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Should Churches Have Healing and Deliverance Ministries?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2022 6:30 am

Should Churches Have Healing and Deliverance Ministries?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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April 28, 2022 6:30 am

Episode 955 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. Who are the branches that are cut off in John 15?

2. How can I know I am really a Christian?

3. There are churches near me that try to do healings, deliverences, and being slain in the spirit. Is this biblical? Should we be doing things the apostles did in the New Testament? I don’t want to join the church if these things aren’t right.

4. How do I make sure that my conversations are not consumed with politics and other philosophies?

5. Was the Holy Spirit working prior to pentecost?

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Should churches have healing and deliverance ministries?

That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, I'm Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. The CORE, that's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on YouTube, and you can send us a message that way through the YouTube channel. Plus, you can always email us your question. Here's our email address. It's questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up, Adriel, we do have an email from one of our listeners named Jolene. She says, Who are the branches that are cut off for not producing fruit in John 15 2-6? Are those that Jesus described as in me the same as those who are like the seed that grows along the rocks and appears to be followers before withering away?

What an excellent question. I love that we get to open up the broadcast today by looking at Jesus' words in John 15. I just want to read this text to give us some context. Verse 1, Jesus said, I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit.

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine. Neither can you unless you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is thrown away like a branch and withers, and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. Okay, so I think part of the answer to this question, it's important to just figure out what does it mean to abide in Jesus, and this is language that John uses throughout his gospel. Actually, back in chapter 6, Jesus himself talked about abiding in him, and listen to how he defined it there. In John chapter 6, verse 56, he says, Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. This is sort of a theme in John chapter 6. In verse 47, he said, Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. And then in verse 54, he says, Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. And so there's this idea of believing in Jesus, feeding upon him, resting in and receiving his grace for us, and being at home in that, if you will, abiding in that reality, that truth, and that's what leads to fruitfulness in the Christian life.

And so I think key to abiding in Jesus is faith in him, faith in the gospel. And so those who are cut off are those who are faithless, those who maybe have a sort of a formal relationship to Jesus and the church, but don't truly believe these things. And I think that that's confirmed by a parallel text, actually in the book of Romans, where Paul picks up this analogy or this illustration of branches being cut off, and he says in the book of Romans, in Romans chapter 11, here he's talking about unbelieving Israelites. Listen to what the apostle Paul says there. I'll start in verse 17. He says, If some branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, speaking of the Gentiles, were grafted in among others, and now share in the nourishment of the root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches.

If you are, remember, it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. And you will say, branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in. That is true, they were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith.

So do not become proud, but fear. And so Jesus right here in John 15, or there in John 15, and then Paul here in Romans chapter 11, seems to indicate that abiding in Jesus looks like faith in Christ as if we're grafted into the vine, if you will. And those who are broken off are those who have maybe a formal relationship to Christ and the things of the church, but they don't have this vital relationship of faith in him.

His life is not flowing in and through them. It's only insofar as Christ is in us, working by the power of his Holy Spirit, that we bear fruit. And so it's this unbelief that I think is being spoken of there in John 15 and confirmed by Paul there in Romans chapter 11. Brothers and sisters, we can have a formal relationship to the church. People can go to church, have the name Christian, if you will, refer to themselves as Christian, and yet not have a vital relationship with Jesus through faith, whereby they're filled with the Holy Spirit.

I think we've seen this before. And so Jesus is talking about that vital union that we're called to have with him, that organic vital union that we're called to have by faith. And it's only through that union that we are fruitful in the Christian life as the grace of Jesus is flowing in us and through us.

But those who are unbelieving, who reject that gospel, they're cut off. And so really, thank you for that question, Jolene. May the Lord bless you. Jolene, thanks so much for being a regular listener to Core Christianity.

We really do appreciate you. Let's go to Eric on the line from Iowa Falls, Iowa. Eric, what is your question for Pastor Adrian? Can you hear me? Hey, Eric, I can hear you.

Hi. You know, maybe it's related to the question I just covered, but some days I wonder, am I really a Christian and know about Jesus and he died for my sins? Did I pray the right prayer? You know, am I really a Christian? You know, I told trust in Jesus, he died for your sins. How do you know you're really a Christian? What do you do on days you don't feel like a Christian? You know, you have doubts.

I just wanted to know what you say or what you'd recommend. Yeah. Well, Eric, I appreciate your question and I know that you're not alone, that many people struggle with this. How can I know that I truly belong to the Lord?

It's one of the questions we get, I think, most frequently here on this broadcast. And I think if you're basing it off of, if we're basing it off of our feelings, I feel like a Christian today. And usually, you know, when the feelings are good, it's because, you know, we've been faithful to the Lord and we're going to church and we're, you know, reading our Bibles. And it's, you know, they haven't struggled with, you know, those sins that I tend to struggle with, whatever, you know, if you feel like you're doing well and you have confidence that you're a Christian, but then all of a sudden, you know, when you don't feel that, maybe when you're struggling with some sin, you wonder, well, maybe I'm not even really a believer.

And so the feelings can come and go. And so we don't want to put our confidence in our feelings. Your confidence, Eric, has to be in the objective word and promise of God. So it's less about how you feel and more about what God has said in his word.

And so I go to passages of scripture, promises like the one that we find in 1 John 5, verse 13, where John says, I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life on the basis of what? On the basis of faith. What is faith? Faith is an empty hand that receives Christ and all of his benefits. It's not the strength of your faith that saves you. It's not that you have a perfect faith.

I think each of us can pray like that man in the gospels. I believe, Lord, but help my unbelief. It's the strong savior, Jesus, who saves you, who makes you his. And even a weak faith, a mustard seed sized faith, can lay hold of a strong savior. And so your confidence, brother, has to be not in how you feel, not in the strength even of your faith, but in the strength of Christ. And what God has said in his word, that promise, that when we go to him, confessing our sins, he forgives us.

And so I would encourage you, as you have these doubts, to dig into the scriptures and especially to focus on the sweet promises of the gospel that we see throughout the pages of the Bible. The promises of the forgiveness of sins. The promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Knowing that when you pray for those things and you ask for that, I mean, Jesus in the gospel of Luke says, if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts, how much more will your father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?

These are things that God wants to give you. God is gracious and good and merciful. And so we go to him, turning away from ourselves and confident in his goodness and mercy and clinging to those promises, brother. And if you've done that, then I can say to you, you're a Christian.

Now let me ask you another question, Eric. Have you been baptized? I have been baptized as a baby and then later on as an adult. And are you a part of a church right now? Do you go to a church on Sunday mornings? I do, yeah. I go to church on Sunday mornings.

Yeah. I mean, even right there, I think just having church community and fellowship with brothers and sisters, being under the ministry of the word, you know, in one sense, I think that should also be a comfort to you, right? You know, when we're, you know, in open sin and we're under the discipline of the church and the people around us are saying, yeah, there's a real issue here, right, then I think there can be some questions. But for you, being a part of a church, going, being under the ministry of the word, receiving the promises of God, serving presumably there as a part of the community, there are going to be days where you feel really confident in the grace of Jesus, when you feel confident even in how you're doing in your spiritual walk.

And there are going to be other days where you're struggling, especially as you look within. And again, I would just say, fix your eyes in those moments on the promises that God has given to you in the gospel to forgive all of your sins solely on the basis of what his son has done, not on the basis of your own righteousness, Eric. And so may God bless you and be with you and comfort you and strengthen you in that great truth of forgiveness.

God bless. Eric, we want to point you to our website for a great resource. It's actually a core guide. It's called Nine Ways to Know You Are Really a Christian. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash guides.

Again, corechristianity.com forward slash guides to look for nine ways to know you are really a Christian. Well, our phone lines are open right now if you have a question for Adriel, and here is the phone number. It's 833-843-2673.

We'll be taking calls for the next 10 minutes or so, 833-THE-CORE. We also have a very unique resource that we want to offer you today. It's including some of our very best content. Yeah, Bill, we have an offer that combines some of the best questions and answers we've received on the show about faith and family. I think it's fair to say that kids ask some of the best questions, tough questions, and if we're honest, we're not always prepared to answer those questions. But our families can be a training ground. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, or sibling, we can help each other face the difficult questions that involve our faith and families. That's why here at Core Christianity, we've created a new resource on faith and family.

It's available on our website for a gift of any amount. This collection includes questions and answers from the show, articles, and bonus materials about marriage, parenting, sexuality, and dating relationships, how to answer kids' questions even, and how to care for aging parents. Core Christianity exists to help answer tough questions about the Bible and the Christian faith. When you get these important resources, you support us to continue to produce and broadcast the show, create more Bible studies, and distribute free Christ-centered resources to many people that need them.

Get ahold of that resource. You know, your support is so pivotal in keeping Core Christianity on the air, and your donations help us add to our Bible study collection and create even more resources for those who are looking for answers to the tough questions about the faith. To find out more about this particular resource, go to corechristianity.com forward slash family. Again, corechristianity.com forward slash family to look for the faith and family collection.

It's great stuff. Well, let's get back to the phones. Here's a voicemail we received from one of our listeners.

This is Julia. I wanted to know if there's churches that are in Kentucky that go as far as like healing, delivering, laying hands, touching people, and they fall out on the floor. And I just wanted to know, is this biblical, things that the apostles did in the New Testament? And that's my question.

I don't know if this is the right church, and I don't know if this is something that I would like to get involved in, if it's not right. Thank you very much. Have a wonderful day.

Hey, Julia. Thank you for your question. Of course, this is something that characterized the ministry of our Lord Jesus, wasn't it? Exorcisms casting out demons. It seems like it was also a part of the apostolic ministry in the first century. And clearly what you have there in the gospels, in particular, is something definitive that was taking place. Jesus talked about binding Satan, the strong man, so that he might plunder his house. And we know, according to Paul in the book of Colossians, that the principalities and powers have been disarmed. That is, the demonic forces have been disarmed by the cross of Jesus Christ. So there's been this definitive victory over the evil one through what Jesus Christ has done. We have victory over Satan.

We conquer the evil one by faith, if you will, and in Christ. Now, I don't believe that we're called to replicate the ministry of Jesus and the apostles. I think that was a distinct ministry for a particular time, exemplifying the fact that Jesus had come to bind Satan.

We have to be careful that we're not trying to be new apostles, if you will, or bring about a brand new Pentecost. That was a distinct event in the history of redemption. And actually, there were people even in the times of the New Testament who got themselves in a lot of trouble trying to have deliverance ministries. I'm thinking of the book of Acts in Acts chapter 19. It talks about the sons of Sceva, a group of itinerant Jewish exorcists who were going around trying to cast out demons in the name of Jesus. They were saying, I adjure you by the same Jesus whom Paul proclaims, trying to cast out demons, and what ended up happening is they were overtaken by an individual who was demon-possessed. The evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them, and overpowered them so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded, which is just kind of a crazy story there in Acts chapter 19.

But this is serious stuff. I don't think that this is where churches should be focusing. I think you want to be in a church that's focused on the simple teaching of the scriptures, helping you to grow in your understanding of what God has revealed in his word, doing the things that Jesus said the church should be doing in terms of worship, the ordinances, baptism, and the Lord's Supper. In one sense, these things are all very ordinary.

I think people are attracted to you. I want to see the signs and wonders. I want to see the exorcisms, that kind of a thing. But friends, the ordinary Christian life is supported by faithful Bible teaching, faithful administration of the ordinances or sacraments that Jesus gave to the church, growing together in a community of love and faith and fellowship. That's not easy.

I know that's not easy. Being a good member of a local church requires time and effort and care and sometimes sacrificing comforts. But it's there that we really grow in the Christian life. I would encourage you, Julia, to get into a church that's focused on those things, not churches that are overly consumed with trying to have deliverance ministries and replicate the ministry of Jesus or the apostles. We are not new apostles today, and I'm not Jesus Christ. We're trying to point people to the doctrine of the apostles and to the Savior, Jesus Christ, through his word. God bless.

Some great counsel. Thank you for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's go to Christian calling in from Springfield, Missouri. Christian, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Good afternoon, guys. So my question is, as we're discussing with other believers, maybe the way how things ought to be, how do we make sure, I guess as a personal check, that we are staying biblically based, you know, in those ought to discussions versus drifting too far into like a different political or philosophical tradition? Yeah.

I mean, it's a good question, right? I mean, I think fundamentally we just want to make sure that the primary thing that's informing us, shaping us, Christian, in our lives is the word of God. There are so many voices that are vying for our attention, especially with the news and media and social media and with political tension and things like that.

You know, there's a lot of discussions that are happening and information that we can take in. So I would just say that fundamentally what you're going to want to make sure you do, what we all want to make sure that we do, is that you're grounded in God's word first and foremost. So as you hear these discussions, you're able to apply wisdom, discernment from the word of God to the things that are happening and saying, okay, you know, this is good.

I think that this is how we're called to love our neighbors. We're thinking about a broader issue in society, a political question, those kinds of things. We're applying the truth of scripture, the truth of God's word, to these situations where it's applicable.

And so I think one of the things I see is there's so many people that are consumed by some of these debates, and they're so focused on them through social media and, you know, the different sort of back and forth that's out there on Twitter or on the news or whatever it is. And we can become so consumed with those things that we're not drinking deeply from the stream of God's word. And so I would say make sure that you're doing that. And as you do that, you pray for wisdom, you pray for humility, you pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that you could, with wisdom, apply the word of God and the teachings of scripture to the broader issues of our day. And I think that's what you want to do, and you want to be able to do that from the Bible. But again, you're going to have to let the scriptures be the guiding principle with the wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives. And so I know that that's sort of broad and sort of big, big picture, but I think that that's key because I think so often we can sort of let the Bible go by the wayside, and we're caught up in all of these discussions.

And there's a lot of heat, there's a lot of argumentation, there's a lot of debate. What we need is humility, and we need the wisdom that comes from God's Spirit and that grounding in scripture to be able to actually speak something that's worthwhile into this world and into these discussions. And so may God bless you in that, and may God fill you with His Spirit and give you wisdom and insight in His Word as you have these kinds of discussions with the people around you.

And let me just say, what an opportunity. This is something that a lot of people want to talk about on different sides of the aisle, if you will. People want to get into debates about politics and whatnot, Christians, non-Christians alike. It can be an opportunity to bring the gospel to bear, to identify, okay, people can see these real problems in society, whatever they might be. And maybe we can say, yeah, we agree that this is a problem, but then being able to bring the truth of scripture to bear and ultimately the promises of the gospel to bear, it could be an open door for us to share Christ and His love with people who ordinarily wouldn't get to hear about it. And so use it as an opportunity also to talk about Jesus, I would say. God bless. Great question from Christian, and I appreciate his discernment. We had a similar situation come up in a small group I was in where it drifted very political, and we had to bring it back to the truth of God's Word, so thanks for that, Christian. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We have time for one more call. Mary is on the line from Tennessee. Mary, what's your question for Adriel?

Hey, thank you so much for taking my call, and I love the show. And my question today is—it's kind of a two-part question—when Jesus died on the cross, we had this discussion in my Bible study, when Jesus died on the cross and the centurions, you know, all of those things happened—the earthquakes, the curtain being rent from top to bottom, and all the people coming out of the grave, and all of those wonders that happened when he actually died. And the centurion said, oh, surely this was the Son of God, right?

And the question in the Bible study was, you know, how did the centurion know that that was the Son of God? And I said, the Holy Spirit. And he said, well, no, because the Holy Spirit didn't come around until the day of Pentecost. And my question is, if it wasn't the Holy Spirit—I mean, I'm not sure I understand that answer, because the Holy Spirit is co-eternal and co-equal as the triune God.

Great question. So you're absolutely right. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity, eternal, you know. And so it's not that the Holy Spirit began to exist at the day of Pentecost or something like that. It's that now, through Pentecost, the Church and the world have this unique relationship to the Holy Spirit that they didn't have prior to Pentecost. But the Spirit of God was still at work in people's lives, even in the Old Testament, coming upon people. So it would be incorrect to say the Spirit of God was not working prior to Pentecost.

Certainly the Spirit was at work. And if the centurion in Matthew chapter 27, verse 54, is confessing Christ as Lord, truly this was the Son of God, it would only be by the power of the Holy Spirit. It seems like there, what's being highlighted by Matthew is just that he's overwhelmed. The centurion is overwhelmed by the things that he's seeing, you know, the earthquake and these wonders associated with the crucifixion of Jesus. He just has to say, this was the Son of God. And I would say, yeah, if this is a genuine profession of faith, if you are recognizing who Jesus is, it's only by the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit of God is working there, has been working throughout the history of redemption and is working today as well. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-25 15:32:10 / 2023-04-25 15:42:07 / 10

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