THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL (24)
FAITH IS THE SUPPORT AND THE PROOF OF HOPE
During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the power of the Gospel. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” … What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness…(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; 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.” 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. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 1:16, 17; 4:1-5; 4:17-25)
FAITH AND HOPE IN GOD’S PROMISES ARE ALWAYS FULFILLED Abraham discovered the power of faith and hope in God’s promises; faith and hope never fail! He will never be put to shame, disappointed, regret having faith and hope in God Almighty!
PROMISE – a vow to do something good in the future! God’s Promises give us the right to hope until the manifestation comes!
FAITH is defined as (present) belief, confidence, total trust in God. It is also faithfulness (faith is not on and off; it continues faithfully to the end of life. All the ‘heroes of faith’ kept their faith to their last breath. We need to do the same.
HOPE is defined as a joyful constant expectation of good in the future. The promises given by God in His Word will become manifest visibly. Hope is invisible. Faith sees the invisible hope and carries on until it becomes visible. Hope fulfills faith. That is why hope is stronger than faith. Faith does not backslide! Faith is not a coward! Faith pleases God! (Heb 11:6)“But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul… Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]” (Heb 10:39, 11:1; NKJ; AMP)Faith is – present active verb – means I exist, I am; Substance –Give substance, confirm, validate, support under, justify, uphold; Evidence – proof, documentation, testimony, manifestation… Faith is the foundation of hope. Faith is connected to the hearing of God’s Word. It is the underground bridge leading and supporting hope. True faith and hope in God will never put you to shame! They will never disappoint you! Faith and hope can never become bitterness. These are fruits of the Holy Spirit working in your heart. It is worth it to take ‘risk’ with God! God knows that you are trusting Him and waiting on Him. “Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us… Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame” (Rom 5:5; 10:11).
THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM
*Abraham believed that God has justified him, that he is a child of God. God’s approval cannot be earned. It is by Grace! Out of this basic faith the overflow of faith manifests that God will answer other prayers. Only a child of God can believe the supernatural promises of God! Faith never takes the first step. Faith is a reaction the Word of King Grace! Never focus on faith alone. You cannot manipulate faith! Faith has a living vision! “Look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2)*The Faith is Abraham is the pattern of approved faith for all believers! *Faith trusts the bare Word of God! Faith does not need other supports to believe God’s promises! Faith is pure and connects with God’s Word! Unbelief is sin and an insult to God! ‘Whatever is not from faith is sin’ (Rom 14:23)*Faith acts on the Word. God changed his name from Abram (exulted father) to Abraham (father of nations); Sarai (Princess) to Sarah (mother of nations). From the time God changed their names, they too addressed themselves as Abraham and Sarah! By faith, Abraham left his family and hometown not knowing where he is going (Heb 11:8). True faith has action and fruits! *Faith is born, manifests and grows in the presence of God. Faith relates to your personal walk with God, with your holiness, with faithfulness and daily obedience to God’s Word. You need to read and study the Bible daily, fast, pray and serve God. Be faithful in attending church services, for ‘faith comes by hearing. and hearing comes by the Word of God’ (Rom 10:17). You need to learn the ‘holy skill’ of staying, abiding and walking in the Center of the flow of the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Spirit, kill the misdeeds of the body. Flesh lusts against the Spirit and is addicted to doubt, anxiety, restlessness, and worry. You need to walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16). Disappoint the flesh! The spirit will rise! *God called Abraham when he was weak. Sarah was already barren (Gen 11:30). God’s Grace comes in your weakness and stirs faith!*Faith does not deny the problems. Abraham knew that he and Sarah have serious challenges to have children. Naturally, it was impossible! Abraham was hundred years old. He was as good as ‘dead’. Sarah’s womb at ninety, was also ‘dead’. Abraham looked above the problems and natural limitations, towards the Almighty God who promised children and is able to fulfill the promises. Faith does not deceive itself but totally trust God. Faith masters all impossibilities! Faith is always accompanied by testimonies! Worship the Lord!
Prophetic scripture: “Love never fails!” (1Cor 13:8) The word ‘fail’ in Greek it means: ‘Love will never be hissed out of life’s stage, like a bad actor.’ Love never ends but lasts forever! Love God and love your neighbor! That is the taste of heaven!