Gordon H. Richards
Copyright © 2003-2005
Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:8 “Freely you have received, freely give.” Although this material is copyrighted, I freely give you permission to make photocopies, electronic or all other types of copies of this material for distribution, providing credit is given to Love Without Borders Ministries Inc. In the event that the material is translated into another language the author would appreciate it if a copy of the translation is sent to him at the following address:
FAITH FOR ANSWERED PRAYER
God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34), because He honors divine
faith. Every one of us who has accepted Jesus Christ as his
personal Savior has been given a measure of divine faith, see Romans
12:3 and Ephesians 2:8.
Mark 4:28 The earth yields crops by itself: FIRST the blade, THEN the head, AFTER THAT the full grain in the head.
You must realize that there are several levels of faith. Faith is progressive. God increases your faith in the same manner as is seen in the above verse. First the blade is visible, but before it became visible the root system had to start. As your faith is grounded more in the promises of God you will see a greater amount of faith available. You are able to believe that God is able to accomplish greater things in your life.
It is possible to become discouraged when you do not receive something you are praying for, if it is BEYOND YOUR LEVEL OF FAITH. You could possibly tell your friends that these faith teachings do not work. The problem could be that you are praying for something, and your level of faith for THAT ITEM is insufficient. One time the disciples came to Jesus to ask Him to increase their faith. They wanted to get to a higher level of faith, see Luke 17:5.
We can increase our faith by:
1. Studying your Bible
2. Believing what you read
3. Understanding what you believe, see Isaiah 6:9, Matthew 13:14, 19, Mark 4:12
4. Acting upon what you believe.
You need to get your focus off the problems that are affecting you, and put your focus on the promises of God. Your motto should become:
“GOD IS ABLE.”
FAITH FOR ANSWERED PRAYER
UNANSWERED PRAYER stands between the person and the faith life. The greatest difficulty in our Christian walk is: “I HAVEN’T ENOUGH FAITH.”
WHAT IS FAITH?
Hebrews 11:1 It is the confident assurance that something we want is
going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is
waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. (Living
MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN
The dollar is the only medium of exchange in the United States. Good
works, church attendance, paying tithes, or praying, etc., are not
the mediums of exchange between God and man, only faith. Without
faith it is impossible to please God.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Faith is grasping the unrealities of human hope and bringing them into reality. This is claiming and using the promises that are in the Bible and making them good for now. God expects you to believe and act on the promises He has given you.
INTEGRITY OF THE BIBLE BUILDS FAITH
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by
no means pass away.
The Scripture must become a part of you. You must live and practice it so that the Word of God becomes second nature to you. God expects you to study His Word on a daily basis so that His promises are transferred from your mind to your spirit.
The three main kinds of faith are:
1. Human faith
2. Faith of the senses
3. Divine faith, or the faith of God
In Matthew 14:31 Jesus talks about having little faith. Strong’s Concordance, (see reference number 3640), shows you that “of little faith” means “lacking confidence in Christ.” The more you study your Bible, the more you will see your confidence in Jesus increase.
Human faith is very important in this world. The businesses of the
world, our money systems, or credit cards are all based on human
faith. The guarantees of the products we use are based on human
faith. This kind of faith will not get our prayers answered.
When you fly in an airplane, you seldom are acquainted with the pilot, but have confidence that he or she will take you to your destination. You don’t check the pilot’s credentials or try to find out his flying record. Why? You have confidence that the airline has done a good job for you. You have placed your confidence in the crew, because you are using human faith.
On a road during one of our trips in East Africa in 1945, I had to check every bridge we came to, to see if it was safe. Three of the bridges proved to be very unsafe, because of the white ants in the region. Why don’t people check bridges before they drive over them today? We are not afraid to use them because they have used material that is not affected by white ants. Once again we are using human faith, which places confidence in the work of the people who construct the roads.
FAITH OF THE SENSES
John 6:30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform
then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?”
The second kind of faith is based on what we see or feel, etc. This kind of faith will get your prayers answered only after you see someone else get the answer to their prayers. All Christians began with divine faith. Most of them are now using faith of the senses because they are not filling their spirits with the promises of God on a frequent basis. This is the kind of faith that Thomas used after the resurrection.
“Lord I Believe.” Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed, John 20:29.
John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 29. Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
FAITH OF GOD
The third kind of faith is the FAITH OF GOD. It is not
“FAITH IN GOD” but the faith that God gives you, which is
DIVINE FAITH. Each one of us is given a portion of God’s
faith when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. It then
becomes necessary to use His faith, or else we will lose
it and go back to using faith of the senses.
One way to understand the use of divine faith better is to compare it to the way you use money. At a shop you pay for things with money. The money you use will depend on the country you are in. God does not want your money in exchange for answering your prayers. If God did want your money in order to have your prayers answered, you would be “earning” the answer to your prayers, because you are buying them with your money. You receive answers to your prayers, because you use divine faith, which is the only acceptable thing to God for answers to prayer. You become displeasing to the Lord when you do not use His faith. Making “a deal” with the Lord, is a vow when it is used to get prayers answered. It can be called a type of barter system, because it is used in place of faith, see Hebrews 11:6.
God gives all of us a measure of divine faith when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. The faith of God is stored in our spirit. Human faith is stored in our mind. Our spirit becomes filled with the faith of God in direct proportion to how much time we spend studying our Bibles.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
After salvation, the following things are necessary for you to do in order for God to give you more of His faith:
1. Studying your Bible
2. Believing what you read
3. Understanding what you believe, see Isaiah 6:9, Matthew 13:14, 19, Mark 4:12
4. Acting upon what you believe.
Reading the Bible without believing will not increase your faith.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
The world will try to destroy the Faith of God in you. Satan, who is a liar, will try to make your faith ineffective by putting doubts in your mind. This is the way he caused Eve to fall into temptation in the beginning, see Genesis 3:1-7. The original sin was doubt or unbelief. Adam and Eve doubted God’s word. They did not believe that He meant what He said, and then took the forbidden fruit. Today Satan comes to us and tries to steal our faith by telling us that the promises of God are not for us. He wants us to believe that they may only apply to someone else. Remember, God shows no partiality (Acts 10:34). Each one of us can, and must, depend on His promises.
Jesus comes as a revelation of truth, and you come to know Him better through studying and believing the Bible. You must act on His words. After a while you begin to find that acting on what Jesus said, and the Father said, becomes as natural as acting on the word of the person for whom you are working.
When your actions correspond with the teachings of the Bible, faith will become an unconscious reality. You will see God’s ability to meet your needs, instead of only focusing on your needs. By changing the words in the following verses and putting them in the “first person” you begin to see that Jesus expects you to do the believing if you want to receive.
Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to me, seek and I will find; knock and it will be opened to me.
Matthew 17:20 Jesus says to me, “If I have faith as a mustard seed, I will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for me.”
Mark 9:23 Jesus says to me, “If I can believe, all things are possible to me who believes.”
Mark 11:22 Jesus answers and says to me, “Have the faith of God.” 23. For assuredly He says to me, when I say to this mountain, “Go throw yourself into the sea,” and if I don’t doubt in my heart, but believe that those things which I say will come to pass, I will have whatever I say. 24. Therefore Jesus says to me, whatever things I ask when I pray, believe that I receive them, and I will have them.
John 14:12 Most assuredly Jesus says to me, if I believe in Him, the works that He does, I will do also; and greater works than these will I do, because He goes to His Father. 13. And whatever I ask in His name, that will He do, THAT THE FATHER MAY BE GLORIFIED IN THE SON. 14. If I ask anything in Jesus’ name, He will do it.
John 16:23 And in that day I will ask Him nothing. Most assuredly He says to me, whatever I ask the Father, in His name, He will give me. 24. Until now I have asked nothing in His name. Ask and I will receive, that my joy may be full.
YOUR CONFESSIONS RULE YOU
Frequently negative confessions are contrary to God’s promises in
His Word for you. Examples are: Sickness: Isaiah 53:5;
Lacking ability: Philippians 4:13; Lacking money,
Philippians 4:19; or Lacking health, etc., Exodus
15:26, Psalm 103:5.
YOUR WORDS CAN STOP FAITH FROM WORKING IN YOU. God cannot work in the life of a person who is using a negative confession. Examples are: “I’m afraid it won’t work,” “My back is killing me,” “You children are driving me crazy,” and “My feet are killing me.” You unconsciously plant seeds of fear and doubt in your spirit when you constantly use negative confessions. Your words MUST be changed if you want faith to work.
Proverbs 6:2 You are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.
Two boys were playing on a hillside when they noticed the sun was about to set. “See how far the sun has gone!” exclaimed one of the boys. “A little while ago it was right over that tree; now it is low down in the sky.” The other boy replied, “Only it is not the sun that moves, of course, it is the earth. Do you remember, Father told us that?” The first little boy shook his head. “The sun did move for I saw it,” he argued, “and the earth did not move for I have been standing on it all the time. I BELIEVE WHAT I SEE!” he exclaimed triumphantly.
His brother replied, “BUT I BELIEVE FATHER.” In a similar way, faith must make a choice. You cannot look at appearances and examine your feelings, and have the faith of God at the same time.
CONFESS THAT HE IS LORD
When you confess that He is Lord of your life, and live what you
have confessed, you will find that this will be the end of
worry, fear and doubt, and the beginning of a walk of faith. You
will not mature overnight, but will find that the faith of God will
continually increase as you study His Word and apply the promises of
the Bible in your life. You must also expect God to honor His
Word. The words of your mouth must be backed up with what you
believe in your spirit. You will not see results if you are only
using positive words, which are not backed up by the faith of God.
A good idea would be for you to get a note book. Every time you find a promise in the Bible, you should write it in the first person. You need to see the promises over and over again. Remember: you need to hear something at least fifteen times to transfer it from your mind to your spirit. Some people need to hear the same thing thirty times. Unfortunately there are those who have to hear something two hundred times, because they have been believing against it. The more you read God’s promises for you in your notebook, the more they will enter your spirit.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
CONFESS THAT HIS WORD IS TRUE
Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to
His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Many Christians have claimed Philippians 4:19, but have no claim or right to it. Verse nineteen is conditional. You have to plant before you can expect a harvest. Since the Philippian Church had planted into Paul’s ministry, he could now promise them that God would meet their own needs. This would represent part of the harvest for the seeds that they had planted in his ministry. The above verse is primarily a promise for those who have planted in the ministry of people working in God’s harvest field. God is teaching us the process of sowing so that we can have an abundant harvest when we need it. We will then be in a position to meet our own need, as well as meet the needs of others, from the harvest we receive.
GOD IS NOT MOVED BY NEED. If this were the case, He would bless only where the need is the greatest. The people in various countries who are starving to death, because of severe drought, would be greatly blessed. God would move only in the poor areas of our cities, and not in the wealthy areas. God does not respond to need, because He responds to faith, which is working in complete obedience to the Word.
In the parable of the sower, Matthew 13:1-23, seventy five percent of the places where the seed fell, produced no crop. Many people have planted into different ministries, and have not received any harvest. God has no intention of blessing many places where seed is planted, because the leaders are not in the center of the will of the Lord. Before you plant, you must find out what the will of the Lord is for you, otherwise you may not see a harvest.
Divine faith from God comes only by studying the Bible, believing God’s promises, and acting upon them. This type of faith is the result of the Bible becoming a part of you. This does not mean that you must put it to memory - although that will help - but lived and practiced until it becomes a part of your nature.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the POWER THAT WORKS IN US.
The book of Psalms gives you a good view of how David made God’s promises a big part of his life. Later in life God called him a man after His own heart. David’s brothers measured themselves to the giant, and realized that they were very small when compared to him. David measured God to the giant, and now the giant was extremely small.
When your problem seems to be extremely large, start looking to the Lord, Who is far greater than your problems. Look for promises in the Scriptures to bring to the Lord to overcome the problems.
PRAYING IN GOD’S WILL
It is imperative that you pray in the will of God, otherwise you
could be asking for things that could be harmful. You may also be
coveting something that is not God’s will. Picture in your mind
that a ship is entering a harbor late at night. On the shore are
four green lights that the ship lines up with. If the pilot steers
his ship in a straight line toward the four lights he will not hit
the rocks. We have four things that we can look at to determine the
will of God:
1. The Word of God
2. The guidance of the Holy Spirit
Suppose two 13-year-old young people fall in love. They come to their parents and say they want to get married. What does the Bible teach about marriage? The Bible states that marriage is a good thing. The Holy Spirit may say that they will get married someday. What do the parents say? They say that they will make a good couple. We now have three green lights. But what does timing say? Timing says they are too young to get married. They must wait. God will line up all four lights for us when it is His will and timing.
WILL THERE BE TIMES WHEN IT’S NOT GOD’S WILL TO REMOVE THE PROBLEM?
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various
trials, 3. knowing that the testing of your faith produces
patience. 4. But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect (MATURE) and complete, lacking
The word “perfect” refers to being mature. God expects you to develop maturity. This comes when you go through the problems with patience, instead of using your faith and DEMANDING that God remove the problem. When you are praying out of His will you will find that you will have to go through the problem another time. Trouble, or problems will not produce faith, because it produces patience, which in turn produces maturity. As you become spiritually mature the latter part of James 1:4 is fulfilled - you become complete and God provides your needs.
FAITH IS STOPPED WHEN FELLOWSHIP IS BROKEN
By changing the words in the following verses and putting them in
the “first person” you begin to see that Jesus expects you to do
the believing if you want to receive.
John 15:7 If I abide in Jesus and His words abide in me, I can ask whatever I desire, and it will be done for me. 16. I did not choose Jesus but he chose me and appointed me that I should go and bear fruit, and that my fruit should remain, that whatever I ask the Father in Jesus’ name, He will give me.
You are to bring forth fruit, and as this fruit continues, you can bring your needs to God. Ask the Father in the name of Jesus, and He will give the answers to you. The four types of fruit are:
1. Righteousness: Philippians 1:11.
2. Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23.
3. Salvation: Romans 1:13.
4. Your lips - praise: Hebrews 13:15.
James 4:3 I ask and do not receive, because I ask amiss, that I may spend it on my pleasures.
1 John 3:21 Beloved, if my heart does not condemn me, I have confidence toward God. 22. And whatever I ask I receive from Him, because I keep His commandments and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
In 1 Peter 3:7-12 you see that when you are out of unity with your spouse, answers to your prayers are stopped. Lack of unity stops faith from working in your lives. Sin is another thing that will also stop answers. Verse 12 brings out that the ears of the Lord are open to the righteous.
Psalm 66:18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened. (New Living Translation)
Divine Faith counts every promise of God valid. Every one of us who have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior have been given a measure of faith. Start using the faith God has given you. Expect Him to honor His Word as you quote His promises, using His divine faith in your spirit. The faith of God will break through all of the concrete of doubt and fear to receive the promises of God.
HOW CAN I GET THE FAITH OF GOD?
There are many people in the world who claim to be Christians. They feel that because they were born in a Christian home, or country they are Christians. Others claim that they are Christians because they belong to some church organization. None of these things qualify us to be Christians, and neither will they qualify us to escape the Great Tribulation. Suppose my parents were on their way to the hospital just before I was born, and on the way my parents had car trouble. My father drove the car into a garage to have the mechanic fix it, and I was born during the time they were working on the car. Since, in this illustration, I was born in a garage, does that make me a car? No, it does not! Neither does a person, who is born in a Christian home, automatically become a Christian. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian will go up in the Rapture, and escape the Great Tribulation. It will only be the ones who have a close, or intimate relationship with the Lord, who will be able to go with Him, when He comes for us.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A CHILD OF GOD?
Many religious organizations claim that they have the way to get to heaven. Their idea is that there are many ways to heaven. Jesus stated that HE WAS THE ONLY WAY. John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
You deceive yourself when you depend on another way to heaven. God expects you to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, ask Him to forgive you of your sins, to change your life and make you a child of His.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, (fearful) unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
NO ONE CAN SAVE HIMSELF BY KEEPING THE LAW
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have BELIEVED IN CHRIST JESUS, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
YOU CANNOT GET SAVED BY GOOD WORKS
Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9. NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.
JESUS HAS REDEEMED US!
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.
SALVATION COMES THROUGH ACCEPTING JESUS AS OUR SAVIOR
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 10:13 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Acts 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 36. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Romans 10:9 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. 10. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. 11. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
HOW DO I RECEIVE SALVATION?
We do not receive salvation by our feelings, because we receive it through faith. The first thing I need to do is to believe that Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind and that He paid the price for the forgiveness of my sins. The next thing I need to do is to ask Him to forgive me of my sins.
Would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and have the assurance that when you leave this life you will go to be with God? If you do, please repeat the following prayer:
“Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Jesus. I ask You to forgive me of my sins. I ask You to change my life, give me a new nature, and make me Your child.
Give me the power to live for You the rest of my life. I ask You to fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
I thank You that You have heard my prayer and that now I am Your child. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.”
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY SINS?
If you sincerely prayed the above prayer, and believed what you prayed, you are now a child of God. God has completely forgiven you of your past sins. He will not hold them against you any more. What if I have been a very bad person? Go back to what God said in His Word. 1 John 1:9 tells us: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
GOD NEVER HOLDS PAST SINS AGAINST US
When God forgives us of our sins He remembers them against us no more. This does not stop me from doing something wrong again but when I come back to Him and confess my sins, He forgives me once again, see 1 John 1:9.
Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Hebrews 10:17 Then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17. and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
John 17:2 As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as you have given him. 3. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Now that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you are now a new spiritual baby. New babies must eat to grow. You must eat spiritual food if you want to grow spiritually.
The first thing is to read your Bible every day. You must believe God’s promises in the Bible. Romans 10:17 shows you that God increases your faith as you study the Bible. You must ask God to increase your faith so that you can start relying on the promises.
The second thing is to spend time in prayer every day. Ask God to direct your life. Expect Him to meet your needs. The more you believe Him, the more He will work in your life. Trust Him, depend on Him, He will not let you down.
The third thing is to tell others what God has done for you. Expect the Lord to direct you to people who need help from Him. Tell them about your experiences, and how God wants to help them too. The more you study the Bible, asking Him what His will is for your life, the more you will see His power demonstrated in your life.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
The moment you confess your sins to Jesus and ask Him to forgive you, you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and become a son or daughter of God. You are now going from religion to reality. Your life and nature are then changed and you have the ability to live for Him. You are going to have many more temptations after this, because the devil wants to have you back. However, God has given you the power to turn away from those temptations.
You are not to be surprised that temptations and problems will come your way. See Psalm 34:19, John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12; and Hebrews 10:32.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13. but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
YOU ARE NOT A SLAVE TO SIN
In Luke 4:2 you see that Jesus was tempted, and He withstood the temptation by quoting Scripture. A lesson you need to learn early in your Christian walk is to resist temptation by quoting Scripture.
A number of Christians have stated that because you are a human being you cannot help yourself from sinning a little every day. This is absolutely NOT true. You are no longer a slave to sin. God has given you the power to say no to sin. A slave is required to do what his master wants him to do. You have been liberated from the power of Satan, and he cannot force you to sin. It is now your choice. Let’s each one of us choose to turn Satan down every time.
Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 18. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Another answer to the problem is having your mind renewed. When you frequently think about your old ways, you leave yourself open to temptation from Satan.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
In Romans 12:2 you see that your mind is to be renewed. David states in Psalm 23:3 that God will restore your soul. When you compare “restore” to “renew” you find that they are the same. When you compare your mind to your soul, you will also see that they are the same. You are to expect God to renew your mind. This will start to take place when you begin following what is taught in Romans 12:1. You are to present yourself as a living sacrifice, and this must be done on a daily basis. There are some people who serve the Lord every time they go to church, however, when they are at work they act like the people they are around. They are really serving themselves, rather than serving the Lord. There must be a commitment on your part to wholly serve the Lord on a daily basis.
A battle starts to take place in your mind as soon as you become a Christian, because the enemy wants to get back what he has lost. The Holy Spirit wants to keep what has been accomplished. The satanic forces will put thoughts into your mind that are contrary to what the Lord wants you to think about. You have to decide WHO you are going to follow. The enemy will use old friends to try to get you back to his side. The Holy Spirit wants you to spend more time studying your Bible, to get greater strength to resist the satanic forces. Your mind has a controlling factor, which is the spirit of the mind. This must also be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is not your spirit, which is eternal, nor is it a demonic spirit, see Ephesians 4:22 - 32.
Ephesians 4:23 And be RENEWED in THE SPIRIT of your mind, 24. and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.
CAN YOU LOSE YOUR SALVATION?
John 10:28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
You have Christ’s protection as long as you desire. The above verse shows you that no one can remove you from the hand of the Lord. No person, cult, or satanic force has the ability to take you away from the Lord. It must be a decision on your part to walk away.
You are under God’s protection as long as you continue to place your faith in Jesus. When you take your eyes off the Creator, and spend more time looking or lusting after part of His creation, you will find that you are starting to slip out from under the protection that was made available to you.
You have no right to go out and sin any time we want to, but you have the assurance that every time you ask for His forgiveness, God will hear you and remove the sin from your life, see 1 John 1:9, Galatians 3:13; Colossians 1:13-14; 20-23; 2:15-16.
Colossians 1:23 If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven .....
Problems come when you rely on your own strength and walk away from God’s protection. This becomes a choice on your part. Don’t allow the things of the world to blind your eyes to the reality of God’s wonderful grace, which is available to those who keep under the protection that He has for them.
YOU REMAIN SAVED AS LONG AS YOU WANT TO
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 6. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief IN DEPARTING from the living God.
Ezekiel 18:26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they HAVE ESCAPED the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and over come, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
The above verses are talking about an attitude of obedience or disobedience. You are refusing to come back under the protection of Jesus by asking for forgiveness and forsaking your sins. After you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, and you do something wrong, you can come back and ask for forgiveness. This decision must include a corresponding action, not just a repentance. The following verse also shows you that you must forsake your sins:
Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
Jesus states in John 15:2 and 6 that you are to remain in Him and bear fruit. If your actions don’t prove that you are living for Him, you become separated and then die spiritually. NO ONE can take you away from the Lord, but you can walk away by your own free will. If you walk away from the Lord you can be cut off from the vine. Some people have the attitude that once they have accepted Jesus as their Savior, they will always be saved, regardless of what they do. The following verses show you that this is not true:
Ezekiel 3:20, 18:26, John 15:2, 6, Romans 11:17-22; 14:16; 1 Corinthians 3:17; 9:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 5:16-17; 6:7-9; Colossians 1:20-23; 3:25; 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 3:6, 12-14; 4:11; 10:26-27; 12:14-15; James 5:19-20; 2 Peter 1:4, 2:20-21; 1 John 2:4; 3:1-3.
There are some people who serve the Lord, and later turn away from Him. They sometimes feel that they can come back to Him any time they want to. They claim that God is not willing that any should perish, 2 Peter 3:9. You can only come back to the Lord if the Holy Spirit draws you, compare John 6:44; 16:7-11. You can get to the place where the Holy Spirit will not convict you any more. Compare Genesis 6:3; Proverbs 1:24-28; Jeremiah 11:14; Micah 3:4. It is very dangerous to turn down the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 1:24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25. because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof, 26. I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27. when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. 28. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior after reading this material, you need to start growing spiritually. Ask the Lord to direct you to someone who can help you. If you do not belong to a Church, ask the Holy Spirit to show you where to go. Look for a Church that teaches the whole Word. New Christians who do not spend time studying their Bibles, and having fellowship with other Christians may start to go back into their old ways. New Christians are like brand new physical babies needing care and nutrition. God wants to help you in a great way, if you expect Him to direct you on a continual basis.
Grateful acknowledgments and thanks are given to the many ladies and gentlemen of faith who have gone before me. We have many examples in the Bible as well as a large number of people who have lived, or are still alive during this century. We can all learn from their wonderful examples.
To my beloved wife, Ethlyn for her encouragement and help in the preparation of the material.
To our daughter-in-law, Kathleen Richards, for her proof-reading and helpful suggestions.
To all the wonderful ladies and gentlemen who stand behind me in prayer and financial support.
* * * * * *
The first part of the material in this booklet is taken from the first chapter of a fourteen part study of Building Our Faith. Read the material over again many times until the promises of God contained in this booklet become lodged in your spirit.
The book: “Faith For Answered Prayer” is currently being translated into a number of languages.
Unless otherwise indicated,
Scriptures taken from
The New King James Version
Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982
Thomas Nelson Inc.
Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from
The Holy Bible New Living Translation
Copyright © 1996 Used by permission of
Tyndale House, Publishers Inc.
Wheaton, Ill., 60189
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OTHER MATERIAL BY
Gordon H. Richards
BUILDING OUR FAITH
We have three kinds of faith. Human faith is needed to survive in this world, without it we would trust nobody. Many believers are controlled by the second kind of faith, which is faith of the senses. They have no intention to believe something before they see or feel it. God wants you to be controlled by the third kind, which is divine faith, or the Faith OF God. This is not just faith IN God. These studies help us understand how to increase in the faith of God. These include Hindrances to Faith, Releasing our Faith, Spiritual Warfare, Returning our stolen goods, and Deliverance from Fear.
OUR CHRISTIAN PRIVILEGES
Many Christians live far below their Christian privileges. They seem to feel that we all have to sin occasionally. They fail to realize that we are no longer slaves to sin because we have been given the righteousness of God. This is a study of 14 chapters covering a number of themes that include: Christ our Covering, the Guidance of the Holy Spirit, Victory over Fear, the Power of the Tongue, Building a Hedge and the Rapture.
LIVING BY FAITH
Many people use their faith like a fire extinguisher - only to be used in an emergency. Our divine faith is to be treated as something of value, and is to be protected because we can lose it. God expects you to use His faith on a daily basis, because He wants to demonstrate His power, as the need arises, to the world through you. The 14 chapters include: A Constant Life Style of Faith, Spiritual Authority, Victory over Worry, Opening Heaven’s Windows, Blessing Our Offerings, Angels - God’s Messengers, Daily Victory in Christ Jesus, and the Name of Jesus.
DANIEL’S VISION OF THINGS TO COME
Many believers have an idea that the Rapture of the Church will get us out of all the problems that are going to shortly come. They are unaware that Jesus warned us a number of times in the Gospels that considerable problems would come before the end of this age. He was not talking about the trials and testing's that come to Christians, but was talking about perilous times before the Great Tribulation. This book shows what many of the problems will be, as well as showing us how to be prepared, and live victoriously during the best time since Adam.
This is a twelve part study of the Book of Daniel, helping us to understand what God was showing Daniel in his visions. Several times Daniel was told to seal the vision. John, in Revelation, gives an explanation of what Daniel was told to seal.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
Most believers know very little about the Holy Spirit. Many are living in defeat, instead of the victorious life God planned for us. These 12 chapters include: the Nature of the Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments, Holy Spirit in the Believer, Ministry of the Holy Spirit, Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the Power of the Holy Spirit.
All of us would like to pray more effectively. The enemy of our spirit would like us to believe that many times our prayers will not be heard by the Lord. Is it possible that the prayers of many believers are only on a casual basis? God does not reveal Himself to casual inquirers. When we develop a habit or life style of prayer, we will be able to recognize the voice of the Lord in a greater way. The prayer life of an individual cannot be much different from his daily walk with God, because prayer is having a conversation with God. This study covers fourteen topics to help us to pray more effectively.
This is a study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Many people are living in defeat because they don’t understand some of the principals mentioned in this book. The theme of the book is joy in living for Christ. The believers who are displaying the joy of the Lord in their lives will cause others to want to get the same experiences. A tea bag does not release its flavor until it is put into hot water. The Christian does not demonstrate his faith until he is faced with the trials that come to everyone.
Paul shows us that God wants to meet all of our needs. Many Christians do not want to talk to God about ALL of their needs, they are only interested in bringing emergencies to the Lord. They have the feeling that God is too busy for the smaller things, or that they are not worthy enough to bring these needs to Him. Many fail to understand that God meets our needs on the basis of divine faith and our standing in Christ Jesus, and that God has exchanged the righteousness of Jesus for our unrighteousness.
CAN WE LOSE OUR SALVATION?
When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, our sins are forgiven, and we receive the gift of righteousness, Romans 3:21-26, Romans 5:17, 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Isaiah 54:17. God hears our prayers because we are covered by His righteousness. Jesus said: “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand,” John 10:28. No one can take us away from the Lord, but we can disqualify ourselves by walking away from Him, as seen in the following verses:
2 Peter 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
The above verses are talking about a willful attitude on our part. We are refusing to come back under the protection of Jesus by asking for forgiveness and forsaking our sins. After we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, and we do something wrong, we can come back and ask for forgiveness. This is a decision we must make and there must come a corresponding action on our part. We must realize that it is not just repentance that must take place, but we must forsake our sins.
Spiritual Warfare 10 chapters
God Wants To Meet Your Needs - 10 chapters
Divine Hope - 6 chapters
The Name of Jesus
A Successful Marriage
The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
Victory Through Prayer
Power of the Tongue
The Nature Of Love
End Time Victories
Daily Devotional: Increasing Your Divine Hope -
January thru March
Daily Devotional: Prayer - Talking With God -
April thru June.
Daily Devotional: Restoration - God’s Plan For You -
July thru September
Daily Devotional: Holiness, a Lifestyle -
October thru December.
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