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Monday, April 29, 2024

Reconciled and Restored Through Faith



Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

—Hebrews 2:14-15


God needed to become flesh and blood so He could destroy the devil. Satan still exists, but his power has been destroyed. He only wields power in our lives because of our ignorance of the Word. His only weapon is deception. That is why knowing the truth sets us free (John 8:32).


Hebrews 2:14 states that Jesus destroyed the devil, who had the power of death, by dying Himself. Adam and Eve put the control of death into the hands of the devil when they ate of the tree (Genesis 3:6). The Lord told them not to do it or they would die (Genesis 2:16). Mankind's choice brought death, and the enemy has taken every advantage of it. Sin is the result of this choice. It is the root of all sickness that brings death. God does not want death for us. He wants us to receive life. God sent Jesus to purchase salvation and all its truth for us—to restore the relationship we had with Him in the Garden. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and reconcile us to God (Romans 5:11). God has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13).


Jesus was the exact image of His Father (Hebrews 1:3). The Father was in Him, and He was in the Father (John 17:21). Jesus did nothing that was not the expressed wish of His Father. 


“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).


God anointed His Son, Jesus, with power. He healed all who were oppressed by the devil. Since Jesus is the exact image of God (Hebrews 1:3), Jesus’ healing of all oppressed by the devil was God’s will. Scripture states that through Jesus’ finished work of grace, healing is part of the atonement (Isaiah 53:4-5, Matthew 8:16-17,1 Peter 2:24). We, having died to sin now may live in His righteousness. By His stripes, we were healed. 


God does not respond to us because of our work on His behalf. He responds to us because of Jesus’ perfect work on our behalf. When we don't put our faith in Him, we end up trying to earn what He has already purchased for us with His precious blood. Praying to receive anything from the Lord based on our work or how good we are is like a Pharisee trying to prove he is righteous. Putting faith in our own effort instead of putting faith in Jesus’ grace ultimately opens the door to fear.


And fear is one of the greatest hindrances to faith.


“While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.’ But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well’” (Luke 8:49-50).


The story of Jairus and his recently deceased daughter reveals that fear is one of the greatest hindrances to faith. Jesus made it clear to Jairus that his daughter’s healing depended on believing in Him and not on fear. Fear and faith cannot exist together. Fear destroys our faith.


Many Christians who deal with sickness have fear. They have a fear of death, doctors, medical reports, medicine, and a fear of financial problems. They may fear losing someone or the fear of overwhelming circumstances. Many know God’s will concerning their health, and they are hopeful that they might get healed. But deep down there is fear that is killing their faith.


Through His death Jesus destroyed Satan, who had the power of death, and released those held in bondage from the fear of death (Heb. 2:15). Death is the greatest fear of mankind. Jesus destroyed Satan’s power of death. Jesus came to release us from the fear of death.


The root fear from which other fears grow is the fear of death. When the fear of death is destroyed, the bondage of other fears is destroyed. You will live in peace, joy, and love. Your faith will come to life. 


Why would a Christian ever fear death? Isn’t death just moving into the presence of God—into the everlasting and unending perfect love of our Father where there is joy unspeakable and full of glory? Those who fear death choose to live in the bondage of other fears. When you are bound up in fear, you do not have the abundant life Jesus came to give you. 


“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).


Just as fear destroys faith, love destroys fear. Perfect love casts out fear. Fear is torment, but knowing the love of God is the most liberating power there is. 


The perfect love of God casts out fear. If you don't believe your faith is “working,” trusting in God's love is an issue. Fear is an issue. Just because you don’t see God’s Word working in your life, don’t devalue its truth by speaking: “I’ll be like this forever. Nothing will ever change.” The Gospel either saves or does not save. It either heals or does not heal. It either works or does not work. 


“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:2).


Fear destroys your faith and hinders the harvest of God’s truth in your life. The Word profits you—it brings a harvest in your life—when you mix it with faith.  


When you know how much God loves you, you will not fear death. 


“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).


The threat of death will not cause fear in those who trust that the Lord will never leave or forsake them (Hebrews 13:5). David wrote that even if he walked “through the valley of the shadow of death” he would fear no evil. Death is not an end. It’s just something we walk through into the next life. Seeing death in this way helps remove the sting of the fear of death.


Healing is God’s will for this life and for the next. Out of the abundance of your heart, you speak (Matthew 12:34). Never speak less of yourself than God speaks of you. Faith comes in our hearts by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17). A person of faith speaks God’s truth even when it is not seen. He believes it is the truth for his life, and He receives God’s truth through faith.


The Word comes to life in your heart by faith. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 3:23). Believe His truth in your heart. By the stripes of Jesus, you were healed for now and eternity. Put on the new life He has given you (Ephesians 4:24). Receive through faith the abundant life of reconciliation and restoration Jesus gave His life for you to receive.


His gift is offered, but it only becomes ours through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).



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