Faith Class 101: Class 5
The Professor began class with this story.
One of my students has had a bitter life. Troublesome experiences in his youth and difficult times since have had a negative effect on him. He doesn’t see it, but he is walking around with a dark cloud over his head. It follows him wherever he goes and has an effect on everything he sees and does. He always seems to be in lack.
One day another student gave him a list of scriptures that reveal what his new birth in Christ really means...a new identity in Christ. He was told to read the scriptures out loud over himself three times a day for the next three weeks. The other day when he came into class he was smiling and began talking and sharing with the other students. The dark cloud that had influenced his life was gone!
The Unseen Power of Faith
Faith in God, faith in the scriptures, produced what had already been given to him at his second birth. Knowledge of who he is in Christ, knowledge of his complete redemption from past sins, and knowledge of how much his Father loves him brought inner healing.
When the faith given to him at the new birth connected with the knowledge of his new identity it turned into an experience that produced liberty and a new life.
Now let’s take a look at Abraham’s faith and how it affected his life.
Thirteen years after the child Ishmael was born (see Genesis Chapter 16), Abram has another encounter with Almighty God. Not only is Sarai still barren, but at ninety-nine years old Abram is now incapable of producing offspring.
This is exactly what God was waiting for.
God reaffirms what He promised Abram twenty-five years ago.
“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.” (Genesis 17:4-6)
“...As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”
During this visitation, God once again reminds Abram of the future generations that will come and the land that is set apart for him and for his descendants after him.
“... As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. (Genesis 17:9-11)
When Abram and Sarai received this promise from Almighty God, the Word, a living seed, began to change their bodies and one year later Isaac was born!
God would have a family!
Something happened when Abram and Sarai received their new names.
Do you know what that was class?
They received a new identity!
Students, you have much in common with the father of faith.
When you heard the gospel preached and received it, the living seed of God’s Word birthed a new creation in Christ Jesus!
Your second birth is no different than the miracle of Isaac’s birth.
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10) Eternal life belongs to you.
What else did you receive?
A new identity!
What else happened?
Your heart was circumcised! (Romans 2:29)
And God would establish a New Covenant and write His laws within us, on our mind and in our heart. “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
(Read Hebrews Chapter Eight)
God has a family!
Remember our young man that was born again walking around with a dark cloud over his head until someone gave him a list of scriptures that told him who he is in Christ? When he realized that God changed his identity, faith set him free to enjoy the abundant life.
This is that...which was written before Isaac was born...
“... (as it is written, I have made you a father of many nations) in the presence of Him whom he (Abraham) believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did...” (Romans 4:17)
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