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WE WIN WITH WORDS
A. Introduction: We have been talking about the fact that it is God's plan for our lives that we become His sons and daughters and then be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Eph 1:4,5; Rom 8:29
1. You become a literal son of God when you are born again. However, becoming fully conformed to the image of Christ is a process. I John 5:1; 3:2
a. When you are born again, God makes you like Jesus in your spirit by putting His life in you.
I John 5:11,12; II Pet 1:4
b. At the rapture of the Church, Jesus will make your body like His glorified body. Phil 3:21
c. While you live here on earth, it is God's will that the new life in your spirit come to dominate you -- that is, change the way you think, feel, and act, so that you live like Jesus lived when He was on this earth.
2. While we are on this earth, we are to act like Jesus, demonstrating His character and His power.
I John 2:6; John 14:12
a. That is possible now, because we are in union with Christ and have His life in us.
b. That means His ability is now in us to enable us to live as God wants us to live. Eph 2:10;
3. In the last lesson, we looked at some facts about how Jesus lived when He was on this earth.
a. While on earth, Jesus did not cease to be God, but, He did not live as God. He put aside His rights and privileges as God. He veiled His deity. Phil 2:6-8
b. While on earth, Jesus lived as a man filled with the life of the Father, united to the Father, and anointed by the Holy Spirit. John 5:26; 6:57; 14:10; Acts 10:38
4. When we examine Jesus' life in the Gospels, we see that Jesus knew who and what He was (according to God's testimony), said who and what He was, and then acted like who and what He was.
a. The key factor in the way Jesus lived on earth was the word of God.
b. Jesus knew what His Father said about Him. He accepted His Father's testimony about Himself -- despite contrary evidence.
c. Then, He spoke and acted in agreement with His Father's words.
d. We must learn to do the same thing if we are going to walk as Jesus walked.
5. In this lesson, we want to continue to talk about the importance of knowing what God says and then saying it, too.
B. One of the things Jesus did while on earth was show us the value of words.
1. On earth, Jesus used words to do things -- heal the sick, raise the dead, calm storms, multiply loaves and fishes.
a. Jesus repeatedly said He spoke the Father's words and did the Father's works. John 5:19; 7:16; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10
b. Jesus' word was the Father's word. Jesus spoke it, lived it, acted it -- and that made it a living thing in His experience.
2. That is what we are to do in our lives. We speak God's word and He brings the reality to pass in our lives (gives us the experience).
3. Salvation, redemption, becomes a reality in our lives when we speak it out. Rom 10:9,10
4. We are called to live and walk by faith. Words are a vital part of faith.
a. God expresses His faith when He speaks. He believes what He speaks, and He believes it will do what He says. Isa 55:10,11
b. Jer 1:12--Hasten means to be alert, i.e. sleeplessness; to be on the alert.
1. An almond tree is the first to flower in that region (in January), and it is the first to bring forth fruit (in March) when the other trees are only beginning to bud.
2. It is a symbol of the promptitude (on timeness) of God fulfilling His word.
c. Mark 11:12-23--Jesus believed that what He said would come to pass.
d. II Cor 4:13--We believe, therefore we speak. Faith is expressed through words.
e. The fight of faith is a fight of words. We win with words. Rev 12:11
5. Paul told Timothy to fight the good fight of faith. I Tim 6:12
a. In the fight of faith, Timothy made a profession of eternal life before many. What did he do?
b. Without a doubt, he preached the gospel. But, there is more to it than preaching the gospel.
6. I Tim 6:13--Paul tells us that Jesus also made a good confession (like Timothy did).
a. What did Jesus confess before Pilate? He confessed unseen realities about who and what He was. John 18:33-37
b. Confession means to say the same thing God says (Greek = HOMOLOGIA).
7. Heb 11 lists OT saints who are commended for living by faith.
a. v13-16--Tells us that they lived by unseen facts revealed to them by God.
b. They confessed (said the same thing God said) who and what they were according to unseen facts.
8. To live by faith means to live by unseen realities which have been revealed to us in God's word.
a. What does it mean to live by unseen realities? It means you base your words and your actions on unseen information.
b. The fight of faith is holding fast to your profession of faith -- saying the same thing God says despite contrary evidence. Heb 4:14; 10:23
9. Heb 13:5,6--God has said some things so that we may say those things. Why? So that He can give us the experience.
a. Faith is acting on God's word without any sense evidence.
b. Faith is the action you take, based on what God has said, in the face of sense evidence.
c. Faith is the word of God prevailing over sense evidence in your life.
10. That is how God works in our lives. He says. We believe and speak. He brings it to pass. He makes the results visible (perceptible to the senses).
C. When you were born again, you became a believer.
1. Believers have faith through their union with Christ. Rom 12:3; Mark 11:22 (faith of God)
a. Now, that faith must be developed. The development of our faith comes from feeding on God's word. Rom 10:17
b. The integrity of the word of God feeds our faith. The Bible is God speaking to me now. He is back of, behind, every word He speaks.
2. Your faith is also developed as you act on it -- obey it and speak it and confess it.
a. Saying what God says (confessing God's word) helps the reality of God's word dawn on you.
b. Saying what God says (confessing God's word) will bring you to the point where the unreality of the word (the unseen realm) is gone and the truth dominates you and your situation.
3. The confession of your lips that has grown out of faith in your heart will defeat the devil in every combat. We win with words.
4. You must get control of your mouth and say what God says about you and your situation. There are two aspects to that.
a. You do need special times of confession where you thoughtfully repeat what God says (or, meditate in His word). Josh 1:8
b. Those times of confession will do no good if, in your everyday conversation, your words contradict God's word.
c. I know what the Bible says, but = I know a source of information which is more reliable than God's word.
5. Getting control of our mouth is very difficult for a number of reasons.
a. It is hard to recognize contrary talk in ourselves -- we always have good reasons for saying what we say.
b. Our speech is a life long habit, and, in many cases, we aren't even aware of how negative we are, how contrary to God's word our thoughts and speech are.
6. Let's look at a few examples of some “Yes, buts” in the Bible to help us identify areas in our own lives where we put sense evidence above God's word.
a. Num 13:26-33--Yes, Lord, but there are giants and walled cities in the land.
b. Matt 18:22-35--Yes, Lord, but he keeps offending me.
c. Luke 5:1-7--Yes, Lord, but we've worked all night.
d. John 6:5-14--Yes, Lord, but there's not enough food to feed everyone.
e. John 11:1-45--Yes, Lord, but he stinks.
7. We aren't talking about making a list of confession rules. You CAN say this, you CAN'T say that!
a. I'm asking you to consider this point: What are you giving testimony to or evidence of in your life when you talk -- the seen or the unseen?
b. I'm tired; I don't feel well; my head hurts = you are getting all your information from the sense realm and you're building it into your consciousness.
c. Or -- what a jerk; you idiot; did you see what he did to me?; he has no right to do that; how dare he = you're getting all your information from the sense realm and you are building it into your consciousness.
d. Or -- nothing ever goes right for me; this is hopeless; everything is against me; I always get in the slow line = you're getting all your information from the sense realm and you are building it into your consciousness.
8. What you want to do, need to do, is build an awareness of the unseen facts from God's word into your consciousness. You do that by speaking them.
D. Last week we looked at the account in Matthew where Jesus spoke to a fig tree and killed it. Jesus said we can do that, too. Matt 21:17-22
1. Since killing fig trees is not a pressing priority for most of us, what does this have to do with real life?
2. This incident shows us the power of words spoken by one who has been authorized to speak the word of God -- as we have been and are.
3. Killing fig trees with words is not something you can turn off and on when you need it. That's why it doesn't work for most people.
a. A need arises for which we suddenly have to act based on unseen information. But, we are in the habit of living only by what we see or by a mixture of seen and unseen. It's very difficult to shift gears suddenly, especially under emotional duress.
b. We go through the motions (make the right confessions) but, the unseen is not a reality to us. And, our efforts are a desperate attempt to get God to move on our behalf rather than faith.
4. James 3:2-4--We must get control of, we can get control of, the words that come out of our mouth. Here are a few suggestions.
a. Recognize that we need to and can improve in this area.
b. Become aware of how you talk. Our words are acceptable to us because we have good reasons for saying what we say. But, our contrary words are no more right than if someone else said them.
c. If you have a problem area, an area where you struggle, begin to speak God's word in and to that area.
d. If you are using words like: never, ever, always, etc. (generalizations) -- unless you are quoting scriptures -- you are probably saying something you shouldn't be saying.
e. Don't talk about what you see and feel. Talk about what God says.
1. That doesn't mean we can't talk about problems. We have to talk about problems. But, for most of us, if we cut that talk in half, we'd probably still talk too much about the problem.
2. When you talk about the difficulties, talk in terms of God's word.
5. Jesus said we will have what we say if we believe it in our heart and doubt not. Mark 11:23
a. To believe with the heart means to believe independent of sense information.
b. To doubt in your heart means to accept sense information above what God says.
6. When you learn to talk in line with unseen realities as a habit, you build God's word into your spirit, your consciousness.
a. And, eventually, you reach a point where the unseen is so real to you, it doesn't matter what you see or feel.
b. You reach the point where fig trees start to die. You win the fight of faith with words. We win with words -- so speak them!!