Christ Our Substitute

33068939_sUnderstanding that Jesus took our place and became our substitute when He died on Calvary is vital to having a faith that can receive a miracle from the Lord.

Substitution

The principle of substitution was introduced by God when He commanded the Levitical Priests to transfer the sins of the people to the “scape goat” by laying hands upon them. The goat that was carrying the sins of the people was then sent off into the wilderness (Leviticus 16:10).

This typifies what Jesus did for us, becoming the bearer of our sins and all the consequences of sin. The good news is that we don’t have to bear what Jesus bore for us. It would be illegal for God to punish both Jesus and us for our sins. That is what makes substitution necessary from a legal standpoint, someone had to suffer the penalty for transgression in order for justice to be satisfied. Jesus did that for you and me, dying in our place and taking the penalty of our sins upon Himself.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions , he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV)

By faith we accept this fact, that Christ was our Substitute, taking on our penalty and suffering all the consequences of sin, including sickness, poverty, and the second death (eternal separation from God in Hell).

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree; That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:13-14)

When the enemy tells you that God is punishing you by some sickness or tragedy, remind him that God already punished Jesus on your behalf and that he (the enemy) is trespassing illegally and will have to go when you resist him in faith. Remind the devil that you are redeemed by the Blood of Christ and he has no authority over your life whatsoever. So scram devil!

Declare every day the blessings of God that you have inherited, those blessings of Abraham listed in Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Speak God’s Word over your life and do not allow Satan to have any place in your life. Close every door to him by living clean and renewing your mind to the glorious position you have in Christ.

Dr. John Polis

Guaranteed Growth

41369318_sWill 2016 be a year of marked increase in your spiritual life? Will you be able to look back at the end of the year and see the progress you have made? If this is your desire, then you must have goals to reach the result.

 

GOD DESIRES GROWTH in our lives as His children, just like any parent wants to see their children growing at a normal and healthy rate. “…desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” 1 Peter 2:2 KJV.

GROWTH OCCURS NATURALLY as we take in the proper nutrients, get the necessary exercise, and rest. A regular diet of anointed teaching, bible reading, prayer, serving, and relationship building will all result in steady growth into the fruitful Christian life.

GROWTH CAN BE HINDERED by continuing to practice sin after we have been born again. “…let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us…” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV. Sin is like the weeds in a garden that eventually outgrow and choke the living plants that would otherwise produce fruit. It must be eliminated.

GROWTH RESULTS IN GREATER PRODUCTIVITY as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Vine and Branches. “By this my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit, so you will be my disciples” John 15:8 NKJV. Being productive as a Christian means I am ever increasing in faith and the love that attracts and wins others to Christ.

GROWTH BRINGS THE GREATEST REWARDS in life as we are promoted in every area where we have achieved another level of maturity, wisdom, and skill. The people who enjoy life the most and add value to the lives of others, are the people who have the desire to grow and have set goals to reach the desired result.

GROWTH WAS THE GOAL of Jesus Christ while living on the earth and fulfilling the will of God for his life. “And Jesus increased (grew) in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 NKJV.

A Profitable New Year

47188658_s2016 can be our best year by following the instructions God has provided to insure profit in every part of life. Isaiah 48:17 ESV declares

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.’”

Here are six ways that you can insure a profitable year.

1. Profit from your Birthright. Genesis 25:32 KJV “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: what PROFIT shall this birthright do to me?” Esau was profane, irreverent, secular and temporal, and he had no appetite for spiritual things. Jacob had a spiritual appetite and was rewarded even though he had obvious character flaws. Jacob profited from his spiritual hunger which led to a great change of heart and blessed life. We have a birthright as well, being “joint heirs” with the “Firstborn of many brethren” Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17, 29). Maintaining spiritual hunger will result in a deepening relationship with Father God and entrance into all that belongs to us in Christ.

2. Profit from Faith. Hebrews 4:2 KJV “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well a unto them: but the word preached did not PROFIT them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” How do we mix faith with the message we have heard? By putting our faith into action as James said in James 2:17 Moffatt’s Translation, “Faith without corresponding actions is dead”. The Ten Lepers of Luke 17:11 put faith into action when they believed the word of Jesus and proceeded to “go show themselves to the priests”, acting as though they were “already healed.” Faith “calls the things that do not exist as though they already do.” Romans 4:17-20

3. Profit from Revelation. John 6:63 “the flesh PROFITS nothing, the word that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Jesus meant that His words didn’t come from human reason but revelation from the Spirit of God. His words could impart spiritual life to the followers. When we meditate on God’s Word, the information can become revelation to us. It is that revelation knowledge that brings impartation and transformation to our lives. We gain maximum PROFIT from revelation of the Word.

4. Profit from Chastisement. Hebrews 12:10 KJV “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our PROFIT, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Our manner of life in Christ is just as important as our position of life in Christ. Every person born again will encounter the discipline of our Loving Heavenly Father who seeks to have His children bear His Image. This discipline keeps us from “turning aside to our own ways” resulting in unnecessary hardships we bring upon ourselves (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). Having a manner of life that reflects who He is in us is great gain. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 KJV

5. Profit from Good Works. Titus 3:8 KJV “…be careful to maintain good works… these things are good and PROFITABLE unto men.” We gain access into the lives of others by our good works among them, giving us the opportunity to share our faith and lead others to Christ. Good works do not improve our position in Christ, but good works improve our relationships with people of the earth. We may not be remembered for what we have believed, but we will be remembered for what we have done for others in His Name.

6. Profit from the Supernatural. I Corinthians12:7 KJV “For the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to PROFIT withal.” The nine Gifts of the Spirit are available to all believers to equip them for supernatural service in Christ’s Kingdom. When the Spirit of God is in manifestation everyone profits according to the teaching of the Apostle. The operations of the Spirit are the standard equipment of the New Testament believer, available for the asking, seeking and knocking. “Follow after charity, but desire spiritual gifts.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 KJV

Follow these biblical instructions for a Profitable 2016!

Dr. John Polis

Broke or Broken

11793555_sThe Bible speaks of two types of poverty, “spiritual” and “material” poverty. Most believers have heard the message of Biblical Prosperity and know how to advance themselves in material possessions; however, there is a lack of understanding of spiritual poverty and how to be rich in spiritual things as well.

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelations 3:17-18 NKJV

According to these verses, we can be materially rich, and yet be living in spiritual poverty, we can be broke spiritually. If we see material possessions as the hallmark of God’s blessing, then in fact we have become Materialists who have a “spirit of mammon.” Materialism exists in our lives when we are trying to meet spiritual needs with material possessions, something God denounces in the Word. When we focus on our material accumulation at the expense of our spiritual richness, we are called “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked,” these are not the things I want to hear spoken over my life or ministry and yet, many believers have never progressed beyond the pursuit of material blessings.

Being spiritually rich means that I have an abundance of revelation of God’s Word in my heart and that I have sought and learned how to flow in the Gifts of the Spirit in order to fulfill the ministry of Christ in this world. There is only one way to become spiritually rich, we must be broken vessels before the Lord. We do have a treasure in these earthen vessels as scripture says, but for the anointing to flow in our lives and be released to others, we must have a “broken and contrite spirit.” (see Psalms 51:17) This is simply a heart that is fully yielded to God in submission and obedience to His will. The story of the Woman with the Alabaster Box illustrates the fact that God wants our full surrender, a will that is completely submitted to His will before He will bring us into the abundant spiritual life in Christ. We are not talking here about  a doctrine or works but being in position for God to work in and through us for His own glory. We are either broke or broken when it comes to our relationship with God. Which are you?

God Wants To Promote You

33068939_sOne of the most important traits Christ sought to develop in His followers was the characteristic of faithfulness. This is the quality that is the most rewarded by God, and is the source of the believer’s unending joy.

His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” NKJV Matthew 25:21

Notice three things that result from faithfulness in our lives:

  1. Commendation. “…Well done…”
  2. Promotion. “…ruler over many things…”
  3. Joy. “Enter into the joy of your lord”

So what exactly is this essential quality in a believer’s life? The word “faithful” actually means to be “dependable” or “trustworthy.” God’s way of developing and testing our faithfulness is by giving us responsibility as He did the three men in the Parable of the Talents where this verse is taken from. (Matthew 25:14-29)

Developing Faithfulness

 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” Luke 16:10-12

When God is developing faithfulness, dependability, and trustworthiness in us, He will test us in the three following areas:

  1. With something small. “…faithful in that which is least…”
  2. With material possessions. “…unrighteous mammon…”
  3. With what belongs to someone else. “…what is another man’s…”

As faithfulness is developed in our lives, it eliminates at least three aspects of our “old man” that correspond to the above, which are pride, love of money and disloyalty. God desires to promote us all and bring us into everlasting joy, but first He must work this great quality of faithfulness into our lives.

God’s Plan For Sundays

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 2.57.40 PMA national outreach program called “I Love Sunday’s” was just concluded with over 30,000 churches participating, including Faith Church International in Fairmont, WV where I am Senior Pastor. The messages were very helpful in refocusing our priorities and the use of Sunday as a day God intended for physical rest and spiritual refreshing. Another aim of this series was to give people who attend church regularly an opportunity to invite those who don’t. The efforts were successful at our campus with many new guests in our Sunday services. Our prayer now is that all the folks will get in the habit of using Sunday as God intended, and continuing to invite others as a matter of course.

While reading Acts 20 recently, I noticed a passage that shows how Christians in New Testament times met on the first day of the week (Sunday) to do at least three things that we should also practice today.

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached to them; ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” Acts 20:7

  1. The disciples came together. Scripture exhorts us to “assemble together” regularly to provoke one another to love and good works. Hebrews 10:23-25
  2. The disciples broke bread. This can be a reference to eating together, and/or taking the Lord’s Supper.
  3. The disciples heard Paul preach the word. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God under the anointed ministry of the local church eldership who are five fold gifted ministers.

This was the practice of the first Christians, and one reason the early church was so effective in turning the world upside down. We could summarize these three points by saying that an effective Church/Christian will understand the need and importance of a “corporate unity” (coming together for a common purpose), “to establish close relationships with other believers” (breaking bread) and to “grow in faith” (hearing the Word of God).

Being Confident

43205743_sConfidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.” (Wikipedia) When it comes to having confidence as a Christian, our confidence is not based upon a theory or unsubstantiated promises but on the very character and nature of our loving Father God. I have noted at least four areas in scripture where we are encouraged to have confidence as a result of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Confidence in Adversity. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident” Psalm 27:1-3. David trusted God to be his “light”, the source of illumination and direction. He also trusted God to be his “salvation”, meaning his total deliverance. He was confident that no matter what the odds, God would show him the path of deliverance.

Confidence in Answered Prayer. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petition we have desired of Him” 1 John 5:14-15. Knowing God’s will before we pray is the source of our confidence that our prayer will be answered. We can know God’s will from the Written Word, and from the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us always.

Confidence in Completion. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6. The word perform  means to “fulfill completely” and refers to the good work of redemption God has begun in our lives. No need to worry if you will make it to the end because it was the Father who began the work in our lives and it is He who will complete it and bring us into the fullest manifestation as “sons of god” Romans 8:19.

Confidence in Continuance. “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith” Philippians 1:25. Satan tried to take Paul out time and again but could never succeed because Paul knew that his assignment was not over, as he indicated in this verse. When Paul had “finished the course” God has prepared for him, he voluntarily “offered” himself up and left this world confidently that there was a great reward awaiting him in heaven (2 Timothy 4). We may all have the confidence that we shall continue in this life until our work is done, escaping every evil work that Satan attempts against us. We are “more than conquerors through Christ” (Romans 8:37).