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.”

23 comments:

rip kord said...

I think you gas-assinated your point.

the other leader said...

I find your "about me" section very pious. I was wondering if you would be the leader of our branch of religion: the movementarians? You are so humble we could use your humbleness to make humble pie for dessert every night!

Humble Pie said...

Dear other leader,
What is the name of the branch of your religion? "The movementarians", or "the movementarians?"?

As for asking this dude to make for you some delightful humble pie. I have the pleasure of informing you that humble pie is not for consumption!!
I will not go down without a fight!

proud hunter said...

Uh, mister utter leader sir, I would be more thatn previllaged to hunt use down that there 'umble pie for your desert night!

I was 'opin to join your branch and so I cut m'self a maple tree limb. Death to all branchs but that of the movementtreeans?!

P.S. Could I 'ave some o' that there humble pie when eyes catch it?

gospeloflove said...

Ok...these are some unexpected comments for this blog, but thanks for the comments none the less.

my 5 cents said...

i must agree, gospeloflove, that to be consumed by our own faith is often what can throw us off course. love is definitely our numero uno priority when it comes to following christ. focusing primarily on one's own faith can become a stumbling block as your faith increasing becomes a private thing. i like rick warren's statement that our faith is personal but not private.

however, and i'm sure you agree, we still do need to direct a lot of energy towards our faith. it is an extremely important component of our relationship with god, and although god has given us all the faith we need, in another paradox of faith we must still grow in our faith. i think paul's statement in 1 cor 13 says it best "And now these 3 remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." Our priority is love, but faith and hope are right on its heals!

Grace elizabeth the 1st said...

here's a little story about faith...
Yesterday morning, EARLY... the dog at the house that I'm am "sitting" scratched at my door wanting to be let outside. I stumbled down the stairs and let her out, stumbled back up the stairs and beck to bed. No sooner had my head hit the pillow than she started barking to be let back in. Grrrrrr. frustrating, I was SO tired and just wanted to be able to stay in Bed until my alarm went off. I lay there kind of complaining/praying and then remembered... oh yah, God is omnipresent and can communicate with animals. So I asked Him to tell her to be quite.. just for a little while. Immediately she quite barking!
For some reason I was surprised. Not surprised that she was quiet, but rather that I really had just KNOWN God could do that. In my sleep clouded brain I was less doubtful that he would.
Sadly I got so excited about that, that I couldn't get back to sleep anyway, so I just lay there a while smiling and even giggling(don't ask me why) then the dog started barking again so I got up and let her in. A strange story I know. But it's just one of those little seemingly unimportant things in faith which remind me, what a "mighty God we serve." And for some reason He loves me, and is willing to humble himself, and do these silly little favours that I ask Him to do. It's those very things however. These little "silly" things, that make me love him so much more. I guess because it just shows how very personal he is. I'm sure at the same time I was praying that, there were others around the world praying all manner of more important things, and being delt with in a very personal way, but it doesn't stop Him from doing something just to make me smile and feel special and loved. Isn't that wonderful?

the dog said...

i just gave up. humans are so fickle.

my 5 cents said...

hey, hwat happened to santa?

gospeloflove said...

Wonderful Blog John. I'm glad you got rid of the Santa one. It just didn't seem to flow! But I must insist that you are the raddest dude around. Much more rad than Me or Kyle! but not as rad as grace...God's grace that is!
P.S. Keep them coming as I have decided to only read your blogs from now on!(I even burnt all my other books at home)

gospeloflove said...

Yeah John your blog rocks!
I decided to follow Chris in only reading your blog from now on. I don't think I'll even right another one myself.
P.S. Keep them coming as I have also decided to only read your blogs from now on!(I also burnt all my other books at home)

gospeloflove said...

thanks you guys

gospeloflove said...

i think i am retarded

gospeloflove said...

me not very smrt. i likes to writes things sometimes, but they stupid.

gospeloflove said...

Wow I'm just full of sour grapes aren't I!

gospeloflove said...

yes, i am... and not sour grapes isn't the only thing i'm full of!

gospeloflove said...

yes, i am... and sour grapes is not the only thing i am full of!

Anonymous said...

Woah John you alright?

Kieran said...

I am curious to know how you were able to post on my blog under Chris' name john? other than that I am home now so lets party

The Canadian Yogger said...

Hey everyone check out my blog in my profile it's awesome

Yogger said...

I wonder how many blogs you could've written if you weren't so busy stealing everyone's identity. I think it's time to start doing some real blogging again.

Kieran said...

Well Jonny, is faith not to be recieved as a gift from Christ out of His love for us. I will find the verse I thinking of...well i can't find it right now. It might be in Rom 3 somewhere. Anyway peace be with you

Yogger said...

more postings please