Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? –unless indeed you are disqualified (2 Corinthians 13:5).
I examine myself in all kinds of ways. Did I brush my teeth this morning? I can run my tongue over my teeth and quickly conclude the answer. We are constantly in the process of examining ourselves. Did I remember to . . . ? Will I be on time for that meeting . . . ? You can examine your own ways. Why shouldn’t we keep a running tab on whether or not we are in faith? Are we trusting God?
My son says, “I’ve stopped micro-managing God. He has a much better plan for my life than I do. Whatever He brings my way, I throw myself into it 100%. Life is much more fun this way.”
The only way to get disqualified from the faith race (which you only run against yourself) is to deny Christ; tell Jesus to get out of your life and stay out. That is the only unforgiveable sin. I trust that not one of us has disqualified ourselves. And if you have, throw yourself on His Mercy!
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing (1Corinthians 13:2).
The famous love chapter claims that we can have all faith, the kind of faith that actually moves mountains! Ah! But there’s a catch--it depends on our love walk. Faith works by love. I have to be honest. There are just some people I don’t want to love. So, I have to remind myself that these people are like apples in God’s eyes. He sees them much differently than I do. To Him they are His precious creations in whom He places high, high hopes. If I want to please God, I’d better be thinking about how I can love these people. He doesn’t appreciate it when people don’t love me, and He doesn’t appreciate me when I don’t love His other loved ones. Also, the only factor in life that changes all things is love. I might as well get on with it.
4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5).
Faith is not a testimony to the wisdom of men. We do not place our trust in their words. Our faith is in the power of God activated by the Holy Spirit.
Men rely on their logical mind, yet the mind is not a sufficient medium for decision making. The mind never has enough facts to make good decisions. With what it knows at the moment, the mind decides, but ten minutes later it will change because it has remembered another fact that alters the previous decision, or it mixes the facts to get a better view and loses sight of its original platform.
Studies show that 92% of our decisions are actually made by our emotions and only 8% are made by the mind. Fortunate for us because the emotions have more depth and understanding; however, there is still no wisdom to be gleaned from how or what men decide. Wisdom is the sole property of God. Wisdom is knowing what to do with all the feelings and facts. No human has ever accomplished this high ideal. Wisdom is too lofty for men to claim, but wisdom we need, and God freely offers His.
25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith--27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen (Romans 16:25-27).
God happens to love faith projects. Some people are so practical, all they want to do is build and design, produce and develop. Others are so creative, all they want to do is explore and imagine, test and try. And God created us with those temperaments, yet He holds in His hands all the things we want to do. He kept a secret back from those with whom He had a covenant in the Olden Times. He kept that secret for us. That secret causes us to lay aside all our temperaments, all our desires, all our plans. That secret is that Christ is in us. He moved in the day we were born again, and through Him we know all things; we can do all things; we can be all things. The Bible is right in saying our righteousness is like filthy rags. Our thoughts, our dreams are shabby in comparison to the Son of the Living God who fills us with absolutely impossible desires and dreams, and yet because He is in us, WE CAN DO THEM!
22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:22, 23).
Have you ever wanted something, and your conscience just gives you fits? You want it, and yet you condemn yourself for wanting it. It is the gift of faith that God gives us that accomplishes what we believe and say. Doubting our own faith projects causes them to fail, as well they should. From the beginning we should talk with the Lord about our faith projects and find out what He wants. He, after all, designed a certain specific destiny for each of us, and we must use our gifts for that destiny and make our faith grow to fulfill that destiny. If we refuse to grow in faith, then we will be weak in our trust in God.
The righteousness of faith uses words. It is words of faith that brings a thing into reality. We believe in our hearts, we trust, and with our mouths we speak words of faith. But first, we find out what God wants, and we put our faith in that!
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
Never forget this most important instruction. Without the Word of God, you will not have faith. Soak yourself in the Word of God. Read it whether you understand it or not. Let it sink into your spirit-being, let it build up your spirit-being until it is bigger than your soul and body. The Word of God is the only thing that feeds your spirit-being, and the only part of you that God talks with is your spirit-being. He is Spirit and He speaks with your spirit. Everything He says to you directly always agrees with what His written Word says, so it is imperative that you know the Word of God. When you read the Word of God, your spirit-being is listening!
I would like it if every Christian were required to attend a Bible School where they would learn the Bible and all the subjects found therein. What a wonderful world this would be if everyone lived by the Word of God.
6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or," 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): (Romans 10:6–8).
Faith is always “right” with God. He looks at our faith and is pleased. But notice the instruction here. Once you have established your faith by the desires of your heart and the certainty of the Word of God, you are not to try to figure out how to make this faith work. Your plans will come to nothing. Wondering how it is going to happen will get you nowhere. The one and only thing you can do is to speak out your faith. Cooperate with God by letting Him bring your faith to fruition while you proclaim what He is doing for you (even if you can’t see it)! Once you have the thing desired, you no longer need to use your faith. Therefore, it would be a little silly to keep on proclaiming what has already become reality.
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1, 2).
Because of our faith, we have peace—peace with God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and with His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Can you image how dismal life is without that peace? Can you remember? Always suspicious, always fearful of lightning bolts blasting out from the throne room to punish us, or somehow change us. Instead we stand in grace. Our faith gives us direct access into the grace we have been given, and there we rejoice in our hope as God’s glory fulfills our faith. God’s glory is His Presence blasting out His blessing, His anointing, His promises that He always keeps, all to give us a favorable life—our hopes fulfilled. Thanks be to God!
17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform (Romans 4:17–21).
I find Abraham’s story wonderfully optimistic! Way beyond the years of child-bearing, he believed Sarah in her dotage would conceive a child. In today’s world, women rarely give birth to a child after the age of 40. Given that they live to be around 80, child-bearing happens in the first half of their lives. Sarah lived to be in her 120s. Half of her life would have been in the 60s, yet she gave birth to Isaac when she was 90. They believed God. They were happy with His promise. They probably danced around in their tents and laughed a lot.
That’s how faith acts. It speaks about the coming event as if it has already happened. Though they cannot see, since the thing does not yet exist, they talk about it as if it does exist, and they can clearly see it with their imaginations. Faith is the exact opposite of practical reasoning, and it does not waver. Faith does not swing back and forth from belief to unbelief and back again. If God said it, He is fully capable of performing what He has said, and He, Himself, dances with you when you believe Him for impossible dreams!
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13).
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth (Luke 18:8)?
14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (Romans 4:14, 16).
Who are the heirs of this world? Are they the “goody-two-shoes?” The ones who keep all the rules and perform all the rituals? Well, that leaves me out! I really want to do everything just right, but I find I simply can’t do it. When I should be turning left, I find myself turning right. I meant to say one thing, and out of my mouth popped something else.
Thank goodness none of these things make me qualified to be an heir of God, a fellow heir of Jesus Christ. By my faith I am a child of God. All we who are born again are children of Abraham—by our faith, not by our behavior. Abraham set the precedent, and what he inherited, we inherit. He believed God when He promised impossible things, and so they came to pass. Our faith works the same way. When we believe God, even though all we can see is impossibility, we receive.