Four Laws that Govern Our Lives

Part Three

The Law of Faith

 

 

  • The laws of God run as a central theme through the book of Romans. In the New Testament, the book of Romans deals most extensively with the law. Of the 158 times the word law is used in the New Testament, it is found 51 times in Romans.

 

 

 

  • While there are many different laws spoken about in Romans we are going to focus on four laws found in Romans which apply to each one of us on an individual basis. Two laws came into effect at our physical birth and two laws come into effect at our spiritual birth. As Christians we are subject to these four laws and if we apply them correctly the result will be an overcoming life.

 

 

 

  • The first two laws come into effect at our physical birth: the Law of Sin and Death (Romans 7:23, 25; 8:2), and the Law of the Mind (Romans 7:23). These two laws will either produce bondage and death or freedom and life depending on how we apply them.

 

 

 

  • The second two laws come into effect at our spiritual birth: the Law of Faith (Romans 3:27), and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Applying these second two laws to our lives will result in victorious and fruitful lives.
  • For us to see God’s grace, redemption, and victory released in our lives in respect to each of these four laws we need to operate according to another principle—recognizing the power of our tongues and the confession of our mouths.

 

 

 

  • As we study each of these four laws we will see there are four types of confession that relate to each of these laws. The appropriate type of confession in relationship to each of these laws will result in the release of God’s grace in our lives.

 

 

 

  • Two weeks ago we studied the Law of Sin and Death. The Law of Sin and Death is neutral because it can be used in a positive or a negative way. If we ignore or disregard this law and choose to sin, we will find ourselves in increasing bondage to sin and experience the destructive consequences of sin in our lives.

 

 

 

  • However, if we choose to respond to God and apply the appropriate confession it will lead to forgiveness, cleansing, and freedom. The confession that relates to the Law of Sin and Death is the confession of our sins.

 

 

 

  • Through the Law of Sin and Death, Jesus was able to die for our sins so we could be forgiven and saved and live free from the penalty and the power of sin, enabling us to live lives that bring glory to God.

 

 

 

  • Even though we will all experience physical death because of the Law of Sin and Death, those who put their faith in Christ will experience a physical resurrection in immortal incorruptible and sinless bodies!

 

 

 

  • Last week we studied the second law—the Law of the Mind. The Law of the Mind, like the Law of Sin and Death, is neutral and can be used in a positive or a negative way. The Law of the Mind basically states that whatever we choose to focus on will ultimately captivate our thoughts and desires.

 

 

 

  • We may say that some people have addictive personalities but in reality the Law of the Mind states that we all have addictive personalities. Whatever we focus on will become our obsession. Some people are addicted to drugs, gambling, sex, covetousness, laziness, computer games, etc.

 

 

 

  • However, if we focus on Jesus we become God-aholics addicted to Jesus. Then our focus will be to share our love for Jesus with everyone around us.

 

 

 

  • When we put Jesus first in our lives then everything else comes into balance. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).

 

 

 

  • We looked at how the Law of the Mind operated in the life of both Abraham and Lot. Lot progressively chose to focus his thoughts and desires on the lusts of the flesh resulting in increasing bondage and ultimately tremendous loss.

 

 

 

  • In contrast, Abraham progressively chose to focus on God and His promises resulting in a life of faith, freedom, and ultimately the fulfillment of all God’s promises in his life.

 

 

 

  • Whatever we choose to think about becomes more and more entrenched in our minds. That is why God exhorts us to think about things that are both true and edifying. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8).

 

 

 

  • The confession that relates to the Law of the Mind is an honest confession. This is where we can be honest with those we trust and sincerely share how we are truly doing and feeling. When we are discouraged or struggling we can share openly so others can pray for us and encourage us. If we do not have an honest confession we can easily feel isolated and overwhelmed by our circumstances and struggles.

 

 

 

  • Today we are going to study the third law which is the Law of Faith.

 

 

 

  • The Law of Faith begins to function the moment we receive Jesus Christ and are born again. “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:27-28).

 

 

 

  • The concept of faith is having a strong and unshakeable confidence in something or someone. As Christians our faith is in Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

 

 

 

  • Faith in God produces an atmosphere of peace and security in our hearts preventing the enemy from overwhelming us with fear, discouragement, or confusion.

 

 

 

  • often think of faith as an offensive weapon in our spiritual armor, but the Bible portrays faith as a defensive weapon.

 

 

 

  • The Bible describes faith as a shield that protects us from the fiery darts of the enemy that try to produce fear, discouragement and doubts. “above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Ephesians 6:16).

 

 

  • Another piece of our spiritual armor that relates to faith is the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14) which protects both our heart and all our internal organs (our entire soul). The breastplate is made up of two sections that together encase our torso or chest area.

 

 

  • “putting on the breastplate of faith and love.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8b). The reason the breastplate of righteousness is made up of both faith and love is because when faith and love work together in our hearts it produces right relationships with God and with others. Faith and love enable us to overcome offenses and hurts. We are able to believe that God is at work in every situation. We are able to love even our enemies and believe that God can save and change them.

 

 

 

  • While faith as a shield protects us from whatever darts of fear, doubt, and discouragement the enemy hurls at us, the breastplate of righteousness through faith and love protects our hearts from the offenses and bitterness of people’s words and actions so we can love, bless, and pray for those who have hurt or wronged us.

 

 

 

  • Another aspect of the Law of Faith is that faith is not static but must be developed, exercised, and strengthened. Prayer and praying in tongues builds up and strengthens our faith. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 1:20).

 

 

 

  • The doctrine we believe also affects our faith. Christians can become spiritually shipwrecked because what they believe about God is incorrect, resulting in a wrong, distorted, or limited image of God. Wrong doctrine can produce legalism and an inability to fully trust God. It can also cause us to question His love, faithfulness, and forgiveness.

 

 

 

  • One of the purposes of the fivefold ministry is to bring about correct doctrine and a complete and balanced image of God. “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13).

 

 

 

  • We need to be students of His Word so we can know what we believe and believe what we know. “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you.” (2 Peter 1:12-13).

 

 

 

  • We need to surround ourselves with people who are like minded people of faith who desire to walk with Jesus. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16).

 

 

 

  • There were times in David’s life when he was a shining example of someone who in the darkest moments of his life strengthened himself in the Lord by turning away from the dire circumstances he faced and turning his heart to the Lord. David was able to trust God in the midst of circumstances that would have completely crushed most people because he had come to know God in a deeply personal way. David knew he was destined to become king, and that God would fulfill His promise.

 

 

 

  • At one point while David was running for his life from King Saul, great tragedy struck. The families of both David and his men were taken captive by the Amalekites. The people turned against him and even contemplated stoning David. “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters.” (1 Samuel 30:6a).

 

 

 

  • Where most men would have completely collapsed, he applied the Law of Faith. David was greatly distressed and he needed to find strength and peace to face one of the greatest difficult moments of his life. He applied the Law of Faith by turning to God to strengthen his faith. “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6b).

 

 

 

  • How did David strengthen himself in the Lord? He did two things. He called for the priest of the Lord to come alongside him. Second, he enquired of the Lord to hear what God would say. “Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”” (1 Samuel 30:7-8a).

 

 

 

  • And what was the word of the Lord for David in this very dark moment of his life? It was a word of victory! “And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”” (1 Samuel 30:8b).
  • We also see David as a man who was forceful in his faith when as a shepherd boy he challenged Goliath who was over nine feet tall and wearing a suit of armor. David asked, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26). David’s faith in God and his well-aimed sling shot prevailed over Goliath’s physical superiority. Had David remained passive, Israel would have been overtaken by the Philistines.

 

 

  • We can learn from David’s experience to actively seek God and grow in our faith. David did not allow the enemy or circumstances to walk all over him.  It is our enemies who would say, “Lie down, that we may walk over you.’ And you have laid your body like the ground, And as the street, for those who walk over.”( Isaiah 51:23b).

 

 

  • Another aspect of the Law of Faith is that faith must be acted upon for it to produce life. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:26). We need to combine faith and obedience for the power of faith to be released in our lives.

 

 

 

  • Faith answers the question, “Can I trust God?”

 

 

 

  • Obedience answers the question, “Will I trust God.”

 

 

 

  • The moment of our salvation is an example of faith acted upon in obedience. “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).

 

 

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

 

  • Hebrews, Chapter eleven, the great faith chapter in the Bible, begins by defining faith and another aspect of how the Law of Faith operates.

 

 

  • “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for” The Greek word for “substance” is ὑπόστασις  hupostasis  and it means “substructure, foundation, something that is firm and actually exists.” Faith provides the basis for trust, reliance, and assurance. Faith provides stability and security.

 

 

  • Faith makes the things we are hoping for real— something we can rely upon and look forward to with anticipation.

 

 

  • “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for”  Our hope is supported by and depends upon our faith. Faith gives substance to the things we hope for.

 

 

  • Faith is the foundation, the substructure that hope rests upon.

 

 

 

  • True faith stabilizes our hope and our lives.

 

 

 

  • The concept of hope is looking forward to something we have not yet received.

 

 

 

  • The concept of faith is having a strong conviction in something we cannot see.

 

 

 

  • Without faith, our hope has no foundation and it will collapse under disappointment.

 

 

 

  • The Greek word for “substance” – ὑπόστασις hupostasis – in the papyri is used for title deed.

 

 

 

  • ὑπόστασις hupostasis denotes the divine reality and substance that contrasts with everything shadowy and uncertain, so we can have unwavering hope in the promises of God.

 

 

 

  • Faith is the divine revelation that God is real and His promises are true.

 

 

 

  • Faith is the foundation upon which we build our relationship with God and His Word.

 

 

 

  • Faith provides us with the claim stakes that we use to claim the promises of God.

 

 

 

  • ‘Faith is the substance’ – ὑπόστασις hupostasis is like driving our claim stakes into the promises of God (our title deed) and standing on His promises until we receive our warranty deed—the manifestation and fulfillment of God’s promises.

 

 

 

  • The reason we have deeds is to prove ownership and protection against unlawful squatters or those who would try to seize our property.

 

 

  • A deed is of no use unless the owner is willing to exercise his rights in a court of law against those who would try to seize it.  

 

 

  • The trials and circumstances of life try to drive us away from trusting God’s promises by tempting us to doubt God’s faithfulness. Our response must be to exercise our faith in God by standing on His Word, driving in our claim stakes, and confessing God’s faithfulness.

 

 

 

  • We must continue to stay in agreement with God until we see the fulfillment of God’s promises and purposes for our lives.

 

 

 

  • Many times God will show us certain aspects of His will for our lives, not just to encourage us, but so we can pray into His will to see His promises fulfilled.

 

 

 

  • The enemy of our souls will use any number of false witnesses to testify against the promises of God.

 

 

 

  • Those false witnesses will be some of our closest companions—our emotions, feelings, and carnal thoughts.

 

 

 

  • Other false witnesses will be the apparent circumstances and discouraging words of unbelief spoken by others and even from our own lips.

 

 

 

  • Encountering difficult circumstances doesn’t mean we’re not in God’s will. Trials are part of the refining process. Opposition tests our resolve and strengthens our faith.

 

 

 

  • When Peter was faced with raising a woman from the dead he removed everyone who would distract him from believing God for this miracle. “Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.” (Acts 9:39-40).

 

 

 

  • “Now He (Jesus) did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58). Unbelief can stop the power of God working in our lives!

 

 

2 Samuel 7:27-29

27For you, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.

28And now, O Lord GOD, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this good thing to your servant.

29Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord GOD, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”

 

 

  • King David prayed a very bold prayer of faith that God would establish his house to reign over Israel forever. David was able to pray that prayer because he had received God’s promise and God’s purpose for himself and his descendant, who would be Jesus.

 

 

 

  • It is important that we discern between presumption and faith. That is why it is essential that we know God’s Word well and are able to discern between the voice of the Holy Spirit and the desires of men.

 

 

 

  • We can see seven steps in Romans 4:17-22 by which the Law of Faith operates.

 

 

 

  • All of these follow after verse 12, which says that we are to “walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham.”  “and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.”

 

 

 

  • 1. The Call of Faith is seen in verse 17. “(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” Abraham was called to believe in things that were not. We are called to believe in things that are not yet.

 

 

  1. The Conflict of Faith is seen in verse 18.  “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” This is where our spiritual hope overcomes our diminishing natural hope. Our spiritual hope is able to overcome the apparent impossibilities of our circumstances because it abides in the promises of God.

 

  • 3. The Consideration of Faith is seen in verse 19. “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 considered God’s power to be greater than his weak flesh.  

 

 

  • 4. The Consistency of Faith is seen in verse 20a. “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief.” Abraham kept his eyes set on God with persevering faith.

 

 

 

  • 5. The Consciousness of Faith is seen in verse 20b, for Abraham “was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” Abraham praised God despite his negative circumstances. Abraham had developed God conscious faith.

 

 

 

  • 6. The Conviction of Faith we find in verse 21. “and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” When there was no doubt in Abraham’s heart that God was not only able but that He would perform it, the miracle was at hand. Isaac was born.

 

 

  • 7. The Confirmation of the Covenant by Faith was seen not only in God restoring Isaac back to Abraham, but also that by his obedience righteousness was imputed to him. (Verse 22). “And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

 

  • Faith releases God’s glory and power in our lives.

 

 

 

  • Creative Faith releases the Glory of His Name.

 

 

 

  • Doctrinal Faith releases the Glory of His Word.

 

 

 

  • Persevering Faith releases the Glory of His Life.

 

 

 

  • God Conscious Faith releases the Glory of His Presence.

 

 

 

  • The first confession dealt with the Law of Sin and Death and it was the confession of our sins.

 

 

 

  • The second confession dealt with the Law of the Mind and it was an honest confession.

 

 

 

  • The third confession dealt with the Law of Faith and it was a confession of faith.

 

 

 

  • An honest confession is important for us to be real and honest with ourselves and others. It is important that we don’t stop at an honest confession but that we move on to a confession of faith. Otherwise, our honest confession will soon become a negative confession that will lead to despair and hopelessness in direct opposition to the Law of Faith.

 

 

 

  • A confession of faith declares God’s faithfulness and that we have chosen to fully trust Him with our lives. If we trust God with our salvation, why not trust Him with our lives? A confession of faith is another step in fully surrendering to the will of God.

 

 

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