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Summary: As we grow in Christ, there exists within us a "faith" that grows. It is beyond just believing. It is a way of life. Sometimes it seems we grow weary, we can become faithless, and it is in these moments that we must know the Lord loves us, and is preparing us to do His will.

KEEPING THE FAITH?

SCRIPTURE TEXT: LUKE 22:28-30 3/10/2001 ELDER P. J. LENNEY

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD SOMEONE SAY THAT BEFORE, OR HAD SOMEONE ASK YOU THAT? I BELIEVE ITS SOMETHING SOMEONE SAYS WHEN THEY ARE RESPONDING TO “HOW YA DOING”. ONE MIGHT REPLY, I’M KEEPING THE FAITH! I BEGAN THINKING ABOUT THE EXPRESSION ITSELF AND THE WORD FAITH AND I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU WHAT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS SAYING TO THE CHURCH CONCERNING FAITH THIS MORNING.

THE UNGER’S DICTIONARY DESCRIBES FAITH ("PISTIS" IN GREEK) AS A BELIEF OR TRUST IN A HIGHER POWER. FAITH ALSO AS USED IN SCRIPTURE DEFINES FOR US A MORAL QUALITY HELD IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, WHEREBY MEN HAVE CONFIDENCE IN GOD.

IN A THEOLOGICAL SENSE FAITH HAS TWO ELEMENTS: (1) ONE IS THE INTELLECTUAL, MEANING THAT THE BASIC TRUTHS AND FACTS CONCERNING GOD HAS BEEN REVEALED TO YOU BY HIM AND ESTABLISHED IN YOUR INTELLECT AND BY FAITH YOU BELIEVE THEM. AS A RESULT OF THIS FAITH, SALVATION IS BIRTHED IN MANY.

THE SECOND ELEMENT IS THE TESTIMONIAL FAITH!! THIS IS THE FAITH THAT LIES WITHIN THE TEXT OF HEBREWS THAT DECLARES IT “IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR AND THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN! SOMETIMES WE HAVE A HARD TIME WITH THIS ELEMENT, SOMETIMES WE ALL STRUGGLE WITH THE TESTIMONIAL FAITH. ANY WITNESSES?

BUT, SAINTS OF GOD, THIS IS THE ELEMENT YOU MUST GRASP IN YOUR LIFE THIS MORNING IF YOU DESIRE TO HAVE THE HOPES IN YOUR LIFE APPEAR…..THAT YOU TURN THEM INTO INTELLECTUAL EVIDENCES AND FACTS IN YOUR LIFE!!! WRITE THESE TWO DOWN!! BECAUSE WE WILL BE GETTING BACK TO THEM.

TURN WITH ME TO ROMANS 12:3-6

KNOW THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN TO BELIEVERS. TO ROMAN BELIEVERS FOR THE MOST PART. PAUL WAS INSTRUCTING AND ASKING THEIR HELP TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL. HE POINTS OUT THAT………..

VERSE 3 – TO EVERY BELIEVER, TO EVERY MAN RECEIVES A MEASURE OF FAITH. ($10.00 or $10,000)

THE NEW CENTURY VERSION TRANSLATES THE LATTER PART OF THAT VERSE THAT “YOU MUST DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE BY THE AMOUNT OF FAITH GOD HAS GIVEN YOU. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE AT! IN ADDITION,..TO THE MEASURE OF FAITH...

VERSE 6 – TO OPERATE IN THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT, YOU MUST AGAIN HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING WHERE YOUR FAITH STANDS. WHAT LEVEL ARE YOU OPERATING AT? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR GIFTS ARE, DO YOU KNOW HOW AND WHEN TO MOVE IN YOUR GIFTS, DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TO BELIEVE GOD FOR, DO YOU KNOW YOUR MEASURE OF FAITH CONCERNING YOUR PRAYER LIFE? ALL THESE AREAS OF YOUR LIFE REQUIRE A TESTIMONIAL KINDA FAITH!!!! PRAISE HIS NAME SOMEONE.

#1, UNDERSTAND THAT EVERY MAN IS GIVEN A MEASURE OF FAITH!!

LOOK AT YOUR NEIGHBOR AND TELL THEM, I DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH FAITH I EXACTLY HAD WHEN I GOT HERE, BUT I WILL KNOW FOR CERTAIN WHEN I LEAVE!!!

TURN YOUR BIBLES TO 2 THESS 3:1-2 – WE SEE PAUL AGAIN WRITING THIS TIME THE THESSALONIAN CHURCH AND HE POINTS OUT .....

VERSE 2 – POINTS OUT THAT NOT ALL MEN BELIEVE!!!! BOTH INTELLECTUALLY AND TESTIMONIALLY. BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH. NOT ALL MEN BELIEVE IN THE INTELLECTUAL ELEMENT OF FAITH! THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN A HIGHER POWER, THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ANY GOD.

THE MESSAGE TRANSLATION OF THIS TEXT SAYS THAT “I’M FINDING THAT NOT ALL “BELIEVERS” ARE BELIEVERS!!! AGAIN THE WRITER IS POINTING OUT THAT NOT ALL THOSE WHO ARE SAVED AND IN THE CHURCH, ARE OPERATING IN A TESTIMONIAL KIND OF FAITH!

BUT, SAINTS…. UNDERSTAND THEY TOO SERVE A PURPOSE. SEE, BECAUSE IT TAKES THE UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOR OF OTHERS SOMETIMES TO CREATE A TEST IN YOUR LIFE, THAT FORCES YOU TO GO TO YOUR WORD AND TO SEEK HIS FACE IN PRAYER, WHICH BRINGS ABOUT A VICTORY, WHICH RESULTS IN INCREASED FAITH, OF THE TESTIMONAL KIND!!!!

NO NOT THE EXTRATERRESTIAL OF THE THIRD KIND.

BUT THE FAITH OF THE TESTIMONIAL KIND!!!

FOR FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD!!! YOU NEED THE TESTIMONIAL KIND!!! TELL YOUR NEIGHBOR, I NEED THOSE TESTS. THESE ARE THE TESTS THAT DRIVE YOU TO YOUR KNEES…SAINTS, THOSE TESTS LET YOU KNOW HOW MUCH FAITH YOU REALLY POSSESS. THEY LET YOURSELF KNOW WHO YOU REALLY ARE!!! THEY SHOW HOW MUCH YOU REALLY CAN PLACE BEFORE THE LIVING GOD AND BELIEVE HIM,

HOW MUCH FAITH DO WE POSSESS IN HIM FOR DAILY DELIVERANCE AND DAILY VICTORY!!!

FOR VERSE 3, - SAYS THAT THE LORD IS FAITHFUL, WHO SHALL ESTABLISH YOU, AND KEEP YOU FROM EVIL!!!!

#2 - UNREASONABLE BEHAVIOR OF OTHERS CREATE TESTS IN YOUR LIFE TO ESTABLISH YOUR LEVEL OF TESTIMONIAL FAITH.

TURN TO LUKE 22:28

VERSE 28 – THERE ARE THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE WITHSTOOD SOME TESTS. JESUS IS SAYING, YOU ARE THOSE WHO HAVE STOOD BY ME, YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH THICK AND THIN!!!! YOU HAVE SEEN ALL THE MIRACLES AND YOU HAVE SEEN ALL THE TERRIBLE MOMENTS. JESUS SAYS AS YOU WERE WITH ME, I AM WITH YOU, ALWAYS!!!

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