WMTLC TEACHINGS

Step Towards Transformation

9-FAITH

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 “Where is your faith?” Jesus asked his disciples!!!

He had just calmed the storm after being woken up from his sleep by men who thought they were going to perish. For there was a “storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish.

Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith?” Luke 8:22-25

Did they loose this faith? Did they leave it behind? Did they throw it overboard to lighten the ship?

The best answer that I have heard to this question is this: Their faith had just calmed the storm after being woken up from his sleep and was now standing in front of them asking “Where is your faith?”.

Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith.

Faith has always been the mark of a disciple of Jesus. The early disciples were known as BELIEVERS. Jesus said: ‘…Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23).

Faith means total dependence on God. When Adam sinned, he stepped out of God-dependence into in-dependence (which is unbelief). This is the reason God has placed such a high priority on faith. Faith is the way we come back into relationship with God (God-dependence).

This dependence on God is called faith. Faith advances you beyond your five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. Faith releases you from your limited capacities. By faith you move from in-ability to His-ability.

This is the walk of faith to which all of us are called – where “nothing is impossible” (Matt 17:20).

A. WHAT IS FAITH?

Faith means having trust, assurance or confidence in another person or that person’s words. Having faith in God involves an exchange of self-trust for God-trust. We stop trusting in ourself and trust Him. We abandon reliance on our limited source of knowledge and start receiving from His unlimited source.

True faith is expressed in 1) Obedience and 2) Action, in response to 3) Hearing God’s word (voice), i.e., obedient action in response to what God has said.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1).

B. TWO KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on MEN’S WISDOM, but on God’s power.

“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

“No, we speak of God’s SECRET WISDOM, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time bean” (1 Cor 2:4-7). See also verses 8-16.

  1. Sense Knowledge
    All knowledge that comes to natural man comes to him through the five senses – seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. This is limited knowledge, described as ‘man’s wisdom’
  2. Revelation Knowledge
    This knowledge is not based on the five senses, nor on natural reasoning but on an alternative source – the TRUTH of the Word of God. It is received through man’s spirit, and is described as ‘God’s wisdom’ – “We live by FAITH, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7).

C. THE BASIS OF FAITH

The basis of having faith in God is in three important realities:

  1. The Nature of God
    “When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself (Heb 6:13).
  • He Cannot Change. “I the Lord do not change…”(Mal 3:6). See also James 1:17)
  • He Cannot Fail. “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). See also 1 Chronicles 28:20).
  • He Cannot Lie. “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? “ (Num 23:19). See also Titus 1:2.
  1. The Redemptive Work Of The Son Of God
    “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2).

Christ has become the source of our faith in God. The fact of His death and resurrection provides ground for our believing.

“..Christ Jesus .. has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). See also Romans 5:1,2.

  1. The Word Of God
    “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt 24:35). See also Isaiah 40:8.

“The Lord said to me, ‘…I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled” (Jer 1:12).

His Word stands true forever. Faith comes when God brings a specific word – out of all He has ever said – directly to us in our circumstances. Spoken in this way, the Word of God comes alive to us releasing our faith.

D. HOW FAITH WORKS

The principle of faith (Rom 3:27) is to operate in our lives continually, no matter what the circumstances (see 2 Corinthians 5:7 James 1:5,6). It works in the following way:

  1. God Gives Us Faith
    “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:

”’The righteous will live by [HIS] faith”’ (compare Romans 1:17 and Habakkuk 2:4 NIV).

The righteous live by HIS faith, that is the faith HE gives us as a gift.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, it [the faith] is the gift of God…” (Eph 2:8,9).

“…according as God has dealt to every man…faith” (Rom 12:3).

  1. Faith Comes By A Word From God
    Firstly, God encourages us by speaking a “word” relevant to our circumstances.
    This may come as you read the Bible or by hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit inside your spirit.

“…faith comes from hearing the word, and is heard through the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). See also Genesis 15:3-5; 17:15-21; Joshua 1:8.

  1. Obedience To The Word
    For faith to operate in our situation, we must obey that word. Faith is ACTIVE, not passive.
    “…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (Jas 2:17). See 1:22-25; Genesis 15:6, Mathew 7:24-27.
  2. The Crisis, Or “Trial Of Our Faith”
    This is a period of testing. Everything happening around us appears contrary to what has said, and there seems to be no natural evidence for our believing. At this point, our faith rests completely on God’s word (what He has spoken to us).

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

“These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Pet 1:6,7). See also Romans 4:16-21; Psalms 105:17-19.

In faith we cast ourselves on HIS FAITHFULNESS. In our times of doubt and struggle, God is faithful and does not abandon us.

“If we believe not, he abideth faithful. He cannot deny himself” (2 Tim 2:13).

He was faithful to Thomas and Peter when their faith was tested. Jesus didn’t abandon them.

“He will never leave us nor forsake us” (Heb 13:5).

  1. The Result

The end result is always victory on the part of the believer, bringing glory to God (see also James 1:2-4), 12; Genesis 21:1-3; Psalms 105:19-22; Acts 3:16; Hebrews 6:13-15).

“… for everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1 Jn 5:4).

MY COMMITMENT

Today I decide to live by faith and trust God in all areas of my life. I acknowledge my need to be totally dependent on God – which is faith in action. In problems, challenges and difficulties I will rely on His faithfulness. God’s response will be His grace – His enabling power. I will teach others also to rely on God’s faithfulness and walk with faith in God.

Witness Ministries

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