Summary: Faith, many people get close to the edge of faith but stop one step short of falling into the arms of God.
Central Christian Church
St. Petersburg, Fl 33711
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Faithfulness- from the Greek pistis-which is faith. It means a firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing, connected closely to the word persuade. In the NT faith is always used in connection to God, Christ or things spiritual. It is trust, faithfulness to what is believed.
You see the atheist is not faithful to his belief. The difference is this:
Wednesday night when the car pulled out in front of me and I presumed I would be killed, my beliefs and trust in God did not change. I said “ I am dead, I thought about how much I loved my wife and I went to the God I knew and I said, “O.K. Father, I am the one who preaches, I would have walked out of the fire at the WTC with Jesus, but right now, tell me how much injury will I feel, before we make the transition from this world to the next.”
The atheist would have made a paradigm shift, to the God He denies, disobeys and actually hates he would have cried out, “Oh, God, help me save me.”
The main element in our faith is our moment-by-moment relationship to a living, sovereign, almighty, but invisible God.
Someone said to me after the car crash, “have you come closer to God?” The truth is no, and I am not boasting, unless I boast in the Lord, but I have faith in God and if I live or if I die, by faith I live and die for Christ.
I did not question at that moment if God lived and was sovereign in my situation, I knew He was. My question was, “How does this work out from here?”
I had faith in God live or die!
The word pisteuo the Greek verb dealing with the act of faith deals with these three characteristics of faith in the true believer:
1. Being firmly convicted or producing a full acknowledgement of God’s revelation or truth. This conviction is unshakeable, it does not cave into deception, it is not blown by every new idea like a ship without a rudder. When one is fully convicted by what he believes from the revelation of God’s truth he is steady, stable and constant, unfaltering in the pursuit of God’s ways. Faithful people have a deep and sincere love for the truth of God. Paul is contrasting the faithful to the unfaithful in: 2 Th. 2:9-2:12 When he speaks about all of those who will be fooled by lawlessness. 2 Th 2:10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
2 Th 2:11 And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false,
2 Th 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
Faithfulness is a love for the truth, faithful people hate the lis and constantly seek the truth. You may get a spanking in my house if you disobey, but it will not be anything close to what you get if you lie to me.
2. The 2nd characteristic of the true believer is a life fully surrendered to God. Once our concentration is on God, all the limits of our life are free and under the control and mastery of God alone. There is no longer any responsibility on you for the work. The only responsibility you have is to stay in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him. The freedom that comes after sanctification is the freedom of a child, and the things that used to hold your life down are gone. But be careful to remember that you have been freed for only one thing—to be absolutely devoted to God.
We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might …”
3. The Christian’s conduct must be inspired by his faith. You see if we are being tossed to and fro because of the circumstances in our life, we may have a faith problem. I f we say we trust God and then live like we do not. We have a problem with our faith. James puts it this way: James 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.