The Faith of the Gospel

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we have been raised (spiritually) to an elevated position, seated with Christ at the right hand of God. This is why God can give to us, His beloved children, spiritual wisdom and understanding in the true knowledge of Him. Philippians continues on with this wonderful knowledge that continues opening our eyes that we may truly see.

Philippians 1:27 – Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

The word “conversation” is the word in the Greek Text for citizenship, for according to God’s Word our citizenship is already in heaven. The Scripture is imploring us to conduct our lives as heavenly citizens worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Paul says that whether he is present or absent that he wanted to hear that their Christian lives were being conducted as those who were standing fast in one spirit, and standing together in the knowledge of their citizenship. Paul wanted the believers to be of the same mind working together for the faith of the Gospel. The faith of the Gospel is our believing that God Almighty has indeed called us into the Gospel, and into His family, and that we can believe this together as members of the household of God.

Philippians 1:28-29:
-28:  And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of {or from} God.
-29:  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.

God’s healing Word encourages us not to be terrified, not to have fear about our adversaries, our opponents. In this life there are people who think we are off our rockers simply because we believe in that which is unseen (John 20:29). Our own personal adversaries sometimes scrutinize the way we walk before God, they even try to throw hurdles (by words or deeds) in our way to trip us up simply out of spite. This reminds me of the Psalm “They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah” (Psalms 57:6). This is to them the “evident token of perdition” for they reap what they themselves sow. However, for us who do believe and continue standing, we will be receiving proof of our own salvation, and spiritual wholeness, and that is from God.

We are citizens of heaven itself, and we are ambassadors here on earth for Christ (II Corinthians 5:20). God has given to us diplomatic immunity from the course of this world. This is given to us “in the behalf of Christ” because he was our substitute for sin and all its consequences. Then verse 29 concludes with “but also to suffer for his sake.” This phrase has been used incorrectly and totally out of context, because the word “suffer” does not imply that we should allow our adversaries to cause us to suffer in any way. Rather the word means to endure with ever increasing experience, for not only are we going to heaven, but when we endure we will become stronger, setting even greater examples for one another who believe that God does deliver His children. When we have complete faith in the Gospel, knowing that God does deliver His children (I Corinthians 10:13; II Corinthians 1:10), and knowing that He has already given us a standing with Him, then our faith – our believing faith in the Gospel – will continue to strengthen and inspire us with godly blessings.

A Prayer with Thankfulness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Prayer is believing with thankfulness, and believing is the HOW to our receiving from God. Prayer is what builds and strengthens our relationship with God, and gives us freedom and liberty to believe that God is present, willing, and able to answer us. Prayer is the key that helps release us from our doubts, worries, and fears, for we can daily give our concerns over to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). He in turn will manifest Himself to us, becoming our true sufficiency in life. In the Gospel of John we have a short prayer that Jesus offered, and he spoke it out to teach others around him how to pray in thankfulness.

John 11:41b-42:
-41b:  And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
-42:  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

First notice that Jesus spoke intimately with God, calling Him Father. Secondly, notice that the very first thing he said was “I thank thee.” Being thankful is one of the greatest keys in receiving answers to our prayers. Yes, being humbly thankful even before receiving is absolutely the greatest way to receive our answers from God. Thirdly, Jesus acknowledges that God “always” hears his prayers. This is a great lesson to us so we may always know that God indeed hears the prayers of our hearts. Fourth, Jesus believed that his prayer would inspire others to believe as well. Believing in our prayers, believing that we will be receiving, is a biblical requirement for receiving from God, and will always be inspirational to others as they see our believing manifested.

“And when he {Jesus} thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth (John 11:43). Verse 43 is the climax of Jesus’ prayer, and Lazarus was raised from the dead because Jesus was thankful and he knew that God heard him.  He believed in his heart.  In Jesus’ prayer, he was thankful in advance, thankful knowing that his prayer would be completely answered, and this would also be inspiring to others. Jesus was teaching us how to believe the Father for the answers to our prayers.

Mark 11:24 – Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe {in advance} that ye receive them, and {then} ye shall have them.

The healing Word of God encourages that we first believe in our prayer, and from the lessons of Jesus we can learn that being thankful is how he believed. Thanking God in advance and believing that we have received will bring great things into our lives, to our families, and our surroundings. The Apostle Paul said “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8), because the first thing in prayer is thankfulness, and thankfulness builds positive believing, and all believing equals receiving. Paul thanked God in the name of Jesus Christ, teaching that our prayers offered in the name of Jesus Christ will have a positive effect to the answers we want. Jesus said, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29b). The reason we are blessed is that we believed even before we have received the gifts and answers that we desire from the Father.  May you continue to enjoy your prayer life with thankfulness.

Blessed Are They That Believe

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

John 20:29 – Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Thomas is sometimes called “doubting Thomas” because he always wanted to see things before believing in them. Jesus was telling him that because he was so doubtful, his believing would be limited. As we know Jesus Christ ascended up into heaven (Acts 1:9-10), and he is no longer physically here, and when we believe in him we are “blessed,” for the written Scriptures do take the place of Christ (here on earth), and the requirement for understanding and seeing (perceiving) Christ is our believing.

John 20:30 – And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book {nor in any book}:

Jesus’ life was so exciting that it was next to impossible to record all that he had done for humanity. Nevertheless, we do have the four Gospels and the New Testament Epistles to glean all that we can about the life of Jesus Christ, and according to the Scriptures this is all that is required to obtain salvation and eternal life (II Corinthians 4:18).

John 21:25 – And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Jesus certainly had a busy ministry while he was here, and not everything that he had done is written for us, but instead of focusing on what we do not have, we may focus on what we do have. When we believe the revealed Scriptures, Jesus said we would be blessed. Having this (one) wonderful little Bible of ours is an extreme blessing because God could have given to us libraries full the world round to study and figure things out about life and God. But He made things simple by showing us all we need to believe in His Word, and the more abundant life is the end result (John 10:10b).

John 20:31 – But these are written {the Scriptures}, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have {eternal} life through his name.

“Blessed are they that believe,” for in believing the sky is the limit! You are God’s best, His loved ones, His precious children, and you are the reason Christ came in the first place. He has redeemed you, and made available to you a new life that has a beginning (when you were saved) and now has no end, and this is why you are eternally blessed of God forever and ever!

The Power in Believing (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

“There is power in believing” and “there is power in positive thinking” are common phrases nowadays. There are books that could easily fill a library written on the subject of positive believing and thinking. The power of believing comes to life from within the mind of man’s positive and assertive actions. When anyone, saint and sinner alike, believes, he or she will receive the result of their believing because believing is a spiritual Law that, when tapped into, will work equally for all. Yet, what distinguishes a Christian believer is that he or she has the Word of God and His promises to believe in, and our heavenly Father is the Creator of the power in the Law of believing.

Matthew 8:13:
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour {immediately}.

This Centurion came to Jesus asking for his help and he was hoping that Jesus would heal his personal servant who became very sick and he was “grievously tormented” (Matthew 8:6). However, Jesus explains that all the Centurion himself had to do was believe because when someone believes, they receive. When Jesus said, Go thy way he was referring to the fact that the power in believing was already in the Centurion, all he needed was some direction, which was as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. We can see by the above verse that the servant was healed as soon as Jesus explained the Law of believing to the Centurion, which means that he believed and tapped into the power in believing.

A great lesson here is that the Centurion came to Jesus for guidance, the same kind of guidance that we can receive when we come to the Word to find the help we may need to increase our own believing, because the Word of God takes the place of the physical Christ and his guidance (John 20:29; I Peter 1:8).

Wherever the principles of positive believing are utilized, great things begin to happen for anyone who applies them. However, the believing Christian has an edge when he begins to learn the Word of God and begins to believe in the promises contained within, for he can tap into the power of believing of which God Himself is the source of the power.

Matthew 21:22:
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask {of God} in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Anyone can tap into believing and ascertain that there is some kind of power behind their believing but will never come to know the source of the power without coming to know God. Jesus said in essence that it will rain on the just and on the unjust (Matthew 5:45), meaning everyone has the same opportunity in this life to believe positively or to doubt and smother what believing can produce, for God’s spiritual Law of believing is equally available to everyone, because “God so loved the world” (John 3:16). But when God becomes your heavenly Father, you also have the blessed privilege to believe in God’s own power to answer your personal prayers that you offer to Him, because you will have direct access into the living room of the Lawgiver, which is a privilege only given to believers (Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:19)!

You have been given the power of God and His true guidance in His Word to believe and receive all things, whatsoever ye shall ask.

When you ask God in prayer, you have access into the “exceeding greatness” of His divine power (Ephesians 1:19), which will work as you believe, and you will begin receiving and enjoying the results of the Power in Believing.

Mark 11:24:
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Ephesians 1:19:
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power.

Jonah – Revealing Our Sign of Christ’s Resurrection

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jonah was such an amazing man and prophet of God. In the Book of Jonah, we find his life typifies the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

I know some of the stories of Jonah living in the whale’s belly for three days and nights, warming himself by a fire and enjoying fish-sticks or something, like in Pinocchio. However, Jonah died and was dead for three days and three nights and then resurrected and put back on the shore. In Jonah’s prayer he said “yet hast thou {God} brought up my life from corruption” (Jonah 2:6), “corruption” means the grave in which the body begins turning back to dust, for Jonah was resurrected from the corruption that death produces. In Acts 2:31 we can read about Christ’s resurrection and salvation from corruption.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonas {Jonah} was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” As Jonah was dead and lifeless “so” was Jesus Christ dead and lifeless.

Jonah 2:9 – But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed {to be a faithful prophet}. Salvation is of the LORD. {As Jonah’s salvation was of the Lord, his resurrection was also of the Lord.}

God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh and prophesy unto the Ninevites, for their wickedness was incredible. What is interesting is that Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria (and they were unbelievers); they were oppressing the northern kingdom of Israel.

Jonah had prophesied already to Israel to turn from their evil ways, and to be restored in the blessings of God (II Kings 14:25-27). Nevertheless, Jonah thought in himself that if Nineveh continued in their own wickedness instead of repenting, then they would eventually consume themselves in their own wickedness and thus they would be unable to inflict any more harm on Israel. So when God said go to Nineveh, Jonah went in the opposite direction to Tarshish.

Jonah boarded a ship and they went into a storm with a mighty tempest. Jonah actually said to the crew that if they would “take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you:” (Jonah 1:12).

Jonah would rather drown in the sea than to prophesy in Nineveh. He hoped that committing his life to the sea would save Israel. Yet only one could save Israel, that would be Jesus Christ. Jonah gave his life in what he believed would save his people. We cannot fault Jonah for having a heart to save his people.

Jonah simply needed a sign from heaven to assure his heart that what he would do was indeed the will of God.  This is exactly what God did for him in raising him up, and then Jonah went to Nineveh and prophesied following God’s instructions, though he truly still hoped that Nineveh would not repent from their wicked ways and simply be destroyed by their own wickedness, but they did repent.

The righteous judgments of God are always true and just and in Nineveh we can discover God’s graciousness even upon the unbeliever. Luke 11:30 records Jesus’ words “for as Jonas {Jonah} was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.” As Jonah was a “living” sign and example to the Ninevites who changed their evil ways, so Jesus Christ also becomes a sign to Israel of resurrection and eternal life by his own resurrection (Matthew 12:38-41).

Today when we accept and believe in the resurrection (Romans 10:9-10), then we receive in our very hearts Jesus Christ, and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10a; Romans 8:11).

The Bible teaches us that signs will follow them that believe (Mark 16:17-18). God is not in the business of performing tricks, like the man who kept praying at night on his bed saying “God if you are real, then please turn on my light for then I would believe.” Jesus said to Thomas “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29), because today believing precedes signs, while before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, signs preceded believing.

The greatest sign that we have today is knowing, believing, and receiving spiritual wholeness, which is our Sign of Christ’s Resurrection, because today in grace we have the resurrected Christ within our very hearts.

Today we have the promises recorded in God’s healing Word as a written sign so we may continue believing on our resurrected Savior, and his spiritual power within us, so that we may walk with God in the power of Christ Jesus’ resurrection.