- A New Life
- A New Direction
- A New Purpose
- Announce the Name of Jesus
- What Do I Do Now?
- Steps of Faith for a New Life
- Pray believing
- Confession of sin
- Prayer in worship
- Prayer to start the day
- Listen in Quietness
- Read the Scriptures
- Meditate on the Scriptures
- Cast Down Every Imagination
- Expect a Battle
- Seek Counsel of God
- Look for Correction
- Be Thankful
- Obey God
- Live and Walk in Humility
- Gather to the Lord Jesus With Other Believers
- Finding Work
- Stay Away From Old Friends and Environments
- Look to God Daily for Direction
- Be Subject to the Word and the Spirit of God
- Seek to Live in the Rest and Peace of God
- Living in Hope
- Should a Christian Believe God or Man?
- Overcoming Through Faith
1. A New Life
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
When you believe on Jesus from the heart, a new life is brought into you from God’s Spirit. This new life is a work of God. The Spirit of God has come into your spirit to transform you into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). God has chosen each and every believer from the foundation of the world for this purpose (John 15:16; Ephesians 1:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:2).
This new life means being born into another kingdom, a kingdom of light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” This light is the new life that God has brought into the person who has believed Him. This light of God is released in the believer’s life to make Jesus known to him. This light of God brings the mind of God into the believers mind and heart (1 Corinthians 2:16).
This kingdom is a kingdom of light: Jesus said that it is not of this world. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy; this is the kingdom of new life in the believer. The believer in his new life now has the light of God, the righteousness of God, the peace of God, and the joy of God within him. All of these things are given as a gift to everyone who has believed God in faith. This work of God in the heart becomes more of a reality every day as the new believer continues in faith to seek the Lord Jesus.
2. A New Direction
“…Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
The life of God, entering into the new believer, brings a new direction into the believer’s life. This new direction of God is not compatible with his old life. Because the old life is not of God, it is a life apart from God. It was lived without faith, in sin, and under the wrath of God (John 3:36; Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 3:6).
In the believers new life there is no condemnation of God upon him. This new direction of life is entered into in complete freedom of God, apart from any past sins. This freedom brings the believer into full liberty in the kingdom of Christ. In this liberty and walk of faith, the Holy Spirit leads the believer into the direction of the kingdom of Christ Jesus. In this new direction, old things in his life apart from faith are passing away and all things are becoming new.
3. A New Purpose
“When Christ who is our life…” (Colossians 3:4).
A person who has believed on Jesus is no longer a dead person dwelling in a body, because the Son of God has given him life (John 5:21, 24). The person who has believed God now has full purpose in his life. The Lord Jesus is now that purpose for the believer. The purpose of God is that the Christian now live with the eyes of his heart set on and seeking those things that are above (Colossians 3:1). Furthermore, his affections are to be totally set on those things above, and not on the earth (Ephesians 1:17-18; Colossians 3:2).
Jesus said: “I am come that you might have life, and that you may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Again Jesus tells us: “…These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).
God’s threefold purpose then for the Christian is: One, that he lives in God’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), Two, that he lives and walks in the life of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25) and Three, that he walks in this life, in peace and joy (Romans 14:17).
4. Announce the Name of Jesus
“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 10:9-10).
What person ever came into the possession of great wealth, and it did not become known by many people? When this befalls a person, friends and foes alike know this information. So it is with the kingdom of God. When one has been saved from this world of darkness, into the kingdom of light, the riches of Christ become that person’s immediate inheritance. The riches of Christ only increase in the believer as he gives away that which has been given to him.
Jesus said: “Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house” (Matthew 5:15). In Matthew 5:14, Jesus is the light of the world and He tells the believer that he too is the light of the world. The believer’s faith has made him the light of God. This light that is exposed to the world through the believer, glorifies God (Matthew 5:16). Glorifying God is the purpose of a believer, just as Jesus in the totality of His life, glorified God (John 17:4). This is the calling of God for every Christian, as it is written: “…because as he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). This is the predestined pathway for every Christian, to announce the work of God in Christ, to the world.
There are times when one is unable to have physical contact with one’s own family, as in the case of a separation, divorce, or any other circumstance of distance. A person still needs to celebrate his new life of faith with family members. In the case of incarceration, a man who has believed on the Lord Jesus Christ should write to his wife or the mother of his children, plus his children and inform them all of his new direction in Christ. Before becoming a Christian, you may not have cared about your families’ spiritual welfare. Now, as a Christian, the spiritual condition of your children and families’ should be of primary importance.
The action that would be of most value to children, would be to write to them continually (daily to weekly), to share with them the things of the Lord Jesus that you are learning as you follow Him. A father who does this, will bless his children and raise them with the knowledge of God, even when he is away for a long period of time. Directing and teaching children to follow Jesus is a Christian father’s responsibility. “And you, fathers do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).
5. What Do I Do Now?
“I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Placed before the new believer are two pathways. One is the pathway of the world, the flesh and the devil, leading to death. The other pathway is following the Chief Shepherd’s voice (John 10:27). To follow the Chief Shepherd is to walk after the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is what the Christian has been called to; that is, to learn to walk by faith in the Lord Jesus. This walk of faith is a ‘new and living way’ of life. Releasing yourself to the Spirit of Jesus and allowing His Spirit to lead and direct your life, will bring a believer into the experience of this life.
This life has two parts; first is to walk after the Spirit, and second is to crucify the Adamic nature within. Romans 6:6 tell us that the believer’s Adamic nature was crucified with Christ. Romans 6:11 tells the believer to reckon himself dead unto sin. Sin simply means not following the Lord Jesus. The two natures within the believer are real, they war against one another (Romans 7:23, 25). This battle is real. However, a dead man cannot sin, so it is when the believer by faith puts his Adamic nature to death, that he by experience is found dead to sin. This can only be done through the believer’s hope of Christ (1 John 3:3). As a believer experiences, learns, and walks in the Holy Spirit, his life will be unto Christ.
The practical things that should be done are to continue to walk and grow in the life of Jesus.
a. Steps of Faith for a New Life
The items that follow will give a practical way of life for the new believer or a believer of many years. A Christian must believe God in what He has said, “This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear Him” (Matthew 17:5). He will then find what Jesus promised; “…And you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
“Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).
A Christian’s life must have its foundation on prayer, because through prayer your requests are made known to God (Philippines 4:6). In these communications the believer develops intimacy with God. Jesus said, “men should pray always” (Luke 18:1). When Jesus walked on this earth with His disciples, the record shows the many times He prayed. We should ask, was there ever a prayer that His Father did not answer? Yet, Jesus did not pray for His own will above His Father’s will (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44). This is important for the Christian to remember, in his own prayers.
If a believer thinks God does not answer his prayer, in his time period, or according to his request, that is His answer. Some have become embittered because their prayers are demands and not requests in humility. Are you willing to submit yourself to His answer?
The Following are Some Important Points of Prayer
a. Sin: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18). A Christian needs to open every door of his heart to the Lord. To have total relationship with God, total openness of heart is mandatory. This openness allows the Spirit of God to inhabit every room of the heart.
b. Temptation: As long as a person is in the body, temptation is a factor for a believer to be aware of and to overcome. Jesus told His disciples, “…watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). We learn here that a state of prayer will keep the desire of temptation from having power in the believer’s life.
c. Pray believing: “Therefore I say to you, what ever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24). Jesus said in John 14:13 that whatever a believer asks in His name that He would do. The only condition of the believer’s prayer is that His Father be glorified in the believer’s request. The believer’s prayer must be directed by the Holy Spirit to be honored of God. Therefore, a believer must pray according to the mind of the Spirit of God (1 John 5:14).
d. Unforgivingness: Un-forgiveness held in the heart of a Christian is a prayer breaker. Forgiveness to others even when you have been wronged, is God’s method for hearing prayers. It goes without saying that forgiveness is not that easy when one has suffered great hurt to his person and future. However, living in the love of Christ, a believer can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).
God does not ask of a believer what he cannot do. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…” (Matthew 5:44-45). Only by living in faith to the Lord Jesus will a believer be in a place where the Holy Spirit can do this through him.
e. Confession of sin: Keeping short accounts with God is the key to success in your prayer life. Confession of sin held in the heart or in outward actions is the way to keep your prayer life vital. This is because unconfessed sin blocks a Christian’s spirit from being free before God. This freedom is mandatory for your prayers to be heard and answered. Scripture teaches us, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18). To continue to grow in Christ, a believer must depart from that which hinders the Holy Spirit.
f. Prayer in worship: True worship for a person is in the heart or spirit of a believer. Prayer is a way of communicating what the heart is expressing in worship. Worship for a believer should start his day; the length of time spent praying is according to necessity. Worship takes the believer out of the natural and sets the heart on Him who is above. Individual worship is in praise and thanksgiving unto the Father and the Son (Ephesians 5:19-20; Hebrews 13:15-16).
g. Prayer to start the day: “Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning; for in you do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk; for I lift up my soul to You” (Psalms 143:8).
To start every day with a request that God, through the Holy Spirit direct your pathway, is to show great wisdom and spiritual intelligence. To do this is to give our day to Him who created it. This allows us to look to Him for help and guidance, for in so doing, “He will not leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). “For He is faithful who promised” (Hebrews 10:23).
7. Listen in Quietness
“In your patience possess you your souls” (Luke 21:19).
An important aspect of meditation and prayer is to listen in a place of rest, peace, and quietness of soul. Listen for the communication of the Spirit of God in your heart. Strength of faith is increased in waiting on the Lord in quietness. Peace of soul is also increased, which results in a pattern of resting in the Lord.
8. Read the Scriptures
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23).
The word of God has the power to cleanse the heart of the one who receives its message in faith (John 15:3). Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:48), He also is the Word of God (John 1:1). Whosoever eats of Jesus, through the Spirit and the Scriptures shall never die (John 6:50, 58). Scripture received in faith, works in the believer to bring life (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The heart receiving and eating the word daily brings life and strength to walk after Christ.
The believer who is living in the power of God, is the one who is devouring the Word of God in faith. Reading Scripture daily in faith will bring a believer this help: “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105).
9. Meditate on the Scriptures
“I will meditate on your precepts, and contemplate your ways” (Psalms 119:15).
The believer who meditates on Christ, His ways, His work, and His gifts, will become as the Psalmist who said, “I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation” (Psalms 119:99). The understanding of life, for man on the earth and the kingdom of God, will come to the believer who meditates on Christ as He is revealed in Scripture. Revelations of God to the unbelieving is not possible. God’s blessing to the believer who will meditate on Christ is new every morning (Lamentations 3:23).
10. Cast Down Every Imagination
“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” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
A renewing of the mind is the result for every new believer who will follow Christ in the Spirit. We are instructed in Romans 12:2 that not conforming to the world is necessary to renew the mind. The Christian’s life is to be transformed by a renewed mind; that renewed mind is the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The renewed mind of Christ takes the believer away from living for and after the natural man, the flesh. However, this renewing of the mind will not be accomplished without a battle of faith.
11. Expect a Battle
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
For the Christian the battle is a spiritual battle. This fight of faith is to put away what is natural to man and follow the Lord Jesus in the life of the Holy Spirit. This life of living and walking in the Spirit is the only way the Christian can win the battle. Ephesians 6:14-17 gives a list of the defensive armor and the offensive weapons that are needed to win the battle. The Christian will surely need these weapons for the fight. It is certain that the world, the flesh, and the devil will attack him. However, if the believer lives in his armor and uses the weapons given to him, the battle is his because, “…we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).
12. Seek Counsel of God
“You will guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Psalms 73:24).
There are many decisions that a Christian needs to make in life that are not written in Scripture. For example, should I marry this person, how much money should I give, Lord what would you have me to do in this matter, etc. A Christian needs counsel of the Lord to give Him wisdom and direction in decision-making. Living in the counsel of God is a place of dependence. This was the place in which Jesus walked during His earthly existence (Philippians 2:5-8).
James tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally, and without reproach and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Many circumstances in life are without a human answer. Therefore, a Christian should seek counsel of the Lord for what many times seems like a hopeless problem. The counsel of God is of the highest counsel, and a blessing to the hopeless.
13. Look for Correction
“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives” (Hebrews 12:6).
Every believer who is being transformed into the image of the Son of God is also going to experience correction from the Spirit of God.
This correction is never a joyous event. It is like a heavy rainstorm when one is counting on a sunny day. This may not be enjoyable, but it brings life in every drop of rain. So it is with correction of the Lord when we receive it in faith. Correction yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who receive it in faith (Hebrews 12:10).
The danger in the heart of the believer when correction is taking place is that bitterness may set in, rather than submitting to the transforming work of the grace of God. This chastening is for those who are the sons of God. If you do not receive chastening of the Lord, you do not belong to Him, you are a bastard, not a son of God (Hebrews 12:8). In nature it is a father who shows love to his son by chastening and correcting him. A son who rebels will suffer much affliction in the years ahead. A son who submits to a father will receive much benefit. So it is with the Father of spirits, His love brings correction (Hebrews 12:9).
14. Be Thankful
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
If a believer does not dwell in the peace of God, neither can he be thankful. Thankfulness is a condition of the heart. Thankfulness is recognizing that we have nothing in this life except what has been given to us. The same is true of the gift of life in Christ Jesus. The words of the Apostle Paul should also be every believer’s words, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). Occupying our minds in thankfulness to God will allow the joy of the Holy Spirit to have preeminence in the heart.
Life in this world is not without sad occasions; however, thankfulness unto God will bring joy out of sorrow. Blessing Him in thankfulness, who is above all things, will not always change the circumstances of life, but it will change the circumstances of our heart.
Job’s heart was a heart of faith and thankfulness. Upon learning that he had lost all his wealth, his children, and the loyalty of his wife, Job acted in this manner; “Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: naked came I out of my mother womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Job acted like a man with a thankful heart even in dire circumstances. As hard as circumstances are at times, as it was for Job, so it is the place of ultimate joy and blessing for the Christian as well (Job 42:12-17).
15. Obey God
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness” (Romans 6:16).
After Jesus had fasted for 40 days and nights, Satan came to Him to tempt Him. The devil tempted Him in three ways, which are common to all men. First, Jesus was hungry having not eaten for forty days. In Matthew 4:3, the devil attempted to take Jesus away from the place of dependence on His Father by satisfying the flesh. Jesus answered Satan, “It is written; man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Second, Jesus came into this world as a dependent obedient servant to His Father, to fulfill all that was written of Him (Luke 24:44). Satan tempted Jesus to act in His divinity, apart from His Father’s will. Jesus answered Satan, “It is written again, you shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Matthew 4:7). Third, the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. Satan then offered all the kingdoms of the world to Jesus if He would fall down and worship him. Jesus answered Satan with these words, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve” (Matthew 4:10).
In these three temptations are the temptations of the flesh, the temptations of the world, and the temptation to become subservient to the devil. These temptations are what all men are tempted by even today. The Christian has this record of how Jesus answered the devil in each one of these temptations. The Christian has the power of God within him to take the same dependent course Jesus took, dependence on the Father. The flesh is weak, but the spirit is strong, that Spirit within a Christian is the Holy Spirit. For the Christian who is set on a dependent life to obey God, we find this encouragement. “…We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Section III Upon Release
A Christian should not be under any delusion regarding whether or not he is involved in a war with the forces of darkness, because he is in just such a war (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). In every battle in warfare, great planning goes into every victory. The following are some practical things to keep one’s self from falling into the enemy’s grasp. These things may vary with each believer, but these steps of faith are the path to victory in one’s life.
16. Live and Walk in Humility
“For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15).
This is a promise of God to the believer who will humble himself before the Lord in sorrow, and in a repentant life. This means to open every door in the heart to Him who sees all things, so He may raise you up. This is the place where the effective power of God functions in the Christian’s life. (2 Corinthians 12:9). This power of God translates a believer into the image of Christ.
17. Gathering to the Lord Jesus With Other Believers
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
Gathering with other believers is God’s purpose for every Christian. Jesus likened His followers to sheep, and Himself as their Shepherd. Under the Shepherds care, the flock (the Church) has spiritual protection. The wolf (Satan) is ever ready to destroy any lamb or sheep who wanders from the flock. The stray lamb or sheep that wanders away from the flock loses much of the protection that the Shepherd provides, for He dwells in the midst of the flock (Revelation 1:13). This is especially true of a new believer. Acts 2:42, shows us what the assembly of God’s people are to practice; the apostles doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. This is pasture for the sheep of Christ. Without these provisions of God, the result will be sick and weak sheep.
18. Finding Work
“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Working is a most necessary part of life, for in a job, we are serving others and being productive in our life. It is mandatory for a believer to work. Someone once said ‘idleness is the devil’s workshop;’ can any doubt that this is true? A believer who is set upon Christ must work for his own benefit and the benefit of others. The Apostle Paul wrote half of the New Testament epistles and spoke the message of Christ all over the known world. Yet he still worked as a tent maker as his employment (Acts 18:3; 20:34; 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8). For a Christian this is extremely important; to work is to honor the Lord and His commands to His people.
19. Stay Away From Old Friends and Environments
“…Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
When a baby is born into this world, the child is born into a family. That family will nurture that child and keep it from harm, till it is old enough to fend for itself. So it is with every newborn child that has been born into the kingdom of God.
Staying in the friendship and fellowship of Christians is mandatory for the believer. Renewing friendships with those not in Christ is a dangerous course for one who is new in Christ. Recognizing one’s own weaknesses and vulnerabilities and taking evasive action is wise and will keep a believer from the devil’s snares. There is not a Christian that cannot fall into the devil’s devices if he becomes one with the children of darkness. For the baser things in this world are natural to man’s nature.
To give protection to the believer, the Holy Spirit instructs in Scripture; “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness” (2 Corinthians 6:14)? A Christian should make no mistake, communion with darkness will only bring darkness into the believer’s own soul. A Christian who shuns darkness and lives and walks in Christ will experience freedom of heart and mind.
20. Look to God Daily for Direction
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
The believer who starts the day by asking the Lord to direct his steps for that day, is taking the action of a wise and intelligent servant of Christ. The Spirit of God will accomplish His will in your life for that day if you ask. This may seem too confining to some; however, we must remember that it is God who answers when we pray.
It is for the purpose and glory of God that a believer is to turn himself over to God. For God surely knows how to order our steps for our blessing. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Psalms 37:23-24).
21. Be Subject to the Word and the Spirit of God
“Furthermore we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live” (Hebrews 12:9)?
For a Christian, the Word of God is food and nourishment. Without it, all kinds of spiritual and soulish sicknesses will come upon the one professing to be a Christian. The strength that comes from the Word of God is the power of God working in the believer’s life in a very practical way. Being subject to its power allows a transformation of heart to take place. This transforming power of the Word of God remakes a believer into the image of Christ.
Jeremiah the prophet said: “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16). This joy that comes from believing God brings strength right into the marrow of a believer’s bones.
The Word of God is the water of life to a Christian (John 1:1; 7:37-38). The Psalmist learned this;
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalms 119:11).
The Christian, who starts the day reading the Word of God, will start the day strengthened and refreshed.
22. Seek to Live in the Rest and Peace of God
“For he who has entered His rest, has himself also ceased from his works, as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10).
“…the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9).
The rest of spirit and soul that enters into a believer is because he lives in faith to what God has told him. This rest is the very foundation of the Christian life. Without this rest a person will soon wander away from the Christian life. This rest is what Jesus offered to all who would follow Him. He said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). As God rested from the work of creation on the seventh day, so the Christian must give up his own ways and works, and rest in the work of Christ’s redemption. This simply means to believe what God has accomplished for you in the eternal salvation he worked in Christ, through the cross and the resurrection.
In this rest, the peace of God will fill your heart. What God has done in Christ for the believer’s eternal redemption is a finished work and a place of finished peace. This peace is the dwelling place of the one who lives in faith.
23. Living in Hope
“Because of the hope, which is laid up for you in heaven…” (Colossians 1:5).
The Christian has been given the promises of God through Scripture and the completed work of Christ. Through this knowledge there is an expectant hope of God fulfilling what He has promised; this hope is based on an accomplished fact. This hope is supported by the prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament who was to come, bringing redemption. The clear fulfillment of these prophecies is seen in Christ Jesus in the New Testament. He is the Christians hope. This hope of Him brings life to the daily walk of a believer. For in this hope of Christ, and His coming again for His own, a believer experiences a living hope (Titus 2:13). In 1 John 3:3 we are instructed that this hope is a purifying hope. It purifies the heart. For in doing so it sets the mind and heart on the things above (Colossians 3:1-4).
. Should a Christian Believe God or Man?
“Let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4). “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). “God is not a man that He should lie” (Numbers 23:19).
As long as we live in the body we are going to be faced with decisions of whom we are going to believe. These decisions should usually be based on the information that we get from God’s Word, not from people and the events of life. Scripture tells us that this world is a spiritual world of unseen powers (Ephesians 3:10; 6:12). All men are influenced in their life by these powers. These powers are manifested in two kingdoms; first, the kingdom of Light is made known to us in Jesus Christ. His kingdom reveals the love of God, in which there is life, eternal life. Second, the kingdom of darkness, which we are told in Scripture is Satan’s kingdom. It is made known to us through the darkness of evil in this present world. Men come under the influence of these kingdoms to follow one or the other, either to life or to death. Either we hear to follow the light of God, and the Word of God through His Son, or we hear to follow the world, the flesh, and the devil. Jesus said: “Therefore take heed how you hear” (Luke 8:18). For we have a human spirit that can follow the spirit of light or the spirit of darkness. The Christian’s dwelling place should only be in the kingdom of Light. As the Christian lives in this light, and proclaims this light, the light grows more powerful within his spirit and soul.
25. Overcoming Through Faith
“Who is he that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5).
Before His death Jesus told His disciples the following, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus overcame even through death, for He was raised again to life, up from among the dead. If a Christian is to overcome he will only be able to do so in the power of Christ. For in ourselves we have no power to overcome. This power of Christ is activated through our faith. Our faith releases the Holy Spirit to work in our spirit; and herein is the power of God. The Apostle Peter proclaims, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation…” (1 Peter 1:5).
Overcoming the world is the Christian’s pathway. This struggle is difficult, but the victory is assured for the believer who will continue to live by his faith. In our faith in Christ, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
The Christian, who is willing to live in these truths, will live in the joy of Christ. He will be where God can bless and make him rich in the grace of Him who died for us.
12-28-2004 Revised 8-19-2007