Sunday, December 6, 2015


 Your faith can grow. God has given to every one of us “the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). Your faith is designed by God to grow, and to grow exceedingly. The Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:3 says, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet (fitting), because that your faith grows exceeding, and the charity (love) of every one of you all toward each other abounds”. Here we are shown this very fact of the spiritual life! You, who possess faith in God, and in his Son Jesus, have a faith given to you by God that should ever be growing stronger, and greater, and fuller and richer. Let us take note that Stephen the Deacon (Acts 6:5) was chosen for his ministry because he was “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost”.  So our faith in God is measurable. We can have a faith that is a quarter full, half full, or like Stephen, completely full. And what is the primary way in which our faith may grow? It is by hearing the word of God. “For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). 1 Peter 2:2 instructs us about our spiritual beginnings as newborn babes in Jesus, “…desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby”.  As we grow in our knowledge of God’s word, we become acquainted with his commands, and as we become doers of these words / commands, we increase in faith to overcome that which his word reveals to us is of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Note in the verse prior that we are to be, “laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes (1 Peter 2:1, 2a). Faith is for overcoming; overcoming these worldly ways that are a part of our old fallen nature, but which can be transfigured by the glory of the Holy Spirit through our obedience of faith. “For whosoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, EVEN OUR FAITH.” (1 John 5:4) Please note that the verses immediately before we have revealed to us this victorious faith life (the amazing fact that we who are born of God possess a world overcoming faith), we are taught that we who believe in Jesus are born of God, and that we in turn love him who has begotten us again, AND we love all those who are also born again through faith in Jesus. For, “we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments”. (1 John 5:1-3) This is what is meant by “the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith”. In the world we feel malice toward our neighbors; we use cunning and guile in our relationships; we play the hypocrite, wearing masks of deceit, thinking we fool our neighbors while we pretend to be someone other than who we really are; we envy what our neighbor possesses, coveting their house, their wife or husband, their belongings and wealth, all the while breaking the tenth commandment (read Exodus 20:17); and we speak evil of our neighbors. Living in victory means we live in victory over the lack of love for our brothers and sisters by keeping God’s commandments by faith. Our faith in Jesus, knowing his example, believing in his promises, fearing his commands, all of these truths, inspire overcoming faith. May we grow in faith as we grow in love as we come to know God’s Holy Word.

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