In The Keys of Faith and Hope, authors Robert and Kathy Kelsey provide a guide to help you apply your faith and get you from where you are with God now, to where
God wants you to be. It helps answer important questions:
- What is faith?
- What is the God kind of faith?
- How do we get faith?
- How do we use our faith?
- How do we make faith grow?
- What is the relationship between faith and hope?
Hope demonstrates that these questions need to be answered in every Christian's mind because without faith it is impossible to please God. To have faith in God you must know
God, not just know about Him. To understand God you must understand the keys to His kingdom. Unlock the mystery of
God's will and achieve what He has planned for you.
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The Keys of Faith and HopeThe Keys to the Kingdom of God Series
By Robert Kelsey Kathy Kelsey
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Robert and Kathy Kelsey
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Keys to the Kingdom of God
In Matthew 16:17-19, Peter made this great confession:
Thou are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Just as Jesus prophesied that His church would be built on Peter's revelation that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, your perception of who you are in Him will always carry you through to victory.
What did Jesus mean when He said, "the keys to the Kingdom"? His use of the plural word keys means there is more than one that will unlock all of the doors and not just one or two. Key, from the Greek word kleis, is used to mean knowledge of the revealed will of God by which men enter into the life that pleases God. Keys represent power and authority. In Matthew 28:18-20 AMP, Jesus said that:
... All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
II Corinthians 5:20 AMP tells us that "we are Christ's ambassadors." We are God's ambassadors, His personal representatives here on the earth, representing the Kingdom of God, which is the Church. He has delegated His power and authority to us to go out and make His appeal to the world to be saved through us as believers in Jesus Christ. And He has given us the authority, power, and wisdom to know how to operate as ambassadors to Christ, His personal representatives here on the earth.
We have been given what has been referred to as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). The word commission tells us what it is all about: "co" (meaning joint) and "mission" (meaning assignment). It's a joint assignment between God and us, the Church. When Jesus gave the commandment to "Go and make disciples of all nations," He was not only speaking of the assignment that we are to carry out; but also to the assignment that He had already started.
Our responsibility is to carry out the work that Jesus has already started. We are His disciples, and when God decides that He wants to do something here on the earth, He first looks for a willing person who will do His will. His will is to seek and to save the lost, and He has already chosen us to make it happen (Ephesians 1:4).
He has equipped you with all that you will need to get the job done. He has blessed you "with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3), and He expects you to take what has been freely given to you and use it as it was intended to be used and pass it along to others.
Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, "we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us" (Romans 8:37). As more than conquerors our assignment is not only to conquer the enemy but to also conquer everything in the area of the assignment that God has given us.
To do this means living a life of grace, not performance. It means loving others like He does-unconditionally and unwaveringly. When you are willing to live your life and conform to His nature and give God your best, you will succeed.
My goal in writing this book is to show you how to get from where you are to where God wants you to be, and the answer to that is found in Psalms 25:4-5:
Show me thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me. "Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths."
How much simpler can it be? All that God is asking you to do is to ask; Lord, teach me! We are instructed in Hebrews 4:16 to:
... come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
God is inviting you to His throne for advice, counsel, and instruction. He is waiting for you to allow Him to be your teacher, which will require you to spend quality time with Him. If you never give Him any of your time, how else can God show you his ways? If you will take the time to meditate on God's Word, you will discover that God longs to teach you. He longs to show you how to be a winner in the life that He has called you to. You only need to ask and then be still long enough to hear Him. He will almost always wait for you to start the conversation, but you must be willing to wait on Him for His response. The results will always be extremely beneficial to you (Isaiah 40:31).
In Psalms 25:14 (AMP), David tells us "the secret" of allowing God to reveal His deep things to us:
The secret of the sweet satisfying companionship of the Lord have they who fear, revere and worship Him and he will show them His covenant and reveal to them its deep inner meaning.
Did you notice the three things that are required of you? He requires you to fear Him, to revere Him, and to worship Him. Then He will show you His covenant and reveal to you its deep inner meaning.
When God's covenant is being revealed to you, it will have a profound impact upon your life, and you will approach that life with a different attitude than the one you have now. And when you realize that God is your teacher and He is teaching you His ways, it will give you a whole different attitude about life. That is why there should be nothing more important than talking with the Lord each day. When you are in tune with Him, He will set your course and give you specific directions.
God will not just talk to you to hear Himself speak. He has spoken things into existence for your benefit, His purposes and His plans, and He greatly desires to share them with you. He tells us in Jeremiah 33:3 AMP to "Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things...."
God desires to have an intimate relationship with you, and to do so you must be in constant conversation with Him in your spirit, which will profit you by revealing to you God's hidden wisdom. Proverbs 20:27 tells us that "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly."
There are a lot of things that you can give your attention to, but God gave you a spiritual antenna to pick up on what's more real than what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears (John 16:13).
God is a spirit. Man is a spirit-being. God contacts us, deals with us, and leads us through our spirits. He does not communicate directly through our minds, because the Holy Spirit does not dwell in our minds, and God does not contact us through our bodies either. According to Romans 8:16, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
That witness is called our "inward witness," and that is how God communicates with us. God's Spirit "bears witness" with our spirit. You don't know how you know, but you just know it down on the inside of you. "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself...." (I John 5:10).
The way that God confirms the most important thing that can ever happen to you, is also the way He leads His children: by the inward witness. Probably the most important aspect of your life-becoming a child of God-is confirmed to you by God's Holy Spirit bearing witness with your spirit that you have been born again (Romans 8:16). I said that to help you understand that the number one way God leads His children is through the inward witness.
I relate that inward witness to a stoplight on the inside of me. If I have the green light, I feel an assurance that everything is going okay. A yellow light warns me to be careful and look around for signs that there is danger around. And a red light is a check in my spirit that acts like a stop sign telling me not to proceed forward on that path.
It will take time and training to know what you are feeling in your spirit, but you have the Holy Spirit in you to lead and guide you.
One way to get to the place that you want to be is to make positive confessions of faith based on the Word of God. You will find several of these confessions scattered throughout this book and they are there to be a guide on how to put them together for you benefit.
Confess: I am a child of God. I have been born again. I am born of the Spirit of God. God's Spirit bears witness with my spirit that I am a child of God. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. I am a child of God; therefore, the Spirit of God leads me and guides me into all truth, and He is leading me now. I trust Him, the Greater One that lives in me. He will rise up big in me. He will give illumination to my mind. He will give directions to my spirit, for I am a child of God. I am being led by the Spirit of God. And the Spirit of God leads me, first of all, through that inward witness (Romans 8:16; I John 5:10; John 14:16-18, 15:26, 16:13).
Is it no wonder that David constantly cried out to God to be taught His ways? (Psalms 24:4-5, 27:11, 86:11, 119:12, 26, 33, 64, 66, 68, 108, 124, 135, 143:10). And we can plainly see that God responded to that hunger by making David [and everybody who will make the decision to ask and believe] a promise. "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with my eye" (Psalms 32:8).
When God is showing you what to do and how to do it, if you follow those instructions, there's no way that you can fail.
In John 10:7, 9, Jesus told His disciples, "... I am the door of the sheep.... I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." This tells us that Jesus is the "door" for us to enter into all of the good things that God has provided for us in His Word (John 14:6).
Jesus opened the door between God and man when He went to the cross at Calvary. Because Jesus shed His blood, we can step into righteousness, and we can walk in redemption and forgiveness of our sin. Because of the stripes that we laid upon Jesus' back, we can walk in healing and divine health. Jesus is the key, the open door for us, giving us access to all of God's provisions (II Corinthians 5:21; I John 1:9; I Peter 2:24).
In John 14:6 AMP, Jesus tells that "... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by Me." (I John 5:11 - 12) Jesus is the way-the open door-to the father. An open door says, "Yes, you may come in." Jesus is the "yes" for all, the open door that enables us to possess all of the promises of the Father (II Corinthians 1:20).
That tells me that if He is the way, I should be doing things His way. I should be allowing the life that the Word of God will bring into my life as a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17) to flow through me. I should allow the Word of God to clear my mind of all selfish thoughts and cause me to reject the life of that selfish, self-centered person who does nothing but think about myself. In turn, I will be able to reach out and do what God has called me to do, knowing that He will reach out to me and bring answers that I could never get anywhere else which will bring me joy unspeakable.
Can't you just picture in your mind Jesus standing in the street holding a big sign with an arrow on it and a message that says, "This way to salvation, peace, happiness, holiness, healing, and prosperity. Come have your every need met in abundance."?
To get yourself into position to receive all that God is you must know and accept that Jesus is "the truth" (John 14:6). "Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17). "In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God" (John 1:1-2; I John 1:1-3 AMP).
And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacle (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. (John 1:14 AMP; Isaiah 40:5; Luke 3:5-6). ... If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free (John 8:31-32 AMP).
Did you notice that if you will abide (live in) God's Word, hold fast to His teachings, and live in accordance with them, you will be one of His disciples His disciplined ones). Then, and only then, will the Truth set you free.
This takes action on your part; it won't just fall on you as you sit in the shade and sip a cool one. You must discipline yourself and spend quality time in the Word and with God on a daily basis, because Jesus is "the life" (John 14:6).
In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put out or absorbed it or appropriated it and is unreceptive to it]. (John 1:4-5 AMP)
Life here in the Greek is Zoe which means "eternal life or God's life." It is God's nature. It is life as God has it-that which the Father has in Himself-and that which the Incarnate Son has in Himself. It is called eternal life, everlasting life, and sometimes just life. Jesus said: "... I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave to his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (I John 5:10-12).
Jesus, the Word of God made flesh, has demonstrated to us that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that no man can come to the father but by Him. There is absolutely no other way of gaining access to the Father with the assurance of spending eternity in heaven than to go through Jesus.
Matthew 6:33 (AMP) tells us to "... seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides."
As Christians, God requires us to seek first all His ways of doing and being right where as religion requires its followers to do what its leaders think or say is right.
As one studies the religions of the world you will find that each one has a different set of rules or interpretations of how its leaders require you to act and live.
Christianity is different from all of the religions of the world in that we have our God living on the inside of us. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost; we are the temple of the living God, and Christ lives in us
(I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16; Galatians 2:20; I John 4:15). And we are directed by God in I Corinthians 3:17 NIV to take care of our bodies: "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."
Remember, God will never turn you away because of who or what you are. There isn't, nor has there ever been but one sin so great that it was not covered by the shed blood of Jesus at the cross of Calvary (Matthew 12:31).
That life can be yours if you will invite Jesus into your life not only as your Lord and Savior but also as your best friend.
If you don't know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the greatest friend you'll ever have. As you make this confession, if you will believe with your heart, you will be born again (Romans 10:9-10).
Jesus, I invite you to come into my life. Forgive me of all my sins. I believe that You died for my sins on the cross and I ask You to come into my heart and make a change in me right now. Jesus, I want to thank You for loving me enough to die for me. I accept all that Your shed blood bought for me on the cross, and I receive You as my Lord and personal Savior. In Jesus' Name, I pray. Amen.
Excerpted from The Keys of Faith and Hope by Robert Kelsey Kathy Kelsey Copyright © 2010 by Robert and Kathy Kelsey. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1. The Keys to the Kingdom of God....................1
2. The Basis of Our Christian Walk....................17
3. In Him-In Christ....................32
4. The Key of Faith....................42
5. That Measure of Faith....................49
6. The Nature of Faith....................58
7. Heart Faith....................61
8. Faith Will Not Work with Bitterness, Resentfulness, and Unforgiveness in Your Heart....................90
9. Your Faith Must Be Released by Words from Your Mouth....................96
10. Talking to Your Mountain....................109
11. Your Faith Will Always Work for You....................114
12. Exercising Your Faith....................118
13. The Fullness of the Blessing....................140
14. Praying for Others....................162
15. Praise God and Give Thanks in All Things....................166