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Dear Partner,

I have been teaching a lot lately on the fundamentals of faith. Most believers have heard that the just shall "live by faith and not by sight" but not many people actually know how to do that when it comes to the practical side of life.

Rom 10:17   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Said another way, you cannot have faith on any subject without first knowing what God has said on the subject. There is no such thing as faith beyond a person's actual knowledge of God's Word. The simplest example for believers is, "How did you get saved?" Somehow and somewhere you heard God's Word being preached. Perhaps it was John 3:16. Perhaps it was Romans 10:9-10. Perhaps it was other verses but the point is: through hearing God's Word you developed faith that you could be saved through the finished work of Christ. You acted on what you heard and became a born again child of God.

Faith always comes by finding out God's will on the subject. What amazes me is the vast numbers of believers who still struggle to know what God's will actually is on certain subjects. They don't have to remain confused. They don't even have to wait until a preacher comes to expound on the subject. In our modern times everybody has a copy of the bible. In fact, in most households there are multiple bibles in various translations. Let's see if we can find out God's will on a couple of subjects. Here is one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament:

Psa 103:1-3   A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.

You would be amazed at the number of believers whom the devil torments through guilt over past sins and mistakes. I'll ask them, "Have you confessed your sins and asked the Lord to forgive you?" They will nearly always answer yes. Then I say, "Then why do you still feel guilty?" The answer is usually something like, "Well, I just don't feel like He has forgiven me. I still feel guilt and shame." I will read them the passage from Psalm 103 and say, "Look, it says not to forget the Lord's benefits. The bible plainly says one of those benefits is that He forgives all your iniquities." They will read it, and then still say, "Yes, I know what it says but I just don't feel forgiven. I feel guilty. I'm not sure it is the Lord's will to forgive me." My friend, that is the opposite of living by faith. A person like that is putting more trust in their "feelings" than they are in the Word of God. Faith simply believes what God says. It isn't based on feelings. Faith is based on God's Word. If God says in His Word that He forgives you that settles the issue and your "feelings" have nothing to do with it.

While we are at it, let's discuss knowing God's will concerning healing. In that same passage we are told that that another of the Lord's benefits is, "Who healeth all they diseases." How many of them? All of them. Yet nearly all the prayers for healing I heard prayed in church as I grew up ended with the faith killing statement, "If it be thy will." My question has always been; what in the world would make you think it is NOT God's will to heal? Jesus told Philip,

John 14:9   Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

If we want to see the Father's will regarding healing, then we need to look at Jesus in the four gospels. What do we see? We see Jesus healing people everywhere He went. In fact, the apostle Peter did a good job of summarizing Jesus' ministry regarding healing when he said,

Acts 10:38   How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

I've already done my homework on this. I went through the four gospels meticulously to see if I could find even one case where Jesus ever said to anybody, "It is not the Father's will to heal you." Check it out for yourself. There is not a single case of anybody coming to Jesus for healing that they did not receive their healing. Jesus says, "You want to see the Father? Look at me." So we look at Jesus and we find that one hundred percent of the time, every person who came to Him for healing received what they came for.

In my mind, the issue is settled. I have heard God's Word on the subject. Faith has come. It is the Lord's will to heal. Sickness and disease is of the devil, not God. Notice Acts 10:38 plainly states that all of those sick people were being oppressed by the devil not by God! When I pray for people I no longer use the phrase, "If it be thy will." That would be like praying for God to save a lost person, "If it be thy will." You know it is God's will to save everybody. It is time for the church to also conclude from God's Word that it is His will to heal everybody.

Let us be those who continually live by faith, not by sight. Is there a fight to faith? Absolutely. There is a constant warfare between the "seen" material realm and the "unseen" realm of the Spirit. The book of Hebrews gives us the precise definition of what genuine bible faith is:

Heb 11:1   Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you.   We thank God for your generous and giving heart.   God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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