Aug 11, 2008
Someone recently asked me if I have a "Messiah Complex."
I've always believed the Christian responsibility of ministry is that we are to find lost people who are buried beneath a mountain of sins and lead them to Jesus, so they can find forgiveness for their sins. In other words, unless they come to Jesus, they cannot find forgiveness for their sins, so it's my job to get them to Christ.
Then one day I came across a Bible verse I've read a thousand times before, but never took the time to contemplate its meaning. It's one of those verses that totally messes with your mind and the implications of what's being said are so enormous that we commonly race to read past it because it makes us nervous. I've never once heard a Pastor preach on this verse and in my entire life, I've never seen anything written on it. It's just one of those passages that's clearly there, but we act like it's not, because accepting what it says could alter the landscape of our entire religion as we know it.
I love this verse for several reasons. First, it completely destroys many Pentecostal doctrines that claim that speaking in tongues is evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit. The disciples clearly received the Holy Spirit long before the upper room experience in the book of Acts.
The greatest revelation found in this verse, however, has to do with our authority as believers and children of God. We would all agree that God's dealings with mankind are always done through people, but when you throw forgiveness into the pot, I wonder how many people are willing to believe that as well. The implications of what is being said through this scripture are astounding.
Remember when the people lowered the paralyzed guy down through a hole in the roof so Jesus could heal him? Jesus looked at the Pharisees and said, "Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." And the man got up and went home (Matthew 9:6). The claim that Jesus was making was nothing short of spectacular. He was literally telling these people that he had the authority to administer forgiveness to people on God's behalf.
This was hugely significant because the Jewish religion up until that point completely encompassed getting forgiveness. All the rituals, the slaughtering, the blood sacrifices, the burnings and ceremonies were for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness from God for their sins. Now this guy Jesus says that he has the authority to administer that same forgiveness just because he says so. It's a wonder they didn't try to kill him right then and there. Such a claim was so lofty and humongous, that his words surely came across as blasphemous to these teachers of the law.
There are many other times in Scripture where Jesus said, "Take heart; your sins are forgiven." And it seems that this was the thing that freed people up so they could come to God. He took away the very thing that was not only weighing them down but was also blinding them to the Father. He administered forgiveness of sins BEFORE they came to the Father. Think about that. We have been taught that forgiveness only comes AFTER we come to the Father. Consequently, most people avoid ever coming to the Father because their sins are keeping them from Him.
Could it be that we have this same authority to proclaim forgiveness of sins before people even come to God to ask for forgiveness, because of what was accomplished on the cross? Can we speak on God's behalf and declare things from heaven's perspective?
I met a guy once who I could tell was miserable in his life. He was in bondage to about a thousand things and his spirit seemed to be hollow. His eyes conveyed an interest in knowing God like I did, but he told me that couldn't talk to God because his sins were too great. He was terrified of even approaching God. He asked me if I thought God would forgive him and I responded by saying "I forgive you." I explained that the decision to forgive him was also mine because I am now a son of God and a brother to Christ, and I decided YES. This guy's life was turned around and he eventually came to the Lord.
I think that Christianity isn't working in America because we have been given the decision to either forgive or not to forgive and most of us have chosen to withhold forgiveness. Unfortunately, most Christians don't even know that they have this power. They believe it's all up to God and it doesn't matter how they feel. We tell people to go to Jesus and get forgiveness, yet WE are Jesus to this world and we refuse to forgive them. My advice to all Christians: Don't send people to God until YOU have forgiven.
It gives more meaning to Ephesians 4:32 where Paul says: "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
It's so sad that today most Christians are more concerned with whether or not they can administer healing than they are about whether or not they can grant forgiveness. Imagine the power of being able to administer forgiveness to hurting people on behalf of God Himself! Just think of the work we could do here on earth. We could literally set people free everywhere we go.
To me, this really comes into true power when you think about how many people refuse to forgive themselves. No amount of forgiveness on God's part will ever matter one iota if you haven't forgiven yourself. Think about it. God knows that it's this way and that is precisely why forgiveness has been placed in our hands. Until you do it, it's NOT done. God and all of heaven wait for you to forgive yourself because then and only then is the power of God's forgiveness released unto you. If you don't forgive yourself, you will remain in bondage, you will remain in death, you will continue to waste away and you will continue to be paralyzed. Though God will have forgiven you totally, you will not be able to reap the benifits of that forgiveness until you've forgiven yourself.
A husband my think his wife is the most beautiful woman in the world, but if she thinks she is ugly; his opinion of her is useless. He can fall all over her and tell her a million times how wonderful he thinks she is, but until she believes it and gives herself permission to believe it's true, it won't make a lick of difference. The power is simply not released until she decides for it to be.
I have discovered, for many, the revelation they are hoping to receive from God in terms of understanding the grace message is completely contingent upon them receiving forgiveness from themselves. When that happens, something clicks in their spirit and they suddenly understand the grace message. I think our unwillingness to administer this forgiveness to ourselves is the biggest roadblock to accepting this revelation of the message. It's that important.
Many Christians will be offended by this post because they'll read it as though I'm saying that all forgiveness comes only through us and unless we forgive people, they won't be forgiven. Nothing could be further from the truth. Others will claim that i'm trying to make us equal with God. Still others, will try an warn everyone against me and the dangers of believing this. How sad. God forbid, that anyone should be led astray by this and accidently become really really forgiving.
People experience every part of God THROUGH HIS PEOPLE. His love which is the very essence of who He is, is experienced through people. God's children are the visible representation of God on this earth. Becoming Christ like and having the mind of Christ means that we can know and speak on behalf of the Father in relation to others. This is essentially what this post is about. Nothing more - nothing less.
Someone recently asked me if I had a "Messiah Complex" and without hesitation, my answer was, "Yes - Absolutely, I do." I honestly believe that until we all develop a Messiah Complex, we will never touch the world.
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