6/25/12 – “WHAT IS YOUR FAITH IN?”

Gal. 2:20 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.
Gal. 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

I have been preaching a message to our church family on “Walking In Bible Faith”. Too often in my life I can look back and see times where I thought I was walking by faith, but in fact I was not walking in Bible faith. I have also seen this to be true in many believers’ lives as well. One of the most important truths I have learned from my walking with God, studying His Word, and hearing great messages from people like Kenneth E. Hagin is the fact that most Christians only see faith as a way to get things they need. I certainly don’t mean to imply that is not one of the benefits of faith, but I have found in my own experience that when focusing on the need and trying to exercise faith to get that need met it doesn’t work very well.

The reason this is true is because the foundation for which faith was given is so that we are in fact living a life of faith, not just using faith when we need something, and then setting it aside. To live by faith means that every day we are trusting in God and therefore are not living the way those who do not know God do. One who is not born again is not walking by faith in the Son of God, but we should be. As I have learned one of the reasons our faith is not working is because the focus of our faith is in the wrong thing, and therefore we are not really walking by faith. Let me explain further.

If you examine your life as a believer how much of your faith is in the prayer you pray instead of the One you are praying too? How much of your faith is in how many people you have praying for you? How much of your faith is in how many times you confess the Word instead of the One whom the Word actually reveals to us? Another way to say this is a statement that the Holy Spirit gave me just recently as I was preaching on this subject. This is what He gave me as I was sharing from Galatians 2:20 above. Your faith should not be in your Christianity, but in the Christ of your Christianity.

This is what Paul was stating here in Galatians 2:20 when he declared that he had in fact been crucified with Christ, and therefore it was no longer he who lived. In fact he refers to Christ now living in him for Paul also penned a powerful statement in 1 Corinthians 6:17 that when one is joined to the Lord, they become one spirit with Him. That is what Paul is stating here in Galatians when he says that Christ now lives in Him. But then he makes another powerful statement that I believe is often overlooked. The life that Paul was now living in his earthly body he was living by faith in the Son of God. His faith was not in whether he could get enough people praying for him so that he might get a breakthrough. I am not discounting having others pray for you, but again my question is this; is your faith in the prayers of others or the God whom you are praying too?

Paul knew if one’s faith is not in the Son of God then there really is no biblical faith being exercised. Putting our faith in the Son of God is the key and we must have understanding of exactly what that means if we are going to walk in Bible faith. As 2 Corinthians 5:7 states we are to walk by faith not by sight. When we are walking by faith and not by sight our words and actions will be in line with what we believe. Yet how often do we claim we are “believing God” for something and yet our words and actions say something else?

Before we examine further what Paul meant by his faith in the Son of God, let’s take a moment to look back at a key word in verse 20 of our foundation scripture. That key word is “crucified”. When Paul stated that he was crucified with Christ, this is far more than just saying the old man died. His old man (spirit) had died, but this word when defined from the original Greek text is translated as: by the death of Christ upon the cross I have become utterly estranged from (dead to) my former habit of feeling and action. Think about what Paul was actually saying here from the original text. Paul was actually saying through the use of the word for “crucified” here that he had died to the habit of responding based on what he felt.

This is another way to say he was no longer allowing his feelings to dictate how he acted. Instead, his actions were now based on His faith in the Son of God. His belief was in what Christ had done for him, and this is what determined his actions, not his feelings. Just another way to say he was now walking by faith, not by sight. Before being born again all we knew to live by was what we felt. Our five physical senses were the factor that determined how we responded in life. But when you become born again and learn to break that habit where the Son of God is concerned, and based on what He therefore has promised you, then your actions are based on Him and His Word.

Gal. 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

So what does it mean to live by faith in the Son of God? We see here in the next verse right after Paul made that statement something very important that relates to living by faith in the Son of God. To set something aside would be for example to put it out of sight, it is not something you are looking too. Out of sight, out of mind. Paul said he did not do this and then he reveals what he was referring to in connection with the grace of God here. He was referring to “righteousness” which is the foundation of the believer’s faith. When one puts their faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for them, they receive a gift from God, the gift of righteousness. Why is this so important? Because if you understand what this gift has done in your life, you begin to see how faith has no problem in believing what you now have a right to because of God’s righteousness.

Rom. 5:17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ!

The gift of righteousness is just that, a gift. A gift is something you cannot earn. This gift is received by putting your faith in the death, resurrection, and accession of Christ. Righteousness means right standing with God. This was all made possible when our old sinful nature died, and we had birthed within us a new spirit. Here in Romans Paul states that if you have received this gift of righteousness then you are to reign in life through what Jesus has done. Think about that. The word reign here means to rule. We are to rule over the things we face in this life, they are not to rule us. If we are ruling in this life that means life’s circumstances don’t control how we act, nor what we say. One who reigns in this life is walking by faith and not by sight.

This is why not setting aside the grace of God in which righteousness comes is so important. Setting this gift aside would mean that we have not taken time to focus on and get understanding of what righteousness is and how that has affected our life. You see it is our lack of understanding of this right standing with God that hinders our ability to exercise our faith in what we as children of God have a right to, all because of what Jesus did, not what we have or haven’t done. When you faith is in the Christ of your Christianity you are basing what you say and do on what He has done. When we start basing our faith on our own works, we are not going to walk in Bible faith.

Does that mean it doesn’t matter how I live or what I do? In today’s times you have to address this issue when you talk about trusting only in what Christ has done for you, and not your own works. This does not mean that scripture does not teach us as believers about living a life of good works, which refers to a lifestyle that brings glory to our God. Galatians 6:7-8 clearly teaches us that we will reap what we sow. If we sow to our flesh we will reap corruption. If we sow to the Spirit, we will reap life. Walking by faith and not by sight is putting our full trust in the works Christ did, but it does not mean that we can live in blatant willful sin and not suffer the consequences of doing so. One who truly begins to walk by faith sees things through the eye of faith and therefore does not desire to live in sin.

2 Cor. 4:18 Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting.
2 Cor. 5:7 For we walk by faith [we a regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.

Walking by faith does not mean you don’t see, it means you see beyond what is in the natural, and with the eye of faith you see what the Word says is already so. When you live by faith what is seen in the natural cannot hold your attention nor bring you down. It is not what you focus on. There is no worry, fear, doubt, nor unbelief, just an absolute knowing that what Christ has done for us is done, period. Seeing with the eye of faith does not see things as maybe one day if I keep believing it will be so, for in the eyes of God and the believer who walks by faith it is finished.

As I stated earlier this all comes back to fully understanding who you now are in Christ because He has made you right with God. If for example you were from a wealthy family but grew up in another home not knowing your real name nor knowing you were from such a family, you could not receive what you have a right to by birthright. So it is as a child of God, you must get revelation in your heart as to who you now are in Christ. You can do so my looking at every verse in the New Testament that refers who you now are in Christ Jesus. There are many such verses in the Bible such as our foundation verse Galatians 2:20. Feed on these verses until they become a reality to you and you will begin to walk in your rights as a child of God as you learn to put faith in the Christ of your Christianity.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

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