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[Gospel][slideshow]

Let Your Faith Be In God



 People are to repent from dead works and turn to Faith directed to God. You can not overcome sin, turn away from dead works without faith towards God. The fall of man and all that resulted are because man moved from faith towards the wisdom, provision, counsel and instruction of God.

When God made man he gave him the licence to eat of every tree in the Garden He had given him. When it concerned the issue of life, there were two trees at the centre of the garden indicating that they represented the core and essence of man’s life. Of these two one was the tree of Life and the other was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 


This means that man did not need to go anywhere for life but to the tree of life. Life was only in God or in this wisdom of God in other words. Out of His love God did not force man to focus on the tree of life but gave him with these, the special power of choice. 

Having told man that life was only in the tree of life which represented Him, He gave him the choice to look everywhere else for life if man did not believe in what God had said. Man tried to find other means of life and this was because he chose not to believe in God. 

This is man’s original sin, choosing not to have faith in God. Because of this man was removed from the garden and hence from life. God allowed man to try and find life and all that he needed through their own means. 

Man has put his faith in different things like money, his mind, his wisdom, creation and different things but all has been dismal. The result has been death and its impact ever increasing. Its grip has always been getting stronger than in the preceding generation. 

In man’s entire quest for life, because it was taking longer for man to get the lesson, God gave men the law and promised life in keeping the law completely and not erring in any way.

 Man zealously went and tried to keep the law from his effort and ability and the result was more death. He was missing the point that life was only in God. When God saw that man was now getting the clue from many failures, He brought back the tree of life.

 He provided a means of saving man and giving Him a chance to start afresh. This plan is what begins with salvation and repentance from dead works followed by a new start through faith towards God. Faith towards God is God’s original plan for mankind.

FAITH TOWARDS GOD: THE MEANING.

Faith was never a problem to man even after the fall but this particular kind of one directed towards God was. The bible teaches in the book of Romans that this faith comes at salvation when one has heard then Gospel. It comes by hearing the Gospel.

So then Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. [Romans 10: 17]

The Gospel shows us that for salvation, it was all God and this now reveals to us God’s original plan. Life is all God just like our salvation. When one hears the Gospel and is born again he is born into a new paradigm and this is a transition from faith to a particular faith. The Apostle Paul describes this telling us what the Gospel does.

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith. [Roman 1: 16-17]

Take note that it is from faith to faith. The Gospel takes us from a faith that man after the fall has been living with. When man got the Law he attempted to go for it and obey it because they had faith in their ability to do it. 

They had faith in themselves but the Gospel reveals God’s way of saving man and this takes the believer from faith in themselves to Faith directed towards the saviour. The bible calls the new particular kind of faith differently.
 It calls it The God Kind of Faith [Mark 11: 22], The Faith of the Son of God [Gal 2: 20], Our Faith [1 John 5: 4, Hebrews 12: 1-2] and the most holy faith [Jude 20]. It is another kind.

From the background which we have just gone through, the bible teaches us to turn our minds from trying to earn favour from God by our own efforts and turn to God for everything. This faith is what the writer to Hebrews talks of. He writes to us that this is faith directed to God,

For without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to him must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. [Hebrews 11: 6]

His words seem to be extreme when he uses the word impossible. There is nothing that man can originate to please God that can really do so. It is not a matter of what we bring to God but the origin of what we bring. 

In our best efforts, what we do is way below the standard of what God expects and deserves. He measures all that we bring with what Christ did and brought before Him yet this Christ talking about Himself said,

Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself.[John 5: 19]

God does not answer to anything other than faith. Since without this particular faith nobody can please Him, the writer immediately after this phrase describe the kind that pleases God as having two components, characteristics or properties if not three. 
He says that whoever that comes to him must
 a) Believe that He is, 
 b) A rewarder and 
c) of those that diligently seek Him.

a) BELIEVE THAT HE IS
Newer versions translate this part to, believe He exists. [niv]. In doing this we lose the essence of this faith and are robbed of the power that is carried in this truth.

 Our heading is the best translation. When Moses was sent to Pharaoh and the Israelites, at first he was reluctant to go. He asked God of His name so that he would go with the name of the one that had sent him.

God said unto Moses I AM THAT I AM.... thus you shall say unto the children I AM has sent you. [Exodus 3: 14]

He meant that whatever they needed HE IS. Taking I AM to the second person would be HE IS. If God says I AM and you are talking about Him, what will you say, HE IS of course. 

So the writer to Hebrews tells us that whoever that comes to Him must believe that HE IS. Faith looks to God and trust in God for everything. There is nothing that is relevant and needed by mankind that He is not. 

He is the source of all things. This is the essence of the tree of life. It was standing to provide for all that man needed for life. When man was tempted and began to think otherwise, the result is the misery, frustration, chaos, disaster, pain and all the bad that we see in Adam’s world. 

With all the activity in this world that is done outside of the power and aid of God, Jesus said Verily; verily l say unto you, the son can do nothing of Himself, but what he seeth the Father do. [John 5: 19]. He believed that all that he needed to know and do His Father was.

It is sad to hear many ministers of the word say; you don’t need faith for what you can do on your own. This is heresy. When man thinks he can do something on his own without God he has gone back to where Adam and Eve missed it and the result is clearly evident when you look at those who are not living by the new rule.

 We have to repent from depending on what we have learnt before and look towards God for everything. Faith looks towards God for all things understanding that HE IS all in all. Jesus to illustrate this said,

All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers. [John 10: 8]

He is telling us that all that came to teach you about life before Jesus came into your life were thieves and robbers for they were robbing you of the true life which is only by Faith towards God. The Law is included here for it demanded from man to do without showing the way. 

This is why Jesus called John the Baptist the Greatest prophet in the Old Testament. All the other prophets were bringing words of demand from man who had faith in themselves yet John came with a message that was pointing to Jesus as the only way and the only source of ability and grace to please God.

Walking with God throughout the Old Testament we see God manifesting Himself to different people in different circumstances. In all these circumstances He was giving a small clue of who HE IS and He would reveal Himself and His name saying, I AM The Lord Who heals , provides, protects, fights, is there, sanctifies, and many other things.

 Jesus went on as the complete manifestation of God and was not afraid to declare His Name saying I AM The Good shepherd, Light of the world, the Truth, And the greatest of them all THE LIFE. If HE IS the Life then all who do not believe in Him and have Him, what do they have? Death! 

If He is the Life then He has the keys to everything for true life. True Faith believes that God who manifested Himself in Christ is All in all. He is all, even knowledge and wisdom that is taught in schools, colleges, universities and different institutions. Paul talks about Christ saying,

In whom are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. [Col 2: 3]

The best knowledge in every field whether History, Science, Information Technology, Medicine, Sport, Politics and all that you may think of is in Him. There is never an activity or endeavour that you do not need God. God is all. Whatever you think you need about health, wealth, marriage, sex, sport, family, education, discovery and technology, HE IS.

b) HE IS A REWARDER
If I am to ask at a political gathering or a football match how many of the people believe that God can heal a sick person, more than half will agree that He can. 

It takes more than believing that He is but also that He is a rewarder also. This is the part of faith where many miss the point. Many believe in who God is and the ability He has in many things but a few believe He is always ready to be that to them. 

The Good news of the Gospel and the provisions of God actually reveal that these provisions of all that God is and can do have been put in the reach of anyone. Because this is so, faith goes beyond knowing and believing that God is everything that man would need and want for well being, enjoyment and life to the understanding that He is ready to reward anyone with this.

 All that we have in the word is not all there is about God but it is His complete revelation of God to mankind. All that has been revealed in the word is all that man would need for a perfect and ideal life.

The major challenge that has taken mankind is that they have a wrong image of God. They take what they have experienced out of ignorance as their ideals and standards. What they see in man is what they project God to be. According to their experience, it is so difficult to get things from God and there are many difficult requirements for one to deserve anything. God is not a respecter of persons but of faith.

When many people pray they can spend a long time talking of who God is and never personalise that for rewards and wonder why they are not getting anything.

When someone is sick, they may spend days praying and saying, God you are a healer, a true healing God. If God would answer them, He would say Yes, that is truly who I am. Faith goes a step further to claim that He has provided the healing and acknowledges that He has rewarded the person with that. This one would pray saying, I thank you God that you are a healer and have provided healing for me therefore I take it to be mine now.

Mark 11: 12-14 has a story of Jesus getting to a fig tree expecting to find fruit and finding nothing. Jesus knowing who He was and that because of that the season was supposed to be due because he wanted it to be. According to this portion the fig tree spoke lack to Him and the word said he answered back saying,

No man shall eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. [Verse 14]

The following morning passing by it the disciples realised that it had dried from the roots and reminded Jesus. Jesus’ response pointed to the key to the exploit saying

Have faith in God.[verse 22]

This is our subject. He then describes how it operates saying,

Whosoever shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, whatsoever things you desire when you pray believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. [Mark 11: 23-24]

He said one had to believe that God is able to do it and believe that it will come to pass. There is no doubt about his willingness to do it. Faith knows that he is ready to do it and is so willing based on His revelation of Himself on the cross. 

There is no good thing that He is not ready to give you for goodness is His nature. The other portion says that one is supposed to believe that it is granted to them and they will get it in [AMP]. This is acknowledging God as a rewarder. Many pray expecting nothing in return and that’s what they get. True faith knows that God will reward. 

It never says, if it is your will, for it knows that His will was revealed in Christ. Jesus getting to Lazarus’ grave after Lazarus had been dead for four days shows us that he believed that God was a rewarder. Standing before the open tomb, He prayed saying,

Father I thank you that you have heard me, Yes I know you always hear and listen to me. [John 11: 41-42 Amp]

He knew that God was a rewarder and was so confident in His prayer. Many live their life saying they just live for God and are after nothing. If you walk with God not expecting any rewards then it is not faith. 

When you chose worshipping God above other things it means there is something that you do not want and something you want. What you want is the reward that you will not get in any other way. Be Like Jesus and know that God, your Father always hears you.


c) THOSE THAT DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM
When many read this part they think that their faith only works if they are ‘good’ people. Many hearing about those who seek him diligently would think that for their faith to work they have to be always seeking him with long hours of prayer and fasting. 

We don’t fast and pray for long hours with a walk denying ourselves of pleasure in order to be rewarded by God. These are important but that is not what he is talking of.

 Many think when things are not happening as the word says then they are not praying enough. When the writer is talking about diligently seeking him he is talking about our attitude towards God. This is an attitude that Jesus spoke of to the Samaritan woman saying,

God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth. [John 4: 24]

This is the attitude that is called diligently seeking Him. Worshipping in spirit is walking with him in an attitude that honours him for who is, being first and all that we need in all that we do. When we now talk of worshipping in truth we are talking of doing it according to the way he has revealed himself not according to what we think is worship. 

Jesus said I am the truth, so Jesus is the revelation of God to us and it is Him that revealed how God was to be worshipped. From this understanding we learn as taught earlier that this diligence is not man using His effort to obey the law but only trusting in all that he has given us in Christ.

Diligently seeking Him is the attitude that we will have towards him and from what we have been learning in this teaching it is seeking him and Him alone for anything and trusting in that and that alone. The issue of diligently seeking him is enclosed in a principal virtue called honor. 

You are only rewarded by what you honour. One cannot talk of rewards without talking of honour. When you honour a principle of sowing the right seed, at the right time and under the right conditions you will be rewarded with a harvest. 

Honour is the ignition of faith. Faith towards God is activated when you honour God by looking up to Him and Him alone for everything. This is a life that one can never run away from, Honour and Rewards

In the midst of the Garden of Eden there were two trees and what Adam would honour determined what he would get. He honoured the words of the Devil over the words of God. He just said, God’s wisdom is not good enough. 

Every day of our lives we always have two trees to chose from, life and death. What you honour will determine what you get for in everything that you do, either you are living or dying. Chose to honour the Doctors’, Politician or Economist’s testimony and you die. Choose the testimony and word of God and you will live. Honour asks the question below and responds to it in like manner.

What if some did not believe and were without Faith? Does their lack of faith and faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and his fidelity [to the word]? By no means! Let God be found true though every Human being is false and a liar. [Romans 3: 3-4]

Jesus in all his ability and power could not do some things. Whenever honour was not there, Jesus hands were tied. This He testified in His own words in His home town

A Prophet is not without honour; but in his own country, among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them and he marvelled because of their unbelief. [Mark 6: 4-6]

He equated failure to honour him with unbelief. Faith towards God honours God for who he is. It acknowledges Christ as the only saving revelation of God. There is no honouring God without honouring Christ. He taught this principle to His disciples saying,

He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. [Matthew 10: 40-41]

This is so strong. Jesus is teaching among many things that He can be what you honour Him to be. If you honour him to be a prophet he will be that to you and this is all that he is to all the religions of the world. 

Kingdom citizens are those who honour Him as God and that who He is and that is what they will get. All who do not receive him and honour Him as God are missing out on the rewards that he has for those who honour him as God like Salvation. Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is God is going to hell.

Many miss out on God by failing to honour the vessel that He is using. When you fail to honour whom God has sent, it is not only dishonour to the person but more importantly to God who has sent Him. You are only rewarded by what you honour. Faith is not faith without honour.

Faith towards God believes that HE IS (all that man needs) Outside of Him there is nothing that man needs, so if it is not in and from Him you do not need it. It also believes that God rewards anyone (irrespective of age, sex, race, or history) who comes to Him in Honour of who He is. He is not a respecter of persons but of faith.


Copyright © Tonderai Goncalo [All Rights Reserved.] 
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