I Have Access!
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Romans 5:1 - 2
Sunday 31st August 2014
Today we will conclude the series, His Grace is Sufficient for me with a message in which we will consider the significance of faith and how it relates to the grace that is available to us in Christ Jesus. In the foundation scripture, ‘Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God’, it is clear that we are justified, or made right with God on the basis of the finished works of Jesus and not by any works on our behalf. We access this grace by faith in those finished works. We have access to all things that pertain to life and godliness through faith and we have access to every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, namely, access to healing, the power that raised Jesus from the dead, protection, deliverance, victory and prosperity through faith.
This year is something of a game-changer for us as members of the body of Christ. We have been provided with a revelation of God’s grace and the reality of what the finished works of Christ have accomplished and provided for us. It does not glorify God however, for all that He has provided and accomplished for us to remain in the realm of the spirit and not be translated into tangible realities in our lives. We therefore must look closely at faith as it is this that draws what grace has provided from the realm of the spirit into the natural. Faith is the determining factor whether you partake of what God has provided through grace or not. There are lots of believers in Christ who are rich in the grace of God but live in poverty, both physical and spiritual because they have failed to access what God has provided for us in Christ Jesus. God wants us all to live in the reality of grace; He wants us to enjoy His grace.
The word ‘access’ means the right, the permission, admittance, freedom to enter and being favoured. In that faith gives access, it is of key importance that we know what faith is and how it operates.
In the course of this study, we have established that all we will ever need has been provided for; and we have also established that God qualified us; not because of our works, but because of His love expressed through the sacrifice of His perfect Son. A perfect sacrifice for imperfect people in order to bring us from the state of imperfection to perfection.
Hebrews 11: 1 says, ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Here, we notice that faith is both substance and evidence. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:3 goes on to make clear that the things that are seen were not made of visible things. On the basis of these scriptures, I would like to lay some foundations: True bible faith is not believing God to do something in the future; it is believing what God has already done by grace.
In the message, ‘I am already blessed’, we learned that God has already blessed but we have the responsibility to respond in accordance with what has already been provided. Ephesians 1: 3 tells us that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. 2 Peter 1: 3-4 tells us that God has given us ‘all things that pertain to life and godliness’ or as the New Living Translation states, ‘everything we need for living a godly life.’ The second foundation I would wish to establish is on the basis of 1 Thessalonians 5: 23-24 which makes clear that we are comprised of three separate components: spirit, soul and body. We are spirit beings, we possess a soul and we live in a body.
The significance of this must be understood. God is Spirit as Jesus tells us in John 4: 24. In John 3: 6, He states, that that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. In John 6: 63, Jesus makes clear that His world is spirit. From these scriptures, we can understand that God is Spirit, we are spirit beings and the word of God is spirit. The way in which we relate to God and His word is through the Spirit. We cannot relate with the spiritual realm through natural means.
Having laid this essential foundation therefore, we can understand that faith is our positive response to what God has already provided to us by grace. True faith is not what we do to get a positive response from God but, rather it is our positive response to what God has already done. True faith is not getting God to respond; it is not moving God by your action but responding to what God has already done. The reason why many of us get frustrated, is that we are trying to get God to do things, when in fact all He wants us to do is to recognise what he has already done and respond accordingly.
If we look closely at the account in Luke 5: 18 of Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish, we understand that when Jesus instructed Peter, he said, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Notice, He did not just tell Peter to let down the nets, but He made clear that there would be a catch. Peter’s corresponding action was in response to the instruction given by Jesus which was accompanied by a promise. The result was a net-breaking catch of fish. Similarly, we see in Romans 4: 17-18 that Abraham believed in accordance with the word that God had spoken over his life that he would become a father of many nations and, ‘contrary to hope, in hope believed so that he became the father of many nations according to what was spoken'. We have the written counsel of God, the logos, in the bible. In addition to that, the Spirit of God may impart specific counsel by way of a Rhema word, which if truly from the Holy Spirit, will line up with the written word of God. Faith appropriates what God has already made available by grace. Truth faith is only appropriating, taking or receiving what God has already done. God has already healed, delivered, empowered and provided for you; what is your response? Peter looked beyond the physical circumstances with which he was faced, namely that he had already toiled all night and to no avail and determined, ‘nevertheless at your word’. Abraham believed notwithstanding the physical circumstances that appeared hopeless. Faith responds to the promise of God. It is essential therefore to embrace the ministry of the Holy Spirit in order to discern what God is saying in each specific situation.
Hebrews 11: 1 makes clear that faith is both substance and evidence. The word translated as ‘substance’ refers to a setting or a foundation, connoting a firmness, something of substantial quality, nature, steadiness of mind, courage or resolution, assurance and confidence. The word translated as ‘evidence’ speaks of proof, that by which a thing is proven or tested and a conviction. Faith, therefore is the evidence of things not seen and the reality of things that senses cannot perceive. It is the unseen thing which is in existence. In order to walk in the fullness of what Christ has already done, you need evidence; that is what faith is all about. When you already have the evidence of what is unseen, you will not fall prey to doubt. It is the evidence that you have that brings about confidence that helps you to endure even when the surrounding physical circumstances suggest that the situation is impossible. When nothing appears to be working, you can rejoice as you already have the evidence.
Having established that faith is a response to what God has already provided, what then is the purpose of asking God as Jesus instructed us, ‘If you ask anything in my name, I will do it’? There is a distinction to be drawn between pleading with God for something and calling forth what we believe has already been made available to us. The word translated as ‘ask’ in the original Greek is ‘kaleo’ which means to ‘call forth’ and has connotations of a request being made from what has already been provided.
The fundamental problem with which the members of the body of Christ are often faced is that we are too conscious of the natural and oblivious of the spirit realm in which we live. God created us to live by faith. He gave us the ability to see more clearly by faith than by sight. If you only go by sight, you are not using the resources that God has given you. You are not a natural person. You are a spiritual being and your blessings are spiritual. They are real, they exist and they are tangible. You cannot understand and relate to God by and from a natural perspective. The things of God appear to be foolish to the natural mind. It is essential therefore to be rooted and firmly established in the word of God and listen closely to the voice of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2: 9 states that ‘Eyes have not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him, But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit.’ It is by the Spirit of God that we are shown the things that God has made available to us in the spirit realm. We are Spirit beings; our bodies are not the real us, they are simply the shells in which we live. We have been given everything we could ever need. We must however be careful and ensure that we are not moved by what we see, but rely wholly on the Holy Spirit as we could miss the purpose of God. Even out of what may appear to be the darkest and most difficult circumstances, can emerge the most rewarding and satisfying steps towards our destiny. Your marriage may not appear to be going well and the most ‘logical’ step in the natural may appear to be to call it quits but listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying; we were never called to live by our five senses by the just shall live by faith. Because of His grace, we have been provided with everything that we will ever need to live a godly life. Every spiritual blessing that God has in His possession has been made available to us. It is simply for us to use our faith to connect with the blessings of God and call them forth in to the natural realm.
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