Living the Faith

As our leadership team was immersed in our monthly meeting discussing some of our strengths and weaknesses, one of our leaders said, in short, “we can get hung up on the problems but we need to have faith.” That grabbed me. I thought about how to apply faith to our circumstances before I went to bed that night and when I woke up the next morning. In addition to that, on the same morning I turned on BOTT radio on my drive to the office and Dr. Adrian Rogers was preaching on faith. He covered faith as it pertains to salvation but also living the faith. You might say that God was speaking to me and He had my attention.
In a quest to answer the question, how do I apply faith to our circumstances?, I did a comprehensive review of biblical faith with the goal of living the faith in leading the church. So let’s get started with a biblical definition of faith. Some of us may be unsure of what biblical faith means, so let’s take a look at the book of Hebrews to see how it’s defined. HE 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  In other words, faith is believing and trusting God to the point of complete confidence. It is having assurance and conviction as if we’ve already seen it with our own eyes and touched it with our own hands.
Now that we‘ve established what biblical faith is, how do we get this faith? Where does it come from? This may come as a surprise, but we’re not born with a natural ability to believe or trust God. This is because we’re not the source of faith. Faith comes from God. God allots or gives faith to us. The Apostle Peter explains this in his second epistle. 2 PE 1:1 “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained *[been allotted, received] a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” *[ ] added
God is not only the giver of our faith but He is also the founder and perfector of our faith. The writer of Hebrews explains, HE 12:2 “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
In addition, you’ve likely heard it said, we are “saved by grace through faith” in Jesus Christ. In fact, the Apostle Paul makes the point clear in His letter to the church in Ephesus. EPH 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Please don’t overlook the fact that this passage expresses that grace and faith are gifts from God.
Even though God allots us faith and He is the giver, founder and perfecter of our faith, and faith is a gift from God, how do we initially come to it so it comes alive in us? The Apostle Paul explains, RO 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Yes, we come to it by hearing the word. “One can come to faith only through hearing the gospel, and the specific message that must be heard is the word of Christ, that is, the good news about Jesus Christ as the crucified and risen Savior.” ~ESV Study Bible Commentary
With that, we must answer the question, how do we express or proclaim our faith in Jesus unto salvation? As the Apostle Paul writes,  RO 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Once we’ve come to faith and confessed our faith unto salvation, how does it grow? Growing in our faith continues the same way we came to it. RO 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  That’s right. We immerse ourselves in the hearing of God’s word. But even though faith comes by “hearing the word of Christ,” we must put it into practice or fall into deception. JA 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” This should cement any doubt about the importance of the preaching, teaching, reading and studying God’s word. Struggling with your faith? There is only one solution to strengthen it. Hear the words of Christ.
Hear the words of Christ. Hear the words of Christ.
However, we are not only saved by grace through faith, but we walk or live by faith. This is what the Apostle Paul expresses in his second letter to the church in Corinth when he writes, 2 CO 5:7 “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” That is, faith in God that He will bring about all He has promised. The question is, are you living it? For that matter, am I living it?
Our application of faith in our daily life also impacts our relationship with God. As our Abba, we may desire to please God but that’s impossible without faith.  HE 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
In conclusion, God allots us a measure of faith so we can come to faith through hearing the words of Christ. We not only come to faith but we grow in our faith by hearing the word of Christ. And then, as we grow in our faith, we learn to live the faith. Meaning, we learn to apply our faith in Jesus in all of life’s circumstances. That is, even church life to include leading the church. With that said, going back to our leadership meeting, as one of our leaders said, in short, “we must have faith.” Meaning, we must apply faith to the circumstances we face by trusting and obeying God no matter what may come even persecution and opposition. It is living the faith by continuing to pray and apply the truths of God’s word in obedience. It is also living the faith by waiting on God’s timing for the people and resources we need to accomplish what He wants accomplished. There is no need to fret or room for anxiousness or reason to complain. It is simply the time, all the time, to live the faith.

A Work in Progress,

Pastor Gene