How To Tap Into The Power Of God—Part 1
Our Text — John 3:18
Here we see, in one simple verse of scripture, the basis upon which God approaches all mankind, i.e. FAITH (or lack of it). If we are walking free from condemnation; free from any sense of lack, guilt or wrong, we are walking in FAITH and we are pleasing to God. Conversely, we cannot walk in FAITH if we are under condemnation. We must acknowledge; therefore, that just as there is a condemnation of sin, there is also a RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH!
Belief, Not Works
The Righteousness Of Faith—Romans 3:20-26
God is our Righteousness (vss. 21 & 22) and we are made, or declared righteous when we demonstrate FAITH in Jesus Christ. But John 3:18 offers the real problem to FAITH i.e.; you cannot have FAITH in God if you are under condemnation. So now the obvious question is, “How do we overcome the problem?” The answer is both simple and profound.
Abraham was a sinner with no right standing before God. His relationship with God could not be rectified by any works of merit (Romans 3:20). But God made a promise to Abraham, and it is through the promise of God that he came into the Righteousness of Faith. Even though Abraham was a sinner, he believed God would still perform what he had promised. God called Abraham's belief in the promise: RIGHTEOUSNESS!
You never have a faith problem. If you have a problem, it is a Righteousness problem, and there is only one thing that can take away our Righteousness...
Too often we lose sight of the simple fact that we are saved and made righteous strictly by faith, and never by works. Abraham was declared righteous apart from the works of the law. In fact, that righteousness was imputed to him over 400 years prior to the giving of the law. Our righteousness, like Abraham's is independent of ANY works. Our righteousness is the result of our faith in the promises of God.
If you do not believe in healing (a promise) ...
You have no righteousness for healing
If you do not believe in the Baptism of the Spirit (a promise)
You have no righteousness to receive the Baptism of the Spirit
Even if you are born again, and enjoy sweet fellowship with the Father, when you do not believe a promise of God, you have no Righteousness before God, IN THAT AREA OF YOUR LIFE.
The FACT of Righteousness is BY FAITH. The EVIDENCE of Righteousness is BY WORKS.
This is the place where you look up Romans 4:18-20. Abraham, against all hope, believed that what God had said; he would also do.
Hope—Your Light In Darkness
Hope & Faith
You should clearly see how our believing the PROMISES of God takes away our condemnation, when and where we believe him.
Now take the time to read Hebrews 11:1 and Romans 5:1-5
FAITH: Justifies you in the eyes of God.
WORKS: Justify you in the eyes of men.
HOPE: Makes you unashamed in your own eyes.
According to Hebrews 6:18-19, hope is an anchor for our mind; an anchor keeps you from drifting away.
We must be ready to proclaim THE PROMISES OF GOD; for thereby we proclaim our hope. Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6), but hope works by PROMISE (Acts 26:6-7). Hope comes from the PROMISES of God, and God cannot lie.
Some people say they are, “...against that name it and claim it stuff.” While it is true that there is much more to receiving from God than just naming it and claiming it, we need to face the fact that a bold confession of God's promises is, indeed, where the process begins.
We must confess our hope bravely or, to rephrase. We must confess the Promises of God bravely. Confession of our Hope is confession of the Promises of God because that is where your Hope begins.
Again, if you took the time to read Hebrews 11:1
NO HOPE =NO FAITH
NO FAITH =NO RIGHTEOUSNESS
NO RIGHTEOUSNESS = NO HOPE
It is impossible for you to operate in FAITH beyond your knowledge of God’s PROMISES FOR YOU!!
If you do not believe a Promise of God, you have no righteousness before God in THAT AREA OF YOUR LIFE.
Faith is NOW.
Hope is FUTURE.
If you are trying to negotiate your FUTURE, you are still operating in HOPE.
We discover in 2 Corinthians 10:15 that it is our confession of the Promises of God that increases our faith. Hope and faith both come from GOD’S WORD. Where does Hope (which is future) end, and Faith (now) begin?
When you are no longer confessing the Word as a Promises but as a Fact that cannot, and will not fail to take place, THEN you have advanced from Hope to Faith.
The Gauge For Faith
If you are wondering what all of this has to do with tapping into the power of God my response has to be, everything! You have to know how to get to the power of God so that when you finally arrive, you will know you are where you are supposed to be. To state that differently, if you do not know where you are going, how will you know if you arrive?
Having advanced from Hope to Faith, how do we gauge the level of Faith we have advanced to? Also, how do we differentiate between genuine Faith, Foolishness, or Mental Ascent? Abraham's mental ascent was not imputed to him for righteousness; neither will yours be.
I invite you to read Hebrews 12:1-2a. No doubt we have all heard someone teach on these two verses of scripture and; possibly, some of us even heard the Holy Ghost teach on these two verses...Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith.
What is the gauge for faith? If we are honest, we must all admit to categorizing people into slots of GREAT FAITH, Little Faith, and no faith. But what do we base our categorizing upon? All too often we base it upon what a person does or does not have.
Nice car, nice house = GREAT FAITH
7 year old car, renting an apartment = Little Faith
Rides the bus, room at the “Y” = no faith
I am certain we have all heard declarations like, “If he would stretch his faith out there, he could be driving a better car.”
If these things are a successful gauge for faith, we are going to find it used in the New Testament.
I apologize for the large number of Scripture references in this article. But our topic is not to be approached in a casual manner, nor is it to be sought after randomly. We are talking about how to tap into God's power, and that requires a degree of diligence on our part. With that said, please read Hebrews 11:32.
After the word `prophets’: print your name. You belong in this verse of scripture. Hebrews chapter 11 is commonly referred to as the FAITH HALL OF FAME! The Faith heroes
of the Bible are found in this chapter.
If you continued to read in Hebrews chapter 11 verses 36-37, then you noticed that the first three words, `And others had’, comes from; `through faith’, in verse 33. We are speaking about the same principle i.e., that which was obtained THROUGH FAITH! What gets you into the FAITH HALL OF FAME in the first place? The answer may not be as obvious as you think!
Are You A Faith Giant?
Giants Of Faith
Allow me to quote a short passage of Scripture for you so that I can emphasize certain portions for you. From Hebrews 11:1-5 we read:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Too much emphasis has been placed upon Faith, when it is PLEASING GOD that gets you into the FAITH HALL OF FAME!
In Hebrews 11:39-40 the notion of things obtained or lost, of works mighty or small, of possessions rich or meager as being an accurate gauge for faith is forever barred from our considerations. We are told that,
All of these obtained a good report THROUGH FAITH!
Now, if you are still reading, Hebrews 12:1 should actually be Hebrews 11:41.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses (that is how you know your name belongs in verse32 of chapter 11) let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Some people have the idea that the Body of Christ is down in a three-point stance, waiting for the starting gun, to see who will come in first place. Jesus already came in first place! To help you understand Hebrews 12:1; change the word `run’ to `work at’, and change the word `race’ to `task’. Now our goal is to:
“work at, with patience, the task that is set before us.”
Our task is to please God.
What does it mean to lay aside every weight and the sin? Most of us are too well acquainted with what sin is, but what is the weight? Weight ALWAYS carries with it the idea of pressure. So the Spirit of God is saying to lay aside all of those things that would bring pressure to bear upon you. Pressure is going to come in at least two ways:
- Who people think you are.
- Who you think you are.
For instance, you go our shopping for a car and you find a new Mercedes Benz, robin’s egg blue with orange polka-dots; you believe God is going to supply you with this car. Then you go to church and you tell everybody that you are believing God for a new Mercedes Benz, robin’s egg blue with orange polka-dots. You have just created a weight for yourself! You have just put pressure on yourself.
Ask anyone who is a Believer, “How are we saved,” and you will get a 50/50 split. Half will say by grace and the other half will say by faith. But Ephesians 2:5, 8 clearly states we are saved by Grace! Faith is only the vehicle. We are not saved by faith. Faith worketh...Faith is a producer. Our righteousness is entirely INDEPENDENT of any works.
Faith stimulates or motivates us to works (James 4:17-18). Our faith does not put God in a position where he has to do something for us. God’s promises already have him in a position such as that. Your faith will never become a lever against God. The only thing we are ever going to maneuver with our faith is circumstances. If we could force God to act, simply by exercising our faith, we would be greater than he.
Many times we cut the Scriptures off before they have had sufficient opportunity to speak to us, and 1 timothy 6:5 is a classic example. Most of us will agree that the acquisition of goods or money does not make us pleasing to God. But the same holds true of the acquisition of Biblical information. Just because we gain understanding of God’s Word does not mean we are Godly, or that we are in any way pleasing God. 2 Timothy 3:1-7 makes that painfully clear.
Thus far, we have not entered directly into the Power of God, but we have very clearly marked off the doorway. Only through the Righteousness of Faith, resulting from believing the Promises of God, do we walk free from any sense of condemnation. Since the gauge for faith is Pleasing God, we need to please him by doing what he says, not merely learning what he says.