Faith Chapter Seven
Last week I was talking to you about the importance of having the same image of yourself that the Bible says God has of you. You might say, "Well, What does that have to do with Faith?" Because it is by faith that we lay hold of these spiritual facts that we accept as truth and begin to express them in our present life. Jesus made a very profound statement in Jn. 10:10,
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
Someone says, "Well, I know that I will receive this eternal life when Jesus comes back!" Listen to me! We do not have to wait until Jesus comes for us!! We have eternal life right now! We will live forever! We will never again have to be separated from our Father which is death! Oh, We may have to be separated from this old body of flesh! That is something that we all will, one way or the other, be separated from because flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 15:50), but Paul said in 2 Cor. 5:1-7,
" For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (or body of flesh) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle (or body of flesh) we do groan, being burdened: but not that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality (the position of being subject to death) might be swallowed up by life. Now he that has worked for us the selfsame thing is God, who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while we are at home in the body (of flesh), we are absent from the Lord: For we walk by faith, not by sight!"
The reason we have difficulty in perceiving the person that God sees when He looks at us is because we live now in this body of flesh which judges everything by it's five senses and unless it can see something it has difficulty believing. But don't you see that we have been given the mind of Christ in order that we might believe and believing we might express the things of the Kingdom of God to the world around about us. Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:9-10,
"It is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searchs all things, yes, the deep things of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. We speak of these things, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches us, but in words the Holy Ghost teaches us; comparing spiritual things with spiritual things."
In order to understand things of a spiritual nature we must learn to walk by faith and accept the things that the word says that God has given to us! Then we walk by faith in Him until the things are manifest. If God has said something about us then it is more real than what our five senses tell us and we can know that they are true. We can then walk by faith until they come to pass even as the word says.
Now then, Paul said in Col. 1:12, & Heb. 1:3,
"Giving thanks unto the Father, who has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Who is the image of the invisible God who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high!!!
It's easy for those of us who have believed for sometime to believe that Jesus is the expressed image of His Father but it is still hard for some of us to believe that we are that same image of His Father! What did Paul have to say about that? In Rom. 8:29 Paul said,
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Long before this world was ever formed God determined that those who believed in His Son would be conformed or transformed or shaped or made just like His Son. The reason for this is so that Jesus could be the first to be born among all of God's children. Paul also said in 2 Cor. 3:17-18,
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever–increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."
Brethren, we are in the process of being transformed, conformed, changed by the Spirit of our Father so that we may all reflect His glory and this is ever increasing. This is coming about by God's Spirit who works within each of us to both will and to do His good pleasure.! Praise God! We don't have to do this by ourselves but our Father so loves us that He works within each of us to bring about this divine will of His that we look and act just like His beloved son Jesus Christ. Paul said this in Phil. 2:12-13,
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
How does God work within us to accomplish these things. He inspires us by giving us pure thoughts. He is so good at it we think that we thought of these things. When we study His Word, He gives us the understanding of it and encourages us to walk it out in this life.
Paul made a very profound statement in Col. 1:21-22,
"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you (convinced you and made a way for you to come back to Him) by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation!"
Paul also said in Heb. 9:27-28,
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Jesus met the appointment for man to die once for all of mankind. In the beginning when Adam sinned it brought all of mankind under the curse of sin, however, in God's eyes when Jesus died on that cross because He was the second Adam, all of mankind died with Him! Not only that but when Jesus was resurrected and brought forth from the dead, all of mankind was resurrected with Him, therefore, sin has once and for all been dealt with by God. As a result of this one act by God we have all been cleansed from sin and are no longer sinners but children of God saved by His grace and now should live a new life that is free from sin. Paul said in 1 Cor. 6:12,
" Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything.
Because we still live in this body of flesh we have the tendency to believe what it's five senses tell us and we must be constantly alerted to the fact that we now must live by faith and not by sight. We should accept the things of God by faith in His integrity and His honesty until they come to pass.
Paul also said in 2 Cor. 4:13-16, (NIV)
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Will you confess with me the following word of God?
Praise be to my Father, El Elon, the most
high God and Father of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has
blessed me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose me in him
before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In
he predestined me to be adopted as his son through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given me in the One he loves. In him I have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on me with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to me the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him I was also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that those, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And I was also included in Christ when I heard the word of truth, the gospel of my salvation. Having believed, I was marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing my inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory." (Eph. 1:3-14)