Leon Fontaine - Free Indeed
As we dive in to God's Word, I pray that you'll understand the power of the resurrection. And what it means to you and I. You know in John 8:12, it says Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me, shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life". The illumination. There is something about the resurrection. So many people, they see the cross and they stop there. You know, when the Roman empire, they decided rather than to fight Christians, and to kill them which didn't work, it was spreading like wildfire. That they should just join them.
And so we have the Roman empire painting crosses on shields. Going into battle as though the cross was some kind of lucky charm. But, when you look at the cross, and you realize that Jesus died for your and my sins. Do you realize that if Jesus would not have risen from the dead, you still would not have life? The life of heaven. The life of Jesus. The life of God. This Zoe, incredible, life that touches you on the inside. And makes you feel accepted, and loved, and a part of the family. Something inside of you that only the Holy Spirit could do. We've got to understand today, the power of His resurrection. The Bible teaches us in John 5:38, it says, but you do not have His Word abiding in you. This is Jesus talking to religious people. Because whom, He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the scriptures, Jesus said, for in them you think you have eternal life. And these, the scriptures, are they which testify of Me. But you're not willing to come to Me, Jesus says to the Pharisees and the Sadducees, that you may have life.
So many Christians, they have this kind of belief that well, He's forgiven my sins. They even don't know what to believe there. They've got to track every sin, confess every sin, you know, and this constant awareness of how much sin you did today. And do I have to confess that one? Because, you know, whatever is not of faith is sin and to him that knew it knows to do good and doesn't do it, that is sin. And if you think it in your heart, then you've already done it. Jesus is showing people that there is just no way that you can be son sin-conscious that you'd confess every individual little sin properly enough. Jesus is saying here, that when you come to Him, you have eternal life.
And here is the struggle of religion. Is to, for you to try to earn as best you can, this life of Jesus. And almost every letter that Paul wrote is to explain to people that the resurrection life we're talking about this morning, that it is a completely new covenant. It's no longer your work of the flesh. It's no longer you trying to be good enough to get God flow more in your life. And Jesus goes on, in fact in John 8:31-32 He says to the Jews to believed on Him, if you abide in My Word. Okay, and this Word means the revelation, the ah-ha, the illumination of His Word. Then you are My disciplined my followers indeed. And you're going to know truth, and this truth is going to set you free.
This freedom is a freedom from anger, a freedom from fear. A freedom from guilt, a freedom from this condemnation that the enemy, that your own heart would push at you. That when you know truth, now what truth is He talking about? Because so many Christians go well, I just can't learn the whole Bible. If you will get this most foundational truth in your heart, that whom the Son, in verse 36 of John 8, it says therefore, if the Son makes you free, you are free indeed. Free, free, free! Free there, free here, free up, you're just free. There's a freedom in your life that only Jesus can bring. Why? Because He died on the cross, and He fulfilled the law for you. Qualified you. But He went to the grave in your place. That place of death, that deep place that Job talks about as gloomy and dark. That other portions of scripture talk about as this horrible place of darkness and death.
You and I have to realize that the power of Jesus is in our lives because of Him rising again. So many people, you see, if truth sets you free, than lies and ignorance and deception is what holds us in bondage. What? A lie! Now, the enemy wants you to think that its your sin as a Christian that holds you in bondage. That stops all of your miracles. And that's what religious people do. They try to make every born-again believer get so conscious of their sin, so aware of their inability to live good enough, big enough. But until you understand that you're qualified for His life to be on the inside of you. You're qualified for every promise. That because Jesus arose from the dead, you and I can really live. And this life gives us the ability to live for Him. And I mean, all the pleasures that are at the right-hand of the Father, all of the things that Jesus brings to you and I.
It just makes you light up and go there's nothing this world has, or can deliver to us in any way that is exciting. God's grace, His peace, it saturates your heart. My world entirely changed when I understood Holy Spirit's role in my life. When I understood that, if I could just tell Holy Spirit I want You to be my friend. I've given my life to Jesus. You're alive on the inside of me. I want to be alive with You. When you study the Bible, Holy Spirit, He is the powerful force on this planet. All through the Old Testament you hear about the spirit of God. All through the New Testament you hear about Holy Spirit. And when you recognize that without Holy Spirit, without you spending time with Him, His Word, it won't ignite itself on the inside of you.
Christianity today, it's just, it's irritating. Because everybody thinks it's got to do with your head. That the smarter you are, at the Bible, if you could read four languages, five languages. And you can do it in Greek and Aramaic, and Latin, and that you're going to be closer to God. You're going to be more aware. But the more people I meet, I still find few people with all this education that are alive with the life of Jesus. Where, He manifests Himself inside of them, changes them. Gives them this courage, this life. And it manifests itself with peace and joy and healing. And the favour and the blessing of God that's all over someone when this life, this Zoe life rises up on the inside of them.
In John 14:12, Jesus says whoever believes in Me, will do the same things I do. Let me ask you a question. What is your faith based on? Well Leon, I just believe. That's not good enough. Let's take it a step deeper. What do you believe? Well, um, I believe God's all-powerful. Well the devil believes that. Well, I believe Jesus healed. The devil believes that. Well I believe that He's coming again. The devil knows that, too. What's so different? What makes this faith come alive in a believer, when so many, especially today, are so materialistic, self-centered, me, me, me, that this dying to self and this desire for Jesus so few people seem to have it. It is an understanding of who Jesus is yes, but what He did for you and I.
Do you want to know what Paul repeatedly warns about when it comes to demonic doctrines? When it comes to the enemy trying to cheat you out of this new life. He says, they will never admit that Jesus came in the flesh. And that He arose again. Did you know that even when it comes to your salvation, that there's got to be a security in you that we confess with our heart, our mouth, believe in our heart, that Jesus rose from the dead. Why? Without Him rising from the dead, we don't have a life to really live, and to spend eternity with Him. Without the proper download of God's living Word, in your mind, and then deeper into your heart, your spirit and your body won't work properly. Until you have a relationship with Holy Spirit, where the Word of God is being revealed and illuminated, your heart will never believe something. And Christianity out of the head doesn't work. It's just another religion.
It wasn't until I said, Holy Spirit, be my friend. Teach me. And as I begin to go into the Word, he'd begin to reveal. He'd begin to illuminate. And I would see Jesus and what He had done in every scripture. I would see myself with Jesus. And all of a sudden, the things I was trying to do, I found that as I just yielded to the Holy Spirit as He took me into the Word, that He'd begin to rebuild Leon at the heart-level. This deep level of beliefs. You see, deep beliefs determine your behaviour. If you struggle with any behaviour you don't like, then you have heart beliefs that are misbeliefs. You have been hurt, in an area. Somewhere in life you've had an event take place. An extreme emotion has caused you to judge yourself, to judge God, to judge people around you, and it's left you trapped in a world that you don't enjoy, even as a born-again believer.
You see, the doorway to the Kingdom that Jesus is talking about is not a mind that is informed. One of the greatest enemies today is this fad, this substitute for faith that I hear Christians saying it all the time. Be positive. Positive is good, but it's only one part of the process of growing in great faith. In the Old Testament, they limited God. In Psalms 78:37 says, for their heart was not right with Him, neither were they steadfast in His covenant. The great majority of the 21st century church has rejected the finished work of Jesus as the absolute basis for knowing and experiencing God. Instead, they believe it's their good works that the "gooder" they can become, the better they can become. You know, the less issues in their life, that that is when that God begins to work in their life. And they've gone back to Old Testament living. When you begin to understand that that's not where it's at.
In 1 Corinthians 2:2-5, the apostle Paul tells everybody there that, that I decided while I was with you, I'd forget about everything except Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. So when I come to you, I was weak and fearful and trembling. My teaching though, they're not with words of human wisdom that persuade people, but with proof of the power that the spirit gives. This was so that your faith would be in God's power and not in human wisdom. As I would speak at conferences around the world, different denominations, and meet men and women who would get up. I would sometimes speak at conferences with 40 speakers, and they would just go through an entire day, day after day. And I would watch people get up behind that, that sacred desk. Meaning, that this opportunity to speak the truths of God's Word. And I would admire the eloquent speaker who had all of his facial expressions and body posture figured out. And man, could he deliver.
I was stunned at the oratory that came out of some men, the voice inflexions. They were wordsmiths. They'd put together adjectives and adverbs and make what they said just come alive. And I was just jealous going man. But then, there would always be somebody who would walk behind the desk, and they would begin to teach God's Word. And you would instantly sense Holy Spirit fill the room. He would begin to touch hearts. Some would begin to weep. Some I would see just hold their hands and rock back and forth, as their heart began to be touched by the power of Holy Spirit. You see, the best trained minds, public speaker. I like by the way, developing skills in public speaking, and I appreciate people who do. But when it lacks the very presence of God, and God is not breathing on people through that person's speaking. You can just sense it. And it was such a difference.
And I want to say something to you. Although it is, makes that much difference with the teachers and the pastors in the five-fold ministry, it makes that much difference in your life as well. That when you go to live, the presence of God, this sweet-smelling, savour, this wind that blows. The Bible's trying to put it into words that you just enter a room and people don't know why, there's something they sense. Some people by the way, who are demonically oppressed will hate you on sight. But the vast majority as you just continue to learn to love people, get your eyes off of yourself, your inadequacies, your shortcomings, your inability to get results in anywhere in your life. But you can walk into a room, a business room, your family room, your bedroom, your child's room. Wherever you go, and the presence of God. This love, will just begin to flow.
Now, I want to say this to some of you today. The Bible teaches us that what strengthens us is God's love in our heart. Read the prayers in Ephesians 1:14, Ephesians 3:15 and on, and it talks about being strengthened with His might in your inner-man. And it talks about God's love. Now listen close to this. God's love means that God doesn't, you know, have a few tingles down His spine. But He values you. When He says He loves you, He values you. He cares about you. He is in love with you. But religion wants you to say you're nothing but filthy rags, take that out of context. And you know, stop thinking you're even valuable to God. You want to be glad He even thinks about you, sucker. And this type, teaching that's trying to bring humility into Christian's lives is destroying their ability to feel the love of God, to sense and know He treasures you. He values you. He's looking at you. And desiring a life that is so fulfilling. His miracles He wants to do inside of you. Until that connection between you and Him, you just go Dad. Dad. Because you sense this love, how much He values you and cares about you.
But there are so many demonic doctrines that just attack believers and drive a wedge between you and God. When Jesus hung on a cross and died for you and I, and He rose again so that you could know His love. His acceptance. Because Jesus gave you a gift of righteousness. We've got to understand, no truth. No doctrine has the power to change your life just because you know the information. It's the revelation, no wonder like I said in Ephesians 1, he prayed that God would give you the spirit of wisdom, and of revelation and the knowledge of Jesus. What knowledge of Jesus? Everybody knows He's the Son of God. The fact that on the cross, it was finished. And when He rose again, this was a finished work. The Bible gives you a second thing. You are to occupy until He comes. That word 'occupy' means to do business. To get plugged in, to get involved in our cities, our society. This new life that when Jesus rose from the grave, I've got news for you.
The demonic hordes were stunned and shocked, and instead of one Jesus, that they tried to kill, and they rejoiced because they got Him to a cross, they had Him nailed and His body died. And I'm telling you, they probably threw the biggest party in hell that you could ever imagine. Then all of a sudden, something's going on. What's happening? What's happening around that tomb? Then angels came and the rock was rolled away. And the disciples and the women begin to come and recognize His body was gone. He had risen from the grave. And because He rose again with new life, in the next 40 days and more, thousands upon thousands of people became born again. And instead of one Jesus walking the planet, thousands of them with that same anointing, that same nature. Jesus said that hey, because I go to the Father, He said, you're going to do what I do. We've got to understand. That, get a hold of God's Word. Commit to it. Envision your life the way Jesus tells us to. Express your desire to God. Recognize that not only did He die on a cross, not only did He go into the grave, but there was a resurrection.
It says in John 14:19-20, now listen to these words. He's telling them a little longer and the world will see Me no more. But you will see Me, and because I live, you will live also. Let's stop right there for a minute. It doesn't say because I died on the cross, you will live. Now, there's a ton of scripture about the beauty and the power of the cross. He said it's because I live, you will live also. It's time to recognize the empty tomb, as one of the most, the cross is a vital symbol. But the empty tomb is an incredible symbol of eternal life. If Jesus can come back to life and has paid the price, He not only took your sin, He went to the grave in your place. He went to hell in your place. And He arose again. Then this new life is ours. He goes on to say these things I've written to you, who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. Eternal is the length, life is the quality. And then, Jesus a few weeks, He rose in front of His disciples, to the right-hand of the Father. And there He is seated.
In Ephesians 2:6 says you are seated with Him. You see, this revelation that Holy Spirit is trying to get to His church, is so specifically first who Jesus is, and what He did, because then and only then, will you know who you are. If you're watching today, and you don't know this Jesus I'm talking about. The Bible says as you're listening to me preach, the Word of God is causing something new to rise up in you, a hope, a faith. And that's why you're actually going, I think I need this. Right now, with your mouth wherever you are, just pray and say:
Jesus, come into my heart. I choose You. I want to follow You for the rest of my days. Amen.
Because you have chosen Him, you've invited Him, you are giving Him the room, the right to come into your life. Now continue to follow Him every day.