Central Truth: Fellowship is the very mother of faith. It is the parent of joy. It is the source of victory.
As we press on in our study of God’s Word toward a deeper understanding of the meaning of faith, we will in this lesson look at three more steps to the highest kind of faith. These steps will impress on us the reality of (1) the new creation, (2) our fellowship with the Father, and (3) the authority of Jesus’ name.
Step 3 – The Reality of the New Creation
II Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
In order to achieve the highest kind of faith it is necessary for us to know the reality of the new creation. We need to know that in the mind of Justice, we were created in Christ Jesus when He was recreated after He had been made sin as our substitute. We should know that the moment we accepted Christ as Saviour and confessed Him as Lord we were recreated. That is when the legal aspect became a reality in our life.
We have today in our spirits the very life and nature of God. This is not an experience, it is not a religion, nor is it joining a church. It is an actual birth of our spirit. We are the very sons and daughters of God. He is our very own Father. We know that we have passed from Satan’s dominion and spiritual death into the realm of life through Jesus Christ. “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (I John 3:14). We know that we are in the family of God; we are children of God. One cannot join this family, he must be born into it.
How does this affect us in everyday life? If God is our very own Father and we are His very own children, we have as much freedom and fellowship with the Father as Jesus had in His earthly walk, because the Father loves us even as He loved Jesus. “… That the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:23).
Colossians 1:18 says, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.” Jesus is the firstborn, but we too are born from the dead. Peter said, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (I Peter 1:23). We are begotten of God, we are born of God. We are God’s children, heirs of God and joint (equal) heirs with Christ.
When we say this, we are not magnifying ourselves, we are magnifying God and what He has done for us through the Lord Jesus. We did not make ourselves new creatures, He made us new creatures. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works …” (Ephesians 2:10). We didn’t make ourselves who and what we are, God did.
When a person belittles himself, he is actually belittling God’s workmanship. He is criticizing something which God has made. We should quit looking at ourselves from the natural standpoint, but instead see ourselves as God sees us, as created in Christ Jesus. The Father doesn’t see us as anybody else sees us, He sees us in Christ. Many Christians are defeated because they look at themselves from the natural standpoint, when they could be victorious by looking at themselves as God does.
One Christian who was having severe problems in his life once said to me, “I guess I’m just paying for the life I lived before I got saved. I was so sinful.” However, when we are born again, we are redeemed not only from sin, but from the penalty of sin. We do not have to pay for our sins because Christ has already done this for us. It is not even possible for us to pay for them.
Many folks don’t know the difference between repentance and doing penance. Yet if you would accuse them of following the teachings of certain other religions, they would hotly deny it. But that is exactly what they are doing-they are trying to do penance for their past life.
When a man repents, God then doesn’t have any knowledge that that man ever did anything wrong. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25). If God doesn’t remember, why should you?
If after being saved a man had to continue to reap what he had sown as a sinner, he would then have to go to Hell when he died because that’s part of the penalty too. If he is going to reap any part of the penalty, he will reap all of it. But, we are redeemed not only from the power but also from the penalty of sin. Jesus took our place. He suffered the penalty for our sin. He has made us able to enjoy the inheritance of saints in light, as we discussed in our last lesson.
Step 4 – The Reality of Our Fellowship with the Father
The very heart reason for redemption is fellowship. “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Corinthians 1:9). Notice here that we were called “unto the fellowship of his Son.”
1 John 1:3, 4, 7
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The highest honor that the Father has conferred upon us is that of having joint-fellowship with Him, with His Son, and with the Holy Spirit in carrying out His dream for the redemption of the human race. Relationship without fellowship is an insipid thing. It is like marriage without love or companionship. Fellowship is the very mother of faith. It is the parent of joy. It is the source of victory. And He has called us individually into fellowship with His Son.
If we have fellowship with Him and are walking in the light as He is in the light, then prayer becomes one of the sweetest and greatest privileges to which we have fallen heir in Christ. To hear some people talk one would think that prayer is pure drudgery. We hear them talk about fighting and struggling, about trying to believe. But it has never been a problem or a fight for me to pray. It has always been a joy. It has never taken anything out of me to pray, because it puts something in me. And I often pray five or more hours a day.
The trouble with people who have such difficulty with prayer is that instead of letting the Holy Spirit help them and pray through them, they are trying to do it all on their own and in their own energy. Naturally, this would wear them out. But God would have us come to the place of resting in Him. “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing” (Isaiah 28:11, 12). We can find a time of refreshing in the Lord as we pray in other tongues.
Step 5 – The Reality of the Authority of Jesus’ Name
John 14:13, 14
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Suppose that a wealthy man were to give you a signed statement saying that you were entitled to use his name and thereby receive anything you might need in order to live comfortably. Suppose that this was a legal document, given before witnesses, whereby every one of your needs could be met for the rest of your life. Does this sound too good to be true? The wonderful part of it is that it is true!
God has given us the “power of attorney” to use the name of Jesus to meet our every need – spiritual, physical, or financial. He has given us power over Satanic forces. He has said that, “whatsoever ye shall ask in my name” He would give it to you. We have authority to use His name. The fact that many do not is not a matter of lack of faith but a matter of not knowing our legal rights in Christ. It is a matter of taking the place of a son or daughter and taking advantage of our rights as a child of God. It is a matter of knowing what belongs to us and doing what the Word says.
Memory Text: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (I Corinthians 1:9).
Faith in Action: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ….” (James 1:22).
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