Summary: Power Encounters in Church Planting

Power Encounters in Church Planting

Learning Objectives

1. Learn the false presuppositions about the sources of power.

2. Discover why power encounters are important in church planting.

3. Articulate the basic principles of the nature of power encounters from the scriptures.

4. Learn how to deal out of victory in Christ with evil forces.

Introduction - Throughout history, men and spirits have sought after power. Much of life is a struggle over power and authority. Paul said it best in Eph. 6:10, We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power of this dark world.’’ The human soul and spirit are faced with a choice between the powers of darkness and the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. Satan will use any means available to him to accomplish his purposes. He works in men’s minds, to deceive, distort, and persuade them to deny the truth of God.

I. False Presuppositions on the Sources of Power

The devil tries to trick men through false animistic presuppositions toward power.

A. Pantheism The belief that man can control his own destiny and become like a god.

B. Reincarnation - The belief that man does not die but relives his life in the life of another form. This opens the way for traffic between the living and the dead.

C. Rationalism - The belief that through reason based on logic men can discern truth.

D. Relativism - The belief that something is considered true in relationship to something else. Man then becomes his own valid standard for what is true and right.

E. Ignorance - The failure to know the truth and discern error.

F. Traditionalism - The belief that traditions holds the key to truth.

G. Elitism - The belief that knowledge enables one to rise above the average person to a semi- superhuman status.

The devil tries to delude men’s minds into believing that by obtaining one of these forms of power each person can master himself and other powers or problems of life.

II. Why Are Power Encounters Important in Church Planting?

A. Ignorance of the biblical teaching on power encounters could hamper the effectiveness of the church planter.

B. A church planter should be able to identify the principle sources behind the opposition to evangelism in his area.

C. Failure to equip oneself with the weapons of spiritual warfare will spell sure defeat.

D. Trying to outwit Satan without a theology of power encounters is suicide.

E. Demonic forces are constantly trying to frustrate the qualitative and quantitative growth of Christ’s church.

F. Many people come to know Christ through some form of power encounters.

G. Our success as Christians is dependent on our ability to fight the good fight of faith.

H. We are commanded to expose the deeds of darkness in Ephesians.

I. Evangelization of every people group can only be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8)

J. We are engaged in a war between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of Christ. Knowing the resources we possess in Him enables us to go forth with power, authority, and confidence.

K. Many missionaries, evangelists, and church planters have been ineffective because they were unaware of the dimensions of spiritual warfare.

L. Many minor disappointments on the mission field can become major stumbling blocks without a knowledge of power encounters.

M. Many early missionaries were hesitant to discuss power encounters openly for fear of being mocked by their conservative peers. Many thought of power encounters as ``superstitious beliefs that were not to be taken seriously. As a result Satan was able to frustrate the plans of many missionaries subtly.

N. Many Christians have mistakenly thought that they were shielded from any demonic attack. They opened themselves up to all kinds of defeats, depressions, and distractions unknowingly.

O. Without a balanced knowledge of power encounters missionaries may see everything as a demonic attack. In reality a good theology of power encounters allows one to become more discerning, effective, and pleasing to the Lord in all respects. The fruits produced will endure.

P. We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s strategies. (2 Cor. 2:11)

Q. Those schooled in power encounters are to be able to address and confront, if necessary, the occultic groups, traditional religious leaders, and spiritistic practitioners who may be hindering the work of God.

R. Inadequately trained missionaries are subject to many attacks, confusions, and disillusionments.

S. Without a knowledge of power encounters the missionary will not be able to present Jesus Christ to all areas of life.

T. Power encounter equipped missionaries can deal with problems of syncretism, charms, and idol worship.

U. People are looking for power and will go to who can offer them the best means to attaining it. By teaching them about Jesus Christ, the God of all power and authority, we can present the total God to them.

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