We live in an age where appearance is promoted as being all important. But are appearances really the best God has for you? The prophet Habakkuk summed up life this way; “the righteous shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). But what does this faith look like if it is real?
Your faith relationship with God begins when you turn to His Son Jesus Christ and believe that He died your death, for your sin, on the cross of Calvary (Luke 5:32; Romans 3:21-25).
The apostle Paul details some of the ways real faith will be expressed in your new life in Jesus Christ when He wrote Colossians 3:12-16. Faith which is generated by the Holy Spirit will grow your desire to put on… compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Col 3:12). Faith will never domineer others; there should be no bullies in God’s Kingdom. Rather, faith inspires humility; a servant attitude which is ‘we’ and ‘our’ minded, just as Christ’s attitude is toward others.
Your life in Christ should have little or no resemblance to your old life. Now, in Christ, faith “bears with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Col 3:13). Christ’s forgiveness of you sets the quality and extent of how you will strive to live out genuine forgiveness toward others. Keeping records of hurts, reserving the right to retaliate, looking for vindication for your wrong responses, are all opposites of Christ.
Christ focused faith prioritises that “above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14). You see, if God is involved in your faith, self-sacrificing love will strive to pull all other personal qualities and relationships together in sweet unity. Christ’s love flowing through you is evidence for all to see and experience as a testimony of the living Christ (Jn 13:35).
Reel faith enables and empowers the believer to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Col 3:15). It’s faith which causes you to realise the privilege of being born again into Christ and adopted into the family of God. Obviously this produces much gratitude and appreciation for the Lord and your fellow believer.
Faith is active
However, faith never sits still; it’s never stagnant, dormant, or isolated from the body of Christ. No, faith by nature lives to grow and mature as it interacts with fellow members of God’s family. This growth only takes place when you “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16).
Realise that the written Word of God needs to be central in your life for personal growth to happen. The ruling truth of Scripture is then able to migrate through you to other believers. By design, the Lord has recreated you to develop in authentic faith when controlled by His Word, which equips you to enrich others with the same divine truth you have grown with. The resulting evidence of this ingenious faith discipleship is thankfulness to God by everyone.
I encourage you to align your life with God’s Word so that faith from God can grow you in His strength. Remember, “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.baybiblefellowship.co.nz