Lesson #: 01
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Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. [Galatians 2;16]
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us [John 1-14]
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1-1]
What kind of faith is God wanting each of us to live by?
The desired everyday faith is not us reading the scriptures and believing that we have to obey what it says. That is not faith, but law, religious law. We are never "justified by the works of the law". Instead God wants us to study his word and choose to actually believe it, word upon word. Not just give it mental assent, but actually choose to believe it where we trust it as a truth. By believing the word of God, we are believing in Jesus Christ, as He is "the Word was God" and "the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us".
In other words, Jesus Christ is the living word of God made alive in human flesh.
That is the most succinct definition of who Jesus Christ is that I am aware of. If we have truly chosen to believe the word of God, then the decisions we make will be framed by the beliefs we truly believe. Our decisions are always framed by our beliefs, that is why God is so concerned with what we believe. Since we have been given a free will, God wants it to remain free. If our beliefs follow the world or our fleshly nature, then sin is at the door. If our beliefs are in the living word of God, this Jesus Christ, then we will make decisions in righteousness.
The life is more than meat (food), and the body is more than raiment (clothing). Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. [Luke 12;23-31]
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [Hebrews 11;1]
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) [Hebrews 10;23]
Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. [Hebrews 10;38]
"O you of little Faith". Why would the God of creation make this declaration to those who claim to be his people?
As one who has chosen to trust our life with the God of all creation, why is our faith so small? This declaration is not a put down by God, instead He is simply stating an obvious truth. We have made a commitment to give our life to God and to put our trust in Him. Trusting Him is trusting his word as given in the Bible. Yet we allow fears for our survival to come into play in obtaining the basic necessities of food and cloths. This is not a Godly life. It is an animal survival instinct. The ravens do not worry about food or cloths. They spend their efforts tending to the issues of life and God provides them both. God knows our needs. There is not a second that goes by in which God is unaware of where we are at and of all our needs. The ravens do not farm, nor do they have a storehouse or barn full of food. They do what God wants them to do and they are taken care of. Are we not of more value than the ravens? We are. So the issue here is trust or faith in the God of creation.
There is also here an issue of obedience. We are to actively seek the kingdom of God, and as we find it, to then walk in it, and God will provide what we need. God's provision will not be incomplete. In His provision, all these things that we truly need will be met. It is important to distinguish between needs and wants. God will provide for our needs, but He is not an automatic source for all our wants. We often mix our needs and wants thinking that they are all needs. Then when God provides, we think He didn't come fully through for us because He met our needs and not our wants. Additionally some needs don't have to be met when we want them to be met. So we allow unbelief to come in when the misunderstanding is on our part.
So what about where we have not been trusting in the God of creation, and now we decide to? God is still God. He has no problem handling what we consider to be big problems. Where the problems usually lie, is to motivate us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and in our submission, to doing the will of God, once we find it. Just telling us to seek the kingdom of God may not actually cause us to do so. We are so used to acting after our natural man, that we can miss the kingdom of God. Sadly then God has to often take us through hardship to motivate us to become serious about seeking the kingdom of God. How this often looks to our natural man is that we have problems, we turn to God, then we have more problems. We have not recognized that there has not been a serious seeking of the kingdom of God. Additionally there may surface consequences from some of our previous unrighteous acts. This compounds our confusion in discerning what is happening. It would be wrong to interpret any of this as being abandoned by God.
The response, of the believer, through what ever the situation, is to trust the word of God. Storms of life come go. There is a solid foundation that we can trust in all times including the storms of life.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. [1 John 5;4]
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; [2 Peter 1;5]
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. [1 Peter 5:6-10]
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. [1 Peter 1:7-9]
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [1 Peter 1:3-5]
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. [James 5;15]
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. [James 2;24]
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. [James 2;26]
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. [James 2;17]
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. [James 1;3]
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. [Hebrews 13;7]
Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. [Luke 18:8-14]
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. [Hebrews 6;12]
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, [Hebrews 6;1]
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. [Hebrews 4;2]
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: [2 Timothy 4;7]
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
[2 Timothy 3;15]
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. [2nd Tim 3:8-12]
Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. [2 Timothy 2;22]
Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. [2 Timothy 2;18]
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [2 Timothy 1;13]
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. [2 Timothy 1;5]
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. [1 Timothy 6;20-21]
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. [1 Timothy 6;11-12]
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. [1 Timothy 5;8]
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. [1 Timothy 4;12]
. . . nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. [1 Timothy 4;6]
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. [1 Timothy 3;9]
. . . that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: [1 Timothy 1;18-19]
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [1 Timothy 1;14]
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: [1 Timothy 1;5]
that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. [1 Timothy 1;4]
And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. [2 Thessalonians 3;2]
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: [2 Thessalonians 1;10-11]
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: [2 Thessalonians 1;4]
We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other abounds; [2 Thessalonians 1;3]
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. [1 Thessalonians 5;8]
Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: [1 Thessalonians 3;7]
For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain. [1 Thessalonians 3;5]
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. [Colossians 2;6-9]
In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: and you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; [Colossians 1;23]
And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [Philippians 3;9]
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; [Philippians 1;27]
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [Ephesians 6;23]
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [Ephesians 6;16]
And He (God) gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (the church): till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man (mature believer), unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: [Ephesians 4;13]
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, [Ephesians 4;5]
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. [Ephesians 3;14-19]
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. [Ephesians 3;12]
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [Ephesians 2;8]
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. [Galatians 6;10]
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, [Galatians 5;22]
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision (or any religious activity) avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love. [Galatians 5;6]
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3;26]
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. [Galatians 3;22-26]
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does them shall live in them. [Galatians 3;10-12]
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. [Galatians 3;8]
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [Galatians 3;5]
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? [Galatians 3;2]
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. [Galatians 2;20]
But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preachs the faith which once he destroyed. [Galatians 1;23]
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? [2 Corinthians 13;5]
Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. [2 Corinthians 8;6-8]
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) [2 Corinthians 5;7]
Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand. [2 Corinthians 1;24]
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. [1 Corinthians 16;13 (©1995 NASB)]
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. [1 Corinthians 15;14]
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. [1 Corinthians 15;17]
"Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
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