most important concepts we need to hear. When a person is healed, a manifestation of the sin nature is removed from their life.

In order to understand how healing works in the church, we must first come to grips with this truth. God feels the same way about sickness that he feels about any other sin – He wants it gone!

That’s good news. I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s God’s will to heal me. It is. I just need to understand the guiding principles about how that healing is accomplished in me.

Hopefully, over the next few posts I can bring those across. My prayer is that as you read these, you can lay hold of it. If the result is that your healing manifests, please share it with us in the comments so that God can get the glory for His work in you.

Question: How has God healed you in the past?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2015 in Healing, Ministry, Power of God

 

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How do You View Jesus?

JesusDo you know that how you view your relationship with Christ determines your walk? As I was reading Paul’s introduction in his letter to the Romans, it stood out to me. It made me stop and assess how I view the Lord.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God – the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 1:1-4

There’s so much here that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was that Paul talked about Christ’s human nature as being descended form David. I wondered about that. As a Jew; why not a descendant of Abraham?

I started to look deeper into it and found that this was a big part of Paul’s message.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…
2 Timothy 2:8

The fact that Jesus was in King David’s family was a big part of Paul’s message. It seems to me that Paul placed this on even par with Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The two go hand in hand in the Apostle’s preaching.

This truth is the key to Paul’s attitude toward the Lord. It’s something that we need to return to in our generation. Jesus Christ is King, Lord, and Sovereign. There’s no authority higher than Him in the entire universe.

We like to refer to the Lord in a number of different ways. We call Him Savior, Redeemer, and Friend of sinners. These titles are all true of Christ and speak to us of what He’s done for us. But I refer to them as “safe” titles. They carry with them no inconvenience to us.

Notice how Paul introduces himself in relation to Christ in that first verse. He doesn’t call himself a follower of Christ. He doesn’t say he’s a believer, a minister, or even a disciple. He refers to himself as a servant of Christ Jesus.

This means that above all, Paul’s mission in life was to please his Master. It wasn’t about doing something for the Lord “when he finds the time.” His life was devoted to serving Jesus.

This is the attitude we need to return to in this generation of the church. We need to once again discover the place of servanthood to Christ. Yes, He is our Redeemer, our Savior, our best Friend, and a whole lot more. But we live to please Him.

As we live the life of a servant of Christ, this is one of the fastest ways to receive His power and authority in our lives. We must pick up this attitude – “Lord, not my will, but yours be done in my life.”

Question: What role does servanthood play in your walk with the Lord?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2015 in Power of God, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

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You’ve Been Hand-Picked

MixFor the last couple of posts I’ve been talking about Peter’s opening remarks in his first epistle.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:1-2

I’ve talked about the fact that we are aliens, scattered throughout the world. Today I want to emphasize that we are chosen. That word chosen means selected, hand-picked, or favorite.

Why has God chosen us? The answer is simply because we responded to His call.

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
Matthew 22:14

We are all invitedcalled – but chosen means that you responded and put yourself in the position of being selected.

The Apostle, Peter described this truth in the verse we looked at above. He said that we were chosen according to the foreknowledge of the Father. Then we were sanctified by the working of the Holy Spirit in us.

That, in and of itself, is great news. But he didn’t stop there. He had to put in that tough little word – “for”. That changes everything. That means that there was a reason for all that He did. It can be summed up in one word – purpose.

It turns out that we are strangers, scattered and chosen for a purpose. What is that purpose? According the Peter, the purpose is obedience to Christ.

That word obedience literally means to hear under. You could also call it attentive listening. If I’m an alien, then I must listen to MY King. Being scattered in the world I have to listen for the Lord’s special instructions for me.

If I’m chosen, then I need to listen to the one who chose me. We must listen carefully and follow His instructions. If we don’t, then things will start to go wrong.

The problem is that listening requires time in the Lord’s presence. We live in a fast paced world. We look for the quick fixes. How can I get it done immediately?

The truth is that there’s no technology that can speed up the development of relationship. The only way is by spending time. Whether it’s with another human, or the Holy Spirit, I have to take the time necessary to get to know them. This fact will never change.

I am a stranger, an alien, to this world. I am scattered to be salt. I am chosen by God to obey Him. Therefore, I must listen attentively.

We need these attitudes if we’re going to be effective for Christ. Only then will we see a difference in the world around us. The world is desperately waiting for a church that knows who they are in Christ.

Question: How have you made a difference for Christ in the lives of those around you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2015 in Ministry, Prayer, Revival, The Church

 

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Salt or Sand

In my last post I looked at a verse from Peter’s first letter. He talked about the fact that we’re to live as aliens in the world. He goes on to speak more about it.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:1-2

The next thing Peter says is that we are scattered all over the world. Literally, he said that we are dispersed. In the context of this letter, he was talking to a people who had moved because of persecution.

But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
Acts 8:3-4

The enemy brought persecution on the early church thinking that he could extinguish it before it caught on. Unfortunately for him it was like putting water on a grease fire. They scattered everywhere, but they told the Good News of Jesus Christ wherever they went.

This should apply to us in our generation. Right now we’re scattered everywhere. There are Christians in schools, hospitals, offices, sports, and entertainment. If only we would “preach the word wherever we go,” we would see the same results that they had.

Our trouble is that we want to blend in. Jesus wants us scattered, but to keep our identity in Him.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”
Matthew 5:13

We are salt – a seasoning with a distinct taste. I know there are those who are on a low salt diet. I’ve tasted some of the salt replacement spices on the market. I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no true replacement for salt.

Most people can’t eat anything without some salt on it. When you scatter salt on something, it changes and enhances the flavor of it.

How can salt lose its saltiness? Back in the ancient world, salt was not as pure as it is today. There was always a small amount of sand in it. If that salt got wet, the true salt would dissolve away leaving only the sand. Anyone who’s tried to have a picnic at the beach on a windy day can tell you that sand does not make your food taste better.

When we compromise with the world in order to blend in, we’re trading sand for salt. We think that we’re doing so good for God. What does the world think?

According to Christ, we’re good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled. That’s kind of where the church finds itself today – on the fringes of society. We’re mostly ignored by the world. I guess we blended in too well.

It’s time for the church to rise up and be the church. Not just during your weekly service, but all week long. We need to show Christ to the world wherever we’ve been scattered. That’s what will change the flavor of the world around us.

Question: How have you portrayed Christ to your world lately?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Ministry, Revival, The Church

 

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