Living By Faith
Livng TRUTH Radio Broadcast, June 5, 1998
Greetings in Christ. On our last broadcast we looked at the general need for recovering a vital, Christian faith, one that is wholly centered on the glorious Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude exhorted the brothers of his day to earnestly contend for The Faith that was once delivered unto the saints. My brothers and sisters, shall we do any less? In a day when Christianity has become big business, under the control of earthly power brokers who cause the name of our Lord to be blasphemed among the nations?
When many of our North American churches are becoming "bless me clubs," in which spiritual babes who should have long ago matured, continue to cry out, "feed me, bless me, heal me, prosper me Lord!"
Surely God is concerned for us and our needs, did not He give His only begotten Son that we might have Life, and that more abundantly? Was not Christ wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities? Were not the stripes that were laid upon His sacred back to secure our healing? Yes! Yes! Yes! A thousand times - yes!
But what of the apostolic cry for us to go on unto perfection? Should these words which are also holy and God-breathed, go unheeded? Is not the honor, glory and praise due to our King at stake? Should our unbelief and hardness of heart prevent us from entering into God's glorious and eternal purpose for our lives? Should the groaning of the whole creation for the maturing and revealing of God's sons go unanswered?
These are questions that penetrate deep within our souls. And they do require a response.
May all of us together shout, "Away with mediocre Christianity! Lord give us back our sense of adventure! Return us to the way of living by faith!"
But isn't that a life style that is reserved for missionaries and traveling evangelists, who have the call of God to forsake a secular job, and "trust God" to have their needs met? Isn't this what they call "full-time ministry?"
May the truth of God today flush away the lies that have kept many of you from the fullness of life in Christ! God has never recognized that clergy/laity distinction! He has called us all to full time service! He is calling us all today to fully live by faith!
Rom 1:17: For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
In Gal 2:20, Paul writes," I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Beloved, here is the faith that was once and for all delivered unto the saints. It is the faith of the Son of God.
It is time that we all possessed a greater appreciation of the Cross of Christ. There is the one aspect with which we are all familiar, that of His finished work on our behalf 2,000 years ago. But the second aspect is in the present tense. This is where we become crucified with Him!
Can you understand this? You and I are certainly not to be nailed to a tree in a literal sense -- are we? How are we to be crucified with Him? Can we somehow, by the Word of the Lord, be identified with Him in His death, and consequently also with Him in His resurrection?
May God grant us all the grace to see and understand and receive this great and awesome truth! We are not to live our own lives any longer! We are not to rely on ourselves! Our Life is in Him! We are in Him! We are now -- in these bodies -- living by His Life -- living by His Faith!
Hallelujah! Praises unto our wonderful King!
Lets face it. You and I are failures. Absolute failures. But that's okay, because Jesus Christ is Lord! He has overcome the world! Let the old man die! Let the self-trust dissipate! You have a living faith in a living Saviour! By Him you are more than a conqueror!
All ye pew warmers out there, "Hear the Word of the Lord!" God is calling you all out of the side lines and into the arena of Life! You are going to begin to take some risks for the Lord and His people! You are soon going to experience real Christianity -- not this sedate, sleepy Sunday morning kind of thing!
Get ready for some real action! That is where Jesus is! He is helping the helpless. He is telling the Good News! He is suffering for the good of others! He is about His Father's business! He is living the abundant, faith-filled life!
He is meeting challenges every day. He is smashing down the gates of hell! Can't you see Him? Open your eyes! He is alive and working, living and breathing among His own! And you are His own, bought with a price, and purified for the Master's use!
Do you want to know abundant life? Allow yourself to be used by God! Experience the adventure, the excitement, the stress and also the joy of His service!
In chapter 11 of the letter to the Hebrews we have a most inspiring teaching on the subject of faith. Here the writer gives us some of the many examples of our Old Testament heroes of faith. Let us begin reading, starting at verse 32:
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted,
were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and
goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,
received not the promise:
God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 11:32-12:2)
One day as I was considering this passage, I realized how we have turned things around. We often talk about these great men and women of God. We sit and listen to sermons about them and vicariously experience their adventures like armchair quarterbacks.
But the picture here in Hebrews is exactly the opposite! The saints of old are in the grandstands, watching us! We are in the arena, and running the race! They are figuratively cheering us on, shouting "Go! You can make it! Just keep your eyes on Jesus! He is at the finish line waiting for you!"
Where are you going to find the courage! Jesus! Where are you going to obtain your stamina and perseverance? Jesus! And what of conviction and confidence? You will find them all as you keep looking unto Jesus!
You are crucified with Christ, but yet alive! It is not even you any more, but Christ living IN YOU! You are even now living by the faith of the Son of God.
Today we are faced with insurmountable challenges. At times we wonder if we will break from the stresses of everyday life. But we praise you today, for you are our second wind! You are breathing life into these old, dry bones, that have come to discover their utter dependance upon you.
We receive the Power of your Words unto us this day, and by your grace we respond in obedience. We ask that you always keep us in remembrance of your wonderful words, which are truly our source of Life.
In Jesus Name,