Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Brick Building - Section Six - Believe/Faith

Last week we took a look at prayer as it impacts our maturity, and today we’ll take a look at the area of faith when considering growing up in our walk with the Lord.   

We call Christians people of faith or believers, but what is really being said is that we are believers of Jesus Christ, we believe what God says about Him, and we have faith in the work of Christ. However, we all believe in something even if it is not God or Jesus. It is the object of our belief that defines our faith. It may be that we believe in science, we may believe in the existence of gravity and other laws, we may believe in self; even an atheist believes. (They simply believe that God doesn’t exist.) So the object for them is the non-existence of an object. But even in that, faith is required. So really we are all people of faith. It is actually funny how loosely the words faith, belief and trust gets used. It is a simple fact that we all believe and have faith.

We believe that the other drivers will stop at the stop sign when we are crossing an intersection (at least until a driver runs a stop sign and hits us). We believe an elevator will get us to the floor we want. We believe the educational system will prepare and educate our children. We believe the sun will come up each day. We believe in so many things, but our belief does not affect reality.

Let’s consider the law of gravity…Regardless of what you believe, this law remains the same.  If you jump off a tall building you will fall and get hurt or die.  The law exist whether we believe it or not.  Our faith of its existence has no effect on it.  It only affects our behavior. For example, if you believe the law does not exist, then you will act in opposition and jump from a building.
Our Heavenly Father’s existence is not dependent upon our belief. As with the case for gravity, you can choose not to believe in it, but it will not change the fact of His existence.
However, a believer and follower of Jesus Christ believes God exist, believes what God says about Jesus’ death and places his/her faith in the sacrifice to pay for his/her sin. In order to grow up in this faith, we have to believe what God says in the word of God, scripture.

We must believe that He will mature us when we cooperate and surrender to Him. He will do the work to transform us. We will grow up and mature not by our own doing but by the work of Christ in us thru the Holy Spirit. He will do it little by little from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).We are saved by faith, we walk by faith, and we are right with God because of our faith.

Look at the following scriptures:

·        2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.
·        Philippians 3:3-9 We put no confidence in the flesh- though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
·        Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
      1 Corinthians 1:30-31 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
      Genesis 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness
      Galatians 3:6 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

So assuming we believe He exist and assuming we want to please Him, I believe we mature in our relationship by not just believing in Him, but I believe we must believe Him. We must believe what He says, and in order to believe what He says, we need to know what He says.  The best place to determine that is to be in the word, studying it, pondering it, praying it and meditating upon it. The next two sections we'll delve deeper into this.
Remember that we act out of what we believe. If you believe other drivers will stop at a stop sign, you act in faith by going through the intersection. If on the other hand, you believe other drivers will not stop, you tend to be slightly paralyzed at the intersection. Our actions will demonstrate our beliefs. So if you find yourself acting contrary to God’s Word, I suggest you take a look at what you are believing about God or yourself that isn’t true.
As you dig into the scripture and study about God, get to know His character and plan, you will find that you are better able to trust Him. He is trustworthy.

So to mature in our walk, we need to not only believe in God but also believe what He says. We must be a follower of the object of our faith and trust He will complete the work He started in us when we first believed.

Brick Building Section One-Maturity
Brick Building Section Two-Immaturity
Brick Building Section Three
Brick Building Section Four - Cooperating with the Holy Spirit
Brick Building Section Five - Prayer

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