• Northwest Apostolic

Titus 3:1-7

"Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.  For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life"

There is an old nursery rhyme dating back to the 1800’s and possibly to the late 1700’s. There have been many references to it in literature and pop culture. Its origin from the old English is interesting in that Humpty Dumpty was the name of brandy boiled with ale or was slang for a short clumsy person. Some have said that it depicted the defeat of King Richard III of England whose armies could not help him. Whatever its origin today we know the nursery rhyme by the 1954 lyrics in the English language:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty together again

In the books where this nursery rhyme is written there is a picture of a personified egg resting on top of a wall that falls. We understand that once a vessel is broken, regardless of what it is made out of, it can never be put back together like it was when it was originally made.

Brokenness is very real and it is something that anyone who has lived any length of time will go through at some point in their life; sometimes more than once. Tragedies happen in the lives of people that shatter them to pieces. One phone call can change the world you are living in. There are situations that can break our hearts so deeply that one wonders whether or not it could ever be mended.

Scripture gives us a pretty clear picture of the brokenness of Jesus that led up to Calvary and the subsequent brokenness of those who witnessed his murder. Shattered dreams and wounded hearts created an atmosphere of hopelessness that overcame those like Peter who went out and wept bitter tears upon denying Jesus, even though he said he never would. Lost in hopelessness the disciples went different directions.

Thankfully they didn’t travel too far from Calvary. In three days the dreams and aspirations of the broken were raised from the grave! In less than 2 months, the hope of the gospel and the promise of the Father would dwell inside and a new life would begin!

Peter, the one who had wept bitter tears of denial was transformed into the first preacher of the New Testament church on the Day of Pentecost. The regenerated and renewed apostle preached the message of hope! Contained in the message was the washing of regeneration and the promise of the indwelling Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost being poured out upon them just like it was prophesied.

Washing: a bath, that is, (figuratively) baptism. From a root word meaning to bathe the whole person!

Regeneration: (spiritual) rebirth (the state or the act), that is, (figuratively) spiritual renovation; specifically Messianic restoration: - regeneration.

Paul writing to Titus, a young minister of the gospel directly relates our salvation to spiritual renovation to a spiritual bath of the whole person in baptism.

Many in the world today live in the same state of hopelessness as Humpty Dumpty. Truly no amount of king’s horses or king’s men can put the broken lives of men together again. I am amazed when reading stories of individuals whom doctors have saved their lives from horrific accidents putting their broken bodies literally back together. Medical science has made incredible advances when it comes to being able to save people’s lives.

The reality is that our bodies can be put back together while spiritually, and many times emotionally, it takes more than man to accomplish the daunting task. God so loved the world that he gave! By the kindness and the love of God our Saviour, we have been given the opportunity to have God wash us thoroughly and renovate us completely! Only God can take the broken and shattered pieces of a life and put it back together again!

The washing of regeneration is always followed by a renewing of the Holy Ghost! When the vessel is repaired, as only God can do, he then fills it up! Man cannot do this only God can! Yes God uses men as he uses preaching. Having our words seasoned with grace to the hearers has the ability to do what horses and unregenerate men cannot perform!

Yes the personified egg called “Humpty Dumpty” could not be put back together but thank God through the gospel message of Jesus Christ and the power of his indwelling Spirit we can be put back together better than we were before!

Pastor Ken Winkler

  • Northwest Apostolic

Gal 6:14-18

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen”

We will never be counted as righteous by being physically nailed to a cross as Jesus was. In fact, there is no amount of self-inflicted wounds that will arrest the attention of God. On the contrary, we are continually exposed to opportunities that cause us to take up our cross daily and follow him. God is truly interested in how we handle trials, persecutions, and what we do with seeming setbacks.

Paul’s life of evangelism was directly connected at times to suffering for the gospel’s sake. He understood that no flesh would ever glory in his presence!

II Cor 11:23-28 The apostle Paul went through the list of the things that he had suffered and endured while ministering the gospel:

“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches”

II Cor 12:7-10 Paul gloried in his infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon him. Paul gave himself to the work of God not considering his own flesh in the process. God’s grace is sufficient for us. His grace makes the difference. Grace and a bulldogged determination can push us into the realm where God can work the miraculous. We always need to understand that there is a cause greater than ourselves!

I am always inspired and challenged when I read of the heroics of those involved in risking their own lives, and many times receiving life threatening wounds in the process, to save the life of a comrade or fallen friend.

Marcus Luttrell managed to live through one of those times that change one’s life forever as described in the book, “Lone Survivor”. When his rehabilitation was complete, he went right back into the fray with SEAL TEAM 5 in Ramadi Iraq. He and his twin brother were there at the same time, both Navy frogmen. It was there that he was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and removed from front line operations.

His previous injuries were taking a toll on him and he did not want to accept it. It was the orders of a man he greatly respected that influenced his life to make the change that had to take place to prevent risking the lives of his teammates. Once he accepted it, which did not take very long, he put his whole heart into his new leadership position. It was then that things went south during one of the missions that nearly killed two of his fellow Navy SEALS and nearly wiped out the entire team.

A huge explosion separated 3 teams when "Cowboy" and others did what they call the “Mogadishu Mile”. With no cover fire and bullets flying everywhere, they ran to where the other team was in desperate need of help. Two Iraqi soldiers lay dead, and the Seal’s teammates were severely wounded just inside the house.

Because these men are so physically fit, they survived what you and I could not have; white phosphorus, shrapnel, destroyed feet and leg, and bleeding profusely. These trained men went into action to save their comrades medically while fighting off Taliban and Al Qaeda forces until they could be extracted by Bradley tanks.

No man left behind” is the motto they live by and die by! Service to their country, family, freedoms, friends, and fellow teammates causes these men to “push” themselves to the limit and beyond. This was done from the leadership on down. “You don’t get people to follow you by demanding it with your words. You do it by commanding it with your example”, one man said. “If Every SEAL Were Like Me, How Good Would Teams Be?

In the book “Service” by Marcus Luttrell, he states that he does not like to talk about valor awards. Often men like him look at being paraded around in front of others while receiving medals from high government and military officials are simply politics and theatrics. Most important to them is their service for others, most of which, never gets published.

The apostle Paul said he spoke as a fool when describing all that he suffered. Most important to Paul were the people he served while bearing in his body the validation of God. Paul truly was a man of valor that never looked at the scars on his body as being inflicted by man. He gloried in the cross and the infirmities that he bore knowing that the power of Christ was upon him as a result.

One day when we walk through the gates of pearl we will receive the crown of life that we will humbly cast at the feet of Jesus who performed the greatest act of valor a man can do; he gave his life for lives of others.

Let’s remember today that being a servant is far more important that awards of valor!

Pastor Ken Winkler

  • Northwest Apostolic

Romans 8:28, 37-39

The apostle Paul has a masterful way of conveying the biblical role of the Spirit of God that indwells us in Romans chapter 8. The struggle of the flesh depicted in chapter 7 is answered by walking after the Spirit, which is paramount to being victorious in Christ. The letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life! The law was weak through the flesh and therefore had to be condemned in the flesh. The only way for this to happen was that God, who is a Spirit, had to robe himself in flesh and conquer the will of the flesh by submitting to the process that ultimately led him to Calvary’s cruel and rugged cross.

While doctrinally we understand that the initial sign that someone has received the baptism of the Holy Ghost is that they will speak in other tongues, languages, that they have never been taught or learned, but rather as the Spirit of God gives the utterance (Acts 2:37-39, 10:44-48, 19:1-6), the long term benefit of receiving the Spirit of Christ is the ability for us to walk in the liberty where Christ has made us free.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made”. John 1:1-3

John went on to write in verse 14 of chapter 1, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”. The logos or expression of God was robed in flesh. He was full of the spirit of grace and of truth. Jesus was God made known in flesh and conquered the will of the flesh by perfect submission to the will of the Spirit.

Jesus gave us the example that we need to follow after. Paul depicts the beauty and promises associated with not only receiving God’s Spirit but making a conscious effort to walk after the leading of his Spirit. He said also that, “if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (kill) the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”.

God’s Spirit will not lead us to places where his grace cannot keep us. God was not taken by surprise by the events that are taking place around us locally and globally right now. Paul said, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. Rom 8:28

We must consider that our Sovereign God has a purpose for each and every one of our lives and that he truly knows what he is doing and what he is allowing. We must continue to walk after God’s leading by his Spirit and mortify the deed of the flesh by the same. During these unprecedented times we can lay hold on the promises the apostle Paul gave us in Romans 8:37-39:

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”

We might be shaken but we cannot be removed! God’s love and powerful Spirit are able to keep us in times like these.

Have a wonderful day purposefully walking after God’s Spirit!

Pastor Ken Winkler