Sunday, January 4, 2015

Title Deed Faith

Title Deed Faith 
EP Lockley Sr.

Embracing New Faith

In the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul mentions the impossibility of pleasing God without faith.  If God requires mankind to have faith, then certainly he must provide this faith.  It would be unfair to hold man responsible for not getting faith if he was not given the resources to take it.  As a parent, I would not hold any of my children responsible to a standard if I did not initially provide them with proper instruction and tools to get the job done.  Only after I have given them the necessary tools for the job would I start holding them accountable.  The same holds true with God who has provided every man with what he needs to be connected to Him and be successful in the earth.
I assume that most Christians are struggling with the faith thing.  After all, some believers do not really understand how they were saved.  The truth is, I struggled with this area myself until I realized some essential pointers that I would like to share with you.
Can you remember when you were new to Christianity and all you knew is that you wanted that feeling that the others were receiving when they accepted Christ?  Well maybe not, but that feeling is what can be misleading to future faith.  You see faith is not based on a feeling.  I will explain it later, but for right now let us look at the scriptures for some answers about new faith.
We get faith by first hearing the word of God preached to us.  So hearing is a vital aspect of faith.  Let us take a closer look at Romans 10 to see what the apostle Paul is sharing with the Romans. Paul is earnestly seeking for Israel to receive salvation and he carefully breaks down why and how.  He mentions how those in Moses’ day obeyed the law unto righteousness but there was something new in the atmosphere that needed their attention.  Jesus Christ had fulfilled the law perfectly and therefore ended it.  This was the good news that the Jews needed to hear.  The Word was now presented to those that needed to get faith.   Paul’s concern for Israel was addressed by preaching the Word of God to them.
The apostle informs the Jews of the process of receiving Christ into their hearts.  They had to not only say they believed his teaching about salvation with a nodding of the head but they had to declare openly that they would concede the old Mosaic teachings and accept Jesus’ work on the cross as the total way to righteousness and God.  Only after denial of the old ways and acceptance of Christ’s resurrection as sufficiency of righteousness would they be saved.
The apostle Paul helps us today see a vital principle in place concerning faith.  There are three steps in the faith process that we must take a closer look at.  A person receives faith for salvation by confessing the word that they heard, believing in the spirit it is so, and accepting it by acting on it.
NOTE:  Confess, Believe, and Accept
While it is true that all believers have experience this process for salvation.  Not all believers work on their faith after salvation. While salvation is deliverance from the molestation of our enemies, In the 2000’s Christians are still defeated in many areas of their lives.  It is important that more Christians read faith-based materials to attack the enemies of faith.  Lack of knowledge is a major enemy of faith.
Romans 10:11,17 mentions that whosoever or any one that hears the Word of God has to power to get faith.  Hearing the Word is essential to any vital growth in your faith walk.  Acknowledging that hearing is vital to faith building is your first step to increasing your faith potential.
I know many people out there think that they are by nature good people and certainly, they are going to heaven because God would not destroy good people.  In fact they have made it so far without faith building.  And rightly so they have been fortunate to be successful in the earth without faith, but not knowing God is true to the fact that they have good fortune because Satan gives blessings too.  He will keep any lost soul blessed in the earth to keep them away from God.  But God cares for those lost souls, in fact, Acts 10-11 gives us an example of the loving Father at work.
Cornelius was a good man who followed the ways of God and Mosaic teachings.  However, Cornelius was visited  by and angel who told him to send for Peter so that Peter could tell him words to be saved.  Cornelius had to hear the Word to get the faith to be saved.  Without those words, Cornelius would have been just another lost Jew.
The Word that Peter brought to Cornelius was the spoken word of God or (rhema).  In Romans 10, the word is translated as rhema or spoken word.

You can boost your faith walk with God by focusing on the (CBA) confessing, believing and accepting principles.  It is important as a chosen vessel in the kingdom of Heaven that you fill yourself with faith filled words that will produce success in your everyday life.  You do this by putting God’s word in your spirit/heart, believing it or having a firm conviction that it is true and accepting it by acting on it.   In the words of Apostle Paul, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:11).  In other words, having a firm conviction that God’s word will not fail, results in the manifestation of what you believe God toward (healing, deliverance, preservation, safety, and prosperity).

Faith that Restores
Now that we dug into the principles of producing faith, let us examine one aspect of salvation that many Christians do not explore, healing.  
Jesus’ ministry was filled with many acts of restoring mankind to God’s intended will from creation.  Numerous stories and parables depict Jesus healing and raising people from the dead.  I once read that Jesus did not heal everyone but He healed all that was in His path.  Some had the faith to be healed, others, He rebuked demons and made them whole, while yet those interceding for another to be healed was successful.  Healing is a major part of the salvation process whether we accept it or not.
In America, many Christians are suffering from chronic illnesses mostly because of abuse to their bodies.  While there are some genetic issues surrounding illness in the church, abuse of the body is a main concern.  After a short illness and exercising my faith, God showed me an important principle.  I had to exercise my body and eat the right foods He designed for it.  We are too busy as earth citizens to focus on eating healthy.  We abuse our bodies and expect a miracle from God.  Well, God wants us to be on the preventive side.  God made of stewards in the earth realm and we must recognize that our bodies are also apart of the management system.  Eat poor and live shorter than the 120 years God promised the righteous, eat correctly and live the years as promised.  God says he will not go back on his word.
Jesus healed many impotent folk during His ministry.  He turned the ministry over to the apostles who repeated what they were taught in from the Lord.  In Acts 14, the Apostle Paul and company were preaching at Lystra where there as a man who had been disabled since birth in the crowd.  As the impotent man sat there listening to the Word of God preached, he gathered the faith he needed to be healed.  The Scripture reveals that this man fixed his position on what was being said.  He blocked out all opposition as he gazed at the apostle preaching the word.  Paul continued preaching the word as he discerned or noticed that this man qualified himself to be the recipient of God’s grace through the gospel message.  Paul acted on this faith and commanded the man to rise up and stand on his feet.  As all eyes were gazed in amazement as what was taking place, this man suddenly without thought obeyed Paul.
The important steps to consider are that this man had no knowledge of Jesus’ ministry but heard the word preached through Paul.  He not only heard this gospel but also received it into his heart.  Because of believing what Paul professed, he acted in response because of the faith he now possessed.  The consequences were that he “leaped and walked”.
This gospel Paul preached had to include more than just getting to heaven in Jesus’ name.  Otherwise, this man would have not responded with leaping and walking, but rather seeking salvation only.  God used the apostle to bring the good news to this man.  As mentioned in the previous chapter, salvation includes healing, deliverance, preservation, safety, and prosperity.  Physical restoration is God’s will for us.
In Acts 8, Phillip reaped a great harvest of Samaritan souls after he preached the gospel message to them. Before Phillip, there had only been one ministry through the Samaritan region and that was Jesus.  He had spent time there after ministering to the Samaritan woman.  Among those that brought salvation reports to Philip were healing and depossession from evil spirits, a complete act of salvation that today is overlooked.  We can not neglect healing in the church ministry is a part of the salvanistic work of the kingdom of Heaven.
The same way we got faith to be saved, is the same process to be healed.  However, we must also understand that healing comes through both natural and supernatural means.  After Jesus raised the little girl, he instructed her folks to give her nourishment.  God does his part, but we are to be good managers of our bodies and eat the right foods, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.  How can we work for God if we are sick and struggling with and ailment.
When the doctors gave me up, increase the medication and told me they did all they could I prayed this prayer to God:  Father, I thank you for life and life more abundantly, I repent for neglecting my body in my youth.  I will start today learning what foods to eat and exercising appropriately.  I will work hard on my part to bring my body back to where you created it to be.  I command all my organs to work as you created them to work.  I command my blood to be pure with the blood of Jesus.  I call my brain, heart, lungs, circulatory, respiratory systems to operate 100%.  Now God I expect you to do whatever I can not do.  If I do my part, I trust you to do your part and I will refuse to worry or second-guess your divine timing.  Thank you for your intervention in my mess-ups, in Jesus’ name I praise you, amen.
Now go after your healing or motivate your love one to get theirs.  Do your part and trust God to do the rest.  We serve a God that intervenes for us only when it is impossible for man.  That’s why Jesus died so that we could be back in covenant with the Father again.  A covenant means that each partner will operate in the other partner’s area of weakness.  In God’s place, he has no weakness but to work through us in the earth.  How can he work through us if we are too feeble to do what He asks… BE RESTORED!

Characteristics of Faith

1 Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. 

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. 

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 

1 Now faith is the title deed of things hoped for, the proof of things which are not being seen.

Let us consider faith as a title deed to begin discussion of it characteristics.  A title is a legitimate or supposed right to demand something as one's rightful due; a claim.  A deed is to change the ownership of property by means of a legal document; a transfer.  Having faith means that you have the legal right to transfer what is yours from the spiritual side to the physical side.
Many people are sidetracked in their faith because they do not understand that there is a spiritual side to everything material or natural.  For example, you are a spirit have a natural experience, we find out how true this is when someone departs their body at death.  A propeller on an aircraft can be seen when it is not in motion, but once the engine cranks and begins to roar you can hear the noise but the sight of it disappears.  However if you tried to walk into what you could not see, the spinning propeller would give you indications that it still exist.  Well faith would tell you that even though you can’t see the propeller it is still there and not to go in that direction because it could harm you.  
One thing I learned early in my life is that there are natural and supernatural laws in the earth.  Every man possesses the natural side.  Only Christians have the supernatural side of the equations.  Jesus connects us to the super side of the natural.  This connection is made through the word of God.  It is God coming into man to do only what God can do through the human race.  We are His contact point in the earth.  God wants to do the impossible through us if we allow Him too.  Remember, when things seem impossible for you to do something, it’s a job for Super (God).  He operates in the impossible.  Do you have an impossible situation in your life?  Allow God to move on your behalf (He will not let you down).
Lack of finances and sickness is a major obstacle in the body of Christ.  We have to learn how to put God in the impossible situations and let Him work it all out for us.  Although, there have been times in my life and ministry when I did not see how I would pull through a situation, God provided for me.  I learned to allow the Super to intercede on my behalf, after all we are in covenant together.  Faith is your legal claim on what is yours.
Hope is a characteristic that can strengthen faith. In Scripture, hope is referenced as favorable future state under God’s province.  The apostle Paul uses hope in his writings to motivate his readers to remain steadfast in the faith.  In both 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2:19; 4:13; 5:8, 1 Corinthians 13:13, Galatians 5:5-6 hope is used in connection with love and faith.  Hope stems from faith and includes the seal that what God began in Christ is transformed through the hearts of men and will conclude on the last day (2 Cor 5:5).  The apostle Paul wanted his readers to understand that hope is the bridge that gaps the already of salvation to the not yet of the eternal state.  Mankind already has salvation but he is not yet living in his glorified body like Jesus Christ.  Hope assures the believer that one day soon he will be like Christ in his completeness, however one must remain faithful (Rom 11:22; 1 Cor 15:2) to the process that was initiated at baptism and one day culminated in their own resurrection.

 © 2015 EP Lockley Sr.
(copyright exclude graphics which are the property of original owners)

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