Sunday, October 19, 2008

Faith & forgiveness

1Jn 5:4 KJV For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith.

Our faith.

Our faith overcomes the world.

Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

What is faith?

Heb 11:1 KJV Now faith is the substance {essence, assurance} of things hoped {expected, confided} for, the evidence {proof, conviction} of things not seen.

Why is it important that we have faith? Because faith is a reliance upon Christ. It is being persuaded that nothing is impossible with God.

Rom 4:20-22 KJV He {Abraham} staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21) And being fully persuaded that, what he {God} had promised, he was able also to perform. (22) And therefore it was imputed to him {Abraham} for righteousness.

It is the thing that is going to get us through the trying times… the challenges in life. We live in a physical world where we have learned to touch, taste, see, smell, and hear. Our soul has based itself on and relied upon our physical senses to think and feel. But such a way of living is contrary to living, moving, and having our being in Christ. It is contrary to being led by the Spirit. We cannot continue to be led by our soul ~ our emotions. We have to trust in Christ. We have to trust in the guidance and instruction and the voice of the Holy Spirit.

1Jn 2:27 KJV But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

The opposite of faith is doubt… unbelief. And unbelief is sin.

The word points out a couple of stories where a person’s faith is what touched Jesus and gave them the answer to their prayer.

The story of the Centurion:

Mat 8:5-13 KJV And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, (6) And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. (7) And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. (8) The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. (9) For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this [man], Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth [it]. (10) When Jesus heard [it], he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. (11) And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. (12) But the children of the kingdom shall be
cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (13) And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, [so] be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

The answer: Go your way. And as you have believed, so be it done unto thee.

When you ask, what do you believe?

The story of the woman from Canaan:

Mat 15:22-28 KJV And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, [thou] Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. (23) But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. (24) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (25) Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. (26) But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast [it] to dogs. (27) And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. (28) Then Jesus
answered and said unto her, O woman, great [is] thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

The answer: Be it unto thee even as you will.

The story of the friends of the man with palsy:

Mat 9:2 KJV And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

Jesus saw their faith. He healed the man with the palsy. Healing involves forgiveness of sins. When we are forgiven of our sins, we are also healed.

The story of the woman with the issue of blood:

Mat 9:20-22 KJV And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind [him], and touched the hem of his garment: (21) For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. (22) But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

The answer: Your faith has made you whole.

The story of the two blind men:

Mat 9:27-30 KJV And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, [Thou] Son of David, have mercy on us. (28) And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. (29) Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. (30) And their eyes were opened; and Jesus
straitly charged them, saying, See [that] no man know [it].

The answer: According to your faith be it unto you.

Another story of a blind man:

Mar 10:51-52 KJV And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. (52) And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

The answer: Go your way. Your faith has made you whole.

Do you see how critical faith is?

Are you one who prays & prays & prays, not believing that He’ll answer your prayers?

Faith is a reliance, a trust, in Christ. When we pray – we need to just rest it with Him. We pray one time. We bring it to His attention. Then we let it go & trust in Him. Pray, believing. But it is imperative that when we pray, we have His will. His will be done. It is His will that we are made whole, that we are healed, that we are forgiven of our sins. So these things will be answered.

Do not expect to pray for a new car and get it. I am not encouraging that. It is not scriptural. Always, ALWAYS, read the Word and make sure that your belief, your doctrine, your manner of living… LINES UP WITH THE WORD. For the Word of God is a measuring stick – it is a balance – it is instruction in righteousness – it is a guide. If anything you do, say, or believe is in contradiction to the Word of God – then it is error. Let the Word of God wash your mind – your thinking – and transform it to the mind of Christ. So that you think like the Word thinks. Meditate upon it day & night. Let it be your way of thinking, being, speaking, and doing.

The Christian walk is a lifestyle for a lifetime. It is a way of life. It is a marriage in this sense: “till death do you part.” And yet, even in death, one does not part from this life ~ because Christ continues to dwell with us while e sleep, awaiting the resurrection. This is clearly seen in the story of the men who were burying a dead man and threw him into Elisha’s tomb because they wanted to avoid a band of men. The spirit of the LORD remained in Elisha’s bones which caused the dead man to have life return to his being.

2Ki 13:21 KJV And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band [of men]; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
Christ is our life.

Col 3:4 KJV When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

I praise the LORD God that He has extended His mercy & grace toward me. Though I am unworthy, He has made me “worthy”. He has decided that I am worthy. How very thankful I am to Him for His love toward me. For I have not been perfect, even in following after Him. Yet, I store in my heart His words so that I can retain my faith. Words such as this:

Psa 37:23-24 KJV The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (24) Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth [him with] his hand.

Pro 24:16 KJV For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Such words assure me that He knows we will fall. But we will rise up. I am so very thankful for the Blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all iniquity. We can return to the LORD when we have fallen from the way and repent for our wrongdoing, confessing our sins to Him in a state of brokenness, and He is just and faithful to forgive us. We NEVER have to confess our sins to a man. What man can forgive us? The Word of God tells us to confess our FAULTS one to another:

Jas 5:16 KJV Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

But it does not tell us to confess our sins to one another. It tells us to confess our sins to Him:

1Jn 1:9 KJV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It is important that we confess our sins to Him because we need mercy. If we do not have His mercy, then we will have His wrath. We don’t want His wrath. We definitely want His mercy:

Pro 28:13 KJV He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.

To cover one’s sins is to conceal them, keeping them secret. The LORD sees all. There is nothing we can keep hidden from Him. It is best to just open ourselves before Him and then rest in Him to purge them from our being. We should be as David before the Lord. Here are a couple of prayers he prayed:

Psa 32:5 KJV I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Psa 51:2-5 KJV Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. (3) For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin [is] ever before me. (4) Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest. (5) Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Remember, it is our faith that overcomes the world.

Are you an overcomer?

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