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Living by Faith (Vol 04) - The Importance of your Faith

Sunday English Service - 29 JUL 18


Hebrews chapter 11. Let me read to you verse 1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. We began a new series of teaching three weeks ago, calling it living by faith. We want to use Hebrews 11 as a launching pad, so to speak for our teaching, because it's a great chapter on faith. The first few verses, it describes faith and then it goes on to give so many examples of faith. Faith for so many kinds of things in life. And so it's a rich resource for learning about faith. And so we're going to use Hebrews chapter 11 as a launching pad to learn about faith. The first three weeks we talked about hope, because in this definition in the first verse, it says that faith is the confidence of the things hoped for, one translation says. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, is what King James says, but the better translation, faith is the confidence of things hoped for. So I began to describe to you what hope is, because hope is very basic to faith. Hope is where everything starts. A person in trouble, in problem begins to see the word of God and I showed you how from the word of God is where we get hope. Romans 15:4 tells us that the word of God, particularly Paul is referring to the scriptures of the Old Testament. During his days, there was no New Testament, he says, these scriptures are written for our benefit, so that we may become people of hope, we may have hope. So the scriptures were meant to give us hope.

And so hope comes from the word of God. And that's where that becomes the foundation for faith. And I showed you that hope is a vision or expectation of good things to come. Expectation is a good word. Expectation of good things to come. Now, and the next week, I followed it up by saying that it's not a mere expectation, it's a confident expectation. Now, the word hope as used in the world is not the way the Bible uses the word hope. In the world when we say, “I hope,” we really mean, “I doubt whether I'm really going to make it. I hope I make it. I hope I get a job. I hope I get this and so on.” Built into that hope is a doubt about whether I will get it or not. So the world uses it in that way. And also, the world uses it in a way where it seems like it speaks of just a wish or a wishful desire. That's how hope is represented in the world. But the Bible hope is not like that. Bible hope is about certainty. So we talked about certainty, the second week. What kind of certainty? Not a mathematical certainty, not a logical certainty, but a moral certainty. When we say a moral certainty, we talked about how that moral certainty is based on who God is, because He's the giver of the promise. Is He good? Is He faithful? He cannot lie. He is holy. He is righteous. He is just. He is all powerful. Based on that we know that what He has promised, He is able to do, and therefore we can have a confident expectation of what He says. So hope, as spoken of in the Bible is a confident expectation of good things to come in our life. And the third week, we talked about how this confident expectation is the anchor of our soul. What does anchor do to a ship? It keeps it from being beaten by the wind and the wave, thrown about and crushed. It makes it stand in one place, solid, even in spite of all the wind and the wave and everything, every other circumstance outside. In this same way, God has given us an anchor for our soul and the anchor for our soul is this certainty of this hope, this confident expectation, so that no matter what the outward situations are, we can stand solid, we are not shaken, we are not wavering, we can have this hope that helps us to stay solid.

So these three weeks we talked about it. Now, next thing I want to do is I want to go to the next line in this definition, which is the evidence of things not seen. I want to spend two, three weeks on what faith has to do with the unseen, how faith has to do with the unseen. But before that, I want to spend this one week on one particular matter and that is the importance of faith. Because we are getting really into faith now. And more and more into faith. I want to share something about the importance of faith. Now, the reason is this. Today, people do not emphasize faith. Modern church does not emphasize faith, they emphasize certain things as the will of God, and so on. But when it comes to problems in life, the problems that an average man faces in life, the needs, the difficulties, the challenges, the problems in life, they do not apply the principles of faith to it. If you notice, the church basically applies faith and its principles only to the matter of salvation. They are stuck with justification by faith. That is how unrighteous man sinner becomes a child of God. And faith is applied only to the matter of salvation basically. They do not apply the principles of faith to every situation in life, to overcome that situation.

But the Bible talks about faith for living. The just shall live by faith, the Bible says. It comes from Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 4. If you notice, the situation is very bad, everything is not working out. The field is not yielding, even the cows are not producing, even the trees are not producing any fruit. In such a situation, the prophet says, “The just shall live by his faith.” There in the book of Habakkuk where the original verse comes from, I say original because three other times it is mentioned in the Bible, the same verse. The just shall live by faith, comes three other times in the New Testament, in Romans, in Galatians and in Hebrews. So in the book of Habakkuk, in the original situation, it was about all kinds of problems going on around them and there in the midst of it, the prophet is saying, “The just shall live by faith.” Therefore, I say to you, he is applying faith to life and life situations, life's problems, and I think that is the way it should be applied today. And Hebrews 11 is evidence to that. That it should be applied to life's problems, to every problem that we face, every challenge we face, it should be applied to the matter of salvation, but then it should be applied to healing. It should be applied it to deliverance, it should be applied to our overcoming power over various situations in life, or various problems in life. That is the way the Bible presents it.

I don't know, somehow the modern church does not apply the principles of faith to these various problems. But that is the thing that is most important because that is how you overcome these problems. Faith gives us overcoming power. So I want to emphasize the fact that the Bible emphasizes faith and I want to show you that is according to your faith. That's what I want to talk about. It's according to your faith things happen in your life. Your faith is very important. That's the subject I want to deal with today. So please turn with me to Matthew's Gospel. I want to go to basically two passages today. Matthew's Gospel chapter 9, let me read to you from verse 27 onwards, When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened, and Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.”

Now, I want to say this about the Bible, first of all. The things recorded in the Bible, you need to first of all have in mind under what situation the Bible was written. In the days when the Bible was written, it was much different. Paper was not available as freely as it is available today. Today, I buy papers, in stacks and keep them and I write a few lines and if I don't like what I’ve written I just throw it away and take another piece of paper and write because it's cheap and plenty of it is available. And, it's not a real problem, you know, these days. We don't even think about wasting paper, we just use paper a lot. It doesn't mean anything to us. It's not a big thing. But back in those days, paper was not available in this form. Written material was expensive, therefore, everything was not used extensively. So the days were different. So when they wrote these gospels, when they wrote the epistles and so on. To economize when you write was very important at that time. Not write a whole bunch of stuff but write what is necessary and what is important, avoid all unnecessary stuff because you can't be just writing unlimitedly. So that was the thing that was happening there. In that situation where they were trying to economize and write as little as possible, I say to you, they chose these passages, these things that they have written and recorded here because they add great value. These things were preached again and again by apostles, like Peter and others, to teach from what Jesus taught.

Remember, Jesus said, “Go into all the world, preach the gospel, make disciples, and then baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Some people read only up to that. This is Matthew 28, verse 18, but verse 19 says, after you preach the gospel, make disciples and baptize them. And then it says, teaching them to observe the things that I have taught you. That's very important. What goes on after you baptize? That's what the church is all about. What did they teach in the first century church? They taught what Jesus taught them. He said, “Teach what I've taught you.” So I can imagine what was happening in the first century church. People like Peter and the other apostles would take from what Jesus taught, from the miracles that Jesus did, and so on and mentioned what happened, narrate the story as it happened, and bring out the truth, particularly the incidences which were used to teach them certain lessons.

Many miracles Jesus did in order to teach them faith and used many miracles to teach them faith. For example, the miracle of cursing the fig tree. He didn't have to curse the fig tree, the fig tree didn't do anything wrong. It was just sitting there waiting for the season for figs to come, so that it can give its fruit but yet Jesus cursed the fig tree. But the story goes that next day, they were coming the same way the tree withered away, leaves have fallen and the tree had withered away and Jesus immediately takes off into a teaching about faith. He said, “Have faith in God,” or have the faith of God. Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, “Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea”, and shall not doubt in his heart that what he has said will come to pass, he shall have whatever he says. Therefore, when you pray, believe that you receive whatever you desire and ask, and you shall have them. He goes on in a teaching about faith. So the whole thing happened in order to teach them faith. Jesus cursed the fig tree, 24 hours later, the leaves withered away and they were stunned and astonished at the fact that what Jesus said actually happened. Jesus says, “If you say, even to the mountain, this will happen. Not only to the tree, even to the mountain, you can speak and what you say, will come to pass.” That's the power of faith and you can use this power of faith in your prayer and so on. He goes on teaching about that.

So many situations, many things that were happening around the disciples and Jesus were used as illustrations to teach them. Even during miracles, it was used as illustrations to teach them. So you can imagine, how these things were selected then. The most valuable illustrations, the illustrations that taught very clearly what Jesus taught, the most important truths, they were selected, handpicked and the Holy Spirit of God helped them to pick it and put it in here, so that it can become the teaching of the Church for centuries to come. That is how the Gospels came about. That is how even the epistles came about. That is why it is very… and it must be noted that Hebrews chapter 11 with 40 verses, actually the chapter is 40 verses, but the subject begins way before the 11th chapter, a few verses before the 11th chapter and ends few verses after the 12th chapter begins. So it's about 40, 50 verses are written, such a lengthy passage written on faith, because it was a very important subject in the first century. What we read in Hebrews 11 was a preaching that was done by preachers in those days. The author of the book of Hebrews must have taught it to the New Testament Church. Now we have it in writing. But to put it in writing, they thought a lot. Only if it's important and carried a lot of value, they put it in writing. So you must think about it like that.

So here, this is one of those Holy Ghost picked stories. Stories that they felt is essential to teach a lesson. That is why it is not just saying that Jesus healed a man, it talks about what these two men said to Jesus, and what Jesus replied, and how He healed. The entire conversation that happened between the blind men and Jesus is spoken of here, so that we can learn things from it. I'm sure that this is what they used to teach in the first church when they decided to teach about faith. So listen to this, listen to what is being emphasized here. Two blind men are following Jesus, and they follow Him right into a house that he walked into. And they come into the house, all the way they were coming, following Him and they were saying, “Have mercy on us Son of David.” And they came into the house, the blind men came to Him and Jesus could tell that these guys have come and when they're asking for mercy, they're basically asking for healing. Now, healing is a mercy, right? That is why when people say, “Healing is not for today,” I say, “Is mercy not for today? Has God stopped being merciful.” So healing is a mercy. So these fellas come and ask for mercy and Jesus understands they're asking for healing. So Jesus says to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes. Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith, let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them saying, “See that no one knows it.”

Now why all these details are mentioned here. So that we may learn from it something very important about faith. They come in and Jesus says to them, when they said they wanted healing, Jesus says, “Do you believe that I am able to do this for you?” “Do you believe that I'm able to do this?” In other words, do you have faith? Do you have faith that I'm able to do this for you? Now this is very important, because today's church emphasizes the will of God and would say, “Is this the will of God to heal this man?” Here, Jesus doesn't even seem to bother about the will of God. Why? Not because He doesn't care about the will of God, He is very certain about the will of God. He is very sure that God wants to heal. That one thing He’s very sure. That one thing He knows, He doesn't have to ask God. God wants to heal. Healing is the will of God. So He doesn't go to whether it's the will of God or not like the today's church. You know, have you ever seen that when it comes to salvation, when somebody comes and says, “I'm convicted in my heart that I'm a sinner? I want to accept Jesus as Savior.” Have you seen anybody say to that person, “Hope it's the will of God to save you. We’ll pray for you that the will of God may be done.” Nobody will say that. They’ll say, “All right, come.” Do what? Confess Jesus as your Lord, believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Romans, chapter 10 verse 9 and 10, that say, believe in your heart, confess with your mouth, receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, be saved right now, right? Nobody will say, “Let's check if it's the will of God,” or, “Let's pray that the will of God be done in this matter.” They don't talk about the will of God. Why? Because in salvation they know the Bible says that it is the will of God for all men to come into the knowledge of God that none perish. They know it, so they don't talk about the will of God.

But when somebody comes for healing, or some other need, they say, “May the will of God be done brother,” and they pray for the person also many times saying, “May the will of the Lord be done.” They just don't know what the will of the Lord is, they're not sure so, “Father, if it be your will do this.” They're not sure about it. That is what I'm talking about. They are afraid to apply faith to other matters of life. They're only able to apply faith to salvation, but not to other matters of life. But the Bible applies faith to all kinds of

matters. Look at the examples, I'll show you when I come to Hebrews chapter 11, the various heroes of faith in their life and so on. Various points in their life, they applied to various situation. We see Abel applying it to the matter of his relationship with God. You can say salvation. Enoch applies it in his walk with God, Abraham applies it in order to bear a child, his wife bore a child by faith, received strength to bear a child, the Bible says. So in various ways, they exercised their faith to receive various things from God. So this is very important note, the church has missed it. And the church has been crippled because of this, because we are not able to tell the world, “What is your problem?” Faith will set you free from that problem, faith is the thing that you need. By faith you can overcome. So, learn faith, understand faith, learn how to live by faith, walk by faith. We just dismiss it saying, “Let's see if it's the will of God, we just don't know,” God has not changed.

Like I said, healing is a mercy and God has not stopped being merciful. He was merciful in the Old Testament times, He must be even more merciful today, I think. It's a better covenant with better promises. He’s still the healer, He’s always the same. God is always the same. He’s always been a healer, even in the Old Testament, the Jewish people in the covenant with God, healing was built in that. Healing was one of the things that God said He will do for them and He has healed them so many times, and this was known to them. That is why many times when Jesus deals with the Jewish people in His walk in this world, He never prays for them. He tells the woman that was bent over for 18 years, He says, “Woman, I set you free, I loose you.” He said. And then He said this Abraham's daughter was bound for 18 years, does she not deserve to be loosed. See, because it was part and parcel of the covenant under which they were operating, the old covenant. You think new covenant does not have healing in it. The new covenant is a better covenant. It has healing and a lot more in it. So I don't know why we miss it. I don't know why we neglect it. I don't know why we apply it only to salvation and not to anything else. People try very hard to keep it within the limits of salvation, and not take faith and apply it to other situations, other problems in life. But here we see Jesus talking about faith and emphasizing faith. He is not talking about the will of God, He is talking about faith.

Now, He says to them, “Do you believe that I'm able to do this,” right? And the two men say, “Yes, Lord.” And now look at the answer of Jesus. He touched their eyes saying, “According your faith, let it be to you.” Now, if He asked them, “Do you believe that I'm able to do this?” Then when He laid hands on them to heal them, He should have said, because He asked them, “Do you believe that I have the power to do this? Or I'm able to do it?” And they said, “Yes,” what should He have done? He should have laid hands on them and said, “According to the ability that is in Me be healed,” because that's what He asked, “Do you believe that I have the ability to heal you? Do you believe that I have the power to heal you?” And they said, “Yes.” So He should have said, “All right, you believe that I'm able to heal you. So according to My ability be healed, or according to the ability of God be healed?” Hello. That's what He should have said. He didn't say that. He asked them, “Do you believe I'm able to do this for you?” They said, “Yes, Lord.” And He laid His hands on their eyes and He said, “According to your faith, let it be to you.” Not according to my ability, not according to my power, not even according to God's will, or God's power, or God's ability. He says according to your faith. I say it like this because I want you to know that your faith is the most important thing in receiving the blessing of God in every area of your life. He said, “Your faith,” “Do you believe I'm able to do this?” They said, “Yes.” And He says, “According to your faith, let it be to you.” And then they went away healed.

The people that believe that we must pray, let it be according to the will of God, they say salvation is the will of God, but we don't know if healing is the will of God. That's their thing, that's the problem. But the Bible is very clear in salvation is included all of these things. God sent Jesus to die on the cross of Calvary, not only save us from our sin, that's very important, sin is the problem. Sin is the thing that caused all these things to come upon mankind. But once sin is taken care of, these things are also affected. Healing is part and parcel of this great atonement that has been done for us through Jesus Christ. So Jesus is emphasizing the fact that whenever things happen in our life, whenever we receive something like healing, it happens not because, just because it's God's will. It happens because of our faith. Now if everything happens according to God's will, and if it's God's will it will happen, that's the way these people believe. See, if it's God's will, whatever is God's will, it will happen. So when you go with so many needs and problems, and so on, we will say, “Maybe, if it's God's will, it'll happen. For example, I've seen, one fellow went to the pastor and said, “Pastor, pray for me, I want to build a house. I'm having a great desire to build a house for my family. We're going from one place to another. Every year we're changing houses. They don't let us live in one place for more than a year. So I want to buy a house. I want to build a house for my family.” Know what the pastor said, the pastor said, “Well, if it's the will of God, it will happen.” If it's the will of God, it will happen.

Now, with these things, I am pretty sure and every Christian ought to be pretty sure that is the will of God. I don't know how it can’t be the will of God. It is the will of God I can even prove from the Bible. God took the people of Israel from Egyptian slavery and brought them out, brought them into the land of Canaan, the promised land, the land flowing with milk and honey, and gave the slaves, every one of the slaves, became landowners. Hello. Has any government done this? Everybody had land. Do you believe that our God is different now? He wants some people to have land and some people to have house, some people don't need house. He thinks. People have a problem, you see. They're unable to think about God. So I always say, “Let Your kingdom come Lord, then only our problem will be solved.” If His kingdom comes tomorrow, we'll all have land I'm telling you. Everybody will have land, everybody will have house, everybody will have everything. That's the way I understand God when I read from the Bible. Bible says in Leviticus chapter 15, verse four, God says to the people of Israel, “Let not there be even one poor among you.” That's God's will. “Not one person must be poor among you,” He says. That is the will of God. He says that in verse 4, then in verse 11, He says, “The poor will always be with you.” And Jesus also quotes in the New Testament. That doesn't mean that that's the will of God. He said before He mentioned in verse 11, “The poor will always be with you,” in verse four He says, “Let no one be poor among you.” That is the will of God. Then why 11 says, the poor will always be with you. Because there's plenty of crooks in this world that want to have it all and not let it go out of their hands. Plenty of people grabbing and plenty of people being selfish and plenty of injustice, plenty of wrong things happening in this fallen world. Therefore, poor will always be with us. Not because it's the will of God, it's because men are like this. They govern like this, they rule like this. That's the way they do things in this world. There is no justice.

How do you interpret it then? God said, let there be no poor among you, then He says there will be poor among you always. Because He's prophesying. He says, I know where it's going. Because I see the way you guys are ruling and the way you guys are ruling, people are going to have less and less own houses, less and less of everything, there's going to be plenty of poor. And that's why we have plenty of poor in this world, not because it's God's will. Don't you look at India, or any other country in the world and look at the millions of poor and say, “This is the grand will of our wonderful God.” It is not the will of our God. It is the making of men, making of sinful men that have no vision for the well-being of people. That is what it is. We blame it all on the will of God because it's very convenient.

So when you tell a man who wants to build a house, “If it's will of God, it will happen,” then he's wondering 10 years later why it hasn't happened, it's not the will of God. If the same fellow came to me, you know what I will do? If he said, “I want to build a house.” I say, “Why not? God is able to do anything. If you can believe all things are possible.” That's what I will say to him. If you can believe all things are possible. God will be your helper. He will bless the work of your hand. He will increase you day by day. He will bless you and He will prosper you. God's grace will be upon your life. You will increase mightily. Don't worry, you'll be able to do it. Believe in it. Meditate upon it. Begin to speak every day by faith that you are going to build a house and live in your own house, that your children will live in your own house, you will sleep in your house, that you will live a good life. That's what I will teach him and I will show him from the word of God how it's the will of God for him to have this blessing from God. I won't say, “If it's the will of God it will happen.” So I give him some homework to do. If the fellow comes to me, I'll give them some work to him. I’d say, “Go to the Bible and begin to understand what God's will is regarding these things, regarding your life, regarding your material side of your life. Determine what God's will is for you and believe in it, stand on it, proclaim it, believe that the days of renting will be over. If you don't act militantly like this you're not going to ever get out of rent where we’re always stuck. Believe that you can put an end to it very soon then it'll happen that God will open the door, that God will bless you.” That's the way I teach.

That's the way a lot of people teach. Why? Because we believe that faith makes the difference. Will of God is not the problem. I have nothing in my mind that says, “Maybe it's not the will of God.” Maybe he’s got to check with God to see whether he's going to build it here, or build it over there, or whatever, but I'm sure that God wants him to have a house. I am sure that God wants him to live with a great deal of dignity that portrays the blessing of God in his life. I have no problem with that. Now, what we do is we put everything on God so it becomes convenient. It's a lazy man's philosophy, if it's the will of God it will happen. So you don't have to do any homework. You don't have to go look into the Bible. You don't have to start believing. You don't have to get your heart ready for such a blessing. You don't have to proclaim it. You don't have to believe it. You don't have to speak it. You don't have to expect it. You don't have to anchor your soul with this hope that God can do this for you.

If God has given His own Son, the Bible says, and did not spare His own Son and delivered Him up for us all, will He not also give us all things? The Bible says. Why not? Is giving you a house such a big deal to God? I don’t think it is. It's a very ordinary thing for God. God can do it. By faith, you can move towards that direction and soon by faith, you can receive it, right? But the people that think everything happens by the will of God, they think if it's the will of God, it will happen. I know that we have to respect the will of God. See, God has a big program, the big program I know it's all happening by the will of God. For example, God planned our salvation and through Jesus 2000 years ago executed everything necessary for our salvation and for the last 2000 years He's been using the Holy Spirit to draw men to salvation. There's coming an end when Jesus is going to return and so on and we're going to be ushered into eternity. There is a big program that God is orchestrating and moving everything towards. Everything is happening according to His will in that way, for the big program. But whether you ate Idli or Puri this morning what does it have to do with God? It doesn't have to do with the will of God. Hello. Did you sit down before your table and they brought you Puri and said, “Well, let me see if it's the will of God.” No, you just assume that you're supposed to eat, that you are supposed to have food. Are you going to say to a man, in India so many people can't eat three meals a day, are you going to say to some of them, “It’s the will of God that you eat only one. That's good enough for you. When we go to heaven you will have three or even four, but here only one, but it may be the will of God”? No. Hello.

Are you there? What I'm saying is we must apply faith to every situation, every need, every problem that we face, we must apply faith. The fact that we did not apply is crippling the church today. We are not effective today because people are going through problems and we're saying, “Maybe if it's the will of God, God will you know.” We are just having this lazy man's theology that if it’s the will of God, God will do it. If you teach faith, people will fight for it, will stand on it, will begin to produce, will begin to be militant about it, will begin to say I refuse to live like this because God wants to me to live like that. The blessing of God is mine through Jesus Christ and I want to lay claim to it and possess it. That's what Bible doctrine is all about. The people of Israel died in the wilderness. Why? Because they did not believe, they were in unbelief. Because they were in unbelief they refused to be ready to fight, ready to move forward, ready to take possession of everything that God has given to them. Those who believed were warriors. Look at Joshua and Caleb. They were ready. Said, “Let's go. We can easily win, we can easily take the land.” That was their attitude. But the lazy guys, “if it's God's will He’ll give it to us.” They stayed back and perished in the wilderness.

All right, let's go to another passage. Go to Mark chapter 9. Here is another passage. I think this is also a very handpicked passage by the apostles. They probably taught it again and again. That is why it's recorded here. It had great value because of its teaching. So Mark chapter 9. The story starts actually in verse 17, where a man comes bringing his son and he says to Jesus, that his son has been demon possessed. He's got a mute spirit and whenever the spirit seizes him, it throws him down. He foams at his mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid and he says, “I took him to your disciples, and they couldn't heal them. They couldn't do anything with him.” And then in verse 19, Jesus now begins to speak, because now he has brought the fellow to Jesus and Jesus speaks. He says, He answered and said, “O faithless generation,” See, He’s condemning the situation where they are not exhibiting faith towards the situation. The fellow is demon possessed, and He's been teaching His disciples about faith and about healing and about all these things. He actually sent them out to heal people and so on, and it worked. Now He says, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” He says. All right. Now that versus very loaded, it seems to say that healing and all these things is not supposed to stop with Him. It's supposed to continue, and they better learn it. He says, “How long shall I be with you? How long are you going to be without faith? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me.” Verse 20. Then they brought him to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He said, “From childhood.” So from childhood days, this guy is suffering, this child is suffering like this. The spirit will come on him and throw him, foam at his mouth, he’ll gnash his teeth and so on.

Verse 22, “And often he has thrown him both into fire and water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” I said, this is a handpicked passage, because it teaches us a lot and the teaching mainly is this, look at what the man says, the father says. “But if You can do anything, have mercy on us, or have compassion on us, and help us.” If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us. Look at the answer Jesus gave. Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Now, most of the people that comment on this are pointing out that there is a play on words here. The father comes and says, “If you can do anything,” What is he saying? He says, “If you can do anything, please have compassion on us and help us.” What is Jesus saying? “If you can believe.” The father is saying, “If you can do anything,” Jesus is saying, “If you believe.” That's that. The Father is saying, “If you can do anything,” Jesus is saying, “Basically, really, I have nothing to do. If you believe... to him that believeth all things are possible.” He turns it around. He turns around the father’s statement which said, “If you can do anything,” and says, “If you believe.” It's not whether I can do something, it's if you believe.

See, that's very fundamental to faith. Faith is not based on what this man can do, that man can do. Whether this man has power, that man has power. See, that's the condition Christians are in today. They're going to every place where they can go trying to see if that man has power. Now I tell you even if the man had power, if you didn't have any faith, it's not going to do anything to you. It's not that that man has power, we must have the faith and that is why Jesus emphasizes more than His power that He has, or His ability to do things, He emphasizes their faith. That is why in the first instance, when the two men came to Him, the two blind men, He said, “Do you believe I'm able to do this?” They said, “Yes.” But then He said, “According to your faith.” It's not about my ability, but according to your faith, you believe it. That's the main thing. Because you have faith, according to your faith, let it be to you. And here the man says, “If you can do anything,” Jesus says, “No, no, no. If you can believe.” It's not if I can do anything, it's if you can believe. If you can believe all things are possible. This is how the Bible teaches. Everybody say, all things are possible if we can believe.

Now, somehow the church doesn't like to hear that. That all things are possible if we can believe. See, God has created man with power and authority. The Psalmist says, “What is man that Thou art mindful of him? You’ve put him over everything. He is the master over everything.” He is astonished at the status God has given to man. But Christians are surprised and they don't want to accept these things. They don't want to say all things are possible to him that believe. They think that is not Christianity. I say to you, that is Christianity because Christianity and the salvation through Jesus Christ, the cross, and all of this has to do with returning man to his original condition. Man is described as crowned with glory and honor. Placed above everything to be the lord and master over everything except God, over all the creation. That is why Jesus said, “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, ‘Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea,’ and shall not doubt in his heart, but believes that whatever he says will come to pass, he shall have whatever he says.” That is why the Psalmist says, “Oh, I'm amazed.” He says, “Astonished, because you made man like that.”

And that is why here it says to the poor man, that guy that's in a very hopeless condition, he thinks he's powerless, that someone's got to do something for him. He says, “Hey, you understand faith? If you believe all things are possible. All things are possible. If you can believe all things are possible, I say to you, that is why when a person believes in Jesus Christ, his sin is not just forgiven. Sin forgiveness is a small part of the salvation. Please understand. It is only a small part and we are very satisfied with that. We say 1000 thank you to God and we're satisfied that we finally go to heaven. But salvation is not just about forgiveness of our sin. Salvation is about us returning to the position that God put man in in the beginning. Salvation is returning us to power and authority. Salvation is to make us people of power and authority, that is what salvation is all about. So Jesus says, “If you can believe,” man comes saying, “If you can do anything,” Jesus turns around and says, “If you can believe.”

There are a couple of English translations, since this is an English audience, I can read the English translation. I even read it to the Tamil once and translated it for them. Couple of English translation says it very beautifully, American Standard Version gives this verse like that, after the fellow says, “If you can do anything, please have compassion on us and help us.” Look at Jesus’ answer. It's translated like this in American Standard. It says, “Yes,” said Jesus, “If you can!” Exclamation, if you can. If you can do anything, please have compassion and help us is the plea of man and Jesus says, “Yes, if you can, if you can.” In other words, if you can believe. “Yes, if you can.” Then He says, “All things are possible to the one who believes.” Good news translation is another wonderful translation. It says, Jesus says, yes to that man, when he said, if you can do anything, please have compassion and help us. Jesus says, “Yes, if you yourself can,” that's even better. If you yourself can, everything is possible for the person who has faith.” Everything is possible for the person who has faith, but that, ‘if you yourself can,’ is very powerful. They’ve understood the essence of what is happening there. If you yourself can. The father comes to Jesus thinking that here is a gifted man, a man from God, He's got all the power. He's seen healing here and there and heard about Him much. He thinks He can do it. But the whole emphasis is placed upon this man's faith where Jesus says, “If you yourself can.” I don't think the person thought that his faith even mattered. But Jesus says, “If you yourself can.” If you yourself can. Amazing.

See, salvation is a model for faith. How do you get saved? Romans chapter 10, verse 9 and 10 says, if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. That's verse 9. That's a classic scripture on salvation. How do you get saved? If someone comes, says, “I want to receive Christ as my Savior,” we say, “Confess Him with your mouth.” Confess Him as your Lord. Believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved, right? That man is coming because he's convicted and the Holy Spirit is dealing him and the whole thing happens by faith, he must confess with his mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in his heart that God raised Him from the dead. How do you exercise faith for other things? The same thing, confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. How do you receive healing? Confess with your mouth, believe in your heart? How do you receive deliverance? Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. You did it at the starting point at salvation but you do it now every time as you exercise your faith. This is the basic exercise of faith. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart. This is how faith works.

Salvation is a model for faith but not only that. Look at salvation. God wills that nobody should perish, but everybody should come into the knowledge of God. But look at how many people perished. Like I said, the people of Israel perished in the wilderness. One generation perished except Joshua and Caleb. They perished in the wilderness. Why? Because that proves that even though it is the complete perfect will of God for them to go to the promised land, and God told them, “I'm going to take you to a vast and a good land. Land flowing with milk and honey,” But He didn't take them. They died in the wilderness. Why? Because even though it is the perfect will and plan and purpose of God, it didn't happen. Why? Because things don't happen in our lives. Please listen, things don't happen in our life is because it is the perfect will of God or it is the plan of God, it is the purpose of God. It doesn't just automatically happen. Things don't happen, or we don't receive from God just because we need certain things. And God knows we need. Things don't happen because these things are good and right and just and therefore, it must be done to me in that way. No, we don't receive anything just because it's the perfect will of God and plan of God and purpose of God. Then how do we receive? We receive everything by faith. Everything by faith. That's the way we're supposed to live.

It doesn't happen just because it's the will... Just imagine if everything is happening according to the will of God that's what some people think it will happen. If it's the will of God, it will happen. Now, if the will of God is done in everybody's life, and it happens, then, at least all the Christians will be so wonderful, their life will be so blessed. They'll be blessed in every way. But the fact is, it's not. Why? Because just to say that the will of God is this, therefore it will happen to me automatically is wrong. Yes, the will of God is important that is established and when we read the Bible, we know the will of God. But unless you act by faith, to possess what God has given to you, it will never happen to you. It will never happen to you. See, that's the Bible teaching.

Now, when we teach on things like that, there's a big grievance or accusation about this. That is, they say, well, these teachings, they don't understand that there are certain aspects of God's blessing that are there for now and there are certain aspects of God's blessing that is there for eternity. In Christian teaching there is something called now and not yet. There are blessings you enjoy now, there are blessings that you don't enjoy now. You have to wait. It's not yet. You don't enjoy it, yet. You enjoy it only in eternity. So these people they don't know where the line stops. They don't know the line between the now and the not yet so they think that not yet things are to be applied now. No, we're not teaching like that. I understand now, and not yet very clearly. Let me give you some examples about now and not yet.

Now, for example, sin. If you take sin, we're living in a world of sin. Sin is always around us. We are living in the presence of sin, surrounded by sin everywhere. And I hope you realize that. But we as Christians expect to overcome sin, live above that sin and live victoriously over that sin. We need the word of God and the help of the Holy Spirit every day, because it's a sinful world, sin is all around us. Everywhere you turn it's there, but we are God's holy people, chosen people, therefore we must live above sin. Is that now or not yet? It is now. What aspect of the sin is not yet? What the aspect belongs to the not yet? You know what belongs to the not yet? In the eternity there will not be any sin at all to deal with. The presence of sin itself will be removed. Now the penalty of sin is removed through Jesus Christ. The power of sin is overcome through the word and the Holy Spirit. We are delivered from the power of sin and from the penalty of sin through Jesus Christ. But in future, in eternity, the presence of sin itself will be removed. That is now and not yet. I’m not saying we're living in heaven now.

When we talk about to these kinds of things people say, “Well, you're not in heaven. Please remember, you're on earth.” Well, I know very well we are on earth. I am on earth but still, I believe that in this sinful earth, I can live for God, free from sin, overcoming sin every day, by the help of the Holy Spirit, by the word of God, right? Secondly, another example Satan. Satan is a factor of now. In Ephesians 6, I taught verse by verse Ephesians 6 about spiritual warfare. Why spiritual warfare is a subject matter now, because we got to deal with this fellow called the devil. He is the reason behind a lot of problems. He's causing a lot of confusion. He's working on people's minds, and thoughts and hearts and emotions, and is working in societies and countries and so on. So we got to know his ways, we got to understand how we works so that we can be aware of this and overcome and be cautious and not be caught in his trap. So we examine the ways in which the devil works and he's an old devil, he doesn't have any new tricks and he's not that smart also. He’s doing the same old thing again, and that's why we learn from the Bible how he works, right? But in the future, in the not yet, in eternity, there will not be a devil to deal with. Just imagine what kind of life it will be when there is no devil. If there was no devil now it will be heaven here. You remove that one fellow everything will be solved. But the problem is we got him. Right? But in eternity he’ll not be there. We’ll be free from all that he does.

Take for example, sickness. Hello. Sickness. The world is full of sickness because it is a sin cursed world. Sickness has become a reality and a factor. That's why so many hospitals are there, they're not enough, we need more. We need more doctors, we need more hospitals, we need all the medicines and all that because otherwise, people will die. Diseases are attacking from everywhere. You don't have to go and get any sickness, it’ll come to you wherever you are. If you just drink water will come to you. You just breathe air it’ll come to you. That's the way it is because it's a sin cursed world. Sickness is all around us. But if you get sick, when you get sick, do you just pack your bags and say, “Lord, I think it's ready to go to heaven because now that I'm sick I think it's the will of God that I just go away to heaven”? No, I don't. I was at the point of death one time about 11 years ago in the hospital about to die and I insisted I want to live because I got a work to do here. I can’t go. I got to live here. Sometimes you got to fight for your life against sickness. You got to stand up and fight, you got to exercise your faith, apply your faith. Faith is for that. You got to say, “No, in the name of Jesus I will not die but I will live and show forth the glory of God.”

If you're ready and packed and say, “Lord, please take me,” then I'm sure He'll be glad to take you. But everybody around here will miss you so don't go. Be here as long as you can. As long as you can be effective and powerfully represent Jesus Christ on this earth and do things for God and live for God in this world, for the glory of God. Accomplish what God has called you to do. And then you can just close your eyes and say, “Lord, I'm ready,” and you'll go. Hello. Are you there? We believe in healing for sickness. When sickness comes we don't just fold up and die and say, the chapter is closed. No, we open a new chapter. A new chapter of healing and a new future, a new tomorrow, everything changes. We experience God in a new way. We experience the miracles of God, healing from God, all of these things happen to us, because we stand by faith, right?

Now, you can accuse me of teaching wrong if I taught saying, “You'll never die,” which I don't. I know that some people do, but I don't. We don't teach saying that we’ll never die. The Bible says that we will die. It is appointed for every man to die in this world. So that is a not yet aspect. The never die comes later on in eternity, where we’ll live with God forevermore, and never die. Death will be no more, the Bible says. No more death. What a wonderful world it will be. As a pastor, one of the things I do is go to funerals and so on. And every time I go to a funeral, I wish for the day when there will be no more funerals. That there'll be no more few funerals. And I tell you, that day is coming. Not now but it's coming. So we are not confused about what is available now and what is available for the future. We are very clear about what is available now. Suppose somebody put $100 million dollars or 100 crores to you in the bank. Now sit up straight, I know you listen now. Somebody put 100 crores in the bank for you. And the deal is you can’t have it now. But every month you can draw some interest from it so that all your needs will be supplied

through that interest. You know what 100 crores will bring to you every month? They say if you had 1 crore they'll give you 55,000 rupees a month just multiply it by 100, that's what you'll get every month. 55,000 times 100 is what? 55 lakhs. You think that's too little. How many of you think that will supply all your needs in this life now.

Now you're not now going to sit down and act like you're stricken with poverty and you don't have anything because the man who’s put the 100 crores has said you can’t touch it. No, he has said you can enjoy some parts of it now, the interest on it now. Don't touch the principal but you can have the interest on it now. And since the interest itself is so much, I will be rejoicing now. Hello. I'm just living on interest of the richness of God's grace that has been provided to me through Jesus Christ our Lord. I'm withdrawing from the interest. I'm drawing every month, every day, every moment, every second from the rich resources that God has put for me. There are some things that I can't touch now, that I can’t have now. I understand, I'm not confused about that. I know very clearly that there are some things only it can be enjoyed in the future. But I am sure that there are things that I can enjoy now, it belongs to me now. I don't need to sit down here and starve and die now because there is plenty of resources that God has made available for me through Jesus Christ, for my spirit, for my soul, and for my body. For every aspect of my life, God has provided richly because I'm a child of God, and you are a child of God and God's love and God's grace has provided everything.

That's the message. How I can make the withdrawal? By faith. Have you been withdrawing? Some people have never withdrawn because they don't know it's in the bank. It's there. It's there. Health is there, every kind of blessing is there for your spirit, soul and body, for everything that you need, you can withdraw every day, in the midst of every challenge, every difficulty, every need you have. There is more than enough to withdraw from the rich resources of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Shall we all stand together? Amen. Let's lift up our hands and give thanks to God. So we're going to hear about faith every week, every single week. If our faith matters so much, then you better spend the time hearing about faith and learning about faith because that's what matters. If you don't know about faith, then you miss out on a lot. If you know about faith, then you can really live for God because there is only one way to live and that is by faith and without faith you cannot please God. Amen.

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