4 December, 2022
The Christian Life begins with faith in Christ through hearing the Gospel. The Bible tells us that “the Gospel of Christ is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…For in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, “the righteous will live by faith” (Rom.1:16-17). “Salvation” is being saved from sin, judgment and Hell through faith in Christ and His finished work on the Cross. In Christ we receive “the righteousness of God” imputed to us. Religion and good works cannot bring righteousness, for they cannot take away our sins. At the Cross, Christ took our sins on Himself and forgave and cleansed us by His Blood.
After being made righteous by faith, the Christian continues in living by faith – “from first to last”. It is a continual walk of faith, as instructed by the Word of God: “the righteous will live by faith”. We maintain our assurance of salvation and righteous relationship with Christ through faith. That’s because the Bible says, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7). To live “by sight” means to depend on the flesh – depending on our own intelligence, knowledge, feelings and human experience. As the song says, “The arm of flesh will fail you”.
There are two ways that a Christian can grow strong in faith and righteousness.
1. The Word of God: The Bible is the Word of Faith and so reading and taking in God’s Word into our heart and life will increase faith in us. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”. People who do not read and meditate on the Word daily and continually will not grow in faith. To “hear” the Word is not just listening through the outer ear; it actually means “obeying’ what it says. As James tells us that we are not to be “hearers of the Word only but to be doers” also (James 1:22).
2. The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit ignites faith in our heart and spirit through the hearing of the Word. He imparts the gift of faith to every believer in Christ (1 Cor. 12: 9). Faith is also listed in “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal.5:22-23). We are told that Stephen and Barnabas were men “full of the Spirit and full of faith” (Acts 6:5; 11:24). Hence it is so essential and imperative that every Christian “be filled with the Spirit”, and “walk in the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18; Gal. 5:16, 25). The Holy Spirit strengthens our faith as we depend on Him daily.
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