Sun am 21 April 2019 – Riaan Sinden
John 3:16; John 17:11, 22-23; Gal. 2:20 TPT; Rom. 7:15-25; Rom. 8:1-2 AMP; (Rom. 8:33-39); Jas. 2:19 TPT; John 14:6; 2 Cor. 3:6; John 8:31-32; Jas. 1:1-4 NIV; Matt. 14:24-28; (Rom. 12:1)
The word ‘believe’ has great meaning. Just consider the depth of the truth of John 3:16 – it changes our lives! It does not say “if you believe Him”, although it would not have been wrong for Him to say that. It says: if you believe in Him. The little word ‘in’ adds much more meaning. If you say you believe in a sport player, you believe that he has the capability to do what you want him to do. Believing in Jesus is much more than just believing the word. Belief is a relationship with the Truth.
When Jesus prayed to the Father, He prayed: “make them one”, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one (John 17:11, 22-23). It is an interpenetration of Christ in us that made us who we are today. It is Christ in us and we are in Him. We are called believers because we believe. What a wonderful thing to believe that Jesus Christ did not only give His life, but He rose from the dead. To truly believe is to be in Christ. It is an experience of the in-Christed ones. My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives his life through me—we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me, and dispenses his life into mine (Gal. 2:20 TPT). We can only truly believe if we have a relationship with Truth. God will give us the desires of our heart (Ps. 37:5), but for us who are in Christ, God will give us the desires to desire. It is the same with belief. In believing, we are asked to surrender everything to Christ and submit completely to Him. I always say that the Bible is about two choices: you can either choose life or death. You can either be hot or cold. Jesus says you can choose between God and mammon (money). There are always two choices. We must choose between believing a lie or believing the truth – there is nothing in between. We believe that God did it all – everything! There is nothing we can add to the finished work of the cross.
We believe that Jesus died and rose again from the dead, but we still stumble and make mistakes. It is not enough to just say, “I believe”, if there is no relationship with the Truth. If I read what Paul writes, how much hope is there for me? (Rom. 7:15-25 AMP). When Jesus appeared to Paul, Paul believed and surrendered his whole life to God, but still he said this: The things I want to do, I am not doing it, but the things I do not want to do, I do that. How many of us are in that same boat? In those 10 verses, Paul used the word ‘I’ twenty three times – saying, “I cannot do it”. If you count ‘me’ and ‘my’ also, it is another twenty-three times. He is talking about how he cannot do it. I thank God for verse 25! Thanks be to God [for my deliverance] through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind serve the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness, my sinful capacity—I serve] the law of sin (Rom 17:25 AMP). Therefore, there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death (Rom. 8:1-2 AMP). This is what it is all about! People think that believing is wishful thinking – it is not that! This is a relationship and once you have come to experience that relationship, the revelation of that relationship, you will experience the freedom that there is in Christ.
People say many hurtful things to one another. You can choose to believe the lie, because that is a lie, or you can choose to believe in Christ. In Christ we are the righteousness of God. There is nothing in your past that can separate you from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-29). You can believe all you want that there is one true God, that’s wonderful! But even the demons know this and tremble with fear before him, yet they’re unchanged—they remain demons (Jas. 2:19 TPT). You can believe in everything that the Bible tells us – and you should, because it is the truth – but you should have a relationship with the Truth, a relationship with the Person, the One who is called the Truth. Jesus says, I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6). That is the Truth we are seeking, the Truth that we are believing. If this Truth does not change us and bring us into the revelation of who God is in us and us in Him, then this is just a letter. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6).
Until we come to a place where we discover that we are believing incorrectly, we will go around this mountain time and time again- seeing the same problem from the same vantage point. We always find it easier to believe the lie – I do not know why. Why is it that we tend to believe the bad things about ourselves and not who we are in Christ? If we believe that we are in Christ, then we do not look at ourselves as having to do things in our own strength. We now rely completely on Christ. So the things that we now do, we do in Christ. Some people say they just cannot get away from their past. You can! It has already been done – it is finished! Everything has been forgiven! Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:33-39). Do not allow the lie to rob you and remind you of a past that has been dealt with. Jesus paid the ultimate price for you and me. Do not allow the lie to put you back into bondage.
Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Knowing is an intimate relationship. You will have an intimate relationship with the Truth and the Truth will set you free. Get to know the Truth. I know sometimes it takes longer than we expect. Sometimes we need to hang on, be patient, hang onto Christ and believe in Him. In the end, we have the victory. We are more than conquerors in Christ! Do not try to be a conqueror outside of Christ – it is only available in Christ.
James, the brother of Jesus, understood something about following Jesus that nobody else did. James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jas. 1:1 NIV). When you truly believe in someone, then you can say, “I am not only a servant of God, but I have come to the realisation that this person who I have come to know as my brother, He is God”. He continues, consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds (Jas. 1:2 NIV). Now we are all humans, not super-humans. If I go through a difficult time and somebody comes to me and says, “Consider it pure joy”, I will have something to say about it! James says, “Trials of many kinds” – not just one kind, but many kinds. How difficult is this? You are not only going to face one trial, you are going to face many trials of many kinds and your faith in Jesus will be put on trial. This is not good news – I am going to face many trials, and I am to consider it all joy! Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (Jas. 1:3 NIV). Is there anyone who likes persevering? Your faith and what you believe in will be tested and you need to persevere. Do not give up, do not run away. Do not press the eject button, do not abandon ship. Persevere! I have been a Christian for a long time and have met people who were walking with God but then left. Not one of them have come back to me and said, “You know, since I left God I have a wonderful life with no more tests.” You can believe the lie, but there is a truth that we need to come into, that is going to change you forever. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (Jas. 1:4 NIV). This is the way to maturity in Christ, persevering! What if I know the word of God and can quote Scriptures? Will that not make me mature? It will make you clever. What if I do everything God requires of me? You will be an obedient Christian. To be a mature Christian you have to let perseverance finish its work.
When the disciples were in the storm, Jesus came walking on the water. No-one else had ever walked on water before. So if you see somebody walking on water in the middle of a storm, you will be a little bit surprised, even scared. This is exactly how they felt. Jesus said, “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter, also in the boat, said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (Matt. 14:24-28). Now that is belief we should attain to, to be able to say, “Lord, if You say so. What I want is not important, it is what you say. It is Your word, Your truth. It is all about You Lord. Tell me to come.” And Peter became the second person to walk on water. This is the type of belief that I am talking about. I am not talking about being perfect Christians. I am talking about having a relationship with Christ.
There are a lot of amazing things we believe, but there is a complete new unveiling where we come into a relationship with God. Allow Him to live through you. Allow God to be your strength, your security. Do not try and do things on your own. Do not try to rely on your own strength. Do not rely on your own wisdom, on things that you think you can do. We need to come to a place of surrender and submission to God. Surrender the members of your body a living sacrifice unto God (Rom. 12:1), so whatever you do and whatever you say is not because it is a good idea but it is because Christ lives through us! The reality that Christ died for us and rose again has changed this world, but I pray this morning that revelation of the finished work will take hold of every one of us! I pray that the revelation of the finished work of the cross will bring us into a relationship with God where it is all about Him.