“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).
What Is Faith?
Faith is a strong feeling of trust in someone or something
For the Christian believer, faith is belief and trust in one God
According to Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
Faith is so critical and important in our lives, as Christians, that it occurs or mentioned 100 times in the Bible – 28 times in the Old Testament and 72 times in the New Testament.
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).
The world or creation itself was founded in faith when God made the following decrees;
• “Let there be light” – (Genesis 1:3)
• “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters and let divide the waters from the waters” – (Genesis 1:6)
• “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered unto one place, and let the dry land appear” – (Genesis 1:9)
• “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yield fruit according to its kind” – (Genesis 1:11)
• The decree continues until the creation of man when God said “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” –(Genesis 1:26)
Faith is very crucial in the life of the Christian believer for the following reasons:
1) As Christian Believers, We Live By Faith
Romans 1:17 says “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written: the just shall live by faith”.
Also in Galatians 2:20 Apostle Paul tells us that “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”.
Our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, His Son, has been made right. God declared us to be righteous because of our faith in Christ “from faith to faith”
By faithfully trusting in God by our belief in Christ, we are saved and find life not only in this world but eternally.
2) As Christian Believers, We Are Firm In The Faith
Romans 11:20 says “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded but fear”.
2 Corinthians 1:24 puts it thus, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy, for by faith ye stand”.
Due to faithlessness, the Jews who are the natural branches of the tree were broken off. The Gentile believers have been grafted into the tree like a wild olive shoot. Both the Jews and Gentiles now share the tree’s nourishment based on faith in God. No one can rest on heritage or culture for salvation. The Gentiles should not feel superior to the Jews because if God had not rejected the Jews, as it were, the Gentiles probably would not have had a chance.
3) As Christian Believers, We Combat The Good Fight
1 Timothy 6:12 says “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called and has professed good profession before many witnesses”.
As Christian believers, we must have an active faith, obeying God with courage and doing what we know is right.
It is time for action on your part. What are you waiting for? – Get going, don’t wait!
4) As Christian Believers, We Walk By Faith
2 Corinthians 5:7 says “For we walk by Faith, not by sight”.
5) As Christian Believers, We Win By Faith
In 1 John 5:4 where we took our text, we are told that we can overcome whatever challenge life throws on our way, as long as we have faith and trust in God.
It says “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith”.
6) As Christian Believers, We Are Justified By Faith
Romans 5:1 puts it thus, “Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Peace with God means that we have been reconciled with Him. There is no more hostility between us and God, no sin blocking our relationship with Him. Peace with God is made possible by Jesus paying the price for our sins through His death on the cross.
7) As Christian Believers, We Please God By Faith
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him”.
God wants us to have a personal dynamic relationship with Him, and not just a mere knowledge of His existence. After all the demons and witches know that God exists, that does not stop them from doing evil. Those who seek Him diligently will find that they have intimate relationship with Him. When you tell others about the gospel, please encourage them to be honest and diligent in their search for truth and faith in God.
8) As Christians Believers, We Grow In Faith
1 Thessalonian 1:3 says “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God, and our Father”.
Like the Thessalonians who stood firm in the face of persecution, Apostle Paul is admonishing us to also do the work of God produced by faith, labour prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope. These characteristics are the hall marks of an effective Christian believer.
9) As Christian Believers. We Die In Faith
“These all died in faith, not having received the promise, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers, and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
This world is not our home and cannot live here forever. Many people, especially of the Old Testament, died without receiving all that God promised. However, a good number of them never lost their vision of heaven.
Many of us become frustrated, and defeated when our needs, wants or expectations, are not immediately met on giving our lives to Christ, and therefore want to quit. If you are one of such people, please be patient, take courage from heroes of faith who lived and died without seeing the fruit of their faith on earth and yet, continued to believe (Hebrews 11:36-39).
Some Heroes of Faith Who Did Not See The Fruit Of Their Faith On Earth
Abel and Enoch (Hebrews 11:4-5)
Noah and Abraham (Hebrews 11:7-8)
Sarah and Isaac (Hebrews 11:11, 20)
Jacob and Joseph (Hebrews 11:21-22)
Moses and Rahab (Hebrews 11:23,31)
Boaz (Ruth 2:15-16)
Some Heroes of Faith Who Persevered And Saw The Fruit Of Faith
Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the Prophets (Hebrews 11:32-33)
How To Grow In Faith Through Jesus Christ
“That we henceforth be no children, tossed to and fro , and caused about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).
1) Growing In Faith Begins With The New Birth Through The Word Of God
1 Peter 2:2 says “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby”.
One thing common to all children is that they want to grow up – like their big brothers and sisters or their parents. Similarly, when we are born again, we become spiritual new babies, if healthy, we will yearn to grow. The need for milk is a natural instinct for a baby, and it signals the desire for nourishment that will lead to growth. In the same way, since we see the need for God’s word and begin to find nourishment with Christ, our spiritual appetite will increase and we will start to mature. How strong is your desire for God’s word?
2) As Children, We are Fed With Milk
“For everyone that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (Hebrews 5:13)
Commitment to Christ moves people out of their comfort zones or positions. You cannot grow as a Christian if you remain in the same position instead of applying what you have learned to your situation and teaching others. As a new born Christian, stop your old ways of doing things, fellowship with the brethren and imbibe the new culture in Christ. In this way, you will be able to understand the high-priestly role of Christ.
3) As Adults, We Are Fed With Solid Food
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).
Your spiritual growth determines your capacity to feast on deeper knowledge of God (solid food). More often than not, we want God;s banquet before we are spiritually capable of digesting it. As we grow in the Lord and put into practice what we have learned, our capacity to understand will also grow.
4) Many Remain Eternal Christians
Hebrews 5:12-14 tells us “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”.
In order for us to grow from baby Christians to adult or mature Christians, we must learn discernment. We must train our consciences, minds, senses and our bodies to distinguish between good and evil. Can you recognise temptation before you? Can you tell the difference between correct text of Scripture and a mistaken one?
5) We Should All Grow And Become Adults
Ephesians 4:13-14 admonishes us to walk in unity.
Working together, the church can express the fullness of Christ – Ephesians 3:19
Christ is the Truth – John 14:6
The Holy Spirit who guides the church is the Spirit of Truth – John 16:13
Satan, by contrast, is the father of lies – John 8:44
As followers of Christ, we must be committed to the truth. This means that our words should be honest and our actions should reflect Christ’s integrity as well. We should realise that speaking the truth in love is not always easy, convenient or pleasant. However, this is very necessary if the church is going to do Christ’s work on earth. Remember that YOU are the church.
6) The Lord Looks After Our Growth
Ephesians 4:11-13 says “And He gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors, and some Teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”.
The Holy Spirit has given every Christian a special gift for building up the church. Now that we have these gifts, it is imperative we use them. If you know what your gifts are, please look fo opportunity to serve the Lord and use them. If you do not know, ask God to show you, perhaps with the help of your Pastor or other Christian friends. The enormous responsibility the church has includes preaching, teaching, evangelising, healing, giving, nurturing, administering, building, etc. God has called us as members of His body to perform this responsibility. Together we can obey God more fully than anyone alone. Working together, in unity, the church can express the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 3:19).
7) The Word Is The Best Way Of Generating Our Growth In Faith
Acts 20:32 puts it this way “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified”.
Like he prayed for the Ephesians in this passage, Apostle Paul is also praying for and commending you and I to God and His Word that the more we know Christ (our model), through the word, the more we will be like Christ. Study Jesus in the Gospel to see what He was like on earth. Personal knowledge of Christ through the Word will greatly change our lives. How much of His Word do you know? How much of Him are you willing to learn?
Until you invite Jesus Christ into your life (being born again) God’s continued presence can never abide with you. Today, accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. Ask Him to have mercy on you and forgive your sins and become the Master and Ruler of your soul, henceforth.
If you have backslid, retrace your steps back to Him right now and rededicate your life to God. However, if you have a living relationship with God, then tell others about Him – how much He loves us, He is our Savior, Redeemer and He died for our sins in order that we might not have to face the punishment that we rightly deserve. He is coming back the second time to take with Him all those who believe and accept Him, by faith, into their lives to live with Him eternally.
Congratulations if you have just accepted Jesus Christ into your life. Now look for a Bible believing church in your neighborhood to attend and you will be taught and grow in the Word of God.
God Bless You.
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Tony Francis is from the Middle East. He is grounded in the scriptures and has a licensed degree in biblical studies from MTI, the school of ministry, and a certificate in EPL (effective personal leadership) from LMI. He has authored many books and is the founder of Healed Nations Ministries (www.healednations.com). Tony mentors people in the prophetic and served as the prophetic leader of Patricia King’s ministries. Tony is studying to be a mental health coach.
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