Leon Fontaine - Normal Christianity
The thing that here in our church that Sal and I get the most attacked for is believing in the miraculous. Many of my friends that I teach with around the world refused to ever teach on the miraculous. They've been let down too many times. They can't explain why things won't happen to people and they just stop doing that. But the problem with that is normal Christianity becomes a much lower bar. May I ask you a question. What is normal? What's normal for a Christian? What is normal Christianity? What is normal following Christ? Is it no miracles? No presence of God? Do your best. Stay dumb until He comes. Hopefully get to heaven in the sweet by and by. All the mansions there is just a cabin down here. He'll help me with all the stuff that I'm going through. All this like low, low, low, low, low Christianity.
You want to know what normal Christianity actually is? When Jesus Christ walked the planet, He was called the Son of Man. What's normal? What is normal? Well, Jesus, okay, gave up, you know, whatever form He had and whatever, you know, rights and privileges He could have used, and He became a man. And then He goes on and He says, I will give you the scripture. That because of Holy Spirit, you will do what I have done. That's normal Christianity. What did Jesus do? He loved the unlovely. He was a friend of sinners. He accepted people the way they are. And when they wanted help, He would pray and the miraculous would always flow. That's normal Christianity.
But because miracles are kind of happenstance. They happen once in a while, then they don't happen. We've come to believe that God is some kind of a box of chocolates. You never know which one you're going to pick. Life is like a box of chocolates. And that's like praying prayer but according to Jesus it's not. So somehow the doctrines of Christianity have been watered down to such a degree that we fill up stadiums to hear apologetics. Which I'm glad. Don't get me wrong. But the apostle Paul said rather than convince you with words.
I'm going to demonstrate the power of Holy Spirit. That's how he would teach from city to city. The early church did not go arguing with the goddess Diana. You know, they didn't go from place to place debating one religion against the other. They would go in to a place and they would just meet the people that were sick, dying, demon possessed, people with no food. And they would simply go love them and minister to them and the entire cities were changed by the power of God. I'll tell you bluntly. I believe one of the most demonic teachings that are out there in the body of Christ is the teaching of secessionism. That it's all stopped. That with the last disciple, the miracles are done. But that's not true.
And so as we looked today and we're going to believe God for a miracle. Let's have a quick understanding of what is involved in a miracle? Now, I praise God that people can enter or meet someone who can pray with them and get them a miracle. But now let me ask you a question. All the people that Jesus healed in the Bible, did any of, you know, did they stay heal the rest of their life and never get sick again? The answer is no. They, if they didn't have a personal faith in Jesus Christ. If they didn't develop a knowledge of the Word and the new covenant, then the attack of the enemy according to Ephesians 6 would work on them because they didn't have the armour of a believer on. Which was an understanding of righteousness and truth and understanding of the Gospel, of the sword of the Spirit. All of these things which is what helps us to stand.
And so over the years, we've prayed with people who just seem to have no interest on the things of God. And some of them and many of them will actually get a miracle. But the thing that we want to know as believers is what is involved in just walking in a steady flow? Well, first of all, we have to understand that faith and grace and righteousness. Let me just cover these three words for you in a very simple way. Righteousness is being right with God. In the Old Testament whoever was right with God always had God with them. And whenever it said, and God was with them. They always won. They always were blessed. They would always walk in His protection. It would just say, "God was with Him. God was with them".
And so when we understand that, you know, that righteousness is a gift. That if you've given your life to Jesus today, you are righteous. Now, that freaks a lot of people out because they'll just be honest and say, "Are you kidding me pastor? I've got to tell you. I struggle with my mind. I struggle with my emotions. I struggle with anger. I struggle with bad habits. I struggle with sin". Welcome to the human condition. We all are being tempted to sin every day, every hour.
And sin isn't just, you know, whatever your top three are. Basically, that what really is the root of all sin here is not believing God. Just not believing Him. Which is why you have to meet all these pleasures and needs and issues because you just don't believe Him. The children of Israel didn't believe God, because of that they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. And Bible scholars will say, "Well, they walked in the wilderness because of sin". Actually the Bible doesn't say that. The Bible says in the book of Psalm, I'll give you the verse. That they limited God, and because they limited God, they didn't get what God wanted them to have.
So if you're a believer, you are righteous. You qualify for a miracle. Now, let's look at the word faith. Many people have been taught that faith is a powerful force. That when you believe, you believe, you believe. It gets things done. That's completely wrong. Faith is a trust. As you begin to read the Word of God, you begin to trust. You're not trying to force things. It's not in, God's power is not in force. It's just power. It's just flows.
So faith, in the Greek, it's the word pistis. It literally means a trusting in God. Or if you want to get it more accurate, a trusting in what Jesus has done for us. Then there's the word grace. Grace, and if you look it up, it will say it is unearned favor. I agree. That's what grace says. It's an unearned favor. But what is the unearned favor? It the ability of God. So when we understand, and there's so many beautiful things we can talk about, but when you give your life to Jesus, He has dealt with the sin question.
So it's not about your behavior when moving in the blessing of God, okay? It is about Christ's behavior who did this for you. And when He cried out on the cross, "My God, My God. Why have You forsaken me"? Right there, there was an exchanged. He took your life. That's why He said that, and He gave you His. An exchanged. So you didn't earn it. He did. So when you understand the four things that took place between Him dying and Him being seated at the throne of God.
Now, I'm showing to you real quickly. When you understand those four things, that forms the foundation of your faith. Too many people have been taught, just read the Word that builds faith. I don't know. You could read the whole bunch of hokey stuff. I mean, you can read a bunch of great stuff in the Bible and take a lot of hokey things out of it, if you don't start with Jesus. It's Jesus. The whole Bible it's about Christ. He is in every book in the Bible. And so the most important thing for us to understand is these four things that Jesus did from the cross to the throne.
And then your faith is trusting not in someone else's story, not if I cry enough and if I just worship enough, He'll do it. There's nothing you can do to get God to move. Nothing! Not a thing. There are no moves left for God to make. There are no moves left. The only move left for God to make is to come to the earth and to bring to a culmination the age that we are in, to deal with the devil and build the new heaven and new earth. That's the only thing left that God has to do.
So as the churches intercede for God to move. As they intercede and pray for the skies to be opened. As they pray, help me to deal with my sins, so I can get a miracle. All of these things have already been done. And 2 Peter 1 says that we've been given all things that pertain to life and godliness. For some of you here, you can't forgive yourself because you know what you've done. You look back at the things you've destroyed, whether it's marriages, whether you've hurt people, whether you've made stupid decisions that cost incredible stuff and people are mad or angry or hurt.
And so you look at that and you feel just condemnation. And that is why we must recognize that to be with Jesus is the old you is dead, and you've got to bury it and quit resurrecting, and quit digging the old you up because Jesus qualifies you. And once you understand what He did on the cross, your faith rest on Him. Then as your faith rest on Jesus, something begins to flow in to your life called His grace. Peter says that the more you learn about Jesus, that grace gets multiplied in your life. That peace, he usually mentions grace and peace together. Peace is something we're all looking for.
There are people here today that you don't live in peace. You were raised in a home that had no peace. You grew up as a teenager and didn't know peace. You've known nothing but stress. And once you've recognized the peace of God, there is this rest for your soul. This rest for your body that changes everything. So grace is God's ability flowing to you unearned, unmerited because Jesus has made this exchange and you qualify.
That is why in the past, if I had a group of people. I remember one time speaking to a group of Christians. And there was only two miracles. No, there's three but two. There's three miracles that took place in this huge auditorium of Christians. One was a bike gang member. Okay? And he couldn't ride his Harley because he busted up his shoulder and it was seized. He couldn't even reached it. God healed him and he gave his life to Christ.
There was a young 15-year old girl halfway back that had taken a knife and carved horrible, well, think of the words that would describe a woman to the worst imaginable terms and she had carved them in knives and scarred her own body up with words that she just felt this is who she was, and God healed her and took away the scars. And they even went back to the bathroom with her friends and she took off some of her clothes because she carved them underneath her shirt or underneath her pants. And a mom and some friends came out, I mean, weeping as they told the auditorium that the scars are gone off her skin that had written horrible things about who she is. I believed she was really demonically oppressed.
And then all of these Christians were there and hardly a miracle. And I could never figure this out. God, why don't You heal Your people? And then as I began to understand doctrine, I began to realize that the unsaved people that were there, were getting the gifts of the Spirit that was just, "Boom"! They knew standing there, there's not a darn thing I can do to get a miracle. They knew what their past was like. Did he say darn. Okay. They knew what was going on. They knew that they didn't earn anything. And when I said this is free, they just took me at my word because they knew their life was such a mess. That if it's free, I'm in. If I have to earn it, I don't have a hope of a snowball in hell, and they get miracles.
Now, Christians wouldn't get miracle because they're back to believing I've got to earn it. I've got to be good enough. I've got to deal with this. I've got to deal with that. And they don't realize that there's nothing that you can deal with to make God heal you. His grace flows by believing in it. Ephesians 2, by grace are you healed through faith. By grace are you restored through faith. It is believing in the finished work of Jesus.
So the big question was sin. The doorway to the miraculous and the doorway to the kingdom of God, is what I call that, is a heart that believes, not a mind that is informed. It's a heart that believes not a mind. Some of you know the healing scriptures, been to all the healing teachers, try to get a miracle. But healing doesn't come from a mind that is informed. It comes from a heart that believes. That's Bible all the way through. The majority of the 21st century church has rejected the finished work of Jesus as the absolute basis for knowing and experiencing God and His power. When you begin to understand, that a simple understanding of the cross.
So I let me give it to you in a very fast version that I could teach probably for 14 hours. But the sin issue, well, I have sinned. Jesus dealt with that on the cross. When He died, He died for the sin of mankind. He became sin. So that the very nature of sin would be dealt with for you and that the old you would be dead. And that you could easily move in God's power to receive the miraculous and the same power could be used morally.
If you struggle in any area, with your mind, with temptation, with addiction. If you recognize and believe that I have the power to live morally, that power is there. This power to heal your physical body, organs and immune system, cells. It's already there. The issue of ministering to people is never getting God to move. It's getting their objections to move. It's a double-minded man that is unstable in all his ways and won't receive anything from God.
So he's got his mind on Jesus but then also, but I did this and what about this and what about that? And so rather than being singlely fixed on something like Jesus on the cross. We develop another focus. Well, He won't do it for me. Well, I really don't know much of the Word. Whatever excuse the enemy is sticking in your head. And it's these two things. It's Jesus and then some other things that bothers you that makes you double-minded. Jesus this. Jesus this. Jesus, my addiction. Jesus, I'm not doing enough. Jesus, I'm not reading enough, you know.
And these two things just shuts you down. And the most of the church that I try to minister to around the world is struggling with this. So on the cross, He became sin. He took sin. And 2.000 years ago, let's just look at you. 2.000 years ago, Jesus looked at you and He saw all the sin from the day you were born to the day that you died, and He paid for it all. He not only paid for it all. He became sin. But right now, I want to just try to get this into your head this way. He paid for it all because you weren't even born yet.
Someone say, "Well, I believe Jesus died for my sins past but not my sins future". I go, "That's ridiculous. He died 2.000 years ago, all of your sins were in the future 2.000 years ago and He died for them all. So that it wouldn't be an issue". Leon, are you encouraging us to sin? No, everything in the Bible says that once you understand Jesus, you've got the power to live free from the horrible grasp of sin. So the cross, you died with Jesus on the cross.
The Bible says in Galatians 3:13, Christ became a curse for us. Every sickness, every disease, everything that hampers you mentally, physically, relationally, spiritually. Everything that hampers or stops you from enjoying a life that is rich and exciting is a part of the curse, and God will never use it to teach you anything. But that's being taught from so many pulpits that God has allowed this. So the allowing teaching has taken over so many people as though it's better than doing it to you.
You know, if a mom is watching her little child getting hit by a car, as a full grown man standing on the sidewalk three feet away and sees the truck and sees the child, sees truck hit the child. Are you kidding me? That man allowed that? That sick. We lock up people for the things people accused God of, but yet this believing of God that He allows things. That God's in control. God is in control of the overall world and the timetable of the world. But He's not in control of freewill mankind. You make all your own decisions. You believe all that you want to believe. You can either be lazy or proactive. You can just sit around do nothing or begin to serve Him. Anything that would be a part of the curse. He took it for us.
And so when the enemy messes with your head, I don't know. My sins are dealt with. Oh, you get trying me to think, believe that God's allowing this because there's something I'm too stupid to get, that His Holy Spirit is not smart enough to be able to get through to me? No, the curses are dealt with. None of the curse is mine. And then, where is this life coming from? He literally is waiting for you because He place His Spirit in you. His life is in you and He said, "You speak to mountains. You release it". And then if you ever worry about, "Oh, I don't know how much authority I've got. I mean, what if something goes on over here, or the devil attacks me over there".
Well, Jesus has all authority in heaven and in earth. He seat at the right hand of the Father and you're seated with Him. Therefore, we're seated with Christ. We have all of our sins dealt with. All of the curse no longer has a right anywhere in your life, from your money to your relationships, to your business, to your mind, to your body, to your generations of families. Okay, curse is dealt with. And then the life of God is not in heaven trying to pray it down. It's not in some angels and used to come touch you. It is within your very spirit.
In Romans 8, it says that the same Spirit that raised Christ body from the dead dwells in you. It quickens your mortal body. Your mortal body. Quickens your mind, your life, your relationships. This grace, this peace that Jesus made available as free to you and I. It heals first the depth of your belief systems called your heart. You can call it subconscious. Maybe you struggle with things you have no clue why. You don't need to know why. You just need to embrace truth.