Be encouraged to live with a faith that is obvious
As I was standing outside the Savusavu Airport watching the sunrise this morning, my thoughts were drawn to the realities of obvious saving faith compared to false man-made faith.
Dead faith (James 2:14-17), that which is self generated, may have the feelings of authenticity, yet lacks the Holy Spirit’s working of regeneration. This fraud faith deceives it’s victims by saying that your good works are sufficient to win God’s approval for heaven. However, it’s the Holy Spirit’s rebirth which produces behaviour that gives evidence of eternal life (John 3:8), not belief in your abilities.
Self generated faith attempts to mimic Christ’s peace, but fails. Instead, it produces an artificial peace “as the world gives” (John 14:27). This only confuses the person with conflicting thoughts and feelings. Realise that it is only “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this [faith] is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). This is what Jesus said would cause your hearts not to be “troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
Jesus explained the obvious evidence this faith produces; “whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). There is no half-heartedness, no turning back, no isolation. The Holy Spirit determines you to produce lifelong fruit which are also dependent upon Christ alone through faith.
Genuine faith agrees with the apostle Paul; you “must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11). There is no self in this faith. This new Christ centered mindset lives in an ever present Lord Jesus Christ culture. But how you ask? Because “we know that our old self was crucified with him [Christ]…” (Romans 6:6). So, “you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).
One thing which is true for all of us; “you are slaves of the one whom you obey” (Romans 6:16). Even the pursuit of self centered pleasure in Jesus name makes you a slave to personal pleasure seeking. But Spirit energised faith says that you “have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:18). Here Christ is the object of your deepest devotion with Him being the destination of your affections, not self. Every facet of life is to be enjoyed and aimed at living His righteous character.
This new faith life is purpose built by God for “the praise of his glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6). Your faith in Christ gives evidence that God has been working from eternity past “according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:11). He does this in all believers “so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). Lives centered around faith in Christ speak a loud testimony to all spiritual forces, both good and bad, about the many facets of God’s merciful wisdom worked out through saved sinners.
Today, I encouraged you to live with a faith that is obvious. Let the world know that Christ lives in you. Encourage another believer with these truths. Inform some non-believer that Christ wants to do this work in their lives also. The Saviour will be glorified, your church will be strengthened, others will be inspired, and you will be blessed.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz