A Miracle of Radical Grace A True Story of Grace and Supernatural Power

Miracle of Radical Grace

Miracle of Radical Grace

I am very suspicious of many anecdotal tales of miracles. I believe in the modern day manifestation of miracles. I have seen miracles with my own eyes and I have been a participator in some cases. HOWEVER,  I do not believe that the cause of Jesus and His kingdom is helped by inflated, inaccurate, sketchy, “show time,” and overtly fraudulent claims to the miraculous. If anyone cares, I can personally  connect you with the individual involved in the following true story of a miracle of radical grace, who can verify it.

Continue reading

Surprised When “Doctrine” Isn’t Enough

surpBeing a life-long (now semi-lapsed) charismatic believer, I have seen a lot of things: some wonderful; some horrid. Many years ago I was imprinted by a powerful lesson about kingdom life beyond the boundaries of doctrinal understanding.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

You Can’t Race Chickens!

The matter of the gifts of the Spirit can get passions aroused. I confess to being a life-long charismatic. However, I also confess that there is a lot of nonsense in my branch of the family of God.

I recently shared a message with my friends in Spokane, WA on this topic, but I did it from a non-Pentecostal, non-Charismatic perspective. I shared from a perspective I never have before, and the meeting was uniquely “presenced.”

My premise is that the healthy expression of the gifts of the Spirit is not based on feelings, emotions, marathon praise and worship sessions, “anointing” or such things. They work by identity, faith, and love. We do not need to excel in the “anointing.” We need to excel in love.

If this topic is of interest to you, you might enjoy this message.

You Can’t Race Chickens

Copyright 2012,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.

Please follow and like us:

Cessationism Undermines the Gospel

This post is a an excerpt from our newly released book: Your Empowered Inheritance . . . Now!

Why is Cessationism so damaging to the gospel?

Cessationism’s effect on the essence of the gospel cannot be ignored. It must be dismissed as either heterodoxy or heresy because it undermines, or completely overturns, crucial elements of the faith delivered by Christ and the apostles to the church, for which Jude exhorts us to contend:

  1. Its view of the Lord’s humanity is deficient. In Cessationism, Jesus is God’s representative man soteriologically and ethically, but He is God disguised as a man for power. This is borderline Apollinarian heresy.
  2. It attributes manifestations of power as attesting to inherent deity, thus undermining Jesus’s self-attested subordinate dependency on the Father and in disregard to subsequent similar manifestations of power through those who were not divine in essence.
  3. Full realization in time and space of the believer’s union with the Lord is undermined. Cessationism limits the expression of the believer’s union with the Lord to Christ-like character.
  4. The mystery of incarnational truth (Christ is incarnate again in the church) is openly resisted.
  5. It is in opposition to God’s eternal plan for redeemed humanity.
  6. It has a pessimistic and nominal view of the nature of the church, its destiny, and its present role as co-regent of the universe with Christ through intercessory prayer.
  7. It separates God’s people from the temporal benefits and powers of living in the foretaste of the age to come.
  8. It under-realizes the significance, responsibilities, and privileges of being the eschatological people of God.
  9. It artificially separates the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify the believer from the power to manifest supernatural power through the same vessel.
  10. It has a deficient view of the effects of sin on man’s intellectual faculties. It mistakes the authority of the interpreter for the authority of Scripture.
  11. It minimizes or eliminates the modeling role of Jesus and the apostles. Historical passages of Scripture are said to have no doctrinal value in the present age, thus eliminating nearly fifty-nine percent of the New Testament as irrelevant to the modern believer.
  12. The doctrine of authentication of the apostles by signs and wonders is contrary to Scripture’s testimony that power alone, does not authenticate. God authenticates His message, not necessarily the messenger.
  13. Cessationism is equivalent to modern Pharasaism: holding orthodox (?) truth but in opposition to genuine spiritual manifestation.
  14. Occultists and New Age practitioners have filled the spiritual void caused by Cessationism in Western society.
  15. Reformed Cessationism has stripped the Protestant Church of spiritual discernment. Cessationist discernment is only a matter of agreement to Reformed theology,  doctrine,  and practice.

_______________________________

Copyright 2012,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. This is an excerpt of from our book: Your Empowered Inheritance . . . Now! available at www.goczn.com/srcrosby. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.

           

Please follow and like us:

Fully Alive

Anyone who has ever seriously pondered the human condition for any length of time, normally ends up at a universal set of basic questions:  “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where do I belong?”

Everyone, if still at all for a moment in his or her thoughts, longs for these things: a sense of being, a sense of purpose, and a sense of belonging. Our secular culture does a poor job of addressing these questions, (In our individualistic culture, particularly the sense of belonging). Our education system is based on acquiring information, not soul-wellness and life-functionality skills.

The soul pain that can come from never answering these questions is the source of much substance abuse. We will either find answers to these questions or we will medicate the pain of their absence. Some forms of medication are culturally, socially, and legally more acceptable than others. Being a workaholic is more acceptable to us than being an alcoholic, and being addicted to religion is more acceptable than being addicted to heroin, but these are all just narcotics for the soul, because we don’t know who we are, why we are here, and where we belong.

Often people turn to “the church” or “religion” looking for these answers, only to be sadly disappointed. Hoping to find meaningful answers to the deepest questions of the human soul, honest inquirers are instead met with insipid moralism, institutional inertia, corruption, ambition, the love of money, organizational politics, and petty jealousies. In many cases, Christianity, as it is commonly known and expressed, is the poster-child for irrelevance to anything that matters to the human soul. This should not be so, and it is to our great shame that those who profess Christ are often so inept at sharing what really matters. For this, we ask forgiveness.

It can be difficult to understand that it is often necessary to separate what Jesus Christ offers from what the “church” offers. They are not the same. In Him, you will discover that you are loved, and your identity in Him is: “beloved son/daughter/child.” In Him, you will discover that you are graced from heaven with unique talents and abilities that only you can provide to a world that needs them and is waiting for them. In Him, you will discover that there is a family, a real family, not an organization, of other fellow pilgrims where you belong in loving relationship.

A friend of mine once counseled me with advice that changed my life. Knowing my own inclination to try to work hard to make life better for myself (and others) he told me: “Steve, the world is not waiting for you to be more perfect. The world is waiting for you to be fully alive.”

What does it mean to be fully alive? To know who I am, to know what I have to give, and to know where to give it. Jesus is alive from the dead, so I can be fully alive. You can be too.

Copyright 2012,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.

Please follow and like us:

What is a New Testament Prophet?

Stereotypes regarding prophetic ministry have existed for centuries. For some, prophets have been dispensationally deleted from church existence, allegedly “passing away” with the death of the last apostle or the closing of the canon. Others may not be dispensationally inclined in their thinking and beliefs, but they have had either no experience, or some very bad experiences, with those who claim to be modern era prophets. Yet others have had full-on, cultic experiences with those who have claimed to be prophets. Can any path out of this mess be found?  I’d like to offer a suggested road map.

Like virtually everything . . . it’s all in the definition of terms.

Prophets, “prophetic people,” or people labelled by others as “being prophetic”  are often erroneously characterized as being severe, ungovernable, frenetic, specially gifted, loners, emotional, mystic, unpredictable, weird, flaky, spooky, confrontational, impractical, intuitive not rational, “spirit” over “mind” people, and more generalizations along this line, all of which are very unfortunate and inaccurate stereotypes.

The tendency to determine what is or is not prophetic, or who is or is not a prophet by the mere presence or absence of a charismatic endowment, rather than inner alignment to kingdom truth, is unfortunate. It often carries tragic results. 

The simplest definition of being prophetic is: hearing God and doing what He says!

Here are some qualities of bona fide new testament prophetic ministry from a new covenant and  Christ-centered perspective.

1. BEYOND GIFTEDNESS

Being able to accurately predict the future, deliver an accurate word of knowledge, or personal prophecy does not make someone a prophet. It might make him/her a gifted crook, new age psychic, or occultist. Delivering an accurate personal word (the normal expectation in prophetic-apostolic circles) is a legitimate, but minor facet of what it means to be a prophet.  It’s a wholly inadequate definition. Genuineness and spiritual authenticity from a Christian ministry perspective is determined by: character, message content, and gift operation. All three must be present to validate a ministry. Balaam gave an accurate prophecy, but he was not God’s prophet. John the Baptist did no miracles, predicted nothing, and he was the greatest prophet born of woman of that era. There is more to being God’s prophet than exercise of a gift.

 2. SIGHTEDNESS

A prophet has a unique, God-given ability to bring forth a clear unveiling of the Person of Christ, and His current purposes in the cosmos, through the opening of the Word of God, by the Spirit of God. John the Baptist, the greatest prophet of the old order, did not predict future events, nor did he do any miracles. He made Christ known. His message was not “this or that is going to happen,” but “behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”

3. ICONOCLASTIC

Prophets have the divine ability to tear down inner obstacles and outer systems that prevent the apprehension of Christ. Because of this ability, prophets are often unwelcome in the prevailing Christian culture. They do not preach a feel good, personal enrichment, life enhancement, false gospel. They are a threat to all systems that are not wholly Christ-centered and of kingdom ethos.

4. CONFORMING EMPOWERMENT

A prophet calls God’s people to conformity to those functions of sight through transformation and empowerment. It’s not enough to point out deficiency in individuals, systems, and structures. To do so is not a spiritual function. Critics point out deficiency. Prophets point out what is wrong and provide a path and means for remediation through grace empowerment.

5. MOTIVATION

Grace and a broken heart, not legalities and judgments of surface issues motivate a prophet. God has no dry-eyed prophets. Prophets live in, and minister from, the realities of the New Covenant, not the blessings and curses; fear and dread of the Old Covenant. Prophets build from a platform of internal ethics and accuracy of their lives, not from the exercise of their gift.

6. RELATIONSHIPS

Contrary to stereotypes, a prophet is relational. One of the signs of a dysfunctional prophet is an inability to functionally relate interpersonally and socially.

7. CONSCIOUSNESS

To be prophetic is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception that is alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us (Robert Wilson, Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel). NT prophets primarily evoke, or awaken, a Christ-consciousness in believers (Heb. 10:1-10), not awareness of future events.

8. BUILDERS NOT BLESSERS

Prophets are by nature primarily builders, not blessers. They’re concerned with strategic and long-term change–lasting internal configuration to Truth–not short-term emotional charge. Prophets are sent to a church to elicit obedience and conformity to divine Truth, not to bless people by telling them how wonderful they are, how rich they’re going to be, and how they’re going change the world. The notion that as a believer I can hear God, not obey Him, and still be “blessed,” is crazy. Godly understanding, plus conformity to the understanding, is the essence of being prophetic.

9. EQUALIZATION

Part of John the Baptist’s ministry was the filling of valleys and the bringing down of mountains. Prophets are concerned about equalization in all relationships, systems, and structures. In the new covenant era, being prophetic is for everyone (Joel 2, Acts 3, Num. 11), not just a few gifted specialists. True prophets have the ability to bring prophetic equalization to people, not just merely display their gift before people.

___________________

Copyright 2012 Dr. Stephen R. Crosby www.swordofthekingdom.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.

 

Please follow and like us:

Are you “Burned Out?”

Few things are as exhausting as doing something you are not suited for by gift (Christ-endowment), temperament, and calling. Regrettably, that is the norm for many believers based out of well-meaning but misguided understanding of faithfulness, love, and service to and for “the church.” We live like we are pack mules for ministry instead of sons and daughters of the Most High. We function out of religious obligation and moralistic duty, rather than from Spirit-empowerment. We either do not know how, or are not given permission to say: “No.”

A passive, indifferent, or ignorant attitude toward the gifts of the Spirit is not humility and submission to the providence of God. It’s the willful neglect of someone in need. When we fail to acknowledge who we are in Him, and what we have in Him, and don’t pass around our spiritual gifts, we are defrauding other members of the Body. The deposit of Christ in me has been given with the sole intent of spreading it around! It’s designed to meet the needs of others in the church and world. The gifts of the Spirit are not designed to provide weekly thrills for you and me in a church service.[i] However, if I have no sense of personhood and place (context, belonging), I can’t pass around what I am unaware of. Attempting to “be a Christian” by doing acts of love and service that are inconsistent with my identity (the unique image of God in me) will inevitably result in something called burnout.

Though usually regarded as the result of trying to give too much, burn out is the ultimate in giving too little. Burnout is indeed a state of emptiness, but it doesn’t result from giving all I have. It results from giving out of the nothingness from which I was trying to give in the first place.[ii] When the gift I give to another is integral to my identity in Christ, when it comes from a place of organic reality within me, it will renew itself—and me—even as I give it away. Only when I give something away that doesn’t flow within me do I deplete myself, and harm the other as well, for only harm can come from a gift that is forced, inorganic, or unreal.[iii] When I give something I don’t possess, I give a false and dangerous gift that looks like love but is, in reality, loveless.  It’s a gift given more from my need to prove myself and to be validated in other’s opinions of me, than from someone’s need to be cared for.[iv]

To honor our new creation nature means to acknowledge our limits as well as our potentials.  Caring for ourselves is not inherently selfish in a carnal way. Caring for ourselves fulfills 1Peter 4:10 by acting as a good steward of the only gift I have. I can’t offer to others what I have destroyed or neglected in myself. Limitations and liabilities are the flip side of our gifts. We are designed to live in a creative tension between our limits and our potentials.[v]

Limitations are transformed into serviceable instruments for kingdom advance the moment we get serious about them. We must honor our limitations in ways that do not distort our nature, and we must trust and use our gifts in ways that fulfill the potentials that God gave us.[vi] Our talents and limitations make up the total package of who we are. There is really no chance of integrated human personality or fruitful kingdom expression, until we come to a place of self-acceptance. I am not endorsing egocentric self-love, or being soft on sin. I’m talking about agreeing with what God has determined about me: my strengths and weaknesses. Mental and physiological health begins here. The powerful verse in Philemon 6 says that effective Christian living and transference of that life begins by acknowledging (experientially entering into) every good thing that is in me, in Christ Jesus.

This means it is “ok” to say “no” to demands and requests for which I am not suited. Saying no actually honors God. In small church environments where leaders are looking for any warm body to fill a need, there can be tremendous pressure to say “yes” to every request from leadership. Insecure leaders that don’t correctly understand their own identities and callings, can interpret “no” from a subordinate as being uncommitted to the vision, unsubmissive, or unwilling to serve. In reality, the person saying “no” just might be completely committed to the identity God has given him or her and has learned to honor Christ by saying no to things he or she is not suited for.

It has been my experience that the Lord will honor the “any-warm-body-will do” methodology for a season. However, ultimately His grace follows His endowment. If from a flawed definition of loyalty and service we expect people to do things they’re not endowed to do, we must not act surprised when we get the logical results of failing the grace of God.  Painful problems are imminent if systems and expectations don’t adapt and develop into a transformational-grace endowment and Christ awareness ethos instead of an any-warm-body, loyalty, and service ethos.

Satisfying fruitfulness is the birthright of every child of God. Burnout is a ripoff and if we find ourselves there, we need to get help, as something in the foundation of our faith, and our understanding of the Christian life is very askew.

Copyright 2012 This blog is an excerpt from our book: HEALING: HOPE OR HYPE? by Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, Eloquent Books, New York.  www.drstevecrosby.wordpress.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.


[i] I recently saw a billboard advertisement of a church that promoted itself as: “The Church of Excitement.”  If that doesn’t say it all about how broken our value systems are, I don’t know what will. Since when is the essence of Christianity excitement?  Only in an over-stimulated and cathartically addicted culture like ours.

[ii] Parker Palmer. Let Your Life Speak. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2000. 49.

[iii] Ibid., 49-50.

[iv] Ibid., 48

[v] Ibid., 52.

[vi] Ibid., 55.

Please follow and like us:

Giftedness and Identity

Anyone who has ever seriously pondered the human condition for any length of time normally ends up at a universal set of basic questions:  “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where do I belong?”

Our secular culture does a pitiably poor job of addressing these questions,[i] and sometimes the Church doesn’t do much better. Faith in Jesus Christ provides the only rational and deeply satisfying context/answers to these questions. However, we often do a poor job of communicating them to the world. We so easily obsess about questions that no one is asking except perhaps in our own Christian subculture.

For example, we engage in end-time speculations, predestination/free-will questions, baptismal formulas, Eucharistic issues, etc. These discussions and debates are more like “in-house family chatter.” They’re not unimportant, but they do not address the primal needs or questions of human existence. If the Church does not adequately provide answers for these inquiries, other philosophies and worldviews will, and have done so.

In our secular culture we answer the, “Who am I?” question (if it makes its way into our consciousness at all) with what we do: I’m a carpenter, I’m a lawyer, I’m a farmer, etc. Without a moment’s thought we answer a state of being question with an activity answer. We want to jump right to function—the what and how of things, and ignore the state of being issues. This is one of the many reasons why our culture is in trouble. We make time, make friends, make love, make money, and make a living. Our existence is defined by production—what we do. We have lost our sense of being and our sense of place.  Even after we are converted we often do not recover either of these.

My wife and I were once in church-search mode due to a geographic relocation. In more than one church we visited, the first thing out of the greeter’s mouth after “Hello my name is____,” was: “We have lots of opportunity to serve here!” This kind of greeting is put forth as something commendable. These dear people actually think others want to join the slaves on the Christian plantation. Nowhere in their approach was there a personal aspect like: “Hi, we’d like to get to know you.” The interior mental sound track was running like this:  “We have live ones on the hook. How can we put them to work?” This is such a clear representation of how deeply broken our Church culture is. There is simply no consciousness of any other way to process life. “Saved to serve” can be the unfortunate slogan that greets anyone who tenuously dares to engage us in our religious universe. This is not the way the kingdom of God works and it’s not the foundation for the ministry of spiritual gifts.

If you asked first-century believers who they were, they would not have answered by what they did, but by their relationships. They identified themselves from a perspective of personhood and inter-relatedness within a community. We identify ourselves individually and by what we do. Our last names betray us: Wolcott=wool cutter; Carpenter (self-evident); Fischer=fisherman; Crosby=dweller by the town cross; Fleischmann=butcher (flesh man); Smith=blacksmith; Bauer=farmer; Brewer (self evident).

Some have the remnant of something healthier from their cultural heritages that derived from areas that had a tribal or clan ethos (even in the West), rather than an individualistic one: O’Hara=son of Hara; Thomason=son of Thomas; Neilson=son of Neil; Larson=son of Lars; Ericsson=son of Eric, and so forth. Because it’s so second nature to us, we don’t realize that individualism is a relatively new phenomenon on the stage of human development. It was virtually unheard of on the planet as self-evident truth or the foundations of civil order, until the 18th century. To this day around the world, it’s a minority perspective of self-awareness.

Descartes’, “I think, therefore I am,” seems self-evident to us, but the people of the Bible would not have known what he was taking about. Their answer to the “Who am I?” question would be: “I have a place therefore, I am.” The place could be “in/from my father,” or my clan, tribe, village, or ethnic group. All these things contributed to an ancient person’s sense of identity. Some social scientists have coined the phrase the “Three G’s:” gender, genealogy, and geography to summarize how ancients got their sense of self-identity. It’s vastly different than ours and has profound impact on interpretation and application of Scripture.

While it’s important to separate eternal and universal kingdom values from the human cultural settings of the Bible, it’s also important to not unconsciously read our culture into it. The kingdom of God cannot be reconfigured to a Western 21st century framework of psychological presuppositions. Windows Vista won’t run on a software platform designed for Windows 3.1. God’s kingdom life and power won’t work using Western value system architecture. Attempting to do so will cause a spiritual systems crash. When spiritual systems crash, we are left to deal with devastated lives and human suffering, not just a frozen computer and a weeks worth of aggravation.

Since Jesus is the kingdom norm for all time, we can rest assured that the cultural values He manifested are also kingdom values. By taking on human nature there are certain elements of human life and function that Christ elevated to a universal kingdom dimension by the place and timing of His incarnation. We don’t need to become more Semitic/Jewish in a cultural sense, but we do need to pay attention to those Semitic values that have been promoted to universal status in the incarnation of Christ. It’s not always an easy job to sort out.[ii]

Before Christ did any ministry, act of service, or miracle for His Father, He had His identity confirmed. He heard an audible voice from Heaven saying: “This is my beloved Son.”[iii] At critical junctures in His life, the Father didn’t give Him more power, but reaffirmed His identity.[iv] Christ’s identity as the Son, and His relationship to the Father, was the place the devil relentlessly assaulted Him all the days of His ministry: “If you’re the Son of God . . .”  (Matthew 4:3);  “We know your father, you’re a bastard . . .” (John 8:41), etc.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that from the manger to the tomb, Christ’s identity was under nonstop attack. This is especially true in John’s gospel. Why? Because the devil knows that identity, not the anointing, is the basis of kingdom manifestation. If he could get Christ to waver in His sense of identity, then His mission would be undone. Since the disciple is not above his master, we should expect no less. If we want to see healing gifts and physical healings flow in our midst in greater power and frequency, then we must move off an anointing paradigm of ministry, and onto a healed identity paradigm of ministry.

Our identity can be damaged in different ways. Sin mars our perception of God’s image from the day we are born. People who promised to accept us or validate us if we would just be more like them, distort the image. That can include authority figures, parents, leaders, and peer groups.  Even the routine bumps and bruises of life experienced in this sin-stained world tend to mold us into an image other than God’s image for us. Thankfully, in our redemption Christ not only assures us of heaven, but He also renews the image of God in us.

The most beneficial and long-term effect of spiritual gifts will occur when they are in the hands of folks who’ve had their identity healed. Their doctrine doesn’t have to be perfect, and their behavior doesn’t have to be flawless. Yet knowing who Christ is, who He is in us, and who we are in Him, is the proper foundation for fruitful ministry. It’s the sure foundation.[v] The Scriptures are overflowing with references to our new identity.[vi] How utterly important it is to know:

  • Who am I?   Our creation (natural birth) and re-creation identity – personhood.
  • What am I?  What am I supposed to do? – Our talents and supernatural endowments.
  • Where do I belong? What is the context for my identity and expression? Community, Body placement, and activation.

These are like the necessary minimum three legs of a stool. Miss any one, and the stool tips over.  The sooner we sort these things out in our lives, the better off we will be. Young people could avoid numerous unnecessary sidetracks if these issues were addressed early in their faith. Paul understood the importance. The first three chapters of Ephesians are all about our new identity in Christ (what Christ has done for us, who we are in Him, etc.).  No behavioral requirement is mentioned until the pivot verse of Ephesians 4:1: “Now, therefore . . .” It’s a mistake to push people for discipleship or spiritual gift functionality before they understand their new identity incarnationally, not just intellectually. The greatest favor a would-be discipler can do for a new convert or disciple, is reveal the greatness of Christ and the disciple’s place in Him.

Since I’m mortal, my identity and empowerment must have a context for expression on this side of eternity.  My “in Him-ness” needs to find expression in space and time. We have a place in the heart of the Father and we have a place on earth. Identity cannot be expressed in a vacuum. It requires a context, a canvas, or a template upon which to operate. Identity’s context is community: family (natural), family (spiritual-the Body of Christ), and the world universal (we are ambassadors).  He not only restored us individually to Himself and His Father, but He also restores us to others: family, community, the Body, and the world. We are recreated for community and our message to the unbelieving world should be, join us in this fellowship (1 John 1:3 – koinonia, more on this later.).

The believer’s placement is multidimensional. All three essentials are in Him:

  • my personhood is new in Him (my new name).
  • my strength is from Him (what am I, what I can do).
  • my place is in His bosom, and in the Body.

The promise given to the overcomers in Revelation 2:17 and 3:12 is that a new name, literally a new identity, would be written upon them. Not only do believers get a new name, but the name of the city of God is also written upon them. These are two of the three legs of the stool: identity and a place of belonging.  The implication is that these are the context for gift expression and operation and they need to be firmly established early on.


[i] Our education system is based on apprehension of correct technical information, not life-functionality skills.

[ii] The challenge of all Bible interpretation is sorting out which values are transcultural and universal, and which are not. It’s an honest job, and beyond the scope of this writing to delve into.

[iii] Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22.

[iv] John 12:29.

[v] 1 Corinthians 3:11.

[vi] Please refer to Appendix D for a list.

Copyright 2011. This article is excerpted from our book: Healing: Hope or Hype? by  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, Eloquent Books, New York, New York. All rights Reserved.  www.drstevecrosby.wordpress.com. Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact stephcros9@aol.com.

Please follow and like us: