FAITH IN PRACTICE

And the righteous will live by his faith – Habakkuk 2:4b


INTRODUCTION


Our whole lives depend on faith – from our rising from bed to the going back to it. We wake up, do the normal things because we believe that the earth will still rotate on its axis, that the sun will shine even through storms and rain.


• That plants, crops, trees will grow even when there is drought;
• That our vehicles and even aircraft will be able to take us to and fro. The streets will be able to hold our cars, never mind how many potholes;
• That we will be able to eat and digest our food;
• That doctors will be able to heal us;
• Teachers, lecturers will be able to teach us;
• That security agencies will be able to protect us from those who wish us harm;
We can go on and on. In fact, even right now most of us are comfortable sitting on our chairs because we have faith that they will hold our weight and keep us secure.
In fact, our whole lives revolve around things we believe in, both seen and unseen.

  1. SO, WHAT IS FAITH?

  2. a. The All Nations English Dictionary defines Faith as:
    • Strong belief, trust, confidence
    • Loyalty to one’s promises or word of honour.

b. Webster’s New World Dictionary also defines Faith as:
• Trust
• Unquestioning Belief in God
• Anything believed
• Complete trust or confidence
• Loyalty

  1. BIBLICAL DEFINATION
    We are talking about God and His Word so it’s important that we find out what God means by faith. In Hebrews 11:1, we read that Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This means that the nature of faith that is acceptable before God is a faith that is triumphant in the worst situations. In the New Testament faith conveys the idea of trust, a firm internal conviction regarding the truthfulness of someone or some claim.
    It is faith that believes in spiritual realities and leads to:
    a) Righteousness
    b) Seeking God
    c) Believing in God’s goodness
    d) Having complete confidence in God’s Word
    e) Obeying God’s command
    f) Regulating life on God’s promises
    g) Rejecting the spirit of this present evil age
    h) Seeking a Heavenly home
    i) Persevering in trials and testing
    j) Blessing the next generation
    k) Refusing sin’s pleasures
    l) Enduring persecution
    m) Performing mighty acts of righteousness
    n) Suffering for God
    A tall list but as we read in Philippians 2:13 (NLT) – “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”; God who lives in us by His Spirit continues to work in us to give us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. He is the originator of faith and He is our Helper.
  2. In 1 Kings 18:36-39, Elijah practises his faith by courageously challenging King Ahab for his disobedience (rebuking all of Israel, confronting the 450 prophets of Baal). His faith led him to use only the weapons of prayer and faith in God. His confidence in God is indicated by the brevity and simplicity of his prayer. He didn’t need a Genesis to Revelation kind of prayer nor did he stomp and wag his fingers at God. He prayed in agreement with God’s will. Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal and then his prayer was to reveal God’s grace to His people and thus turn their hearts back to God.
  3. We too must put our faith in practice as we see so much evil and wrongdoing in our society. Instead of the daily complaining we must put our faith to work by praying in agreement with God’s will. Titus 2:14, reveals to us that Christ has redeemed for Himself, a people who are His very own and eager to do good. We must therefore use Hebrews 4:14-16 as well as 1 John 5:14-15 to pray for one another so that we will live in the power of righteousness that we have been saved to practice. We must trust God to empower us to change our generation.
  4. In Galatians 1:1-10, Paul was horrified that the Christians in Galatia were allowing the Judaizers to persuade them to abandon their faith in the gospel of salvation by faith only in the Lord Jesus Christ and to accept the false notions that they had to become Jews through circumcision and adherence to rules and regulations before they could become true Christians. It was so false that Paul virtually reined curses on those who brought this false gospel. And are we not facing the same things? Prayer camps, strange prophecies and regulated practices, rituals and dogmas.
  5. Let’s put our faith into practice and accept that Christ’s saving purpose is the deliverance of us believers from the evil that dominates this world’s societies. We must live for God and refuse to be governed by the prevailing values, wisdom, opinions, corrupt desires and selfish pleasures of the people of this world. We must despise evil and love what is righteous – this is our faith – we are a people delivered from evil and brought into God’s marvelous light as we read in 1 Peter 2:9.
    We must have our mind conformed to God’s way of thinking by reading and meditating on His Word as the Bible tells us in Psalm 119:11 & 148; John 8:31 – 32 & 15:7.
    We must have our plans and ambitions determined by heavenly and eternal fruits and not by this evil, temporal and transient age, no matter how attractive. We must avoid being so gullible and faint-hearted. We say that God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. Acting out our faith is what makes us witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. In Luke 7:1-10, the Roman Centurion heard of the God of Jews and His mighty power being displayed in Jesus and he believed in Him and actually sought His help. His faith was commended by Jesus because it surpassed anything found among the Jews. The centurion’s faith combined a long concern for another person – his servant- with great trust in Jesus. He was deemed an unbeliever by the Jews but he had all the elements of a believer in Jesus’ eyes.
    We are believers but is our faith in the Author and Perfecter of our faith in Jesus Christ evident in the things we do?
    • Do people see the power of Jesus in the way we practise our Christian faith.
    • Do we love one another us Christ has loved us?

Conclusion
Christ Jesus says He has overcome the world and indeed He has by His death and resurrection. His love is abundant – we know it and experience it daily. His grace is divine – we experience that too daily. By our actions let’s bring glory to God and enjoy the freedom and power that our faith brings us.
Let’s dedicate our lives to God and ask Him to increase our faith.

Stay Blessed!

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