Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Side Effects of Faith

In my previous blog, we discussed the importance of Biblical faith, what it is, and how we receive it. In a nutshell, our faith is increased by reading the Bible in a way that allows it to penetrate our heart, and by obeying God. The result of this faith is that we please God and are saved from His wrath! Although these two benefits of faith make it priceless, there are several important side effects of faith on our lives here on earth.

What are the side effects of faith?

U       Faith improves our lives:
The prophet Habakkuk told us in 2:4 (NKJV), "Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith,” and Paul told the believers in Corinth that “we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7-NKJV). The Complete Jewish Bible puts it this way: “we live by trust, not by what we see.” Clearly, God wants us to live by believing and trusting in Him.

Parallel parking is an earthly example of acting by faith and not by sight. After lining up with the car in front of the space, we begin to back up while turning the steering wheel to the right. At just the “right time” – there are a variety of opinions about what the “right time” is – we turn the steering wheel to the left. If you are like me, sight tells me that my car will hit the other car if I start turning to the left at the “right time.” However, if I continue “by faith” and do what I learned to do, the cars will not touch each other, and I will be parked correctly on the first try. Parallel parking by sight, on the other hand, often does not work out so well as shown in this video

In the same way that parking by faith improves our parking, living by faith improves our life.

U       Faith makes us justified, or considered to be righteous by God:
Paul told the believers in Rome that “a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28-NKJV). On our own, we are not righteous in the eyes of God because we are all guilty of breaking God’s laws. Through our faith, or trust in Jesus Christ, we are seen as being justified by God.

U       Faith gives us peace with God through our justification:
The Bible tells us that “having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1-NKJV). Who does not want peace with God? Our justification through faith gives us an opportunity to leave behind the restlessness that comes from being at odds with God.

U       Faith helps us stand against the devil:
In Ephesians 6:16, Paul describes the devil’s work against us as though it is fiery darts, and faith is a shield that extinguishes them. Through faith, we can live a life where Satan’s intrusion into our lives is greatly diminished. If you are tired of the devil constantly intruding into your life and your thoughts, faith is the answer.

U       Faith allows us to overcome the world:
The apostle John tells us that “whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5-NKJV). The world is a difficult place, but our faith can keep it from overcoming us.

U       Faith can bring healing:
Although God does not always heal our physical infirmities, sometimes He does. If you have ever experienced or seen a miraculous healing, you know that God exists. James tells us that “the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:15-NKJV). The healing is not just our new life as a child of the living God, but it can also be physical healing. This healing comes through “the prayer of faith.”

U       Faith allows Christ Himself to live in our hearts:
In Ephesians 3:17 (NKJV), Paul prays “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”  What is more important than Christ in our heart? His presence within us can only bring us closer to God, and help our daily walk with Him.

U       Faith guards us for salvation and the inheritance reserved for us in heaven:
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 1:3-5 (NKJV),

“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, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. “

As if salvation was not enough, God has reserved an inheritance for us in heaven!

How do I get more of the side effects?

As mentioned above, faith is a gift from God that can be increased by reading the Bible in a way that allows it to penetrate our heart, and by obeying God. It is really just that simple. If you want more of the side effects of faith in your life, just follow these steps every day:

U       Read the Word of God
U       Believe the Word of God
U       Obey the Word of God

You can hear the entire message, "What About Faith?" here:
Part 1:

Part 2:

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