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THE POWER OF WORDS

A.     Introduction:  We have been dealing with the fact that at the new birth, the life of God (ZOE) came into us.
     1.     That life is real, and that life made real changes in us, in our spirits.
          a.     It made us literal, actual sons and daughters of God with the life and nature of God in us.
               I John 5:1,11,12; II Pet 1:4
          b.     It united us to Jesus as truly as a branch is joined to a vine, and made us new creatures. John 3:16;                     15:5; II Cor 5:17
     2.     That life is now our position and our power (ability). I John 4:17; Phil 4:13
          a.     It is God's desire that we live this life even as Jesus lived when He was on earth. I John 2:6;
               John 14:12; Eph 5:1,2
          b.     That is possible because we now have in us the same life Jesus had in Him when He was on earth.                     John 5:26; 6:57; I John 5:11,12
     3.     In the past few lessons, we have been focusing on the fact that, while on earth, Jesus knew who and                what He was (according to God's testimony), said who and what He was, and then acted like who and what He was.
          a.     Jesus accepted His Father's testimony about Himself, and spoke and acted in agreement with His                     Father's words -- even in the face of contrary evidence.
          b.     We must learn to do the same thing if we are going to walk as Jesus walked.
     4.     In this lesson, we want to continue to talk about the importance of knowing what God says and then                saying it, too.  We want to consider the importance of words.

B.     Let's first consider what words mean to God.
     1.     God created all that we see with words.  He releases His power through His words. Gen 1; Heb 1:3
          a.     Throughout the OT, God worked through His word.  He decreed things and they came to pass                          even as He spoke them.
          b.     He has given us an entire book of His words, the Bible.
     2.     Jesus is called the Word of God.
          a.     On earth, Jesus repeatedly said He showed us the Father because He spoke His Father's words and                did His Father's works.  As we've seen, He spoke His Father's words even in the face of contrary                     evidence.
          b.     On earth, Jesus did things with words -- healed the sick, cast out devils, raised the dead, fed the                     multitudes.
     3.     While on earth, Jesus said that we can use words as He used words.   Matt 21:21
     4.     Through the new birth, God has made us masters who reign with words. I John 5:4; Rev 12:11
          a.     Through the new birth, we have authority. Eph 1:22,23
          b.     Authority is released or wielded through words. Matt 8:9
     5.     The confession of your lips that has grown out of faith in your heart will defeat the devil at every turn                 just as it did for Jesus.     
          a.     Jesus knew who He was -- He was authorized to speak for the Father. John 9:4; Matt 7:29
          b.     Jesus fully expected what He said to come to pass.  He walked away from the fig tree and was not                     surprised the next day when it was dead. Mark 11:14-22     
     6.     God works through words.  Jesus worked through words.  As sons and daughters of God, we work                     through words.

C.     If we are going to be and have all that God intends for us in this life, we must get control of our mouths.
     1.     You do need special times of confession where you thoughtfully repeat what God says about you and                about what He has done for your through redemption.     
          a.     That is another name for meditation in God's word. Josh 1:8; Ps 1:1-3
          b.     By taking time to do this, you build the reality of the word of God into your spirit, into your                          consciousness.
     2.     Meditation in God's word will not produce maximum results until or unless you get control of your                everyday conversation.
          a.     All of us have speech habits which contradict God's word.
          b.     We have to identify them, get control of them, and change them if the Father's word on our lips                     is going to do for us what it did for Jesus.
     3.     There is a lot of controversy over this whole issue of confession of the words of our mouth.
          a.     Some say there is too much emphasis on it.  It doesn't matter what I say.  God knows what I mean.
          b.     Others say -- that's that name it and claim it stuff where we create our own realities.  I don't want                     any part of that.
          c.     Still others say -- If  I feel bad, I feel bad.  Let's be real about this.
     5.     This is not about making a list of confession rules -- you CAN say this.  You CAN'T say that.  The                issue is -- what are you giving testimony to or evidence of in your life when you talk, what God says or what you see and feel?!
          a.     Everyone -- saved and unsaved -- testifies or speaks out what they believe about themselves,                          others, God, circumstances.
          b.     As Christians, we are to believe what God says and then testify to it. I John 4:14,15
          c.     When we speak God's word because we believe it, God brings it to pass in our lives. Rom 10:9,10
     6.     As sons and daughters of God, you and I are called to live by unseen realities.  That is what faith is all                about. II Cor 4:18; 5:7
          a.     We are now part of an unseen, eternal kingdom. Phil 3:20; Col 1:13
          b.     We serve the unseen, invisible, eternal God who has blessed us with every unseen, spiritual                          blessing heaven itself enjoys. I Tim 1:17; Eph 1:3
          c.     All the changes in us because of the new birth are unseen. John 3:3-8; II Cor 5:16
     7.     Not seen doesn't mean not real.  It means invisible, spiritual.
          a.     The unseen created the seen, will outlast the seen, and can change the seen. Heb 11:3; II Cor 4:18
          b.     God reveals these unseen realities to us in His word.
     8.     To live by faith means to live by unseen realities which have been revealed to us in the Bible.
          a.     That means we base our words and actions on unseen information which is revealed to us through                     the Bible.
          b.     Then, the unseen realities of God's kingdom affect and change what we see and feel.

D.     Most of us have a mixture -- a mixed confession.  If we are going to walk in the power of God, we must get      rid of our dual talk.
     1.     What is mixed speech?  It is giving testimony to the seen and the unseen at the same time without                     realizing the contradiction.
          a.     John 11:24,39--I know my brother will rise from the dead, but he stinks.
          b.     Num 13:27,28; Ex 15:14-18--It is a good land, but there are giants and walled cities that will eat                     us up.
     2.     When you speak with a mixture, it weakens your faith. James 3:6-12
     3.     James 1:5-8--A double-minded man does not receive from God.
          a.     Double minded = two spirited; vacillating in opinion or purpose.
          b.     Wavering = to dispute or doubt; same word is used in Matt 21:21 (doubt); Mark 11:23 (doubt);                     Rom 4:20 (staggered).
          c.     Unstable -- inconstant, unstable, disorderly.
     4.     Consider these examples of mixed speech.
          a.     Phil 4:19--You boldly declare that God meets all your need according to His riches in glory.  But,                     then you say:  I don't know where the money is going to come from.  If God doesn't come  through, we're sunk.
          b.     Jer 29:11--I know God has a plan for my life, but I don't know what He wants me to do.
          c.     Phil 4:13--I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  But, I feel so weak.
          d.     Rom 8:37--I'm more than a conqueror through Christ, but nothing ever goes right for me.  I can't                     do this.
          e.     Prov 3:1-4--I have favor with God and man, but sales clerks are always rude to me.  The boss                          always picks on me.
          f.     I Pet 2:24--By His stripes I am healed.  But, I still feel sick.
     5.     This isn't about coming up with a magic confession formula which opens the windows of heaven.
          a.     It's about what kingdom you are giving testimony to -- the seen or the unseen.
          b.     It's about what kingdom you are building into your spirit, into your consciousness -- God's word                     or sense information.
          c.     The way you talk builds either strength or weakness into your spirit.
          d.     What comes out of your mouth is ultimately what you believe and it either establishes what God                     says in your life or what your senses say.
     6.     We need to get to the point where all of our words and actions support what God says.
          a.     Faith, believing, is an action.  We must put action to our faith, to our believing. Acts 14:8-10
          b.     We do it primarily through words (although not exclusively).
          c.     Most of us believe in healing, victory, prosperity.  We're missing it primarily in the area of action.
     7.     It takes effort because you are undoing habits of a life time.
          a.     It takes commitment because we are talking about altering one lifestyle to move in another,                          completely different direction.
          b.     It takes brutal honesty because we have good reasons for what we say -- we see it or feel it.
          c.     The times we most need to do this are the times we most don't want to and the times it seems                          totally unreasonable.
     8.     People often respond to this kind of teaching like this -- I tried that and it doesn't work.
          a.     It does work!!  For the majority of us, much of our testimony is what we see and feel -- and that is                     exactly what we have in our lives.
          b.     This stuff doesn't work!  You are living proof that it works.  You said it doesn't work, and it                          doesn't for you -- therefore, it is working.  You have in your experience exactly what you say.
     9.     In light of all of this, how can we talk about problems?  
          a.     Talk less.  If we cut our  talk in half, we'd probably still talk too much about the seen realm.
          b.     Become aware of the kinds of things you are saying about the problem.  State it clearly -- the                          difference between what sight says and what God says.
          c.     Discuss the situation in terms of God's word.

E.     Conclusion:  The whole point of all of this is to learn to say what God says about us and our situation                despite what we see or feel -- one hundred percent of the time.     
     1.     That is what Jesus did while on earth.  As He is, so are we.
     2.     As we speak more and more of what God says and less and less of what sight says, it will strengthen                our faith.
          a.     Words have an affect on us.  When we talk about what we see and feel, it builds an awareness of                     the seen realm into us.
          b.     When we talk about what God says, it build an awareness of the unseen realm into us.
     3.     Examine yourself.  Are you saying what God says one hundred percent of the time?  Look for ways to                agree with God when you speak about everything.
     4.     Killing fig trees with words is not something you can turn off and on when you need it.  That's why it                doesn't work for most people.
          a.     A need arises for which we suddenly have to act based on unseen information.  But, we are in the                     habit of living only by what we see or by a mixture of seen and unseen.  It's very difficult to shift gears suddenly, especially under emotional duress.
          b.     We go through the motions (make the right confessions) but, the unseen is not a reality to us.                           And, our efforts are a desperate attempt to get God to move on our behalf rather than faith.
     5.     If we'll make the effort to get rid of the mixture, sooner or later, these things will take hold in us, and                we'll speak out of our mouths, and that fig tree will die and that mountain will move.