Monday, August 19, 2019

By Grace through Faith: The Faith That Takes

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 
Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be by Grace Romans 4:16a KJV

 Over the last few weeks, we've been in an ongoing study of Faith. What is it? How does it come? How do we grow and develop Faith? We've seen the answer to these questions and many more in previous articles. If you missed any you can locate them on the bottom right of this blog site under the archive banner.

 Today, I sense the leading to closely examine how to have a more victorious prayer life. How to triumphantly lay hold of all that God procured for us in the Finished Work of Christ. How to manifest abundant living in Christ. 

You may be thinking that sounds great, or maybe even that sounds too good to be true, so how is this accomplished? I can tell you it is not by having a passive, whatever will be will be, passionless kind of faith. It is by having the God kind of Faith, the Faith that takes!

 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:24 MEV

Jesus here gives us insight into what the prayer of Faith is. The prayer of Faith is not the prayer that waits for change to believe it receives. It is not the prayer that believes it receives it when it appears different. It is not the prayer that believes it receives when it feels like something happened. The prayer of Faith believes it receives it when it prayed. 

 Going back to Hebrews 11:1 this defines Faith for us. It is the confident hope that what God said is ours, is presently ours even when we can't see it. It is being fully persuaded that what God purchased for us is already ours even though the senses cannot yet perceive it. 

 To walk in the triumphant, victorious, overcoming Christian life we need to have the Faith that takes, not the faith that is moved by feelings and experience and is stifled by low expectation. The believer who knows who he is in Christ and what God promises Him in the Word but never acts on this truth, will not be an overcomer. You must lay hold of the truth to walk in the fullness of it. 

The Faith that Takes

Let's examine this further to gain a better understanding. The believer who first and foremost possesses little to no knowledge of His great Grace, Christ's perfect redemption, and who Christ made them can't walk in full triumphant Christian living. Secondly, the believer who has heard the Good News but doesn't lay claim on these awesome promises for themselves, cannot walk victoriously in this life. 

 What do I mean by claiming these promises? As a Christian, we've been made a New Creation in Christ. We've been made accepted by God. We've been made the Righteousness of God in Christ. We've been forgiven of all our sins, once for all time, all this occurred the moment we believed. Now as true as this is if one doesn't act on these truths they will not be a living reality in their life. 

 God declared you accepted, but if you don't receive that truth of redemption, you will go around through your daily life feeling alone, isolated, and that you don't fit in. So your senses, your emotions, your thinking, will make this seem a reality in your life, all the while Christ has already made you accepted. You just have to believe it, to claim it for yourself. 

 In your daily life, you may experience the sensation that you aren't so accepted, or forgiven or loved. The enemy loves to bring people across your path that don't speak life over you but the negative. You may even hear preaching that says God's mad at you. You may sense the enemy trying to heap guilt and shame and condemning accusations on you. What do you do? Do you just hope these feelings pass?

 No, bless God, you rise up and reject those thoughts. By Faith, you lay claim to what Jesus already did. Your words agree with what God said. You lay claim for yourself what Jesus did for you. Instead of accepting shame or guilt, you deny it and proclaim who Jesus said you are. That's reaching out and taking what He provided. 

 Some have the faith that just sits around and waits, passively hoping for their situation to change. Then others have the Faith that takes and they reach out and take the fullness of the redemption Christ procured. They don't wait around, just wishing and hoping things get better. They claim all Christ provided for themselves. 

 Christ said we who believe are world overcomers. Reach out with the Faith that takes and receive that for yourself. He declared we haven't been given a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. So by Faith lay claim on that and refuse to accept fear. Christ made us Righteous, lay hold on that by Faith and refuse guilt and condemnation. Christ bore all the curse on the Cross for us, lay claim to wholeness in every area of life by Faith and resist and refuse the work of the enemy. 

 Now religious tradition comes unglued, so to speak when we begin talking about living victoriously. When you wish to have an overcoming life they will be quick to say it's all about God's sovereignty and whatever will be must be because God preordained it. 

 I even heard one of the biggest proponents of this sovereignty, (see my study on this for further clarity), teaching actually try to teach having Faith in prayer was unnecessary. He tried to use the account of Peter's imprisonment and subsequent deliverance to illustrate this. The idea that the Church prayed for Peter, and when he was delivered, he came to see some Christians and they couldn't believe he was free. See, they obviously didn't have Faith and Peter was rescued, so it must be all God's doing not our believing. 

 You can accept this absurd point of view, but you will not walk in victory, you will be sitting around a long time awaiting change or victory in your life. Look, this passage did say the Church prayed, it doesn't say what they prayed for, what mattered is what Peter himself believed. He was asleep in the cell, he was already in Faith trusting in God. And also, the unbelief of a few doesn't undo the Faith of the many. Now sometimes if the doubting believer has some influence in the life of one being prayed for it might be necessary to get the doubting influence out of the room so to speak, but praying in Faith is essential to walk in victory. 

 In summation, you can walk in triumphant victory in your life. It's up to you. You can lay hold of all God has done for you and put a demand on it for your life. You can agree with God and receive all He has for you. You don't have to wait for anything, just reach out with the Faith that takes and lay claim to all that's yours in Christ. Christ Finished the Work, all He's asking you to do is to believe it and receive it for your own life by reaching out by Faith and taking it. Grace makes, and Faith takes!
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Monday, August 12, 2019

By Grace through Faith: Having the God kind of Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

Therefore it is of faith that it might be by Grace; Romans 4:16a KJV

We've begun a new series of study focusing on Faith. We've seen what Faith is and what it is not. We've seen how Faith comes and how it is released.

 Today, I sense the leading to ask what kind of Faith do you have? You see there are two kinds of Faith. The natural, man-centered kind of faith that is moved by the senses. That is a mere trusting in what it can see, hear, or feel kind of faith. The "seeing is believing" faith.  Or you can have the God kind of Faith.

 Jesus had this God kind of Faith. He said of Himself He only did what He saw His Father doing. He only said what His Father told Him to say. Jesus wasn't moved by what it looks like but what the Father said. 

 You too can have this kind of Faith. Jesus gave us insight into this kind of Faith.
22 Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you will have them. Mark 11:22-24 MEV

Jesus tells us to have Faith, that is the Faith of God. The literal Greek says have the Faith of God. Jesus was offering this to us. Other translations or paraphrased versions bring this out.
22 Jesus replied, “Let the faith of God be in you! Mark 11:22 TPT

 It is clear God wants us to have His Faith in us not our own. Look at the texts we are using for this study;
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

 For by Grace we are saved through Faith, and this Faith isn't of ourselves it is the gift of God. We are saved by His Faith given to us when we hear His Word. We all begin with the same measure of Faith, the God kind of Faith. We can choose to grow and develop that Faith or rely on the sensory realm faith that humanity operates on. You trust your employer enough that you work forty hours a week even though you haven't been paid first. They trust that you will work forty hours. 

 We develop and grow this God kind of Faith within us by continually feeding on His Word, and what He says about us. By continually acknowledging what we have in Christ, who we are in Christ, what He accomplished for us in the Finished Work, what Grace made available to us. What redemption purchased for us. 

 Grace makes and Faith takes. The God kind of Faith, deposits the Word within. The God kind of Faith, knowing what Grace provides puts a demand on it. The God kind of Faith speaks to the mountain of impossibility and commands it to be removed. 

 The God kind of Faith believes what God said is true, that what Grace made and purchased for us is indeed ours already. This God kind of Faith doesn't believe it because we've experienced it, this Faith believes it because God said it, because Grace made it and because it is the truth we know we will experience it. 

 Grace makes and Faith takes. The God kind of Faith speaks, calling those things that be not as though they were. Faith's constant confession agrees with the New Covenant, New Creation redemptive realities Grace made. Faith's confession creates the reality of it in your own life so you can walk in the redemption Christ purchased. 

 God's Grace has removed the disqualifiers from God's people. No longer is the promise or the provision contingent upon your performance or faithfulness. Redemption realities are already yours in Christ Jesus. They are based upon Jesus and His faithfulness and obedience and goodness no longer upon our own. All you need do is to reach out with the God kind of Faith and lay hold on them. you just need to simply believe. It is by Faith that it might be by Grace. 

In summation, what kind of Faith do you have? Do you have the sensory knowledge faith? That natural faith that must see it to believe it? That unsteady, wavering, sight focused faith? Are you ignoring the God kind of Faith that was deposited within you when you believed?  

 Simply relinquish trusting in your senses and trust in what God said about you or your situation. Don't feel saved? Don't look righteous? Doesn't seem like you have favor with God? You can trust in those feelings or disregard those feeling and consider Jesus and what He says about you and look at what Grace made and consider not your circumstances or fickle emotions. This God kind of Faith works in every arena of life. Find what Grace made and reach out with the God kind of Faith and take it and experience it in your own life. 
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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

By Grace through Faith: The Word of Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

Therefore it is of faith that it might be by Grace; Romans 4:16a KJV

We've been in a study examining what it means to walk in New Covenant Faith. So far we've seen what Faith is and how Faith comes to us. We've seen how to grow in Faith. 

 When it comes to Faith and how it comes we must not make the assumption that tradition does that Faith comes through hard times or suffering. The truth is as we saw in our previous study on suffering, we live in a fallen world. Troubles exist because of it, but those troubles don't bring you Faith, feeding on God's Word does. 

 Also, we have seen what Faith is, let's briefly address what Faith isn't. Faith is not a ticket to Utopia. That troubles no longer exist. That you will never have any pressures in this world. We live in a fallen world but Faith assures us of the victory. Faith isn't foolish actions, Faith is trusting in God and what He has said in the Word and what Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work.

 Now that we know what Faith is, and how it comes, what do we with it once we have it? How do we use it or release it? Is Faith passive? Is Faith stagnate? Here's a good question, after salvation, or receiving the New Birth, is Faith even necessary? 

the Word of Faith

 Faith is an essential part of the Christian life. Just as Grace is not simply an entry-level truth neither is Faith. Grace is the Gospel. Grace is always a vital part of life in Christ, but so also is Faith. For we must continually believe what He has done for us to walk in them and to reign over the lies of the enemy, the world system, and the religious traditions of man. 

 How then do we exercise Faith? What do we do with Faith once we have it? How do we release our Faith? In the simplest terms, Faith is believing in your heart and speaking out with your mouth. 

Look at Jesus' words in Mark 11. Essentially Jesus said this. Faith believes and speaks forth. It doesn't vacillate between believing God and doubting Him, walking in unbelief. Faith doesn't keep changing its mind. 

 When the storms arise, Faith doesn't wring its hands in anxiety. It isn't crying out what are we going to do? Where is our hope or help? When the circumstances don't seem to agree with what God said, Faith doesn't change its mind. It doesn't agree with what it looks like. Faith stays steady, unmoving, unchanging, it clings like a bulldog to what God our Good Father said and has done in Jesus' Finished Work.

 Over the last few centuries, it seems unbelief, doubt, and skepticism are the badges proudly worn by some in the Body of Christ, especially in the West. How do I know this? Look at the reactionary theology that is so prevalent in the modern Church. 

 I am not even speaking of the supernatural power of the Lord Jesus. Look at how so many react to the Gospel of Grace. We see some who've received Jesus. Yet, through immaturity, not having their minds fully renewed, not understanding what it means to be a new creation, not fully grasping what it means to be the righteousness of God, they get into sin or wrong living, poor choices and the like. The result? So many in the Church react to what they see with their natural eyes instead of looking with the eyes of Faith. 

 Doubt and unbelief say, "surely God is angry with that one, look how he lives."" Surely, God is going to withhold His love and Favor and blessings and goodness." "It is certain that that one has lost their salvation." Instead of speaking God's Word about the promises of the eternal security of the believer, some are speaking what they see with their eyes. 

 No, Faith sees what God said and agrees with that and believes that and speaks that out. Again, Faith is believing in the heart and speaking with the mouth. Some under Grace, who are shrouded by a subtle form of unbelief, deny Jesus' words in Mark as being for the Church because Jesus gave the Old Covenant stipulation of forgiveness in the same passage. They say that passage isn't speaking of New Covenant Faith, that Faith doesn't exist for all areas of life.

 We have to rightly divide Jesus' words. Sometimes He spoke Law to the Hebrews but sometimes He spoke alluding of the New Covenant to come. Mark 11, the principals of Faith, believing and speaking are repeated in the New twice by Paul. So these Faith truths are universal truths that have always existed.

13 We have the same spirit of faith. As it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken.”So we also believe and therefore speak, 2 Corinthians 4:13 MEV

 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.”This is the word of faith that we preach: that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, 10 for with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:8-10 MEV

We can clearly see God is trying to get our attention. Faith comes by hearing and is released by believing in the heart, without doubting, and speaking forth with our mouth. So what does this look like? 

 When you hear the Good News of Grace and know you were made righteous when you believed, then when thoughts come disagreeing with what Jesus did, you can reject those thoughts, taking them captive and confessing who you are. When you blow it or are overcoming addictions and accusation arises, you can speak forth Faith. You can profess, I may not look righteous or holy but God declared me righteous, and the Finished Work made me holy. therefore I am the righteousness of God and have been made holy once for all time. When you wake up and some days you just don't feel saved, or accepted or approved. You can shake those feelings off declaring I am a new creation in Christ, I am accepted in the beloved, I am my Father's delight! 

 In summation, the Word of Faith is a believing and speaking Faith. It is not a passive Faith. It is not a doubting and skeptical way of seeing life. Faith sees, Faith believes and Faith speaks. Faith brings us to a victorious triumphant way of living. Faith isn't moved by feelings or what it looks like. Faith sees what Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work, Faith hears what God said, Faith believes what Jesus did and the promises God made because of it. Faith speaks forth what it believes. Have Faith in God!
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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

By Grace through Faith: Got Faith?

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

Therefore it is of faith that it might be by Grace; Romans 4:16a KJV

We've begun a new study of walking by New Covenant Faith. In our last study, we defined what Faith actually is despite how the traditional religious-minded or the unlearned define it. We've seen that Faith is not "blind". That it's not directionless or somehow not focused on specifics. 

 Faith is being fully persuaded by unseen evidence. That evidence is what the Finished Work procured for us, and what God said to us because of the Finished Work. Faith cannot exist where the will of God is not known. That's why God in His infinite Goodness has let us know what His will is.

What is His will?

When it comes to God's will, so many believers and Christian leaders seem almost bewildered, baffled and bemused. Like God's will is the "holy grail" and so few ever find it. That God's will is some magnificent mystery and oh joy to you if you actually discern it or discover it.

 How so many discern God's will is this. Let's pray to God to do something. Let's ask God for something. Well, if it happens it must have been God's will. If it didn't happen or come to pass? Must not have been His will. Listen, brothers and sisters, God's will is not a shot in the dark. It is not some mystery to be solved. Paul has told us this.
having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, Ephesians 1:9 NKJV

 Here is a perfect illustration of knowing God's will. Suppose you enter a restaurant that you've never been to. Suppose the sign says serving a variety of food. You are seated, with no menu in sight, then the server comes to take you order and you say ok can I have a pizza? What if their response was we don't have pizza, only vegetarian, seafood, steaks, and ribs? More than likely your response would be something like well I didn't see any menu so I wasn't sure what you served. The point is that the establishment must provide you with the pertinent information for you to be able to make your selection. 

 So it is with God. God so much as tells us this in 1 John. For you to know what to order at a restaurant, they give you a menu. They inform you of what's available. God is just and righteous, therefore He must also inform us of His will in order for us to ask in Faith. So what is His will? His will is His Word. If you want to know what God's will is, look at His Word, what He said. What He confirmed with His promises. What we see Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work.

 Having established that His Word is His will and we, therefore, can know His will, how then does Faith come? How do we know we have Faith? God's Word gives us insight into this.
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV

Got Faith?

  Faith comes by hearing God's Word. It comes from hearing the Word spoken, the Word of God preached in its fullness. It comes by hearing yourself speak His Word. When we speak God's Word, our minds get renewed to the truth of God instead of the lies of the enemy and this world system. 

 Some may be saying well that's great brother,  but I don't think I have any Faith. Not so, for the Word tells us otherwise. The Word declared all believers have been given the same measure of Faith. We all start with the same amount of Faith. It is up to us to grow in our Faith. There are no special believers or ones God loves more than you. We have Faith and can grow that Faith as we will. We even see Paul speak of exceedingly growing Faith.

God has a simple way to grow in Faith. Simply feeding on His Word will bring growth and stronger Faith. Some may be thinking, ok Faith comes by hearing but what about Hebrews where it says the Word spoke didn't profit them, not being mixed with Faith in them that heard? Glad you brought this up. 

 The Word won't bring Faith if the hearer of the Word denies the Word or seeks to misapply the Word. Hebrews said the Gospel wasn't received by the hearers. Why? Because they couldn't accept the Good News of God's Grace. 

 Misguided men who hear Ephesians 5, about husbands and wives and take that passage as an excuse to dominate and exercise control over their wife are not acting in Faith. They are misapplying God's Word. When religious traditional-minded,  hear the Word on the Gifts of the Spirit, they don't mix Faith with what they hear for they deny that aspect of God's Word for today. 

 When the hearer of the Word looks to outward circumstances or their experiences, they aren't receiving the Word, thus Faith can't come. God's Word is true, not because we experience it. God's Word is true because God said it. Because it is the truth, we, therefore, should experience it. 

 Want to have exceedingly growing Faith? Then feed on God's Word. It's about having more Word in you than World. Want to grow strong in your new identity? Feed more on God's Word about who you are in Christ. Want to be strong in Grace? Than feed on God's Word about Jesus and His Finished Work. Want to be strong in the things of the Holy Spirit? Feed on God's Word concerning the Gifts and moving of the Spirit. Want to be strong in healing? Feed on God's Word about healing and wholeness. 

 In summation, do you have Faith? If you've received Jesus then you absolutely do. Remember there are no special believers. There are no Christians God loves more than others. He hasn't given more Faith in someone than He has given you. Faith is a level playing field. Remember it is by Faith so it can be by Grace. Simply feeding on God's Word causes Faith in your heart to grow and produce victory in all areas of life. God is for us not against us. 
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

By Grace Through Faith: What is Faith?

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

16 Therefore it is of Faith that it might be by Grace Romans 4:16a KJV

We are beginning a new study on New Covenant Faith. Faith is often misunderstood in some Christian circles. When one says Faith they mistakenly think of the denomination one is a part of. Are you of the Baptist faith? Are you of the Lutheran faith? Are you of the Methodist faith? That is not what Faith is.

 Faith is also often mistakenly referred to as blind faith. That Faith simply blindly trusts in something without any evidence of whatsoever. That it trusts without knowledge. Again this is a wrong concept about Faith. Let's explore the truth about Faith. 

What Faith Is...

What is Faith? It's not blind trust. It is not someone's religious practices. It is not a spiritual detecter revealing "superior" and "inferior" Christians. It is also not someone who is "wishing and a hoping" for some positive turn out in the circumstances of their life. 

 New Covenant Faith is determined. It is specific. It isn't sporadic in its focus. It is single-minded. It is purposed and unwavering and unswayed. How do we define Faith? The Amplified in my view gives the absolute best definition of Faith.

11 Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Hebrews 11:1 AMP

  Let this definition sink in, get rooted deeply in your spirit. Faith is the assurance that what we hope will come to pass. Faith gives substance to hope. Hope is positive expectation based on what Jesus, God's Grace made available, what God promises we have because of Jesus. 

 Faith is the confirmation of the promise of God. Faith is the title deed. This is an awesome truth. In this world, we who are old enough will understand a title deed. Each nation runs a little differently but this principal of the title deed is the same the world around. 

 If one buys a car from someone, and they get the title deed that paper is proof enough that they have a car. They can tell their friends look I have a new car. They make look upon that one in bewilderment, saying we don't see a car. All that person need do is show them the title deed. See I have a car, it's mine, you may not see it but I have a car this deed is proof enough.

 Maybe you'd say I have never bought a car or house this illustration is lost on me. Ok, I will make it even clearer. Faith is the confirmation. You bought that item online. Your friends may not see that item. All you need do is show them the confirmation number and they will know you do in fact have that item.

 Faith is our confirmation number that all God provided in the Finished Work is ours. Faith is the title deed, revealing to us when presently possess all Grace procured for us. Faith is being fully persuaded by unseen evidence in the spiritual realm. Faith is the conviction that it is settled in the Heavens, that what God said is ours because of the Cross is in truth fully ours. 

 So what is Faith? It is being fully persuaded by unseen evidence. It isn't blind. It isn't trusting without evidence. Faith perceives as real facts what is not revealed to our natural senses. As Paul said we walk by Faith not by sight. The evidence is revealed to us in the spiritual arena not this natural. God declared us righteous and holy once for all time. Yet we don't always look like it, but we aren't focused on the evidence we can see with our physical senses but with what we see with our spiritual sense, what God accomplished in the Finished Work.

 Again Faith is the belief of our hearts, our spirit man, not our heads, that is our mental assent, our intellectual thoughts. Some try to insinuate that Biblical Faith is mere mentally agreement with what the Bible says, not a heartfelt agreement. Look, Faith is of the heart, not our intellect, for there are truths in God that supersede the natural order and scientific fact. Disagree?

 Under the Old, God did many mighty miracles. The prophet Elisha operating in a manifestation of the Spirit caused an iron axe head to float in water. How many realize that iron doesn't float on top of the water? That is not something we can intellectually make sense of. That is a change in the natural order of things. Jesus, God in the flesh was conceived by the Spirit in Mary's womb. Scientific fact, it takes a fertilized egg for conception to occur. Yet Jesus was born of a virgin. That supersedes science fact.

 In summation, Faith is being fully persuaded that what Grace provides and what the Father promises because of the Finished Work we can reach out and take and receive. In order to walk in Faith, sometimes we have to turn off our minds and just do what God says to us. 
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