(2 Corinthians 1:8-11)
Deliverance is one of the many messages we hear Christians speak about. It is often used as a means to draw people into churches.
There is a church near where I lived some years ago where they had a sign out front announcing a weekly prayer meeting for people to come and get healing. And this is a great draw card because nobody likes to suffer.
Deliverance was at the root of many of the miracles Jesus performed while He walked on the earth. He healed the sick, lame, blind, deaf, paralysed and gave release from demonic possession to many people as part of His ministry. These people were delivered from all manner of afflictions and many followed Him purely because of the deliverance He gave.
But there is more to deliverance and a greater purpose, which is available to all still today through Christ Jesus.
What Is Deliverance?
We see from many of the miracles Jesus performed that He delivered people from great afflictions. He had mercy and compassion on many as He worked these miracles of healing and restoration, and we need to understand that mercy is a foundation of deliverance ministry.
It is God having mercy on the plight of man as he lives in this world. This is the root of deliverance and the first main key to understanding deliverance. It is based on the grace, mercy and compassion of God for man in his weakened state. And it is through God's grace that we are able to be delivered and set free.
The second important key to recognise about deliverance, is that deliverance is about being released from some form of bondage.
Many of the people Christ, the apostles and disciples healed or cast demons from were actually being delivered from bondages that had kept them confined, often for their whole life or for many years. These people had suffered while in bondage until they received release through the power of God in His grace, mercy and compassion.
Release From Bondage
Now when we think of deliverance ministry today, we still often think about being healed or having demons cast out. Deliverance is also often spoken about in relation to people coming out of bondages like alcohol, nicotine or drugs.
Now while these things are all well and good, there is a greater bondage that all mankind suffers for which God has provided deliverance. We see a great example of what this is when Jesus healed the paralytic.
2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”-he then said to the paralytic-“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. – (Matthew 9:2-8)
Jesus was giving the scribes a message in this example, and it is one we need to learn today also.
Here was a man paralysed and unable to walk. He was seeking deliverance from his affliction so that he could be normal and able to walk. But instead of saying “Rise and walk,” and simply healing the man, Jesus said to him, “Your sins are forgiven.
Jesus was offering the man deliverance, not from the paralysis that had him confined to bed, but deliverance from his sins that afflicted his life and would prevent him receiving eternal life and entry to the kingdom of God.
It is the release from the bondage of sin that has mankind pinned down, oppressed and destined to die.
The point Jesus made to the scribes was that He had both the power and authority to forgive sins, and He proved it by then healing the man's paralysed body so that he could walk. This miracle was proof that Jesus could also forgive sins, and as we see later, it is only through Jesus Christ that we have forgiveness and removal of sins from our lives.
In Jesus Christ we have a complete and total deliverance from sin that clings so closely to all of mankind because sinfulness is part of human nature.
And because God knows that sin is so deeply ingrained into mankind, His deliverance does not end at just forgiving and removing our sins. His deliverance is complete because He provides us with the way to overcome all causes of sin in our lives so that we not only do not sin, but do not have have the urges to sin.
Walking in The Spirit
God has allowed man to receive the Holy Spirit after cleansing us from sin and releasing us from the law, which He achieved through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we enter into His death and resurrection through baptism, by faith, we are born again as new creations in Jesus Christ.
But although we are now new creations, no longer citizens of this world but citizens of God's kingdom, we need His help to now overcome the drivers of sin. We may be set free from sin, but the sinful passions of our flesh still remain that would cause us to continue to do what is wrong in God's sight. And we cannot be His people and continue to walk in our old sinful ways.
So to complete the deliverance God began in Jesus Christ, He gives us the Holy Spirit to work in us and on us on a daily basis to cleanse us from the passions, lusts and desires of our flesh and to complete the work of deliverance in our lives.
He does this by the processes of walking in the spirit. Whenever these evil desires well up in us to cause us to desire to do wrong, we are able to use the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome and crush the desires and to deliver us from ourselves.
When we choose to do what is pleasing in the sight of God rather than letting our flesh run wild to do whatever it wants, that is when we walk in the spirit. We use the spirit to overcome and deliver us from passions, desires and temptations that would lead us astray, as Paul wrote in Romans 8.
13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. – (Romans 8:13-14)
It is by using the power and strength of the Holy Spirit to put to death the deeds of the body and thus become the sons of God as we are led by the Spirit.
How do we do this?
There are many ways we can walk in the spirit. We can pray, read the bible, meditate on some passages of scripture, sing spiritual songs or choruses. But the best way to exercise the power of the Holy Spirit and to walk in the spirit is through speaking in tongues.
Now I know that many Christians do not have the gift of tongues and some do not even believe it is for today. But that is wrong thinking and the devil fooling people to believe what is wrong.
It is important to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues because it is through this that we can be fully delivered of all things preventing us from walking as we would wish to be able to please God. Every Christian should seek the gift of tongues to be able to use it to walk in the Spirit. And it is available to all today just as it was back in the early church.
Let me quote some scriptures to back this position up.
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – (John 3:5-8)
These are the words of Jesus. He said we must be born again of water (baptism) and born again of the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God. And how will we know a person has been born again of the Spirit? Just as we know the wind is blowing outside when we hear the sound of the wind, so too we know a person has been born again of the Spirit when we hear the sound of the Spirit. What is the sound of the Spirit? Speaking in tongues, for this was the sound that was heard each time people received the Holy Spirit. For evidence of this, note the following verses:
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. – (Acts 2:4)
44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. – (Acts 10:44-46)
And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. – (Acts 19:6)
In each case the people who received the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues as evidence of having received the gift of the Spirit.
Now I am not like some people who state that you cannot be saved unless you speak in tongues. That is a false belief because salvation is through faith in the working of God and what He did to offer us salvation in Jesus Christ. Speaking in tongues has nothing to do with whether a person will be saved or not.
But speaking in tongues and receiving the Holy Spirit is essential if we want to have deliverance from the passions, desires and temptations that continue to afflict us after coming to the Lord. The work of perfection that takes place or should take place as we are transformed I tot he image of Jesus Christ comes throug the work and power of the Holy Spirit. And this cannot happen if we do not first receive the Holy Spirit, that is, we are born again of the spirit, and part of that is receiving the gift of tongues to enable us to walk in the spirit.
As for this gift being available to all of us today and not just something that was given to the early church, note these words from Peter's oration after the disciples received the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues at Pentecost.
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” – (Acts 2:38-39)
Peter told the people to repent, be baptised and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Who did Peter say was able to receive this gift? He said those people and their children after them and to all who are far off.
We are those who are far off in both distance and time. But even more then that, the gift is promised to, “…everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Do you believe that God has called you to himself? I'm sure you do, as does every Christian. Everyone who comes to Jesus Christ is called of God. And as we have been called by God to himself, the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, with the speaking in tongues is for you, me and all Christians.
And we need the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues for it is by these that we are able to be fully delivered. Deliverance from sin is one thing, but deliverance from the temptations to sin and the passions, desires and lusts of the flesh to achieve perfection in Jesus Christ is possible only through receiving the gifts of God and the help of the Holy Spirit. And we need the gift of tongues for this.
All of God's gifts are good and all were given for a purpose to help us come closer to Him. This includes the gift of tongues and it is to be greatly desired. So seek it out for this is the path to a total deliverance in Jesus Christ. This is the path to transformation fully into the image of Jesus Christ and God.
You might also like:
Rise And Walk
Jesus Came To Save Not To Condemn
Have You Drunk The Living Water
The Truth Will Make You Free
Satan Cast Out
Bearing Witness To Jesus
Why Jesus Died
Pentecost And Receiving The Holy Spirit
Speaking In Tongues
Promise Of Salvation
Receiving The Holy Spirit
Baptising The Ethiopian
The Conversion Of Saul
The Most Important Thing
Mistaken For Gods
No Prison Could Hold Them
Christians And The Law
The Knowledge Of Sin
Sold Under Sin
The Holy Spirit At Work
Mystery Of The New Covenant