Romans 1:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
“The just shall live by faith.”
The Christian is “just”. By faith, we have been justified – made just as if we’ve never sinned; perfectly righteous before God – and the Bible says that the just (those who are justified) will live by faith. As believers, we need to start living more by faith. Jesus said that we would do the same works that He did and even greater works but in order to do those same works and greater we’ve got to live by faith.
The difference between living a supernatural life and living a natural life (just like everybody else in the world) is faith. Sadly, there are a lot of Christians who think they’re living by faith but there isn’t much difference between them and their unsaved neighbour. Ephesians 2:1 shows us that the difference between the unbeliever and the believer is death and life. There should be a huge difference between us and the lost. Our focus shouldn’t merely be on what is seen (which is temporal) but on that which is unseen (the eternal) (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Romans 8:6 New King James Version (NKJV)
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
“Carnal minded” doesn’t mean that you’re “sin minded”, although it includes that! “Carnal minded” is talking about being dominated by the senses (what you hear, taste, smell, feel and see); it’s talking about being dominated by sense knowledge. Provers 23:7 says, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” If we’re “carnal minded” we will live carnally. Thinking according to sense knowledge means that you will be dominated by carnal results. If you want spiritual results you need to be “spiritually minded” – this is speaking about being Word of God minded. The world operates in the natural realm and is subject to it but as believers, we are subject to faith and should experience supernatural results because we live by faith in Jesus and what He has done for us and freely offers us. We should not see ourselves as limited by the natural realm; we need to be spiritually minded and expect supernatural results.
A lot of people think they have faith but they actually only have presumption because they are basing their belief on something other than the Word of God. You cannot truly have faith if you do not have the Word of God. You cannot base faith on experience because your experience could possibly be wrong. “How can an experience be wrong?” you ask? Paul said (Galatians 1:8-9) that even if an angel from heaven came and preached a different message to you other than the Gospel (as preached by Paul) let that angel be double-cursed! That’s amazing! If you have a deficiency of the Word of God in you, then you could have a supernatural experience where an angel gives you a false message and you believe it because you’re governed by what you experience and not by what God’s Word says. Listen: God will never inspire you or tell you something personally which will contradict His written Word. Paul tells us that if you were to have an angelic visitation and the angel tells you a different Gospel (he was specifically referring to mixing law and grace) then reject the message and tell the angel to be double-cursed! I have had people tell me things like, “I know that the Bible says XYZ but I had a dream where God told me A B C…” They wrongly assume that their experience must be right and the Word of God must be wrong. It amazes me.
You might be saying that you’re a human being but you identify as a dog. You may even say that you “have faith” that you’re a dog. This is an actual labelled condition – believe it or not! “Species Dysphoria is a condition in which a person feels that their body is of the wrong species. Many with this condition believe it is because their body does not reflect their inner identity. As a result of this, the person may feel discomfort or confusion.” (https://therian.fandom.com › wiki › Species_Dysphoria) It doesn’t matter how much you believe that you’re a dog or should be a dog, you’re not a dog. I use this example because a lot of people wrongly believe that believing that something is so, makes it so. No, it doesn’t. Truth is truth. You might believe something that is actually a lie, and that is keeping you in bondage. Jesus said that we would be free when we know the truth (John 8:38). Faith is only real faith if it is born from the Word of God – the truth. Faith can only ever make manifest what grace has already provided. If you’re being dominated by carnal feelings then you may feel like a dog from time to time, but that doesn’t make you a dog. We don’t live by feelings we live by the truth of the Word of God.
Romans 10:17 New King James Version (NKJV) – brackets mine
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (in context: the Gospel).”
Faith can only be born out of hearing the Gospel; the good news of what Jesus has done for you and what He is freely offering you. Faith cannot be born out of someone else’s testimony. That might encourage you but it cannot produce faith. For there to be faith you’ve got to have Word. Faith is simply a positive response to God’s grace, but how can you respond if you don’t know His grace? You cannot believe for healing if you don’t know if it’s provided for in His grace. We need to fill ourselves with the Word and become “spiritually minded” – start thinking like God. Then, we’re going to start responding to circumstances according to our thinking (spiritually). When we are thinking spiritually (like God) we will start to live more spiritually (like God).