Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 28, 2018

“And He *summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority” – “HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” – “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” – “for it is God who is at work in you”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 6:7-13.

And He *summoned the twelve and began to send them out in pairs, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits;  and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belt— but to wear sandals;  and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.”  And He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave town.  Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.”  They went out and preached that men should repent.  And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.”  Mark 6:7-13.

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The twelve disciples were able to cast out many demons and heal many people, because Jesus gave them authority to do so.

When we preach and teach and make disciples, we do so, because Jesus gives us authority.

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;  and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20.

Even when we stand and not stumble, we do so, because Jesus gives us authority.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.”  Jude 1:24-25.

Other doctrine teaches that we do good works based on our own authority and our own free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that we do good works based on God’s authority and God’s Will.

Other doctrine teaches that we do good works as our gift to God.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that we do good works as God’s gift to us.

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore it says,

“WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH,
HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES,
AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”  …

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;  until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:7-8 and 11-13.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.  There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.  But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;  to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.  But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”  1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.  In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.”  James 1:17-18.

“for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”  Philippians 2:13.


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