Archive for November, 2010

Messages From the Saints

Posted in Testimony on November 23rd, 2010 by James Barron – 1 Comment

Hi James,

I have been very encouraged by your teaching over the last few months. I grew up in the Assemblies of God Church where my Dad was a Pastor. I was introduced to the “Finished Work” concept in 2002 by a very close friend of mine, John Cookman. We’ve had many great conversations over the years contemplating and growing in our understanding of the real “Good News”. In fact, quite a few times John would mention this “attorney from Florida who had a really great way of articulating all this stuff”. John said he had some cassette tapes of you speaking on the Finished Work but couldn’t ever find them LOL. About 4 months ago he told me he’d found you on the web and it has been a great encouragement to hear the Truth in your teaching. I find it so perfect how you almost always share the exact same concept but with a new perspective, a new wrinkle, a new layer, or a new approach from a different angle. There is always something that illuminates more understanding in me or just simply affirms and encourages me in the Truth. My appetite for understanding grows and grows, as does my desire to share this REAL Good News with others. I am continuously asking God to remove the obstacles that impede understanding and to let us see, feel in weight, know in volume, just how vast his Love for us is… that He would re-make us into Sons and Daughters of God through Jesus Christ. Wow, what GREAT NEWS!

There has been an idea bouncing around in my head for a while and I’d like to share it with you. I think 21st century believers are missing out on the exponential spiritual growth, understanding, revelation, inspiration, affirmation and encouragement that is produced from consistent, ongoing, sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ with each other! Talking, meditating, contemplating, encouraging and abiding TOGETHER in Love… real fellowship!!

The spoken word has tremendous power. I used to think “Faith comes by hearing… and hearing by the word of God” meant, our faith grows by reading the Bible and listening to preachers. But it also grows by hearing the Word, Christ, from other believers. The Word that was in the beginning is the same Christ that lives in us now. We are in Him, He is in us. The Word, Christ, lives in us! Our faith grows when we talk about and contemplate the great mysteries of Christ together. We hear the Word, Christ, Truth, spoken by other believers. Even when we speak “little” truths or things we don’t consider to be “profound, earth shattering revelations”, we are still sharing and hearing Christ, and our faith is growing. Ephesians 4:11-32 addresses this very truth. Paul clearly means to include ALL believers in 4:16 “… by what every joint supplies… each individual part” speaking the Truth in love, we grow up into the very fullness of Christ, in all aspects of Christ, into the very stature of Christ. WOW! Then Paul plainly tells us in 4:25 “… SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR…”. Paul isn’t just saying… “don’t tell lies”. He’s emphasizing the importance of sharing the Good News, talking to each other about the awesome Truth of Christ in us. Many, many times I’ve been rejuvenated and empowered by conversations with other believers as we have shared Truth and Christ together.

When I think about this idea, I always think about the 1st century church. I haven’t studied early church history but it’s pretty obvious just from reading Acts that some really awesome stuff was happening around them. It’s not difficult to imagine how the everyday routine of 1st century believers would be so vastly different from our modern society and culture. I would imagine the everyday routine required much more face to face social interaction. Women went to the local well together. Extended family living was probably the norm. They didn’t get in their cars and put on the radio. They mostly walked along side their fellow towns folk. The very nature of survival in the 1st century required cooperation. On days when there was not as much work to do, people were already among family and friends who lived right there… or within walking distance. As a result, I would imagine the believers of the 1st century were in constant fellowship together in Christ. I bet they were continuously reveling in the Good News. I can imagine how they would get together daily to hear how the News was spreading… to share their own stories or to tell of the events and miracles happening in the communities around them. I imagine they probably got together when there was no new information to share and just basked in the awesomeness of the Good News… they’d hear this one speak a little and that one speak a little. I can imagine all these different size groups randomly connecting on street corners or gathering in houses just to share in the Good News. The amount of encouragement, understanding and growth must have been incredible! Their faith was increasing hour by hour, day by day. No wonder they were all in one accord. No wonder their numbers were being added to daily. No wonder miracles and supernatural events were happening on a regular basis. The sick would line up where Peter walked and underneath his passing shadow they were healed!! Are you kidding me??!!

We are missing out on this incredible thing that happens when believers speak to each other, fellowship, and have life together in REAL UNITY and IN LOVE, IN CHRIST, IN TRUTH, for the purpose of encouragement, for the purpose of the BUILDING UP OF THE BODY OF CHRIST!….. ALL THE TIME, CONTINUOUSLY WITHOUT STOPPING, EVER!!! LOL! I’m talking about a continuous contemplation and meditation together, a sharing of Truth, a celebration of the Good News, a basking in the awesome mystery of the New Creation, a reminding and affirming of who we are… Sons and Daughters of the One True God the Creator of the Universe!, Christ in us, we in Him, more than conquerors, resurrected into New Life, the Abundant Life of Jesus Christ our Saviour!!! Is it really 24/7 without breaks or dinner or jobs? I don’t know. Should we all sell everything we have today and start communal living tomorrow? I don’t know. But I believe in my heart this is a very important key or step or activity or phase that is somehow importantly linked to all of us experiencing…. Heaven on earth!? A new outpouring of God’s Love!? the FULL manifestation of Christ!? Being built up into the full STATURE of Christ!? ALL that we are meant for as New Creations!? How convenient for the enemy that believers are so divided, so mis-taught, looking at themselves, searching for sin, feeling defeated, depressed, tired, over-worked in church and in their jobs, busy busy busy etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. It’s no secret that the power of positive thinking works. WE HAVE THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING TO THE INFINITE POWER!!!!!!! WE HAVE THE WORD, CHRIST IN US, WE ARE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD! NEW CREATIONS! MORE THAN CONQUERORS!

In short, we need more fellowship, we need to be connected, REALLY connected. There is so much NEW LIFE that we experience when we look each other in the eye, put our hand on our brothers shoulder and speak THE WORD!!! We hear ourselves speak Christ, our brother hears Christ, and those around us who we aren’t even talking to hear Christ!!! HOW AWESOME! Can you imagine how much fruit would show up in an environment like this? It would be effortless.

I could go on but I will stop. I love talking about these awesome things of God… Sometimes they are “what ifs”… sometimes they are simple truths. God is so good! I really hope this big long email is encouraging and inspiring to you. Your feedback on this idea is welcomed. I’d love to get down to Orlando at some point to meet you and other believers who are embracing the real Good News. If you ever travel to Nashville please contact me. We would love to fellowship with you!

Joy and Peace to you and your family!
Jeremy

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Hey James,

I am listening your sermon all the way from China!
When is your book coming up?

Well done brother!
Victor