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SermonMinistering Miracles
An all-creatures Bible Message

Ministering Miracles
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
2 July 2017
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Romans 3:23
Romans 7:1-25
1 John 4:7-8
1 John 4:18

Ministering miracles are those miracles that the Lord works through us to help other people, the other animals, or the environment, and sometimes all three at the same time..
 
Last week we read about how Jesus sent out the apostles to perform miracles of healing and the casting out of demons; these apostles were ministering miracles, for the miracles they performed were part of their ministry.
 
Jesus also teaches us that true heavenly love fulfills the whole of the Biblical Law, and really the whole of the Hebrew Text, because that was all of the Bible that existed when He was incarnate upon this earth, and we believe that it includes the whole Bible today.
 
Therefore, we believe that sharing this perfect heavenly love and the will of God in the world we live in is really ministering miracles, particularly when it is received by others and becomes a part of their lives, too.
 
Note what we are told in 1 John 4:7-8Ö

7. Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
 
8. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
NIV

In essence, this tells us what is really wrong with the corrupt world we live in; most people do not really love or know God.
 
So, if we are spreading Godís heavenly love and will in the world, arenít we also ministering miracles to all who receive it?
 
Think about what hopefully happened to many of us:
 
Before we accepted Jesus, werenít we part of the world and had hardened hearts that didnít feel the pain and suffering of the world of creation, but when Jesus came into our lives, werenít our hearts softened to feel the pain and suffering of others, and hopefully the other animals and the environment we all live in?
 
If this happened it was a miracle, and we if do something about countering the pain and suffering we feel for creation, arenít we ministering miracles?
 
We believe we are.
 
As an example, if we felt the pain and suffering of the non-human animals and stopped eating them and returned to eating only the plant foods that God created for us to eat in Eden, arenít we ministering miracles to the animals that are saved, or who are not bred to become food animals because the demand dropped, and in turn we are helping to save the environment from the pollution caused by raising and killing animals?
 
And in addition, we have improved our health, and are less of a financial burden upon our society; we believe that these are also miracles.
 
Doubt and excuses are killers of miracles which are addressed in an unusual way in Romans 7:1-25Ö

1. Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives?

We hope we all remember our discussion about how love fulfills Biblical Law.
 
If we live in the heavenly love and will of God, then we are fulfilling the Law; but if we are not, then what we are told above in verse 1 applies.
 
However, Paul says he is speaking to those who know the Law, which we believe also means that they are religious people who are not fulfilling the Law, because they are still under the Law.

2. For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.
 
3. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

We find this very interesting, because it is only speaking about womenís obligation under the Law and not menís obligation, which should be equal, which we believe is due to the fact that even the writer in not living completely in Godís heavenly love and will.
 
This makes it nearly impossible to be ministering miracles.

4. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God.
 
5. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.
 
6. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.

We agree, but this only happens when we are also living in the heavenly will and love of God.
 
We cannot have one foot in the world and the other in heaven; we must be totally committed to living 100% in Godís heavenly will.

7. What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, "You shall not covet."

We disagree!
 
The Holy Spirit prompts us about the things that are of God and the things which are of this world.
 
Either the Holy Spirit indwells us or He doesnít.

8. But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

But perfect love casts out sin, unless the person is coveting the sin because they donít want to give it up.
 
All these kinds of spiritual conflicts prevent us from ministering miracles, and could even hinder us from receiving them.

9. And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died;
 
10. and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;
 
11. for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.

Paul is speaking spiritually.
 
Note also that he, like us, has inner conflicts with the sins from his former life that he still thinks about, and we believe that this is why Paul says in Romans 3:23Ö

23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
NASB

But none of this voids the understanding that perfect heavenly love fulfills the Law; it is only about the inner struggle we have with sin in our lives.
 
And similarly, John writes in 1 John 4:18

18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
NASB

If we are doing our best to live in the heavenly will of God, but are still holding on to some of our former sins, which as Paul says leads to death, then they can be like fear in our lives, which as we are told is cast out by perfect love.
 
So perfect love not only fulfills the Law, it also casts out sin, which can make us perfect as our father in heaven is perfect.
 
And this is the time when we are able to be ministering miracles even if we sometime fall back into those former sins, but the more we try to overcome them, the easier if becomes.
 
Remember where the sins come from, and rebuke them.

12. So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

But, we also need to remember that living in the heavenly will of God is much more holy than the Law, because the law came to limit the sin that came from not living in the heavenly will of God.

13. Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
 
14. For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.

More accurately, we allowed ourselves to be sold into bondage to sin, for we have always had a free will, which is also the freedom to say NO to all things that are out of the heavenly will of God, even if most of the people in the world are doing them.
 
We are to be children of God and not children of the world and the devil.

15. For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.

And we may be doing the same thing, but we also need to remember that we still have the free will choice to say NO.

16. But if I do the very thing I do not wish to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good.

ďGoodĒ only in this sense that it is lustfully good, for it is never good in the sight of God.

17. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which indwells me.

Once again we disagree; this is really a cop-out, for we are always able to say NO to sin.
 
The devil never makes us do anything; we choose to do it.
 
We need to be honest with ourselves about what we know is right or wrong in the eyes of God, which we should well understand if we are born again.

18. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

Once again we disagree, for if we are doing our best to live in the heavenly will of God and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then something good dwells in us, and this helps us overcome the evil lusts that remain in us and the corrupt ways of the world.

19. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.

This is giving into evil, which we do not have to do.

20. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.

We disagree, because the devil never makes us do anything; we choose to do them, or give into them, however we express what we choose to do, but it was still our free will choice.

21. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.

Evil is still present because we have not rebuked those lusts, and they haunt us.

22. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,
 
23. but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.

This inner war rages from time to time in all of us, but we do not have to be a prisoner to it; we can choose to live in the heavenly will of God.

24. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Our physical body will die, but our spiritual one will not, if we are doing our very best to live in the heavenly will of God, and work to help end the corruption of creation and free it into the glory of God.

25. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
NASB

This may be a problem that many of us have, but it doesnít have to be as bad as Paul makes it appear.
 
If we have too much free time, then we allow our minds to dwell on our former lusts, but if we are nearly constantly seeking ways to serve God by freeing creation from its present corruption, we wonít have time to dwell on those lingering lusts.
 
We donít have to give into them.
 
We can choose to no longer live in the corrupt ways of the world that bring so much pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death into the world, particularly for the animals.
 
We can choose to eat only the whole plant foods that God created for us to eat, and in the process be ministering miracles.
 
Amen.

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