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Living by Faith (Vol 10) - You Can Have Faith

Sunday English Service - 16 SEP 18

Transcript

Please turn me the Hebrews chapter 11. Let me read to you from verse 3. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. We've been studying about living by faith for the last several weeks, based on Hebrews chapter 11. Hebrews chapter 11 is a wonderful chapter on the heroes of faith. As a subject about faith, first it gives a definition of faith in verse 1 and verse 2 tells us that by it the elders obtained a good report. It's talking about the Jewish elders. This is a letter written to the Jewish converts to Christianity in the first century. So he's using this opportunity to talk about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and all these people and how faith is the thing that made them so wonderful that they were able to do such great things for God on this earth. And then verse 3 explains faith and how it works. Verse 3 is really fully loaded. So we've been concentrating on verse 3 a little bit here.

So last week, I began to tell you how we need to understand verse 3. What is verse 3 saying? People understand it in two different ways. Which one is right? I was talking about and the reason why. The two different ways are this, some people read it as this, they say, "Faith helps us to understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. So faith is something that just simply helps us to understand that the worlds were framed by God's word. We were not there. We didn't see it when the world was made but faith helps us to understand that it was made by God's word." So many people understand it in that way. There are others who say, "No, that is not really the meaning of this because the phrase by faith, is something that is introduced here for the first time, but it comes repeatedly again and again and again throughout this chapter."  Many verses begin with this phrase 'by faith'. And every time a verse begins with this phrase, by faith, it is followed by some great achievement of faith. Something great has been done because of faith and through faith. Therefore, this verse also must be interpreted in that way. How can this one be any different, especially if this is the first verse which sets a pattern such as that.

So the first verse particularly, must belong to that pattern where when they said, "By faith," it must be followed by some great thing that was done by faith. Therefore, they read it in this way. They say this verse is saying that by faith, the worlds were framed, this world that we see and everything that we know as a seen world is a product of faith, a spiritual force and power called faith. And this spiritual power and force called faith is something that comes from God's word. God loads His word with faith and sends forth His word and through that He created this world. So they read it in this way, by faith the worlds were framed, because if it says by faith, then it must be followed by something great, that has been done by faith. So what does faith do? Faith created the world. Why is it so important to point out that this is a faith-made world. Everything is a faith product, because the author is trying to encourage the Christians who were downhearted those days because they were persecuted by the Jews; the Jewish faith from which they departed and came into Christianity, they were ridiculing them because they thought they left something wonderful, and gone to some erroneous religion. So he's showing this wonderful Christianity and why it is superior to the old covenant and so on. That is the whole book of Hebrews, that is his effort. He's showing how this is superior to the Old Testament, that Jesus is superior, the New Covenant is superior, the promises are better.

This is the whole discussion that's been going on. And so now he wants to talk about faith and the greatness of faith and the power of faith and so on. What made their elders so great? How did they achieve such great things in those days? By faith. So he's talking about all of that. So he wants to say that the worlds were framed, the worlds were created by the word of God by faith. The world is a faith product. Why is it so important? Because if the world is a product of faith, then everything that is produced in our lives is also as a result of faith. Everything is a faith product. Faith produced everything that you see, faith will produce everything that you will see tomorrow in your life. What you want to see in your life, faith will only produce. Faith is the thing, the power that produces everything. It produced the world, it produces your world, your future, every good thing in your life. Here's the point that he's trying to make and I showed you that last week.

And then I pointed out to you that if faith is such a big force that it created the earth, then we must consider the power of faith and teaching of Jesus comes in there. I showed you that Jesus mentioned so many things about faith. He talked about the centurion's great faith. Said, "I've never seen faith like this in all of Israel. He always insisted on faith. He said, "Do you have faith that I can do this for you?" He was always looking for faith in people when they came for healing, or anything. He one time said, "If a man has faith, any man can say to this mountain, 'Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, 'and if he does not doubt and if he says it by faith, whatever he says, he will have it." And then He said something else in Luke chapter 17 verse 6, which I particularly pointed out, where He said, "If you have faith like a mustard seed, "He deliberately picks the smallest seed on earth, the mustard seed, the smallest. Why? Because in the earth, we have what is called nuclear power. That's the greatest earthly power that we have in this world. We're all familiar with that. A power that can be harnessed to produce so much energy, electricity and so on. Great power, nuclear power, that's the greatest earthly power. But faith like a mustard seed, just this much faith as big as the mustard seed, is able to make a tree be uprooted and be planted into the sea. That much power faith has because faith is a superior power than the greatest earthly power. Why it is superior? Because it's a spiritual power. Faith is a spiritual power. Everything that we see was created by faith. The seen world was created from the unseen world, from an unseen power called faith. Therefore, the unseen world and the powers of the unseen world is greater than the powers of the seen world. Therefore, the power of faith is far greater, infinitely greater, than the powers that you see on this earth, or the greatest power that you can see and experience on this earth. So we showed you that.

Now, I want to go a little further and show you how we can have that faith. How that faith can come into us and work through us. It is to bring us to this, I believe, he's saying this. He wants us to know, and the believers at that time in the first century to know, that they can have the same power, they can live by faith. They don't have to live in a vacuum, they don't have to live depending on earthly powers. They can have faith, the power of God, the superior power that created the world, they can have it in their hearts and operate that through that faith power. So let's look at this. Please turn with me to Romans chapter 10verse 17. It says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. See, it starts with so then, therefore, we need to back up and read a few verses in order to really understand the true meaning and the power of this verse. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So let's back up to verse 6, and start from there. But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way,"Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'"(that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, " 'Who will descend into the abyss?'"(that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

He has said that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. But he didn't just say it just like that. He begins here. He is talking about the righteousness that comes through faith. That's what righteousness of faith means. He is talking about how a man is saved. How a sinner become righteous before God, how a child of the devil becomes a child of God. How a hell-bound sinner becomes a heaven-bound saint. How can this greatest of miracle happen? How does a sinner receive righteousness? How does a sinner become righteous before God? That is the greatest miracle, salvation. How? He says, the righteousness which comes by faith does not speak in this way. How does it not speak? It does not say, who will ascend into heaven? That is to bring Christ down from above, or who will descend into the abyss? That is to bring Christ up from the dead. Now Paul is an expert in the Old Testament, and he is really quoting an Old Testament passage if you realize that.

Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 12. Let me read to you from verse 11. Deuteronomy chapter 30, verse 11 onwards. "For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off." You know, Deuteronomy is a very special book in the Old Testament. It's a great teaching book where Moses is literally preaching and teaching. There are three great sermons of Moses in the book of Deuteronomy. That's what makes it so special. The sermons are given right before they entered the promised land, in order to prepare their hearts to enter into the promised land. So if you read the first 29 chapters... now in a couple of chapters he's going to close. He's been preaching to them and telling them basically this. He's been expounding upon the Ten Commandments and its application to the spirit, soul and body, the work of our hands, the social life and all aspects of our human life. How to live on the basis of the Ten Commandments. He's telling the real meaning of the Ten Commandments. So when it comes to chapter 30, he begins to say to them, "Look, I've taught you all these things. I'm telling you now that if you really follow this and live by it, all these blessings will come upon you."

In chapter 28 itself he gives a long lecture on blessings versus curses. In the first 14 verses, he gives the blessings. The verse begins like this in 28th chapter, the first verse. If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord, your God, these blessings will come and overtake you, he says. You will be blessed in the city, blessed in the country, blessed going out, blessed coming in, blessed in the fruit of your womb, blessed in the fruit of your field, blessed in the fruit of your cattle. Even your grinder in your house will be blessed, he says. And then he says, your enemy will come one way, run seven ways. The Lord will bless you in such a way that all others when they see you, they'll be afraid, he says. But all of this is based on the first verse, if you will hearken diligently to obey the voice of the Lord, your God, these things will be like that. Then he says, the Lord will pour out rain in due season upon your land, therefore you will not borrow, but you lend to many nations. You will not be beneath, but you shall be above only. You shall not be the tail but you shall be the head.

He says all of these things up to verse 14 and then 15 onwards he gives them a big shock about the curses. He says, these two things are before you. In fact, there are two mountains. Upon one mountain, it's called the mountain of blessing, the other mountain is called the mountain of cursing. One fellow stood on the mountain of blessing and spoke out the blessings, the things that I just told you now. Another fellow stood out on the mountain of cursing and spoke out the curses. Why? He wanted the people to hear this all the time. They're standing between two things, they're standing between blessing and cursing, they're standing between blessings and curses. They're standing between life and death, they are standing between good and evil. They must choose. They must not tomorrow say, "How did I end up like this? Why didn't God do justice to me?" It's your choice, he says. In this fallen world, where Adam has plunged us into sin, curse is there in abundance in this world. But I put before you blessing also. If you hearken diligently to obey the voice of the Lord your God, and observe to do all these things, then you will be blessed. If you do not hearken to obey, then all these curses will come upon you. You choose it, he says.

So, everyday people stood in between these two things. On the one hand, blessings, on the other hand, cursings. It is spoken out to them, just like I told you by heart today, the blessings. Those people knew by heart, the cursings and the blessings because it was so important. They need to choose all the time. In chapter 30 after these verses that I read, that's what he says. "Choose," he says, "I've put life and death before you. I've put blessing and cursing before you. I've put good and evil before you. Choose life, "he says. Choose life.  Always choose life. That means always choose to walk with God, always choose to obey God, choose the good, choose life, not death, choose the blessing, not the cursing.

So this is a chapter like that. So he has finished all this teaching now comes to chapter 30, kind of bringing it to a close and he says, "Look, if you just hearken diligently to obey the voice of the Lord, all these blessings you're going to enjoy. I'm telling you," he says. And then he says in verse 11, For this commandment which I command you today, that is, these commandments that I've been explaining to you today, is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. "You got a lot of preaching, "he says. "It's not mysterious to you. You can't say tomorrow, 'I didn't understand it.' You can't say, 'I don't know the meaning of these things.'" Not mysterious. It is not far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' See, this is what Paul is quoting there.

He says, "These commandments that I've been preaching about, telling you about, you're very familiar with it. Don't act like you don't know it," he says. "You can't tell me tomorrow, go up to heaven, and bring it down so that I may do it. I've put it before you plain and clear, and taught it to you very clearly, "he says. Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Now this one, Paul slightly changes and instead of going over the sea to the other side and bringing it, Paul says, changes the words a little bit, but the thought is the same. He feels free to change the words a little bit. He says, "Who will go down into the abyss and bring Christ up from above? Slightly changed there because Christ has come, He has died on the cross, there is the availability of the finished work of Christ. So he puts it in those terms, "Who will bring Christ down from heaven, who will bring Christ up from the abyss," he says.

What does it mean? What does those words mean? Paul's words in Romans 10. Why is he quoting the Old Testament Scripture. What does it mean? It means this: Christ has come and He's died on the cross, finished the work, gone back to the Father. Now, if anything is going to happen in your life, you're going to be blessed, you're going to be delivered, you're going to be healed, you're going to have well-being in all areas of your life. It is not going to happen by Him coming down every time you need something. You can't say, "Who's going to bring Christ down from heaven?" There are some people that talk as if they're going to bring Christ down for you. There are many in this world that will talk like they'll go get Christ down from the abyss to do something for you. They act like this is a physical thing where He's got to come and put His hand on us and then only something will happen. There are many people that are saying, "Oh Lord, put your nail-pierced hand on my head," and they're looking for some physical experience like that, something to happen. I'm telling you that sometimes some people have visions where the Lord comes and meets them and all that. I believe all that, no problem. But I'm not saying that's the standard, I shouldn't preach that this is the way things happen. If I'm preaching that I'll be wrong. This is not the way everybody gets everything. If you want to get saved is Christ going come to you tonight with His nail-pierced hand and put His hand on you and say, "You are saved." That's not how salvation happens. Then how does it happen? He says, "Don't ask who's going to go up and bring Christ down or who's going to go down into the abyss and bring Christ up. "Then how is it going to happen? Romans chapter 10, keep the Deuteronomy 30 right there, we'll go back to it.

Romans chapter 10 verse 8 says what do we do then? If you're not going to call Christ down or bring Christ up from the abyss, how does it work then? He says, in verse 8, But what does it say? What does faith say? He says, "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart"(that is, the word of faith which we preacha. Word is near you. You want to get saved, he says salvation is very near. You don't have to go to heaven to bring anything down. You don't have to get an angel to come or even Christ to come down. You don't have to have any of these things happen. How do you get saved? You've heard the word of faith, which we preach the word is near you. How near? In your mouth and in your heart. And then the next verse says, 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. He says, this is how things happen today. Anything you want today, starting from salvation, the biggest miracle happens in this way, then everything else is a smaller miracle. Salvation is the greatest miracle, everything will happen in this way only. So anything you want in life it's done by faith. Faith-made world this is. And anything and everything that you need in this life, you have to have faith. If you came to Jesus today, He's going to ask you, "Do you believe that I can do this for you?" That's the question. It's a faith-made world, and your world will be made by faith also, your future will be made by faith also, your future will be framed by the word of God by faith. That is how your future will be created.

So this is how everything happens. Everything happens by hearing the word of faith, which is the preaching of what God has done in and through Jesus Christ, and you begin to believe that in your heart, and confess it with your mouth, that's how you're saved. Now, let me read from verse 11 and take you to 17 and then we'll go on. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." In other words, if you put faith in Christ, if you have faith, you will never be put to shame. Faith will never disappoint. Bible says, hope never disappoints but faith also will never disappoint. If it is true faith, you will never be disappointed in your life. It will not put you to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. When you come to the Lord, it doesn't matter who you are, rich or poor, educated and uneducated, what caste you are, where you're from, what language you speak, what race you belong to, all of these things don't matter. God's wonderful provision of salvation and all the blessings of God is available to every last person in this world, regardless of race and regardless of all other things, all other considerations. That is why even the disciples could not understand it.

A Canaanite woman came for a daughter's healing, disciples are busy chasing her away. They said, "Go away. This is not for you. This is Jews' stuff. We are the recipients of God covenant and we have the Ten Commandments. We have the blessing, we have salvation. Salvation is ours. What business do you have?" They believed in those days that Gentiles were made for hell, firewood for hell, and only Jews will go to heaven. So they could not understand why these Gentiles are coming for healing and all that. "This is children's bread. Get out of here." That's the way they dealt with her. And Jesus looks at her and astonished by her faith says, "O woman, great is your faith." And that very same minute her daughter was healed back home. Disciples are stunned. They couldn't understand how Jesus would heal this Gentile woman, that too a Canaanite woman, and Canaanites were very notorious people. When Israelites went and took over the Canaan land, they were supposed to destroy every last person, kill every last person because their judgment has been waiting for a long time. They're the most notorious people, lived a very bad life and did things that are totally against God. Judgment was coming for a long time, and God was judging them by bringing the Israelites there. God hated their sin and their lifestyle. But yet, look at that one woman when she responded with faith before God, God didn't care about the fact that she was Canaanite. The disciples cared about it. They said, "Oh! she's a Canaanite woman." He said, "I don't care. She's got faith. So she will be getting whatever she wants."

Similarly, the centurion, Jesus looked at that centurion who came to him and said, "Just speak one word, my servant will be healed. You don't have to come to my house." Jesus was stunned by his faith. He said, "I have not seen a great faith like this, even among the Israelites. This man believes if I speak here, his servant will be healed at home. That is the real great faith," He says. So regardless of who you are, how great a sinner you are... In the Old Testament there's a wonderful example of Rahab who lived on the walls of Jericho. When the Israeli people came and captured the city, she's the one who had earlier helped the spies of Israel to come and look into the town and go and report what they saw. She housed them in her house. She was a prostitute. She lived on the walls, she housed these men in her house. Hid them and allowed them to escape. And misled the police that came to catch these fellows and helped them because she has heard, the Bible says, she's heard about the God of Israel, and how great things He has done. That He opened the Red Sea before them. That He brought manna from heaven. He gave water out of the rock, and He was blessing them in this way. She said, "You'll surely capture our land and I know you're going to destroy everybody. But I'm asking you, I believe in your God, will you save me and my family?" She made a deal. The entire city was destroyed.

I was looking at a documentary the other day on Netflix, I think, dealing with the Jericho wall it says, one little part of Jericho wall was still standing and they claim that that's the place where that woman was living, Rahab was living right on top of that. That part of the wall didn't come down. She safely got down and accompanied the Jewish people, went and lived among them, became a disciple of Jehovah, followed Him. I'm sure she quit all her bad profession and all that, became a child of God and became one of the ancestors of Jesus. Has the honorable mention among the ancestors of Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus comes in the lineage of Rahab. What a great honor given to that one woman because of faith!

So I can give you so many examples like that. Faith is honored. Faith, God is pleased with. Faith is something that is so pleasing to God. And look at this little more. We'll read a little more. Verse 13.For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." It doesn't matter who it is, whoever. I like the term whoever. It comes in verse 11 as well as in verse 13. Whoever believes, verse 11 says. Here it says, whoever calls on the name of the Lord, whoever confesses with his mouth the Lord Jesus shall be saved. Doesn't matter how bad a sinner they've been. They could have been like Rahab but it doesn't matter, God saves. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Now listen very carefully. It's talking about the role of the preacher and preaching. Why? Because faith comes by hearing. How will they hear, he says. How will they call on Him if they have not believed? And how shall they believe if they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" And then verse 17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Let me say a few things about being... first let me say this, in chapter 30 of Deuteronomy, the same thing is said there. Paul is quoting from there, basically. There we read verses 12 and 13, but if you read verse 14, basically, it says, but the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. See, that is where Paul gets his words and quotes it and applies it to salvation here. In Deuteronomy, it is applied to general well-being, success, prosperity, freedom, happiness, that is what the subject in Deuteronomy 30 is about. How to have all of these things, how to live a different life than the life of slavery in Egypt, how to thrive and flourish in the Canaan land, in the promised land. How to live in the land of milk and honey, and enjoy every good blessing that God has provided. In that context it says, the word is near you, you are to live by faith. That the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, the word of faith, which we preach. And herein chapter 10 of Romans, it is applied to salvation.

But look at the role of the preacher and preaching. When it says, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, what does it mean? It is not a simple, just reading couple of verses from a calendar everyday that brings faith. I want to say that because some people, that's how far their religion has gone. The first thing they do, January 1st, is buy a calendar, Bible verse calendar, which is good, I have no problem with it. So they only read these promises from the calendar, that's their Bible reading, total Bible reading. They think that will produce faith for Christian living, and success and all that. No, that's not the kind of way that faith comes. You have not heard anything yet. Some people think if you just went to church and heard some sermon, faith comes by that kind of hearing. Or if you read a couple of chapters from the Bible, faith will come. No, if that's the way it comes, faith will come to all the Christians and everybody will be so amazingly successful and blessed and victorious and so on. Faith doesn't come like that. Not by just attending church frequently, and just hearing some sermons and so on. Faith comes by hearing preaching that brings faith, that is the point here. Faith comes only when you the kind of preaching that brings faith. That is what is called the word of faith. The Christian preaching itself, Paul calls it the word of faith. If you heard a Christian preaching, it must bring faith into you. Faith for all the things that God has obtained for you through the cross of Calvary. From salvation to everything. Your healing, your blessing, everything is included in it. Faith must come by hearing preaching. You must hear the kind of preaching that produces faith, not just any preaching.

One fella told me, "Well, you preach from the Bible, he preaches also from the Bible, everybody preaching from the Bible only. So what's the difference?" Well, that's what I'm talking about. There is a big difference. There is a preaching the produces faith, that is what is emphasized here. The word of faith which we preach, he says, Paul's preaching produced faith in the hearts. The Bible says in the book of Acts that Paul was preaching one day in a town and a fellow was there who was laying from birth and Paul saw while he was preaching that the man had faith to be healed. Just imagine what Paul would have preached. In his preaching, there is something about the power of God, faith, the power from heaven that can make a lame man walk. Paul must have been preaching something like that. Paul must have been preaching about the love of God, the goodness of God, the grace of God, that God wants him well, and so on. Something that produced faith was heard that day. Other wise, how can he say that while he was preaching that man had faith. He was not having any faith as long as he was begging on the road and sitting and talking to other people. And so, he was now having faith when he heard the preacher, the apostle Paul, preach the word of God. He began to have faith because he began to see the light, he began to see how good God is, how gracious He is, how great He is, how true He is, how that nothing is impossible for Him.

So faith is produced by that kind of preaching. That is why it says, how will people hear if there is no preacher? How will a preacher go if he's not sent? They'll have to be sent, and they have to go, they have to preach that people have to hear, and then only after they hear, they will call upon the name of the Lord. That is how salvation comes. That is how everything comes, that's how healing comes. That is how any blessing of the Lord comes, anything and everything comes. How does a successful marriage happen? Hear the word of God being preached about the family and marriage and so on. Hear the word of God being preached on all issues, then only faith for that will come. Otherwise, we'll have to believe everything that the world says. World, they have a lot of opinions. They say, "Well, if it's husband and wife, that's the way it is, brother. Don't worry. It's not your house, every house is like that only." So we take on this worldly philosophy, this is how it's going to be. So we settle down and say "My home is going to be like that also." No, we get it from the word of God. So faith is produced so that a good family life can come. Faith is produced, so that health can come. Faith is produced so that well-being in all areas will come. For everything you need, faith must come.

That is why the gospel is called the gospel of peace. It's glad tidings of good things. The good things that the Lord has done. It's the news about how God sets us free from the power of the devil, from the chains of that bondage to him, from the chains of sin that has kept us down, kept us as failures, kept us as people that had small minds, and petty ideas, kept us as people who failed and make us a success. It sets us free in every area of our life. So that is what faith is all about. So faith, I would put it like this. I would put verse 17 like this. Instead of simply saying, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. You know, if you say it like that, then people will think that if you just hear some sermon, or just hear the word of God or read the word of God, you'll get faith and so on. No, it's not as simplistic as that. It's not complicated, but it's not simplistic as that.

Let me put it like this and it'll be very simple and easy to understand. How does faith come? Faith comes by hearing about the integrity of God's word, that God is a true God, that God is a God of love, that God is full of grace, that God shows favor to us, that God loves us, that God has done everything for us, that God is on our side, that God wants us well, that God wants us to come up. God wants us to be a success. God wants us to have the good life. All this we need to hear. The integrity of God. But mainly the fact that if God has said something in the word, He is able to bring it to pass if I stand on it. I can take the promises of God because He's not a liar, He can never lie. I can take the promises of God and go to bank with it. I can take the promises of God and stand on it and insist on those things coming to pass in my life and refuse to take anything else that comes my way. I can take the promises of God and believe that this is what I will have and nothing less because whatever God says He's able to bring it.

Let me just read to you one verse. It will bring some clarity for you in this area. Turn with me to Luke chapter 1. Let me read to you from verse 30. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." Wonderful things are said. That she's going to bear a child, His name is going to be Jesus, and so on. And He's going to rule forever and so on. Verse 34.Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" She says, "My problem is, I'm not married. Wonderful promise that I'm going to bear a child and so on but I'm not even married." She says, "Don't know man." Look at the answer. The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

Just look at verse 37 for a moment. For with God nothing will be impossible. This is a very famous verse. With God, nothing will be impossible. You've heard many people quote this, with God, nothing will be impossible. Did Mary in her conversation with the angel, did she understand it like this? When she heard the angel say this, did it go into her ears in these same words, with God, nothing will be impossible? No, according to the Greek, the meaning is a whole lot different. This verse has a basic meaning in it but it has been changed and turned around, I think to make it simple. But let me read you several translations. Now in English one advantage is that you have several translations and another big advantage is, we live in the days of Google, right? So I used to have all these translations and take one Bible at a time and look into it and all that. Gone are those days. Just put Luke 1:37 in all translations and there you have it, just like that. What a blessed time we're living in.

So if you put it like that, this is what you'll get. There are many Bibles. I'll read to nearly 8 or 10 translations that translated little differently and these are very highly respected translations that aim for accuracy, that correct many things that have needed correction in the older translations. So Luke 1:37 in the New Living Testament it says, For the word of God will never fail. How much different it is from, for with God nothing shall be impossible. With God nothing shall be impossible is the regular translation. I'm reading the New King James Version here in this Bible and it says, For with God, nothing shall be impossible, right? But look at here. For the word of God will never fail. How do you like that? This is what Mary heard. The angel was telling Mary, "Look, Mary, this is the word of God. I'm just carrying to you the word of God. God is saying, you'll bear a child, His name is Jesus. That means Emmanuel, God is with us. And this is what He'll do, He'll rule and reign forever. He'll get into the throne of David and so on," says, "the word of God will never fail." That means whatever God says, will come true. It has never failed, it will never fail.

NIV, New International Version. For no word from God will ever fail. Not even one word from God will ever fail. That is the nature of God's word. ASV, American Standard Version. For no word of God shall be void of power. That means when God speaks, when God sends His word, He packs that word itself with power. It is not void of power. That word He speaks has within it the power to bring that word to pass, to bring the fulfillment of that word, so that no word from God is without power. Amazing. Weymouth New Testament. Weymouth is a very much liked translation. For no promise from God will be impossible of fulfillment. How far it is from, for with God nothing shall be impossible. For no promise from God will be impossible of fulfillment. In other words, God has never spoken a promise and later it ended up to be an impossible thing to do. It has never happened like that. No promise of God will be impossible of fulfillment. If He has spoken it is possible to fulfill. Never has He spoken and failed to fulfill it. Never impossibility, always possibility.

Wycliffe translation. For every word shall not be impossible with God. Every word shall not be impossible with God. If God has spoken it every word is possible. Douay-Rheims is another translation, very interesting. It says, Because no word shall be impossible with God. No word shall be impossible with God. If God has spoken it, it is never impossible. He's telling a young virgin who doesn't have a husband, doesn't know a man, that she will bear a child and the angel is saying to her, "No word shall be impossible with God. God has spoken it. I know you're a virgin. I know you don't have a husband. But because God has spoken, it will not be impossible." That's what Mary heard, right? And Hebrew Names Version, HNV. For no word from God will be void of power. That is, when God speaks the words are loaded with power, the power of fulfillment, the power to bring it to pass. No word that God has ever spoken, came void of power, without any power, empty without any power. No empty words from God.

Have you seen empty words? We speak plenty of them. We speak something and say, "I simply said, brother. Simply I was saying. Don't take it seriously. Simply." God never simply says something. No, simply saying. If He said it, finished, that's it. It will come to pass. Now, you and I are made to talk like that. Once we begin to understand it, we will not say anything simply. I know one fellow that'll always say something wrong and then say sorry, sorry, sorry. Say, "Don't do that man. Try to cut that down. "As a believer speak in such a way that you don't have to say sorry. "Oh, I'm just a human," you don't have to show that you are a human 100 times a day. Say sorry all the time and talk all nonsense. Think before you talk. Every word must carry something in it. Every word must be packed with truth. Every word must be packed with faith, good words, edifying words, seasoned with salt, the bible says. Read the bible, it tells you how to talk.

Anyway, this is what Mary heard. Mary was hearing the angel say not that, for with God all things shall be possible. No, that's not what she heard. She heard, "The word of God will never fail." She heard, "No word from God will ever fail." She heard, "No word of God is void of power. "She heard, "For no promise from God will be impossible of fulfillment. "She heard, "For every word shall not be impossible with God." She heard, "Because no word shall be impossible with God." She heard, "For no word from God will be void of power." And therefore she replied, now see how fitting her reply is in verse 38. Now she replies, may it be to me according to your word. See, if you read it as, for with God nothing shall be impossible, then verse 38 becomes... you can't put the two together. It says, the angel said, For with God, nothing shall be impossible. Mary said, Let it be to me according to your word. Doesn't fit together. But if angel was saying, no word of God is without any power; no word from God has ever failed; no promise of God will be impossible of fulfillment. If she heard something like that, then it would be natural for her to say, let it be to me according to your word. In other words, she's saying, "Angel, you've spoken the word of God. You're saying that no word from God will ever come void of power. Every wordcomes packed with power, it will be fulfilled, never failed, always true, and this God is always good. That's the integrity of God's Word. If that is true, then I say, let it be to me, according to your word."

So when you're hearing preaching, and the Bible says, Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, this is the kind of effect that must happen. The kind of effect that is spoken of here. If you're hearing about some issue of life, you're going through some problem in your life, and the word of God is being preached as the answer to that problem, your heart must be hearing something like this. And you must be getting the message like this, that no word from God will ever fail. This is God's word regarding my problem. This is God's word regarding what I'm going through. This is God's word in my situation, and no word will ever fail. Every word is packed with power, it will never fail. That is the way you must hear it. And that way, if you hear it, that is what produces faith. That's how faith comes. So you're not simply hearing some words and getting faith, you're getting a message. That is why a preacher is very important. That is why a kind of preaching is important to impart faith. That is why words are very important, because words that are preached bring faith. God's words explain and describe the love of God, the favor of God, the grace of God, the goodness of God, the truthfulness of God, the faithfulness of God, that kind of preaching will bring faith. Because you begin to understand, well, if God says, I believe it, because if God says, He will do it, He's never failed, He will never fail in my case, I believe it. Amen.

All right. Now, it's amazing what the Bible says about faith in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, there is an interesting passage, I just want to read it and go on. Verse 1 onwards. Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea. Talking about the Israelites coming through the Red Sea, and all that. All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food. They ate manna from heaven, wonderful experiences. They've had one experience after the other. And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased.

That's what I wanted you to hear. With most of them God was not well pleased. If they went before God, they'd have said, "Yeah, we walked through the Red Sea. "God is not well pleased. Said, "Well, we drank out of that rock, the water came and we were one of them that drank," it says, God is not well pleased. They ate out of the manna that fell from heaven every day." God is not well pleased. All those experiences are wonderful, to be part of it is wonderful. It's a wonderful experience. But God is not pleased with our glorious, amazing, supernatural experiences. God is pleased only by faith. Why God was not pleased? Because they did not believe that He is true. They did not believe that He is good. They did not believe that He is faithful. They did not believe that He is gracious. They did not believe that He is long suffering.They did not believe that He can bring to pass whatever He has said. They repeatedly said, "Why did He bring us here? Because there were no graves in Egypt to bury us here He brought us here?" Finally, God arranged for their burial there. Never once opened their mouth and said a good word about God, never once.

Amazing, and God dislikes it. He loved them, reached out to them, brought them out of slavery, brought them through the wilderness, did all those miracles but He was not pleased when their heart was a heart that will not reach out to Him and say, "Lord, You are true, You are good, You are gracious. I'm thankful to You. "Their heart was not like that. God was not pleased. And the Bible says in Hebrews chapter 11 which we're studying in verse 6, if you go, it opens like this, But without faith it is impossible to please God. All right, turn with me to  2nd Chronicles chapter 6 as we begin to wind it down. 2nd Chronicles chapter 16 rather. I want to read to you a very wonderful verse here. 16 verse 9.For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you've done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.

These are the words of a prophet to the king of Judah. You know Israel and Judah became two different nations at one point, separated, and they were both fighting and one point. So in order to protect himself and to fight against Israel, the king of Judah, these are all God's people. He went and made an alliance with the king of Syria. He's an ungodly fellow whom God did not like at all. He went and made an alliance depending on his military might, so that he can deal with Israel. This was the king named As a and God sent the prophet and the prophet began to speak to him. And the prophet said, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." He says, "God is...," I love this verse, "God is looking all over this earth, looking for someone whose heart has faith in God, who's looking to God, not looking to man, not looking to the military power of some nation, not looking to this and that, not putting their trust on all these worldly things. A man who puts his faith in God. God is looking, searching for a man. And what is He going to do with the man when He finds that man? God wants to show who He is. He wants to show Himself strong.

See, God is always interested in revealing Himself in this world, revealing who He is, how mighty He is, how loving He is, how powerful He is. God wants to show to this world, through you and me, what He is and what kind of a God He is. So He's looking, searching, searching for a people with a right heart, with a heart that trusts in God, a heart that has faith. Many years ago, I reached out to God and I said, "Lord, I heard you're looking for somebody, would you consider me? I'm a little fellow here. Why don't you take me? I will trust in You. I will not trust in this and that. "The Bible says, some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. David went before Goliath, this big, large man who's been in military for a long time and learned how to fight and so on. And he went to fight against him and he said, "You come with your arms and your spear and your everything, but I come in the name of the Lord God of Israel. "His faith was in his covenant with God. He said, "That guy does not have a covenant with God, he's just equal to an animal," he said. "I'll kill him just like I killed a bear and I killed a lion. I'll kill this guy also. He doesn't have a covenant with God. I am a covenant person. God has made promises to me. My God is a covenant keeper. He's a promise keeper. He will never let me perish at the hands of this enemy. He will give me victory. It doesn't matter how tall he is, how big he is, what he's got in his hand, it doesn't matter what kind of weapons he brings. God will give me victory because God wants to show Himself mighty."

I tell you my friend, God wants to show Himself mighty through you. God is looking for a candidate. God is looking for some people. Hello. The interview is on. God is looking. He says, "I'm looking to and fro throughout the whole earth. It doesn't matter who you are. Doesn't matter what a lowly life you come from, which corner of this world you come from. How insignificant you are. Don't think about that. God is looking. God doesn't care about all these distinctions. God cares only about this one thing, heart, a heart of faith. If you have a heart of faith, God says, "I will show Myself as mighty. I will take such a person and have him defeat armies, because I can give him the power of faith, bigger power than nuclear power, bigger power than any power that the earth has seen. A power that is unmatched by any earthly powers. I can take a small man."

David was 16 years old when he went before Goliath. Small boy, young boy, much smaller in stature, but won the battle. No big fight, nothing. Just one stone. That's it. Just one stone. Look at his faith. Everybody saw how big Goliath was. He saw how easy how Goliath was to hit. You can't miss this guy, you can blindfold your eyes and it'll hit him because he's so big. You know, he knew small was beautiful. Nothing wrong with being small, no advantage in being big. But there is a tremendous advantage if you have faith. Faith will make you big. So God's eyes are looking to and fro, looking for a man. Why? For one thing, God wants to show Himself, His power, show Himself strong.

How many of you believe God is strong, God is mighty, God is able? There is nothing impossible with God. God will show Himself strong through you. By raising you up, by changing you and giving you the power that you have never seen before. Putting this faith inside of you so that you begin to talk different, and believe different, see different, act different and you begin to achieve great things for God. And when you come up in life and achieve great things for God, it is for the glory of God.It is for the glory of God. That is why He is interested in raising you up. That is why He's interested in showing you before the world. I believe that with all my heart.

One more verse, and I'm done. 2nd Timothy chapter 2. I want to read this because some people have settled because they've heard preaching that says, in a big house, there are many kinds of vessels. Some vessels are vessels of honor, some are vessels of dishonor. They used to tell us in the old times. I've heard it so many times. The big house in God's house, there are vessels made of gold and silver vessels of honor. I'm sure Christians have heard it. Some Christians are already smiling and laughing. You heard this also. Some of us are made for honor, praise God for that. But some people have told me, "You are made as a mud pot, not gold or silver. Maybe God wants you to be just the wooden, mud pot. That's all you are." But be thankful to God because you are a mud pot in the house of God. That God has given you that position, that's what He wants you to have.

And all that comes from this verse, 2nd Timothy chapter 2 verse 20.But always, one more verse has saved my life many times. Don't stop with where this guy stopped. Just read one more verse, you'll be delivered from wrong ideas. So verse20 says this, let me read that first to you. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. This is what they're talking about. Say, "Well, in every house there's all kinds of a It's useful in its own way. Who knows? You know, you're just maybe a wood pot or a clay pot. That's all. Don't worry about it. Whatever pot you are just... if you are clay just thank God for making you the clay, that's all." But I read the next verse. Look at this. What is the point that Paul is making here? Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel of honor. Now it seems to me like the choice has to be made by you and I. We have to make a choice whether we want to be a vessel of honor or vessel of dishonor. So he says, cleanse yourself. Cleanse yourself from what? If you read the verses before and the verses later, it talks about various sins and temptations and so on. He's writing to these young preacher named Timothy and to his people, and he's telling them, if a man will cleanse himself, he'll be a vessel of honor because that's what God wants you to be. He doesn't want you to be a mud pot. Don't settle down for that, you'll be a vessel of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

He says, "Get rid of things that you need to get rid of to become a vessel in the hands of God." Don't give excuses like saying, "Well, I'm just a mud pot. "No, sanctify yourself. Get rid of all the sin out of the life and all the wrong things that is there out of the life. Purify your hearts, because faith can work from a pure heart only. It cannot work from a heart of sin. Just imagine giving this mountain moving power of faith to as inner. He'll be moving some mountains for his sin to take place. To conveniently sin, he'll be moving mountains. He'll be using this mountain-moving power to sin. God does not give to a sinful man with a sinful heart this power of faith. No matter how many times you go and sit at the church and go and come from a church, it doesn't matter. You can be born and raised in a church, this power of faith cannot belong to a person who has sin in his heart. Only a person who purifies his heart, out of that pure heart which has pure motives, pure goals and pure purposes, out of that heart can flow faith. That is the way faith works.

In the same way with love. You see, God doesn't give the power called faith... I'm going to be talking about these things a little more. But let me just say this and close. God doesn't give this amazing power of faith, this power superior to all earthly powers, mountain-moving power of faith to a man who does not have love in his heart. Just imagine giving it to some people. They may be having a fight with their neighbor next door and call fire from heaven tomorrow to burn up their house. You don't believe me? Look at the disciples of Jesus. The Samaritans refused to give Jesus room for one night during their travel, the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Let's show them who we are. Like Elijah, let's bring fire from heaven and burn this whole city down." If it was left to Peter, he'd not only cut a near, he would have finished that whole town of Samaria that day.

That's why God doesn't want this kind of faith to belong to such people that have hatred, that cannot forgive, that cannot have purity of heart, that don't operate by love. That is why Galatians5:6 says faith worketh by love. It cannot work by hate, it cannot work by revenge, it cannot work with all those things. It cannot work at all. This is such a big power. It's very risky to give to people that will misuse it. That is why the heart is very important. God is looking for a man with a heart. Like I said the other day, your gentleness has made me great. Greatness can be achieved with only a gentle heart. Jesus said, "I am gentle, I am lowly. I am meek. Come to me, learn from me." He says. He was great. He had so much power. Hanging on the cross with moving of one finger He could have brought angels from heaven, who would have finished off all the Roman soldiers and the Jewish people, that were nailing Him to the cross, and He could have gotten down and walked home. But He didn't do it. His heart was full of love. Instead, He prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

What an amazing thing. No wonder He had so much power. But all that power was under absolute control, used only for healing, used only to deliver, used only to do good things, used only miracles, were used only to do the beautiful things, acts of God. That is why God is looking for such a heart. So I say to you, reach out to God today and pray that prayer, "Lord, I heard You're looking to and fro through the whole earth. I'm here in Chennai, look at me, Lord. I'm looking at You. I will make my decision today to trust in You and You alone and depend on You. For You are good, You are gracious, You are wonderful. I believe Your word. I open my heart to Your word. Take me. Make me Your vessel. Purify my heart, I cleanse my heart. Let my heart be cleansed with the blood of Jesus. Make it holy, so that you can use me as Your vessel in Your hand and use me for Your glory." When you say that I'll tell you, your life will change. Faith is for such a change. You will create a new world, you will create a new life, you will create a new future. Let's all stand together. We'll continue to hear next week.

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