Posts Tagged ‘faith’


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

All Christians have faith. Some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith, which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power.

“Prophecy” does not just refer to predicting the future; it can also mean giving a message received from God to the community of believers: “The one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (14:3). The prophet Joel had written the words of the Lord, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy” (Joel 2:28). As with the gift of faith, the ability to share one’s faith with power is available to everyone (see 14:1–5), but to some the Spirit gives a special measure of this gift. Paul wrote in Romans, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith” (Romans 12:6). Some have interpreted “prophecy” to be fulfilled in various sermons throughout church history. Others, however, say that prophecy is not a sermon, but a spontaneous, Spirit-inspired message that is orally delivered in the congregation for the edification and encouragement of the body of Christ.

Opinions differ over exactly what Paul meant by “tongues.” Some believe that this refers to speaking in earthly languages that a person did not say that this refers to an “ecstatic” language, a “heavenly” language. Most likely the second view is correct. Probably the only time that the word “tongues” refers to other earthly languages is when describing Pentecost. The rest of the time in the New Testament, the word refers to ecstatic languages unknown to anyone—languages of angels (13:1). Speaking in tongues is a legitimate gift of the Spirit. The exercise of the gift demands some guidelines (as noted in chapter 14) so that the purpose of the gift—to help the body of Christ—is not lost. Those who speak in tongues should follow the guidelines; those who do not speak in tongues ought not seek the gift as a sign of salvation or of special closeness with God, for it is neither. It is a gift of God, given only to whomever God chooses. If a person has not experienced the gift of tongues, he or she ought not seek it but seek what gifts God has given. For more, see the notes in chapter 14.

Lets Bring it Home: No matter what gift(s) a person has, all spiritual gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit decides which gifts each believer should have. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but we can take no credit for what God has freely given us. Note that discussions about spiritual gifts usually create difficulties when two central points are overlooked: (1) Properly used, spiritual gifts are not self-serving but serve the whole body of Christ (12:7); (2) each gift becomes practically useless when used without love (chapter 13). As you seek to identify and utilize the gifts God has given you, make loving God and loving fellow Christians your highest motives.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and flattering mouth works ruin

Good words do not prove good intentions. Liars and flatterers are out to destroy you, no matter how good their words sound, no matter their excuses (Pr 26:24-25). A wise man rejects both kinds of men, just as David did (Ps 101:3-8). If you tolerate these deceitful people in your life, they will take you down (Pr 20:19; 29:5). They are hiding hatred and destruction behind their lying words, and noble and prudent men will stay far from them.

A man lies for advantage or to protect himself. He is selfish and wicked, so he feels no guilt about deceiving you in order to advance himself. It does not matter what his relationship is to you or how kindly he speaks at other times. If he has lied to you, then you should run far from him, whether it is a slander about you or a lie to your face. His deceit proves that he hates you. He is out to hurt you or use you. True friends never lie.

Flattery is praise designed to deceive you into doing what the flatterer wants you to do. It is a form of lying, but it is harder to detect and resist. Men love praise, so they are easily lulled to sleep by flattery. It is poison in a spoonful of honey. A flatterer is more dangerous than a slanderer, for he is crafty, friendly, and subtle in working his deceit, while liars are more easily detected by their open malice and wickedness.

Are you vigilant and intolerant against deceivers? Aggressive salesmen may lie or flatter to sell an inferior product. Many girls have lost their virginity or women their marital fidelity to lying flattery of whoremongers (II Sam 13:1-13). Many men have been led to hell by flattering lies of whorish women (Pr 2:16-18; 5:3; 6:24-26; 7:5,21-23). Many citizens have voted for corrupt politicians due to flattery and false promises, for the election process in most nations is based on words rather than character or performance.

Parent, you must punish lying and flattery, and you must teach children to reject liars and flatterers (Job 32:21-22). Teach them that God hates liars, He will judge them, and liars are going to hell (Pr 6:16-19; Job 17:5; Ps 12:2-3; Rev 21:8). Teach them that friends who tell the truth even when it hurts are better than kisses from an enemy (Pr 27:5-6). Teach them that men should be judged by their actions and lives, not words (Pr 20:11).

Religion has many lies and flattery, for the devil has used it since Eden (Gen 3:1-13; John 8:44). The Jews flattered and lied to Jesus to trap him (Luke 20:20-21). False teachers use good words and fair speeches to deceive simple hearers (Rom 16:17-18). Rome tells the lies of abstaining from meat and marriage (I Tim 4:1-3). But God’s faithful pastors and teachers never use flattering speech or lies (II Cor 2:17; 4:2; I Thess 2:3-6).

Jehovah is God of truth, and so is His Son Jesus Christ, Who is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11). He expects honesty and truthfulness from His children, and He punishes all liars and flatterers. All who take His name must make sure their every word is honest, sincere, and true – and obviously so in the ears of all others (Deut 32:4; Rom 12:17; I Pet 2:12).


Under Gods Command
More than Conquerors

Romans 8:35-36 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37-39: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord

These verses contain one of the most comforting promises in all Scripture. Believers have always had to face hardships in many forms: persecution, illness, imprisonment, even death. These could cause them to fear that they have been abandoned by Christ. But Paul exclaims that it is impossible to be separated from Christ. His death for us is proof of his unconquerable love. Nothing can stop Christ’s constant presence with us. Go tell us how great his love is so that we will feel totally secure in him.

Lets Bring it Home: If we believe these overwhelming assurances, we will not be afraid.


Under Gods Command

 Dead to sin, Alive in Christ

Romans 6:8-10 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 

 Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, his followers need never fear death.  That assurance frees us to enjoy fellowship with him and to do his will.  This will affect all our activities-work and worship, play, Bible study, quiet times, and times of caring for others.  When you know that you don’t have to fear death, you will experience a new vigor in life.

Lets Bring it Home:  Are you a just a Fan or follower of Jesus Christ?


Under Gods Command

Romans 4:18-21-Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old-and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Abraham never doubted that God would fulfill his promise.  Abraham’s life was marked by mistakes, sins, and failures as well as by wisdom and goodness, but he consistently trusted God.  His faith was strengthened by the obstacles he face, and his life was an example of faith in action.  If he had looked only at his own resources for subduing Canaan and founding a nation, he would have given up in despair.  But Abraham looked to God, obeyed him, and waited for God to fulfill his word.

Lets Bring it Home: Are we waiting for God to fulfill his word in the issues of our lives, or are we only looking at our own resources for solving the problems in our life?  Have we been strengthen with the obstacles that we have faced in our life?  Are we putting Faith into action, or are we doing the same old thing, and leaning toward our own understanding?


Under Gods Command

Romans 4:16-17 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring-not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham.  He is the father of us all.  As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed –the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. 

Paul explains that Abraham had pleased God through Abraham’s faith alone, before he had ever heard about the rituals that would become so important to the Jewish people.

The promise (or covenant) God gave Abraham stated that Abraham would be the father of many nations (Genesis 17:2-4) and that the entire world would be blessed through him.  This promise was fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Jesus was from Abraham’s line, and truly the whole world was blessed through him.

Lets Bring it Home: We too are saved by faith plus nothing.  It is not by loving God and doing good that we are saved; neither is it by faith plus love or by faith plus good deeds. We are saved only through faith in Christ, trusting him to forgive all our sins.  For more on Abraham, see his Profile in Genesis 17.


Under Gods Command

Romans 4:4-5 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.  However, to the man who does not work but trust God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.      

This verse means that it a person could earn right standing with God by being good, the granting of that gift wouldn’t be a free act; it would be an obligation.  Our self-reliance is futile; all we can do is cast ourselves on God’s mercy and grace.

When some people learn that they are saved by God through faith, they start to worry.  “Do I have enough faith?”  These people miss the point.  It is Jesus Christ who saves us, not our feelings or actions, and he is strong enough to save us no matter how weak our faith is.  Jesus offers us salvation as a gift because he loves us, not because we have earned it through our powerful faith.  What, then, is the role of faith?  Faith is believing and trusting in Jesus Christ, and reaching out to accept his wonderful gift of salvation.

 Lets Bring It Home: Where is our faith?  Who do we start trusting first when we are squeezed by the world?  Do we trust in God from the beginning, or do we lean towards are own understanding fist, and when that don’t work, we turn to God.  Well, God has an answer for that to.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.