All the books of the Bible speak of Jesus. To the Jewish leaders opposing Him, Jesus said, “You study the Scriptures diligently… These are the very [Old Testament] Scriptures that testify about me” (John 5:39).
Faith comes from hearing the Word of God broadly, in its entirety, and specifically from hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And remember, He is seen in all the books of the Bible — often prophetically in the Old Testament, and historically in the New Testament.
The crippled man heard God’s Word preached. It is clear that hearing the Word produced faith in his heart, because the preacher Paul looked at him and “saw that he had faith to be healed.” Then Paul spoke out, “Stand up on your feet,” and the man was instantly healed.
Hearing God’s Word produces faith, as it did with the lame man. If you want to be a man or woman of faith, study the Scriptures, God’s Word. Take time each day to read them. My wife Linda and I read a few chapters out loud together each day, covering the Bible in about one year.
Each time before reading, I suggest praying the message of Psalm 119:18 — “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Ask God to enable you to see and hear and understand God’s Word deep within your spirit.
OK, so you’ve diligently applied yourself to God’s Word. You’ve heard it (from personal study and from the pulpit), and it has given you light and understanding (Psalm 119:130). But what next?
You have to believe His Word steadfastly, unshakably. Otherwise, all you have is “head knowledge.” I studied four years of theology in a religious-based high school, then four more years of theology at Boston College, but I wasn’t even saved! I did not take God’s Word past simple knowledge and embrace it in heartfelt faith. To me that theology study was primarily intellectual. Jesus expects much more than “head” faith, much more than mere intellectual consent to truth.
You can fulfill step one — hearing the Word of God — and still fail God. How? By not believing that Word. Yes, “faith cometh by hearing…the word of God.” But that faith comes only if we hear that Word and believe it, trusting that the God who spoke means what he speaks 100% of the time. Jesus emphasized the importance of believing.
So first we’ve studied and “heard” God’s Word. Now it is vitally important that we believe that the Word is true, and that it applies to us. When we pray, Jesus said, if we believe we shall receive.
Let’s say you’re facing some need, in your life or a loved one’s. You recall a clear promise in God’s Word — for example, that “by [Jesus’] wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Now believe that as absolutely, infallibly true. Then ask the Lord in prayer for the needed healing, and expect to receive. Why? Because the Son of God promised: “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Then don’t waver, don’t let doubt creep in, because the Scripture says:
So we see the first two steps to powerful faith:
1) Hear the Word of God. Faith comes from hearing God’s Word.
2) Believe the Word of God, without doubting or wavering.
That leads us to a third and final key to faith that moves mountains.
The apostle Paul says that you have the “same spirit of faith” as the earlier biblical faith heroes. Like them, take your faith to the next level. Speak it! There is immense power in expressing your faith in spoken words.
Jesus stood before Lazarus’s grave. His friend had been dead four days. Jesus didn’t just hope in His heart for Lazarus’s reviving. No, He “called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out’ ” (John 11:43). And the dead man came out of the grave.
Jesus taught us to speak the word of faith, to “say” what we are asking for, and not to doubt but to believe, and such a faith-speaking believer “shall have whatsoever he saith.”
In sum, the Bible teaches us a simple 3-step pathway to dynamic faith:
Luke 1:26-38 tells the story of the angel Gabriel appearing to the young virgin Mary. He announced that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit (35) and that the child would be the Son of God (32). Mary heard God’s word from the angel. She believed that word (vs. 45, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her”). And she spoke what she believed (38, KJV - "Be it unto me according to thy word”).
Hear —> Believe —> Speak! That kind of faith will move the mountains in your life — the obstacles confronting you … the difficult situations you face … strained relationships … perhaps an illness … and a host of other problems you might be facing. Hear God’s Word. Embrace it with sincere, trusting faith. And speak the promises of God’s Word into your situation. Jesus says to the person with that kind of mountain-moving faith, you “shall have whatsoever you say … and believing, you shall receive.”
©2017, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and Bible Studies
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.