Monday, February 26, 2024

Do You Understand

Isn't it interesting, how a misunderstanding can cause so many problems. To misunderstand is nothing more than a failure to understand something correctly. Instead of drawing a wrong conclusion or applying wrong actions, a misunderstanding can be avoided simply by finding out the facts. For believers, the Bible is the place where we can look to and find indisputable facts, because the Word of God is indisputable. However, in saying that, the church has been in many disputes when it comes to interpreting God's Word. There are two ways that we can understand and interpret God's Word. One is through our own intellect. However, the Apostle Paul tells us, "...We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up..." (1 Corinthians 8:1) The knowledge that Paul is referring to is intellectual understanding. The intellect is the vehicle where most of our knowledge is acquired, but it is limited, because it cannot operate without the five senses. This is also known as sense knowledge or mental assent. Notice that Paul says that this kind of knowledge "puffs up" that is, makes one proud and or arrogant. It is this type of knowledge that has brought numerous erroneous doctrines into the church, which for many, has reduced Christianity to a faithless, powerless religion.

The other type of knowledge is revelation knowledge which Paul reveals in his epistles numerous times and in numerous ways. This is the type of knowledge that believers should strive for, because it is spiritual. Revelation knowledge does not rely on the five senses, therefore, it far exceeds intellectual knowledge. Paul tells us, "making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge (precise and correct knowledge) of Him." (Ephesians 1:16-18) "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge (precise and correct knowledge) of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." (Colossians 1:9) However, to come into revelation knowledge, first and foremost, believers must allow the Holy Spirit do His work, "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come." (John 16:13) Secondly, believers must exercise faith, "By faith we understand..." (Hebrews 11:3) 

We can say that faith is like a tender plant. It cannot stand the harsh winds or the torrential down pour of sense (intellectual) knowledge or it is neutralized. Faith must feed continually on the Word of God and then grows by acting on that Word. Simply reading the Word, meditating on the Word, will not build faith. It will, however, build a capacity for faith. Faith will only grow when God's Word becomes a part of our daily conduct, our daily speech and our daily actions. The word faith appears in the King James Version of the Bible two hundred forty three time. Two time in the Old Testament and two hundred forty one times in the New Testament. As we can see, faith is an important element that should be a major part of the believers daily life. In fact, "without faith, it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6) and yet faith is one of those subjects that has been so misunderstood, that most ministers today do not want to teach or preach about it. 

However, as faith grows, Satan's dominion over the believer wanes. Circumstances that life brings are less formidable. As ones faith grows, fear is destroyed and you begin to possess your rights in Christ. You eventually possess the things that you have merely hoped for in the past. For instance, at one time you hoped for money to pay a bill, now by faith you have it. The reason why many believers do not possess the things that are freely theirs in Christ, is, although they may say that they agree with God's Word, they simply have not acted upon it. They have merely taken an intellectual approach to it, that is, they have mentally assented to it. When believers not only agree with God's Word but also act upon it, they reach the place where they no longer hope for things, but look up and say, "Father, I thank you that I am what you say I am, your child. (1 John 3:1) I thank you that your Word is true (John 17:17). I thank you that you do not lie (Numbers 23:19). I thank you for the things that I have asked for in Jesus Name." (Mark 11:23-24) What you once mentally assented to, you now possess, because believing is possessing. 

Next, we see that faith grows in the atmosphere of confession of the Word. We are not speaking of confession of sin. It is our confession of what God's Word declares as to what we are in Christ, what Christ is in us, and how the Father truly sees us. Continuous confession of God's Word becomes a living thing in our hearts and minds. Just as the Word from Jesus' lips could rule the sea, the winds, sickness, disease and even death, so God's Word spoken from our lips will have the same effect. Every time we break the silence caused by fear with an open confession of the integrity of the Word, and act on the Word, we destroy the very roots of fear and unbelief in our lives. Fear and unbelief grow with confession, in the same manner as faith grows with confession. For instance, if you  confess that you are sick, unbelief grows in you. If you confess that "by His stripes you are healed" faith grows. 

So, let us not misunderstand. God's Word works when spoken through faith filled lips. His Word declares, "You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways." (Job 22:28) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips."
Psalms 107:20
"Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalms 119:89) "You have magnified Your word above all Your name." (Psalm 138:2) "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8) "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (Mark 11:31) "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) "For the word of God is living and powerful." (Hebrews 4:12) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

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