Sunday, June 01, 2008

What Is Faith? - Jun 1

People often say, 'You gotta have faith!'. Faith yes, but faith in what? Faith can only be as large as the object of your faith.

What Faith Is Not

Faith is not the waving of the arms in the air, writhing on the floor and bouncing off the walls. Faith is not the act of whipping oneself into a frenzy of devotion. We leave that to the secularists and to the abortion lobbyists. Moreover, faith must be placed in a true thing. A sincere faith apart from righteousness is a false one.

Four Pillars Of A True Faith: A Checklist

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Strange this Bible is, isn't it? Yet we must prove to ourselves that we are indeed on the right path. A blind faith or a false faith is no faith at all. As far as I can ascertain, here are four points to consider if you're headed in the right direction.

Pillar #1: True Faith Is Led By The Holy Spirit

A prophecy by Joel on the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost:

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
(Joel 2:28)

So much of what passes for religion today is nothing more that practical atheism. Satan loves religion and he especially loves religious people. Why? The better to deceive others from trusting Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Indeed, religion is Satan's weapon of choice! Bloodless gospels and forms of godliness while denying its power is humanity's scourge. The problems here and abroad isn't lack of religion, it's too much of it! The supernatural presence of the Holy Spirit is therefore critical to a thriving church and a mature faith.

Pillar #2: A Transformative Faith
'I'm not the man I was!' - Ebenezer Scrooge

I look forward every December to see the old B&W version of A Christmas Carol. What a change we see to the old Scrooge when he finally gets his comeuppance. In the same way, God wants to change you from the inside out from a miserly Scrooge to a generous one.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
(Galatians 5:19-26)

If your religion hasn't changed you, then change your religion. There are two groups here. To whom do you belong?

Pillar #3: An Abiding Faith

God doesn't want to be near to you. He doesn't want to be your friendly neighbor or friend. He doesn't want to be your co-pilot either! He wants to take up residence in you. It is not enough to know OF God. Rather, He wishes for a personal relationship with you and to guide you every step of the way. Jesus' prayer for His followers is instructive:

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me.
(John 17:20-23a)

Does your pride and ego rule your free will or does God?

Pillar #4: A Scriptual Faith

This is a big one. The last chapter in the last book of the Bible leaves us with this chilling reminder:

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelations 22:18-19)

Jesus also warned His disciples about false Christs (meaning religious teachers) and false prophets (non-religious teachers) who will hypnotize and capture the imaginations of men with their deceits. All believers, both rookies and veterans, must constantly be on guard against the falsehoods that the world loves to teach. A true faith is 100% Biblical in its outlook. A true faith saves, gives discernment and eternal life. Hallelujah!

The second part of this post is here.

Johnny Cash

1 comment:

Faith Girl said...

That is so true. I know my faith has gotten me through some tough times. But I totally agree, faith must be placed in something true or else it will be shaken eventually. Let's face it, God is the only one in our life who will never lie to us or let us down. Even the best of intentions sometimes amounts to nothing. I love how you say the God wants to be in us. That is why He sent the Holy Spirit. I love having that voice inside me to convict me when I have sinned and to release me when I repent and seek forgiveness. Thank you JC for that accurate summation of faith! God bless you!