A Closer Look at Possibility Preaching (Part 1)

It goes without saying as well as it bears saying that all things are possible with God. Our existence as leopards with changed spots and Ethiopians with changed skin is infallible evidence. Christ said it and we say it. We say it in praise of His glory. His ability (dunamis), His rule (kratos), and strength (ischus) are known to us by the created world (Romans 1:20). The realm of possibility is contained in God’s eternity. His will is not deterred by possibility. All power, authority, rule, and strength are His exclusively. It is be equally clear that there are things God cannot do. With regard to his character, He cannot lie. He is perfectly reliable: He is the “Amen” and with regard to His essence, He cannot die, being the lone Immortal. In contemplation of His reliability and purposes He cannot fail. It is in these matters that we must distinguish between Creator and creature. Repeating to oneself “I can do all things through Christ” is like the fictional infant whose expressed concern is habitually about getting to work on time. There is not a second or micratomic time (the atomo of 1 Cor. 15:42) that Christ is not strengthening us. The believer does not have to prove to anyone, God or man, that he is lord of everything. God in and for His glory is taking care of everything, and whatever we conceive of as happening – and causing change – is already in His care, and He is making us beneficiaries of all happenings (Romans 8:28). The cutting edge of our preaching is not what God can do but emphatically what God has done in Christ, because the conviction of Christ’s work pervades and underpins all we think and do.

The premise of the New Covenant is that things locked away from human access become accessible. Dead things come to life, and things not forgiven or resolved are forgiven and resolved. The New Covenant is about the remission of sin. Yeshua said that His body and blood were given for the remission of sin, and the overview of its function is that God fulfills His promise to Abraham and his seed.

For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:28

We see this access and inaccessibility in contrast in apostolic evaluation of the Law of Moses. For example, Paul made the following point in a synagogue speech on his first missionary journey.

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Acts 13:39

There are therefore things under the law that were declared impossible. The advent of faith (Gal. 3:23) renders these things possible. All things are possible now because Christ has opened a door to new possibilities in the spiritual realm. The kingdoms of this earth and the natural world have not been transformed into components of His kingdom. Money is still money, and one does well to keep oneself from the love of it. Humans are still mortal, humble, and finite. Compared to a polar bear, a human is unremarkable if we are evaluating the creature’s viability in his own environment. Conversely, human capacity for extreme acts of benevolence beyond his community while a polar bear is decidedly egocentric and insular.

When the scripture therefore tells us that Christ has abolished death, has given life to men, the rest of creation remains exactly the same. The natural world, which is where we live, was not transformed into an amorphous jelly so that we can turn it into anything we wish. Everything serves its purpose. Meaningful and lasting change can best be experienced in conjunction God’s revelation in Christ, not in the acquisition of things but in their subjection to the saving plan. It is most certainly human effort that brings all things under subjection to Christ, for at the end of the age, where one should expect the human race to be at its peak of realization, Christ finds little faith, and the apostolic witness confirms that men will wax worse and worse, the earth itself will deteriorate and all living things decay. This is exactly opposite what the possibility preachers claim. They say that things can get better and that they have the power to reverse all the negative effects of sin in the natural world.

(to be continued)