Having been a Lay-Speaker in the Methodist Church I have had the privilege on occasion to speak at different churches in my district. Today’s blog is an excerpt from one of those times. The news is full of the persecution of Christians and the destruction of our churches with the goal of destroying the faith. Here then is an excerpt from the message “Defending the Faith”.
FAITH HAS BOTH AN ACTIVE AND PASSIVE SENSE IN THE BIBLE. THE FIRST RELATING TO ONE’S LOYALTY TO A PERSON OR COMMITMENT TO A PROMISE; THE OTHER BEING CONFIDENCE IN THE WORD OR ASSURANCE OF ANOTHER. FAITH IS NOT MERELY WHAT A PERSON BELIEVES, AS EXAMPLE, AN ACCURATE DOCTRINE OR CREED, BUT ALSO AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, THAT THE OBJECT OF OUR FAITH IS VALID. THAT EMPTY TOMB VALIDATES OUR FAITH.
I BELIEVE IT TO BE A REASONABLE STATEMENT THAT WE ARE GOVERNED BY OUR THOUGHTS; WE ULTIMATELY BECOME WHAT WE DWELL MOST UPON IN OUR MINDS. THE APOSTLE PAUL GAVE THIS INSTRUCTION TO THE ROMANS: Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE PASSAGES: Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
WHAT IS VALUE OF FAITH? WE FIND SECURITY IN OUR FAITH. 2CHRONICALS: 20-20……… As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
WE ARE ESTABLISHED AS A PEOPLE THROUGH OUR FAITH. ISAIAH 7-9 …………“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”
OUR FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD LUKE 17: 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
ROMANS 12: 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
HERE IS A PASSAGE WE ALL KNOW WELL……8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit ………….
THE PURPOSE OF OUR FAITH IS TO GAIN UNDERSTANDING AND TRUTH. John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
FAITH HELPS US TO GROW IN GOD’S GRACE Hebrews 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
WE ARE ABLE TO REJOICE THROUGH OUR FAITH. PHILIPPIANS 2: 17-18 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
WE CAN USE OUR FAITH TO STRENGTHEN OURSELVES. ROMANS 6:13-14 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
THROUGH FAITH WE BECOME TRANSFORMED INTO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST, A PEOPLE STRONG IN THE FAITH. EPHESIANS 3: 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
-THE BOLD FAITH OF OUR LORD THAT WOULD ALLOW HIM TO DO NO LESS THAN THE FATHER’S WILL, EVEN IF IT MEANT HIS DEATH.
-THE BOLD FAITH OF PAUL HAVING BEEN STONED AND LEFT FOR DEAD, HE GOT UP, WENT BACK AND CONTINUED TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS.
-THE BOLD FAITH OF PETER RISING TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF PAUL AND BARNABAS’ MINISTRY TO THE GENTILES.
-THE BOLD FAITH OF JAMES WHO CHALLENGED THE CHURCH AT JERUSALEM, KNOWING THAT THERE WERE THOSE WHO OPPOSED THE GENTILE.
WE NEED A BOLDNESS IN OUR FAITH THAT SAYS ….COME AS YOU ARE. THE FAITH BELONGS TO ALL WHO SEEK JESUS CHRIST.
THE CHURCH HAS LOST ITS BOLDNESS. WE MUST PUT ASIDE THE DISTRACTIONS OF THIS WORLD AND COME TOGETHER IN DEFENSE OF THE FAITH.
TO DEFEND THE FAITH IS TO DEFEND JESUS CHRIST…..”I AM THE WAY”
*References from William Barclay, Daily Bible study are included in this blog.