Grace and Truth (Part 50): Faith in Works and the Word

by Rick

Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus.  Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17.  Let’s look at them again.

(John 1:14 New International Version)

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

(John 1:17 New International Version)

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

In this series we studied Galatians 3, 4, and 5.  We finally got to the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We are going through all the fruit of the Spirit.  We have been dealing with “faith that prevails” for a few days.  We will continue today.  

(Galatians 5:22,23 The Passion Translation)  

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:

joy that overflows,

peace that subdues,

patience that endures,

kindness in action,

a life full of virtue,

faith that prevails,

gentleness of heart, and

strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

Yesterday I introduced you to the concept of levels of faith.  Today I will deal with the first two.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  Faith in the works (what you see).  I told you that I consider this to be the lowest form form of faith.  Jesus expected some of His followers to believe solely based on “the evidence of the works” He was doing.  I will give you an example.  

After Jesus was raised from the dead, He presented Himself to a group of the disciples.  Thomas, who was not present when it happened, said, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”  Many Christians are like Thomas.  They need to see something with their own eyes before they believe.  It is a good thing God is gracious enough to provide them what they need to see in order to grow, which is what Jesus did.

Eight days later, the disciples were in a room with the door locked.  Jesus walked through the wall (the the movie, “The Matrix”) and said, “Peace be unto you.”  Jesus then wasted no time and addressed the issue with Thomas.  He said to Thomas, “Come, put your finger here, and look at my hands.  Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer.  Believe!”  Thomas cried out, “My Lord and my God!”  Then Jesus told him (and this is the key), “You believe because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (see John 20:24-29).

There are some people who refuse to believe until they see something with their own eyes.  When they do, they believe. At that point they have faith, but their faith was based on physical works they could see with their own eyes.  This is the lowest form of faith.

2.  Faith in the Word (what you read).  The Father expects us to read His Word daily.  His desire is that we meditate and literally medicate on it day and night (Josh 1:8, Psalm 1).  The point of all of this, the point of getting God’s Word down in your heart, is so you can STAND on what God said.

The Word of God is extremely powerful.  John McArthur said this about the Bible: 

This book contains: the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers.  Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, and practice it to be holy.  It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here heaven is open, and the gates of hell are disclosed.  Christ is the grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, health to the soul, and a river of pleasure. It is given to you here in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and is established forever.  It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its contents.”  

Without a doubt, we are supposed to have faith in, and live by, God’s written Word.  Since this series is about grace and about the fact that God has given us His Spirit, so we don’t have to simply live by a bunch of rules, I will share a few quick thoughts about that as it pertains to God’s written Word.

To live by faith you must believe and take actions upon what God said, even when you have no sense-realm-evidence to support it (Heb 11:1).  Faith perceives as real fact, what God said, even though it cannot be validated with your senses. This is where God’s grace and His Spirit come in.

You read the Bible.  You come across a passage that contains a promise that pertains to your current situation.  However, you can see the promise on the pages of the Bible, but you are not seeing the reality of that promise in your life.  You then have to make a decision. What are you going to believe? Are you going to believe what you read in God’s Word, or what you are currently SEEING in your life?  Are you going to live by SIGHT or by FAITH? God has given everything you need to live by faith. His grace is on you to do it. His Spirit is IN you so you can believe, even when you do not SEE anything that supports what God said.  You must believe God’s Word. You must believe His promise IS going to come to pass and you cannot be moved by what you SEE in this world. This is how you exercise FAITH in God’s Word!

Next week I will discuss even higher levels of faith.

Declaration of Faith

Father, I appreciate all You allow me to see.  As I see the supernatural happen right before my eyes, my faith is ignited and strengthened.  I also love reading Your Word. Your Word is Your will documented. As I read Your Word my faith is built up.  Your Word is incorruptible seed that is sown in my heart and it brings forth a supernatural harvest. Your Word is the ruler by which I base my decisions.  I stand on Your Word without wavering. I know You are incapable of lying. You said and You will perform it. You promised it and You shall make it good in my life!  I believe Your Word. I stand on Your promises. I live by faith! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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