BELIEVING WITH THE HEART AND THE CONFESSION OF THE BELIEVER’S FAITH
In this study, we shall be looking at the two cardinal elements in the operation of faith: believing with the heart and the believer’s confession of faith. These two have been described as the hinges upon which the door of faith swings and have been aptly dubbed “the heart and mouth connection”.
Jesus, while teaching His disciples concerning the dynamics or the working of the law of faith shows the necessity for these two areas (heart and mouth) to come into agreement with God’s Word. See Mark 11:22- 23.
In his letters to the Roman and Corinthian believers, Paul reiterates the importance of these two elements in relation to faith. (Romans 10:6-10; 2 Corinthians 4:13)
BELIEVING WITH THE HEART (Mark 11:24)
Notice that the Word of God requires that you receive it before you have it. That means you must believe that God has answered your prayer though the physical evidence seems contrary. That is how you shall have your desired result.
Now, believing as indicated here is of the heart and not just of the head. Faith is a product of our spirit, not our intellect. Though we receive God’s Word with our natural mind, we do not understand it with our minds; it is spiritually understood. It is our spirit, our heart, the very core of man’s nature and being that the light of God’s Word shines. (Psalm 119:20- 27)
This fact distinguishes faith from a mere mental exercise. Merely mentally assenting to the fact that God’s Word is true is not heart faith. Heart faith believes and has come to a definite assurance that God’s Word has taken care of his case. He has come to the place of knowing and has received it as his own which causes it to materialise.
THE BELIEVER’S FAITH CONFESSION
We do not by this refer to the confession of sin, which accompanies repentance. The dictionary meaning of the word “confession” is “to acknowledge”. Your words, your confession or what fact you acknowledge locates you. We know what you believe deep down in our heart by what you say (Matthew 12:34). The confession of the believer’s faith is simply testifying to the truthfulness of the God that we believe in our hearts. Note 2 Corinthians 4:13; Mark 11:23.
The importance of this element of faith cannot be over–emphasised. Many times, whether we break through with our faith or make a faith failure is dependent upon what we continue to say with our mouth. Note the following facts about the importance of our confession.
- Faith is released through the spoken word. Notice the recurrence of the phrase “and God said” in Genesis 1. Notice also Mark 11:23. Combine 1 John 5:4 and Revelation 12:11.
- Your words dominate you. You set your limit in life by the words you speak. NOTE: Proverbs 6:2; Proverbs 18:20-21; James 3:3-5. Notice here also that you will rise to the level of your confession. As you keep saying what God says about you, you will develop strong faith to overcome life issues.
BIBLE DOCTRINES 2
WOMEN, CHURCH AND MINISTRY
There are certain words in the epistles that constitute a cause for concern for women who feel the fire of God burning in their souls. Many who found themselves in conservative denominations have had that fire smouldered because of the interpretation put upon certain scriptural passages. In whole denominational bodies, women are not given the slightest opportunity to function. It is our desire in this study to look at these texts and interpret them in harmony with other scriptures, so that we might discover vividly the basis of certain practices that we permit in our circles.
THE LAW OF BIBLE INTERPRETATION
“Every scripture must be interpreted in the light of what other scriptures say on the same subject. It must harmonise with all other scriptures.”
People have gone to extremes in a lot of areas because they do not adhere to this law guiding scriptural interpretation. You can make a verse of the Bible say whatever you want it to say if you lift it out of its setting and do not harmonise it with all other scriptures.
- WOMEN IN CHURCH: SHOULD THEY KEEP SILENT IN THE CHURCH?
Read 1 Corinthians 14:34-36; 1 Timothy 2:11–15
The passage here does not refer to women as a whole. In the Greek there is only one word for women: “gyne”.
There is none for wife. The reader is therefore left to determine from the background context which of the two the passage is making reference to. From the context of the above passage, they could not be talking about all women, for not all women have husbands – 1 Corinthians 14: 34. In these passages, Paul is addressing the wives on being subject to their husbands by not usurping his authority as head in the marital relationship. 1 Timothy 2:12
Secondly, Paul makes reference to learning “in silence with all subjection” (1 Timothy 2:11), and “asking questions at home” (1 Corinthians 14:35). Bear in mind that women of those times had little or no education in comparison with the men. In fact, the women were most of the time left out when statistics were taken in those days. So, from all indications, the men were better informed. This is however not the case today. Also, think of the situation today where the husband is unsaved.
- INSTANCES IN THE MINISTRY WHERE WOMEN SPOKE IN CHURCH
- 1 Corinthians 11:5 – Here the Bible talks about women praying and prophesying in the church.
- Acts 2:16-18 – This passage makes no difference between the men and the women in both the manner of giving and the effect of the outpouring of the Spirit.
- To prophesy here means to say something under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This has something to do with preaching also.
- WOMEN IN MINISTRY: SHOULD WOMEN ANSWER THE CALL TO MINISTRY?
Should they fill the role of the five-fold ministry offices? Anna was called a prophetess which obviously is the feminine form of prophet (Luke 2:36–38). Isaac Leeser Translation from the original Hebrew renders Psalm 68:11 thus: “The Lord gave (happy) tidings; they are published by the female messengers, a numerous host.” This prophetic Psalm talks about the spreading of the gospel in our day, and the Hebrew word translated “company” is obviously feminine.
BIBLE DOCTRINES 3
WOMEN MINISTRIES IN THE EARLY CHURCH
- Priscilla – a woman, whom Apostle Paul regarded as a companion, taught Appolos. – Acts 18:26, Romans 16:3 & 4
- Phebe (Romans 16:1–2) – This lady is described as a “servant” (Greek – Diakonos), a word which somewhere else in the New Testament KJV is translated ‘deacon’. Some of the new translations have the verse as “I commend unto you Phoebe… a deaconess….”
- Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis – Romans 16:12. From the Greek, we understand that these were women. Yet they were described with such phrases as “who labour in the Lord” and “which laboured much in the Lord”, indicating that they operated in ministries of some sort.
COVERING OF HAIR: MUST WOMEN COVER THEIR HEADS INCHURCH?
Read 1 Corinthian 11:3–5.
A superficial reading of this beautiful passage of scriptures may give some people the idea that Apostle Paul is placing an injunction on women to cover their head whenever they are in church. Once again, we must note this does not refer to women generally but to women in a husband-wife situation, i.e. wives. The question we must ask ourselves is whether this is a rule for a local situation that has no general application; or a universal rule that binds all irrespective of time and place.
Again, we must find out the basis for Paul’s injunction in this matter. If a contrary position constitutes irreverence to God, then we must abide by this commandment without question.
Note the following:
- This has to do with the custom of the Corinthian people at the time. It is a statement of the church’s position regarding such matters. You will recollect that the Jews had an opposite custom to this. Among the Corinthians, men were not to cover their heads (1 Corinthians 11:4); whereas among the Jews, the men were required to keep their heads covered.
This practice of women having their heads covered in public was a general custom among the Greek. According to Marcus Dodds Commentary, it was among them a recognised badge of seclusion only to be dispensed with when they were secluded from the public view. It was a badge which presented her as a private person and not a public person.
- The Bible never said it is irreverent to God if a woman prays or prophesies with hair uncovered. It says she dishonours her head, i.e. her husband. 1 Corinthians 11:3,5
- The veil is a mere symbol of subjection to her husband’s authority (1 Corinthians 11:8–10). So, it was a sign of deference to the head in that marital relationship, which is the husband.
- “…because of the angels.” (1 Corinthians 11:10). The angels who are ministering spirits are always presents in the gathering of the saints hence may behold with consternation such acts of assumption of authority by the wives over their husbands. Paul therefore advised deference to the husband’s authority in order not to grieve the angels.
Nothing in the text stops women from appearing in public with heads uncovered. Customs have changed with regard to feminine proprieties. But it is our opinion that you should abide by the custom of the place wherein you find yourself.
“The Women Questions” by Kenneth E. Hagin
The Holy Bible
- What are the two cardinal elements in the operation of faith?
- State one Bible reference to support the above.
- What do you understand by ‘The Law of Bible Interpretation”?
- From the context of 1 Corinthians 14:34–36, who are the group of women in today’s church that literally the passage is not applicable to?
- What is the main issue Apostle Paul is addressing in the above passage?
- Mention one instance in the ministry with Bible reference where women spoke.
- What are the five-fold ministry offices? Mention a woman who operated in one of the ministry offices in the Bible.
- Name two women in the early church who were actively involved in Apostle Paul’s ministry.
- Among the Greeks, what did the covering of women’s hair symbolise?
- What is the relevance of angels in the issue of covering of hair?
BIBLE DOCTRINES 4
LAYING ON OF HANDS
Laying on of hand is the act of placing one’s hand upon the body of another for some definite spiritual purpose, accompanied usually by prayer, a prophetic word or both.
Behind this practice is the principle of contact and transmission. The power of the resurrected Christ to heal, to minister or to impact blessing resides in the spirit-filled believer and especially in those called of God with divine enablement. That power is released and imparted through laying on of hands. (Hebrew 6:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6; Mark 16:17-18)
LAYING ON OF HANDS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
- For atonement – The Israelites were required to lay their hands upon the head of their animal sacrifice. This act symbolised the transference of sin and the substitution of the animal for the sinner. (see Leviticus 1:1-5; Leviticus 16:10, 21-22)
- In blessing – Jacob laid his hands on Joseph’s two children, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:13-15). Note that a prophetic word was involved.
- For commission – Moses laid his hand on Joshua imparting to him his authority, honour and wisdom to enable him function as leader. (see Numbers 27:15-23; Deuteronomy 34:9)
LAYING ON OF HANDS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (Hebrews 6:1-2)
- For the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (see Acts 8;14-24; Acts 9:10-17; Acts 19:6)
- To impart healing. (see Luke 4:40) Jesus; Acts 9:17, Acts 28:8-9 (Paul a disciple). The disciples were commanded to lay hands for healing (Mark 16:17-18; James 5:14-16), anointing with oil by their hands.
- To impart blessing. (see Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16)
- To impart spiritual gifts. (see 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6)
- To set people apart for special anointing to carry out their duty. (Acts 13:1-3) Notice the commissioning of the seven deacons. (Acts 6:1-7)
FACTS ABOUT THE DOCTRINE OF THE LAYING ON OF HANDS
- There is flow of spiritual energy when hands are laid on someone in faith. There is need for faith both in the recipient and someone laying hands; otherwise, it will be to no avail. (Mark 5:21-30)
- Care must be taken while laying hands to set someone aside to a place of ministry. It must not be done hastily (1 Timothy 5:22). We must make sure he is the right person for the office (Acts 1:24); that he is not living in sin and that it is the right time for such a person to be set aside (1 Timothy 3:6).
- Sometimes one person’s spirit can be transferred to another through laying on of hands (Deuteronomy 34:9). To avoid a harmful impartation, we must be careful who we lay our hands on, and who lays hands upon us (Note also that the blood of Jesus keeps and cleanses us from every defilement possible through contacts as we walk in the light of His Word. (1John1:7)
BIBLE DOCTRINES 5
RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
Resurrection means ‘to rise’ or ‘rising up’. It guarantees a position of significant change. This foundational doctrine teaches us that there is life after this life. It is important for every believer to know this, that he may not live for time but live in such a manner that his life counts for eternity (John 12:25). God’s plan is eternal destiny for all.
RESURRECTION IN THE BIBLE
Though there is no sharply defined doctrine of resurrection in the Old Testament, there are hints that reveal the reality of life beyond the earthly years. (Daniel 12:2-3; Isaiah 26:19)
Jesus teaching on resurrection: Jesus condemned the denial of the Sadducees that there is no resurrection by interpreting God’s claim in Exodus 3 (to be the “God of the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to imply unending existence). “He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” (Mathew 22:23-32)
Further in the epistles, God’s plan for man is made clearer. The doctrine of resurrection is pivotal in the Christian faith. According to Apostle Paul, “if in this life only we hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.” (1 Corinthians 15:19)
VARIOUS ASPECTS OF RESURRECTION
a, Restoration of earthly life: This is a temporary restoration to earthy life in demonstration of God’s power over death. It is not resurrection in actual sense. Resurrection has to do with passing beyond the power of death and decay to an endless life. Examples include Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:34-43), the Shunammite’s son (2 Kings 4:23-35) and Lazarus (John 11:1-45).
b, Spiritual resurrection of the believer in Christ: This has to do with the spirit of man being quickened from death in trespasses and sin. This experience results in the “new birth”. (Ephesians 2:1-5; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Corinthians 5:14-17)
WHAT IS RESURRECTION POWER?
Romans 8:11 says that the Holy Spirit who was responsible for Jesus’
resurrection resides in the believer. This means that a believer has
available in his mortal body the resurrection power. By the operation of the
Holy Spirit, a believer is lifted beyond his human limitation to walk in the
newness of life and live a righteous life presently on earth. (note
The significance of Jesus’ resurrection(Mathew 28:6; Luke 4:36-53;
This fact occupies a central place in our faith for many reasons:
- His resurrection is a proof of all His claims and the bedrock of our faith. (Romans 1:4)
- His resurrection proves that the power of death is conquered and that God’s life is ours. (1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Peter 1:3)
- His resurrection proves that we have a priest at the throne of God who is making intercession for us. (Hebrew 7:24–25)
- His resurrection proves that the fulfilment of all scriptures concerning our future is assured. (John 17:13)
The resurrection of the believer(1 Corinthians 15:1-58)
This will take place at the “rapture” i.e. around the millennium. (Revelation 20:4-6)
The “dead in Christ” will be raised before the saints meet with Christ and them in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
Believers will take on a new body, imperishable, glorious and one infused with spiritual power. (1 Corinthians 15:35-44; 1 John 3:2)
The ultimate resurrection of all – in the graves(John 5:28-29; Daniel
12:2; Acts 24:15)
Contrary to people’s view that only those who have eternal life shall live forever, the passage above shows that both the righteous and the unrighteous shall resurrect. While the resurrection of the righteous is at rapture, that of the unrighteous shall be after the millennium i.e. there will be 1000 years after the resurrection (Revelation 20:4-6, 11-15). Here, all the wicked who died from Adam to the end of the millennium will be raised with immortal bodies to be tormented in hell fire. (Mathew 10:28; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15)
BIBLE DOCTRINES 6
Restitution is the Hebrew word “Shalam” which means “to be made complete”. It also means “to give again”, “to make good”, ”to repay again”, “to make amends”, “to restore”, “to make to be at peace”.
According to the English Dictionary, it is the act of returning something stolen to its owner. It is also regarded as an act of reparation carried out to demonstrate true repentance from past sin.
BIBLE EXAMPLES OF RESTITUTION
Restitution before Jesus: This practice was rigidly adhered to as the legal consequence for stealing or carelessness over another man’s stuff kept in one’s care (see Exodus 22:1-12; 1 Samuel 12:3; Leviticus 6: 1-7). In many cases, people were required to restore many times over whatever was taken. (2 Samuel 12:6; Exodus 22:1)
Jesus’ teaching on restitution: Zacchaeus, a man who was under the Old Testament dispensation, demonstrated the genuineness of his repentance by making restitution, though the Lord never required him to (Luke 19:1–10). The only instance in scriptures where the Lord demands restoration from His disciples appears to be in situations where His command to love one another is broken. (Matthew 5:23–24; Matthew 18: 15–20)
THE DOCTRINE OF RESTITUTION AND SALVATION
It is believed among some sects that, for one’s salvation to be complete, there must be the carrying out of the act of restitution for whatever sins were committed in the past. This has been a constant source of harassment to some dear saints who either find their own case a difficult one or absolutely impossible for restitution to be made. While it is agreed that the Lord could specifically instruct or lay it on a convert’s heart to make restitution for certain acts done prior to salvation, such cases are to be regarded as the exception and not the rule. Since the Lord and the apostles after Him never required this of anyone as a practice (not even once in the Bible), we should not either.
Note the words of the early apostles in relation to such practice vis-a vis salvation in Christ. (Acts 15:1-11; 1 Corinthians 7:17-24)
Talking about angels, as an author wrote: “Little attention is paid to this doctrine today, for men consider it almost valueless except as angels occur in bedtime stories.” If this statement accurately describes the attitude of modern believers, then how far have we gone from the supernatural element that was characteristic of the Christian ministry in early times and still does today? Angels are real today just as they were in the days of the book of Acts.
THE NATURE OF ANGELS
Angels are created beings though their time of creation is not documented in the Bible as that of man (Colossians 1:16). They are spirit beings, according to Hebrew 1:4; Psalms 104:4 i.e. they do not have a physical body but they have the form of human beings or can assume that form when necessary. (Luke 24:23; Acts 10:3,30)
Angels are often spoken of in the masculine gender, never in the feminine. They are strong and hefty beings often able to perform great feats (So, they are a far cry from the traditional picture of delicate little babies with wings that most people are acquainted with). (see Psalm 103:20)
Notice some mighty feats associated with angels:
a). One angel removed the mighty stone used to block the door of the sepulchre where Jesus was laid. The Bible says the angel “rolled (it) back”. (Matthew 28:2)
b). One angel went into the camp of the Assyrians and in one night smote 185,000 solders. (2 Kings 19:35)
Because angels are spirit beings, they are immortal (Luke 20:35-36) and are not bound by natural laws (Acts 5:19; Acts 12:7; Judges 13:19-20). There is a system of hierarchy among the angels. Some are referred to as archangels. (Hebrew 12:22; Revelations 5:11)
THE ACTIVITY OF ANGELS
The word “angel” (Gk angelos) means a “messenger”. It is used as a guardian or a representative (Revelation 1:20; Matthew 18:10). So, from the meaning of their name, it is easy to imply the nature of their functions. Primarily, they constitute a special body of staff waiting upon God for service in heaven and on earth.
a). In heaven – Angels serve in domestic matters as well as in warfare.
(Revelations 5:11 – 12; Revelations 8:3-4; Revelations 12:7)
b). On earth – Angels carry out various kinds of assignment:
i). Deliver messages (Luke 2:9-10; Acts 10: 2-5; Acts 27:23–24)
ii). Provide guidance (Acts 8:26)
iii). Bring deliverance to the saints of God (Acts 5:19; Acts 12:7-
iv). Feed, protect and strengthen the saints of God (1 Kings 19:5-8; Daniel. 6:22; Luke 22:43; Psalms 91:11)
v). Carry out God’s judgment (Acts 12:23)
vi). Minister assistance to God’s people (Hebrew 1:13-14; Matthew 26:53)
vii). Take believers to heaven at death (Luke 16:22)
viii). Will appear with the Lord at His coming (Mathew 25:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–8)
THE FALLEN ANGELS
Angels are described as holy in Mark 8:38, and “elect” in 1 Timothy 5:21. This refers to their original state; some have fallen, having “sinned” (2 Peter 2:4) or “left their proper habitation” (Jude 6). Those among the number that remain faithful are confirmed as holy and elect in contrast with those that defected. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:7-9)
The Bible records that these fallen angels shall be brought before judgment on the Day of Judgment. (Jude 6)
MAN’S POSITION AS IT RELATES TO ANGELS
Man and angels are both created beings (Corinthians 1:16). Angels do not have physical body and so are not subject to physical laws, as men naturally are. But this in no way makes angels superior in status to man. The Bible warns against worship of angels (1 Corinthians 2:8; Revelation. 19:10). Angels are ministering spirit for the saints (Hebrew 1:14). The believers shall one day judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3).
- Define laying on of hands and demonstrate the act.
- Who is qualified to lay hands? Explain the relevance of Mark
iii. Is it scriptural to lay hands on inanimate things expecting spiritual
- What is resurrection? Explain various kinds of resurrection.
- Give a brief explanation on Jesus’ ministry and resurrection.
- Does resurrection have any covenant undertone?
vii. What is restitution? Compare the Old and the New Testament experiences and give an application to a believer in the light of Jesus’ command to love.
viii. How do I reconcile my past in the world and my salvation?
- What does an angel look like? Tell an experience in the light of the Bible.
- Who is superior between man and angels? How should the relationship between man and angels be?