Leon Fontaine - Qualified by Grace
Hey, everybody welcome! It is so good to have you with me especially on this very special weekend as we remember the death, the burial, the resurrection, the ascension of Jesus, and what it means to us. And so I just pray that you have a chance to hear this and listen to it over and over because it's something that just radically change my life and I want to share it with you. You know, as a young man, I grew up in a wonderful home. My mom and my dad both pastors, both operate in the gifts of the Spirit.
What do I mean by that? I mean that Holy Spirit would show them things. I watched as they prayed with people and healing would take place undeniable healing with after, before and after test from doctors. I saw them know things they could never know except God showed them, etcetera. And so I knew that God was real. I knew that miracles were real. And I also knew that something called faith was absolutely crucial. And so as I, you know, at first I didn't really care. You know, you're just a young, young teen and I'd seen this all along. I took it for granted. But then as I became a teenager and, you know, I became responsible for my own life, my own faith, my own health. All the things that I was believing God for I realized that I actually didn't know much about the topic of faith.
And I heard everybody talked about faith, and as I listened to them, some you could tell that it was more about how they're feeling emotionally. If they're feeling emotionally up. Others it just seemed to be about as long as they said the right words and that seemed to be more like spells and hexes that witchcraft would use. Others didn't seem to know, and they'd always be praying for faith. Others would kind of dive into the Word of God and they would always find something wrong with themselves and they could never seem to be able to get themselves into a right position. They just knew they hadn't given enough, prayed enough, fasted enough. That in their past they had done things and so, you know, they're reaping what they sowed. Oh, I mean, of all the different things that I saw and heard about this topic of faith.
And so as I grew up in my late teens, I began to work for ambulance and began to be trained in, to becoming a paramedic. And when I began to see all the things that were going on, I wanted to see a consistency in miracles. I wanted to know that God was with me and flowing through me all the time. Initially it was just in the area of miracles and signs and wonders. But then as I got married and we had children, I had to learn to use my faith on our kids and for healing and protection. Then as I began to pastor, Sal and I pastored Springs Church and we had to believe for finances and buildings and staff and all. I had to learn to develop faith and to understand the process of faith.
And so I want to dive into this because this is crucial. And I going to just take a piece and I'm going to just try to expand it for you. And if you're new in Lord, you know, and you don't understand some of it. Just watch it again and again because it will be the foundation of what you're going to do for God. You know, when I dove into the Word, I found out that Paul always preach the cross. He always preach about these topics. He always taught on the death of Jesus, then His burial, then he talked about His rising from the dead. Then he talked about Him, Jesus rising up and seated at the right hand of God. Those four things literally everywhere. I can find that these four things continually talked about.
Now, I recognize that when we talked about the cross, I think sometimes we're just too quick. And if there's teaching on Jesus that we don't know, then I don't think that we can grow in faith. That we'll do great things. I think that we're easily moved off of our faith or doubts and misbeliefs come into our mind and then into our heart. So I began to study Paul and his teaching. Now, that was hard for me to do because so many pastors loved teaching from the Old Testament because it's such an easy place to teach something. You've got a story. So on David and Goliath, you can teach a lot of great stuff on there. I mean, you can teach on stuff about the children of Israel walking across the water. I mean, you can, there is just so much great content in the Old Testament that is powerful and wonderful. But I noticed that most people that I met with and saw didn't seem to have an ability to walk in God's power, His peace, His joy.
Most Christians I talked to didn't seem to be much different than the world. I mean, what was different was they knew Jesus so they're going to go to heaven when they die. But I would watch them in the areas of believing for answers to prayer and rising up with joy and with peace in the midst of storms and I didn't see much difference. So what I want to share with you is something that will help you understand faith, the cross, and why Jesus had to die for you and I. My dad had a favorite Scripture. It was Galatians 2:20 and he said, "I have been crucified with Christ. It's no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God". Then it says, "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain".
This one verse is absolutely packed with great truth doctrine from Jesus and what He did. So the Bible says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". And this Word of God literally means by the teaching of Christ understanding Jesus. And so I thought, "Well, if you read the Word, you're going to grow in faith". But then I saw a lot of people who could memorize chapters of the Bible, but they were more into the old covenant. And I recognized that people who was really a new covenant believer, wow, those were the ones who saw consistent growth and faith. And I knew a lot of people, my mom, my dad, and others who had some kind of a relationship and understanding of God.
And so this was a verse that my dad would preach from all the time, quote all the time. It seemed to show up in a lot of his messages. And so, you know, when he went to be with Jesus years ago, some of his teaching began to just explode in my heart and mind because I knew how he lived his life. And let's look at this because this is crucial if you want to rise up with great power and ability and peace and joy and health and prosperity. This verse is key. So Paul says that I have been crucified. The word there is killed. Crucified means killed. So I've been killed with Christ. So when Jesus was on the cross, Paul says, "I died with Him and it's no longer I who live". So I'm thinking, "Woo, did somebody like taking over Paul's body"? And he says, "But Christ lives in me".
Now, as you study the Word, you know that Christ Jesus comes into our lives. And our spirit man, the real us is made completely alive. Everything old passes away and only new, only He is in there. But then we're to use His power to renew our mind and control our body. And it says that is totally and easily possible. So now that Christ lives in me, it says, I have, Jesus said that His way was easy. His yoke was easy. His burden was light. And then it says, "And the life which I now live in the flesh". Which means on the planet. Everybody keep saying that the cross all about going to heaven. You're going to live like hell down here, sick, disease. Nobody can't do anything government. Or we're just poor little lower class people kicked around by the powerful worldly people. But he says here, "The life which I now live in this flesh body. I live by faith in the Son of God".
So that literally means that the life of God within us is far greater than any person or evil person or person who's trying to come against us. In fact, it goes on to say in other places that it is literally that we have overcome the world and it's through our faith. Our faith in what? It's always our faith in Jesus, or let me help you out, or the finished work of the cross. It's not just He died on the cross. And everybody stops there. So we've got this cross religion. Meaning, our sins are forgiven. Now, we've got to keep confessing and everyone thinks the rest of our lives and it's going to be a hard burden and it's really hard to serve Jesus. But nobody has understood. That no, there's so much more to Jesus and having faith in Him.
Yes, I have faith that He took my sin on the cross. And when I think about Jesus hanging on the cross and dying in my place and my sin laid upon Him. In fact, Jesus became sin it says. And then my punishment is laid on Him. Oh, man. Then when I realized, and then He rose again to give me new life. He literally is showing us that we can live in a new overcoming life. He calls us more than conquerors, overcomers, born of God. Where do we get that kind of faith? Where sickness, diseases, people attacking us, animals attacking us, whatever is going on. That there is this stunning ability to walk like Jesus.
The Bible even says, "As He is, so are we in this world". There is an unlimited access to God and His ability. There is an unlimited access to God and His ability in our lives. But we don't believe that. We just believe, "Well, Jesus, woo. He was awesome. But I mean, we are just poor sinners saved by grace". These lines are so defeating that religion has brought in. You're not a sinner. But that I mean, your identity is not a sinner. That's a nature. Your nature is Christ.
Now, do you sin? Yes. The Bible says that if you know to do good and don't do it. That's a sin. The Bible says whatever is not of faith is sin. Sin means to miss the mark for God's best. And so, but the other thing is this, is that I can bark but it doesn't make me a dog. So I can do things like a dog. I can go fetch a ball if you throw it. I could yuck eat dog food. I could bark like a dog. I can let you scratch my ears like a dog. But my nature is not the nature of a dog. My nature is the nature of a man. And so we must really clear this up. That your nature is the nature of God. And that as you renew your mind to make your body a living sacrifice, something powerful takes place on the inside of you.
And so we need to see this at the cross. And as you read the Pauline letters, you know, the stuff that Paul wrote. You need to be very aware he is consistently talking about the power of the cross. He's consistently talking about Jesus death and how that because He died in your place, you get to live like Him, because He took your weakness, you get to have His strength. There was an exchanged with Jesus at the cross. And if you do not focus on this and get this. You'll never walk in consistent strong faith. People are really excited about the grace teaching and I am, too. I've always loved grace teaching. But now, the Bible says that you have to have faith for God's grace.
Well, what does that mean? I believe in God's grace. I believe in God's grace. I believe in God's grace. No! You need to have faith in Jesus as to why you qualify for the grace of God. Because you've been forgiven. You have a new spirit. You have Christ within you. You have a new nature. You have been given the gift of righteousness which is being right with God. So right with God, you now qualify for all the miracles, all the promises. And you just going to believe this.
Well, you say, "Leon, I've tried to believe. I've tried to believe. I keep speaking promises. I keep speaking and I do all of the things that the faith people have told me". Okay, there are some missing pieces for people who have never understood. That what Jesus did for us is more than just the cross. You'll have an ability to get to heaven if you ask Christ in and know that your sins are forgiven. But you will not live out the life that comes through believing in His rising from the dead. You won't be able to believe for the authority that is yours now because Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father. And so you'll think Satan. I know lots of really learned Christians who believed Satan has power and authority over them. And even if they say he doesn't, they act that way, pray that way. They're forever praying to the devil then not to God.
What do I mean by that? All they can think about is bind this, tell the devil that, go away, scream at him over here, their intercession is against the devil over there. And you think, you'd think about the devil so much. You're demon focused. And you don't find that after the cross. You don't find it with Jesus walking around. It was just rarely and when they dealt with it, it was gone. And so we need a new understanding of new covenant people who live by faith.
Now, when we talk about living faith. I'm just throwing a lot of nuggets at you. That I pray that those of you who are my, you know, know the Word a little can begin to connect some dots because I hear a lot of preaching on this, a lot of preaching on that, and we need these dots connected. We need you to understand how this thing works together. Let's talk about faith for a minute, because the Bible says here that now I live in the flesh. Now, when I talk about living here. This is the Zoe life of God. I don't mean the way I lived before. I mean the way I'm living now as I live like Jesus with His life in me. But how do I do that? I do that by faith in Jesus.
Well, faith that what? That Jesus will do this? No. Faith that it's done. Faith that it's done. When people keep praying, God is going to do this. When they keep telling me, God's going to do this. I know they don't understand faith. And, you know, I've been just praying and seeking God, believing He's going to do this. If you keep thinking God has to do it yet, or then you don't understand new covenant faith. And that because of Jesus and I, you know, from the cross to the throne. I'll use that frame. From the cross to the throne. What He did? Now, that you believe is no longer trying to get God to do something. It's a done deal. It's simply a reaching out and believing on His finished work, and as an heir you believe in it.
Now, some people with their faith, they believe that if you ignore stuff, it will go away. But that's not what the Bible teaches. The Bible doesn't say ignore the mountain. It says see it and speak to it. The Bible says what you ignore is do not look at the things that are seen. Now, that word "seen" actually means all five of your senses. Do not look at the things that you sense with your five senses. Where all of our sciences come from, reasoning comes from it, common sense comes from it, etcetera.
And so we're living in the limitations of our five senses and our physical and mental strength. But now, there's another world. This world you could call it the subatomic world. You could call it the world where God is. It's the spirit world. But it is over and more powerful than the physical world. And the Bible teaches us that we don't just ignore and say, "I don't have a problem". We just don't focus on the problem. We focus on the answer.
Now, the answer is faith in the finished work of Jesus, while the flesh might not have any answers. The promises of God that you have been qualified for because of what Jesus did is what you focus on, and focus is key. Whatever you focus on is what you begin to pull from. If you focus on your problems, you pull such negativity and doubt. In fact, doubt and unbelief and misbeliefs come from you focusing on your five senses as the most powerful reality. And then you just, "There's just no hope. There's just no way physically. There's just no way financially. There's just no way relationally. There's just no way". And you no longer believe God. And so it says, it's, you focus.
We look at the things. We don't look at the things that are seen. We look at the things that are not seen. Those unseen things doesn't mean they don't exist. It means they just don't exist in the physical realm where your five senses are designed to pick them up. And so we need our reasoning. We need our five senses. But we don't give them lead position. And so if you want to walk in a great faith, a faith that just begins to flow and the ability of God because grace is God's undeserved favor. And the undeserved favor is His ability that comes to you as a favor. You can't earn it. You can't deserve it. But the more you look at Jesus.
Now, I don't just mean the more you try to envision Him hanging on the cross. I mean, dive into the Word of God and see what it means. That on the cross that all of the law was nailed to it and He fulfilled it for you so that you can qualify. That on the cross your sin was laid on Him. And then He took the punishment, which was to die, and that all of the curse of the law was laid on Him. You know, He would have looked awful. He looked worse than any sinner that have ever died because He took the sin of the world. He became sin for you and I. And so as you begin to see this, and the tremendous price that Jesus paid. And that how that as down there in the depths of hell and death. That He used His faith and the presence of God realized He had suffered enough for the world and Jesus rose up triumphant. And because of that, He defeated the enemy, took away his ability to just conquer and rule mankind.
And so it's just a stunning thing. That when we say, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace". Well, you better figure out then why we have His grace. You better figure out. Look at Jesus because the most important writing for a new believer to learn is the writings of Paul and it is your position in Christ. Who you are? Who Jesus is? Who God is? Who the devil is? What you can do? Why you have an ability? Why you have the gift of righteousness? Why you can use faith and grow in faith? How?
Oh, man! It's crucial. But because it's not full of stories, it's harder preaching for people. So we've got to dive in and unpack this marvelous stunning truths. They're all around the death of Jesus and what took place in those 40 days from when He died and then as He rose again. And today He's seated at the right hand of the Father. He's seated. That always means when a high priest is seated, then it's done. You and I have an inheritance. You and I have already been given all things that pertain to life and godliness. And the way we get them is through the promises.
Now, we think a promise to heal. Yes. But have you looked at the promises that come from the cross to the throne? A promise of forgiveness. A promise of being born-again. The promise of having the gift of righteousness. The promise that you have an authority in Christ. There are promises that people have forgotten about with their faith life because they're confessing healing, prosperity, peace, and joy. Which is absolutely true, but you've forgotten the foundation and to begin to make confession and to see the promises about who you are because of Jesus.
So man, I just pray that this will just open up your eyes as never before and begin to study the finished work of Jesus as from the cross to the throne and the writings of Paul. Get a hold those some great stuff. I want to encourage you to get a hold of us and there's some great messages that walk you through. How that it is in His death, Jesus death, burial, His rising up to new life, and His going into heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father in all authority.
You need to understand what those mean and that's all Paul teaches on. Almost everything that he teaches on is a revelation of a new covenant believer. And if the church is going to rise up and do great things, it needs to recognize that we are new covenant believers. If you want to accept this Jesus as your Savior and Lord, just tell Him right now:
Jesus, come into my heart. I choose You. From today and on, I'm following You as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name, amen.
Tell us you made that decision and keep watching this program. And we don't want you to be religious. We want you to be followers of Christ, disciplined, powerful within His ability.