- The Enemy Wants to Thwart God's Plan for You Pt. 4 - Ignorance Text: James 1:23-24, John 8:32
- The Enemy Wants To Thwart God's Plan For Your Life Part 3 - Unforgiveness Text: Mark 11:26
- The Enemy Wants to Thwart God's Plan for You 2 - Bitterness Text: Hebrews 12:15
- The Enemy Wants To Thwart God's Plan For You Part 1 - Rebellion. Text Gen 3:1-21
- Different Ways The Holy Spirit Leads 5 - In Dreams and Visions Text: Matthew 2:12-13
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Tuesday, July 16 2013
Over the last weeks, we have been studying on how to turn our faith loose. We saw the important role thinking right, believing right, confessing right and ultimately acting right play in order to achieve this. The word “right” in the preceding sentence refers to the Word of God – the bible as God's Word is Faith Food. This week, we shall begin a series on major hindrances to our faith. By the grace of God, we will consider two of these hindrances today. Proverbs 27:12 says: “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences”. As the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to these hindrances, may we receive grace to avoid them in Jesus’ name (Amen).
Can Faith be hindered?
1 Timothy 6:12: Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
To fight means to endeavor vigorously to win or to move forward with difficulty, especially by overcoming physical obstacles. Here, Paul was using the language of athletics contest and enjoining Timothy to give his best effort to this most worthwhile of struggles, the struggle to further the faith. Since there is a fight to faith then this suggests that there must be enemies or hindrances to faith.
Quite generally, Lack of Faith Comes From Lack of Knowledge of God's Word as Romans10:17 says “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Hindrance Number One: Lack of Understanding Regarding the New Creation
Who are we in Christ?
2 Corinthians 5:17:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
This means that we have received a new nature - God's nature (2 Peter 1:4).
We are children of God, sons of God, and heirs of God - joint-heirs with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:17).
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have ETERNAL life." (1 John 5:13).
Hindrance Number Two: Lack of Understanding of Our Place in Christ
What is our position in Christ?
1 John 4:4 "... greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
Colossians 1:13, which says, "Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." "Who" refers to God, the Father.
It is a very good assignment to go through the New Testament and find places where “in Christ”, “in Him”, “in Whom” are written as suggested by Kenneth Hagin. Once found, we should confess, "This is who I am. This is what I have,"
Below are some lists compiled therefore let us rise up and confess who we are and what we have in Him
For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death
1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours
1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption
4:10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised
8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him
15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive
1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God
2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place
5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new
2:20 I am crucified with Christ:nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me
3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus
5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love
2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them
3:11-12 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him
3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus
1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving
2:9-10 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power
3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God
1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began
2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus
1:6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
4:4 ... greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world
4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us
Contributor: Akin Akande
Tuesday, July 16 2013
For the past three weeks we have been digging deep into the practical aspect of ‘‘How to turn our Faith Loose’’. A quick recap of all we have learnt can be succinctly put in this equation:
Right Thinking + Believing + Confessing = Activated Faith.
Wrong/ Right Thinking, Believing, and Confessing
Today we will be studying on “Wrong / Right Thinking, Wrong / Right Believing, and Wrong / Right Confession.” Then by the grace of God we will conclude based on what God expects from us as believers.
Romans 10: 10
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteous-ness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
22 ... Have faith in God [or, Have the God-kind of faith].
23 For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall BELIEVE that those things which he SAITH shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he SAITH.
24 Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
From the above texts, our discussion have been on right and wrong thinking, right and wrong believing and right and wrong confession. Therefore, we can say as a corollary to the above equation that;
If our confession is wrong, it is because our believing is wrong.
If our believing is wrong, it is because our thinking is wrong.
If our thinking is wrong, it is because our minds have not yet been renewed with the word of God. Now we can see that the role of our thoughts, believe and ultimately our confession on ‘How to Turn Our Faith Loose’ cannot be over emphasised.
Wrong / Right Thinking
In Part 2 of our study we were able to established that our thoughts, based on what we feed our minds with are governed by the thing we read, watch, listen to and what we feel ( Senses? you may think- see Nehemiah 8:8 & Heb 5:14).
So if we feed our mind with negative words in what we read, watch and listening to, we will be susceptible to wrong thinking.
On the other hand if we feed our mind with right and edifying words from the scripture reading, Christian Publications, Audio messages, e.t.c. invariably our thought life will be right in accordance with the will of God. Phil 4:8 admonishes us on what we should think about. The responsibility of guiding our heart with all diligence lies with us. (Prov. 4: 23). You are what you think. (Prov. 23: 7).
These injunctions are possible if we yield to His words. God's thoughts are different from man's thoughts. God says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:9).
Sometimes you can say some things that the Bible says are true, and in your natural mind, it doesn't sound reasonable. But that is because your mind hasn't been renewed with the Word of God. Rom 12: 2.
Wrong / Right Beliefs:
It is good we read our text again for emphasis on what we believe and what to do with our belief
MARK 11:22-24 (emphasis are mine).
22 ... Have faith in God [or, Have the God-kind of faith].
23 For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
The belief we are concerned about is on the Word of God. In other words, what God says about us, what He says about our situations- our past, present and our future. This is not about our feelings or what folks say about us. We should be careful not to drift into the realm of the flesh (senses; see, hear or feel) but rather we are to consciously ‘tame’ them meditatively via the words of God.
Wrong/ Positive Confession
Wrong confession, of course, is a confession of defeat, of failure, and of the supremacy of Satan. Speaking about how the devil is affecting your progress, oppressing your family, holding your finances, academic, marital fruitfulness business, health and ministries in bondage is a confession of defeat. These kinds of confessions simply glorify the devil. These are wrong confessions. We have established it that Confession is proclaiming a truth that we've accepted wholeheartedly or it is declaring something we know to be true and stating something we believe.
It is important to know that when we confess the words of God, we give voice to His written words. The Lord said ‘the words I speak unto you are Spirit, and they are life’. John 6: 63. So whenever we speak the words, it eventually turns to Spirit. Thus, angelic beings are discharged to execute those words. Psa 103: 20. In the same vein demonic beings are release on every negative word. Suffice to say that the worlds (heaven, earth and underneath the earth) are govern by words. However, the place of dominion is entrenched by our confession.
1. Don't Confess Fear - Resist It!
Someone define fear as False Experience Appearing Real. But the Bible says God has given you a spirit, not of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). If you walk in love, you ought not to be tormented by fear. Why? 1 John 4: 18 says; ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love cast out all fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love’. Fear is from the enemy. We need to confess the words of God based on 2 Tim 1:7. ‘I have the spirit of power’. What you confess will dominate you!
James 4: 7 says Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Fear is of the devil. The antidote is to resist the devil. Declare with your mouth that you have the spirit of power, love and of a sound mind. This entails a conscious effort on our part to grow spiritually.
2. Don't Confess Doubt - Resist It!
This antidote and the aforementioned one is not a suggestion to deny the fact that you cannot fear or you cannot doubt if you already have it as a beguiling issue. The panacea is- do not give credence to it by your words. When you say it out, you empower it. Do not confess your doubts. Confess the words instead. Doubt is evil. When you build yourself in the most holy faith, Jude 20, Doubt will dissipate. Envision God bigger than the circumstance, situation or problem. Remember Num 13: 32. Again we are commanded to resist the devil. ‘Whom resist steadfast in the faith…….’’ 1 Pet 5: 9.
Always remember God said ‘Fear thou not. Store up in your mind ‘Fear not’ words in the scripture and confess it loud and clear. For instance, Kenneth E. Hagin suggested you say- ‘’ I'm a child of God, and God has not given me a spirit of fear. I'm not afraid. I refuse to be afraid. I resist you, Satan, in Jesus' Name’’. He observed “This will make you rise above satanic influence every single time. Every time you confess your doubts and fears, your weakness, and your disease, you are openly confessing that the Word of God is not true and that God has failed to make His Word good in your life. Think on that for awhile! I want you to see the place that confession holds in your life’’.
3. Don't Confess Your Sickness - Confess your Healing!
Locating an appropriate word from the scriptures, believe it, confess it, action it! This will inevitably bring an end to all struggles. Kenneth E. Hagin said ‘’what does God's Word say? Ask yourself that question on any subject. Take healing or sickness, for example; what does God have to say about the subject of healing? The Word declares that with Jesus' stripes, you were healed (Isa. 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). The Bible also says, "Surely He has borne our sicknesses and carried our diseases" (Isa. 53:4). And Matthew 8:17 says, ". . . Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." But many times, instead of confessing that Jesus has borne their diseases and put them away, people confess they still have them. You see, the reason we miss it so much of the time is, we take the testimony of our physical senses instead of taking the testimony of the Word of God. But when they start confessing that Jesus has done something about their sickness and disease - that He has taken them away - then healing and health will become a reality in their lives’’.
How forcible are right words. “Thy words have upholden him that was falling and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.” Job 6: 25; 4:4. Informed believers are word –based; those who have saturated their minds with the infallible words of God. Therefore, in our sitting, walking and standing position of victory we have in Christ Jesus, it is adequate information we have about whom and who we are in Him, that will translate into revelation, which will engender our transformation, for by then we can say we have turned our faith loose. Acts 11: 26, 2 Corinth 3: 18.
Contributor: Martins Olubiyi
Tuesday, July 16 2013
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
To set your faith loose you must avoid activities that hinders faith
· Such activities only make you look more spiritual eyes of others and take you far away from God.
· Unproductive activity will wear you out.
· It will kill your sensitivity
As good as activity can be you can never impress Jesus with your anything else but real faith and believe.
To set your faith loose you must get rid of fear
Romans 8:15 says: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father”.
· Fear is synonymous to unbelief.
· Fear empowers the enemy to take foothold in your life.
· Fear tells you that God's promises and His word will not come to pass in your life.
· Fear connects you to the reality of what you are afraid of.
· Fear paralyzes your faith
If you get rid of fear your faith will be as solid as a rock
Set your faith loose you must know your identity
When we lose the identity of who we are it is difficult to put your faith in action.
When Eve met with the evil one in the Garden of Eden she refused to identify herself as the superior, as one with dominion over everything and the serpent took advantage of it.
Modecai knew that as an Israelite he is not supposed to bow down to anything else except God. He let his faith loose at a decisive moment of life and death and God stood by him.
Jesus when tempted knew his identity. He did not fall into whims and caprices of the devil. At all times during His dialogue with the devil He set loose His faith by confronting Satan with the written word.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
If noticed in this verse above, Paul talked about the faith of the Son God. Letting us know that the faith we have is a gift from God through His Son Jesus.
Romans 12:3 says: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
You don’t need bigger faith neither do you need a smaller faith, all you need is the faith of the Son of God. Luke 17: 5-6
“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
His word contains His Faith. They are promises and prophecies embedded with faith.
Set your faith loose through words
Power of words - Jesus said you have whosoever regardless of your gender, race or creed
“if you say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith”.
The only way you can release your faith is to believe and use words
Romans 4: 17 it says
“As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were”.
Stop believing in the things that are negative and use words to create the positive.
Set your faith on positive things. God spoke the world into existence by His words
Everything that God created by words will definitely respond to words. You are created by words so are the troubles of this world. Take step faith today speak to that created circumstances and you see your troubles crumble.
God is working in you so that his power will work in you on you and through you.
Contributor: Clem Roberts
Tuesday, July 16 2013
Introduction: Last week we considered the first part of “How to turn our Faith Loose” – we considered extensively the four types of confessions and the distinctions between them. We concluded by saying that “In order to effectively turn our faith on, we must appropriate the power of confession”.
In today’s study we shall continue on this very important topic. Because what is the point of having faith if we are not able to “turn it loose” or in other words, “make use of it”?
Someone once said that you do not stand in front of a cage of lions to defend them; simply step aside and open the cage and let the lions defend themselves!
What Does It Mean To Turn Our Faith Loose?
Simply, it means to activate (trigger, initiate, kick-start, etc.) As a matter of fact, we can’t say we have faith unless, it’s been turned loose – faith is only seen when it is in action.
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
Now let us systematically consider how to turn our faith loose.
We will consider four important aspects and how they relate with each other in turning our faith loose. They are: our thoughts, our beliefs, our confessions and our actions.
1. Our Thoughts
In considering this sub-topic, we should ask ourselves these questions:
(a) What do we feed our minds with?
i. The things we read
ii. The things we watch
iii. The things we listen to
iv. The things we feel
(b) What do give permission to, to occupy our minds?
i. What do we meditate on?
ii. What information we process from (a) above
In Philippians 4:8 [MSG] Paul admonishes us on the things that we should think about.
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Proverbs 4:23 [NLT] says:
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
What we think about affects what we believe and this will in turn affect our confession and ultimately how we act. So if our thinking is right, our believing will be right because what you meditate on will eventually get down into your heart. The Bible in Proverbs 27:1a says:
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he”.
2. Our Beliefs
The next bit to consider is one we have extensively considered since we started on the topic of Faith so we will not dwell to long on it. The belief we are concerned about is on the Word of God; what it says about us, what it says about our situations – our past, our present and our future. We should believe only on what the Word of God says about us – not what people say or what we see, hear or how we feel. Mark 11: 22-24 says:
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith (strong belief) in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
An important note of caution is this: We begin to believe the things we think; if we dwell on them long enough. 1 Timothy 4:2 [MSG] says: “These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth.”
3. Our Confessions
Last week we extensively considered confession in. So once again, we will not over-emphasize this topic but we will simply consider the other side of it.
“Confession’ Defined - The dictionary says that "to confess" means to acknowledge or to own up to or to acknowledge faith in. It also means to make confession of one's faults.”
It is very important to realize and recognize the place that confession holds in the scheme of things. It is more than only confessing sins, weaknesses, and failures. That is the negative side of confession, but there is a positive side that the Bible encourages.
Joel 3:10 (NIV) says: “Let the weak say, “I am strong.””
Actually, Christianity is called "The Great Confession." - : Our confession is proclamations of what we know to be true, something we believe and what we have accepted wholeheartedly.
Jesus said in Luke 6:45[NIV]
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
See a few examples of scriptures we can store in our hearts and confess with our mouths (there are approximately 133 or 134 of them; so we should take time to seek them out for ourselves): (2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 1:7, 8, Galatians 3:13, Phil.4:13, Deut.28:3-14, etc.)
So if we re-visit our text in Romans 10:10, it says: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Notice the latter part of Romans 10:10: ". . . with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”
This is true concerning salvation, as well as some other things we receive from God. In some other cases, a third step is required – Action
4. Our Actions
Some of the times, the “Action” part may be a pronouncement as we see in Mark 11:23
“for verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe [that is, believe in his heart] that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”
Like Mary in Luke 1:38, when she said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word”
Other times, the “Action” part as a physical action as we see in the account of the woman with the issue of blood. After she said “If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole”Matt.9:21, she stepped out in faith and touched Jesus’ garment. See verse 20 or like the young men that brought a paralyzed man through the roof to see Jesus in Luke 5:18-20. They acted on their faith and Jesus saw their faith. We can see the same in James 2:14-18
God has given us His Word to get our thinking straightened out. And when we think in line with God's Word, our believing will be right. When we believe right, then what we say with our mouths will be right and ultimately we will take the right actions (as needed).
We have to keep these four, right – Our thoughts, Our beliefs, Our confessions and Our actions because if one of them goes wrong, then all four of them put together will not yield the desired result. So let us meditate on these scriptural truths that we have looked at today; and as we continue to confess them to be true in our lives, we will cause these truths to become a reality in our hearts and lives. And let’s remember that to set our faith loose we need to “Think Right”, “Believe Right”, “Confess Right” and “Act Right”
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Tuesday, July 16 2013
INTRODUCTION: A great insight into the significance and importance of the Inner Man in receiving from God was properly dealt with at our last teaching. We also learnt how to believe with our hearts, which is a requirement for taking delivery of our breakthroughs and miracles even when our bodies and circumstances are saying contrary. We will go a little further in digging deep into how to turn our faith loose in today’s teaching. Having examined what it means to believe with the heart during the last lesson on Faith. We will be looking at the later part of Romans 10:10;
"......with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto salvation...."
Four Kinds of Confession
Due to the confused thought surrounding the subject of confession, we will be examining the four kinds of confession spoken of in the New Testament and how these impacts on turning our faith loose.
i) Jews' Confession of sin [Mark1:4-5, 14-15]
This can be seen in the teaching of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ to the Jews about the confession of their sins.
ii) Confession of the Sinner Under the New Covenant [John 16;7-11]
Jesus Christ made a very important statement in the New Testament in this passage concerning the sinner under the New Covenant.
Notice the words of Jesus in verse 9: ".....Of sin, because they believe not in me". Jesus is simply saying here that the only "one" sin that the sinner will be convicted of is the sin of rejecting Jesus: ".......because they believe not on me [Jesus]". This simply tells us that contrary to what is obtained in Christian circles when a sinner is being led to the Lord and asked to confess all the sins he or she has ever committed, the main confession the sinner needs to make is the Lord-ship of Jesus Christ!
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
iii) The Believer's Confession of His Sins [1 John 1:9]
This is the believer's confession of his sin when he is out of fellowship with God. That broken fellowship with God many times may cause sickness, because the bible says in James 5:16a;
"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."
iv) The Believer's Confession of Faith
This is the confession of our faith in the Word, in Christ, and in God the father.
Distinctions - Confessions of Jews (Old Covenant) & Sinners Under The New Covenant
5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.[Matt.3:5-6]
This is the picture of God's covenant people (Jews under the Law) confessing their sins and being baptised by John in the name of the Father only. This was before Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.
According to Acts 19:18;
"And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds."
These were Gentiles or non-Jewish Christians, evidently believers who were likely confessing their sins of practising magical arts. Some important notes worthy of consideration;
· These Gentile Christians were already saved and were therefore not confessing these sins in order to be saved.
· They didn't have to give up their sinful practices of practicing magic and other things in order to get saved.
· Their sins and wrong practices were easier to confess after they were saved.
This is also contrary to what is being preached in some Christian circles and denominations where sinners are being told of the need to quit their sins before they can be saved. This is putting the cart before the horse. It's like telling a sick person he or she needs to get well before they can be admitted into the hospital. All the sinner has to do is to accept the Lordship of Jesus, and those things will take care of themselves.
The Confession the Sinner Makes
According to our anchor scripture in Romans 10:9 (....That if thou shalt CONFESS), we realise that we don't have to give up anything or quit anything in order to be saved. All that God requires of the sinner is the confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The only sin the sinner is guilty of is the rejection of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Once a person is born again, God will deal with him about the things he needs to change and will give him the power to change them.
Also, there must be a vocal confession by a person of the Lordship of Jesus-his lips must frame the words. This is for the benefit of Satan, declaring you are no longer under his dominion (Eph.1:19-21). In receiving eternal life, there must be public confession. This signifies a change of lordship; it defines our position. The confession of the Lordship of Jesus puts us immediately under Jesus' supervision, care and protection.
The Believer Confessing His Sins [Psalm 137:1-4]
This verse of scripture is a picture of broken fellowship. As Christians, we lose our testimony the moment we sin as sin always puts the light out. Let's read 1 John 1:3-10.
· Notice that this scripture addresses believers and not sinners! It warns us against broken fellowship and secondly the way back to restoring broken fellowship with God our Father.
· This scripture is about a born again Christian who is out fellowship with God and won’t admit it. It’s not for unbelievers.
Christians have a “monitor”-that is the voice of conscience-on the inside of us, and it lets us know when we’ve done wrong. Acknowledge every wrong doing or sin promptly and repent by saying “Lord, I missed it. Please forgive me” and He’ll forgive you. Once you confess a sin, do not keep confessing the same sins over and over again because that only builds weakness, doubt, and sin consciousness into your spirit. Satan tries to take advantage of you by reminding you of your confessed sin. You must refuse to think upon that sin any longer [Psalm 103:1-3, 12].
*Read James 5:14, 15 – There is healing in Forgiveness. Jesus will not require us to do what He will not do. If He asked us to forgive an offender seventy times seven, then He will do same for anyone who has sin. God’s grace is beyond human comprehension.
Finally, we read Hebrews 10:1-4; 9:14 and 1 John 1:9:
These passages tell us of the failure of the blood of bulls and goats under the old covenant to take away sins. Their blood could only cover sins with these sins still left in the heart of man- still in his consciousness. Thank God for the blood of the spotless Lamb of God. Our redemption in Christ has redeemed us from sin consciousness. Once forgiven, we don’t have to remember them again, Hallelujah!
In order to effectively turn our faith on, we must appropriate the power of confession. A hindrance to confidently confess our belief and faith in the Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ is not trusting God enough to forgive us when we miss the mark and walking in sin consciousness after we have been forgiven. If you sin, repent and confess your sin to God and have no remembrance of it. God doesn’t, so why should you? Then you can see with what confidence we can come before God in prayer and know with a certainty that He hears us.
We will close with these words of caution in 1 John 3:1-10 [AMP].
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
Tuesday, July 16 2013
Last week we considered a crucial topic: “Sustaining our Faith”. We looked at the pitfalls that threaten our faith and how to avoid them as we considered Peter’s experience of walking on water. Peter walked on water; but it was his faith that kept him afloat. As long as he could sustain his faith, he was fine. But then, the pitfalls came threatening and he lost it. This week we shall consider a phrase that has fazed a number of people in the past; one we have also just read in our texts. “For with the heart man believeth”, “and shall not doubt in his heart”.
From our texts we notice that it is with the heart that a man believes or doubts.
So what does it mean to believe with the heart?
Answering this question correctly requires that we have insight to a few Truths. It is in gaining these insights we will come to an understanding of what it means to believe with the heart
The heart of man is the spirit of man.
First, we need to understand that the heart of man is the spirit of man. Man is a spirit; he has a soul; and he lives in a body. The word "heart" used in the scriptures we just mentioned is not referring to the physical organ that pumps the blood through our bodies and keeps us alive. That would mean we are to believe God with our bodies! The word "heart" is used to convey a thought.
Notice how we use the word "heart" today. We talk about the heart of a tree. What do we mean? We mean the centre, the very core. We talk about the heart of a subject. What do we mean? We mean the most important part of that subject - the very centre of it - the main part of it around which the rest revolves. And when God speaks of the human heart, He is speaking about the main part of man; the very centre of man's being, which is his spirit. When God speaks of the heart, He means the human spirit. Many times the words "heart" and "spirit" in the Bible are interchangeable. See Romans 2:28, 29
In this passage, the "heart" of man and the "spirit" of man are used interchangeably.
Romans 2:29 says, "... circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit...." That is referring to the human spirit. Your heart, according to this text, is your spirit.
We can ONLY contact God with our Spirits (Hearts)
JOHN 4:24: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
The words "in spirit" in the phrase, refers to the human spirit, not the Holy Spirit. You see, you cannot contact God with your body and you cannot contact God with your mind. You can only contact God with your spirit; therefore, you must worship him from your spirit or heart.
It is with his spirit, man contacts the spiritual realm. With his soul he contacts the intellectual and emotional realm. And with his body he contacts the physical realm. So to believe God with your heart means to believe God with your spirit (the real man or otherwise referred to as the inner man.)
Hidden Man of the Heart – The real man
1 PETER 3:4a “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, Notice the word "heart" again. Notice also that Peter says, ". . . the hidden man of the heart ...” Peter used the words "hidden man" because, really, the spirit or the heart is the real you. The body is not the real you; it is just the house you live in.
Remember Paul said in First Corinthians 9:27,
"... I keep under my body, and I [The real him] bring it [The body] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away."
If your body were the real you, Paul would have said, "I keep myself under. I bring myself under subjection." But he said, "I keep my body under. I bring it under subjection."
"I" is the man on the inside. It is the "hidden man of the heart" in First Peter 3:4. It is the spirit - the real man, or the inner man. The "hidden man of the heart" is called that because he is hidden to the natural man or to the natural mind.
The Inward Man
ROMANS 7:22: “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.”
Here, the spirit of man is called the "inward man." So this inward man and the hidden man give us God's definition of the human spirit. Remember the real man is a spirit; he has a soul; and he lives in a body (1 Thess. 5:23).
We can only contact God with your spirit. And God contacts and communicates with us through our spirits. Certainly, you know that when you hear the Word of God preached, you hear it with your physical ears and it goes through your natural mind before it goes into your heart or your spirit.
1Corinthians 2:14 says,
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
The Word of God is of the Spirit of God, and the Bible says the Word of God is foolish to the natural mind. The reason the Word of God is foolish to the natural mind is that you don't understand the Bible with your head or mind; it is spiritually understood. You understand the Bible with your heart or your spirit. That's the reason you can read certain verses over and over again and not understand the meaning. Then one day you can be reading along, and suddenly you see the truth of a particular verse of Scripture, and you say, "Why didn't I ever see that before?"
Well, it is because you have only just then understood it with your heart!
The right sequence is to Believe, Receive, and Then Have!
To have anything, we need to first receive it. And to receive, we have to believe. (But this belief is with the heart!) Mark 11:24 (KJV) says:
“Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
In common, every-day language, Jesus said, "You've got to believe you've got your answer before you get it!"
The Amplified version reads:
“For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe – trust and be confident - that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].”
The problem is that many of us want to get what we desire first, before we believe we've got it. But Jesus said that you've got to believe you've received what you desire from God, and then you'll have it! That is faith!
How do we continue to believe with our hearts?
“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10
The Word of God is the food that makes our spirits strong and that gives us quiet assurance and confidence.
So how does our spirit get faith that our intellect cannot obtain?
Through reading and meditating on the Word; Jesus said in Matthew 4:4,
". . . Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Jesus is speaking here of spiritual food. He is using the natural human idea (bread) to convey a spiritual thought. The Word of God is food for the spirit and faith.
The Word of God is to the spirit of man what natural food is to the body of man.
Our spirits become filled with assurance and confidence as we meditate in the Word.
To believe with all of our heart is to believe independently of our heads or of our bodies.
Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all thine HEART; and lean not unto thine own understanding [or your mind].
We know that to believe with the heart is to believe with the spirit, not regarding what your physical body may tell you or what your physical senses may tell you.
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Tuesday, July 16 2013
In the last study titled “How Faith Comes – Part1” we learned that faith comes by hearing the word of God. We considered extensively, the various ways we could receive this faith; listening to the word of God, reading the word of God, etc. As a continuation of How Faith comes, today, we will look at a sub-title: “Sustaining or Faith”. This is important because having faith alone without sustaining it and/or maintaining it will cause us to lose it! In this study, we will consider the pitfalls and how to avoid them.
From our text, Peter heard the voice of the Master – the Word of God when Jesus said to all of them first in verse 27; “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
His faith was activated straightaway. The message version of verse 28 says; “Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.”
And then Jesus said to him “Come!”
Peter walked on water; but it was his faith that kept him afloat. As long as he could sustain his faith, he was fine. But then, the pitfalls came threatening and he lost it. So let us consider these pitfalls and how to avoid them.
The pitfalls are (but not limited to) the following
From our text in Matt: 14 and verse 30
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink cried out; “Lord, save me!””
In verse 31 of Matt. 14, Jesus indicates that doubt is one of the pitfalls of sustaining our faith
Also in Mark 11:23 [AMP], He reiterated the same pitfall.
“Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, be lifted up and thrown into the sea! And does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.”
And so if we will not doubt; if we will just believe, then whatever we say will happen!
These come in various forms but the purpose is to get our eyes of the Author and Finisher of our faith and focus on things contrary to what the Word says; the winds, the waves, etc. Romans 8:38-39 lists some of the possible distractions.
4. Our senses
What we see around us, what we hear and the way we perceive the things we see and hear affect the way we feel and these in turn invokes doubt. 2 Cor. 4:18a;
“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.”
* Discuss any other pitfalls
Avoiding the Pitfalls
We can avoid being victims of these pitfalls if we apply (but not limited to) the following:
1. Prove God's Word by Acting on It – Make use of your faith
One of the definitions of faith as we learnt in our study is proving God's Word by acting on it. Because, one may say that they know God's Word is good, but will never really know God's
Word is good until we have acted on it and have reaped the results of it. There is a very strong importance when someone has a first-hand experience; an eye-witness account of God’s word! Luke so very confidently expressed this in his epistle to Theophilus in Luke 1:1-4. His confidence was based on the first-hand experience of the disciples. Heb. 5:14, says:
“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Emphasis mine
This follows then that the more we walk by faith, the stronger it becomes and the less the possibility of losing it.
2. Believe What the Bible Says - Not What Your Senses Tell You
We should believe what the Bible says, not what we see, hear or feel because our faith is not based on our feeling but based on what God says. When we develop our faith to the place where we believe what the Word says regardless of circumstances and physical symptoms, then we are rest assured that we won’t lose faith.
Important to note is that we do not deny symptoms because they are real. Of course pain is real; sin is real; and the devil is real. But we should not focus on them. Romans 4:19-21 MSG
“Abraham didn’t focus on his own impotence and say, “It’s hopeless. This hundred-year-old body could never father a child.” Nor did he survey Sarah’s decades of infertility and give up. He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”
Notice what the Bible said: "Abraham did not focus on his own impotence but plunged into what God promised.
3. Speak what the Bible Says - Not What Your Senses Tell You
Again from Romans 4:19a, Abraham did not say “It’s hopeless”. Joel 3:10 (NIV) says: “Let the weak say, “I am strong.””
Also, Hebrews 13:6 says: “So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
We should quit saying what we feel (it may be real but not the truth) and start saying what the Bible says about us (obviously the truth)
“Often we are faced with two realities; the negative (based on occurrences around us and our feelings) and the positive (based on the Word of God and His precious promises) and ultimately, we have a choice to make; to confess the positive or the negative reality.
The simple truth at the end of the day is that the reality that we continually confess will eventually supersede the other.”- Still Standing
4. Let the seed of God’s word grow within you
Hosea 14:2 (NIV)”Take my words with you.” And Acts 19:20 (KJV) says; “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” We should allow the word of God grow within us because it is His word that will prevail when our faith is tested. Jesus overcame the temptations of Satan by the Word that He had within Him. “Matthew 4:1-11”. Proverbs 4:20-22 says:
“My son, attend unto my words; incline thine ears unto my sayings. Let them not depart from before thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they [my words] are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
The source of our faith is the Word of God; so if we allow the Word to grow in us then we are indirectly growing the faith in us!
5. Deliberately shift your focus to the Author and the Finisher of your faith
Focus on Jesus, who is your High Priest and the Author and the Finisher of your faith (Heb. 12:2). We should center our attention and our minds on what Jesus has done for us and what He is doing for us as our High Priest. He is seated at the right hand of God right now making intercession for us (Heb. 7:25). Also Hebrews 4:14 says:
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God let us hold fast our profession [our confession of faith].
So we should get our attention focused on the right things - on Jesus, our great High Priest, and on His Word - instead of on ourselves and our feelings.
Psalm 119:15 ESV: “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”
There are a number of things out there that will contend with our faith. That is why we are advised to be on our guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous and be strong! 1 Corinth 16:13. Truth also is that it is the ONLY currency of heaven. The ONLY way we can please God! Also Jude 1:3-4 MSG says: “Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish. Sustaining our faith is worth dropping everything else for!
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Tuesday, July 16 2013
We have been studying the definitions of faith during our past Bible studies with so much insight into the meaning of Faith. Heb. 11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Martin L. King Jnr. defines Faith as taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase
This week, we shall be examining how to acquire the faith needed to please God in our relationship with Him. If faith is needed to please Him, then God must have made provisions for everyone to be able to get the faith necessary to please Him. Heb.11:6: "But without faith it is impossible to please him...."
1) Faith Comes by Hearing the Word: Rom. 10:17
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”
If faith is a physical material or substance, then the material needed to produce this substance of faith is the word of God according to Rom. 10:17. Every time I need faith, I simply go to the word of God to receive the amount of faith needed. God is not responsible for my lack of faith.
2) Faith for salvation: Ephesians 2:8:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God."
Salvation is a free gift from God but faith is required to have access to this ultimate gift from God.
We already know that faith comes by hearing the word of God, but how are we to get faith to get saved? Romans chapter 10 tells us. ROMANS 10:8-10,13,14
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, THE WORD OF FAITH, WHICH WE PREACH; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation ...13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and HOWSHALL THEY BELIEVE IN HIM OF WHOM THEY HAVE NOT HEARD? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Faith for salvation comes when we hear the word of God. The Holy Spirit will bring conviction to our hearts when the seed of the word of God is sown. The word of God is necessary for us to believe and have faith for salvation.
2a) The case of Cornelius and his household. Act 10:1-48
The angel instructed Cornelius to call for Peter: "And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do" (Acts 10:5,6). Acts11:14 reports that the angel said that Peter would preach the gospel to Cornelius: "Who shall tell thee WORDS, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved." This verse also shows us that men are saved by hearing words - God's Word: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). You can't believe without hearing. So many are trying to believe without hearing.
Jesus said, ". . .Go YE into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Angels can’t preach the gospel, but the angel could tell Cornelius where to go to get someone who could preach the gospel to him. His household was saved when they believed the gospel that Peter preached (Acts 11:13). We are to the preach the gospel for people to believe and be saved.
3) Faith For Healing: Luke. 5:17
“And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them”.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”(Rom.10:17) . Faith for salvation came by hearing the preaching of the gospel so also faith for healing comes by the same preaching of the gospel of healing. Jesus was teaching and the power of the Lord to heal anyone that will believe was present to heal. I believe he must have been preaching about the ability of God to heal
3a) The case of the impotent man at Lystra: ACTS 14:7-107
“And there they [Paul and Barnabas] PREACHED the GOSPEL.8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:9 The same HEARD Paul SPEAK: who steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked”.
This man was not healed because Paul was an apostle, but notice what had to take place before this man was healed: "And there they [Paul and Barnabas] PREACHED the GOSPEL" (Acts 14:7).
So Paul did three things:
1. He preached the gospel to the man.
2. He perceived that the man had faith to be healed.
3. He told the man to rise up and walk.
The man also did three things:
1. He heard Paul preach the gospel.
2. He had faith to be healed.
3. He leaped up and walked.
The man was not healed by some special power that Paul had. The man had faith to be healed. Where and how did he get faith to be healed? He got it from what he heard! Remember Acts 14:9 says, "The same [man] heard Paul SPEAK. . . ." What did Paul speak? Verse 7 says, "And there they PREACHED the GOSPEL." If Paul preached what we call the gospel of salvation, how did the man get faith to be healed? The man got faith to be healed because Paul preached what the Bible calls the gospel, which also includes healing.
Countless people are waiting to be saved, healed, delivered from all forms of satanic oppressions but they need us to preach the gospel to them to be able to believe. It is our responsibility to preach while it is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to use the preaching of the gospel, which is the power of God, to bring salvation, healing and deliverance to people all over the world.
“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Mark 16:20
Conclusion: The study of faith is a very wide subject that will require extensive search for deeper understanding and revelation. We thank God for His generals like Kenneth E. Hagin who did extensive studies on the subject of Faith in his life time. This study was extracted from his book; Faith Bible Study Guide.
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Tuesday, July 16 2013
INTRODUCTION: Another interesting teaching awaits us as we continue on our expository into the mystery of Faith. We have, by the grace of God been able to establish the importance of Hope and Faith and how they work together last week. This week, we will build on this knowledge and see how we can activate our faith and make it work for us.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” [Hebrews 11:1]
A modern translation of the above scripture reads,
“Faith is giving substance to things hoped for.”
The Expanded Bible Version of the same scripture reads,
“Faith means being sure [the assurance; or reality; or the sure foundation] of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it [the conviction/ assurance/ evidence about things not seen].”
We need to first realise and settle the truth about Hope having its own place in the perfection of our Faith walk. We also need to realise that it is our Faith that gives substance to the things we hope for. I love the way the New Living Translation of the Bible expresses the word hope in 1 John 3:3,
“And all who have this eager expectation (hope) will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” [Emphasis Mine]
It is our faith that gives sub-stance to the things we eagerly or expectantly desire. If we are going to wait until we get something before we believe we have it, then it will be too late and it won’t work.
Instances abound in both the old and new testaments of the Bible, about the many escapades done through people who refuse to wait until something happened before taking the appropriate steps towards realising and accomplishing their goals. For example, in Joshua 6:3-5, the Israelites were given certain instructions to act upon in order to posses Jericho. They were to march around the walls of Jericho once a day for six days, and seven times on the seventh day. In addition, they were to shout when the musical instruments were sounded on the seventh day. These were the instructions required to be carried out by the Israelites in order for them to actualise the victory that God has promised them. They first had to believe they received God’s word to them and then take a further step of acting upon this word. Their acting upon the Word was their faith in action.
It is important to note that the Israelites shouted (acting on their faith) even while the wall was still standing. The lesson here is that faith demonstrates to the eye of the mind, the reality of those things that cannot be discerned by the eye of the body [Matthew Henry’s Commentary]. Put in another word, the things which are not seen are eternal in value compared to the things that can be seen (2 Cor.4:18). Faith transcends the physical realm. It is not controlled or deterred by the physical. The Israelites faith gave substance to God’s word to them and when they acted on their faith, God’s promise became a reality and those walls came down, Hallelujah!
Faith Is Active
Faith is acting upon God’s word. To act means to do something. Many people are waiting for answers to prayers to come to them especially in the area of healing or the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Too often, people just wait for something to happen with a passive faith instead of an active faith. Although God will help you meet your financial obligations, you have a part to play. You can’t just stay idle and expect things to happen or expect something to come to you. You can pray and believe God, but then you must act on your faith by actively looking for a job (for example) and something will happen. Same applies in the spiritual.
New Testament Example of Active Faith
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
Faith is looking at the finished work and not focusing on the present! This is giving substance to things hoped. The finished work is the substance. Whenever Jesus speaks to people, He speaks the end of the situation and not what they are going through. That is giving substance to things hoped for. A very good illustration of giving substance to things hoped for is in Luke 17:11-19. Notice Jesus didn’t say the man’s thanksgiving has made him whole, but his faith (Discuss). This man saw what the other nine could not see. A man of faith indeed!
Another illustration can be found in Luke 5:18-25. A man sick the palsy was let down from the roof of a house where Jesus was teaching because the room was so packed full. Verse 20, 24 of the same chapter records;
“And when he [Jesus] saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee…..Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house”.
Note the phrase saw their faith. It was not only the faith of the four men who brought the man the palsy that got him healed, the faith of the sick man was included too. This man also demonstrated his faith because how many bedfast (bed ridden) people would endure the pain and discomfort and let someone take them up on top of a house and let them down through? We also know that this man had faith because when Jesus said to him, “Rise up”, he wasn’t any better, just as the leprous man in Luke 17, who as at the time he went back to give thanks, has not yet been made whole. The man with the palsy was just as help-less as he ever was. Nothing has changed physically before the command to rise up was given. Instead of trying to get up, he could have said, “Why Lord, didn’t you see them carrying me in here? I can’t possibly get up. You’ll have to heal me first.” Instead, he began to move (active) and when he did, healing was the result. If he refused to act on the Word of the Master, he would not have received healing.
There is a real spiritual lesson for us here. Acting on God’s word is called faith. And when we are in faith, we will receive answers to prayers. The ability, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to see the finished work and the end of the matter, empowers us to be able to act on God’s Word in the face of difficult situations and circumstances.
In the early days of Pentecost, a woman evangelist ministered to four people in wheelchairs. All she said, in a very quiet tone was, “Rise and walk in Jesus’ Name” and three of the four people walked. The one who was left sitting there in a wheel chair said, “I can’t walk.” Even though she was reminded that the others couldn’t walk either, but they did, this woman still answered, “I know they did; but I can’t. I haven’t walked in years. I can’t walk”. She was left sitting there.
[Read out the story of the woman with Arthritis who never believed she could be healed because of doctor’s report – You Can’t Receive from God without Faith]
The Holy Spirit Prompts, But You Must Respond
Too many people think that God’s healing power is just going to move on them and make them do something whether they want to do it or not, or whether they cooperate with His power or not. No, that would not be the Holy Spirit; that would be an evil spirit instead. The Holy Spirit never forces or drives you to do anything. He only urges and prompts you and it’s up to you to respond and do something. It’s up to you whether or not to obey.
Kenneth Hagin laid his hands and prayed for a woman to receive the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost indeed came upon the woman but she would not respond by speaking. This he did again but the result was the same. He mentioned that he knew exactly what was wrong with the woman. She was asked to read the portion of scripture in Acts 2:4 and the emphasis was on "....and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." . You see, this woman believed she was filled with the Holy Ghost, the main hindrance to her speaking in other tongue as one of the signs of being filled with the Holy Ghost is that she had always believed that it was the Holy Ghost that did the speaking. She was asked to read another scripture in Acts 10:44-46, in order to encourage her faith and she was filled with the Holy Ghost.
Faith Is Cooperating With God
[Read Testimony of a man who had been burned over the lower part of his body and had been unable to walk].
We can only cooperate with God through our belief in His ability. We can understand this better through the principle of buoyancy [explain].
Faith, you see, is acting on God's word; doing what-ever He says to do in the Word or whatever He may say to us to do by the Holy Spirit. God can't help folks who won't cooperate with Him. But we need to get this fact; faith is giving substance to things hoped for. Faith will eventually bring into reality what you hoped for - The Finished Work!
If You Believe, You Will Act
The best definition of faith is this: IF YOU BELIEVE, YOU WILL ACT.
This also relates to God's word. If we believe God's Word, we will act as though it's true.
Act on Your Faith for Healing
Kenneth Hagin said that people want healing for their bodies and that he can tell then just exactly how to get it. The answer is in Acts 14:8-10.
Paul perceived that this impotent man had faith to be healed; yet the man was still sitting there crippled until he acted on his faith. The real truth is, every believer has faith to be healed. Someone said, "If sick folks have faith, they are going to be healed". Oh no, that's wrong, because there's nowhere in the bible where it says, "If you just have faith, you'll be healed". But the moment you begin to act on the faith that you do have, your faith will be work and you will be healed. Yes, the devil will contest you every inch of the way. But if you keep on acting in faith, you will manifest the healing.
If you can't get people to receive and act on God's word, there is no way that you or even God can help them. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). you've heard the word. Faith is acting on the Word that you've heard. It is you who must act on the Word, so get ready and act now.
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
Tuesday, July 16 2013
We thank God for leading us to focus on the study of faith which is one of the prerequisites for walking in signs and wonders this year. We started with the study of the name of Jesus and we have been blessed by great revelations from the word of God. The summary of our studies can be found in Col. 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
The understanding of the name of Jesus sets the foundation for our journey into the mystery of Faith. Faith is one of the fruit of the spirit (Gal.5:22-23). It is one of the very natures of God. Since we are partakers of God’s divine nature (2Pet.1:4) then, living by faith is a must for our relationship with God.
1) What is Faith? : Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
a) Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.- Martin L.King Jr.
b) Faith is making the Words of God the main determining factor for every action you take, and remaining at peace whether you know the outcome or not.. Web definition
The NIV stated that “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”
Moffatt's translation of this verse reads: "Now faith means that we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see."
The definition of faith will not be well rounded without understanding the relationship between hope and faith. Faith is giving substance to the things hoped for. Hope is not faith and faith is not hope.
2) The Difference Between Faith and Hope:
Hope is a great thing and it is also a key part of faith. But Hope alone has no certainty; but with faith comes certainty. It is this certainty (trust) that says to a mountain “move” and it will move!
Without the certainty that God will do what he promises, the great acts of faith we see in the Bible would never have happened.
Faith gives us the confidence to act on Gods promises… hope alone does not.
Hope is future tense. Thank God we do have a Blessed Hope. The Blessed Hope of the Church is the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the saved dead, the rapture of the living saints, the hope of heaven, and the hope of seeing our loved ones and friends. Thank God for that hope. We rejoice in that hope, but that's all future tense. Jesus is coming again, whether we believe it or not.
Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
From this verse of scripture, we see that we must have HOPE to have FAITH. There is no faith without hope. But you don’t have to have faith to have hope. We know what we hope for, but that’s only the first part of having faith… we have to be “… certain of what [we] do not see.” Faith requires both parts!
Substituting hope for faith is like trying to win a race without crossing the finish line… you have to start and finish. The power is not in starting the race… anyone can do that. The power is in finishing. This is why faith is so difficult.
3) Changing Hope to Faith To Receive Miracle:
Hebrews 11:1 reads: "Faith is giving substance ... to things hoped for." The journey of faith starts at the door of hope. Mark 5:21 “For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” The hope of a miraculous healing made the woman to seek out for Jesus; believing that touching Jesus’s garmet would heal her was an “activator” of her faith and when she acted on her faith (by leaving her house and going ahead to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment) she received her miracle!
4) To receive, we need faith – not hope!
A look at the hall of faith
Read Hebrews 11 verses 1-40
· It was through faith the people of old subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, and stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again and the walls of Jericho fell down.
Notice how faith always inspired fearless action! Hope doesn’t do that… only faith does. That’s why “…certainty in what you do not see” is so important.
The certainty of faith removes all fear, and doubt… something that simple hope cannot.
Here are a few encounters:
We only receive when we pray in FAITH!
The study of faith is a very wide subject that will require extensive search for deeper understanding and revelation. We thank God for His generals like Kenneth E. Hagin who did extensive studies on the subject of Faith in his life time. This study was extracted from his book; Faith Bible Study Guide.
Contributors: Alex Alajiki & Isekhua Evborokhai