Monday, August 19, 2013

Sola Scriptura!


Sola Scriptura
Scriptures alone!
We reaffirm the inerrant Scripture to be the sole source of written divine revelation, which alone can bind the conscience. The 66 books of the Bible are the inspired and fully authoritative words that ought to guide every church and every Christian. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are equally and in every part the Word of God, without any error, a sufficient and final revelation of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience. They must be received as the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. No other writings should be accepted as Word of God or as having any such authority.
This is what Martin Luther, the 16th Century German Reformer Said:
“unless I am convinced by the testimonies of Scriptures or by clear arguments  that I am in error – for popes and councils have often erred and contradicted themselves – I cannot withdraw, for I am subject to the Scriptures I have quoted; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. It is unsafe and dangerous to do anything against one’s conscience. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. So help me God.”
 The Bible alone teaches all that is necessary for our salvation from sin and is the standard by which all Christian behavior must be measured. We deny that any creed, council or individual may bind a Christian's conscience, that the Holy Spirit speaks independently of or contrary to what is set forth in the Bible, or that personal spiritual experience can ever be a vehicle of revelation.
Scripture alone is the inerrant rule of the church's life, but the evangelical church today has separated Scripture from its authoritative function. In practice, the church is guided, far too often, by the culture or by emotion with the advent of Charismatic movement. Miracles have the biggest role to play among many Christians because many follow those who purport to perform miracles even when they don’t!
Pastors have neglected their rightful oversight of worship, including the doctrinal content of the music. As biblical authority has been abandoned in practice, as its truths have faded from Christian consciousness, and as its doctrines have lost their saliency, the church has been increasingly emptied of its integrity, moral authority and direction.
Rather than adapting Christian faith to satisfy the felt needs of consumers, we must proclaim the law as the only measure of true righteousness and the gospel as the only announcement of saving truth. Biblical truth is indispensable to the church's understanding, nurture and discipline.
Scripture must take us beyond our perceived needs to our real needs and liberate us from seeing ourselves through the seductive images, cliche's, promises. and priorities of mass culture. It is only in the light of God's truth that we understand ourselves aright and see God's provision for our need. The Bible, therefore, must be taught and preached in the church. Sermons must be expositions of the Bible and its teachings, not expressions of the preachers opinions or the ideas of the age. We must settle for nothing less than what God has given.
The work of the Holy Spirit in personal experience cannot be disengaged from Scripture. The Spirit does not speak in ways that are independent of Scripture, for He is the One who inspired their writing (2Peter 1:21). Apart from Scripture we would never have known of God's grace in Christ. The biblical Word, rather than spiritual experience, is the test of truth. Scripture alone is the rule of faith and practice for Christians.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Giving Biblically



I have had too many questions on giving. How shall we give towards the work of the gospel? How shall we give to the needy? (if at all)
We live at a time when preachers and churches are raking money collected from Christians and those who attend their churches. Many churches preach that Christian believers should tithe and give offering – thanksgiving, freewill, first-fruits etc. So many preachers have jumped into the bandwagon of Panda mbegu ubarikiwe (Plant a seed to be blessed).
v  Do you think this is in agreement with the New Testament?
v  What about planting seed so that God can bless your labour?
v  What proportion of income should I give to the church?
We need to go back to the Bible and see the Biblical principles of giving. The following passages are the most basic when it comes to giving:
  • Matthew 6:1-4;
  • Acts 11:28-30;
  • Romans. 15:25ff.;
  • 1 Corinthians 16:1-3;
  • 2 Cor. 8-9;
  • Philippians 4:15
Please study them well at your convenient time and you will find these basic principles therein:
  1. Priority of giving to other Christians (Romans 12:13)
Christians give. They give towards the work of the gospel for the building of the kingdom of God, but they also give to the needy. For whoever begs should be given. Giving proofs that we are not idolaters!
We are to take a special care of the brethren in faith when they are in need. For this reason Paul took it upon himself to provide materially for the Jewish brothers. This was a God-provided opportunity for the Gentile Christians at Philippi (Phil. 4:15) to show that they were united with Christ and were one in the same Body of Christ by supporting the needy Jews. Remember that many Jewish Christians considered the Gentiles as second rate,  (even third-rate) Christians since they were not in the initial covenant of God with its privileges.
They thought that all God’s blessings must pass through the Jews. How mistaken they were! (This is the same principle behind prosperity preachers, that they have a better access to throne of God so that they can pray for you in a manner that you cannot pray for yourself so that you can be blessed!)  When they were in distress and the Gentile Christians came to their rescue.
You know the Mosaic Law could not allow them to take anything from Jews since they could be defiled. Though we must, as we have opportunity, do good to all men, yet we must have a special regard to the household of faith, Galatians 6:10. This was the time for Paul to prove to his Israel brethren that the Gentiles had been admitted into the commonwealth of God. It seems that it was the custom of the Jews in diaspora to send money to those Jews who dwelt in Judea. This was for the relief of the poor who were among them, and to make collections for that, supposing that there were many poor in Judea, more than in other countries, so that the rich among them were not able to bear the charge of keeping them from starving.
The first Biblical principle here is that we’re to give towards the needs of others and especially the brothers in faith (Galatians 6:10). No poor must be neglected, but God’s poor most particularly regarded. Though we are to love everyone, yet a special brotherly and Christian love is to be extended to those of our faith. This is the reason why we are to show a special concern for the needs of other fellow believers because we belong to one another.
Having established the need to give to others then we will understand why we must give towards the work of the Lord. Why we must give to church. Why we must give regularly:
2.     Give according to your ability
The second principle is that we are to give according to our ability as they did in Acts 11:29. No one ought to give beyond his ability so as to leave himself in debts. We have been given different abilities and possessions. The measure of our giving is according to how God had prospered you(1Cor. 16:2). Every man determined to send something, more or less, according to his ability, what he could spare from the support his family and of himself.  What may be said to be according to our ability we must judge for ourselves, but must be careful to a make righteous judgment so that we do not give God what is left-over as many are in the habit. On the other extreme are the preachers who demand for their congregations to give to the last penny until they demand even their personal effects like watches, cell-phones, jewelry, clothes and shoes! Such is completely unwarranted by Scriptures and only serves to show the greed of the preachers (and greed or generosity of the givers).
3.     Give through the hands of trusted men
The third principle is that we are to give through the hands of trusted men who will not defraud those who are needy, or God. These churches sent the relief through the hands of Paul and Barnabas – trusted men. Again it was not by one man since there is always a need for one to check the other and to be accountable on the same. Further this would be helpful for witness since money is a big area where many are tempted to deceive. This is seen further because it was to be given to the elders who would be held accountable as they give the money to the needy through the deacons of the church.
The deacons are the specific officers in the church in charge of money (Acts 6) – not the pastors. Therefore, should pastors sign even the check-books? Well, only in the sense of providing oversight in all matters in the church. It is no belittling in an extraordinary case, for ministers of the gospel to be messengers of the church’s charity. However, to undertake the constant care of that matter would be too great a distraction from more needful ofprayer and the ministry of the word. This is why the deacons have to take that role
4.     Give cheerfully, without grumbling
Fourthly, we are to give cheerfully without grumbling (2 Cor. 9:7). Christians are not to do any service under compulsion because they are serving God who can see all that and not men. We are therefore, to give liberally and in love since God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). Please bear in mind that all that you have is from God and to complain while giving to Him is behaving like a child who as soon as he gets the toy from the father, is not willing to hand it back to the father so that he can be given some food! It is the cat or dog spirit and it should not be among mature believers.
5.     Give thoughtfully
Fifthly, we are to set apart what to give in the heart before giving – even store it up so that it is not impulsive giving (2 Cor. 9:7). It should be deliberate with thought and design and not by accident. No one should give more than they intended, and then regret afterwards. Or possibly, had they duly considered all things, they would have given more. There ought to be due deliberation, as to this matter of our own circumstances, and those of the persons we are about to relieve, will be very helpful to direct us how liberal we should be in our contributions for charitable uses. Persons sometimes will give merely to satisfy the importunity of those who ask their charity, and what they give is in a manner squeezed or forced from them, and this unwillingness spoils all they do.
We ought to give more freely than the modesty of some necessitous persons will allow them to ask. We should give freely, with an open hand, and cheerfully with an open heart, being glad we have ability and an opportunity to be charitable.
Is tithing binding for New Testament believers?
Christians are by far more blessed and privileged that the Old Testament believers.  Consider these passages to prove this:
And all these (the Heroes of faith listed before), though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect. (Heb 11:39-40)
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. (1Peter 1:10-12)
We are more privileged and we know that a greater privilege demands a greater responsibility. Since the Old Testament believers were expected to give 10% do you think we would be required anything less? They were required to give by coercion a set figure but for us we are expected to give joyfully for much has been given to us!
For this reason, I believe that tithes are not binding for Christians today:
  1. There is no direct command to give tithes in the NT.
  2. There is no single examples of Biblical believers tithing. It is the Pharisees who gave tithes of all they had.
  3. Christian faith is of the heart and is according to what the Word of God and the Spirit engraves upon the heart of man.
  4. Christians are to give more than 10% for we see the early church with people who were giving everything to other Christians that they had planned well before hand.
There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus,sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Act 4:34-37)
They sold houses and lands to give to the needs of others because they had gotten a greater treasure – they sold what they could not keep to get what they could not have gotten. After all it is the Lord who had given to them. Does this mean that we sell all we have? NO! It means that we should consider that although we think that tithing is too much God expects His stewards to bring everything to Him, like Joseph Barnabas did!
What was given by those who had was not to the Apostles – it was to meet the needs of others and so churches should not simply jump into conclusion that everyone should sell everything because everyone else is not needy.
Finally you need to consider this:
-        “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that Field.” Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:44)
-         “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” Martin Luther
-        “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
-        “The currency of this world will be worthless at our death or Christ’s return, both of which are eminent.” Randy Alcorn


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Doctrine of Salvation:


1. Salvation Planned: From all eternity God has planned to save for Himself out of lost and fallen humanity an innumerable multitude, not because of any foreseen faith or merit on their
part, but because of His mercy in Christ, who He appointed as the only Mediator, the prophet, priest and king of those whom the Father had given Him. All whom God has thus determined
to save will certainly be called, justified and glorified.

2. Salvation Accomplished: According to the plan of God, Christ, the eternal second Person of the Godhead, united to Himself a real human nature through the womb of the Virgin Mary, becoming fully God and fully man in one Person, yet without sin. For the salvation of His people, He perfectly kept God's holy law, voluntarily suffered and died as a full and sufficient substitutionary sacrifice for them and thus making reconciliation to God for them. He was buried, rose bodily on the third day, ascended into heaven with the same body and sat down at the right hand of the Father. In heaven He now reigns over all things for the church and makes continual intercession for His people.

 3. Salvation Applied: The exalted Christ sends forth the Holy Spirit to apply the fruits of His accomplished redemption to all His people, which application is essential unto salvation. The new birth, the giving of a new heart, by which the sinner is enabled to repent and believe, is not an act of man's free will and power, but the result of the effectual and gracious working of the Holy Spirit, who works when, where, and how and in whom He pleases. By this work, often referred to as regeneration, the Spirit enlightens their minds and renews their wills and affections, as God effectually calls them into fellowship with His Son through His Word.
The immediate fruits of regeneration are:
1) Repentance - Repentance is a gift of God, whereby the Holy Spirit convinces a person of the wickedness of his sinfulness and his acts of rebellion against God, so that he turns to God in sorrow in order to walk in obedience before Him and to please Him. No one is saved without genuine repentance and unreserved submission to Christ as Lord.
 2) Faith - Faith is a gift of God by which a person receives and rests on Jesus Christ alone for salvation, as He is freely offered to sinners in the Gospel. Although a person is saved through faith alone, this faith never stands alone but is accompanied by all the other fruit of the Holy Spirit.
3) Justification and Adoption - Justification is an act of God's free grace by which He pardons all the sins of His people, past, present and future, and reckons them as righteous in His sight on account of the righteousness of Christ imputed to them and not because of anything done in them or by them. Faith in Christ is the only instrument of justification. All those who are justified in Christ receive the promised Holy Spirit of adoption, so that they are truly sons of God.

Trinity Baptist Church -Constitution

Monday, August 12, 2013

DO NOT FEAR, ONLY BELIEVE!


11th August 2013        Passage Mark 5:21-43                        Hymns:  37, ___, 452 , 150, 16

Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus's Daughter

And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

We live at a time when many preachers are parading miracles so that they can harvest followers after themselves.
Yesterday, for the better part of the day, KTN was airing a live event from Nakuru: Dr. Owuor was in Nakuru to lead the nation to ‘repentance and thanksgiving after the last general elections’! There were thousands of people who had come to receive their miracle. There were many claims of healing of diseases and salvation of all who attended! Who verifies these claims? No one! But what is the place of miracles now? TO DECEIVE THE NATIONS!
“Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ’, and they will lead many astray.” (Matthew 24:5).
“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great sings and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect (Matthew.24:24)
Do not be deceived by these men who advertise themselves more than they do Christ. They accept testimonies that elevate them higher and never approve any criticism. They are deceivers.
When Owuor arrived in Nakuru, two people wrote on my blog (One anonymous and the other gave his name) and they said,
I listened to Jesus is Lord Radio on 9th August 2013 and I confirmed with my two ears: The announcer kept on referring Owuor to as LORD...LORD... "look at the way the Lord is entering Nakuru...look at the convoy of vehicles welcoming the Lord...welcoming the Holy spirit....what a mighty mighty crowd...welcoming the Lord to the city...this is how we welcome our Lord..."
Pst Murungi… I am currently in Nakuru and just witnessed "the prophet" ushered by a Kenya Prisons band across Kenyatta street down to the stadium where his followers have been camping since last night (some of whom spent in the cold). Sincerely, something is going very wrong and the this (sic) brainwashing is breaking the banks. I concur with you that these are not followers of Christ but of Owuor. No prophet in the Bible sought to have people follow him but God. God was the focus and not the prophet!...
Many prosperity preachers who I have heard preach from this passage, give a short explanation of how sick these two women were (with additions here and there) and go on to tell people after a short explaination:
“It does not matter how sick you are, it does not matter how long it has been, the Lord is here is to heal you today. It does not matter how much you suffered in poverty, today is the day of your miracle. Are you ready for your miracle?” (Of course everyone is ready to receive his/her miracle)
This is not preaching – it is deception because they are not Jesus Christ, are they?
These preachers go on to paste themselves in the place of Christ.
In this passage we have the most remarkable and glorious work of Christ. We are not doubting the power of Christ and of God to heal. Neither are we doubting the prevalence of diseases in this world. Christ is at work in a world debilitated by sin. Sicknesses and diseases affect people and live many hopeless. There are millions of diseases on earth. The Lord graciously has helped man to be able to discover medicine for many of these diseases and still there are others that are incurable. But having treated one disease does not mean that you cannot contract another. Soon after another one comes. And even having treated all of them, the body is still undergoing corruption so that sooner or later everyone will come face to face with death.
We are always carrying in the body death… death is at work in us… our outer self is wasting away… we live in an earthly tent that is going to be destroyed soon… and while in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling … for while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened and as long as we are at home in the body were away from the Lord (2Cor. 4:10, 12, 16; 5:1, 2, 4, 6).
For those who are in Christ they face death with the hope of eternal life afterwards. For those without Christ, they face physical death into the eternal death – this is sad news for them. This passage is about faith in Christ as the means of obtaining His blessings. In this passage we see Christ’s power and grace, as well as the faith that have access to Christ and what He has to offer.
After the most wonderful deliverance of the man with a legion of demons and so Christ accomplished his mission in the land of Gadara, having left himself a witness among the Gentile, He went back and was received by a great multitude in Capernaum. Jairus the ruler of the synagogue had cast off all his pharisaic dignity because his lovely daughter was sick to the point of death. He fell down before Christ and begged him to accompany him and lay his hands on his daughter. He had seen Jesus recently heal the paralytic (2:1-12). The Lord agreed to go to his home and touch his daughter for her healing. However, the crowd was too much. So while struggling with the thronging crowd, something else happens. A woman who had menstrual flow for 12 years. She had heard about the Lord Jesus Christ. touches the clothes of Christ for she believed that Jesus is the solution of all her trouble. Wou! Her faith was confirmed – She was healed! Then Jesus stops to the shock of Jairus! Jairus was worried about his daughter and he may have been tempted to think that this woman could not have interrupted! He may have argued that if she had waited for 12 years, then she could await one more hour for her terribly sick daughter to be healed. And talks with her and then afterwards the report comes from Jairus’s home that the girl has died. He went on to raise her from the death to the shock of the hired mourners.
What lessons can we learn from this passage?
1.     The misery of sin
In this passage we come face to face with a very strange ailment and a sudden death. We all have seeds of death in our system from the day we were conceived until when we will die or when Christ will come[1]. Death could come slowly as you grow in age or sudden in a sickness or an accident. When Adam fell into sin he brought all his descendants into a state of sin and misery. In this state there is suffering even after we have been redeemed, even after we have been saved there is suffering. For we await the absolute deliverance from this state with the coming of Christ to take us to His eternal glory. But as long as in this body, we bear the brunt of the consequence of Adamic sin. We have to bear with pain, sickness, poverty, lack, suffering and ultimately death if the Lord comes afterwards.
Here is a woman sick for 12 years. Here is a 12 year old girl full of life and energy, whose life had suddenly been cut short by a sudden disease. I would only request that you do not attach much significance to the number of years the woman suffered (except that she was sick for 12 years, we must not put more significance to it) or the 12 years of age of the little girl… all we can say, as the bible says, is that she was 12 years old.
Let us consider the condition of this woman:
Here is a woman who has lived with this terrible condition for 12 years. Mark, tells us that she had gone to every hospital she knew. She has gone to every one hospital that she has been referred but it had all been the same result – no cure for her. She had consulted every physician every doctor but the same result – no cure for her. She was drained of all the money that she had. Therefore, we are dealing with a case of a woman who was contending with:
1)     Physical weakness: This is the consequence of sin. May I ask this very respectfully: If the ladies have the struggles they have for a few days, how about for a month, for a year, for twelve years? This woman lived with constant weakness. She must have been son determined milling with the crowd with all the pushing and shoving in order to reach the Lord.
2)     Poverty: Her desperation had caused her to spend all she had but she was getting worse. She had nothing left, she had spent everything.
3)     Embarrassment: She was suffering in silence; it appears, because of the stigma. She could not dare to share with everyone or with anyone what problem she had. Men could despise her. Women could ridicule her or gossip her. She lived in constant shame. And therefore silence so that she was trembling when the Lord asked who touched Him. she knew she would be exposed!
4)     Barrenness: This condition left her with the terrible condition of inability to bear children. Her family – her family line could not be propagated and culture could not understand inability to bear children because everyone was expected to bear children. This meant that,
5)     No marriage: she could not be married because the Jewish laws did not even allow man to approach a woman physically while in this condition. She must have been a very lonely woman. This is the misery of sin.
6)     Ritually unclean: this was the worst in the sense that the Jewish law could not allow her to worship, and yet it was not her fault. The reason was because these laws attached so much significance to the blood. One could not eat meat with blood. Only by the shedding of blood could one find forgiveness of sin and so blood was considered sacred. She was without God and without men. She was desperate. Thankfully she went to the Lord who is a present help in times of trouble. She went to him with the faith that if only I touch His robes I will be healed.
She had this faith, as imperfect as it was (filled with mysticism) that if she could only touch the robes of Christ, then she could be healed and she was! This is because all that is needed is a faith as little as mustard seed. The pain disappeared in flush. The strength was regained immediately. The blood flow ceased! The disease was gone, gone forever because of the power of Christ. Immediately the Lord turned to find out what had happened. “Who touched me?” He wanted to know? Everyone is pressing hard on you, Lord. How can ask you ask who touched you?” Peter answered, (according to Luke). Was Jesus limited in knowledge at this point? No, because being God, He is omniscient. He knew everything! So why is it that He asked this question. He wanted to restore this faithful woman to wholeness of body and spiritual.  He had the same lesson for the woman as for Jairus, because he must have been worried thinking that the Lord was ‘wasting time’, “Do not fear, only believe.” This is our lesson for us today.
“Who touched my garments?”  Jesus knew what he was talking about! So the woman came out and just like Jairus, also fell on her knees before the Lord. There is no question that every knee shall bow before Jesus and declare that He is Lord. Jesus did not prohibit her from falling before Him in worship because He is God and He wanted them to know that He is God. Apart from the physical healing, her faith was strengthened so that it is directed upon the Person of Christ rather than His clothes. Then Jesus gave her the freedom to go ‘into peace’. This means that He gave her wholeness that cannot be obtained from any physician. She entered into a new life of wholeness, both physically and spiritually[2]. No one else can give this peace, neither men nor angels because only Jesus has brought reconciliation with God. She had found mercy and peace and grace of God all in one package in meeting with the Prince of Peace. This Prince is here to save whoever will fall before Him and implore Him for salvation will be sent into the same peace.
On the other hand the 12 year-old girl died. And the report came, “Your girl is dead! Do not trouble the teacher!” But Jesus was unmoved – He encouraged Jairus to listen to Him rather than his servants. Jairus was encouraged to continue in His faith and not fear. “Do not fear, only believe.” 
2.     The faith needed to enjoy the blessings of Christ
In both cases we witness faith of Jairus and faith of the woman. Both had to “JUST BELIEVE.” Those who thronged around Jesus with all sorts of problems were many. But how many benefited by being around Jesus? Only those who had faith. Jesus had eternal life and physical wholeness to offer everyone. But only a few benefited. Jairus came to Jesus by faith and he was satisfied. The sick woman touched Christ by faith and was healed. While many came with curiosity, only two came with faith, by faith. They both had a deep sense of their needs. They both came to Jesus to receive from Him, blessings and blessings in abundantly for He came full of grace and truth. The message is the same for us, “Do not fear, only believe.” 
How is their faith drawn?
1)     Jairus: He personally went to Jesus. He did not send his servants. He did not care about his pharisaic dignity. He did not go by night like Nicodemus, he went to Christ by day and in public. He did not care what people said, all he cared was to get the attention of God. He implored Christ earnestly. He begged Him for he desperately needed nothing else but His power. He needed divine intervention that only Christ can offer. Faith focuses on Christ for who He is. Faith is unequivocally directed to the Lord Jesus and no one else. It only sees Christ. It only begs Christ. It is not faith that which is directed to Christ and to something else. Because Jesus plus (something) is nothing. It must be Jesus plus nothing that produces something that is eternal.
2)     Sick Woman: She went to Jesus despite all the trouble, all the weakness, all the stigma of being in public, all the poverty (which must have been obvious by now), all the ritual uncleanness – she was not supposed to go near people for she could render them unclean. Yet she went to Christ. She was sure that all she needed is the power of Christ. All she needed in spite of the prolonged ailment is just touching with her little finger the robe of Christ and the problem that no physician could heal will be removed. When it became clear that the Lord had to know who touched Him, she volunteered herself, overcoming her fear and trembling. Overcoming the embarrassment and potential stigma and telling the Lord the whole truth. “Do not fear, only believe.” 
3.     The power of Christ over sickness and death
Reading this story and comparing the two incidences one can’t help to marvel at the power of Christ over sickness and death. Here is a woman who has gone to every known doctor, every known hospital. She has spent all the money on medication. She has exhausted her medical cover. She is getting worse and worse so that she can’t even work or do anything. But thankfully there is only one hope remaining. To look for Christ to look upon Christ. Praise the Lord that Christ does not need any money. He does not need anything so that when she exhausted everything was the right time for Him to heal her.
Yes she went to him. She went full of faith and confidence that the Lord will do it.  Mark records that no sooner had she touched the hem that she was healed: “And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease” (v.29) there was no waste of time, no drama. But the powerful flow of power from Christ into the body of this woman was instant and completely effective. The outworking of this is only God who knows but the result of this amazing work is evident to all.
We read of a well to do man, whose daughter fell sick and her health deteriorated so quickly, that she had not time to take her to the doctor. Yes, he had the means to take her to the best doctors but he could not because the diseases could not wait for twelve years like that of the woman. Her daughter’s health got from bad to worse and led to the worst within hours. She died within a short period. He was helpless regardless of his wealth. Thankfully, he knew that the great Physician was near – for He is a present help in times of trouble for those who call upon Him. Jairus went for Him and healing was granted without money, without favour.
We read that when the Lord was told of the severe sickness of the girl, He turned to go and heal her. When the report of her the demise of the girl came, He was unmoved and continued on for He knew that it is not death to die when you are next to Him. When He met the mourners, He asked them very casually “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” To Him death was just like taking a nap! He was very well aware of the fact that He is the resurrection and the life and whoever believes in Him, though he die yet shall live and everyone who lives and believes in Him shall never die (John 11:25-26). All Christ needed to do was hold the little hand of the little girl and tell her softly, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
After that we read, And immediately the girl got up and began walking The Word Immediately that Mark uses is not an idle word. It is the inspired word of God. Because we believe in the verbal inspiration of Scripture, then it at least tells us that the power of Christ was so sure that there was not lapse of time between the command and the miracle. These miracles were signs to authenticate the message and proof that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God. This is what John tells us, “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31)
“Do not fear, only believe.” Who doubts the power of Christ? Then such a man is yet to meet Him. Because without any scene. The girl was up and playful, walking about! It was as if she was only sleeping and had been woken up. But even then, a twelve year old doesn’t wake up to immediately play.  This girl rose from death and walked about! This was the most amazing thing on earth.
The power of Christ is evident in these remarkable incidences. And for this reason He charged them to shut up their mouths over the matter. Surely a testimony of the girl who had been dead could have led many to salvation. Surely, she could be a preacher! Surely, many would have been drawn to faith by her new life! It is not true. So I do not know where testimonies come from, except they that they are meant to boost the profile of the preacher who is claiming to perform miracles. But the question is, if our Master, Jesus Christ did not encourage it, what makes us think that those who do to the contrary are following Christ as their Master?
Application
v  We need faith to live: You need to have faith to be a partaker of the blessings of God. Salvation is the greatest blessing there is. You need faith to be saved. Faith is gift of God’s grace to a sinner. Beg the Lord for faith to believe in His Son. The evidence that we are exercising faith to live is that we repent of our sins. The evidence that you have faith is repentance.
v  We need to live by faith. How do we live by faith? Faith that we have will soon get encouragement from the Lord when we exercise it. We do not exercise faith by making claims to the blessings of God. We excise faith by trusting and depending on Christ to fulfill His promises. Prayer in accordance to the will of God is prayer based upon the promises of God. How about when we do not have clear promise? Walking by faith means submitting to His will at all times, even times of trouble for He works out all things (even those that are meant for our evil) He works them all out for our good.
v  A genuine faith has to be tested. Faith is tested to find out whether it is genuine: Jairus faith had to be tested. It was tested when Jesus stopped to heal the sick woman. His faith was tested when the servants came to report the death of the girl. It was also tempted when the professional mourners ridiculed Jesus. His faith was tested when Jesus requested him to follow him to the room with the dead girl. It was also tested when he was instructed not to tell anyone.
v  We need our faith encouraged. When we pray and the Lord answers our prayers like Jairus, then our faith is built up. Sometimes our faith is so weak and so we should constantly pray that the Lord may increase our faith. Jairus’s faith needed encouragement. The Lord encouraged his faith by responding to his distress call without any hesitation. His faith was encouraged when the Lord told Him, “Do not fear, only believe.” (v.36). His faith was encouraged when the girl was raised from the dead. This faith in Christ was revived to the point of receiving healing not just for his daughter, but for his soul. The woman’s faith was encouraged by the healing. Her faith was encouraged by the words of Christ, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go into peace, and be healed of your disease.



[1] Steve Wilmshurst, A Ransom for Many, Welwyn commentary series, EP, p. 102
[2] Sinclair Ferguson, p. 74