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We return to the Great Commission, this time in the Gospel of Mark and look at the emphasis on believing. What are the vital signs of our faith? Jesus in commissioning His disciples before his resurrection seems to emphasize signs that are to follow the believer. Signs, in the natural are: 1) indicators or pointers to a place/person/event 2) They are physical data of something that is not seen, e.g., vital signs of life. In the spiritual realm signs are things that manifest in the natural pointing to the power and presence of a living God.
I Power of Believing – Salvation
i) Gospel is powerful: We often share a lot with our colleagues and friends but Jesus is talking about preaching the gospel. Paul says in, Rom 1:16, that it is the power of God unto salvation. It changes the eternal destiny of people.
ii) Gospel is to be believed: Not believing has very grave consequences: condemnation – hell, eternity without God!
II Proof of Believing – Signs
Evidence of Faith: Signs must follow the believer and not vice versa.
i) Signs of Deliverance: Exorcism is a sign that follows the believer. Demons recognize our faith (Seven Sons of Sceva, Act 19:13). Jesus gave his disciples authority to cast our demons (Luk 10:17-20)
ii) Signs of Tongues: Unknown tongues will accompany those who believe! Not those who doubt. This is a sign for unbelievers (1Co 14:22, Act 2:4-8). What about a clean tongue – new confession, new speech?
iii) Signs of Protection: Preaching the gospel is fraught with danger. One of the signs to unbelievers is supernatural protection (e.g. Paul on Malta, Act 24:6-8).
iv) Signs of Healing: Laying on of hands for healing is for all believers. Peter’s shadow healed people (Act 5:15). Handkerchiefs and aprons that touched Paul were used to bring healing.
III Process of Believing - Substantiation
i) They had to wait first: For 10 days before Jesus completed his ascension and session at the right hand of the Father. They had to spend it in continual prayer until they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
ii) They had to move out: After being filled with the Holy Spirit.
iii) They preached everywhere: Again obeying the Great Commission.
iv) Signs accompanied the preaching of the gospel: The Lord worked with them. The signs that were worked were to confirm the gospel.
Let us have a belief check-up:
► Have you believed unto salvation?
► Are signs accompanying you?
► If not, what is required for that to happen?
► Are you going out and preaching the gospel?
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