Sunday, December 11, 2005

Of Faith and Love

People have been writing a lot of blogs about Faith lately and I’ve been reading them. Because of this I thought of a few things that I would like to share on the subject.

What is faith and why do we need it? Would you say that faith is necessary to believe and if so how much do we need?
To start... What is faith “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb.11:1” It isn’t just about having a vague hope in God or in His promises, it is freedom from doubt and something that inspires confidence concerning hope. It’s the state of being convinced of something we can’t see.
But why do we need it? Well here are four reasons out of hundreds:
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Heb.11:3-6” So we need faith to be able to please God.
“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Rom.3:22” We need faith to receive righteousness.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph.2:8-9” We need faith, which comes from God, to receive His grace and salvation in Jesus.
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Gal.3:26” “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Eph.3:12” We need faith to be children of God and to receive a clear conscience before Him.

Anyway you can see that faith is important and necessary for the believer, so how much do we need? How do we measure how much we currently have? Ah... but is this the right question. Why do we as BELIEVERS need MORE faith? Is there any where in the bible that says that Christians need more faith? There are some spots where it talks about mens faith being weak and not as strong as it could be, and says that they could do with their faith being strengthened, but as for them needing more... I think it just talks about people needing some. Jesus said that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain. Is there such a thing as believing in Jesus and having His Spirit yet being devoid of a mustard seeds worth of faith in Him.
Well then if it’s an issue of weakness how do we strengthen our faith? We can start by encouraging one another. If you need an example read Paul’s letters they’re all about strengthening different churches through encouragement. God will also supply all of our needs according to His riches and Glory. He tells us simply to ask and we shall receive. If you need your faith strengthened ask Him.

That said I can get to my main reason for writing this. Are we as believers too fixated on faith instead of love and Christ Jesus? Love, because it is greater than faith and Jesus because He is it’s author and perfector. After Hebrews chapter on faith(Ch.11) It says that now those who have faith (any amount I’m sure) are too cast off the sin that so easily entangles us and fix our eyes on Jesus. Here’s a question... Is it faith in having more faith that sets us free or is it faith in Jesus? Should we now be asking for more faith or because of our faith more Love? Which would help us more in our ministry or in the life that he has given us more faith or more love? Does more faith strengthen our love or more love strengthen our faith? This is God’s command to the faithful.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”“And this is his command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.”“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.”“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Perfect love casts out fear and love covers a multitude of sins. What better reasons are there to seek after Jesus and receive His love. Faith brings us to His love, a love that lasts forever. We should be using the faith we’ve received with the gifts we’ve received for the purpose of sharing the love we’ve received.

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”