Text: Galatians 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. Even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the Faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Message: Having faith in Jesus Christ and not in the law of the lands
Doctrine/ Teaching: Faith.
Response: That the holy bible teaches us to have faith in Jesus Christ at all times and in all situations.
About a year ago, I was almost brought up on a court case regarding land that I had purchased in Yangon, Myanmar. Three months after purchasing the land, I received numerous letters from the city council informing me that the neighbor's complaint about me grabbing a portion of land that belonged to the public. I, therefore, rushed to BCA (Building and Construction Authority) and City Council office where I obtained the notification letter. I underwent numerous negotiations with neighbors as well as appealing to the government official that I purchased it in a correct measurement. In fact, I almost gave up knowing that my huge investment had gone down the drain. During this very difficult time, I almost lost hope, until one day while watching the television, I saw people dying of hunger in South Africa on UNICEF TV program. After this incidence, I gathered courage, went down on my knees and prayed to the Lord to grant me hope and faith and thanked Him for life. I read Hebrews 11 and other faith-related scriptures again and again. Since then I gathered faith in Christ, and later I won the case, and now it is authorized and registered under my name, and this is when I promised myself never to lose hope in Christ again. This meant several things:
First, we need to have faith in Christ despite the situation or time.
Secondly, we need to pray and believe every time, and not only when we are in situations, but also when we are comfortable and happy. We need to thank God all the time.
Thirdly, we should learn that every situation we face, there are people who have gone through worse situations, and thus we need to build not only a strong faith in Christ but believe that He will rescue and deliver us from every situation that we face in our day to day lives.
As Christians, we have the capacity to guide our brothers and sisters towards having faith and believe that Christ can handle everything. On the other hand, we should build a strong pillar in Christ where we read the Bible and pray every day so that we do not lose our way from Christ.
The Meaning of Faith in our Christian live
Faith is viewed as the act of developing confidence, trust, or belief in the abilities or intentions of a person, idea, or object in the lay mans language.
In Biblical terms, faith is the act of developing confidence and trust in the living God and Christ that He will guide, protect, and provide for us in times of need and despair.
Faith is essential to please God.
I believe all Christians may be familiarized with this verse in Hebrew 11:6. Without faith, we cannot please God at all.
Faith is the assurance of things that we hope for and the conviction of things we have not seen. I would like to use an analogy of Cash. Lets say if you have fifty bucks, $50, in your hands, you cannot eat the $50 note itself. However, you could go and buy something you want to eat, and you can enjoy eating the things that the $50 could buy. Now faith could be seen as the substance of things we hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1 KJV).
Faith can be inherited.
We have inherited our father Abrahams faith through Christ.
In Galatians 3:6, Paul uses Abraham as an example of the faith that we should develop in God. Abraham was referred to as the father of faith, due to his belief and trust in Gods promises and words. Abraham was promised by God, that he would be blessed with a son, despite his very old age and being married to a barren old woman. It is in this belief that he was able to bore a son at the age of 99 years.
According to Pauls teachings to the Galatians, he reiterated that faith requires justification which is not in the lands legal practice but in Biblical terms, where it teaches in sticking to the beliefs of the teachings and acts of Jesus Christ. Christians in this perspective are required to walk the talk and not only declare by word of mouth that they believe and have faith in God. Paul asserts that; those who walk in the Spirit, those who have been justified by faith will inherit the Kingdom of God (Gal.5:16-21). Let me share a bit about the history of our family line in term of faith. In 1900, American missionaries came to our country especially our province. The governor who was an unbeliever at that time persecuted my great grandpa and entire family until my great grandfather flees from the land altogether with his family. He established two villages in which only Christians are living in today. Eventually, my grandfather became a very faithful believer and follower of Jesus Christ. So does my father and nowadays, five of our siblings are serving the Lord as full-time ministers following our ancestors footstep of faith. I would say in the heritage of their faith.
Faith has to be associated with obedience.
According to the scriptures, Pauls letter to the Galatians again laid emphasis on faith, and he was quoted saying that; faith is not simply acknowledging the veracity of facts. Instead, faith in Galatians is closely associated with an obedient walk in the spirit. Christians in this perspective are urged to walk in the same light so as to witness restoration and inheritance of the Kingdom of God. Faith on the other hand, should not just be practiced, but it should also be justified in the sense that acts of Christians and the Word of God should go hand in hand. This means that one is expected to walk the talk and not just declare by word of mouth that he or she has faith in God. Having faith is a very great deed as it is one of the major gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ taught during his stay on earth.
We must live by faith.
We must have and live by the faith of Christ.
We must have faith in us. Faith is referred to as a gift of the Spirit (1 Cor 12:9). Therefore, faith is given to us to live with and use and to multiply. One reason for this is that faith, our belief, and trust in God is seen to come from ourselves and not as a product of the Spirit of God within us. And its true that faith toward God comes with repentance which is before receiving the Holy Spirit. Faith is elsewhere referred to as a gift of the Spirit as I mentioned above. The book of Galatians itself says that we must have and live by the faith of Christ (Galatians 2:16, Galatians 2:20). In Revelation 14:12, it says that Gods true servants keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
We can keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus by receiving the Holy Spirit. In fact, the answer involves different degrees of faith. Our initial faith towards God comes before receiving the Holy Spirit, though even this is in response to what God shows us in life and the help that He gives us to believe. But upon receiving the Holy Spirit, God the Father and Jesus Christ dwell within us those who are believers, changing our character from the inside. This includes significantly increasing the persons faith.
Increasing our faith towards God
Increase your faith. With deeper faith, a person shall be led to 100% trust God with regards to the blessing for the obedience of His law and the consequences for disobedience. This can make us obey the Lord our God from our hearts and be able to accept repentance whenever needed. It is called living faith saving faith and comes through the Holy Spirit of the living God.
1. In conclusion, it will be inevitable to state that faith is the fundamental pillar in Christianity as it is the building rock of the church as stated by Paul during his teachings. Given the knowledge that Christ during his resurrection and ascension into heaven, He left Paul with the key to the church, and it is in this regard that Christians should emulate his teachings and stand by the word of God. We should also practice faith as depicted by Abraham, who was named as the father of faith by God due to his strong faith in Gods promises and words. Without obedience, faith is absent, and without obedience, faith is not present. This is to mean that Christians should learn to have and live by these two virtues in their day to day lives and act on them according to the teachings of the Bible.
2. Faith can be seen in our action of faith What does it profit, my brethren if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
3. Faith in the Word of God is faith in the teachings of Christ which also translates to faith in the church where Christians are required to live and act by the teachings. Christians have an obligation to adopt good deeds and also help their neighbors as well as learn to obey the commandments of God in line with justifying their faith in God so as to experience the righteousness that is drawn from the teachings of Christ as well as ensure that they learn to seek forgiveness in equal measure. Let us all Christians learn to live in togetherness as faith is the rock that is made up of all the virtues that partake for one to become a Christian. Christians should also learn to not only declare by word of mouth that they have faith but by deeds that reflect upon their justification as emulated by our father of faith who is Abraham and Christ who died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Faith is, therefore, building on the belief that Christ is capable of anything and nothing is impossible with the Lord Jesus.
B. Lets recap from what we have learned in this message of God.
1. We need to have faith in Christ, pray and believe every time not when we are in need of something. As Christians, we have to believe that our Lord will always save us from any trail that we shall encounter in our daily lives. Faith is crucial to please God and be able to abstain from temptations that we encounter in daily lives as Christians. Since faith can be inherited and is important to live by the faith of Christ. Faith is an assurance of things that we hope for and the conviction of things we have not seen, and it has to be associated with obedience.
2. The apostles said to the Lord in Luke 17:5, Lord, Increase our faith! And the Lord said, If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, be uprooted and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.
Let us go in peace to love our God and spread His words everywhere in the world our mass has ended.
Dunn, James. Jesus, Paul, and the Law: Studies in Mark and Galatians. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1990.
Ellison, Mark. Curriculum Services. Salt Lake City: Religious Educators Scriptures Forum, 2012.
Hogg, C F, and W E Vine. The Epistle to the Galatians. Fincastle: Scripture Truth Book Co., 1921.
Morris, Leon. Paul's Charter of Christian Freedom. Downers Grove: InterVaristy, 1996.
Williams, Jarvis. "Justification by Faith in Galatians 2:16." Reformed African American Network, 2016: 1-8.
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