Audacity of Faith
He really means it!
March 21st, 2019
He really means it! God doesn’t care that you might think what he tells us seems unlikely or even impossible, He means it.
Faith is reliance in something we trust is true without having evidence to support it.
The dictionary describes this as…
A belief and trust in and loyalty to God
The Bible defines it as…
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
This isn’t difficult to get our minds around. What gets tricky is putting this in practice in our lives.
We are not ‘trusting’ creatures by nature.
And that is the key, our fleshly nature has been trained to suspect all things that are not backed by proof. This nature is the opposite of what Jesus calls us to.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26 (ESV)
Our very salvation is based on faith vested in Jesus Christ. Total and complete surrender to that which He claims as his; who he is, what he came to do, what he accomplished in life, what he did in death, what he provides in his resurrection, and what he is accomplishing in us on a moment by moment basis that has permanent and everlasting consequences.
This faith produces an assurance that is both bold and humbled.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13 (ESV)
Just as our faith is vested in Jesus, this is where we are fortified with hope, joy, and peace. These vestments of faith in Jesus are the by-products of Holy Spirit acting in us.
Now we need to, in faith, fold in the reality that Jesus Christ is the Word of God personified and this Word is complete, reliable, fully capable of teaching us all things God would require of us to learn.
The linkage of the holy identity of Jesus is spelled out in the first chapter of the Gospel of John. In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was God. This Word was in the beginning before anything was created and there is nothing that was created that wasn’t created through the Word. That Word became flesh to dwell among us and become the light of the world. A light so powerful that the darkness could not overcome it.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
Now in the light of 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 we are left with the certainty, based on faith, that Jesus is God in the flesh, and the entire content of the scripture is reliable instruction for the Child of God to conduct themselves in accordance with.
It is all the work of Jesus, about Jesus, and intended to provide us an understanding of who God is and what he calls us to as believers (those who have faith in Him).
He Means It!
Back about a year ago I was reading a passage in 1 Thessalonians and the thought was planted in my mind that God really means this. I was so impacted by this that I ordered a custom transparency printed for the back window of my Chevy Sonic hatchback that quoted the scripture with the subtext after that stated “No, seriously, He means it!”
The purpose of this window sticker was to refute what God inspired Paul to write here was something we had the right to slide by without considering the serious instruction that was being given to us.
Rejoicing always, praying constantly and giving thanks for everything; from the standpoint of the world sounds not just impractical but impossible. But if I have faith in Jesus and Jesus is The Word, then this is something that Jesus seriously wants me to do. He is serious about it and while this may be impossible from the viewpoint of humanity; it is entirely possible though the power of His Grace and Spirit functioning in us.
Shortly after this had sunk into my brain, I realized not only was the subtext of the window sticker true of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, this true for every other directive laid out in the Word of God.
This means we have no excuse to glaze over scripture. We don’t have a logic-bomb argument that negates our accountability to the Word of God.
There was a Gospel Music song that became popular a few years back that carried the lyrics…
God said it, I believe it, and that settles it for me!
If we will put this into practice in our lives, this means we have to constantly call on the power of Jesus in us to accomplish even a fraction of what He calls us to.
Translated into our lives this means…
Seriously, we must be obedient to all that Jesus commands us – John 14:15.
Seriously, we must learn to love others as Christ Jesus loves us – John 13:34.
Seriously, forgive unsparingly in honor of our Master – Ephesians 4:32.
Seriously, to be His Disciple, we must follow him with our own cross – Luke 9:23.
Seriously, we are to disciple others – Matthew 28:19
Seriously, teach these new disciple to be obedient – Matthew 28:20
And the list goes on and on, throughout scripture. Faith demands it. Faith prevents our abstinence from obedience to the Word of God, faith demands it!
It all is God’s Word and by submitting to author and finisher of our faith, we obligate our adherence to it. The “Audacity of Faith”, is Jesus telling us that if we love him, we will obey him.
No, seriously, He means it!
In the Grace of Christ Jesus,