From Faith To Faith!!!
The Bible teaches us that faith is the key to everything for the Christian. By faith, we come to Christ; and by faith, we live our Christian lives with joy and gladness. Romans 1:17 tells us, “For in the Gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith, from first to last. Just as it is written, the righteous will live by faith”. When I read this, I was reminded of some lyrics in a favorite old hymn Living By Faith – “Living by faith, in Jesus above, trusting confiding, in His great love, safe from all harm, in His sheltering arms, I’m living by faith, and feel no alarm!” PTL!
While doing some reading recently I came across some thoughts from
Reverend J. Yearin who said it amazes him to see just how gullible some folks are today and he quoted P.T Barnum who said, “There’s a sucker born every minute” and he agreed that he was right! It seems to be no limit to what some folks believe! He then listed some titles that have appeared in the tabloids found in grocery store checkout lines. Cow Mattresses Help Cows Produce More Milk!; Mom On Diet Of Only Chicken, Lays Huge Egg!; World War II Bomber Found On The Moon!; Woman Gives Birth To A Two Year Old Baby!; Child Walks & Talks In Three Days!!!
The sad thing is that many people believe this nonsense! However, some people, who consider themselves to be logical or rational, believe that Christians are gullible for putting their faith in God. Because we believe in an “unseen God” (to them) that is evidence of our being gullible. My friend, there is nothing “gullible” about believing in the Lord! As mentioned above, the Bible teaches us that “faith” is the key to everything in the Christian life! In fact, Heb. 11:6 tells us, “That without faith, it’s impossible to please God”. Faith is the very core of our Christian living! Faith is the key to unlock the door to certainty (and eternity). There’s a story of an elderly lady who was upset with all the many troubles she was having. Out of frustration her family told her, “Grandma, we have done all that we can do for you! Now you’re just going to have to put your trust in God for the rest”. A look of despair came over her face and she said, “Oh dear, has it come to that”?!!! Folks listen, it always comes to that!!!
Faith For God’s Righteousness!
The Apostle Paul shows us that Jesus Christ is the very center point of our faith. When he speaks that the righteousness of God is revealed, he is really speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ…He is the message of the Gospel! The Gospel centers in the person of Christ! It is all about His sinless life, the atonement of our sins, and His supernatural resurrection! And, because He is the center of the Gospel He is, also, the center of our faith! God’s righteousness is revealed in two ways: 1. Christ is righteousness, there is no other. 2. He imparts His righteousness to us (by faith) and we are then cleansed from our sin. This is the sole purpose of preaching the Gospel! Listen, we can only be saved because of what He has done! The Bible teaches us that we are all sinners for two reasons. 1. By nature, we were born into sin; and 2. By choice, we ignore, deny, or reject God’s plan of salvation. The fact is, we are totally unable to save or cleanse ourselves from sin. But the Good News is our salvation and cleansing from sin has been made possible for us through God’s Son Jesus Christ! Praise His Holy name forever! Now, let’s look at another important aspect of faith.
Faith For Godly Living!
I heard a pastor on TV quite a while ago (can’t remember who it was) say this, “Trials are the soil in which faith grows” and he’s right! Notice, “A righteousness that is by faith, from first to last, just as it is written, the just shall live by faith”. Again, God’s righteousness is given to us only through faith. It is a “gift of God” (Eph. 2:8). You see, this is why it’s called Good News! If you understand that Christ is righteous and you’re not, this is not Good News. The Bad News is when one does not believe in Him. Gary, what are you saying, I’m saying that the righteousness of God is offered to us only if we exercise our faith to receive it! If you don’t ask for it and receive it, then you don’t have it!!!
And remember, this righteousness comes to us by faith to faith, from first to last. Real faith is receiving the righteousness of Christ, and then walk in that righteousness daily! Listen, true Biblical faith is never a work that we perform because we think we are somehow good and worthy. No, a thousand times no! True Biblical faith means rejecting all of our good works and trusting completely in Christ for everything! To cast ourselves wholly, completely, and totally…by faith on the Lord Jesus Christ as our only hope for our salvation and Eternal Life later, and to trust Him to take care of us with all the respective needs that we all have in our lives right here and now as we live “for Him” in this world. Folks, it’s a win/win deal! Let me share a few scriptures that tells us to have faith in Him for all our needs (again, here and later). Habakkuk 2:4; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38 –
“The righteous (just) will live by faith!”
Martin Luther once said that faith is the “yes” of the heart! In Luke 17:20-21 Jesus tells us that “The Kingdom of God is within you!” This means that when we “yes” to God’s Gift and accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, then His Kingdom can and will be established inwardly in our hearts! Gary, what are you saying? I’m saying that before there can ever be holiness of life and conduct, there first has to be holiness of heart. Listen, if He is not first in your heart; then He’s not first in your life! Period!!! It’s the Blessed Holy Spirit inwardly, living through us, that results in godly living outwardly! Can’t happen any other way! This is why we teach and preach the cardinal doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene of “heart holiness.” From cover to cover in God’s Word He commands us to be holy, “Be ye holy, for I the Lord God am holy! Lev. 19:2;
I Peter 1:16. And “good news” friend, whatever He has commanded, He has provided for, in and through His Son Jesus Christ! On the Cross of Calvary 2000 years ago the blood that Jesus shed not only provided forgiveness of our sins committed (transgressions) but also cleansing from the sin nature that we all inherited from God’s judgment upon Adam & Eve and the entire human race. And when I accept His gift of salvation and sanctification (to be set apart; cleansed, through and through (II Thess 5:23-24) I now have the assurance not only of Eternal Life later, but His Power & Presence inwardly to live a godly life here and now Acts 1:8! Praise His name forever!
About 6 months after I was saved in 1972 and was driving out here to Colorado Springs to honor God’s Call upon my life at Nazarene Bible College, I came across this scripture in Matthew 6:33 which reads “Seek ye first, the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you!” At the time, I was a brand-new Christian, nervous, scared, somewhat apprehensive, but I knew God was calling me so I came out here on blind faith. I left all my family & friends back in Detroit, Mich.; had very little money; no job, and no place to live, didn’t know anyone here, and the future was one big question mark! And then the Lord spoke to me one morning when I read this verse and He said to me, “Gary, if you will put me first in every area of your heart and life, if you will listen to me, embrace me, trust me, and obey me I’ll be there for you son and whatever you’ll need in life I’ll take care of you!” Well, as the old timers use to say, “the fire fell” and the Witness of His Spirit came and I knew it! He flooded me with His Presence, I said “Yes Lord!” and that was over 45 years year’s ago! And He knows, that I have literally lived my life, by faith, embracing this promise that He made to me, and guess what? He has honored to this very day His promise in my life and it still works! PTL!
In closing we see in II Cor. 5:21 Paul reminds us that, “God made Him who know no sin, to become sin for us, that in Him, we might become the righteousness of God.” PTL! And while I can’t speak for anyone else, the lyrics of the great old hymn The Solid Rock says it all for me, “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean, on Jesus’ Name! On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand!” Amen? Amen!!!
I love you all very, very much!!!