Friday, March 23, 2012

Faith Part 3: The Rest Of The New Testament

My final notes on Faith with regard to Acts - Revelation.

And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.
(Acts 3:16)
Faith in His name I think is the same as Faith in His person/character/being. Faith came through Jesus. To me this says it wasn’t just the Apostles faith, Jesus faith was involved. Is this correct? Is this really the way it always is?

And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
(Acts 6:5)
I think this is interesting as it says filled with faith AND the Holy Spirit, it’s reminiscent of John saying He would baptise with the Holy Spirit AND with Fire. Separate but linked.

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
(Acts 6:7)
‘The faith’, an interesting title for the life of a Christian. Also called ‘The Way’.

He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well,
(Acts 14:9)
This just shows it wasn’t only Jesus who could see faith in others. I would like to experience this.

And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.
(Acts 14:27)
A door of faith. Interesting. I wonder if I can see these opened?

to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
(Acts 26:18)
Faith sanctifies us. Makes us Holy in Jesus. it almost sounds like a bridge between the natural world and the supernatural.

So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.
(Acts 27:25)
I almost feel like shouting out ‘BINGO!’, I think this verse tells us so much. Believing what we have been told. Again, I don’t think this is just a mental brainwashing, there is a supernatural element, and there has to be, for faith is a gift from Him.

whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
(Romans 3:25)
We all know this (I hope) but we receive salvation through faith. And we carry on receiving through faith.

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
(Romans 3:28)
This is why you can’t ‘earn’ a place in Heaven by ‘being good’. It doesn’t come through human effort, it’s a gift.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:17)
Probably the most famous verse on faith. It comes through hearing Jesus.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
(Romans 12:3)
This says to me we all have faith, but it has been given in different measures. It takes sober judgment to see at what level that faith is at.

The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.
(Romans 14:22)
I kept coming back to this verse. I think it’s linked to the one above in that we have different measures, and although you need to be soberly aware of your measure you shouldn’t cause others to stumble trying to get to a level they aren’t at.

that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
(I Corinthians 2:5)
Faith is not knowledge. It doesn’t follow the path of earthly thinking.

to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
(I Corinthians 12:9)
Faith is also a gift of the spirit. This is different to the faith we all have. To be quick, it is a gift that allows great things to be believed for where faith is not present.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(I Corinthians 13:13)
Faith will last eternally!

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
(I Corinthians 16:13)
Sometimes I feel like I need the encouragement of a slap that says ‘Come on, MAN UP!’

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, I believed, and so I spoke, we also believe, and so we also speak,
(II Corinthians 4:13)
Another name for the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Faith.

for we walk by faith, not by sight.
(II Corinthians 5:7)
If only we could reprogramme ourselves, as a computer, to believe this. We fall so quickly with what we see and yet it can’t be trusted. Faith can.

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
(II Corinthians 13:5)
Wow. it’s working out your salvation for the purpose of finally coming down on one side of the fence, the side of faith in jesus, and then getting on with that life.

So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
(Galatians 3:9)
It’s a great title for Abraham, ‘The Man of Faith’, it’s like a superhero title. To me he wasn’t always a man of faith, and feared for his life on more than one occasion leading to strange decisions, but when it came to Isaac he is exemplary.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
(Ephesians 2:8)
it’s all God. He is the One who gives you the faith to believe.

one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
(Ephesians 4:5)
So there is only one faith. We all share in it and are part of it.

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
(Ephesians 6:16)
The picture of faith as a shield protecting you from outside influences.

Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.
(Philippians 2:17)
I like this idea that our faith is also an offering of worship.

as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?
(I Thessalonians 3:10)
I think this is talking about service, the doing word of faith.

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
(I Thessalonians 5:8)
Faith again described as defensive armour, this time as a breastplate, protecting the heart.

holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,
(I Timothy 1:19)
Faith can be shipwrecked! If we don’t hold onto it and hold onto a good conscience.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
(I Timothy 6:10)
Love of money/wealth/pride can lead you down a path away from faith.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
(I Timothy 6:12)
Faith is a fight. A good fight, blessed by God. Let’s do well at it.

This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
(Titus 1:13)
We mustn't let faith be muddied with incorrect doctrine.

but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.
(Hebrews 10:38)
Once we start there is no going back. We must therefore know what we are in faith for/with.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1)
So, if I have faith it proves what I hope for will come about. It convinces me of what I can’t see.

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.
(Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus starts us in faith and he finishes the job.

for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
(James 1:3)
When we are stretched to believe it is to produce solidness in our faith.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
(James 1:6)
Faith is a rock. Jesus is a rock. Faith and Jesus are so intermingled you can’t have one without the other.

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
(James 2:17)
Faith is a doing word.

so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
(I Peter 1:7)
Faith is a precious item. Like the pearl of great price or the treasure in a field. It gives God great delight.

For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
(I John 5:4)
Do you have faith? You've won!

But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit;
(Jude 1:20)
Praying in the Spirit (maybe tongues, but not necessarily) can build you up in faith.

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
(Revelation of John 14:12)
The last mention of faith. Keep going. Faith is a marathon not a sprint.

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