Where is your faith?
James 1 (NIV)
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I read kevinleehiggins blog, with a post entitled, “let go and follow Jesus.” In reflection to what he wrote, I left the following comments:
Please allow me to say many things from what I heard and learned from Bro Eli Soriano who reads the Holy Bible to us.
If you will read the Holy Bible, it says that Faith comes from hearing and hearing the word of Jesus Christ. The problem with hearers is that, when they get an idea from the teachings and feel offended, they stop. And even if they don’t stop but rather continue, they are hearing the wrong gospel.
So, we have two problems already, how to hear the true gospel in order to have the right faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gives the commandments coming from the Father. If Jesus Christ says so, then we should follow with all our heart, soul, and mind.
If the rich man would only know that it is not only him who needs saving and that his material wealth is something that is needed to propagate the word of God, more importantly, today, he would have let go of it. He did not continue listening because he was already offended of one teaching or commandment.
By listening, we would know that there are a lot of commandments not only for the Israelites, but also for the Christians. The hearers should also be taught that Christians have to follow certain commandments as they grow in faith in Jesus Christ, from milk to meat.
So, it is very important that you listen and listen to the correct teachings. If you won’t listen, you will not have the faith that is in Christ.
In order for you to believe in Christ you still need to listen more. Faith and belief is considered alive, when the first is put into practice and your belief is aligned with the teachings. How can you have a faith that is alive when you do not know what you ought to practice? You need to learn through listening.
So if you are a rich man, it was said that you should give your wealth. One of the reasons is for you to realize who you will serve, money or God. But later on, you will also learn that it is needed to propagate the gospel. The pure and faultless religion that is accepted by God our Father is to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)
Why not put a free Transient Home for the needy with your money if you are rich? Or have free bus transportation for the elderly and physically challenged people?
If you are a murderer, or you are a hired killer, stop it and instead listen. Because the teaching is learned from milk to meat. If you do not listen but instead walk away from the teachings, thinking that you won’t have money for economic needs, you wouldn’t be able to hear another teaching that is, you need to work with your hands in righteousness and God will do the rest.
To women who wear clothes that almost show their sexual organs, what should they hear? They should change their mind. Women are advised in the Holy Bible to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, – 1 Timothy 2:9 (KJV). And if women continue to listen, though offended, they will hear the reason why they need to do such and the goal they need to look into and live by: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
So, whatever faith you say you have, it should be growing as you are taught from your previous wrong way of life moving forward to righteousness and holiness, and if not put into practice will all be in vain.
Now, how would you know if you have the faith whether it is right or wrong? You need to listen right? And hearing and hearing the words of God will give you the right faith.
Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him…. He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” Luke Chapter 8
If you do have faith, let us read in the Holy Bible an event that tells us to assess what faith do we have and where do we put our faith in: The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.” – Luke chapter 8.
In these passages, it says how important it is for one to know where his faith is. Who could teach you how to find and know it? It is by hearing and listening what is needed in order to know where your faith is. These say to whom we should listen to and obey. We need to obey Jesus Christ. How would we know what He wanted as to follow? It is in the Scriptures. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ – Romans 10:17 (NIV).
Is it clear now? Is it clear that faith comes from hearing the message. And that the message is heard through the word of Christ. The question now is, how can you hear the message of Christ?
The message was taught to the Apostles and in turn, they wrote about it. Now, the spirit of those who sent the message and those who have wrote it would need to be consistent, one faith, one God, one Lord, etc, and so is the one we will be hearing it this days.
Almost all the born again Christians has heard that whoever calls in the name of the Lord will be saved.
The question is, how will you call the Lord? Is it enough that you call the Lord by saying, Lord, Lord, we call on You? Or you tell Him, Lord, Lord, I believe in You? How then can you call the Lord? How can you believe Him? How can you have faith in Him? More importantly, how can you believe the one you do not see?
Let us continue to read the verses: 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
15And how can they preach unless they are sent?
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
18But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
19Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.” 20And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.” 21But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
Who are now these people who found God though they did not seek Him? Who are these people who did not ask for God but He revealed Himself to them? These people are obedient and agreeable, amenable, compliant, cooperative, flexible, helpful, submissive, willing, yielding
people. Those who are ready to listen to God from point one to nth point. Maybe, it is you.
Romans 12 (NIV)
20On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Seek the people of God who do these nowadays. And that group that teaches all the commandments Jesus Christ commanded to the disciples. Matthew 28:20 says and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In summary, we need to continue to listen so that we will have faith and belief. And if we think we do have a faith and belief, then let us test if this is aligned with what the Apostles preached and wrote of so that we will be corrected if we are in wrong. Then, we will grow in Jesus Christ.
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
You of little faith, why not store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
If you hear correctly, then your heart will store the correct gospel. Someone will read, others will hear and will put into actions what has been heard. Revelation Chapter 1 verse 3 says,
Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy,
and blessed are those who hear it
and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
For You, what is your faith? Did you get it from hearing and hearing the words of God. The words that are needed to be obeyed and be a way of life? The words that should be put into action.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead – James 2:17.
The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23.
I enjoin you all, let us listen and listen to finally make our faith grow sturdy in Jesus Christ.
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead – James 2:26. Let us hear what God wanted us to do and at the same time have a faith that is not dead.
Don’t be like the rich man, he said he do some stuff that he thought would save him and asked for Jesus Christ’s teachings. But instead, when he heard a teaching that he should follow next, he did not pursue listening because he was offended already to the commandments that follow after the Law of Moses.
Do you believe that we’re save by faith as the scripture reads and not by works..? The following are YouTube movie clips:
How about you, what commandments and faith do you have? If you are a Christian, as you think you are, where is your Faith?