It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
One of the most important aspects of our salvation is understanding fully what God has done in us through Christs’ sacrifice for us. Our enemy works at deceiving us in these areas so that he can take advantage of our lives. We need to understand the redemptive work that God has already fulfilled in us when we were born again. One of those key areas is the work of justification.
Justification means to be declared righteous, and therefore approved by God. This gift of righteousness is what gives us the right to all that we have available to us as a child of God. The devil works at trying to convince you that you are not right with God. If he succeeds, he will hinder your faith in receiving what you have a right to. God demonstrated His righteousness (right standing with Him) through justification, which we have received through faith in Christ Jesus You don’t work to get right with God, once you are born again you are right with God.
For example, when someone is born into a family and they are placed within their families will, their inheritance belongs to them because they are part of the family. Once we became born again, being given by God His righteousness, we not only became a part of the family, but we were provided an inheritance. It’s ours by birthright. We did not earn it, we were given this right because we are God’s children. Don’t fall for the devils lie that you don’t have a right to your inheritance. It’s yours because you have already been made right with God.
And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
Abraham is known as the father of faith, and we can learn much about faith from his example of walking with God. Our faith is based on what God has said about any given situation in our lives, and our faith is in the One who gave us that Word, and what He has done for us. One of the areas that is misunderstood about faith is in what we are dealing with or facing in the natural circumstances of life. We don’t deny they exist, but we are not to consider the circumstances.
Notice Abraham here in Romans 4:17 knowing that God had given him a promise that he and Sarah would have a child did not consider or give attention to what was true in the natural. He was almost 100 years old, and Sarah was barren, unable to have children. Abraham did not deny these things to be true, but he did not give his attention to those things. He chose instead to focus on what God had said. Once you know what God’s Word has said about any situation in your life, to walk by faith you must not talk about and think about what is true in the natural. Instead you must line your confession up with God’s Word.
Some think faith is denying what is seen in the natural, but that is not faith. What is seen is true, but God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17), and if you walk by faith and not by sight, His Truth will change what is true. To often you have believers that are denying what is true thinking that is faith, or others who continue to focus on what is seen by confessing and talking the problem. Both are wrong. Faith does not deny that something exists, but faith denies it’s right to stay that way by focusing on the Truth, declaring and acting on God’s Word. Be like Abraham and don’t consider what you see, consider what God said, and what is seen will change. What are you considering?
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
One of the most important aspects of walking by faith is found in this verse from the book of James. Many do not realize that if you say you have faith but you do not act upon the Word of God, then your faith without corresponding action is useless, dead, and devoid of power. Faith must have action to work. One must have their confession and corresponding actions in line with what God’s Word says for faith to work.
Mark 9:23 tells us that all things are possible to them who believe. It did not say all things will come into manifestation because you believe, but they are possible. Romans 10:10 tells us with the heart one believes. You must believe in your heart that what God has said is yours. You cannot doubt in your heart, but once you believe in your heart you must then exercise your faith through action. Faith is acting as if the Word is true, because it is.
The great apostle Smith Wigglesworth used to say, “Faith is an act”. For example if you had a man dying of starvation and you brought him some food and asked him if he believed that food would save him he would say yes. But if he sat there and did not act upon that belief in faith, and he did not eat the food he would die. Many say they are believing God, but that does not mean they are in faith, for if they were, their words and actions would line up with what God’s Word has said. For faith without corresponding action is dead.
As a believer you must learn how to take a stand in faith. Not everything you believe for happens instantly. Learn from this series some keys that will help you stand in faith and see God’s Word fulfilled in your life.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
We have an enemy whom Christ has defeated and therefore is simply trying to seduce or deceive us to believe and act upon what he wants us to do. Christians need to learn that every thought, idea, or suggestion, contrary to God’s way of thinking that comes to your mind based on things happening around you in the natural is from the enemy. If he can get you to take these thoughts, he can seduce you or deceive you into obeying your feelings or your flesh and defeat you. If you want to win in life you must learn how to win the battle of the mind.
The devil through outward circumstances will suggest things for you to do that will get your mind on thoughts that will lead you astray. Many never even realize it is happening, and next thing you know they are depressed, fearful, angry, or frustrated. It all began with a thought, idea, or suggestion from a very subtle deceiver who knows how to take advantage of our thought life. That is why the above scripture teaches us there is a battle for our mind, but we have powerful weapons that will work if we use them. Our primary weapons are the Words of God.
To win this battle you have to take every thought that would lead you away contrary to God’s Word, and cast those thoughts down. How do we cast thoughts down? With the sword of the Spirit, which is the spoken Word of God. Every time the devil tempted Jesus to take advantage of His life Jesus declared the Word of God. If you do not learn to take the Word of God and counter every thought that is contrary to God’s Word, you will fall prey to this enemy. God gave us the ammunition we need to win everyday, but you must speak it, casting down every contrary thought, idea, or suggestion to win in life. Use the Word and you can defeat your enemy.
1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea when Herod was king. After Jesus’ birth wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem.
2 They asked, “Where is the one who was born to be the king of the Jews? We saw his star rising and have come to worship him.”
The wise men who came to worship Jesus had known of the prophecy in Numbers 24:17, that a Star would appear and lead them to this King of the Jews. Upon arriving in Jerusalem, they asked where He was to be born. Herod called the chief priests and scribes together to find out, for they were experts of the Old Testament scriptures, and would therefore know where His birthplace would be. They told Herod He was to be born in Bethlehem.
You would think those priests and scribes hearing from the wise men that the King, the Messiah had been born, they would have wanted to go and see the One for whom they had waited for. But they did not go to see if this was the Messiah, and they showed little to no interest in finding out. Why? Because they were more interested in knowing about Him, rather than knowing Him. Sad to say many believers today are content with just knowing about Him and not really making the effort to know Him personally. They are to busy with other things.
Matthew 2:11 When they entered the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary. So they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The wise men were different. When they got to Bethlehem and found the King of kings, they worshiped Him, and gave offerings unto Him. The word worship means to adore, and to bow down in reverence to one who is superior. Don’t forget why He came. It was so we could get to know Him and our Heavenly Father, not just to know about Him. Make knowing Him your priority in life, for those who are wise still seek Him today.
1 Corinthians 11:1
Become imitators of me, even as I also am an imitator of Christ.
Christianity is not a religion to be learned, but a new life to lived. Our very purpose of being “born again” was to remove the old fallen man within so we could be made a new creation inside, and then begin to transform our life outwardly to this new nature. We learn about this new nature on the inside by looking at Jesus in the Word of God, for this is a picture of who we have become within.
As we see Jesus through the Word of God and how He lived His life, we then by following His example allow this new life to take over. In doing so we are following in the apostle Paul’s example, as he himself was following after Jesus. This is what it means to be a “Christian”. The word is defined as a follower of Christ. This is what we are told in the following verse.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.
Why do believers still live in fear, anxiety, worry, stressed about circumstances, and frustrated about life? Did Jesus live this way? None of these things belong in the life of a believer. The reason many are not free from these things is because they are not imitating Jesus. They continue to do things Jesus would not do, and they exclude doing things Jesus did. Our purpose in life as a believer should be to follow in His example, and in doing so we can live the same kind of life Jesus did. We simply have to choose to imitate Jesus.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
When is faith actually faith? When you are seeing things as already done in the present tense. Faith has a time. Faith is not past tense, nor is faith future tense, faith is now, present tense. When someone says they are believing for God “to do” something they are not actually in faith. This is where many miss it when it comes to faith. Romans 3:27 tells us that faith is a law, like the law of gravity. If you step off a building the law of gravity goes to work and you will fall. That law is there, always present tense, even though you can’t see it with your natural eyes.
Faith works in the same way. It is a spiritual law. Even though you can’t see it, when you do the things that scripture teaches to walk by faith that law goes into effect, but it was there all along. A key to activate that law is to BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that what God has said is already true, present tense, not one day going to happen. Want further proof? When God appeared to Moses He revealed His name. What is God’s name? I AM. He is not the I was, nor the I will be God, He is the great I AM, always present tense God.
In Romans 4:17 scripture tells us that God, the great I AM, calls those things that be not as though they were, present tense. God is a God of faith. We are to imitate Him. Until you can believe in your heart what God has said is already so (present tense), and prove your faith by calling those things that be not as though they were, you are not walking by faith, and this is one of the keys that governs how the law of faith works. Faith is always present tense.
“Therefore I say to you, do not…”
In today’s times where many churches are more interested in tickling itching ears the “do not” messages of the scriptures are not popular, but many don’t realize the power of this statement. Realize that anywhere in the Word of God where the phrase “do not” is used, that means you have a choice. You can choose to not do the things we are told “do not”. You have the power over these decisions. The great thing about this is you are the one in control of your life because you have the power to choose. Let’s look at a couple important “do not’s”.
Matthew 6:25 – Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,… Worry is a choice, not something we have to do. Many would say everyone worries. Not true. First of all realize the Lord would never tell us not to do something if we were not able to do so. Those who worry choose to focus on the wrong thing. Worry is a way of saying God lied. If you truly believe God’s Word then why would you worry.
Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,… No believer in Christ should look like a worldly sinner, being conformed to the worlds ways. It is a choice once you are born again. You can choose to renew your mind and live a transformed life or to live carnal, it is completely up to you.
There are many more “do not’s” in the Bible, and what is powerful about these truths is you really are in control over these things, because the Word of God would not say “do not” if you could not. When we make the choice to “do not”, we choose to live a much better life that every believer has the ability to live.
If you love me, you will obey my commandments.
Obedience clearly has benefits as revealed in many places of scripture, but if the motive for that obedience is the wrong motive, we will lose sight of the gospel and what Christ has done for us. If our motive becomes a way we try to prove “how good we are” when in fact Jesus said there is none good but One, God, we must go back to understanding the truth about the good news. When we do our motive will shift to an appreciation for what the Lord has done for us.
We are tempted James said with our own desires. If there was no desire for sin, then we could not be tempted. But our old fleshly nature has within it the desire for sin. When we try to overcome sin with a focus on us being good, we will eventually fail and fall prey to sin. The way you overcome sin is by loving someone more than your flesh loves sin, and that someone is Jesus. This is where the gospel comes in. Why should we love Him? Because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
When you truly understand the gospel, you realize Jesus exhibited His love for us by not only going through the death of the cross, but He also took the punishment that our sin deserved. When we fully understand what He went through for us, we get a true picture of the gospel, and that produces a love for Him, which leads to obedience. Our obedience is the result of loving Him more than our flesh loves sin. We are to present our bodies unto God as a holy sacrifice, and when our love for Him is the reason we do so, the focus remains where it should always be, on Him not on us.