Albert Finch Ministry

The Meaning of L.I.F.E.*
* Living In Faith Everyday



THE SCRIPTURES


"Whatever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23)

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him." (Hebrews 11:6)

"The just shall live by faith." (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews
10:38)


Practically ever reference to the word "faith" is found in the pages of
the New Testament.

This does not mean that faith is only a New Testament principle.
The text of Hebrews chapter 11 shows how faith was the operational law
even before the Law was given. Romans chapter 4 also teaches this truth.
Faith is the very power that God Himself used to create the universe. It
is the original, basic spiritual law around which everything happens in
God's plan for the ages.
Faith Defined
The word translated "faith" in the New Testament is pistis, which means
the conviction of the truth of anything; belief with the predominate
idea of trust or confidence.
Faith is not just mental assent or hope, but an absolute trust in the
truth of something even in the apparent absence of any physical proof.
Where there is physical proof, there is no need for faith -- it is fact!
By faith, even that which has no physical evidence becomes fact.
The Bible defines faith as "the substance of things hoped for; the
evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1) <--- more on this later!
Some misconceptions about faith...
Some people pray for faith or pray for their faith to grow or be
increased.
Even the Apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith (Luke 17:5)
Mark 9:24 records another, a man who came to Jesus to seek healing for
his daughter, asking Jesus to help his unbelief.
But Jesus told His disciples they didn't need their faith increased; if
they had faith as small as a mustard seed, they could move mountains, IF
they used the faith they have.
The father of the little girl didn't understand what Jesus told him, for
just before asking Jesus to help his unbelief, Jesus said to him that
anything is possible to him, if he only believed.
Many state faith must be qualified according to God's will.
Many pray, "Lord, if it be Thy will . . .", using the argument that we
cannot always know God's will, misapplying and quoting James 4:13-15.
This passage of scripture was written to carnal people, as the rest of
James chapter 4 clearly shows.
Their carnality is what makes them unable to know God's will.
This doesn't apply to the Christian who is living according to God's
Word.
While unfortunately our will is not always in accordance with God's
will, we, as Christians, should always act, pray, and believe in
accordance with God's will.
We can and should know God's will because He's given it to us in
Scripture.
If we're praying contrary to His revealed will, we pray in error and our
prayers will not be answered. No Christian should be praying contrary
to God's will as revealed in His Word!
If a promise or provision is in God's Word, then it IS His will and we
need not say "if it be thy will," but rather, "according to thy will."
But, what of I John 5:14? Doesn't this clearly state we will only
receive what we ask for according to his will?
Let's look at this passage in context! Beginning with verse 13 John
writes, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son
of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." This is
written to and for saved believers.
In verse 14, he says, "And this is the confidence we have in him, that
if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
There is a CONFIDENCE or TRUST in this promise.
He says "if we ask ANYTHING..." (This is pretty inclusive.)
We must pray according to His revealed will. (We should not do
otherwise!)
What does His Word tell us is His will for us?
That we be saved (Mk 16:16; Lk 9:56; Jn 3:17; Ac 2:21; Ro 10:9; I Ti
1:15, 2:4).
That we be healed (I Pe 2:24; Ja 5:15).
That we prosper (Ps 1:3; III Jn 2:1).
That we be blessed Mt 6:25-33; Ep 1:3).
That all things work together for our good (Ro 8:28).
That we have abundant life (Jn 10:10).
That all our needs will be met (Mt 6:8; Ph 4:19).
That we will have what we pray for in faith (Mk 11:23-24; I Jn 5:14-15).
Comfort (Is 51:3).
Everlasting Life (Jn 3:16).
Fruitfulness (Jn 15:4-5).
Gifts of the Spirit (I Co 12).
God's Protection (I Pe 5:6-7).
Joy (Is 35:10).
Liberty (Ro 8:2).
Peace (Jn 14:27).
Rest (He 4:9,11).
Rich Rewards (Mt 10:42).
Victory (I Jn 5:4)
Wisdom (Ja 1:5).................and much more!
And verse 15 says, And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask
[and verse 14 already told us he does hear], we KNOW we have obtained
the requests made of him."
Some feel such faith is difficult to come by for them, while easier for
others.
This is due to ignorance of scripture!
Romans12:3 says God gives us ALL a measure of faith.
It's the same measure for each person.
How each person uses their faith determines the effectiveness of their
faith.
How does God give us faith?
Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing the Word of God! (see also
Galatians 3:2 and II Timothy 3:15).
It is also a gift of the Holy Spirit, as we're told in I Corinthians 12.
Ultimately faith is from God, not of ourselves.
Mark 11:22 is usually translated, "Have faith in God," but the original
language literally says, "Have the faith of God."
Ephesians 2:8 tells us we are saved by faith, and that even that faith
that brings us salvation is not of ourselves, but is the gift of God!
Why faith is so important:
As already stated, it is the most fundamental spiritual law.
Romans 14:23 says that whatever is not of faith is SIN!
Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God!
Scripture tells us the just shall live by faith!
For Christians, faith is to be a way of LIFE. We are to Live In Faith
Everyday!
To live by faith means that everything we do is to be done according to
the law of faith.
We are to walk by faith.
We are to talk by faith.
We are to stand by faith.
We are to pray by faith.
We are to fight the fight of faith.
Scripture's Definition of Faith (Hebrews 11:1)
"Now faith is the substance (assurance, reality) of things hoped for
(earnestly anticipated); the evidence (proof) of things not seen
(perceived by our senses)"
II Corinthians 5:7 says, "We walk by faith (assurance), not by sight
(sensual perceptions)."
We are not to allow our lives to be ruled by sensual perceptions of
physical "realities"; this is how the world operates.
"Seeing is believing" is a fallacy. If we see something, we don't need
to believe in it....it is obvious fact.
"Believing is seeing" is the essence of faith.
We are to have our lives ruled by spiritual realities; this is how God
operates.
Operating in faith, according to spiritual realities, is what enabled
Peter to step out of the boat and walk on water. (Matthew 14:22-23)
Operating outside of faith, according to sensual perceptions (what he
saw) of physical "realities" (the waves), is what caused Peter to sink!
We are to be water-walkers! We need "steppin-out-of-the-boat faith"!
Jesus didn't walk on the water because He was God. He walked on the
water because He needed to join the disciples in the boat, which was
already out to sea! He took His faith and acted on it by walking on the
water.
Peter was not God, but he also walked on the water, taking his faith and
acting on it.
But Peter, like all of us do, allowed sensual perceptions of physical
"reality" to overide his faith in spiritual reality.
Jesus said Peter was of little faith. He did not say NO faith, for Peter
did show faith. But he failed to show it fully and consistently.
Where did Peter's faith to walk on the water come from? Jesus' Word.
Jesus said, "Come!" ("Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of
Christ" Roman 10:17).
Faith, then, is an obedient response to God's Word.
Where did Peter's fear come from? He SAW (perceived by senses) the
waves.
Fear comes in the absence of faith. In fact, fear can be said to BE the
absence of faith. It comes from disobedience to God's Word.
Disobedience to God's Word is sin; whatever is not of faith is sin!
Since faith comes by hearing the Word of God, then we must live
according to the Word!
In Romans 10:8, Paul calls his message the "word of faith."
If the Gospel is the word of faith, and faith comes from hearing God's
Word, our faith can only be developed in two ways:
Hearing God's Word regularly (in fact, daily).
Reading is great, but not enough.
Study is ordered, but not enough.
God's Word must be heard!
That's why God ordains preachers, teachers, and prophets.
That's why we need to attend church regularly.
We should watch Christian TV.
We should listen to Christian radio.
We should listen to teaching tapes or watch teaching videos.
Acting on our faith
As we act in faith, our faith grows and is strengthened.
As we act in faith, we are acting in obedience to God's Word as we have
heard it.
James says faith without works is dead. It's not enough to say you
believe; you must prove your belief by acting in obedience to God's
Word.
If we want to live LIFE, a life pleasing to God, we must learn how to
operate according to God's principles for L.I.F.E. (Living In Faith
Everyday).
But first and foremost, our faith must be exercised for salvation, for
we must be in a right relationship with the "author and finisher of our
faith" in order to live in faith. What must you do to be saved?
Once we obey the Word to come to Jesus in repentance and receive His
gift of salvation, we also receive His gift of the Spirit, who plants
the seed of faith in our spirit.
Once that seed is planted, we must nurture it by watering it with the
Word of God.
Then we, too, can become water-walkers!
Then we, too can live L.I.F.E.!


PASTOR MIKE.B.OKORO

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