Three aspects of faith: obedient, moral lifestyle

Three aspects of faith – obedient, moral lifestyle 

 

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)

 

      The third aspect of faith is our conduct or everyday living out of our trust in God and acceptance of the body of truth recorded in the Bible. We might say “living out our faith”.

      There is a belief today that says you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and then it’s all finished, you can live any way you want and still be assured of heaven. It has been termed the “easy believism” of Christianity. Numbers of churches promote this doctrine and are sincerely attempting to win souls to Christ by this teaching. They invest time and money into programs, services, outreaches and other venues to bring the gospel to the unsaved. They do this seriously and with great conviction that they are fulfilling the Great Commission, however they are not making true believers, only decisions. Years ago in Harrisburg,

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Body of truth

Three aspects of faith – Body of truth  

 

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all  (Eph 4:4-6)

 

      The second aspect of faith is the body of truth contained in Scripture – Paul says “there is one faith” of body of truth concerning the Christian faith. This does not mean that there is only one denomination that has a patent on Scriptural interpretation; but the basics of Christian belief is one body of truth.

      Paul spoke a little about this to his young preacher, Timothy, when writing to him about problems within the church –“ Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” The false teaching by some of his day that said the resurrection (the resurrection from the dead of believers was past and those at that time had missed it) had brought confusion and discouragement to the believers. Paul wrote to set the record straight and encourage them

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Aspects of faith

Aspects of faith

 

(Luke 18:8)  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

 

      When we use the word “faith” we usually think of it as “believing, trusting” and this would accurate as far as it goes. But there are three aspects of faith as the word is used in Scripture.

      One meaning for faith is just that – belief or trust. The second aspect as used in Scripture means “the body of truth as taught in Scripture”. The third aspect is in relation to an obedient moral lifer, the way we live. All three are present in a true experience of saving grace. Today we will address the first aspect of faith, that regarding belief or trust.

      Belief or trust is an important part of our salvation experience, but we must not stop with just a belief. There are many, unfortunately, who have bought into the false salvation of simply saying they believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for the sin of the world and He is God and etc. Faith is not empty, the writer of Hebrews tells us – “Now faith

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Memorials

(Mat 26:6-13)  Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, {7} There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. {8} But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? {9} For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. {10} When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. {11} For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. {12} For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. {13} Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

 

      Our text today is about a woman who did something extravagant for Jesus that He said would be a memorial for her wherever the gospel would be preached.  It was extravagant in its cost and the sacrifice

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Changing ourself

(Jer 13:23)  Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

 

      Most have seen or heard the saga of decathlete, Bruce Jenner, when he announced that he is now a woman. This Olympic gold medalist has or is going through medical procedures to change his body into that of a woman – hormonal therapy, breast implants, and etc. He claims that God thought it would be his cross or suffering to place him (a woman) in a man’s body; and now through the scientific community and know-how he is changing that situation.

      The secular media hail him as a hero and others mock him, but if all were honest they would emphasize with him. Jenner is trying to remedy what all humans have experienced in life – dissatisfaction with who they are or have been.

      The Scripture from Jeremiah asks a question about the Ethiopian changing his skin color or a leopard changing his spots – in essence changing who they are – and being unable to do this small matter as much as they can (on their own) live a righteous

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Hannah, a true mother

Hannah a true mother 

 

(1 Sam 1:1-2)  Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: {2} And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

 

      We will take a week break from discipleship to Mother’s Day devotion. We will look at Hannah one of many in the Bible as an example of motherhood. Booker T. Washington said, If I’ve done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother. He recognized the great influence his mother had upon him. Mothers do not become successful by learning a 10-point lesson on raising children. Success is related to who they are more than what they accomplish. Hannah is an example of this principle.

      Hannah was a woman who desired to be a mother but was barren and she was a woman under trial.  She was grieved because she could not bear children. Too often today young

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Discipleship -- new relationships

(Luke 14:26-27)  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. {27} And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

 

      Families are important which all Christian acknowledge as well as right-minded and thinking sinners. The family is the basic of human institutions being the first one established by God when He created Adam and formed Eve from his rib, then commanded them to be fruitful and multiply. From the family developed schools, hospitals, government and other basic institutions. The family was the first school and hospital and the order in the family was the first governmental system. There is an old saying that goes like this: “As goes the family, so goes society. How true this is and we see the decline in society traceable back to the decline in the home.

      Jesus’ call to discipleship is difficult to reconcile with God’s love for and creation of the family. It goes against the intent of God as well as natural feelings and the law of love. Many

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Discipleship -- path of humility

Discipleship – path of humility 

 

(Mat 20:25-28)  But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. {26} But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; {27} And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: {28} Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

      All through His earthly ministry Jesus’ disciples were jockeying for position – each wanted to be first or most important. It seemed there was an on-going dispute among the disciples as to who was the greatest – And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? {34} But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.” Even at the last supper they were disputing over who was the greatest –And there was also

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Easter is proof

Easter is proof 

 

(Rom 1:1-4)  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, {2} (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) {3} Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; {4} And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

 

      People around the world will celebrate Easter is various ways. Some will color eggs and hide them for children; others will give candy to others (especially children) others will fast something during the days preceding Easter (Lent) and many will attend some type of religious service (for many it will be one of only two times they attend a church service). But in all these things will people really see or understand the significance of the resurrection.

      Jesus resurrected from the dead and He alone experienced a resurrection. There were others that experienced being raised to life by Jesus, but each one had to die again later. Jesus arose never to die again and has a glorified body

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Discipleship -- possessions

Discipleship and possessions 

 

(Mark 6:7-11)  And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; {8} And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: {9} But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. {10} And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. {11} And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

 

      When Jesus sent the disciples out on a missionary journey He told them not to take anything with them, except their staff – no money, food or even a bag to keep money in (script). They were to live off what was given to them on their journey – they were to trust God for their supply.

      When

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Discipleship -- obedience

Discipleship – path of obedience

 

(Luke 6:46)  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

 

      Jesus asks a simple yet profound question, if we going to call Him Lord meaning we are committing to follow Him, then why do we not obey Him? Many have a profession without a practice of their profession. They are like the people in Ezekiel’s day “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. {31} And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. {32} And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they

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Discipleship -- counting the cost

(Luke 14:26-27)  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. {27} And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

 

      How often have you bought something and then afterward felt that you had made a bad buy – you really could not afford the item you purchased or the payments were going to weigh you down and bring problems in your life. Perhaps after you made the purchase, something happened that brought financial hardship in your budget and now you are saddled with a heavy responsibility.

      When Jesus calls us to become His follower (disciple, Christian), He cautions us to count the cost before we make a quick response. Jesus knew that many would want to be His disciple or follower for the wrong reasons. Remember James and John who wanted to sit on either side of him when He established the kingdom; and often throughout His ministry the disciples (all of them) were arguing who was going to be the greatest in His kingdom. None were

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Disciple or Believer?

A disciple or Believer?

 

(Luke 14:27)  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

      After some read Jesus’ words about being a disciple, they say, “Well, I don’t want to be a disciple, just a good Christian (believer)”.  But can a person be a believer and not a disciple? Jesus said, “He that hath ears, let him hear.” What does the Bible say about it?

      The term “disciple” means, one who learns, so when Jesus calls to discipleship, He is calling one to learn of and from Him. In Mat 11:28-29, Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The call to learn of and from Him is to those who are burdened and heavy laden – those who are seeking rest. The rest Jesus says He gives is for the soul – He says He gives rest and you also will find rest.

      Too often people make “decisions” and not

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Being a disciple - walking with Jesus

(Mat 16:24)  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

              People say they will walk with Jesus and that is great, but do they really mean it. Jesus said in the verse above if any will walk with Him they must first deny himself.

              What does it mean to deny oneself? Most often we think of dieting when we think of denying our self. But in dieting we are simply denying our body the extra or luxury item that we are craving. Biblical denying has deeper meaning than this. The word literally means to deny one’s own interest, acquaintances or connection with others; hence when Jesus said that they who desire to come after Him must hate father, mother, brother, sister and their own life. When we think of “hating”, we immediately think of “feelings”, but hate is not feelings, but actions. It means placing Jesus before any acquaintance or connection to other people – even our own family. It means placing Jesus before our own interests and life.

      When people say they are willing to follow Jesus they

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Mindset -- don't make me wait

Mind set five – don’t make me wait, I am very needy 

 

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

 

      There are so many who lack patience and they want what they want, when they want it – and that is NOW. We live in such an instant society that it carries over into our spiritual life as well. We have instant cereal, microwavable meals, instant entertainment, instant web connection, and on we could go. We are so used to having everything we want and need at our finger tips or right away, that we think this should be the norm in our spiritual life as well. Often you hear Christians complaining about praying and not receiving the answer. A young woman was having marital problems and asked a minister what to do. He instructed her to pray and seek God; about a week or two later, he asked her how it was going and her response was, “I did pray, but that didn’t work.” After two weeks of praying she gave up because “it did not

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Wilderness mindset 4 -- I can't help it -- that's just the way I am

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 

      The Scripture text tells us our condition without Christ, but unfortunately many Christians hang unto this passage as an excuse to continue to live wrong. They go about with their bad attitudes, they gossip, bad mouth people and tell people off using this claim to their fame –“I just can’t help it, that’s the way I am.”

      The children of Israel could use that excuse as well – “We were slaves for over four hundred years, so what do you expect from us?”

      Many today use their past and the depraved condition of all people to excuse their present actions. They may be Christian but they are certainly living below their ability and calling. Paul says, “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called.” This means to live according to God’s way as a member of His family. How many a person has soiled the family name by

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Wilderness mindset three

 Make things easy for me

 

(John 6:60)  Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

 

How often have you heard the words, “This is too hard, I can’t do it!” After hearing it you just shake your head and wonder how that person is going to get along in this life. The sad fact is that many do not make it in this life unless someone makes it “easy” for them. (Could you imagine an athlete in training for a competition asking for his/her coach to make things easy for them?) Our government has over stepped the boundary of aiding people in need and produced a nation of people who expect everything to be made easy for them. Our nation was founded upon hard work and not giving up just because things do not go right or seem too hard. The Great Depression showed the true character of many in this nation and from that terrible time many accomplishments and successes brought about a prosperity that no other nation has experienced thus far. If many today had to endure the hardships of the Great Depression they

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Mind set 2 -- some one do it for me

Mindset 2 – someone do it for, I don’t want the responsibility

 

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, 2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

 

      Our society today has been plagued with the idea of “someone else” doing what needs to be accomplished and then it falls upon those who work most to do what should be shared by the many. The principle in the church is usually that twenty percent of the people do eighty percent of the work. I am glad that is not true in all churches but too often it is true in churches today.

      This mindset is prevalent today because we have such a large welfare class in the population. The rules and guidelines that are required to receive “free”

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Wilderness mindset - 1

Mind set number one – my past determines my present and future.

 

(Prov 29:18)  Where there is no vision, the people perish:

 

      Last week we talked a little about wilderness mindsets that can hinder our spiritual growth. The first one we look at this week is the mindset that our past determines our present and future.

      Israel had been in bondage to slavery for over 400 years and now they were free and away from the task masters and their whips; but they were also away from the protection afforded them by the armies of Egypt from foreign invaders. They also did not have access to the many foods available to them in Egypt. Now they look around and see nothing but desert in front of them, they see no God but hear only His voice or His commands through His man, Moses. They are about to enter a new life, but what will that life be and how will they be able to cope with the problems and challenges ahead of them. Problems arise now after their deliverance as they think upon the future while focusing on their past.

      When we come to Christ

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Wilderness thinking

Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days. 2 And the LORD spake unto me, saying, 3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.

 

The children of Israel escaped from Egypt and saw God’s judgment upon the Egyptians as they were drowned in the Red Sea. Now after they had rejoiced and praised God for His deliverance they were instructed to move forward – He said they have gone around that mountain long enough. We have a similar saying, “We’ve gone around this matter too long”, meaning we have discussed or mulled over an issue too long, now we need to get beyond it.

      God wanted Israel to go into the Promised Land that He had promised to Abraham years before this incident. He wanted them to go in and enjoy the blessings of that land “flowing with milk and honey”, so He instructed them to move on. God had delivered them from the threat from Egypt and now they were safely on the other side of the Red Sea and they had

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