Understanding, Growing and Becoming Strong in Faith

Here is the patience of the saints; here are THOSE WHO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD and the FAITH OF JESUS. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may REST FROM THEIR LABORS, and THEIR WORKS FOLLOW THEM.” (Revelation 14:11-13)


THROUGH THIS APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE, MAY ALL GOD’S MINISTERS & PEOPLE:

  1. UNDERSTAND HOW GOD GIVES AND IMPARTS FAITH TO BELIEVE HIM
  2. BE ESTABLISHED STRONG IN THE OBEDIENCE AND FAITH OF CHRIST
  3. GROW IN CHRIST, FROM FAITH TO FAITH
  4. USE THEIR GOD-GIVEN FAITH TO OVERCOME AND ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD

UNDERSTANDING HOW GOD GIVES AND IMPARTS FAITH TO BELIEVE HIM

FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD AND FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT.  GOD’S PEOPLE RECEIVE THIS GIFT WHEN THEY HEAR THE WORD OF GOD PREACHED AND TAUGHT BY FAITH.  

IF IT IS RECEIVED BY FAITH, THEN THAT FAITH IMPARTED WILL EFFECTUALLY WORK IN THOSE WHO HEAR AND RECEIVE IT BY FAITH AND PROOF WILL RESULT IN OBEDIENCE TO THE WORD AND THE END RESULT IS ETERNAL FRUIT.

Hebrews 11:1-3 – FAITH IS God’s Substance Given to Man to Believe

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

2 Corinthians 4:12-14 – FAITH IS a Spirit

12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

Romans 10:8-17 – FAITH COMES when people hear the word of God (not the wisdom of men) preached and taught by faith, by those who die and have died to themselves

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): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

I Thessalonians 2:13 – IF FAITH IS RECEIVED, it will begin to effectually work in you.

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

Hebrews 11:30 – FAITH IS NOT UNDERSTOOD by the “Natural Man”, for they are foolishness to him.  Faith is only received by the Spiritual man inside the reborn believer.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 

Hebrews 4:2 – IF FAITH IS NOT RECEIVED, it will not profit you in the eternal things of God’s Spirit, Kingdom, and glory.

For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

I Timothy 4:6 – GOD’S MINISTERS MUST CONTINUALLY HEAR MESSAGES THAT NOURISH THEM IN WORDS OF FAITH.

If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

Galatians 3:1-3 – IF PEOPLE STOP HEARING MESSAGES PREACHED AND TAUGHT BY FAITH, then they naturally default into trying to do works for salvation, and try to accomplish the work of God in their own flesh and understanding.  This is why Jesus said take heed what you hear.  The measure you give it will be measured back to you – either for good or bad (Mark 4:24)

1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith

3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?

Acts 17:10-12 – SEARCHING AND RECEIVING REVELATION OF GOD’S WRITTEN WORD produces faith.  This is why we study to find out what God’s word says and then we teach and preach it by faith. 

10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

2 Peter 1:16- STUDYING THE “MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY” is vital to increasing our faith. When God’s word reveals mysteries to us about times and seasons and tell us of things to come despite the circumstances, then we have the faith to speak to those circumstances and change them into what God says.

16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 – GOD’S FAITH (WHICH HAS NO DOUBT AND INSTANTLY BELIEVES WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MAN) CAN BE IMPARTED to you to do signs, wonders, and miracles.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:


BE ESTABLISHED STRONG IN THE OBEDIENCE AND FAITH OF CHRIST

Romans 5:1-5 – WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH. No matter how long we have been disobedient to God’s word, the moment we repent and begin to walk in obedience of God’s word by faith – we are justified.  Yet, this is a daily decision.

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 16:25-26 – OUR OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S COMMANDS proves we have faith, or have responded in faith.

25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

JAMES 2:14-26 – FAITH HAS DEEDS, demonstrating Gods’ word is alive and active within us.

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?

21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Hebrews 11:8-9 – FAITH TRUSTS GOD, not our own understanding, even if it means waiting.

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 

9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Hebrews 11:11-12 – FAITH REGARDS A FAITHFUL GOD, not the circumstances.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

Hebrews 11:22-28 – FAITH SEES AFAR OFF, and does not look at the temporal.

22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones. 

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command. 

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 

28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 – WE WALK BY FAITH. Not only does our faith have deeds, by our entire life is governed, ordered and directed by our faith in the prophecy, sound doctrine, and wisdom of God’s word.

6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

2 Timothy 2:11-19 – Faith reminds God’s people to stay faithful to the Lord and to depart from iniquity.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 

16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 

19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

Habukkuk 2:3-4 – LIVE BY FAITH DAILY, even as the vision and work of the Lord is being manifested and revealed piece by piece.

3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. 4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Romans 3:21-31 – THE LAW OF FAITH ESTABLISHES US.

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Hebrews 11:17-19 – FAITH PASSES TESTS, knowing the God we Serve Will Perform His Promise

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Colossians 1:22 – WE MUST CONTINUE IN FAITH, established and firm.

22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

2 Corinthians 1:23-24  – FAITH MAKES US STAND

23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith you stand.

Jude 1:3 – EARNESTLY CONTEND FOR OUR FAITH

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

I Timothy 5:8 – FAITH PROVIDES for their own family and relatives

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

 


GROW IN CHRIST, FROM FAITH TO FAITH

Galatians 5:22-23 – FAITH IS A FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT THAT BEGINS IN SEED FORM. It must be watered by the preaching and teaching of God’s word.  Only God’s word can produce faith which is why we teach and preach as much of God’s word from the eternal pulpit as possible, knowing every word spoken by faith produces more faith. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Romans 12:3 – A MEASURE OF FAITH is given to every person by God. Every person MUST understand this.  God has already deposited His ability in each person who will repent the divine and supernatural ability to believe Him in ever-increasing measure. Jesus said “nothing will be impossible to those who believe” (Matthew 17:20)

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Mark 11:12-26 HAVE FAITH IN GOD.  It’s God’s gift to us to believe Him, both for confession unto salvation and to walk with God every day.  That’s why God gave faith to us, so we could walk with Him and be like Him. Yet, don’t let the devil get you into unforgiveness or strife and shut down your walk with God.

12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”

And His disciples heard it. 15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.

20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

22 So Jesus answered and said to them, Have faith in God. 

23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Luke 8:22-25 – FAITH IS ALREADY GIVEN, BUT MUST BE EXERCISED. Start using your faith to pray for every little thing you can.  As you see God answer bigger requests, your faith in God will grow.

22 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 

25 But He said to them, Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

Matthew 17:14-19 – LITTLE FAITH with doubt cannot deal with the devil that is coming against you, but little faith without doubt can.  In this text, when Jesus is telling them they have so little faith, He is implying they could have more faith.

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have SO LITTLE FAITH. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Matthew 8:23-27 – LITTLE FAITH has fear, but faith that knows that what God has said He will fulfill in our life will be accomplished.

23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”

26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of LITTLE FAITH?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Hebrews 11:29 – Faith Causes You to Pass through Circumstances that Drown Others

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

Matthew 15:21-28 – GREAT FAITH goes beyond seeking God’s mercy. GREAT FAITH is persistent.

21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” 

23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 

28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, GREAT IS YOUR FAITH! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Luke 7:1-10 – GREAT FAITH RECOGNIZES & RESPONDS to God’s authority. (Just like people who heard about 2 people dropping dead at the feet of Peter and who hoped the shadow of Peter passing by could get them healed.)

1 Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 

3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, 5 “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

6 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. 

7 Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such GREAT FAITH, not even in Israel!” 

10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.

Galatians 2:20 – BEING A LIVING SACRIFICE, by offering our body a living sacrifice unto God and renewing our mind daily increases our faith (Romans 12:1-2).  This is we crucify our flesh daily – keeping it under subjection, fasting, and living by faith and not by our natural senses.  People who have not learned to die to themselves daily are usually those who struggle most with their flesh and their faith.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

2 Corinthians 10:14-17 – GOD’S MINISTERS ARE GIFTS GOD USES TO ENLARGE FAITH. While the faith of the individual grows most in their own relationship to God, Paul knew it was his responsibility to help God’s people enlarge their faith.

 14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, 16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.

17 But “he who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

Romans 1:16-18 – As we continue to learn the things (and deep things) of God, follow the Spirit and obey the scripture in words and actions and be zealous for good works, our faith goes from faith to faith.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Acts 6:1-8 – In this text you will notice a few things.  The apostles stayed in the word of God (study and given to reading and doctrine), to prayer, and to ministry of the word. First, many priests became obedient to the faith as a result.  Second, Stephen was a by-product of the faith of those who were living unto the Lord and was a man full of faith (and power) and doing great exploits as a result.

6 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 

3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people


USING OUR GOD-GIVEN FAITH TO OVERCOME & ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Hebrews 11:5-6 – Faith Pleases God and He rewards it

5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

JAMES 2:5 – God desires all to be rich in faith. Yet only those who are willing to pass up the things of this life will become rich in faith.

5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

Ephesians 2:1-9 – Faith is a Gift of God’s Grace, and not of works, and used for salvation (living unto God) and doing every good work

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

I Thessalonians 2:2-4 – FAITH IS WORK

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.

Philemon 4:6 – Our faith is toward the Lord, all the saints, and sharing our faith with unbelievers.

I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:3-8 – FAITH PRODUCES GOOD FRUIT.

3 We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; 7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.

Romans 1:11-12 – Faith mutually edifies

11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Acts 11:19-24 – Faith encourages people in the Lord.

19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

22 Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. 23 When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord. 24 For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

Acts 3:16 – Use your faith in the Name of Jesus to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out devils.

16 And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

Hebrews 11:4 – Faith causes you to Excel in God for All Eternity

4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

Hebrews 11:7 – Faith believes & heeds the Warning Signs of God & Prepares Accordingly

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Hebrews 11:20-21 – Faith Blesses

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

Hebrews 11:31-34 – Faith protects others, subdues kingdoms, works righteousness, obtains promises, stops the mouth of lions, quench violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, become strong out of weakness, become valiant in battle, turn to flight the armies of aliens, women received their dead raised to life again.

31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Hebrews 11:34-40  – Faith is what keeps God’s people enduring through difficult trials

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 

36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.


A FINAL WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT 

BY FAITH, CONTINUE TO ABOUND IN WHAT THE LORD IS GIVING YOU TO DO DURING THIS CRITICAL TIME.  OUR EVERY DEED IS PROMOTED BY FAITH.  PRAY, PLAN AND SENSE THE SPIRIT OF GOD LEADING YOUR STEPS.  WHEN YOU KNOW GOD HAS GIVEN YOU SOMETHING ELSE TO ACCOMPLISH, CAPITALIZE ON MOMENTUM.  WHEN YOU GET INTO A GROOVE OF THE WORK OF THE LORD, IT’S A WAVE OF GOD’S SPIRIT, HIS FLOW, ANOINTING AND CREATIVE ABILITY – IN ORDER TO PREPARE AND LEAD BILLIONS OF SOULS TO CHRIST AND INTO THE MANIFESTATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND MAKING DISCIPLES WHO ARE DAILY GROWING INTO THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST.  A PEOPLE MADE READY FOR THE LORD AND WILL LOVE HIS APPEARING!

HEBREWS 6:9-12 –  IMITATE THOSE WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE inherit the promises.

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 

11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

HEBREWS 4:13-15 – HOLD FIRMLY TO THE FAITH WE PROFESS.

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

Hebrews 10:37  – CONTINUE TO LIVE BY FAITH

“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

I JOHN 5:3-5 – FAITH CONTINUES TO KEEP THE COMMANDS OF GOD.

3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Ephesians 1:15-23 – PRAY DAILY FOR GOD’S POWER to work toward us and in us, and reign victoriously so God’s people will fill all things in the earth.

15 Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Galatians 5:5-6 – FAITH SEEKS TO EDIFY other believers, while we wait for Jesus

5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

I Peter 1:3-9 – KEPT BY POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH, until we receive the end of our faith when Jesus comes.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 

that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Luke 18:1-8 – PRAY ALWAYS

18 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”

6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Sal, Servant of the Lord

Preparing God's elect for the time and coming of Jesus Christ.