Let's continue our study of ABCs of Faith. Faith is really a verb and not a noun. Remember what you learned on your little painted chair in elementary school (especially, you baby boomers), a verb is an action word. Mental assent looks so much like faith that you will not recognize it if you do not have keen spiritual discernment.
Mental Assent Exposed
For instance. many say they believe in healing, but they act on sickness. That is mental assent, not faith. When you run to get the medicine before the Bible or to the doctor before getting the Pastor to pray, you have only mentally assented to a belief in healing.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.James 2:19 (KJV)
Have you ever acted like 1 Peter 2:24 (which says by His stripes you were healed) is true, like you would act on the word of your doctor?
What would happen if you went to your doctor and he said, “John, you only have three months to live?” You would probably act on his words. Chances are strong that you would start setting your affairs in order, getting ready to die. You are acting on the word of the man. Why not act on the Word of Almighty God? God said, you are HEALED by the wounds I put on His, my Son's, back for you on the cross. But you choose not to act on what you believe; that is mental assent.
Mental Assent Is Not Faith!
“Well, Brother Smalls, I don't know if I can act on that without any physical evidence.” You see my friends—many believers are just mentally assenting to the Word and calling it faith.
It will not work if it is not Bible faith, I don't care what you call it. You can get up from this lesson and go out into your garage and start calling yourself a car, but calling yourself a car won't make you one. Mental assent is not faith.
Mental Assent Underestimates The Word
E.W. Kenyon said, "One cannot conceive of anything that will cripple faith and put the believer in bondage more quickly and surely than underestimating what He is, and what we are in Him. Along with that will come an underestimation of the Word. We will say right out, "Oh, I believe the Bible is the Word of God." And yet we turn to the arm of flesh for help. And when we pray, we do not come with that quiet assurance that we would if some banker had given us his word in regard to our financial standing at the bank. This is an unconscious underestimation of the Word, and it is an unconscious underestimation of the integrity of the Master Himself, who is the Author of this Word. This leads to weakness, to doubt and fear. It makes a vacillating type of faith. We become what James calls "a double- minded man that is unstable in all his ways."
What will change it? When we realize what He has done for us in His great Substitution and in the New Creation. We should meditate on the fact that we are partakers of the divine nature.
"These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have Eternal Life, even to you that believe on His name." - 1 John 5:13 (KJV)
If we say over and over again to our hearts, "I am a partaker of God's very nature. I have in me His faith nature. This makes me a child of faith. I have been begotten of the Living Word through the Holy Spirit. The real me was recreated in Christ. I have the very nature of the Father and the Father is love, so I have in me the love nature of the Father," if we meditate on this, we will no longer be "double- minded men."
Repeat it over and over again. Hold it as a constant affirmation before your mind that you are what He says you are, that you are a partaker of His very nature as He has declared.
And you remember that "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” That Greater One is the Spirit.
Now act like the Word is true!
Mental assent agrees with the Word, but refuses to act.
Mental assent is not faith.
Faith is acting on the Word!
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1
As you pray this you are praying God’s perfect will, because you are praying the Word back to God. Do it in faith and you will see phenomenal results.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of our understanding being enlightened; that we may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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