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Thursday, August 29 2013
Introduction: In this lesson we will study the God-Kind of faith. This is the same faith that believes and speaks (2Cor. 4: 13). Jesus demonstrated this kind of faith as we will see in our text.
“And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he [Jesus] was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And his disciples heard it....”
“And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, HAVE FAITH IN GOD. 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. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” MARK 11:12-14, 20-24
As we read in these passages, the Lord said: “have faith in God”. Greek Scholars tell us this verse actually says, “Have the God-kind of faith”. What the Lord said as regards the cursing of the fig tree came to pass- it withered away. In verses 23 and 24, Jesus defines and describes for us the God-kind of faith He spoke about in verse 22. The God-kind of faith is the kind of faith whereby a man believes in his heart and says with his mouth what he believes in his heart, and it comes to pass. Jesus demonstrated that He had that kind of faith, for He believed that what He said would come to pass. He said to the tree, ". . . No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever" (Mark 11:14).
That is the same kind of faith that spoke this world into existence.
HEBREWS 11:3 - “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
How did God make the world? God believed that what He said would come to pass. He said, ". . . Let there be light . . ." (Gen. 1:3), and light became. God spoke into existence the vegetable kingdom (Gen. 1:11, 12). He spoke into existence the animal kingdom (Gen. 1:20-25).
God spoke into existence the heavens as well as the earth; He spoke into existence the moon, the sun, the stars, and the universe (Gen. 1:1, 8, 9, 14-18). God just said it, and it was so, because He believed it would be so. That's the God-kind of faith. God believed what He said would come to pass and it did. Jesus demonstrated He had that kind of faith, and then He said to the disciples that they had that same kind of faith too.
· DON'T PRAY FOR FAITH - EXERCISE THE FAITH YOU ALREADY HAVE.
Someone said, "I want that kind of faith. I'm praying that God will give me that kind of faith." Well, you're wasting your time praying if you're praying for faith, because faith doesn't come by praying. In fact, if you are a believer, you already have that kind of faith. Every believer has a measure of the God-kind of faith (Rom. 12:3). The believer must now exercise the measure of faith he already possesses.
ROMANS 12:3 – “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.”
That is not referring to every person in the world. Every person in the world doesn't have the God-kind of faith. We know this because in writing to the Church in Thessalonica, Paul says, ". . . all men have not faith" (2 Thess. 3:2). So every man in the world does not have this faith. But every believer does! Romans 12:3 says, "... to every man THAT IS AMONG YOU. . . ." That is not talking about every man in the world, but about believers. Paul did not write this letter to sinners in the world. He addressed this letter, the Book of Romans, "To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be SAINTS..."
(Rom. 1:7). Paul said, "... I say ... 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" (Rom. 12:3). Every believer - every child of God, every Christian does have a measure of the God-kind of faith. Let me prove this to you further.
· FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD.
EPHESIANS 2:8 - “For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is THE GIFT OF GOD”
The faith by which you are saved is not of yourself. Paul is not talking about grace because everyone knows that grace is not of yourself. Paul is saying that the faith by which you are saved is not of yourselves. In other words, it is not a natural human faith. It is a faith given to the sinners by God. Well, how did God give the sinner faith to be saved? Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Then notice these expressions, "So then faith cometh" and "according as God hath dealt" (Rom. 10:17; 12:3). And notice again Ephesians 2:8: ". . . ye [are] saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." Paul says that this faith to be saved is given; it's dealt; it cometh. It cometh by hearing the Gospel preached.
ROMANS 10:8 – “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.”
This Bible, this message of God, is called the word of faith. Why is it called the word of faith? Because the Bible contains words that are spirit and life (John 6:63) which cause faith to come into even the heart of the unsaved. The Word of God causes the same kind of faith to be dealt to our hearts that God used to speak the universe into existence. Faith is given or imparted to us through the Word. Hearing the Word brings faith. Read Romans 10:8 again, "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart...." Notice that this verse agrees exactly with what Jesus said in Mark 11:23: "... whosoever shall say ... and shall not doubt in his heart...." Do you see the idea of believing with the heart and saying with your mouth what you believe in your heart? Jesus believed it and He said it. God believed it and He said it. The earth came into existence. God gives faith to the sinner to be saved ROMANS 10:9, 10
“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. For WITH THE HEART MAN BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO salvation.”
We can see that a measure of faith is dealt to the sinner through hearing the Word. Then the sinner uses that faith to be saved. The sinner uses that faith to bring the reality of salvation into his own life. When did God save you? You may say, "Oh, on such and such a day." Well, you're mistaken because God saved you when Jesus died for you and rose from the dead nearly two thousand years ago. It only became a reality to you - in your life - when you believed it and confessed it. Every man and woman in this world has a legal right to salvation because Jesus died for the whole world, not just for you and me. Titus 2: 11.
Every person has a right to hear the Gospel because salvation was bought and paid for, for everyone in the world, not just for you and me. When the truth of the Word is preached to the sinner, it causes faith to come. When he believes and confesses the truth - that Jesus is his Lord - he creates the reality of it in his own life by his faith.
ROMANS 10:13, 14, 17 – “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Verse 17- “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The same thing is true of anything that you receive from God. The God-kind of faith comes by hearing God's Word. You know, God doesn't have any other kind of faith except the God-kind. That is the only kind He has! This God-kind of faith comes by hearing, and the hearing by the Word of God. In other words, God gives the God-kind of faith, or causes it to come into the hearts of those who hear the Word of God. No wonder Jesus said, "Take heed what you hear" (Mark 4:24). You cannot let the Word go in one ear and out the other because it won't do you any good that way. Faith won't come. But when you accept the Word of God reverently and sincerely, and act upon it, faith comes into your heart.
It is important for us to remember always that the God-Kind of faith can be accessed through hearing of the word of God. We dwell majorly on this key word ‘hearing’ in perspective of what the Lord taught the disciples as regards belief and undoubted declaration. May you receive grace not to be dull of hearing in Jesus mighty name.
Important Note: This teaching is the explicit teaching of Kenneth E. Hagin culled from his book “Faith Bible Study Guide”.
Contributor: Martins Olubiyi
Thursday, August 15 2013
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.” NLT
Our greatest spiritual contest is for Faith, not against the devil; he is already defeated (Col. 2:15), not against sin; Jesus gave us victory by His blood ( Eph. 1:17), not against the world; He overcame the world for us (John 16:33). Faith is what we need to possess or enforce everything that Jesus did for us. Faith is the bridge between the natural and the supernatural life on earth. Heb.11:1-38.
“For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” 1 John 5:4
This is the reason why there are enemies or hinderances to faith. We shall summarise the four hindrances that we have studied and conclude with the last two of the six hindrances to faith.
1) Lack of Understanding Regarding the New Creation: 2Corin.2:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
2) Lack of Understanding of Our Place in Christ: 1 John 5:1
“I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life”
3) Lack of understanding of righteousness: 2Cor.5:21”
For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
4) Lack of Understanding Regarding Our Right to Use the Name of Jesus: John 16:23,24
“And in that day you shall ask me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24Till now have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
Now, for today’s stusy, we will go into the last two of the six hindrances. The first we shall consider is:
5) Lack of Understanding About Acting on the Word: Mark 2:11,12
“I say to you, Arise, and take up your bed, and go your way into your house.12And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
We should stop trying to make God's Word work and start acting on the Word. The Bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding" (Prov. 3:5).
All that is necessary for you to do in any situation is to ask, "What has God said?" or "What does God's Word have to say about this?" If we know that the Word is true and if we act as though it is true, it becomes a reality in our lives.
The Testimony of Dr. Simpson who just acted like the Word is true, and he received his healing. He was dying of a heart condition and was given only about six months to live. He took his Bible and went on a private retreat to study about healing. This is his final decision based on his conviction from studying the word of God;
"After searching the Word of God for two weeks, I am convinced the Bible teaches that divine healing is for us today. And I, this day, accept Jesus Christ as my Healer and declare that I am now healed from heart trouble and that I am well. And I promise God to use this new-found strength and life and energy entirely for His purpose and to further the gospel. I promise God I will share this truth of healing with others and will help them."
He was invited to speak in a luncheon and after the luncheon, he was invited to go mountain climbing by the men to whom he had spoken. The thought immediately came to him that he wouldn't be able to because of his heart condition. But then he remembered he had declared his healing, so he accepted the invitation and went. Up to this point, he had not really seen or felt his healing, but had just accepted it and had declared it by faith. All the way up the mountain, every time he got his mind off the Word of God, he would begin to feel the symptoms of his heart condition. But he overcame these feelings because as he claimed the Word again for his healing, all the symptoms would go away. He fought this battle all the way up the mountain. But when he got up the mountain, he walked about victorious without any symptoms!
When we act on the word of God, the enemy will want to counter attack as if the word is not true and will not come to pass. We must maintain our ground by focusing on the word . Remember Peter’s encounter with Jesus on the sea (Matt. 14:22-31).
6) Lack of Understanding About Holding Fast to Our Confession of Faith: Heb.10:23
“Let us hold fast the profession(confession) of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
Our faith keeps pace with our confession. The fiercest battle for faith is at the point of our confession.
Rom. 10:10 “ For with the HEART man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
CONFESSION is made unto salvation.”
MARK 11:23 “... 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
Faith is measured by our confession. Our usefulness in the Lord is measured by our confession. Sooner or later, we become what we confess. There is a confession of our hearts and a confession of our lips and when these two harmonise, we become mighty in our prayer life. The reason so many are defeated is that they have a negative confession. They talk of their weaknesses and failures and invariably they go down to the level of their confession. There is a scriptural law from the lips of Jesus in Mark 11:23: ".. . he shall have whatsoever he saith." The scriptural law is this: Our confessions rule us. In other words, you are what you say.
We see an example of a confession of faith which resulted in healing in Mark 5:28,34
28 For she SAID, If I may touch but his clothes, I SHALL BE WHOLE....
34 And he [Jesus] said unto her, "Daughter, THY FAITH hath made thee WHOLE;
go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
Thursday, August 08 2013
A few weeks ago, we considered the first two of the six big hindrances to faith; namely; “Lack of Understanding Regarding the New Creation” and “Lack of Understanding of Our Place in Christ”.
We ascertained that faith could be hindered that was why Paul admonished Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith”. We also took a practical step in confessing the word of God over our lives.
In this study we shall be considering the next two of the six big hindrances. They are:
Lack of Understanding Regarding Our Righteousness and Lack of Understanding Regarding Our Right to Use the Name of Jesus
Following from our last study and the two hindrances we will consider today in this study, it is easy to determine that “Understanding” is vital! So we should not be short of it!
1. Lack of understanding of righteousness
A lack of understanding of righteousness holds more people in bondage than anything else.
When we read a passage of scripture like James 5:16 which says, ". . . The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." We wonder and say;
“Oh, my, if I were only righteous - if I could ever get to be righteous - God would hear my prayers.”
This is simply a trick of the enemy – keeping us away from the truth, from the awareness that we are no longer sinners but we have been made righteous!
In James 5:17 God said Elijah was subject to like passions as we are, and yet God gave Elijah as an example of a righteous man! Elijah had his high moments and his low moments; he was so inconsistent yet God called a person like that righteous? So there is absolutely hope for you and I! Psalm 32:1-2, says:
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity"
We see here that God imputed righteousness to those in the Old Testament whose sins had been covered by the blood of bulls and goats. But when we read 2 Corinthians 5:21, the Bible says,
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin and that by the new birth we become a righteous new creature.
God did not make any unrighteous new creature. We are created by God in Christ Jesus. He made us righteous new creatures in Christ. We are sons and daughters of God and stand before God as though we had never sinned. And so, we can stand in His Presence without any sense of embarrassment, guilt, or condemnation. We don't have to be tongue-tied in the Presence of our Heavenly Father because of fear. We can come into His Presence because we belong there. When we were born again, our sins were remitted because our past life stopped existing. God said that He would not remember our transgressions (Isa. 43:25). Since God doesn't remember them, why should we?
So what happens when after being born again we commit sins?
1 John 1:9 says,
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
When, as believers we sin we feel guilty, and have a sense of unrighteousness. We naturally feel embarrassed and spiritually inferior to come into God's Presence.
But God does two things for the believer who may have sinned.
First, when the believer confesses his sins, the Lord forgives him.
Second, the Bible says that God also cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 says the believer is cleansed from unrighteousness; therefore, he is made righteous again because the blood of Jesus actually cleanses us from all sin!
It is only the guilty that can be justifiably accused and therefore condemned! When we continue to live in condemnation (believing that God is angry with us), it affects our relationship with God and ultimately we are unable to receive from Him. So as long as we steer clear of sin and when we do sin, promptly confess our sins, then He is faithful and just to forgive us and are thus above condemnation! But when we allow the enemy becloud our minds with condemnation, we allow him prevent us from having the understanding that we are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
He wants to confine us to that vicious cycle. We need to come boldly to the throne of grace because that is where we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. But the Devil locks us in the state of guilt and timidity preventing us from accessing the throne. But with this understanding that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, we can now boldly approach the throne of grace! Read Heb. 4:16, 10:19 and Eph.3:12
2. Lack of Understanding Regarding Our Right to Use the Name of Jesus
This lack of understanding can also hold us in bondage and will give us a sense of weakness. But following from the initial study this year about the name of Jesus, we know what that Name will do, so we can take our rightful position of authority over Satan and enjoy victory in every area of our lives! See John 16:23 and 24.
“Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”
This is a major booster of our faith! So we should ask, believe, trust and walk away in thanksgiving knowing that God will answer us and our joy will be full!
Remember when Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark 11:12-25? He walked away knowing that God will bring it to pass. There is something “knowing” does to our faith. It is the bit that conquers our doubts!
Jesus at Lazarus’ tomb said to our Father: “I know You hear me always” John 11:42
So with this at the back of our minds, let us read MARK 16:15-18
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
These signs are for believers. Believers can cast out devils in Jesus' Name. Every believer has authority over demons and evil spirits in the Name of Jesus. Lay hands on the sick and they will recover! It is our right!
The Bible says another way to receive healing is to call for the elders of the church (James 5:14, 15). But what if we can't get in contact with the elders? We need to learn to appropriate healing for ourselves, for it legally belongs to us in our redemption.
But if we can't appropriate healing for ourselves, then by all means, send for help!
The less we know of what God says about us, the easier it is for the enemy to manipulate us. It is the same old trick he has applied right from the beginning – with Eve, down through the ages with the people of old until Jesus Christ where he tempted Jesus and failed woefully because Jesus was knowledgeable. Every twisted attempt was thwarted by the word of God. Matt.4:1-10.
It is the truth we know that helps our faith and ultimately sets us free.
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai