Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Faith

One Faith
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

It is not surprising to know that in the world there are many different so-called “faiths” because the world doesn’t understand the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). The world’s idea of different faiths contradicts the teaching of God’s inspired word: “Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Division occurs when we place our faith in the logic of man’s opinions rather than the wisdom of God’s truth (John 17:17).

Faith is “conviction” of truth and it is “impossible to please God” without it (Hebrews 11:1, 6). It is not a system of beliefs in what we consider to be truth. Truth is not only in God’s word rather it is God’s word (John 17:17). Faith is being convicted of the truth portrayed through the inspired Scriptures and adjusting our lives accordingly because of the faults revealed in us through the perfection of God’s Son. Truth will never change for it is eternal (Matthew 24:35). Jesus spoke truth for the faithful to hear and live within its guidelines (Matthew 13:9) and He taught people to abide in truth to live (John 15:10).

In the world-defined faiths we see many different levels. There are those who have “head” faith. In other words, they know the right words and maybe even where they are found, but they never put this knowledge to work in their lives. They talk a good talk but their walk is different from their words. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about this kind of faith: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me” (Matthew 15:8). People of the one true faith take truth seriously and apply it sincerely.

Another faith defined by the world is seen in “heart” faith. These are the people who go to services to feel “warm and fuzzy” but have little desire to study and grow in God’s word. They are not clearly defined in what they believe and usually fall away when the trials of life come. We can recognize this faith because this kind of person usually jumps around from congregation to congregation looking for the sermon that makes them feel good only to leave still wanting (2 Timothy 4:3). True faith strives to please God not self.

God has called His church through the distinction of true faith in His gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:14) to “proclaim the excellencies of Him” for His calling us out of the darkness of ignorance (1 Peter 2:9). His voice is made distinct through truth (John 10:4) and we have responded to His voice through obedient faith in His commands. We have surrendered the imperfect fleshly desires for the desire of the perfection of His will. We are faithful sheep who have given our hearts to our Lord, the Good Shepherd, who we know is the only One who can lead us into eternal life. This is the faith rewarded by God.

In His Grace,
Cub

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