How Can I Know That I’m Saved?

How can I know that I am saved? I’ve heard people say so many times, “I don’t feel like I’m saved”. And even in my younger years I heard myself saying that a few times. Well, my friends, I can tell you that you can be assured that you are saved through following the requirements of the Bible for salvation.

So, let’s begin at the beginning. The Bible says a person must be born again; born of the water and of the spirit. We have a physical body that is born through the natural means of birth. But we have a spiritual inner man that has to be born again through the Spirit. Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3 that “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nicodemus didn’t understand what Jesus was talking about so Jesus expounded on his statement:

John 3:6 NKJV “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

John 3:14-18 NKJV “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, sin came upon all mankind. We are all sinners by birth, but we also sin by choice. It is man’s human nature within him to sin. God, who is holy, had to have a payment for that sin in order for man to be restored to his place of righteousness with God. So God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for the sin of all of mankind. It is through dependence upon Jesus that brings us into salvation.

Romans 3:23 NKJV for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 NKJV For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 NKJV But God demonstrates His own love toward us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

You see, we couldn’t purchase our own salvation and we can’t earn that salvation because the only one who could buy us back out of sin was a sinless human being. A man sinned (Adam) and brought sin into our human bloodline and it took a sinless man (Jesus) to pay the payment for our sin. Jesus was the only one who could do that because His blood was not of man, it was of the Holy Spirit. He was sinless by birth and by choice. He overcame all the temptation of the enemy that He might be the perfect sacrifice for man’s sin.

Romans 5:12 NLT When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Romans 5:17-19 NLT The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life. Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God’s sight.

So, now we see that every human being from the time Adam sinned has been automatically a sinner. It came down through the bloodline. The only way to be freed from the sin that we inherited is through receiving the finished work of Jesus on our behalf. It is a personal dependence upon Jesus that saves a person.

Romans 10:8-10 Salvation that comes from trusting Christ—which is the message that we preach—is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

Romans 10:13 For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

The way that you receive salvation is by believing in your heart that God sent Jesus to die for you, He was crucified, buried and God raised Him from the dead and then confessing Him as your Lord with your mouth. It is the belief or trust in your heart that Jesus did that for you personally that brings righteousness, then it is made yours through the confession of your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Savior.

We make that salvation personally ours through prayer.

Father God, I confess that I am a sinner both by birth and by choice. I believe that You gave Your very own Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for my sin; that He was crucified for me, buried and You raised Him from the dead. I ask You to forgive me of my sin and come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and save me. I confess You as my Lord and Savior and I thank You for dying for me and for saving me. I will live every day of my life for You. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Once you have prayed that prayer and meant it sincerely in your heart, you are saved. Remember, the Word says in Romans 10:13 For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” You cannot earn this salvation because it is a free gift. The only way to get it is to receive it by faith.

Ephesians 2:8, 9 NLT God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

You must believe the Word of God over your feelings as you will not always feel saved. The devil will try to condemn you every time you sin so that you won’t believe that you really were changed when you prayed. But you must believe that if you asked God to do something in faith that He really did do it. He wants you to know for sure that you were born again!

1 John 5:11-13 NLT And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have His Son does not have life. I write this to you so that you may know you have eternal life.

You receive God’s Son, by His Spirit, when you asked Him to save you. That’s what it means to be “born again”. Your spirit man comes to life. When God created man He breathed into Him the breath of life and he became a living soul. When sin came upon mankind the ability to fellowship with God through our spirit man was snuffed out. Man then lived according to the dictates of his flesh and physical being. But when you become “born again” your spirit man is brought back into relationship with God. Now you can live spirit to Spirit; once again having fellowship with the Father through your relationship with Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 NLT What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. An new life has begun! All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ Himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

Now that a person is born again and a new creation in Christ Jesus, does that mean he will never sin again?

No, absolutely not. What it means is that our sins, past, present and future have already been paid for. We now have the freedom to confess our sins as we commit them and know that we are acknowledging that what we did is wrong, but that it’s not being held against us because Jesus paid for us to be forgiven.

1 John 1:8-2:2 NLT If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts. My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

When we become saved we no longer have the desires that we had before conversion. We now want to live for Christ Jesus because we love Him and want to please Him. That is one way that we can know we belong to Him. When we sin, we feel sorry for it; we want to confess it to Him because we know that sin displeases the Father. We want to live a life that is pleasing to Him. And His Spirit within us bears witness with us that we are His.

Romans 8:16 NKJV The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

He gives us peace within when we wonder about whether or not we truly were born again. The Holy Spirit is our guarantee that we are God’s children.

Ephesians 1:13, 14 NLT And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.

The problem that people run into after they are saved is that the devil comes with condemnation every time you do something wrong, trying to tell you that you really didn’t receive salvation; that there is no hope for you. Listen, folks, kick the devil out of your life. When you prayed to receive Jesus as Savior He really did come into your heart by His Spirit and He lives within you. Write down the date and time that you prayed to receive Jesus so you can tell the devil when it happened and kick him our of your life! Nail it down! If you are still having trouble with this, pray it again and then write it down and go back to that date and time every time the enemy comes at you with condemnation.

Romans 8:1-4 NLT So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

Condemnation and conviction are two different things that come from two different sources. Condemnation offers no hope; it says that you are a hopeless case; you will never be any different and you are no good to anyone. It comes from the pit of hell, straight from the father of lies, the devil. Conviction, on the other hand, is from the Holy Spirit, where He gently convicts us of something we’ve done wrong and encourages us to confess it to the Father so we can be forgiven once again and cleansed from the guilt of that sin. The Holy Spirit always offers a way out; the devil always tells you nothing will work. Do you see the difference?

Now that we’ve gone all through salvation from the beginning to the end, I hope that you will be assured that when you accept Jesus as Your Savior and Lord you truly are “born again”. May you walk in the Spirit and not the flesh. The victory comes as you follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance; being quick to repent when you are wrong and get back into sweet fellowship with the Lord that comes from that repentance.

Father, I pray that You will take this message of Your word and seal it in the hearts of the readers that the enemy might not be able to come and steal it from them. I pray that those who read this message that don’t know you will accept what Jesus did for them on the cross of Calvary. I ask You, Holy Spirit, to convict their hearts and convince them of their need for Jesus as Savior and Lord. Father, may the enemy be defeated in their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. I ask You to help the ones who have received Jesus to put a stop to the devil’s condemning words being thrown at them. May they realize that they can submit themselves to You, God, and resist the devil and Your word says when they do that he has to flee from them. I ask You, Lord, to give them an assurance of their seal, the Holy Spirit within them, as the guarantee that they are Yours. May they walk in the victory that Jesus has secured for them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Come Unto Jesus!

Psalm 55:4-8 My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.

I love to read the Psalms that David wrote because he is so open and honest in expressing his feelings to God. I think many times we are afraid to tell our heavenly Father how we really feel. Some of that fear comes from growing up in a performance oriented society where we are accepted and loved based on our performance, not for who we are. But God loves us unconditionally! If we’ve received Jesus as our Lord and Savior we belong to Him; we are a part of His family. God reaches down to His children in love to lift them up and pull them out of the messes they may be in. He forgives and restores us to right fellowship with Him when we acknowledge what we’ve done wrong in confession to Him. He is not like a person who changes his feelings toward those he is supposed to love when they do not respond to him as he would like. God loves because He is love!

1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

It is said that David was “a man after God’s own heart”. I believe that he was described as that type of person because he wasn’t afraid to talk to God in the honesty of his feelings. He wasn’t a perfect man, because we see in the scriptures of his sin with Bathsheba, but he was a man who was quick to repent and had a soft heart towards the Lord; he was teachable and reachable! But David had deep feelings that we see so often coming out in the Psalms that he wrote.

In Psalm 55 we see where David was hurting to the point of death. Fear had come upon him and he trembled under the load of what was bothering him. He longed to run away where trouble couldn’t find him! He wanted to escape from the storms of life.

How many times have we felt the same way? Maybe you’re in that spot right now; where life has overwhelmed you to the point that you wish you could fly away where no one knew where you were. I’ve been there myself a time or two! David pours out his heart to his God expecting Him to hear and answer his prayers.

Psalm 55:16-18 As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me.

After pouring out His heart to his God He believed that he would receive what he had asked of Him. He knew that God would save him from the battle that was raging around him. He cried out to him morning, noon and night and he knew that God was hearing his voice and would come to his rescue. He proclaimed that his God had redeemed his soul in peace even before he saw it come into manifestation. David was a man of faith, believing that he would receive when he prayed.

Jesus told us in Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

David knew that his God would hear and answer his prayer of petition. He believed that he would receive what he asked of his Father.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

The Hebrew word for “sustain” in that verse means “to maintain, nourish, provide food, bear, hold up, protect, support, defend; to supply the means necessary for living.”

David knew that his God would sustain him, providing for whatever need he had when he cried out to him. He had a living and vital relationship with his God, but it was based on the Old Covenant, secured by the sacrifices of animals. Thanks to Jesus we now live under the New Covenant, of which He is the mediator. It is a better covenant. The sacrifices David had to offer for sin that would make him acceptable to his God we no longer have to make. Jesus is the sacrifice for our sins and the way to the Father is open for all to boldly come in.

Sometimes we are hesitant to tell our heavenly Father what we are feeling because we think we shouldn’t feel that way, or we are afraid we will be rejected because of our feelings. But Jesus made a way for us to come before the Father without fearing. He paid the price for us to have the freedom to come boldly before our God when are in need.

Hebrews 4:14-16: Seeing then that 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 was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

My friends, the door to the Father is open for you to enter in. Jesus experienced all that you are experiencing, but He didn’t sin through it. He didn’t fear but He trusted His Father to sustain Him; to provide for His every need. Our Father now wants to hear all about your heartaches and He wants to give you the solution to your problems. But he’s waiting for you to open up your heart to Him. He will not force Himself on you. Will you tell Him what is bothering you? Will you believe that He will hear and answer your prayers even before you see that answer in manifestation?

David knew God under the Old Testament law, but Jesus made it possible for us to know God under the New Testament grace. Jesus paid the price for us to be children of God. He made it possible for us to come boldly into God’s presence to receive the help that we need at just the right time.

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant,which was established on better promises.

Jesus stands between us and God bridging the gap that once was there that held us back from being close to our Heavenly Father. He died that we might live! He took the punishment for our sin that we might be free to be children of God.

John 1:12, 13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name; who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

David still had to perform animal sacrifices under Old Testament Laws to be acceptable to God, but we are acceptable to God when we place our faith and trust in the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the Cross of Calvary.

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting til His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Since Jesus died for us we are now able to call our God, “Abba, Father” because we are His sons and daughters. When we receive Jesus as Savior and Lord we are born again, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit; born into the family of God.

Have you been born into the family of God? If not, I would like to introduce you to the best friend you will ever have; the Lord Jesus Christ. He longs to bring you into His family where you can know the Heavenly Father. If you have never received Jesus as your Savior and Lord and would like to, please pray this prayer with me and believe it sincerely in your heart:

Father, I come before you this morning in the name of Jesus. I confess that I am a sinner both by birth and by choice. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God; that He died for my sins that I might live to new life, and that You, Father God, raised Him from the dead and He now lives seated at Your right hand. I ask You to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord and I thank You for saving me. I will live for You every day of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer for the first time and meant it, you are now a child of God, privileged to have all the benefits of the family of God. You can now come boldly before the Father in your time of trouble to receive the help that you need. You an heir of God and joint-heir with Christ Jesus! Praise the Lord! I welcome you as my brother or sister in Christ!

If you are going through a difficult time right now, Jesus is right there with you. He is there by His Spirit who lives within you. He longs to help you with your troubles. Won’t you share your heart with Him and let Him lead you in the way you should go to receive the help that you need? Don’t be afraid to pour out your heart to Him. He understands and is waiting to come to your aid.

Father, I thank You for Jesus! I thank You that He died for us, rose again triumphant over death, hell and the grave and that He ever lives to make intercession for us! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying down Your life for us that we might have eternal life in You! Father, I pray for my friends this morning that are going through difficult times. I pray that You will make Yourself real to them in ways that they will understand so they will know that You are right there to help them through the difficulties. Please strengthen them by Your Spirit who lives within them. Heal their bodies that are suffering through physical illnesses; comfort those who are hurting emotionally; set free those who are oppressed and burdened by the attacks of the enemy. Father, bring to salvation those who don’t know Jesus! Lord, You are more than able to deliver Your people from temptation and trials. I ask You, Lord, to work miracles in their lives by healing, delivering and setting them free. Thank You, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Untapped Potential!

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

I’m fully convinced that we have no idea of the potential that is locked up inside of each one of us until we have to draw on the strength that God has placed within us. He has placed inside of each one of us His ability to accomplish the plan that He has for our lives and sometimes that requires what we feel is supernatural ability. It is only as we step out in faith and do what we think we can’t do that we experience His ability within us to succeed.

Abraham thought when God told him he would be the Father of many nations that it was a total impossibility but he placed his trust in God to do what only God could do. He had to step out in faith and do his part, but God worked the miracle through him. The potential to create a child was within him all the time, but until He believed God for it, it didn’t happen.

Romans 4:18-21 NLT When God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, Abraham believed him. God had also said, “Your descendants will be as numerous as the stars,” even though such a promise seemed utterly impossible! And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though he knew that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred and that Sarah, his wife, had never been able to have children. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything he promised.

Abraham knew that if God promised something that it didn’t matter how impossible it looked, He would do it. How many times have you been presented with an impossible situation that you knew you couldn’t do on your own? It’s in those times that as we spread our wings to fly we find the wind of God’s Spirit gets under us and carries us to the place that we need to go. It’s that dependence on the Lord that moves us from one place to the other. God is the God of impossibilities!

 

 

Zechariah 12:5 NLT And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the LORD Almighty, their God.

Jesus said in John 15:4, 5 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

It is only as we abide, or live in Jesus, that we can unlock the potential that God has placed within us. He is the vine and we are the branches. The branch gets it’s nourishment from the vine. We draw our strength and nourishment from our relationship with the Lord. I woke up this morning with this phrase running through my mind: “Much prayer = Much power”! It is through interaction with Him through prayer and Bible study that we are filled with the ability to do all things. He is the Power Source and we must plug ourselves in to be able to live the way He wants us to live. Paul put it this way in Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

1 Corinthians 14:10 says: There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.

Every voice that you hear has some significance of it’s own. There’s the voice of the Holy Spirit who will always lead you to Christ Jesus and the ability to succeed in the impossible. Then there’s the voice of the enemy, or the devil, that will always bring condemnation, negative thinking, fear and defeat. He always leads you away from the Lord. And then there is your own voice that always wants to please itself. The voice of the flesh cries out for self-gratification. The voice of the world wants to pull you away from what’s right and influence you to go along it’s way. Your friends are there to put in their opinion as well. But it’s the voice that you listen to the most that you will follow.

It is as you spend time in fellowship with the Holy Spirit through your relationship with Jesus that you will learn the voice to follow. If you follow His voice He will take you into the realm of the impossible. For without Him, you can do nothing!

Isaiah 30:21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand, Or whenever you turn to the left.

Father, I thank You for the voice of Your Spirit that leads us and guides us and gives us the strength to do those things that look to us as impossibilities. Thank You for Your supernatural ability within us to do over and above what we think we can do. Thank You for beginning the good work in us and for bringing it to completion. You are working in each one of us as we grow in our relationship with Jesus. Thank You for ushering us into the realm of the impossible. I pray for my friends, Father, that You will help them to look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of their faith. I pray that they will depend on Your Spirit to give them the ability to do what they think they can’t do. Lord, You are able to show them how to get things done in a way that they would not think as possible. Thank You, Lord, for showing them the supernatural ability that You have placed within them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Faith Examples

Mark 5:25-34 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well. Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

 

This is a beautiful example of a “faith healing”. No one touched this woman; there was no prayer for her to be healed; she simply recognized what she had to do to receive her healing and she reached out to receive it! Jesus said that it was her faith that had made her well.

I love what the Amplified Bible says about this woman in Mark 5:28: For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.

This woman had tried every doctor around; she had spent all that she had on medicine and yet she only grew worse. Her faith was challenged to the maximum! The Amplified Bible says that the reason she came to Jesus was because she had heard the reports concerning Him. (Mark 5:27) She knew that the Healer was close and she wasn’t about to let tradition or negative doctor’s reports or lack of money stop her from getting what she knew Jesus would give her. Her faith spoke out that if she could only get to Jesus, touch His garments and receive that healing virtue that would flow from Him, she would be restored to health. Her faith spoke and acted on what she believed in her heart!  She kept speaking what she was believing!

The Amplified Bible says that Jesus recognized that the power had gone out of Him and He turned around to see her and then spoke to her about what had just taken place.

Mark 5:34 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

Faith, trust and confidence in God, restores a person to health. Have you reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and trusted Him to bring healing to your body?

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).

Hebrews 13:9 Do not be carried about by different and varied and alien teachings;

What worked in Bible days still works today because Jesus Christ never changes! He is always the same. If faith worked to bring healing into a person’s life in Bible times, it will still work today because He never changes!

When Jesus stopped to minister to the woman with the issue of blood He was on His way to the synagogue ruler’s house to minister healing to his daughter. While the woman with the issue of blood received her healing, Jairus’ daughter died.  They came to him and Jesus to report of her death and this is what Jesus said to him:

Mark 5:35-36 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Fear always stands in the way of faith! Jesus reminded Jairus that he needed to stay focused in faith for his daughter to be able to receive her healing. Are you troubled by someone that you love who needs healing but only seems to get worse? Here are two examples of situations where healing was sought after, but the people only got worse…..until Jesus arrived on the scene! Jesus told Jairus, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” Sometimes we get caught up in how bad things look when we should be looking at how big God is and that His power to heal knows no boundaries; and is not limited to how impossible things look.

Mary is a perfect example of the power of God knowing no limitations:

Luke 1:26-38 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. “Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. “for with God nothing will be impossible.” Then Mary said, “behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Mary was told by an angel that she would have a son and His name would be called Jesus! But there was a slight problem here; Mary had never been with a man to be able to conceive a child. But the angel told her to look past her limitations and see the power of God in her life to do what He had said He would do! He also told her to look at what God had done for her cousin, Elizabeth, who had been “called” barren! Elizabeth had a word curse spoken over her; people had called her “barren”. She was pictured as hopeless; no chance of things ever being different for her. Yet, here was a perfect example for Mary to see where God had done something for someone else and, since He is no respecter of persons, that He would do the same for her. She had a choice to make; would she believe and receive, or would she say that it was impossible for God to do something outside of the realm of her understanding? God always gives us a choice; we can either believe and receive or doubt and do without! Notice that Mary’s faith in God spoke as an action to bring into existence that which He had promised. She said, “Let it be to me according to your word.” That needs to be the voice of our faith as God speaks His promises to us. “Lord, let it be to me according to Your word”! It is then that the “nothing is impossible with God” becomes a reality in us…..personally!

Elizabeth later prophesied to Mary about the promise that she had believed would happen to her in Luke 1:45:

“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Believing is seeing it before the manifestation of the promise! Mary had not given birth to Jesus yet; she didn’t even have the outward appearance of being “with child”; she didn’t look pregnant and hadn’t felt the movement of a child within her. All she had to go on was what had been told to her by the Angel of God. The message gave the promise; her part was to believe and receive; God’s part was to fulfill the promise. Many times we want to do both parts, and then we are disappointed when the “impossible” part is not realized. Could it be that we have fallen short on our part by not fully believing? God will do His part; we can be assured of that!

We see a perfect example of that is Zacharias in Luke 1:11-20. He also had a visitation from the Angel of the Lord who gave him a promise from God, but Zacharias didn’t believe the message because he couldn’t see that God was the God of impossibilities and not limited by his human abilities.

Luke 1:20 “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

God blessed Zacharias with the promise, but Zacharias was not able to speak about it until it was fulfilled. His unbelief limited what God really wanted to do in his life and even though he received the promise his unbelief caused hindrances in the way the promise was fulfilled. When we do not believe God we limit Him from having the freedom to move in our lives as He desires.

It is said of the Israelites in Psalm 78:40-42: How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, And grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power; The day when He redeemed them from the enemy.

It is later said in Psalm 78:56, 57 Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God, And did not keep His testimonies. But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers; They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

God was not pleased with them because of their unbelief. The writer of the book of Hebrews instructs us to not be like the Israelites who had an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. They could not enter into the Promised Land, His land of rest for them, because they did not mix faith with the Word that He had given them.

Hebrew 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

It takes faith to receive what God has promised. There are more examples in God’s Word of people who were healed by faith; received provision through their faith; did great and might exploits by faith, but unless we spend time in God’s word meditating and saturating ourselves with that Word we will not be bold in faith to step out and believe that we are no different from them. God has not changed; He is still the same God as He was in that day and He still does the same miracles that He performed for those people in our own daily lives.

Today I want to challenge you to believe God! Believe Him for what He has promised in His Word and for what He is speaking to you personally! Begin believing for the little things so that when your faith is challenged for something big, you will have the foundation of strength that you need to receive His promise for the bigger things!

Father, I thank You for showing us through Your Word that You are a God who provides for whatever need Your children have. Thank You for showing us that faith believes, speaks and receives whatever it needs as Your grace provides. I thank You for still being the same God as You were in Bible days. You still perform miracles in our lives when we believe You for them. Help us to grow in our faith, Lord! I pray for my friends this morning who may be experiencing a “faith challenge” in their lives. Father, open their eyes to see what You would have them to do in receiving their provision. Make Yourself real to them at their point of need, Father, and reveal Your desire for their wholeness to be manifested through their faith! Thank You, Father. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

There’s Freedom In Knowing The Truth!

John 8:31, 32 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

How many times have you heard the phrase, “the truth will set you free”? Does the truth really set people free or is it contingent upon something else? I think in order to understand how the truth sets a person free you must go back to the verse prior to John 8:32 and put into practice what it says:

John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

The conjunction “And” at the beginning of verse 32 ties that verse to verse 31 making it a by-product of what verse 31 says to do. Jesus said those who believed Him would be His disciples and something would be evident in their lives as they believed…..they would know the truth and the truth would set them free.

What does it mean to “believe Him”? We sometimes think it means to “believe in Him”, but that is different than “believing Him”. To believe “in Him” is to put our trust in Him, but to “believe Him” is not only to put our trust in Him, but to act upon what He has said.

Jesus said “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Let’s take this one phrase at a time and dissect it to where we understand what He really is saying.

If – a conjunction meaning that the end result is dependent upon something that you do. In order to be His disciples you must abide in His word.

What is a disciple? According to Strong’s concordance the Greek word for “disciple” is mathetes and it means “one who follows one’s teaching”. A “disciple” was not only a pupil, but an adherent; hence they are spoken of as imitators of their teacher.

So, what Jesus is saying is that if you abide, or live in His word, and follow His teaching, you will be one who imitates Him. And when you are becoming as Him in following and imitating Him you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. You see, Jesus said that He didn’t do anything He didn’t see His Father doing and He didn’t say anything He didn’t hear from His Father. He was an imitator of His Father, God, just like He is saying we should be an imitator of Him.

John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

John 5:30 “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

It is as we see, hear and do what the Word of God says, imitating Jesus, that we become imitators and followers of Him. It is then that we will know the truth and that truth that we know will set us free.

Know – Greek word “ginosko” according to Strong’s concordance it means to perceive, understand, recognize, gain knowledge, realize, come to know. It is the knowledge that has an inception, a progress, and an attainment. It is the recognition of truth by personal experience.

So as we spend time in God’s word and see, hear, and do what Jesus did we will come to perceive and understand through a progressive knowledge of the truth and what we then are coming to know will set us free.

Jesus talks about the truth being what sets us free. Let’s look into that word “truth” and see what He is trying to tell us about knowing it.

Truth – Greek word aletheia – according to Strong’s concordance it means “the reality lying at the basis of an appearance; the manifested, veritable essence of a matter”.

Truth, the reality lying at the basis of an appearance.  Now, let’s look at John 8:32 from a little different angle.  The Amplified Bible capitalizes truth in John 8:32 signifying that the “Truth” is not just the conformity to fact or reality, but it is the reality of that fact! Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” And in John 8:36 He says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed,” which leads me to believe that the truth that He is talking about in Romans 8:31, 32 is really Him. You can come to know Him through the word, through prayer and through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the God-head are involved in you coming to know the Truth and being set free by what you know.

All of these scriptures when put together seem to say that Jesus is the Truth that we come to know as we see, hear and do God’s Word and as we are progressively growing in our knowledge of Him we will be set free from sin, and live a lifestyle of imitating the Father, just as Jesus did.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

God’s word is living and when you read a scripture one time it may speak to you one way and then another time that you read it you may get something totally different from it. That’s because it addresses the need in your heart at that very moment. God knows exactly what you need to hear and because the word is living and powerful it goes into your heart and does supernatural surgery where it is needed. I have shown you two different ways the scripture of John 8:31, 32 can be seen this morning. That’s how the word works. Two different people can read the same verse and it will speak to both of them differently. It has a powerful effect on each one of them at their point of need.

This blog may seem a little deep and challenging, but it is food for thought this morning and, as always, I welcome your interaction, comments and questions! We grow through being stretched, so maybe this blog will get you to thinking and praying!

Father, I thank You for Your Word! I thank You for the written Word, the Living Word, Jesus, and the spoken Word as the Holy Spirit reveals it to me. I long to get to know You in all Your fullness through whichever means You desire to teach me. I ask You, Father, to help us to know the Truth and to be set free as we grow in our knowledge of that reality! You, Lord, know how to reach each one of us and reveal Yourself to us in ways that we will understand. I pray for my friends this morning that they may seek You with their whole hearts, live their lives as imitators of Jesus and walk in freedom from sin and all it’s effects. Father, keep them from the evil one and protect them from the wiles that he uses to deceive people. Show them the way to freedom today, Lord! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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