Monday, February 25, 2013

Faith and Obedience go together

Faith and obedience go hand-in-hand.

One, faith is the anchor that results in obedience.

"See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinfulunbelieving heart that turns away from the living God." (Hebrews 3:12) The book of Hebrews was written for Christians. Paul was talking to those among the spiritual family. I just want to emphasize that he mentioned "sinful" and "unbelieving" together. Could it be that unbelief brings us to commit more sins than if we would just believe the Lord and trust Him? 

Could it?

Some authors I've read before claim that unbelief is the mother of all sins, referring to the time the first woman Eve was tempted and the result was disobedience. Hence, the fall of man. 

Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?,” the tempter asked the woman. He was questioning Eve about what God said. 

From there, he fed the doubt that was beginning. You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

The rest is history.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). 

If we don't trust God or even believe there is a God, it is hard to continue walking in obedience apart from God. For Christians, if we don't believe God's promises, we can do all sorts of things either to accomplish the promise ourselves that is not in God's direction or we can get angry at life and even at our circumstances.

If we don't believe there is a God, that there are eternal ramifications for our actions in this life, it's hard to remain doing good.

"But people just create a god to satisfy their lack of knowledge.

"There is no such thing as heaven or hell."

These were the statements the enemy used to steal me away. The outcome? A life of pride and rebellion. I was not responsible for anyone and maybe, just maybe, I don't have to feel guilty about this certain area I have trouble changing.

When Satan lies to you, don't think he's doing it out of knowledge, that he wants to give you more knowledge. 

The fear of the Lordthat is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise." (Psalm 111:10)

The moment you bite into Satan's trap, he will fill your head with more lies and deceit. He is the father of lies."When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44)

The true source of truth is JESUS CHRIST. "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) 

You will know the truth by the outcome of what you believe. There is truth that is based on facts. Facts lead you to a more excellent way of thinking. But there is a higher truth to things that can only come from God. "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." (Deuteronomy 29:29) There are things revealed and known to us and things that only God can reveal (if He chooses to reveal it).

Second, the gospel has to be received by faith. This eventually produces a life of obedience.

"For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed." (Hebrews 4:2)

When hearing the gospel, we have to receive it by faith. That is the only way we can walk in obedience to the next steps that God will show us. Without faith, we will remain in a cycle of trying hard (because we don't believe we can't save ourselves) or not trying at all because we don't believe in the consequences. The Bible is clear, "For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Don't let unbelief disqualify you from a life of grace and holiness before the Lord.

There is a difference between a lie and unbelief. A lie is not true but we can believe a lie. Unbelief is when we know what is true but we don't believe it. Do you see the difference?

You already know what is true. But your heart has no faith. It has unbelief. Unbelief is not just a sin, it is a condition of the heart (Hebrews 3:12). It has to be removed for God to work in our lives.

Sometimes we don't need to hear more truth. WE JUST NEED TO BELIEVE. WE NEED TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE TRUTH THAT WE ALREADY HAVE. WE NEED TO BELIEVE IN ITS POWER. WE NEED TO BELIEVE IN ITS COUNSEL. WE NEED TO BELIEVE IN ITS DIRECTION. WE NEED TO BELIEVE IN ITS LEADING. WE NEED TO BELIEVE IN ITS UNDERSTANDING OF THINGS. WE JUST NEED TO BE A PEOPLE WHO BELIEVES!

WE JUST NEED TO BELIEVE!

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." (Hebrews 11:3)

Science can find evidence of how the earth was formed and come up with all forms of computer modelling but essentially what if it was just supporting this revealed idea that what we see now in the world was made out of what was not visible? Science did not nullify the statement at all. However, it said that there was a Source. And that is something you have to believe. 

No one can do the believing for you. You have to receive it for yourself.

Lastly, you will know a person's faith by his or her obedience. "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds...You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did." (James 2:18,22)

You will know the faith of a person by what he does and not merely just by what he believes.

We are justified by faith in the finished work of Christ. Faith in what Christ did moves us to obey. Our obedience to God demonstrates our faith in Him.



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