Sunday, October 25, 2015

Undeniable Faith  
The great fall of Adam and Eve set in motion God’s plan for faith as the way to regain His grace. When they disobeyed God’s command, everything changed. They became ashamed and hid from God. Guilt entered the picture and fear overtook their conscience.

When sin entered Adam and Eve’s heart, those same effects are still felt today. We can’t ignore or escape this truth, and it’s through faith we discover God’s gift of salvation. (Ephesians 2:8)

Adam and Eve came face to face with God’s displeasure. We too are in the same predicament. Our sin is the same. In God’s eyes, we are born into sin (Romans 5:12-14)

But the Lord’s love for humanity is remarkable and through the bloodshed of His Son we find our way out. Faith in Christ is our responsibility and unlocks the wisdom to stay on the narrow way. (Matthew 7:13-14)
God established faith as an act of exerting our wills over to His merciful grace. He wants us to want Him above everything and waits for our walk in faith to do the talking. Through humility, we become open, receptive and conscious of His presence. Seeking Christ in everything we do, say or think is humbling ourselves before God. Christ lives in God’s will and to know Him is living in the Spirit of truth.    

In the Old Testament, the Lord used prophets as guides in identifying real faith. The Israelites struggled with the faith required to stay in His favor. They didn't understand the essence of this precious and eternal act of glorification. Their lack of faith caused them immense suffering.

What faith is favorable to God? 

A faith centered in trust and exemplifying His holiness. It’s a faith showing the world the inner strength He provides in turning away from sin. A strong endurance to stay spiritual in the midst of deception, wickedness, and the hurt caused by other sinners. And Christ holds the key to a faith acceptable to God. No other faith can grab the Lord’s attention than the one placed in Jesus. (John 14:6)

Faith is the fundamental principle connecting us with God’s kingdom. An active faith is abiding by God’s command, regardless of personal sacrifice. One of the finest examples of faith in action is Abraham. He was a faithful servant of God. His wife Sarah (unable to bear children) received a miracle from the Lord and gave birth to Isaac. Then one day God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. (Genesis 20:18; 21:1-7)

Abraham’s love for God was stronger than the one he had for his son. He didn’t bargain, plead or ask the Lord to change His command. God took notice of his unshakable faith and spared his son’s sacrifice. The outcome resulted in God blessing Abraham’s offspring with a spiritual strength stronger than their enemies (Genesis 22:1-19).

Abraham understood the penalty of disobedience and put aside his personal feelings. He did as God asked. His faith is incredible and an excellent model for us to learn the quality of an unwavering trust in God.

Another great biblical illustration of faith is when Christ converted the Samaritan woman. In her conversation with Christ, the reality of her sinful ways couldn’t be denied. The truth, Christ spoke to her changed the way she believed. As the result of Christ’s intervention, she was reborn. (John 4:1-26) 

Apostle John’s account of the Samaritan woman’s talk with Christ didn’t stop with her miracle. It showed another way of faith. When she returned home and proclaimed Christ, many believed in Him from her spoken truth. Then when Jesus stayed in their town, many more believed in Him. (John 4:39-42).

When we proclaim Christ as the savior of the world, then God sees our faithfulness. Here we are losing ourselves in Christ and finding our spiritual lives. We are living in His Spirit and have gained the freedom from sin. Our faith is on solid ground, and we are no longer afraid of physical deaths. And our hope is secured for we understand God’s eternal promise.

How do we know our faith is real?

The Holy Spirit is the answer. God releases His Spirit in the soul of those who believe in Christ. We become embraced with His love and are awakened to His holiness. God leaves no doubt who He is and the Holy Spirit is the proof of God.

Real faith motivates us to be more Christ-like, and we become disgusted with sin. Our whole outlook on life changes and we see the world in a Christian way. We rely more on Christ and less on ourselves. Trials and tribulations become spiritual opportunities where we enjoy the challenge they bring in strengthening our walk in Christ.

True faith is developing a passion for Christ and striving to live holy. It has no room for complacency.  Faithfulness is understanding the room for improvement and accepting the weakness of the flesh. It’s easy to become complacent and stop growing.

A living faith is based on repentance, forgiveness and love. It’s centered in serious devotion, bible study and selfless serving. Confession of sin becomes an integral part of a faithful follower. Self-control becomes automatic and when the flesh fails the believer’s trust in Christ prevails. Take those actions and experience Christ's impact.

In my journey with God the results from living His word have been astonishing. One incident involved falling victim to a financial scam. When I first approached by the scammer my response was silence.

Then one day while attending church, God commanded me to take action. The Lord called on me to offer my services. A lady who claimed to be dying from cancer needed my help. She wanted some help in donating funds to orphanages. 

I relied on Christ every step of the way for His guidance. My consultation was with God making sure I was in His will. I ended up sending over a thousand dollars. When the scam was exposed my reaction wasn’t full of revenge, but centered in Christian morals.

It was disappointing, but I understood the value of acting on God’s commands. I was grateful to give the money and Christ supplied me with a plan of action to restore my finances. My forgiveness for them was from the heart and I asked God to fulfill His will in their lives before doing something for me. I grew closer to Christ and enjoyed the way God used me.

Faith goes beyond belief. Each of us has found incredible strength as the result of trusting God’s infinite plan. Every time we are in distress and turn to Christ those troubles melt away. Faith in action is our greatest defense against God’s enemy. Our victory over sin is the direct result of Christ’s sacrifice and faith is essential in knowing the significance of the cross.