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  • Pastor Jim French

What If We Really Believed?

Jesus tells us that what we believe is very important to a victorious Christian life. This leads us to some questions like, "What is belief? Why is is important? Can't God do anything no matter what I believe? What does it mean to believe?"

Jesus says that all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23). That's a pretty big statement for a couple of reasons. Does he really mean "all"? Like everything? The text is clear: the Greek word used here is "pas" (Strong's G3956) which indeed means: "all, everything, nothing excluded." Truly, Jesus means everything.

But if we look further at the verse we see that Jesus puts a qualifier on "all"; he says that we must believe. That puts the onus on us for whatever our need is . We have to do something to complete this transaction. We must believe that it is possible. The very very fact that this is in the Bible - that Jesus spoke it means that it is a guaranteed promise from God. Yes - guaranteed. God provides the miracle and we believe that it will happen. Then it manifests.

Faith and Belief

Faith is a gift from God. Believing is what we contribute to the "transaction". The faith that God gives us is his faith. We were all given the same measure of faith (Romans 12:3). 2 Peter 1:1 says:

"Simon Peter, a servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who with us have a part in the same holy faith in the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ:" (2 Peter 1:1 BBE)

The Greek words translated as "the same holy faith" literally means: "of equal value or honor: - like precious." (Strong's G2472). Every believer has been given the same amount of faith because we have been given God's faith. That is God's part. He has already given every believer his faith so we have no need to strive or strain or fuss to get more faith or to increase our faith, we simply have to use the faith that God has given us. That is what Jesus is telling us when he says, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed...." (Matthew 17:20). We use that faith by believing that we have it.

The Question

Here's the question I would like to purpose to you this month - what if we really believed? What if we really started to take the Word of God seriously and believe what it said? What if we were really accept God's Word as his real promises? What if we were to just decide to believe Jesus?

What if we were to believe that we were to do the same works as Jesus, but greater? (John 14:12) What if we were to really take Jesus seriously when he told us to "heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons"? (Matthew 10:8) What would the church look like if we were to take Jesus at his Word? What would the church look like to the world if we suddenly began doing what he commanded us to do?

Sandra Kennedy has written a wonderful little book called, "Preparations for a Move of God" and she begins with the simple question, "Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God"? Of course, all Christians would reply, "Why certainly! I believe that Jesus is the Son of God." But here is Dr. Kennedy's point: If we truly believe it, it will affect every area of our lives. If we truly believe it we would act upon it. It would change us. We would act on the truth in the Bible.

Biblical Reduction

We must be careful that when we read the Bible we do not ignore the more difficult passages or reduce them to our own human reasoning. Therein lies the problem: when we reduce the Bible to what we want it to say we make it a product of our own making and it loses its power in our lives. (Mark 7:13) God's Word greatly supersedes our wisdom and ability to "figure things out". (I have found in my personal life that the passages that seem the most difficult are often where the greatest Godly treasure lies). The Bible is literally the "Breath of God". It is God speaking to us personally.

If we do not accept every word of the Bible as the inspired Word of God how do we determine which are inspired and which aren't? We then run into the danger of inserting our own theology into the text instead of letting the Bible direct and mold our theology. We make the Bible say what we think instead of letting it speak to us and transform us. Again, we reduce the Bible to the product of our finite minds instead of the revealed will of God. This becomes a very slippery slope. When in doubt, "Read the text!"

In his book "Kingdom Principles: Preparing for a Kingdom Experience and Expansion", Myles Monroe describes the Word of God in this way, "In the Kingdom (of God), the King's Word (the Bible) is law. It is not open to debate, discussion, challenge, or amendment."

God's Word is the ultimate authority. We may not like what it says, we may not agree with it, but it is God's final Word on every subject. In a sense, God is his Word because it cannot be added to, or subtracted from, broken or amended. The Word is his reputation. It is Truth. Period.

All this brings me back to my original point. What if we read the Bible and decide to believe it - every word? I believe that doing so would transform our lives and the life of the church. Am I there yet, personally? No. I am still struggling with what I read in the Bible; what it says about me and how my life should reflect the will and person of Jesus and seeing that manifest in my life. But I will not move from the Word of God. It is truth and simply because I may not have lived in or experienced all that it says I should, does not make it any less true. Folks - we cannot base what we believe on our experiences, but only on the Word of God. If what we experience does not match up with the Word of God the Bible is not the problem. We cannot reduce God's Word to our experience.

A Few Final Questions

I'll close with a few final questions for you to meditate upon:

Do you believe that you can and will do greater things than Jesus? (John 14:12)

Do you believe that God loves you as much as he loves Jesus? (John 17:23)

Do you believe that you are a son or daughter of the King? (John 1:12)

Do you believe that you are forgiven of all of your sins? (1 John 1:9)

Do you believe that you can heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons? (Matthew 10:8)

Do you believe that Jesus has already healed you no matter how you feel in your physical body? (1 Peter 2:24)

Do you believe that God wants to see you whole and prosperous in every area of your life? (3 John 1:2)

Just believe. Decide to believe what the Bible says about you. And when in doubt - read the text!




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