Without faith it’s impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). The defining quality of a genuine Christian is faith. Most church-goers assume they have it, but few do. Faith cannot be manufactured; it’s born of God. Faith is initiated at the point of
surrender to the will of our loving God, and it grows the more you surrender to that will. Christianity is a process of more and more surrender of self to God’s way.
Faith works by love
The underlying issue that measures genuine faith, is love. Faith works by love. God is love, therefore, you can’t express agape love unless it is of God, not of you. The problem is, the modern church is confused by love. The church has adopted the world view of love being unconditional. If you were homosexual or sleeping around with multiple partners, you would support the view of unconditional love because then everyone would be obligated to let you do what you want and still have to love you. The church has been duped by this humanistic philosophy. It’ easy to ignore sin and call it love; it’s much harder to confront it in love. These days if you confront sin in someone you are judged unkind and unloving, and giving correction is considered unloving…. evidence that the church is false. As in the days of Ahab and Jezebel, the true church is hidden away waiting for an Elijah to challenge and confront the prophets of Baal (Malachi 4:4,53).
There is no fear in love (1John 4:18)
This doesn’t mean that if you suffer fear you are not in love. Faith isn’t evidenced by no fear, but rather by trusting Christ through our fears so that His love surpasses our fear. Trying to manufacture “no fear” is selfish, not faith.
To walk in love you have to walk in the law
Faith isn’t measured by being nice to people, it’s measured by death to self. Love is defined in the Word of God as keeping His ten commandments (John 14:15, Matthew 19:17-19). Death to self is constantly surrendering to His ten commandments, and this is true love (Luke 14:26). The false church devalues and mocks anyone who sets their course by the old rules, but Jesus endorses the ten commandments as the pathway to eternal life (Matthew 5: 17-19). Keeping the ten commandments isn’t love, it’s the evidence of your love. Love is Law + Jesus. Judaism is Law without Jesus. In fact, Jesus is the law, because the law is the truth (Psalm 119:142) and Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). True love is a deep inner gratitude for what God has done for you by sacrificing Himself for you and shedding His blood to save you from the penalty of your sins. If you really love God you’ll really want to honour His ten commandments, and when you fail you’ll quickly repent to show God you do really love Him; just like any child would do towards their parents if they truly loved them. The false church doesn’t love, it turns a blind eye to sin. The false church merchandises its goods, merchandises with the world on sabbath, covets what the Jones’ have, and tolerates sin. Disregard of the law is evidence of no faith.
Faith grows by death
Faith isn’t measured by good works alone. Sin is not measured by deed, it’s measured by faith. Whatever is not of faith, is sin (Romans 14:23). Sin is also measured by breaking God’s ten commandments (1 John 3:4). Therefore, faith is directly linked to honouring the ten commandments. Good deeds don’t prove you are saved , and bad deeds don’t prove you are not saved ( eg. David). True good deeds are actually death deeds; ie. you give up what you want because you love God more than you. If you don’t die to your self you cannot be His disciple; that’s why there are few remnant. False Christians love Jesus second. False Christians love popularity. False Christians love Jesus and the world too. False Christians don’t want to look bad. False Christians love the philosophy of grace … they can excuse their sin. Genuine Christians are always persecuted by false Christians. Genuine Christians are always misunderstood by false Christians.
You have to be under authority to find faith
The Roman centurion in Matthew 8 knew the meaning of respecting authority and Jesus acknowledged his great faith. Today’s generation has been taught to be their own authority … No one’s going to tell them what to do. The god of education has elevated the minds of this generation to believe that what they think is the truth, is the truth. False Christians may be obedient, but in their heart of hearts they look down on the corrector and anyone that doesn’t make sense to their way of thinking. False Christians appeal to grace instead of surrendering to God’s faith.
Most Christians don’t know how to repent
How do you get to love God? The answer is, you repent of your sin. Repentance generates love and this love generates faith. Repentance is the proof you love God. False Christians don’t know they’re sinners, they think they’re good and they think they have repented of their little sins. Jesus came to save you from the penalty of your sin, so if you don’t know you are a sinner you’re not saved. The measure of your sin isn’t based on your bad deeds, it’s based on your heart (Matthew 15:19); it’s based on the hidden envies, self-righteous attitudes, and judgmental opinions of others … stuff that sits hidden deep in the crevices of your heart, unseen and unacknowledged until Jesus exposes it and brings genuine conviction.
So what’s repentance?
Repentance is the combination of owning the sin, taking the punishment, not blaming another party, grateful for His mercy and deeply grateful for His sacrifice. Repentance is actually backing down and giving up your rights of being right. It might be negotiated in the head, but it comes from the heart, and it can only be born in you by Christ Himself. You are responsible to repent but you can’t make yourself repent, it comes from God and it’s imparted to you when you unconditionally surrender to God ‘s way and will.
Until you’re truly grateful that Jesus died on the cross to save you from the penalty of your sin, you’ll never find faith, because that’s love, and it’s expressed as God FIRST in everything (the greatest commandment).
When Jesus comes, will He find faith? Luke 18:8
Pastor Ray Bourke