We should be very grateful that we are saved by the faith of Jesus Christ, his faith accomplished our salvation. But there are those who believe that if a person has sufficient faith, that God will remove those untoward circumstances in response to the prayer of faith.
But, as these people insist, in order to have God take those circumstances away, a person must first have the faith that God CAN and WILL take them away. These are the people that talk about casting our devil spirits and binding Satan.
Of course, insufficient faith means no healing, thus the answer to prayer for those of insufficient faith would be NO, end of story. Show your faith - God will show you his miracle. Faith that God CAN and WILL heal is an absolutely essential component if that healing, that resolution is to take place in your life. And of course, these people often seek out “faith healers” in that God obviously works through these people of such great faith.
There are those who believe there to be a power resident IN the prayer itself, thus the term “the power of prayer”, such that in certain situations God will deliver certain people from certain suffering situations that for reasons know only to God, and he allows other believers, as well as non-believers to endure.
Yet, our patient endurance through suffering is a way of demonstrating our hope, and when our hope is put on display in the midst of our suffering, that brings glory to God. The grace and strength God gives a person to endure that suffering, is the strength of God, he wants others to see in that person’s life. That is when God’s strength is perfected in our life, while we seek deliverance from suffering, God seeks devotion through suffering.
Has something changed? Why, of course it did. So why are people going back to the law program or a time when that law program was in effect and trying to eat from that table?
God’s program with the nation Israel was placed on the shelf, only after the 1-year time period given Israel in the parable of the fig tree Jesus Christ relayed to his disciples in Luke chapter 13, Israel’s indictment came with the stoning of Stephen. Paul’s conversion came in Acts chapter 9, and thus began God’s new program and an age of superabounding grace.
Dispensing the message of that new program would not begin until Paul received the revelations necessary to do the dispensing. So, the dispensing of the message did not come when Paul was converted, but we know for a fact, that Paul was judicially joined to Christ at the point of his belief.
Israel’s program had not been placed on hold at Pentecost, Israel was still the focus of God’s dealings at Pentecost. Of course, the majority of fundamental denominationalists believe that God’s new program began at Pentecost, but God’s program with Israel was not set aside until the conversion of Paul.
The expression “The Body of Christ” is an expression denoting the point when God began to judicially join believers his son. The Body of Christ is not about program, but about judicial joining.
The hope for both programs is the same, and that hope is a resurrection from among the dead unto eternal life. Of course, the residential destinations promised the believers of the two programs are entirely different. The earthly calling and the heavenly calling refer to the program to which believers have been called in their destinations.
We find the amazing and comforting truth that God’s love for those who are joined to his son, is the same unalterable and unending love God has for his son. That is how closely connected we are to Christ, nothing will ever be able to diminish God’s loving attitude towards those who are joined to his son.
One of the most horrible, most cruel forms of punishment was a method employed by the Romans, it was worse than crucifixion. One of the ways of putting people to death was to take a corpse, someone who had already been executed and to strap that corpse onto the body of a live person.
What an adherent presence that would have been as that corpse began to rot. Well, Paul paints that very picture when he illustrates the ever present problem that his sinful nature presented to him. Paul could not escape his sinful nature, no matter how fervently he tried.
We can rejoice and we can give all the glory and the praise to the God and Father of our Savior Jesus Christ for the fact that even though that sinful nature is strapped onto our fleshly backs like a rotting corpse, God does not see us in our flesh from his judicial perspective.
God does not relate to us on the basis of our performance in the flesh, but on the basis of our new identification in his son. God gave the law to showcase that sinful nature inside people, which was the only thing the law was capable of doing when it came to Israel or those who had never been placed under that law to begin with. God gave the law that sin might abound, not abate or cease or lessen.