And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak. – 2 Corinthians 4:13
We learnt that Christianity is a great confession – a great positive confession. We also learnt about negative confession. People do it in the name of spiritual humility. But it is actually false humility. Worse still, it is a form of ‘pride’. People who speak like this dare to contradict God. While God calls us a royal priesthood, a chosen generation, sons of God, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ; they prefer to call themselves worms, sinners, and deserving nothing. They challenge God’s opinion of them.
The right confession is positive confession that is based on who we are in Christ, what we have in and through Christ, what we are because of the new birth in Jesus, what we are to God the Father, what Jesus is doing for us, and what His word can accomplish in and through us. For several weeks, we have been learning about the reasoning behind confession. We saw many reasons already. Let’s look at one more reason.
By confession, we frame and shape our world and our future.
We give shape and form to what we will be and what our future will be by the confession of our mouth.
Hebrews chapter 11 speaks of faith. It talks about heroes of faith, setting them forth as our forerunners to inspire us so that we can learn from their examples.
Hebrews 11: 1 contains the definition of faith.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about faith. When someone else is working in a big company and I’ve left my job, it means I’m living by faith – without a job and without an income. Faith life is usually misunderstood as having nothing and ‘wondering’ where the next meal would come from. But the Bible definition of faith says that it is the ‘assurance’ for something that you are ‘hoping’ for. You can’t see it yet, but you know for sure that it is yours and the evidence is in the word of God. Faith is ‘simply believing what God says’. Your circumstance may say exactly the opposite. What do you believe? You don’t believe what you can see. You see what God says. And this is faith.
Hebrews 11:2 says – For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. All these people lived on the basis of God’s word. They had a good testimony. Their life is evidence to the fact that they succeeded living like that. They didn’t fail while living trusting in Gods’ word.
Verse 4 onwards tells us about many personalities who lived by faith, and demonstrated faith to us. Each person’s testimony teaches us one chief characteristic of faith.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. – Hebrews 11:3
Verse 3 teaches us something very important – that the world is a ‘faith product’, a ‘word product’. How did faith ‘make’ the world? The world was made by the ‘word of God’. Faith is the thing that has brought everything that we see into being. Everything was framed by the word of God. A person living by faith lives by the word of God. The great saints of God in verses 4 – 40 lived like this. They knew how to operate by faith. How does faith operate? How did God create the world? By speaking the word. Living by faith therefore doesn’t just mean that you left your job and that you are wondering where the next meal will come from. Living by faith means that you are speaking good words every day that produce good things. Every thing that God made was good. Everything good came about by good words that came out of the mouth of God.
FRAMING THE WORLD BY THE WORD
God ‘framed’ the world means not just that he ‘created’ the world, but that He “formed and shaped every thing in the way He wanted them to be, and specified their purpose and function.” Hebrews 11:3 is a commentary on Genesis 1. Let’s go to Gen 1 to understand how God ‘framed’ the world.
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. – Genesis 1:3-5
This is not just creating. If He had merely created, we wouldn’t know what to do. He ‘framed’ – He created and specified their purpose and functioning. He created light and separated light form darkness. How? By His spoken Word. He ‘calls’ the light day and ‘calls’ the darkness night.
Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas.
– Genesis 1:6-10
He not only created the firmament but also divided the waters above from the waters beneath and He called the firmament Heaven. And He spoke to the waters on the earth to be gathered together and called them as seas, and the dry land was earth. He gave them their purpose and function.
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. – Genesis 1:11,12
These verses speak not just about the creation of plants, but tells us exactly how they should work – having their seed within themselves, and being able to produce after their own kind. God specified these things by His word.
…to be continued…