• Welcome to Talk Jesus

    A true bible based, Jesus centered online community. Join over 11,000 members today

    Register Log In

The Faith We Profess

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

Loyal
Monday, June 5, 2017, 7:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Blessed Assurance.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Colossians 1 (Select vv. NASB).

Our Faith (vv. 3-8)

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
When we believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, what should that faith look like? Well, first of all, where does this faith come from? And, do we generate this faith ourselves?

In the Bible we read, first of all, that no one can even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws him (Jn. 6:44). Generally, this is done through the preaching of the gospel of our salvation (Ro. 10:14-15). Yet, God is certainly not limited to depending on humans to tell people about himself; about Jesus Christ (Ro. 1:18-20; Ps. 19:1-6; Lu. 19:40; Rev. 14:6). Then, once the Father draws us to Christ, then he also gives us the faith to believe in him (Eph. 2:8-10). This faith is not the kind we might muster up ourselves out of our own human flesh, though. This faith is divinely persuaded as to God’s perfect will for our lives. It submits to God’s will, because it comes from God, and it is of God (of his divine character).

So, what is this gospel of grace? Where do we learn about it? We learn about it in the “Word of Truth.” And, it is “the grace of God in truth.” We learn about it, not just in the New Testament books of the Bible, though, for there are many prophecies of scripture concerning this gospel of grace in the Old Testament, too. And, it is the Holy Spirit of God who reveals it to us, who convicts our hearts of sin, and who convinces us of our need of the Savior.

What is this gospel? It is first of all that humans are born into sin, and thus they come up short of attaining God’s divine approval. They are bound for eternity in hell, without God, and without hope (Ro. 3:23; Ro. 6:23). And, there is nothing we can do in our flesh to earn or to deserve our own salvation. So, it is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – left his throne in heaven, came to earth, became flesh, and dwelt among us. He suffered like we suffer, and he was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. And, he was hung on a cross to die, although he had done no wrong, but in his death he took upon himself our sins so that we could die to sin and live to righteousness (Jn. 1; Phil. 2; 2 Co. 5:21; Is. 53).

And, what should it look like when we believe in Jesus, and in his gospel? It should radically transform our lives. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ro. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24). And, holiness means to be set apart (unlike, different) from the world of sin because we are being conformed to the image (likeness) of Christ Jesus, our Lord. We are turned from darkness (sin) to light (Jesus Christ, truth, righteousness), and from the power of Satan to God, so we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified (purified, made holy) by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:16-18). The old has gone, the new has come.

God’s grace to us is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. If you believe that you can have faith in Jesus Christ, and that God requires nothing of you – no repentance, no submission and no obedience to Christ, then you are sadly mistaken. That is human faith, not God-given faith. We have to remember here that James said that even the demons believe, and they shudder. Sadly, many who call themselves Christians don’t even shudder, i.e. they have no fear (honor, respect) of God. Yet, God’s grace, which brings salvation, is not just about freeing us from hell’s fires and promising us heaven when we die. His grace teaches us to say “NO” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).

So, what should this faith look like? It should be surrendered to God, in death to sin and living to his righteousness. And, it should be bearing fruit and increasing, and not be stagnant and complacent. In other words, we should be growing in our faith, and we should be maturing in our spiritual walks. We should be denying the flesh, and by the Spirit we ought to be putting to death the deeds of the flesh. We should be walking in the Spirit and no longer living to gratify the desires of the sinful flesh (Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15; 1 Jn. 1:6). And, we must have love for others, especially for other followers of Christ, for if we hate and devour one another, how, then, can the love of God be in us? (1 Jn. 2:11; 1 Jn. 4:20).

Worthy of the Lord (vv. 9-14)

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

First, we must have the correct foundation. If our faith is based in human flesh, and it is not God-given faith, then what follows will not take place, because we have a faulty base. If a house is built on a faulty foundation, it won’t last. When the storms of life come crashing in, it will fall. If we believe that all we have to do is acknowledge Jesus’ existence, and accept his forgiveness of our sins, but that nothing is required of us, then that is the wrong foundation, and our house will fall. But, if we believe the words of Jesus and those of the NT apostles, that coming to Christ means we die with Christ to sin so that we don’t live in sin any longer, and that repentance and obedience are required as part of believing faith (God-given faith), then by God’s grace, we can walk (in lifestyle) in a manner worthy of our Lord.

Then, we can be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, because we don’t have an attitude that we don’t have to obey him. Why would he fill us with the knowledge of his will if we are predisposed to ignore that knowledge, and to go our own way? Why would he show us anything if we feel we now have our ticket into heaven, that nothing can take it away, so it doesn’t matter if we still play around with sin, or if we make it our practice to excuse away willful sin as all covered by God’s grace. What he will show us is that we have the wrong foundation, and he will show us the correct way to him and to salvation. And, when we have responded to him with God-given faith, then he will increase our knowledge and understanding so that we can bear fruit in every good work.

Again, coming to faith in Jesus Christ means he rescues us from the domain of darkness (sin, wickedness, the power of Satan), and he transfers us to his eternal kingdom, to live to his righteousness and to his holiness.

Beyond Reproach (vv. 21-23)

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Here again we have the point of our salvation, which is to deliver us out of slavery to sin. “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Ro. 6:6-7). And, it is that we may live a new life – not like the old life. It is that he may present us before himself (God) holy and blameless and beyond reproach, not just positionally, but experientially. In other words, it is not just that Jesus’ righteousness is credited to our accounts, but it is that we live righteously in the power and working of his Spirit now living within us (Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Ro. 12:1-2; Lu. 9:23-25; 2 Co. 5:15; 1 Pet. 2:24).

But, this is all conditional. We have to continue in the faith we have been given, firmly established and steadfast, not moved away from the hope of the gospel. And, this doesn’t mean we hold out hope that we will go to heaven when we die while we largely or even partially ignore God’s commands and do as we please in the meanwhile. This is not continuing in the faith of the gospel as was taught us by Jesus and by his NT apostles. This is continuing in human faith which promises a false hope of heaven, based in a lie, which is being preached to us by those who are false shepherds and wolves in sheep’s clothing, who are out to kill, to steal and to destroy the church. So, we have to continue in God-given faith, which produces love, obedience, submission, repentance and holy and godly living.

Blessed Assurance / Fanny Crosby

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.
 
Active
Sue do you encounter many people who profess this human faith how do you deal with them and gently correct them.
I once visited a church where they taught faith is a force to get God to do what you want. I always wondered why the people who went to this church prayed in a strange way so different from other christians, their petitions were more fervent, they flattered God and told him how great he was only if He would answer their prayers for the things they wanted in their lives..which were usually financial!
 
Loyal
Sue do you encounter many people who profess this human faith how do you deal with them and gently correct them.
I once visited a church where they taught faith is a force to get God to do what you want. I always wondered why the people who went to this church prayed in a strange way so different from other christians, their petitions were more fervent, they flattered God and told him how great he was only if He would answer their prayers for the things they wanted in their lives..which were usually financial!
@Lanolin - I make it my practice to just let the Lord Jesus lead me each day, and to follow his lead, and to do what he says, though not perfectly, but consistently. I trust him to give me the words to say in each situation where I sense he is leading me, and I just pray for his guidance. So, if I encounter someone who professes faith in Jesus Christ, but it is the kind that is human based, i.e. that is based on a faulty foundation, then I just pray and trust the Lord that he will put his words in my mouth. And, I pray that I will hear the Lord clearly and that I will let the Spirit lead me, so I am not led by the flesh.
 
Active
Yes I do that too.
Its a bit disconcerting to find many professed christians continually disobeying Him, especially of they are older than you. I suppose its as you say they didnt build on a firm foundation, and so now they are plagued with all sorts of problems. We cant fix their problems for them, they need to repent and start again in a new house. Its so timeconsuming to do renovations and not worth doing if the foundation is not firm it will only be cosmetic.
 
Loyal
Yes I do that too.
Its a bit disconcerting to find many professed christians continually disobeying Him, especially of they are older than you. I suppose its as you say they didnt build on a firm foundation, and so now they are plagued with all sorts of problems. We cant fix their problems for them, they need to repent and start again in a new house. Its so timeconsuming to do renovations and not worth doing if the foundation is not firm it will only be cosmetic.
We can't fix anyone else's problems for them - true - but God can! All we can do is to be obedient in what the Lord shows us to do, and we can pray, but it is God who gives the increase, i.e. he is the one who changes hearts, just like he changed ours.
 
Active
Just thinking...Saul had a change of heart..when he realised David wasnt going to kill him.
And he did concede that David would be the next King..

Are false shepherds like Saul? We cant remove them from their posts even if theyve done something disgraceful and end up nearly destroying churches out of jealousy and fits of anger can we?
 
Active
The comment was made that we can't fix anybody's problems but God can.
Yes, amen, and let us remember that as the body of Christ we are His hands and feet.
We are the ones that God uses to fix the problem. We are the ones through the leading
of the Holy Spirit that God can use to change hearts. God already came down to earth
in the person of Jesus, now He lives in us. Let's make a change, or at least focus on being a good witness(some get too
focused on making the change and that becomes a problem)
 
Loyal
It's all fine and well to believe in God/Jesus and say things like we can't change anybody.
It's true we can't change their hearts. Only God can. But you never know when God might use you.
Something you say, something you do, something you prayed for... can change people.

If God can't use us... then why are we even wasting our time posting messages here on TJ? I know
no one said God can't use us here on this thread, but sometimes there is an appearance of a fatalist attitude
that we can do nothing without God, or no one comes to God without Him drawing them... no argument.
but how do we know if we are the ones being used to "draw" them to God?
 
Loyal
It's all fine and well to believe in God/Jesus and say things like we can't change anybody.
It's true we can't change their hearts. Only God can. But you never know when God might use you.
Something you say, something you do, something you prayed for... can change people.

If God can't use us... then why are we even wasting our time posting messages here on TJ? I know
no one said God can't use us here on this thread, but sometimes there is an appearance of a fatalist attitude
that we can do nothing without God, or no one comes to God without Him drawing them... no argument.
but how do we know if we are the ones being used to "draw" them to God?
We can't fix anyone else's problems for them - true - but God can! All we can do is to be obedient in what the Lord shows us to do, and we can pray, but it is God who gives the increase, i.e. he is the one who changes hearts, just like he changed ours.
"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase" (1 Co. 3:6). Or, he gave it growth.

Yes, God uses us, and we never know when he might use us. True. And, yes, he uses us in people's lives in such a way to where they may respond to the voice of God and submit to his will and surrender their lives over to him and allow him to change them. God can use us indeed! There is no wasting time on here at all if we are listening to him, following his lead, obeying his voice, and doing and saying what he leads us to do or say. He will use whatever he gives us to share for his purposes and for his glory and to impact lives for his eternal kingdom. We don't know if we are the ones being used of God, via his Holy Spirit living in and out through our lives and testimonies to draw people to Jesus Christ. Our job is just to obey. One of us will plant. Another will water. And, God will give the increase (the growth).
 
Loyal
The comment was made that we can't fix anybody's problems but God can.
Yes, amen, and let us remember that as the body of Christ we are His hands and feet.
We are the ones that God uses to fix the problem. We are the ones through the leading
of the Holy Spirit that God can use to change hearts. God already came down to earth
in the person of Jesus, now He lives in us. Let's make a change, or at least focus on being a good witness(some get too
focused on making the change and that becomes a problem)
Yes, we are his hands and his feet, and he works in and through us for his purposes and for his glory and to impact other lives for Jesus Christ. But, it is God who gives the increase (the growth) (1 Co. 3:6). He is the one who supernaturally changes people's hearts. Our job is just to be his servants and witnesses in doing and in saying what he has assigned us to do and say. And, he will use us as he intends in other people's hearts and lives.
 
Active
Hmm but Sauls heart was changed by Davids actions and what he said...when david said he could have killed him but didnt.

So did God change Sauls heart or was it David by being obedient to God.
Maybe its to say dont give up witnessing.

Say you have pastors who seem to have hard hearts and dont let you do or give anything in the church. The church building is looking like a dump and you want to clean it up and offer to buy new fittings paint the walls etc. Do you just run away to another one or do you tell them well this is what we want to give to the church for everyone to have. Or do you do nothing and let it go to ruin. Since they dont want us to touch anything will God fix their hearts?
 
Loyal
Hmm but Sauls heart was changed by Davids actions and what he said...when david said he could have killed him but didnt.

So did God change Sauls heart or was it David by being obedient to God.
Maybe its to say dont give up witnessing.
Saul was rejected by God (1 Sam 16:1; ) the spirit of the Lord departed Saul and God gave him an evil spirit. (1 Sam 16:14-15; 1 Sam 18:10; )
The spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul and he knew it. (1 Sam 18:12; )
One things Saul did which the Lord despised was go to a spiritist, a witch. (1 Sam 28:7-12; )
Saul eventually killed himself by purposely falling on his sword. ( 1 Sam 31:4-6; )

Despite all of this, Saul had a crippled grandson (through Jonathan) named Mephibosheth (2 Sam 4:4; ) that David sort of took care of
and invited to eat with him "regularly". ( 2 Sam 9:10-13; )

Saul died in his sins. ( 1 Chron 10:13; )
 
Active
David did promise to look after sauls family because he was asked to.

But I suppose God didnt really change Sauls heart. Cos he kept doing wrong things like consult witches.
 
Loyal
David did promise to look after sauls family because he was asked to.

But I suppose God didnt really change Sauls heart. Cos he kept doing wrong things like consult witches.
No, God did not change Saul's heart, but He did keep David where David needed to be and He protected David because David was staying on God's side. This doesn't mean no pain and no suffering, but it does mean that if we stay with Him until the end of our course [our natural allotted time], we will then be with Him always...
 
Loyal
"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase" (1 Co. 3:6). Or, he gave it growth.

Yes, God uses us, and we never know when he might use us. True. And, yes, he uses us in people's lives in such a way to where they may respond to the voice of God and submit to his will and surrender their lives over to him and allow him to change them. God can use us indeed! There is no wasting time on here at all if we are listening to him, following his lead, obeying his voice, and doing and saying what he leads us to do or say. He will use whatever he gives us to share for his purposes and for his glory and to impact lives for his eternal kingdom. We don't know if we are the ones being used of God, via his Holy Spirit living in and out through our lives and testimonies to draw people to Jesus Christ. Our job is just to obey. One of us will plant. Another will water. And, God will give the increase (the growth).
Amen, dear sister! We do not understand all of God's purpose, but we certainly do understand that He does have a purpose and we can be on the right side of that purpose, if we do so choose.

Give God the glory!
 
Active
I think its good knowing you are in Gods will.

Some people dont and they are tormented like Saul was.
Even David when he wasnt in Gods will realised when he had grieved the holy spirit so he humbled himself and asked for it back.
 
Loyal
I think its good knowing you are in Gods will.

Some people dont and they are tormented like Saul was.
Even David when he wasnt in Gods will realised when he had grieved the holy spirit so he humbled himself and asked for it back.
Yes, it is wonderful being in God's will. There is no better place to be ever! Yes, we will never truly know peace unless we are surrendered to our Lord and submissive to his will and we are following him and his ways.
 
Loyal
Back to "the faith we profess" for a minute.

Matt 14:29; And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matt 14:30; But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Matt 14:31; Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?
Matt 14:32; When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.

Quite a few things come up during this passage. Sometimes we miss some of them, lets start back a little earlier.

Matt 14:24; But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
Matt 14:25; And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
Matt 14:26; When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
Matt 14:27; But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

The boat was a "long distance" from the land, being "battered" by the waves, because the wind was blowing hard.
This in itself does not seem to cause anyone great fear. Some of them were experiences fishermen and had seen
large waves on the water before. But when the disciples see Jesus, they don't recognize Him. Some even think He is
a ghost. I wonder how many times Jesus is coming towards us, and because we don't recognize Him we become
fearful? Thankfully Jesus identifies Himself. I think most of the time Jesus lets us know when He is with us.

In verse 29, Jesus tells Peter go ahead and get out of the boat. Wow, that must have taken a lot of faith.
It even says he "walked on the water and came towards Jesus". I wonder if we have the faith to step out and
walk towards Jesus sometimes.

But seeing the wind, he became frightened and began to sink.... There is more here than we first realize.
Was it that Peter never really had the faith in the first place? If not, how did he walk on the water?
Even when we have faith, we can still become frightened sometimes. Thankfully Peter had the presence
of mind to call out to Jesus.. "Lord, save me". This wasn't Jesus "saving" Peter in the context of salvation,
He was just saving him from the present circumstance. (hmmm... could Peter swim?) and yet it is
only Jesus who can give us salvation. Is it the same faith we have in Jesus in both contexts? If so,
is it possible for us "to lose that faith"? or at the very least reduce that faith so small that we can
no longer walk on the water, and if we don't have enough faith in Jesus.. do we have enough faith for salvation?

Have you ever walked on water? I have a few times... of course it was frozen water in the winter. :smile:
But I have never walked on liquid water. I have tried to imagine what that would be like.
The thing is... Peter initially had the faith... then what happened? Did God suddenly pull the rug out from under
Peter's feet... "ah ha, I was just kidding! I'm going to take that faith back away from you so you will sink in the water!"

Sometimes our faith is strong, and sometimes we let the circumstances around us weaken our faith. But in the end,
it's us it's how WE exercise that faith. God doesn't weaken our faith. But He may allow our faith to be tested.
I personally believe it is this testing that causes our faith to grow. (or shrink as in the case of Peter).

This story may also be in Mark 6:45-52; but if so, it leaves out the part about Peter walking on the water.

Psa 94:18; If I should say, “My foot has slipped,” Your lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
 
Active
Hmm..good scripture study BAC
It was Jesus presence..his grace that enabled Peter to walk on the water. When Peter took his eyes off Jesus, and noticed the wind and the waves he slipped. Grace through faith...yes faith is exercised..by looking toward Jesus.

The woman who touched Jesus garment and was healed..she was singleminded about getting toward Jesus. She didnt even say anything about her problem to him...just wanted to reach out and touch him..

Jesus didnt even have to be there for the Roman centurion to believe Jesus would do as he said. That is great faith..in the person of Jesus to save us, heal us and deliver us.

I think faith is always thinking about Jesus and not worrying about anything else, because of his grace.
Everyone is given a measure of faith which can grow or shrink..you can use it or lose it I think. I get this picture of leaven..its very tiny you put only a teaspoon in your bread but when its warm it grows and the entire loaf rises. Maybe faith is like that. In His presence it will rise but if you interrupt this process it can stop the loaf from rising.

Or it could be faith is like potatoes. Lol. You bury a potato in the ground and you think there are no potatoes but its actually growing more underground. People might say I dont see any potatoes but they would be wrong.

Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Hebrews 11:1
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
jaboyle100 Devotionals 0
Shadrach Devotionals 0
skipbeat Teen Hangout 3

Similar threads


Top