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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

Evangelism:
The Time Is Now!

Section 4, Chapter 1

Jesus Is The Answer
To Your Needs

Chapter Illustration

Section 4 Chapters
Study Questions

Often times Christians are puzzled by problems in their lives. When I say problems, I do not mean problems which arise out of persecution. I am talking about seemingly uncontrollable personal problems that relate to our corrupted soul and flesh. Conversations go something like this:

Last year I was prayed for, for a healing need. I was healed, but a year has passed and the problem for which God healed me has returned. Why did I lose my healing?

I gave my life to Jesus several months ago, but I am hooked on drugs and I cannot kick the habit. What do I do? What is the answer?

I am an alcoholic. I gave my life to Jesus months ago, but I still have a drinking problem. I cannot seem to say no to a drink. What do I do?

I gave my life to Jesus years ago and I know that I am saved, but I have these bad habits in my life that I cannot seem to get victory over, that I cannot seem to get under control.

The problem might be over-eating, smoking, a drinking problem, not being able to turn off the TV and take care of other responsibilities. It may be a drug problem or a problem of lust. I do not care how perfect a Christian may try to convince you he or she is, all Christians have some kind of problem like the ones stated above in their lives. This is because though born again in our spirits, our soul and flesh do not follow the recreation of our beings until the resurrection. The end result is that though bornagain, we still have the presence of a corrupted soul and flesh in bondage to sin (Rom 7:14).

Why is it though that some Christians seem to get stable continued victory over whatever vice they have in their lives and others do not? Why do some Christians get physically healed through prayer, keep their healing and others do not?

The Apostle Paul went through this kind of frustration early in his Christian life. He wrote in the Book of Romans:

Romans 7:18-19, 24 "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.... Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?"

Does this sound like you? What was Paulís problem? Before Paul gave his life to Jesus, he was a very religious man. He wrote in Philippians 3:4-6,

"Although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: circumcised the eighth day of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless."

JESUS: OUR ONLY
MEANS OF SALVATION

Paul was so religious and so dependent on his religious works for salvation that in order for Jesus to break Paul of his works for salvation and draw his attention to Himself, He had to appear to Paul in a literally blinding vision. Paul got the message and realized that Salvation did not come through obedience to the Law or religious self-strife but through faith in Jesus Christ alone. He concludes in Philippians 3:7-9,

"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as lose for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not

having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith."

Paul is happy now. He knows that he is saved, not based on his works, but through faith in Jesus Christ and His work of salvation on the cross alone.

Paul is so happy for what Jesus did for him on the cross that he decides he is going to sanctify his life to make it worthy of the salvation that Jesus attained for him. Paul thinks to himself:

I am going to fully live for Jesus now. I am going to clean up my life. I am going to get victory over my hot temper. I am going to manifest the fruit of the Spirit of kindness. And these other problems in my life, I am going to get control over them because I want to be a good Christian witness. I do not want anything in my life that might be a stumbling block to the Gospel in other's lives.

JESUS: OUR ONLY
MEANS
OF SANCTIFICATION

Several months later after Paul tries and tries to live the Christian life, he screams in frustration: "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death!" I can remember saying that many times in my own words. After Paul finishes beating himself to death for not being able

to get control over whatever the problems were that he was struggling with, the Holy Spirit came along and tapped Paul on the shoulder and said to Paul,

Holy Spirit: Paul! How did You get Saved?

Paul: By putting my trust in Jesus and His work on the cross for my sins, nothing else.

Holy Spirit: Paul, if you could not save yourself through your works, what makes you think you can sanctify yourself through your works? Just as Jesus is the only answer to your salvation, so also Jesus is the only answer to Your sanctification!

The revelation of this so pleases Paul that he says in response in Romans 7:25 and 8:1,

"Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Adonai! So then, on the one hand I my self with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."

Paul does not tell us in this passage of Scripture that he got immediate victory over whatever his problems were. He in fact tells us that with his flesh he is still serving sin. What he does tell us is that through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he has come to realize that just as Jesus is his only answer for salvation so Jesus is his only answer for sanctification. He comes to realize that no matter how hard he tries in the flesh, meaning trying to overcome his problems in his own strength, his soul, he will not be able to succeed. Even though maybe at this point he does not know how to apply this to his problems, through the Holy Spirit he has come to realize that Jesus is the only answer to his Sanctification. For this reason Paul says in exaltation Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."

What does Paul mean? He means just that. If you have given your life to Jesus and received him into your heart as Lord and Savior, you are saved, you are going to heaven. Not only that, but you are no longer your own. You have been bought with a price: through the blood of Jesus Christ. That means that your problems are not your own either. They now belong to Jesus. They are Jesusí problems. Because they are, it is up to Jesus to give you the solution, not you. That is why you can say with Paul, no matter what your problem is, Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!.... There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I do not know what Your problem is, but praise God! Jesus is the answer to your need! You are saved! You are going to heaven! Praise the Lord! Alleluia!

Okay, Jesus is the answer to my need. Is this where the story ends?

No. What I want to talk to you about in this section is how to draw upon Jesus as the answer to your needs. You already know Jesus as Savior of your soul, now let me introduce you to Jesus as Sanctifier of your soul.

Why is it that after being prayed for concerning a problem we get momentary victory but it doesnít last? Days, weeks, months later, we find ourselves back in the same trap fighting the same problem(s). Why? The answer is centered in John 14:6. Jesus said,

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

The reason our struggling over a problem does not solve the problem is because most of the time we are not really struggling with the problem. We are struggling with the symptom, the visible side effect of the root of the problem. To give you an example of what I am talking about, I had a brother come to me once who had stomach problems. I laid my hands on him and asked Jesus to lead me in prayer for him. The Lord told me to just pray in my spiritual language. A minute or so later I looked up and saw my brother with a frown on his face. I asked him why he was frowning. He said in response,

The Lord just gave me the interpretation of what you were praying in the Spirit about. He told me that my stomach problems are centered in resentment that I have toward this brother, that if I will forgive that brother and let my resentment go it will take care of my stomach problems. (Now You know why the gift of tongues are necessary).

Did this brother have stomach problems? No. In this case he had a spiritual problem. Only Jesus knew that. Jesus is the Way and the Truth to the root cause of our problems. He is the only one who has the root solution also. Only Jesus is Life. You and I are not the way, the truth and the life. Jesus is the Way and the Truth and the Life. If you want answers to your problems and needs, Jesus is the only one who has them. This is because only Jesus knows our inner and outer constitution intimately, therefore only Jesus knows the root cause and root solution to our problems.

When we fight our problems through our own reasoning, our flesh, what do we do? It is like taking a sledge-hammer and beating your car to death when the problem is under the hood. Now besides the problem under the hood, you now also have a several thousand dollar body job needing to be done on your car as well. When we try to solve our own problems through our own reasoning, we only complicate the problem.

I could have just prayed for healing for the brother with the stomach problems and said, Okay, now have faith. Ignore the symptoms. Just thank Jesus for the healing you already have. The symptoms might have gone away temporarily, but because we had not gotten to the root of his problem, his unforgiveness and resentment that he had toward a brother, the healing wouldn't have lasted. When the symptoms would have returned, his stomach problems, as they surely would, he would think, Oh! If I only had more faith. I must work harder at having more faith. Faith! Faith! Faith! Now he has new problems: Strife, self-condemnation over his supposed lack of faith, and a bad self-image because he does not think now God loves him. What is he doing? He is hitting the body of his car with a sledgehammer when the problem is under the hood. Praying over the symptoms of a hidden root problem is like taking morphine for the pain induced by cancer. The pain may temporarily go away, but the deadly cancer that is killing the person is still present and is still spreading and killing the person. We need to get to the root of our problems to get truly healed.

You are not the answer to Your sanctifying needs. This is because Jesus is Life, not you. Jesus is Life. Do you want the answer to your problems? You will have to turn to Him. Jesus said in John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." Do you want the real solution to your problem? Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Stop judging and condemning yourself over your problems. Give them to Jesus and seek him for the root of the problem and the root solution. His answers will give you the answers you need.

When the Apostle Paul was being wrongly judged by others based on appearance, he wrote the following in 1 Corinthians 4:3-5,

"But to me it is a very small thing that I should be examined by you, or by any human court, in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted, but the one who examines me is Adonai. Therefore do not go on judging anything before the time, but wait until Adonai comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of menís hearts; and then each manís praise will come to him from God."

What is Paul saying here. First, he is not saying that he does not have problems. What he says is that neither he nor any man is qualified to judge him concerning those problems. Who is? He gives us the answer: Only Jesus. In conclusion he tells his critics to stop judging him or anyone else by appearance only, but wait until Jesus comes through the Holy Spirit and makes plainly known not only the root cause of Paulís problems but anyone elseís as well. Why? Because only Jesus knows what is truly in Paulís or anyone elseís heart, not any man or Paul himself. Psalm 64:6 states "For the inward thought and the heart of a man are unsearchable."

Okay, a year ago you sought Jesus about some problems you had. He healed you and gave you the solution, but now the problems are back and you do not know why. Maybe it is a physical healing that took place and now you have lost the healing. Maybe Jesus gave you victory over smoking or drinking or drugs, only now you find you are smoking again, drinking again, taking drugs again. Before you came to Jesus, you had a four letter word vocabulary. When you came to Jesus He took it away, only now you find yourself having problem with your mouth again. What happened? Why did you lose your healing or self-control concerning your problem? Why? Because there is no life in you. There is only life in Jesus! It is not enough to go to Jesus to just get your healing. Your continued life and health depends on Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is Your life. Jesus IS Life! You exist because of Him. In order to stay healthy and to continue to have victory over whatever your problem is, you must feed on Jesus, your source of life, daily. It was Jesusí Life that healed you. You need to draw upon His Life daily to stay healed.

THREE KINDS OF LIFE

Jesus created man dependent on three kinds of life54/491 that are recorded in 1 John 3:14-17. These three kinds of life in the Greek are the following:

  1. Zoe: zwh; 57 which is spiritual life. This is the life of our Spirit. Jesus is spiritual life86 and the source of nourishment for our spirit. To cut off Jesus is to cut off the means of feeding and keeping our spirits alive spiritually. Jesus said in John 6:27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him God the Father has set His seal."

  2. sou Psuche: yuchv 58 which is the life of the soul. Our soul is alive when it has the means to express and carry out the talents, abilities, desires and gifts God gave us. If a person is not provided with what is necessary to develop and express the soul life God has called him to, he will go into complete frustration and anger and break down. Now You understand the plight of the ghettos. A person must have the means to develop and express the soul-life God has called him to, to be happy and healthy. When a person is killed physically, the potential for what his soul life might have been in this world is brought to a halt, destroyed. Jesus gave up his soul, his earthly life, as well as his physical life for us on the cross to save us so we could have the means eternally to express and carry out the l-life He has for us.

  3. Bio: bivo 59 which is the means to sustain biological, physical life. This is the life of our physical body. If you stop feeding your body biological food, your body will die.

When the Israelites were out in the wilderness for forty years, God would rain down manna every day to sustain them. Now if after the first rain, the Israelites had ate the manna, felt satisfied and then said to themselves, I am satisfied. I am whole. I do not need anymore manna, what would the end result have been? They would have starved to death and never reached the promised land. Their soul-life would have never been realized. Every morning they had to go out and collect what was necessary to sustain them physically for the day.

What is wrong with many Christians? Why are they unhealthy spiritually? Why can't they keep their healings? Why can't they keep daily consistent control over their compulsions? The problem is not there soul and flesh. The Bible already declares our flesh hopelessly corrupt, unreparable and in bondage to sin. What is the problem then? The reason they canít is because they are spiritually starving to death. They are spiritually mal-nourished. They havenít been daily feeding on the Living Manna from heaven: Jesus! You have heard of soul-food. Jesus is spirit-food. Jesus said in John 6:48-51,

"I am the Bread of Spiritual-Life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living-spiritual bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall have spiritual-life forever; and the bread which I shall give for the spiritual-life of the world is my flesh."

If you do not eat physical food, you will get sick physically; and if you persist in not eating physical food, you will eventually die physically. In the same way, if you do not eat spiritual food: Jesus, you will not be able to stay healthy spiritually and you will become sick spiritually. How is this manifested? You will find you are no longer able to resist temptations and compulsions of your flesh. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:6-8,

"For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is spiritual-life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

What does it mean to have Your mind set on the flesh, to be in the flesh? It means to try and solve your problems through the strength, reasoning and initiative of your soul. What does it mean to have Your mind set on the Spirit? In context it means to look to Jesus for the strength and power through His Holy Spirit to gain victory over your problems in the flesh.

Romans chapters 7 and 8 should not be divided. They go together. In Romans 7:24-25 Paul tells us what he finally discovered as the solution to his personal and spiritual problems:

"Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus-Christ-our-Adonai!"

Therefore to have your mind on the Spirit is to have your eyes on Jesus. Walking in the Holy Spirit in this context means to look to Jesus to overcome your personal problems and spiritual problems in His power and strength, not your own.

You have lost your healing. Have you been daily feeding on the Bread of Spiritual-Life? If not, that is why you have lost your healing. You got healed because you went to Jesus, the source of spiritual-life, and He healed you, not because you had faith in faith. Your faith was in Jesus, the Bread of Spiritual-Life. Do you want to keep your healing? If you do, you need to daily feed on Jesus. Whatever your problem is, Jesus Himself is your answer, but you must feed yourself on Him daily to stay healthy physically as well as spiritually. Jesus is the answer to your need. Okay Dale, we all know Jesus is the answer to our needs, but how do we daily put this into practice? How do we daily feed on Jesus and draw upon the spiritual-life of Jesus so that we can keep our healing and keep our victory over the sinful promptings of our flesh?

Christianity is relationship with Jesus, but like in any relationship, in order for it to be a relationship, there must be continued communication by both parties on a daily basis if that relationship is to be continually alive and if it is to grow. When God created man, He gave man a free will, a heart. That is, He gave man the freedom to choose whether or not he wanted to have relationship with God or not.

Just because we have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord does not mean that we are now robots who have no say over what happens with our lives. Receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord frees us from the penalty of sin so that we can now choose to have relationship with God. We still have a free will and can choose not to obey the individual dictates of Jesus in our lives and have daily relationship with Him.

Also, just because Jesus Christ is now in our lives does not mean that He is automatically going to reveal His individual plans for our lives on a daily basis. Even though Jesus is in our lives, He is still not going to invade the privacy of our lives without our permission first. Jesus created us to be free will independent beings. Jesus is a gentleman and will not take up any more space in our lives than we will allow Him to, otherwise Christianity would not then be relationship with Jesus.

When you are a robot, you do not have free will choice of whether to obey your master or not. Your master programs you and you respond accordingly. If relationship is the opposite of being a robot, then relationship means having the freedom to continually receive or reject anything that pertains to the relationship and its stimulation on your part.

Before Jesus will reveal His plan for our lives and give us the answer to our healing needs on a daily basis, we must each day do something to show our dependence on Him and His healing Spiritual-Life and that we are interested in what He has to say concerning our lives.

Abraham, like ourselves, was saved by believing on God's promises. Abraham was saved because he believed God's Word that, through His descendants, a nation would be created whose people would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.60 Later Abraham did something to show his dependence on God and to show God that he wanted to have continued relationship with Him and His covenant. Abraham, according to Godís instructions, circumcised himself, his son, and his servants.55

Like Abraham who was saved because he believed God's promises to him, so we are saved by believing what God the Father has declared about His Son Jesus: that He died for our sins and rose as proof of our justification.56 We personalize this by entering into relationship with Jesus Christ by receiving Him as Savior and Lord of our lives. In order to daily feed on Jesus and cause our relationship with Jesus Christ to grow, Jesus gives us two ways to express our dependence on Him through physical action: 1) through daily reading of the Bible and 2) through weekly pursuit of fellowship with other believers in a Church. This is the discussion of Chapters 3 and 4 of this Section, but first lets talk about how to approach Jesus for the answer to our needs and why which is the discussion of Chapter 2 of this Section.

What we cover in this Section of the Textbook is how to approach Jesus to discover what His will and plan for our lives are and know that what we are receiving really is His voice. The Bible teaches that Satan, the devil, disguises himself as an angel of light. This means that he comes to us disguised as Jesus or Jesusí Holy Spirit to fool us and lead us astray and away from Godís will and plan for our lives. For this reason, if we are to succeed not only in knowing Jesus' will and plan for our lives but also in succeeding in fulfilling it once we know it, then it is imperative that we learn how to know what is truly His voice to us and what is not. This Section accomplishes this three ways: first by showing you how to relate to Jesus for the answer to your needs and grow in your relationship with Him which is the discussion of Chapters 1-4; second, by teaching you principles of discernment about how to know what is truly His voice and answers to your needs and what is not which is the discussion of Chapter 5; and third, by teaching you how to succeed in His will and plan for your life once you know what that clearly is which is the discussion of Chapters 6-9.

Study Questions
On to chapter 2

Bibliography & Notes
Section 4 Chapters

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