Where does faith come from?
The only Source of true faith is God Himself, and His Word. The Bible says that Jesus is the author of our faith:
“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 AMP)
Romans 10:17 is a key verse to understand the operation of faith:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (Gk: Rhema) of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
To hear the Word with our spirit is to hear Jesus Himself speak to us. The Source of true faith is Jesus, the Living Word, and the Bible, the written Word. The Holy Spirit takes what is written in the Scriptures and makes it alive to our understanding. This is where faith comes from.
It is the seed of God’s Word entering our heart that is the active ingredient in the New Birth:
“having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,” (1Peter 1:23 NKJV)
This is why it is so important to speak to others from God’s Word. Without the seed being planted there can be no harvest and no salvation (Rom 10:13-17).
The Word of salvation through Christ carries the spiritual potential to bring someone to new birth if it is received in a willing heart. God’s grace works together with His Word to bring a person to Himself.
Jesus said in Luke 8:11:
“…The seed is the word of God.” (Luke 8:11)
This He says in relation to the parable of the sower. The ground into which the seed is sown is likened to the human heart:
“But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15 KJV)
Paul says something similar in Romans 10:
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:8-10 NKJV)
This is the first and fundamental part in the operation of faith. The Word of faith must be received in the heart. The heart of man is the spirit of man. Man is a three part being: He is a spirit, he has a soul (mind, will and emotions), and he lives in a body (1Thess 5:23). It is not enough to give mental assent to the Word, it must be received in the spirit. We cannot believe with the intellect.
As Andrew Murray states in ‘The Holiest of all’, his exposition of the book of Hebrews:
“When man speaks it is the revelation of himself, to make known the otherwise hidden thoughts and dispositions of his heart. When God, who dwells in light that is inaccessible, speaks out of the heights of His glory, it is that He may reveal Himself…God speaks to that which is deeper than all, to the heart, that central depth within us whence are the issues of life.”
Romans 2:29 uses the word ‘heart’ and ‘spirit’ interchangeably, speaking of the same thing. The heart of man is the spirit of man. Elsewhere the spirit of man is also referred to as ‘the hidden man of the heart (1 Pet 3:4) and the ‘inward man’ (Rom 7:22). It is here that the supernatural seed is received and believed.
The seed principle works in every area of life. If we want healing we plant the Word of healing; if we want to develop love, the Word of love is what we plant in the heart.
Just as a natural seed has the capacity within it to produce a tree or fruit (reproducing after its own nature) so the Divine Word has the capacity to release the nature of God in our lives when we receive it in our spirit:
“as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2Peter 1:3-4 NKJV)
Our job is not to make the seed grow. Only God can do that:
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” (1Cor 3:6)
Our part in the process is to plant the seed.
The farmer who plants the seed does not necessarily need to understand the intricate physics and biology behind the growth of the seed. He just knows that if he does his part the seed itself will do the rest. Jesus spoke about this in respect to faith in Mark chapter 4, verses 26 :
“And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”” (Mark 4:26-29 NKJV)
We also, as believers, do not need to know how increase will come, or the details of God’s supernatural working. We just know and trust that God’s Word is a supernatural seed that, when planted, releases supernatural power.
The Bible says “all men do not have faith,” (2 Thess 3:2)
When we were alienated from God we were cut off from the Source, so we had no faith. The gift of saving faith is imparted through the Word in order to bring us to God (NB: This is different to the gift of faith spoken of in 1Corinthians 12:9, which speaks of a specific endowment of divine faith for a particular task, granted to an individual by the Holy Spirit). Boasting is excluded because we cannot even believe to be saved without God first extending the gift of saving faith to us in the first place:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)
Once we are born again the Bible shows that the substance of faith is deposited in our heart. Romans calls this “the (or a) measure of faith”:
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you (believers), not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 NKJV)
Having received this measure it is now the believers responsibility to develop and increase their faith through the principles taught in the Scriptures. Each believer is expected to go from faith to ever increasing faith (Romans 1:17).
“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,” (2Thessalonians 1:3 NKJV)
“… as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,” (2Corinthians 10:15 NKJV)
Measures of faith described in the bible include:
- No faith (Deut 32:20; mark 4:40)
- Little faith (Matthew 8:26; 14:31)
- Weak faith (Romans 14:1)
- Strong faith (Romans 4:19-20)
- Great faith (Luke 7:7-9; Matthew 8:8-10)
- Fulness of faith (Acts 11:24)
The Scriptures also speak of qualities of faith such as steadfast faith (Col 2:5), rich faith (James 2:5), unfeigned faith (1 Tim 1:5; 2 Tim 1:5), vain faith (1 Cor 15:14) and even dead faith (James 2:17).
Developing strong faith
Having received the measure of faith from God we now must develop it. There is only one true way to develop and grow faith; The Word of God.
E W Kenyon relates this to our covenant in ‘The Two Kind so Faith’ when he says:
“Get to know your place, your rights, your privileges, and your authority. There will be no problem about faith then. Faith is a problem only when we do not know the Lord and we do not know His Word.”
The great faith Apostle Smith Wigglesworth likewise said in his book ‘Faith that Prevails’ :
“There is where men lack. All lack of faith is due to not feeding on God’s Word. You need it every day. How can you enter into the life of faith? Feed on the living Christ of whom this Word is- full. As you get taken up with the glorious fact and the wondrous presence of the living Christ, the faith of God will spring up within you. ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God…”
Developing Faith Key 1: Hearing God’s Word
Put simply, God’s given method to develop our faith is hearing His Word and receiving it in our heart:
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
Faith comes to the heart when we hear God speak to us; He speaks through His Word. If we honour His Word, and hear it, as it really is, His divine utterance to us personally, our faith will grow. The humble and reverent attitude of our heart is key:
“For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the LORD. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66:2 NKJV)
Make note that this Scripture does not say, “faith comes by the Word of God”. Faith comes by hearing. Hearing whom? Hearing God speak. The Word sensitises our heart to hear Him speak to us personally, and quicken what we are reading or listening to.
We quote again from Andrew Murray:
“The external words of Christ, just like the words of the prophets, are to prepare us for, and point us to, that inner speaking in the heart by the Holy Spirit, which alone is life and power. This is God’s true speaking in His Son…
It is through the Son – the living, mighty, divine Son, direct – that God speaks: it is only in direct living contact with the Son that the words can profit…
The great work of God in heaven, the chief thought and longing of His heart is, in His Son, to reach your heart and speak to you. Oh, let it be the great work of your life, and the great longing of your heart, to know this Jesus; as a humble, meek disciple to bow at His feet, and let Him teach you of God and eternal life…
[Remember] that angels and prophets could only point to Him who was to come, that the words of Scripture, and even of Christ Himself, only profit as they waken the expectancy of something higher, let us wait on God to speak in His Son to us. God’s speaking in us will be a mighty act of creative power, a birth of His love within us.”
Andrew Murray, ‘The Holiest of All’
In order to develop strong faith we must constantly look to the Word of God, and listen with an expectant heart for God’s voice speaking through it.
“My son, give attention (attend) to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22 NKJV)
When we give attention and attend to something we actively engage with the task. It is not a frivolous or accidental thing. It is deliberate and purposeful.
Jesus said to take care what we are hearing:
“And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.” (Mark 4:24 AMP)
Just as Abraham allowed the Promise to fill His vision, not the problem, centre your attention not on circumstance but on what the Word of Promise declares.
It is good to remember that we are called to ‘live by faith’. Faith is a lifestyle, not an event. We must hear, and hear and hear again, until the heart takes hold of the reality of the promise and the substance of faith is born in the spirit. Too often we magnify the problem, the weakness, or the reasons why not, rather than magnify the Lord and His Word:
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,” (Romans 4:20 NKJV)
We must magnify the Lord and His Word. We must allow the promise to paint the picture for us, not the problem. To magnify something means it will eventually fill our vision. Our vision must be filled with what God has purposed, not the obstacles that stand in the way. Faith is designed to remove the obstacles, however large they appear:
“So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:22-23 NKJV)
As we give our attention to the Word, leaning into it, we develop capacity for faith. Meditation on the Word develops capacity for faith.
This is what God told Joshua to do when he stood on the banks of the Jordon, preparing for the greatest faith exploit of his life; possessing the promised land:
“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:7-8)
Notice that the process was to first give full attention to the Word, meditating in it day and night. Meditate means to mutter or speak to oneself. Joshua was encouraged to speak the Word to himself continually, thinking upon it all the time. In this way he would ‘observe’ (see how) to do it. A picture was drawn on Joshua’s imagination, he observed what the Word promised, and faith came to act upon it and do what it said. The results were prosperity and success in his endeavours. The same is true for you and I.
Developing Faith Key 2: Believe In The Heart
We have already discussed this earlier in this session. It is not enough to give intellectual assent to a truth. It must be received in the heart. The heart person is the real you, your spirit. To believe in the heart means to receive the Word personally in the very depth of who you are. No longer is the Word a general statement of truth, it is a personal promise, a covenant reality, upon which to stand.
Romans 10 verses 6-10 speak to this area.
First Paul establishes that our righteousness is through Christ, not the law. As we established at the outset of this session, we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
He continues to explain how faith operates in the most awesome miracle of all, salvation:
“But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above)” (Romans 10:6 NKJV)
Faith does not call God to come and do what He has given us authority to accomplish. He does not need to come down to save us, or provide for us etc. He has already provided all that is necessary and freely given it to us. What is needed is for us to receive it by faith.
“or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” (Romans 10:7 NKJV)
Nor does righteousness say, “If only Jesus were here today. If Jesus were here this person would be healed” or whatever. Jesus is here. Jesus lives in each believer. We must accept the testimony of Scripture and act as if it is so.
Paul then asks the rhetorical question, “What does righteousness say, then?”
“But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):” (Romans 10:8)
The Word is right here in your mouth and heart. That is where it will become supernaturally powerful to affect the impossible.
“if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV)
With the heart a person believes unto righteousness. A spiritual transaction takes place in the heart (the spirit) of a person when the Word is heard and received and accepted as present truth. Faith comes, and this immediately aligns the believer with God. This is what righteousness means, right standing with God. Now there is agreement; the Believer and God are one in respect to the promise that has been received.
This powerful substance called faith is then released from the heart through the mouth. Faith filled words proceeding from a heart in vital connection with God are released into the spiritual world, and demand that the natural circumstance align itself with God’s purpose, just as the heart has. The inner change affects and outer transformation. Through confession of the believed Word, the inner reality becomes an outward reality also.
All of this begins in the heart.
The doorways to the heart
There are several doorways, which provided entrance to the Spirit. The primary entry points are the eyes and ears. This is why we must be careful what we watch and what we listen to.
Paul says in Galatians:
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV)
If we sow words and images of fear, violence, doubt, perversion, worldliness etc, this is precisely the harvest we will bring forth; words of fear, violence, doubt etc. Those will then become the words which determine our future outcome.
Developing Faith Key 3: Confess With The Mouth
Following the heart being filled and believing the next major part in the process is confession: Speaking out what is in the heart.
The Bible speaks of four kinds of confession:
- The Jews confession of sin under John the Baptist (Matthew 3:5-6)
- The confession of the sinner under the New Covenant (John 16:9; Rom 10:9)
- The believer’s confession of his sins (1John 1:9; James 5:16)
- The believer’s confession of faith
It is this fourth kind of confession that we are considering here. It is the believer’s confession of our faith in God’s Word, in Christ and in the Father.
The Greek word translated in the KJV as confession (and sometimes profession) is (Strongs #3671) homologia.
It means to assent or covenant, to agree. It is best translated: “To agree; “To say the same thing as”
New Testament confession means simply this; we say the same thing as God says in His Word.
Quoting again from E W Kenyon’s ‘Two Kinds of Faith’:
“When the confession of our lips perfectly harmonizes with the confession of our hearts, and these two confessions confirm God’s Word, then we become mighty in our prayer life.”
We must make the quality decision to side with God’s Word. God will only work with His Word, and it His Word that He confirms, not just our good intentions:
“And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mark 16:20 NKJV)
He watches over His Word to perform it:
Words determine our life
“Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12 AMP)
The Scriptures teach that there are two distinct operations essential to the working of faith in the believer’s life:
- Believe with the heart
- Speak with the mouth
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10 NKJV)
Faith must have a voice. Paul explained how the spirit of faith operates in 2Corinthians 4:13:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” (Mark 11:23 NKJV)
“And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,” (2Corinthians 4:13 NKJV)
Romans 10:10 says that we believe with the heart, but confession of what is believed must be made with the mouth to bring forth the manifestation. Faith filled speaking is a creative act. It could be said that to live by faith is to live by our believing and speaking.
FF Bosworth says in his book, “Christ the Healer”:
Kenneth Hagin states the Following:
“Believing Plus Confessing Equals Activated Faith. Notice the latter part of Romans 10:10: ” … with the mouth confession is made UNTO. . . .” The text says that with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. But that’s not only true concerning salvation, it is true concerning anything else you receive from God. Everything you receive from God comes the same way – through faith.
For example, it’s with the heart that man believes when it comes to receiving healing, and it’s with the mouth that confession is made unto healing.
It is with the heart that man believes when it comes to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and it is with the mouth that confession is made unto this Pentecostal experience.
Whatever it is that you receive from God, it is done the same way – through faith. Faith is activated by believing with your heart and confessing with your mouth.
Kenneth Hagin, Bible Faith Study Course
The Power of The Tongue
There is so much in the Scriptures concerning the words that we speak. We need to realise their importance and significance. Solomon says in Proverbs:
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].” (Proverbs 18:21 AMP)
The tongue carries the power of:
The words we choose to speak will determine the nature of what is released in our lives, either for life or for death.
Ed Cole, the founder of ‘Promise Keepers’, says:
“Your life today is the result of the words you spoke yesterday, your life tomorrow will be the result of the words you speak today.”
Jesus again explains the key in some interesting conversations with the Pharisees, recorded in Matthew 12:
“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”” (Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV)
“Now, there are some laws of the Spirit that are as basic to our faith as [the laws of gravity and lift] are to flight. And just like the laws of flight, they will keep you moving upward and forward when circumstances are trying to take you down and back! The same One who made the physical realm created the spiritual realm, and He guarantees the laws to work. They work for the believer and non-believer alike.
One of these basic spiritual laws has to do with words. It’s called the Law of Confession…
In these verses [Matthew 12:34-37], Jesus teaches that the Law of Confession works for everyone. Whatever is in our hearts in abundance is destined to come out of our mouths and establish every aspect of our lives. That’s the law. That’s how God designed it…
The law of confession, like the laws of flight, has the power to take you where you want to be. The laws of flight can take you in the air and then land you safely. They are designed to work every time.
The Law of Confession works the same. It has the power to change things in your life – taking you to the places and the things God has for you.” Bill Winston, Believer’s Voice of Victory magazine, KCM Publications, September 2007
Using a similar analogy, E W Kenyon states:
Jesus said that from the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak. Whatever we fill our heart with will spill from our mouth in overflow. This overflow of the heart then ‘brings forth’. It causes things to happen, either for good or evil. This is the Law of Faith at work.
We have the ability to determine what goes in, and thus what flows out from our heart. This is why Solomon advised:
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 NKJV)
Today’s NIV says:
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 TNIV)
There is a powerful connected system within our human makeup. It is designed by God to direct us into his best for our lives, yet often it is hijacked by the enemy through our own ignorance or neglect. We must be vigilant, and keep a guard over our lips, speaking only those things we desire to see come to pass (Psalm 141:3; Prov 13:3).
Right Thinking is essential to Right Believing
We considered this subject in Module 1: The Importance of Doctrine, but will now focus more on the application of the truth in the operation of faith.
As we have seen, there is a process involved in developing and releasing faith. This process begins with the believer receiving the word in their heart.
The entrance of the Word into the heart involves it passing through the mind. The mind is like a filter, allowing and disallowing certain thoughts. God has given us His Word to get our thinking straightened out. When we think in line with His Word, our believing will be right, because what we meditate on will eventually get down into our heart.
To meditate means “to fix your mind”, “to mutter or speak to oneself”. Carefully ponder how the Word you’ve read applies to your life. Ask yourself, “What does that Word from God mean for me? How can it change my situation?” Allow the Holy Spirit to make it a reality to your heart. Then place yourself in agreement with what God says about you in His Word. Make up your mind that you are all that God says you are, that you have all He says you have, and that you can do all He says you can do. Agree with Him and receive it by faith.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Our thinking affects our whole being. If we think we are defeated, we will believe that we are defeated and speak accordingly. This will lead to a cycle where we actually bring to pass exactly what we fear. This is why each believer must make the quality decision to accept and believe the Word concerning their life as true, regardless of any contrary evidence that would try to convince us otherwise.
The Bible tells us:
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” (2Corinthians 10:4-5)
God has empowered us by the Word and Spirit to cast down imaginations and reasonings within our own mind and heart, and to bring them in line with His Word.
What we consistently expose ourselves to will eventually possess our imaginations. If we choose to meditate upon the Word, casting down thoughts, arguments and pictures that are contrary to what the Word says, over a period of time our internal makeup will be transformed and we will begin to think, believe, speak and act differently. We will always act according to what is most prevalent in our inner man.
We must make it our quest to renew our mind to the truth of God’s Word, and devise ways in which we can expose ourselves to its teachings on a continual basis.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove (and demonstrate) what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2 NKJV)
We will be conformed to either the image of this world, together with its limitations, or to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Through consistent meditation and acceptance and confession of His Word we will step into our God-given inheritance, and have the “mind of Christ” fully at work in our lives:
“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.” (1Corinthians 2:16 AMP)
“For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].” (Romans 8:5-6 AMP)
The more we train in this way, the less we have to take captive and the stronger our faith becomes:
“For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.” (Hebrews 5:13-14 AMP)
Philippians provides us with a rod to measure our thought life by:
“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].” (Philippians 4:8 AMP)
What are we to confess?
Just as Jesus spoke only what His Father said (John 12:49) we are to speak only what the Father, Son and Holy Ghost say. Our confession needs to centre around these principal truths:
- What God has done for us through Christ in salvation.
- What God has done in us by His Word and the Holy Spirit in the New Birth and Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
- Who we are in Christ Jesus.
- What Jesus is presently doing for us at the right hand of the Father where He ever lives to make intercession for us.
- What God and His Word can accomplish in and through us as we act upon it.
When our confession lines up with God’s Word and will for our lives, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ will have spiritual substance to work with. The Bible says that the Word of God, as spoken by believers in prayer, is the sword that the Spirit wields in the spiritual realm:
“And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17 AMP)
Just as He hovered over the waters in Genesis chapter one awaiting the Word of God, and then creatively acting upon it, so He now waits for the Word on our lips, eager to bring it to pass in our lives and the lives of those we pray for.
Jesus too awaits our words to act upon them:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16 NASB)
We are encouraged to hold fast our confession (continue to say the same thing as the Word), knowing that He understands our weaknesses and the challenges we face. Our words of faith provide substance for the necessary grace and power to be released to overcome, whatever our circumstance.
Colossians 2:5 (Amplified) speaks of the church presenting a ‘solid front’ of faith. This solid front means a continual confession of victory in Christ.
“The language of the Senses is: “I can’t, I haven’t the ability, I haven’t the strength, I don’t have the opportunity, I have no education, I have been limited.”
– The language of faith says, “I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me,”
Who is it that strengthens me? It is my Father God.
I can do all things through Him. I cannot be conquered. I cannot be defeated.
There isn’t force enough in all the world to conquer Him who dwells in me.
Not only am I born of God, a partaker of God’s nature and life, but I have God dwelling in me, and I have the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwelling in me.
I have God’s wisdom, God’s strength, God’s ability.
I am learning how to let Him govern my intellect, letting Him think through me, use my vocal faculties. I am daring to think His thoughts after Him.
I am daring to believe that it is God who is at work within me and that He will work His own good pleasure.
I am daring to say in the presence of my oId enemies: failure, weakness, want, lack of opportunity, lack of knowledge, lack of strong friends, and a thousand others, “God is my ability.”
God has made me greater than my enemies. God has made me put my heel on the neck of weakness, of fear, of inability, and I stand and declare that whosoever believeth in Him shall not be put to shame.
I cannot be put to shame. My weaknesses are routed. The strength of God is mine.
The ability of God has taken me captive and I revel in this captivity.” E W Kenyon, The Two Kinds of Faith
Developing Faith Key 4: Corresponding Actions
“When you are in faith there will always be some action you can take to demonstrate your faith.” Kenneth Hagin, Bible Faith Study Course
We believe, we speak and then we act.
This action may simply be to stay true to your confession of faith, or it may be some physical action prompted by the Holy Spirit. There will always be some behaviour inspired by your faith, some corresponding action.
James says in chapter 2:14-22:
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (James 2:14-22 KJV)
I like Matthew Henry’s commentary on these verses:
“Those are wrong who put a mere notional belief of the gospel for the whole of evangelical religion, as many now do. No doubt, true faith alone, whereby men have part in Christ’s righteousness, atonement, and grace, saves their souls; but it produces holy fruits, and is shown to be real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly differs from this saving faith. A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith save him? This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes. There is not only to be assent in faith, but consent; not only an assent to the truth of the word, but a consent to take Christ. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart.”
A bare religious profession, without a lifestyle of good works which correspond with that profession, is as distasteful as a putrid and decaying body. Our faith must be clothed with the lively works which spring from its reality in our lives. Dry, bare bones of lifeless doctrine are not the faith of Christ, they are something entirely different, and foreign to the vibrant and vital reality of Christ in the life of a born-again believing saint.
Weymouth’s New Testament reads:
“What good is it, my brethren, if a man professes to have faith, and yet his actions do not correspond? Can such faith save him?” (James 2:14 WEYMTH)
and verse 22:
“You notice that his faith was co-operating with his actions, and that by his actions his faith was perfected;” (James 2:22 WEYMTH)
Just as there must be agreement between the Word and the believer’s thoughts and beliefs. Just as there must be agreement between the believer’s faith in his/her heart and the words of their mouth. So there must finally be co-operation or agreement in the form of corresponding actions. Our actions must be in perfect fellowship with our confession.
Hagin gives the following example:
“For example, we may say that we are trusting God to provide finances, but at the same time we are worrying and fretting about how we are going to pay our bills. There is no corresponding action there. One minute we confess that the Word of God is true, and the very next moment we repudiate everything we say by wrong actions. Your actions must correspond with your believing if you are going to receive from God.” Kenneth Hagin, Bible Faith Study Course
The epistle of James calls those who say one thing and do another, “deceived”. They are double-minded.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22 NKJV)
It is not enough to merely hear the Word, we must act on it if we are to see results. Believing is acting upon the Word. If we really believe it, we will act upon it. It is the doers of the Word who are blessed and empowered:
“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” (James 1:25 NASB)
Again, Jesus Himself spoke to this. He drew attention to those who obey (those who do what He says) His Word as the ones whom He would manifest Himself in, to and through:
“At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.
The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]
Judas, not Iscariot, asked Him, Lord, how is it that You will reveal Yourself [make Yourself real] to us and not to the world?
Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” (John 14:20-23 AMP)
Works confirm and cooperate with the substance of faith in the inner man. Our actions in line with our believing and speaking release the faith to manifest what is already real in the spiritual realm.
Faith coupled with obedient action is the very foundation of our life with God. Jesus spoke of this in Matthew 7:24-27. It is one who hears and obeys whose house will stand the trials of life, not the hearer only.
Our works are not the key. We are not saved, nor do we receive from God because of our works. We receive because of our faith, but our works will clearly be displayed if that faith is real. Our works correspond and co-operate with our faith.