Word of Faith, part 3

One of the main teachings of the Word of Faith movement concerns one’s “confession.” This teaching goes back to E. W. Kenyon, but before looking at what he wrote, let’s consider what a leader of the movement, Kenneth E. Hagin, wrote about it in his exposition of Mark 5:25-34 in his book “Exceedingly Growing Faith,” Chapter VI.

The story concerns a woman with “an issue of blood” who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment while he was in a crowd. Hagin points out the steps she took: (1) She said it: “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” (Mark 5:28) (2) She did it: she got close enough to Jesus to do it. Because she was unclean she was supposed to stay away from others, so by this action she was taking a risk. (3) She received it: she received the healing from Jesus. (4) She told it: Jesus asked, “Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30) She again took a risk by telling her story publicly.

Hagin also references the story of David and Goliath as an example of the importance of saying what one believes: (I Samuel 17):

And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (verse 32) And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (verse 37)

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

David took a risk in saying these things in the face of a giant and an enemy army. David’s faith was expressed by his spoken words boldly declared to his doubting comrades and the unbelieving giant. Then he did what he said he would do. That took faith, which means trusting enough to go out on a limb, to take risks, to have nerve or chutzpah in the name and for the glory of God.

E. W. Kenyon has a chapter entitled “A Study in Faith” (Chapter the Eleventh in “The Hidden Man”). Here are some excerpts concerning speech:

[Faith] must be fed continually upon the Word of God and upon our acting on that Word. Simply reading the Word, meditating on the Word, will not build faith. It will build capacity for faith, but faith is only built when that Word becomes a part of our daily use, our daily conduct – a part of our daily speech. … Faith grows in the atmosphere of confession of the Word. We are not speaking of confession of sin. It is our confession of what we are in Christ, what Christ is in us, and what the Word is in our lips. p.96

Faith is no greater than your confession. … Fear and unbelief grow with confession the same as faith grows with it. p.97

Christianity is called “the great confession.” The law of that confession is that I confess a thing before I consciously possess it. p.98

You see, with the heart man believes that Jesus s his Righteousness, and with his lips he makes a confession of his salvation. [Rom. 10:9,10] You notice that confession of the lips comes before God acts upon our spirits and recreates them … I have learned this law, that when I boldly confess, then, and then only, do I possess. I make my lips do their work. I give the Word its place. God has spoken, and I side with the Word. p.99

Note that this applies to what is promised in the Word of God. So our confession of faith must align with the Word. We are totally dependent on God’s prior promises.

The next post in this series is here.