Tuesday, July 23, 2019

By Grace through Faith: Got Faith?

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

Therefore it is of faith that it might be by Grace; Romans 4:16a KJV

We've begun a new study of walking by New Covenant Faith. In our last study, we defined what Faith actually is despite how the traditional religious-minded or the unlearned define it. We've seen that Faith is not "blind". That it's not directionless or somehow not focused on specifics. 

 Faith is being fully persuaded by unseen evidence. That evidence is what the Finished Work procured for us, and what God said to us because of the Finished Work. Faith cannot exist where the will of God is not known. That's why God in His infinite Goodness has let us know what His will is.

What is His will?

When it comes to God's will, so many believers and Christian leaders seem almost bewildered, baffled and bemused. Like God's will is the "holy grail" and so few ever find it. That God's will is some magnificent mystery and oh joy to you if you actually discern it or discover it.

 How so many discern God's will is this. Let's pray to God to do something. Let's ask God for something. Well, if it happens it must have been God's will. If it didn't happen or come to pass? Must not have been His will. Listen, brothers and sisters, God's will is not a shot in the dark. It is not some mystery to be solved. Paul has told us this.
having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, Ephesians 1:9 NKJV

 Here is a perfect illustration of knowing God's will. Suppose you enter a restaurant that you've never been to. Suppose the sign says serving a variety of food. You are seated, with no menu in sight, then the server comes to take you order and you say ok can I have a pizza? What if their response was we don't have pizza, only vegetarian, seafood, steaks, and ribs? More than likely your response would be something like well I didn't see any menu so I wasn't sure what you served. The point is that the establishment must provide you with the pertinent information for you to be able to make your selection. 

 So it is with God. God so much as tells us this in 1 John. For you to know what to order at a restaurant, they give you a menu. They inform you of what's available. God is just and righteous, therefore He must also inform us of His will in order for us to ask in Faith. So what is His will? His will is His Word. If you want to know what God's will is, look at His Word, what He said. What He confirmed with His promises. What we see Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work.

 Having established that His Word is His will and we, therefore, can know His will, how then does Faith come? How do we know we have Faith? God's Word gives us insight into this.
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV

Got Faith?

  Faith comes by hearing God's Word. It comes from hearing the Word spoken, the Word of God preached in its fullness. It comes by hearing yourself speak His Word. When we speak God's Word, our minds get renewed to the truth of God instead of the lies of the enemy and this world system. 

 Some may be saying well that's great brother,  but I don't think I have any Faith. Not so, for the Word tells us otherwise. The Word declared all believers have been given the same measure of Faith. We all start with the same amount of Faith. It is up to us to grow in our Faith. There are no special believers or ones God loves more than you. We have Faith and can grow that Faith as we will. We even see Paul speak of exceedingly growing Faith.

God has a simple way to grow in Faith. Simply feeding on His Word will bring growth and stronger Faith. Some may be thinking, ok Faith comes by hearing but what about Hebrews where it says the Word spoke didn't profit them, not being mixed with Faith in them that heard? Glad you brought this up. 

 The Word won't bring Faith if the hearer of the Word denies the Word or seeks to misapply the Word. Hebrews said the Gospel wasn't received by the hearers. Why? Because they couldn't accept the Good News of God's Grace. 

 Misguided men who hear Ephesians 5, about husbands and wives and take that passage as an excuse to dominate and exercise control over their wife are not acting in Faith. They are misapplying God's Word. When religious traditional-minded,  hear the Word on the Gifts of the Spirit, they don't mix Faith with what they hear for they deny that aspect of God's Word for today. 

 When the hearer of the Word looks to outward circumstances or their experiences, they aren't receiving the Word, thus Faith can't come. God's Word is true, not because we experience it. God's Word is true because God said it. Because it is the truth, we, therefore, should experience it. 

 Want to have exceedingly growing Faith? Then feed on God's Word. It's about having more Word in you than World. Want to grow strong in your new identity? Feed more on God's Word about who you are in Christ. Want to be strong in Grace? Than feed on God's Word about Jesus and His Finished Work. Want to be strong in the things of the Holy Spirit? Feed on God's Word concerning the Gifts and moving of the Spirit. Want to be strong in healing? Feed on God's Word about healing and wholeness. 

 In summation, do you have Faith? If you've received Jesus then you absolutely do. Remember there are no special believers. There are no Christians God loves more than others. He hasn't given more Faith in someone than He has given you. Faith is a level playing field. Remember it is by Faith so it can be by Grace. Simply feeding on God's Word causes Faith in your heart to grow and produce victory in all areas of life. God is for us not against us. 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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