The Real Faith

The Real Faith

“Also this, knowing the time,
that it is now the hour for you to be aroused from sleep”
Romans 13:11

The deceptive nature of slumber is that it is not aware of itself. It is found in the lives of those who rely on the tenants of faith rather than the life of faith. It is to those who do His will through the agency of faith who are kept awake and alive unto Christ. Doing necessitates that we are constantly pressed into Him for Divine enablement to meet the needs of those around us. Life without doing produces a virtual reality in the life of a believer, without experience or substance. It is a deadly place to dwell. Its foundation is based on an intellectual belief in the inspired Word of God, yet it is not united by faith unto the life of doing (Hebrews 4:2). It is the highest form of deception. When Jesus walked the earth the religious leaders of His day were the most deceived. Those who had spent their life in learning became deceived by the very knowledge in which they had immersed themselves!

Faith by its very definition is the evidence of spiritual realities (Hebrews 11:1). It must produce works and expressions of actual worth to validate its existence in the life of a believer.

Hebrews 11:2 “By faith the Elders obtained Witness…”
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered a greater sacrifice to God than Cain”
Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…”
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham… obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went”
Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed…”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith, being tested, Abraham offered up Isaac…”

The authenticity of one’s faith is revealed in the doing, not the knowing. A faith that does not have within the life of a believer the “evidencing” of its power is a faith which is dead and deceptive.

“My brothers, what is the gain if anyone says he has faith,
but he does not have works?”
James 2:14

“But someone will say, you have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works. You believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder. But are you willing to know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is dead?
James 2:18-2:20

“And everyone who hears these Words of Mine,
and who does not do them,
he shall be compared to a foolish man
who built his house on the sand…”
Matthew 7:26

Living faith is evidenced by the works produced within the life of a true believer. Jesus gave us the Parable of two men building their houses. One man, “a believer”, built his house by the process of “hearing only”. The other man built his house by hearing and doing. The house built by “hearing” only, failed in the time of the storm. He “thought” his faith was genuine, but it was proved otherwise. The one who built his house by hearing and doing had a foundation built upon the Rock of Christ.

It is clear that it is the doing
that is the true foundation of faith.

“Now faith is the realization of what is hoped for,
the proof of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1

True living Faith obtains the promises of God… (2 Thessalonians 2:14)
True living Faith is evidenced through the life we live…
True living Faith reveals the life and wonder of Him who gave it…
True living Faith must produce the works of faith in the lives of those who are governed by it.
True living Faith builds its house upon the Rock of Christ through the obedience which it inspires…

“For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed (Greek united, joined) with faith by those who heard.”
Hebrews 4:2

A faith which does not produce within the believer change, passion, and obedience is a faith which will bring men and women into the judgment of God (read 1 Corinthians 10:1-12).

Brian Troxel

The Evidence of Salvation

The Evidence of Salvation

“Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Acts 9:6

Paul on his way persecuting the church was confronted on the road by Jesus Christ. His way was interrupted with God’s way and his surrender was immediate and complete. He understood Jesus to be the Lord of His life; not a part time occupation or a Sunday morning exception to his schedule; not Someone to run to when everything else failed. “Lord” was his heart-felt response. Much of the gospel presented today is of a Saviour who is ever willing to help us cope with life, to assist us on our journey while we chose the way and manner in which we live. Such was not the case in the early church nor in the presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit His people presented Jesus as Lord; a living Saviour who is to be Lord of our hearts, our thoughts, purpose and conduct of our lives.

The church today considers the life of Paul as something out of the ordinary and an anomaly in the average Christian experience. Our expectations of Him determines our experience. Expectations are really the evidence of our faith. A faith that expects little, receives little. There must be a radical change in the perception of whom He is and who He is to be in us. The nominal Christian life is one of low expectations, contentment with the status quo and a vague concept of who Christ is. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit declared…

“Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting
1 Timothy 1:16

Paul’s life was the “norm” not the exception! How long will we be content with reading the sacred scriptures which speak of one thing while our lives experience something else? When will the contradiction spark a longing within our hearts to know Him as Lord and Master? We must acknowledge the issue is not with Him but with our own dismal expectations. Paul was no different than any of us. He was a man subject to the tendencies and frailties of us all with one distinguishing characteristic: “Lord, what would YOU have me to do…” The Lordship of Christ is the pivot which transforms ordinary lives into extraordinary expressions of His grace and power.

This is the evidence, the nature and the desire of those who are filled with His Spirit and Life.

The disciples who were being persecuted for their zeal to declare Christ to the world replied to the religious leaders of their day:

“For we cannot but speak the things
which we have seen and heard”
Acts 4:20

A people who see little have little to declare. When the church is full of uninspired teachers presenting principles rather than His Life and when the people of God are content with hearing from the pulpit rather than hearing God within their own hearts;  then we must acknowledge we are living in the Day of Apostasy!

The life of faith in the individual believer is revealed in their everyday experience. Their expectations, the company they keep and the fire which burns within their hearts is the public disclosure of their faith.

This is the testimony of the ministration of Christ in early Church:

“These that have turned the world upside down
are come hither also”
Acts 17:6

Ω

“If you here stop and ask yourselves why you are not as pious as the early Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor through inability, but purely because you never thoroughly intended it.”
– William Law

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Hope

Thought for Today –

HOPE

“If it were not for hopes, the heart would break”
– Thomas Fuller

Jesus is the hope of every life. He is the stronghold of all who put their trust in Him. Hope gives strength in the night, it is the anchor in every storm and it is the pillar that hold’s His own in every night season.

A living hope beats with the evidentiary expression of Faith. A living hope is always ratified by a living faith. It is faith which assures hope of its validity.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for…”
Hebrews 11:1

Faith and Hope are the kindred graces which inevitably brings the soul into the very Love of God.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love”
1 Corinthians 13:13

Brian Troxel

Faith: The Evidence of Relationship

Faith: The Evidence of Relationship

“…for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded…”
2 Timothy 1:12

Our relationship with God is not based upon the quality of our faith rather our faith is the result of our relationship with Him. Faith is the evidence in the life of one who is abiding in Him. It is the effect in a life caused by our learning of Him. This persuasion to stand in the midst of great trial, the ability to endure the seeming contradictions of this life, and to remain steadfast in the Word of God, is grounded in our knowing of Him. Faith is not a blind religious belief in a teaching or concept; faith is a “substance” which is rooted in the very character of God Himself. It is the fruit of a heart which has, in a corresponding measure, come to know HIM. Faith lays hold of that which it “sees” God doing and joins itself to Him. For this reason faith can never be without works; God is always working, always moving and always invading the lives of His Own.

Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and feels the draw and the impulse to walk with the Son. A living faith is one in which the heart (because of Love) ever seeks to identify with the object of that Love. Faith is simply the expression of Peter stepping out of the boat; it does not need nor seek the opinions of others in the boat for it sees Christ. The ability to rise up and step into the stormy sea is trust. Trust is the means by which faith is exercised. It is the terra firma upon which a man walks. Men who do not know God cannot trust Him. They may hold a religious creed that says right things, they may mentally ascribe to His Word, but it is in the actual doing that true faith is revealed.

“And they that know thy name
will put their trust in thee

Psalm 9:10

Relationship with God is the purpose of the New Testament. He called the disciples that “they might be with Him”. Their time spent with Him produced men who turned the world upside down.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John,
and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men,
they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus
(Acts 4:13)

It is our relationship with Him that determines the cause and the effect of our lives in the world around us.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”
2 Corinthians 5:11

Those who know the terror of the Lord persuade men. The cause of someone seeking to persuade men of their accountability unto God comes from “knowing”. Men who know not, do not.

“Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth,
the same shall he receive of the Lord…”
Ephesians 6:8

The cause in a person’s life to do good and bless others is effected by the knowing of God. Those who know not God live unto themselves. The reality of our relationship with Him is revealed and shouted out to the world everyday by the effect produced within our lives. This evidential expression is called “Faith”.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen”
Hebrews 11:1

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith…”
Galatians 5:22

FAITH BEING THE FRUIT (or effect)
Of the Spirit ruling in our lives

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

What is Faith?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

WHAT IS FAITH?

PART ONE

“Now faith is the essence of things being hoped
the evidence of things not having been seen”
HEBREWS 11:1 (LITV)

In the book of Hebrews we have this brief description of what faith is in terms of expression. When God seeks to lay out to His Own what faith is He is not the least bit interested in an intellectual definition. He speaks of faith as evidence and expression. He reveals faith by what it produces in terms of reality. We read this of FAITH:

For by this (FAITH) the elders OBTAINED WITNESS (Evidence of pleasing God)
By FAITH Abel OFFERED
By FAITH Enoch was TRANSLATED
By FAITH Noah PREPARED (built) an Ark
By FAITH Abraham OBEYED
By FAITH Sarah RECEIVED POWER to conceive

When God in His Word seeks to impart to us what faith is He can set before us no other description than what faith produced in the lives of those who have gone on before. The true test of faith is not what we believe; it is revealed in what we do and in what we become. True FAITH is the EVIDENCING of the Life of the Son of God in our lives. Faith is the ability to APPROPRIATE the LIFE of the SON into the world in which we live. Faith without works is an impossibility. For in the holding of faith, a true and living faith, there must always be an accompanying evidence of its authenticity in the life of the true follower of Christ. Believing a thing is simply an intellectual acknowledgement of a prescribed doctrine or teaching but having the faith of God can never be without a living expression of that inward power.

We live in a time when faith is held as a teaching, a holding to some form of doctrine or belief; a religious persuasion. This kind of “faith” is an intellectual commodity rather than a life changing expression of the power of God. The deception of such a notion is clearly communicated by James…

“But become doers of the WORD,
and not hearers only,
deceiving yourselves”
James 1:22

The “deception” James speaks of here is the deadliest and most subtle of all deceptions for the real purpose of faith is to empower us to the DOING of that LIVING WORD. Jesus is that Word made flesh and the intent of Him sending faith into our hearts is to see that same living WORD become flesh in the substance and reality of our lives.

“Who through faith…
wrought righteousness,
obtained promises”
HEBREWS 11:33

Brian Troxel