Today, I am going to share with you a secret. It has been said that “the best place to hide is right out in the open”, and this secret has been right out in the open all along. This secret is that Jesus is the solution to every single one of your problems. Now you may have heard this before, but for one reason or another you have had limited success in seeing your problems being solved by Jesus. This has actually been a common complaint among believers for a long time, and there are many different theories why; but the Bible has one single reason, or more accurately, one reason expressed in a variety of ways throughout the Bible.
So today we are going to study exactly what this reason is and how to apply it in our daily lives Once we see this truth from scripture, and truly embrace it, that is when we will release more of the miracle-working, delivering power of Jesus into our life, and chains will be broken as a result.
The most important part of a study such as this, before we touch on any worldly problems, before we touch on anything outside, we must first start with the inside. When Jesus corrected the Pharisees, (the ones who made the Law their lives), He did so in a very interesting and a very enlightening way. He told them in Matthew 23:25-26:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
There is a type of people today, an attitude that is focused just on the outward show, on rules and regulations and outward behaviors, but inwardly they are dead. In my own life, I was one-hundred percent focused on keeping the ten commandments – I genuinely wanted to, and I would even say I had noble reasons… because I honestly believed that I should because that was what I had been taught my entire life.
As innocent as that may have been, the underlying reasoning was flawed, because I believed that I could keep the Law, and that my obedience was my salvation. So every day I kept trying and every day I kept failing; and when I failed I would make new resolutions to “do better next time” with fresh determination, and when I would fail the next day the guilt would be twice as heavy as the previous time. It was a downward spiral that I had no way out of. This is the plight of every single person who trusts in the Law and their own obedience and behaviors to save them. Jesus says that there is a better way, a way that is right and a way that actually works to produce not only the outward appearance of righteousness, but true inward change – a washing from the inside out. He says in verse 26 to cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Believe it or not, this is still a radical idea to many people today; they see inward righteousness as a goal to be obtained through outward behavior and law-keeping, rather-than the other way around. However we can see plainly here that Jesus says that outward righteousness is an effect of inward righteousness.
Turn now to 1st Timothy 1:18-19 and we will see how this inward righteousness manifests:
“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on you, that you by them might war a good warfare;
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:”
Notice that what is described here is a charge for good warfare. This is it now, this is noteworthy. This is where the attacks will come and this is where we must remain steadfast. And what is this good warfare which we are to engage in? Holding faith, and a good conscience. Many people I have encountered in churches these days have one or the other, and some have neither!
Holding faith, means to hold-onto grab-hold of and retain the information which God has given you. This is knowledge about Jesus, His sacrifice and His provision for you in every way. Then, the more of Jesus that you see, the more you will end up with a good conscience.
We see also from this text that there are some of have “put away” (rejected) this truth of faith and good conscience. The scriptures later explain with this means in 1st Timothy 4:1-3:
“Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
The Holy Spirit plainly says that in the latter times (which I believe is our time now) that some shall leave the faith. They will move away from the information of God regarding salvation and will instead follow what we see here to be seductive spirits and doctrines of demons.
Now we have many seductive spirits today… not only lust, but selfishness, pride, hatred. Anything that leads us away from Jesus and His truth and causes us to listen-to or follow a different voice; that is a seducing spirit.
Doctrines of demons is something different. This is a false doctrine, usually preached from pulpits that itself causes fear, worry and doubt and leads people astray and into bondage.
We see in verse 2, that these demonic doctrines are lies, and hypocrisy. The ones who preach, teach and believe these doctrines are the pretenders, the ones who act like they have morals and virtues, but they actually have none. Some are pretenders in ignorance (they don’t know any better), while others know full well what they are doing, but the result is the same: lies and destruction. Why then do people continue on in this way? If it is so destructive, what’s the motivation? We see in the verse that their conscience is seared with a hot iron.
Recall what we read in our previous verse in 1st Timothy 1:19, that part of our “good warfare” is holding to a good conscience, keeping hold of the truth of what Christ has done, even in the face of the pressures and temptations of the world, and that verses also said that some reject that good conscience.
Now again in 1st Timothy 4:2 we see that they do it because their conscience is seared with a hot iron, which contrary to popular belief, does not mean a conscience that cannot feel guilt anymore, but quite the opposite. The phrase “seared with a hot iron” used in verse 2 is one Greek word: kaustēriazō, which means “being permanently marked with sin. Carrying a perpetual consciousness of sin.”
This is a person who always has sin and guilt on their mind, so it’s evident in their lives, their beliefs and all that they do. And pastors and leaders who have a seared conscience will teach this way as well.
Verse 3 goes on to show us some of the lies that will come from them, firstly a ban on marriage.. now this is not referring to an unbiblical marriage, but a complete ban on all marriage – which is not good. Next is a ban on certain foods… again this is not condoning gluttony, but it is simply recognizing the truth; and what is that truth? That God created them to be received with thanksgiving, but that most people do not do so, because as it says in the verse, you can only receive with thanksgiving when you believe and know the truth. Notice that these kinds of lies are forbidding, just like the Law of Moses, focusing on personal behavior and making man the focus rather than Jesus.
This brings us to the main subject today now that we have laid the foundation. Being able to receive the provision of Jesus in every single area of our lives. It is not possible to do if we do not know the truth in that area. This is the reason why the enemy uses doctrines, because doctrines shape what we believe. If you have received a doctrine that God does not heal today, or that He only heals when He wants to, or that sickness is used by God to teach people lessons, then when you are sick you will not have the belief or trust in God to receive your healing.
If you hold to a belief that God does not always provide, then when financial challenges come, you will be bound into worry, fear and stress, and you will be awake at night unable to sleep because of all the worry and fear that you have; unable to trust God.
If you have received a doctrine, that you are righteous by your performance, then you will never have any security, you will always be in-essence, looking over your shoulder wondering if you sinned a moment ago – you will be confessing your sins constantly and you will never have any peace, because the focus will not be Jesus, but you.
So how then do we make Jesus the solution to every area of our life and every problem we may face? As we have read in our scriptures today, the key to to hold faith and a good conscience. What faith is this? The information of what Jesus Christ has done for us. Let’s look at a few examples of this together.
Does God heal today? Matthew 8:16-17 tells us so:
“When the even was come, they brought to him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.”
How many did good miss? How many did He ignore. How many did He send away unhealed and tell them to learn their lesson? The scripture clearly says that He healed all that were sick. Let’s hold onto that faith and not discard it when we don’t feel like it.
What about provision? Does God provide or us, or are we left purely to our own strength? Philippians 4:19 seems to think that God does provide:
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Notice that it says God supplies all of our need. This is spiritual, physical, material and financial. He must supply every area, or it’s a false-claim. If God leaves any area out, then it ceases to be “all need.”
Take note also that God supplies all of our need according to His riches. You see, our needs are the small little things, His riches are the vast, overflowing abundance. He brings His huge over-supply to our tiny little needs. Now even in this, there are some who like to fight for their right to remain in lack and they say “See, God only promised to supply our needs and not our wants!” Have you heard that argument before? Well, Psalms 23:1 has both covered:
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Let’s choose to believe in the generous supply of a rich and loving God who does not deny us any good gift, and stop seeing our Heavenly Father as a stingy miser.
Now what about righteousness? Do our behaviors determine our standing with God? When I sin today am I cut-off from fellowship with Him? Sometimes it feels that way… but Romans 8:33-39 has the truth for us to see:
“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies.
Who is he that comdemns? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For your sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We see from these verses here, that there is no-one who can successfully condemn us. We sometimes acquiesce to the enemy because we take our eyes off of Jesus. That is why in Hosea 4:6 God says that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This is the knowledge of God, not human intelligence.
Many pastors like to quote verse 36 here and say that the life of a believer is constant turmoil and trouble and pain. However verse 37 very clearly says “No, in all these things we are more than through Him that loved us.”
The scriptures themselves tell us that the old is done away with, the new has come. We will always be sheep in the sense that God is leading us, guiding us providing for us and protecting us. However there is no more slaughtering. Because Jesus Christ was slaughtered in our place. The slaughterer has been defeated, Jesus loved us to death, and then rose again declaring absolute victory over the enemy and all evil.
So today, let’s choose to believe these truths. Let’s keep hold on faith, and a good conscience in Christ Jesus. Let’s receive the information which we see plainly from scripture… Jesus is the answer to every problem.