Summary: How can you build your faith? Why is faith important?
Strengthen Your Faith
By Pastor Jim May
In what do you place your faith? Is it in our government, our leaders, or our military might? Do you have faith in the police to enforce the law? Do you have faith in your doctor to give you right treatment for whatever sickness you may have? Do you have faith in friends and family to do right by you? Do you have faith that all things will work to your good?
How strong is your faith in all of this? And the second question is, why do you have faith in these things? Have they ever failed to fulfill your expectations or to meet your needs?
When we talk about faith and we consider the things that we place our faith in and how many times those things fail us, it is no surprise then that we often are convinced that our faith in God and His grace will fail as well. If Satan can bring circumstances into your life that will cause doubt to arise then he will have effectively neutralized you. It takes faith to bring the victory; faith that the promises of God will truly come to pass.
There are a lot of people who place their faith in the laws of the church. They are not alone for so did the Jews all through the Old Testament.
How often do meet another Christian who casts a condemning eye your way because you don’t look as holy as they think that they look? It always amazes me to think that the church has written laws that demand obedience, and if we don’t line up with some preacher’s idea of what those laws should be, then we are automatically condemned. And yet we can listen to them also preach about the boundless mercy and wonderful grace of God though Jesus’ death upon the cross.
Which is more powerful; law or grace? Which one will condemn and which one will save? Which one brings death; and which one brings life? Living under law requires no faith; only obedience to the law, while living by Grace requires faith and faith alone, for law has no power in grace.
In the 10th Chapter of the Book of Hebrews Paul gives us a discourse concerning the power of the Law of Moses versus the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we can only get a full grasp of Paul’s meaning, I believe that our Faith can be vastly increased.
In the Old Testament economy, the Law of Moses reigned supreme, and yet it had no power to forgive or to wash away sin.
Hebrews 10:1-2, "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins."
When God gave Moses the Law on Mt. Sinai by first writing the 10 Commandments, and then later on, giving Moses laws pertaining to every part of Jewish culture and life, he was doing so in order to let Israel know just how far they were from being perfect in the eyes of God. The law was meant to point out faults, and to bring condemnation and conviction for sin; but in that law, no matter how much it was obeyed, the guilt of sin and the condemnation for sin was never erased.
If the law had contained the power to save and cleanse a soul from sin, then why would so many animals have to be sacrificed over thousands of years? The fact is that the blood of animals, who had no eternal soul, and who were creatures born under sin, had no power at all except as a symbol that one day, there would be a perfect sacrifice, whose blood would have the power to cleanse sin, once and for all.
Such is still the power of the law. The only difference is what sacrifice do we expect men to make in fulfilling that law.
From the days of Moses to the present, the Jews believe that it is the sacrifice of animals and the sprinkling of blood upon the altar is what it takes to cleanse them from sin. But their sins are never truly cleansed, only covered; pushed ahead year by year. But every year, the High Priest of Israel had to make another sacrifice. Every year they were reminded once again that their sin was still there.
What about us today? What kind of sacrifice do we make and what kind of law do we try to follow? Our law may be different, and our sacrifices don’t require the killing of animals, but our law is even more condemning and more destructive, and has less power to free the souls of men than the Law of the Old Testament.