Many of the sermons I hear; many of the prayers I hear and many of the conversation between believers start with:
- We believe in divine healing, but…
- We believe in the baptism in the Holy Ghost, but…
- We believe in miracles, but…
- We believe in deliverance from demon power, but…
- We believe in sanctification, but…
- We believe in heaven, but…
- We believe in hell, but…
- We believe in the virgin birth, but…
- We believe in the resurrection, but…
- We believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life; but…
- We believe in the Great Commission, but…
We believe that sex is reserved for marriage, but…
- We believe in the tithe, but…
…but… is not a statement of faith.
…but… is our disclaimer or excuse for why God will not do or is not doing what His Word says in our lives or our church.
Many of the things that keep us from embracing the Word of God, the doctrines of the Bible, the power of the Holy Spirit and the character of Christ have to do with our pride, our lust and our unconfessed sin.
As a Christian, you cannot come away from an honest reading of both Old and New Testaments and not believe in the things listed above. These are some of the foundational truths of the Bible. It is our faith and practice of these things that takes us out of reliance upon ourselves and demands that we live in reliance upon God.
The greatest obstacle to salvation is always the need to realize; 1. You are condemned and, 2. You cannot save yourself.
“One cannot intelligently and heartily ask or accept a pardon until he sees and feels the fact and justice of his condemnation.” Charles Finney
The modern Christian struggles with many of the same things that the Galatian Christians struggled with in the first century.
How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (Galatians 3:3)
We are not responsible to produce the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. We are not responsible for the acceptance of the gospel when it is preached. We are responsible to pray, believe, speak and act expecting God to manifest Himself. “Supernatural” means beyond your ability; beyond that which is natural. The Christian life is dependent upon the supernatural.
- Salvation is the work of God
- Healing is the work of God
- The Baptism in the Holy Ghost is the work of God
- Deliverance from demon power is the work of God
- Sanctification is the work of God
- Miracles are the works of God
It is these works of God that make faith in Jesus Christ so powerful. It is the miracle of God’s Spirit taking up residence in us; regenerating us; changing us; using us and flowing through us that causes the unbelieving world to witness the power of the gospel.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
You cannot live a life of faith and produce fruit if you are always preparing yourself or others not to receive the promises of God. I just have to say it, “the atmosphere of expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.”
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Our pride must die.
Living in the Spirit, believing the Word of God and fulfilling the call of God on your life is going to alienate some unbelievers, some friends, some family members, some co-workers and even some Christians. Who we are in Christ and who Christ is in us must be more important than who we are in any other arena.
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)
Our lives must reflect Jesus.
Many of the reasons that strong Biblical truths on holiness, financial stewardship, Christian responsibility are not proclaimed from our pulpits is because they are not lived in our lives. We have disclaimed the truth of God through hypocrisy in our own lives. This also has to cease. Far too often we let the little foxes spoil the vine. Truth remains truth; regardless of our acceptance, belief or obedience to it. There is a great need for these truths to be proclaimed in our churches and in our countries. In order for Christians to do so, we must first repent and allow God to clean our own lives.
But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)
So be happy when you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? (1 Peter 4:14-17)
You cannot clean your own life post salvation, just as you could not save yourself. It takes the Blood of Jesus, the Truth of the Word of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit to change our lives.
So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:6-9)
Your faith does not need a disclaimer if your faith is placed in the Jesus Christ of the Bible. Allow Him to work in you and work through you. It is the power and presence of God that makes the Word become flesh.
I will leave you with one last thought.
If we feel the need to disclaim God in our lives or in our churches in the present can we honestly say we expect to live forever in the heaven spoken of in scripture?