What is a life of faith? Roy Blizzard @ Joppa Church 2/2/2014

What is a Life of Faith?

Roy Blizzard III © 2014

Now that we know what the definition of Faith really is in a first century Jewish context, what does it mean for us to be Faithful? What is Faithfulness? Who is Faithful to who and why is Faithfulness important to our spiritual growth. Can we ever be “saved” without it? What is the relationship of Faithfulness to Kingdom?

Romans 1:17 (KJV) For therein (in the gospel of the good news of Christ) is the righteousness (or the right way of doing things) of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

This is a quote from Habakkuk 2:4. So how do we live by Faith or Faithfulness as we learned last week? Well let’s ask ourselves a question, “What attributes does a Faithful person exhibit? Where do we look for these things?  Well, David was a man after God’s own heart but was a murderer and more. Was he ultimately Faithful? Yes. How was this possible for David and all these others in the Bible, and in our own lives, to be Faithful when horrible things may have been done? In a two words, repentance and forgiveness.

As a married person in the earthly realm we are called to be faithful to our spouse. How do we do this? We spend time with them and not others. Can we be unfaithful to God in our hearts? Absolutely. Just as we can look upon a woman to lust after her we have sin in our heart by looking on other things lustfully, such as cars, money, power, etc. Anything or anyone that takes the place of God in our lives will cause us to sin and not be Faithful. God is Faithful to us and we are in turn to be Faithful to Him. It is reciprocal. The same as in our marriage. It isn’t a one way street.

The attributes of a Faithful person are seen by their creative fruits just as the attributes of a killer are seen in their destructive acts. So what are the “fruits” of a Faithful person? These are laid out in Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. These are the end products of a Faithful existence.

Let me read to you from Psalms 19:7 ff The law (or instruction) of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

These Fruit of the Spirit are revealed in our lives when we do not presume and disregard God or when we are not selfish and instead care for the spiritual condition of others more than our physical existence of ourselves and what others may think about us. We have to truly care for the spiritual condition of our fellow men.

Does marriage have fruit? What is our relationship to God? Does it bear fruit?

If we are Faithful in walking with God and begin to exhibit the signs, wonders and fruit of our walk and God’s existence within our own life, likewise it will be reflected within our earthly relationships. Remember, Jerusalem first then the nations. If we are concentrating on everyone else and not spending any time with our own loved ones, how can this be holy or Faithful?

To be Faithful to someone means you have fallen in love with them because you want to spend time with them. To the Jews of Jesus’ day, the greatest form of worship and praise was to study the Word of God. So Love is actually equal to the Study of God and His word in order to get it down into ourselves to the extent that it becomes one within us. In other words we begin to experience God. Isn’t that also how we fall in love with and stay in love with our spouses? Absolutely!

1 Corinthians 13:13 (ASV) 13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

Why is Love greater than Faith and hope? Because God so Loved the world that he Gave his only son to save us. Jesus said in John 14:15-17  15) “If you love Me, you will observe (perform) My commandments (mitzvoth – acts of kindness or good deeds within the purposes of the Kingdom as commanded by God, love one another).” [John 13:34 & 35]

16) “And I will request from My Father and He will give you another comforter (one who is called near or invited in to be an advocate for and to aid another – paraclete-Greek) who shall dwell with you in perpetuity.” {Avot 4:13. Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob used to say: He who performs one commandment acquires for himself one advocate (paraclete), while he who commits one transgression has gotten for himself one accuser. Penitence and good deeds are as a shield against punishment. Rabbi Eliezer ben Jacob was a Tanna of the early 1st century right after the last of the Zugot – Hillel & Shammai ; quite possibly a contemporary of  Yeshua}

17) “It is (the comforter is) the spirit of truth which the world is not able to remove its mark in that it doesn’t perceive (see) Him and doesn’t (intimately) know Him, but you know Him (intimately) because He has settled down to abide among you and even more so He will exist within you.”

Remember Genesis 32 when Jacob wrestled with God until God blessed him? This is how fervent we should be with God and our Spouses! We should wrestle with whatever it is that is preventing us from being blessed in our marriages, and in our churches and in our relationship with God. These issues can only be fought in the Spirit.

Jesus wasn’t a preacher but a teacher. He taught us about God and how to become one with him and our fellow man. Proverbs 22:6 teaches us to, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This means about 12 years old.  So when we become adults we have to train our children in how to have an intimate relationship, not just sit around and play Nintendo, do drugs, and beat our spouses. We have to have been trained to be Faithful.

We have to begin to “ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) because you are spending time with God and you’re building a relationship so you won’t be ashamed of Him or Deny Him! Look at Peter. He spent at least about one and a half years with Jesus and he still denied Him!!!! Did you ever wonder why?

Faithfulness is very similar to loyalty.

These sign will follow them that believe. What signs? Signs and wonders are physical manifestations of God’s presence here on this earth. God empowers us to be his hands extended upon the earth to touch others and to train them, not just wave our hands over them, pronounce them saved and then move on to another.  God is in the relationship business. His Spirit will draw men to him through us.

We enter into Faithfulness by way of a covenant, a Blood Covenant, struck all the way back into the Garden of Eden. This covenant is what seals God to us and us to Him.

God’s presence was with Israel day and night and went before them when they moved. Why wasn’t Israel Faithful? They abrogated their Spiritual and Fleshly power to others, such as Moses and Aaron just like Adam and Eve did to HaSatan. They let someone else take their power and failed in their duty to work on their relationship with God.

When people see us do they see the hope of Glory within a Faithful walk? When a man asks you do you have an answer? You should. “Seek and ye shall find,” the children of Israel failed to seek and they didn’t find. Do we do the same?

Psalms 119:1-12 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 12) Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.” Why is this so important? So we won’t be unfaithful. When we are Faithful and do what is right before God our Mountains will be removed in our lives. We need to let these mountains be removed voluntarily by God. Let’s give them up to God…to God, and let’s have Faithfulness-Faith.

The Joy of the Lord will be your strength. The pain, suffering and heartache, etc. are the mountains that can steal your Joy and destroy your Faithfulness. When you begin to concentrate on the mountains that you see with your earthly eyes you begin to exist in the flesh and not in the spirit and it is in the spirit that these mountains will be removed. Do you hear me? It is when you are existing in the spirit that God can remove the mountains that are crushing your earthly existence.

Let’s look finally at Job. Job is not a story about suffering. It is a story about success. In fact it is the oldest success story we know of. But the fact is that Job was Faithful. No matter what the earthly message was around him, death, suffering, pain, loss, etc. he never gave up being Faithful to God.  Because he was Faithful to God and loved God more than anything, God restored to him many fold. He refused to curse God and die in the midst of his turmoil because he kept his eyes on our God and not his problems.

“Choose this day whom you will serve” is not an idle statement. We have to make a choice to BE Faithful. It is a choice we make in order to remove those mountains instead of being crushed under the weight of the world. We can either choose to go around our problems by existing within God or we will be destroyed. There is no middle ground.

When we keep our eyes on the prize, in Faithfulness, we win. Choose Life and Joy Today.

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