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LIVING BY UNSEEN REALITIES
A. Introduction: When we were born again, the life of God came into us and recreated us. II Cor 5:17
1. The life we received at the new birth has made us overcomers -- victors, conquerors, those who prevail. I John 5:4
a. Many Christians do not live as the overcomers that they are. Instead, the difficulties of life overcome them.
b. We have to learn how to walk in the reality of what we are because we are born again.
2. I John 5:4 tells us that overcomers overcome by their faith.
a. Faith is living by unseen realities. II Cor 5:7
b. In this lesson, we want to deal with how to live by faith, by unseen realities, so we can experience the fact that we are overcomers through the new birth.
B. The first key to living as an overcomer, living by faith, is to recognize and become aware of the fact that you are a spirit being.
1. Gen 1:26; John 4:24--God is a Spirit, and we are made in the image and likeness of God. That means:
a. We are in the same class as God. That doesn't mean we are God. It means we are made in such a way that God can indwell us and fellowship with us.
b. We are eternal beings. Now that we do exist, we are going to live forever.
c. We can and will live independent of our bodies.
2. You are not a mind. You are not emotions. You are not a body.
a. You are a spirit who lives in a body and possesses a soul (mind and emotions).
b. You are to dominate your soul and body. (I = the spirit man. Phil 1:22-24; 4:13; I Cor 9:27;
II Cor 5:6)
3. When you were born again, the life and nature of God came into you. I John 5:11,12; II Pet 1:4
a. Your identity now is that you are a spirit being who has the life and nature of God in him.
b. You are born from above ( I John 3:5). You are born of God (I John 5:1). You are of God
(I John 4:4).
4. II Cor 5:16--You must learn to see yourself from that standpoint. You must become spirit conscious.
a. You must become conscious of the fact that you are a spirit who has the life of God in him, who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.
b. That means you live your life with the awareness that you have the life of God in you, that God dwells in you.
1. God now deals with you on the basis of these facts -- you are His literal son or daughter.
2. You can now relate to Him on the basis of these facts -- He is your Father, you are His child, and you can freely, confidently come to Him for relationship, for help.
3. You can now deal with life and its troubles based on these facts -- you are more than a conqueror because you are born of God. The Greater One (the Holy Spirit) lives in you now.
5. A note of explanation is necessary at this point. If I have the life of God in me, why do I need the Holy Spirit in me?
a. Jesus said that those who are born of the Spirit also need to be indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
John 4:14; 7:37-39; 14:17; 20:22; Acts 1:4
b. In the Book of Acts, we see clearly two distinct experiences with the Holy Spirit -- unbelievers are born of the Spirit and believers are filled with the Spirit.
c. Keep in mind that we are describing interactions between an infinite God and finite beings, so words of explanation fall short. But, here are some distinctions to consider:
1. The life of God recreates you and makes you a literal child of God with the very same life in you that Jesus had in His earth walk.
2. That life makes you righteous, holy, and blameless -- a fitting temple for God the Holy Ghost to indwell.
3. The Holy Spirit (a divine Person who works with you in this life) is in you now to unveil the realities of Jesus and His work on the Cross to you , and to bring the life of the Father in fullness into your mind and body. John 16:13,14; Eph 3:16,19
6. We get our information about what we are now that we are born again from the Bible.
a. The Bible functions as a mirror which shows us how God sees us, which shows us what we are now that we are born again.
b. There are over 130 verses (mostly in the epistles) which tell us what we are because we are born again.
7. All of this leads to the second key we need to live as overcomers in this life.
C. The second key to living as an overcomer, to living by faith, is recognizing that there is a realm beyond what we see -- the unseen realm. II Cor 4:18
1. The seen realm is the work of the unseen God who spoke creation into existence with His word.
I Tim 1:17; Heb 11:3
a. Not seen doesn't mean not real. It means invisible, spiritual, immaterial.
b. Gen 1:1--At the beginning of time, the unseen created all that we see.
c. The unseen created the seen, will outlast the seen, and can change the seen.
2. Through the new birth, you and I became part of that unseen realm or kingdom.
a. Col 1:13--We are now in the unseen kingdom of God.
b. The kingdom of God is the invisible realm where God dwells.
1. It is a kingdom of light and life because God is light and life.
2. His light and life comes into us (our spirits) at the new birth. His kingdom comes into us, connecting us with the invisible realm around us. Eph 5:8
c. Luke 17:20,21--The kingdom of God within us is the new birth. Observation = ocular evidence (evidence obtained or perceived by sight); within = inside.
3. How can we be part of an invisible kingdom?
a. The very same life and power that reigns in the unseen realm is in us now because of the new birth.
b. Eph 1:3--God has already provided us with every unseen blessing the kingdom of heaven enjoys.
c. Clearly, we can't fully understand all of what that means at this point in our existence. But, we don't have to understand electricity to use it. We just accept it and cooperate with it. So it is with the unseen realm of which we are now a part.
4. If you could step out of your body right now, you would see that realm. II Cor 5:8
a. You would see its reality, and you would see the impermanence, the temporary, fleeting nature of this life and all that we see with our eyes.
b. Or, if God suddenly pulled back the veil and permitted the unseen to be seen by our eyes, we would see how very real the unseen kingdom is. Luke 2:8-15
5. Since we cannot perceive the kingdom with our physical senses, we must have another way to get information about the unseen realm.
a. God has given us access to this information in the Bible. Through the Bible, God reveals the unseen realm to us.
b. The Bible is our only one hundred percent reliable source of information about the unseen realm.
6. This unseen realm is real whether we believe it or not. The changes that have occurred in the unseen part of us are real whether we believe them or not.
a. But, if we can learn to live, walk, in the light of these unseen realities, they will change what we see and feel.
b. What does it mean to walk in the light of something? We walk in the light of the telephone.
1. We live our lives as though telephones really exist. We talk and act like they exist.
2. We expect them to do certain things, count on them to work for us, to be there when we need them.
c. It must became as normal and natural for us to live in the light of these unseen realities as it is for us to live in the light of the telephone if we are going to live as the overcomers we are.
7. II Kings 6:13-23--Elisha lived by unseen realities. Notice:
a. v16--He did not take sight as the final word on his situation. He took revelation knowledge (God's word) as the final word. Ps 34:7; 68:17; 91:11
b. v17--Those unseen helpers were no less real when they could not be seen, nor were they more real when they could be seen.
c. v18--Notice how Elisha connected the power of the unseen realm to his circumstances -- with his words. Where did Elisha get the idea to blind the Syrian army to protect himself and win the victory? From God's word. Gen 19:1-11
d. When the men of Sodom were going to break down Lot's door to take the two visitors (angels) by force, the angels blinded them so they couldn't find the door.
8. Heb 11 is sometimes called the faith hall of fame. It lists numerous OT saints who are commended for their faith.
a. Heb 11:1--The theme of this chapter is faith. Faith is living by unseen realities.
b. As we read through the chapter, we see that these people based their actions not on what they could see and feel, but on unseen realities revealed to them by God's word.
c. Heb 11:13--Notice, they confessed who and what they were, not according to sight, but according to God's word.
D. If you are going to live as an overcomer, you cannot get your picture of reality from what you see around you. You must get it from God's word.
1. What you see does not take into account the unseen facts of the kingdom to which we now belong.
What you see is temporary and it is subject to change.
a. We are not saying that you should deny what you see. It is real. It is true. But, it is subject to change.
b. There is a higher, unseen, reality which is revealed to us in God's word -- the truth.
John 17:17; 8:31,32
c. God's truth will change what is true in your life if you will side in with it, if you will walk in the light of it.
2. This is reality:
a. God has a plan and a purpose for my life. Eph 1:4,5; Rom 8:29; Jer 29:11
b. God is ordering my footsteps and directing my path. Ps 37:23; Prov 3:6
c. God is working in me that which is well pleasing in His sight. Heb 13:21
d. God is working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Phil 2:13
e. God causes all things to work together for good for me. Rom 8:28
f. God is for me and nothing can come against me which can defeat me. Rom 8:31; Isa 54:17
g. God meets all my need according to His riches in glory. Phil 4:19
h. I am united to Christ as truly as a branch is joined to a vine, and God the Father sees me and deals with me on the basis of that union. John 15:5; I Cor 6:17
i. I am redeemed, taken out of captivity to Satan, sin, and sickness. Those things have lost their power over me and can no longer dominate me. Col 1:13; Rom 6:6-14; I Pet 2:24
j. The Holy Spirit is in me to quicken my flesh, to give life to my mortal body. He is quickening me now. Rom 8:11
3. If you could step out of your body right now, you would see that all of this is real. It is so. When you leave your body at death, you will see that it is so.
a. It won't be any more real then. It's not less real now. It is real. It is so.
b. These things are real now, and they can impact your life now, change your life now, if you will learn to live in the light of them.
4. You must learn to look at yourself and your life this way. You must talk like this -- not just at church, but all the time.
a. If you talk or act contrary to any one of the points we listed, you are not walking by faith (unseen realities) in that area.
b. You are walking by sight in that area and will not overcome in that area -- even though you are an overcomer.
5. How do we become spirit conscious, conscious of the unseen realm, until we get to the point where it dominates us, where we live in the light of it?
a. Recognize that it takes time and effort. You are reversing the way you live from “by sight” to “by unseen realities revealed in God's word”. (newspaper article)
b. You must take time to study God's word and meditate on it. Josh 1:8
c. You must continually confess God's word (say what God says) until the reality of it dawns on you.
E. Conclusion: If we are going to live as the overcomers we are, we must learn to live by faith. To live by faith means to live by the unseen realities revealed to us in the Bible. It takes study. It takes effort. But, we can do it. We will do it, by God's grace.