Friday, October 2, 2009

Faith in God- Part 4

Confession and the Power of Words

"With the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). Confessing Christ as your Living Lord and Saviour with your mouth releases God's salvation into your life. Since salvation includes many benefits and blessings our right mouth confession is a major key to receiving what God has provided for us by his grace.

We should realise that "Death and life is in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit." (Proverbs 18:21). The power of the tongue is in the power of the words we speak. All our words have an effect on the spiritual atmosphere around us, either for good or bad. It is through words that covenants and promises are established. It is through words that our faith or our fears are expressed. Bad words open the door for bad spirits to work. Good words open the door for God and His angels to work.

Angels heed the VOICE of God's Word (Psalms 103:20). Words are spiritual seeds. Words of life produce life. Words of faith produce faith. Words of love produce love. Words of hope produce hope, and so on. Words of death attract spirits of death, words of doubt attract doubt, words of fear attract spirits of fear, and so on. Therefore we must guard carefully what we SAY. The Bible has much to say on this subject, especially in the Book of Proverbs (e.g. Proverbs 10:19, 20, 31, 32; 12:18, 22; 14:23, 33; 15:1, 4, 28). Jesus said, "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it on the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. " (Matthew 12:36,37). Paul said, "And WHATEVER you do, IN WORD or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17)

Confession means literally "to say the same thing". To confess the Word of God then means to say the same thing as God's Word says. When you say it, it tends to produce faith because in saying it you must also hear it from your own mouth, and hearing the Word causes faith to come (Romans 10:17). In saying the Word yourself, you identify YOURSELF with the truth of God's Word. It is one thing to hear someone else say something, another to say that thing yourself. The more you say God's Word, the more you will believe it, and the more you believe it, the more you will say it.

"A man's belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled." (Proverbs 18:20, see Proverbs 12:14). This means that we feed on the words we speak. What we say comes back to affect our own heart and our own spiritual condition. That is another reason why confessing the Word and not negative things will greatly help our faith.

At times it is difficult to speak consistently with what the Bible says because our minds are not sufficiently renewed. We still have doubt in our souls. We must reprogram our subconscious minds to accept God's principles and God's promises without doubt (Romans 12:2). Meditation, repeated pondering, listening to good preaching, confession of the Scripture, as well as informed study will help here. The Word must enter deeply into us. This will change the way we are, the way we speak, the way we respond to difficulties and challenges. If it does not we have been too superficial in our treatment of the Word. We have substituted the mental knowledge and recognition of the words for real meditation and confession.

God talks in faith. God "gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did" (Romans 4:17). Through faith-filled words, God created the universe (Hebrews 11:3). As sons of God we are called to be imitators of God,filled with God's Spirit (Eph 5:1,18). When we are in Christ and we have the promise of God, we have the right to speak about something God has promised as if it existed even before our natural senses are conscious of it. It is our faith that gives substance to this confession of things not seen. For example, if we have believed God for a car, we can talk about our car before we see it. We should realise that God has already "given us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3) and all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3). But the effective receiving depends on our faith. Faith is confident of the faithfulness of God in His declared promises and talks and acts so, even before the natural eye sees.

Acting in Faith

Real faith has corresponding actions. Looking at Hebrews 11:4-37 we see that all those who are commended for their faith did something as well. It is possible to have actions, even religious actions, without real faith - but these actions are dead works. Without faith you can't please God. (Hebrews 11:6).

Sometimes confusion arises in this matter of faith and works. There is a radical difference between works or actions that spring from real faith, and works which spring from SELF in an effort to earn God's approval. The former cannot be separated from real faith. The latter are as filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6), and are wrong because the man occupied with them cannot understand or accept God's free grace - that it is by GRACE, by CHRIST that we are saved, and not by our own works.

Faith hears the word of God, the voice of God and acts in obedience with a trusting heart. God often speaks to us through our consciences by His Spirit, pressing us towards a particular kind of action which is based on God's Word. Real faith yields to God's suggestion and does it.

Jesus told the blind man to go to the pool to wash. The blind man, by acting in obedience to Jesus' words BEFORE he received healing, demonstrated the kind of faith which God required of him in that situation, and he was healed. (John 9:7). If he had not obeyed, he would not have been healed.

God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac up as a sacrifice. Abraham's obedience in this matter demonstrated the reality of his faith. (James 2:20-24). Even justifying faith is not passive. It does not rest in sin. Justifying faith works with repentance to open the door for the receiving of God's great salvation.

Remain blessed

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