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Football Faith

I’ve been posting about the need for our faith and actions to line up together. That’s where we see God’s power at work in us. It’s time for God’s people to start living out their faith.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. That’s a great thing to trust in. But if you really believe it, then you’re going to let someone know that you feel that way.

I live in the Boston area. It’s no secret that the people around here believe that the New England Patriots are the greatest football team ever. Because of that, in the fall, on any given weekend, no matter where you go you’ll hear people talking about them. That’s what happens when you truly believe something. It affects how you act and speak.

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
James 2:24

We are saved because we trust in Christ. His blood was shed for our sins. But is believing enough? What does the Scripture say?

…that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10

There has to be both the faith and the actions working together. Believing alone won’t save you. There has to be a confession, out loud, from your own lips.

When the Holy Spirit works on your heart, He causes faith to arise in you. That’s actually what conviction is. It’s when you believe that something’s wrong with your life and there’s something you need to do to bring about a change.

When we come to Christ in repentance, we’re acting on what we believe. We need help, and the Lord is the only one who can give it to us.

But salvation is not the only area where faith and actions need to line up. Whenever we’re trusting God for something, we need to walk it out. Look at James’ example.

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?
James 2:25

This is in reference to Israel defeating Jericho in battle. Before the fight, Israel sent spies into the city. This account is told in the book of Joshua, chapter 2.

If you read that chapter, you find out that everybody in the city believed that the God of Israel was the true God. They believed that God was going to give the whole land to Israel. But of all the people in Jericho, only Rahab acted on what she believed.

She hid the spies on her roof. By protecting them she secured safety and protection for her family. Her faith and her actions worked together for her good. That’s why James concludes this section with this summation.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:26

We need to be a people who operate with a living faith. That means that it’s not just in our hearts. It’s a faith that people can see by our actions and hear from our lips.

Question: What’s an example of how your faith and actions have worked together?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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What is True Biblical Faith?

Many people talk about faith.  Few live it out to its full potential.  It all comes down to how you perceive it.

Is faith a single response to Scriptural teaching, or is it more than that?  The next four posts will deal with this important concept.  If you haven’t yet done so, take the time to subscribe to this blog via e-mail so that you won’t miss any of these life-changing installments.

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
Hebrews 10:39

Whether we want to admit it or not, faith is an on-going process.  In our society we like to “set it and forget it.”  That’s not the case with Biblical faith.

Faith is a walk.  It’s the path God leads us on from godlessness to perfection.  We start out our lives with no knowledge of Christ or His Word.  God takes us from where we are to as far as we’re willing to travel with Him.

What we find in this walk is that along the way there are always choices. These choices come at regular intervals – usually when we least expect them.  These points are like forks in the road ahead.

It’s then up to us whether we accept or reject truth when we see it.  Each new piece of knowledge comes with a choice.  Do I trust God and His Word, or do I continue in the old direction I was headed?

It may sound like a “no-brainer” as to which path we take, but based upon my experience, it’s a little more complicated than that.  We sometimes tend to stick with what we’re comfortable with, even though it’s wrong.

Choosing to trust God in a new way is a big step.  There are those who come to a hard decision and simply stall out.  There are others who start out trusting the Lord, but then when the going gets rough, they “shrink back.”  Why do we find it so hard to totally surrender to God’s will?

This is the problem – faith is an uphill climb on an icy slope.  When we come to a new choice and decide to stop, we begin to slide backwards, whether we intended to or not.  In the above verse, the word destroyed means ruin or loss.  Just standing still causes us to lose the ground we’ve already gained.

In our Christian walk, you have to put effort into it just to stand still.  If you want the power of God’s salvation working in you, then you have to keep moving forward.

Where are you in your walk with Christ?  What choices are you wrestling with?  If you find yourself at standstill – where did you stop, and why?  Most Christians don’t deal with these questions because think that faith is a one-time event.

Make it your goal to make the tough choices and then keep moving forward in Christ Jesus.

Question: What’s the hardest decision that you’ve ever had to trust God for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Faith

 

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