Lord, Increase our Faith


Faith is one of the three most important things for Christians to have in 1 Corinthians 13:13. This study focuses on what the Bible says about our faith, and how to grow it. We are going to look at four things.
1. What is Faith, in its Three Aspects?
2. How Faith can Increase (or Decrease)
3. Answered and Unanswered Prayer
4. The Audacity of the Incarnation

"And the apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.' So the Lord said, 'If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you." Luke 17:5-6

Was Jesus in effect saying, "Yes I will increase your faith", or "No, because you don't need me to increase your faith", or something different?

"...And he [the father] said, 'From childhood. and often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.' Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.' Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'" Mark 9:24

How can we have faith and unbelief at the same time?

Jude 20 says, "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on our most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit."

Are these two commands, and if so, how does a Christian keep from disobeying them?

It can be heard to obey Jude 20 if you do not understand what faith is. The Bible says a many things about faith.

The object of our faith

Disciples and crowds put their faith in him. Jn 2:11; 7:31; 8:30; 11:45; 12:11; 14:12
Have faith in God. Mk 11:22
Faith in the name of Jesus. Acts 3:16
Faith towards Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21
"that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." 1 Cor 2:5

Faith is binary: are you in or out?

"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith." 2 Corinthians 13:5
Worthless faith if deny the resurrection 1 Cor 15:1-14
Sound in faith. Titus 2:2
Obedient to the faith. Acts 6:7
Remain true to the faith. Acts 14:22
Some have shipwrecked their faith. 1 Timothy 1:19
Some will abandon the faith. 1 Timothy 4:1
Some have wandered from the faith. 1 Tim 6:10,21
They destroy the faith of some. 2 Tim 2:18
No value because did not combine it with faith. Hebrews 4:2

Can a person lose their faith? Can a person believe, and not be a believer?

Living by faith

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7
Live by faith. Gal 2:20; 3:8; Hab 2:4; Rom 5:1; Acts 13:39
Stand firm in the faith. 1 Cor 15:1; 16:13; 1 Pet 5:9
It is by faith that you stand firm. 2 Cor 1:24
We need to have a sincere faith. 2 Tim 1:5
Our faith is precious. Col 1:22-23; 2 Pet 1:1
Our faith is of greater worth than gold 1 Pet 1:7
Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb 11:6

Believers pursuing faith

Pursue, righteousness, godliness, faith. 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22

Measuring Faith

Measure of faith God has given you. Rom 12:3
Let him use it in proportion to his faith. Rom 12:6
Jesus criticized believers of little faith. Mt 6:30; 8:26; 16:8; Mk 4:40; Lk 12:28
Lack of faith. Mt 13:58; Mk 6:6; 16:14
Faith and unbelief together. Mark 9:24
Accept him whose faith is weak. Rom 14:1
Your faith can fail. Simon 22:32
Great faith of the centurion. Mt 8:10; Lk 7:9
Syro-Phoenician woman had great faith. Mt 15:28
Jesus will question our faith. When he comes, will he find faith on earth? Lk 18:8

Growing faith

As your faith continues to grow. 2 Cor 10:15

What faith does for you

Purified their hearts by faith Acts 15:9
Sanctified by faith Acts 26:18
Righteous will live by faith Rom1:17
Strengthened in the faith Acts 16:5
Faith is credited as righteousness Rom 4:3-24
Saved by grace through faith, not works. Eph 2:8-9
Justified by faith Rom 10:9-10
Believe and you will be saved Acts 16:31

Limits of faith: what it cannot do

Faith without works is dead. Jms 2:5-22
"and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." 1 Cor 13:2
"And now abide faith, hope. love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor 13:13

The power of faith

Your faith has healed you. Mt 9:22; 9:29; Mk 5:34; 10:52; Lk 7:50 (saved); 8:48; 17:19; 18:42; Act 14:9
Faithful Christians still get sick though. Galatians 4:13; Philippians 2:25-27; 1 Timothy 5:23
Faith of the friends, not the paralytic. Mt 9:2
Greater miracles than these. Jn 14:12
Cast a mountain into the sea. Mt 21:21; Luke 17:5-6

The Knowledge of Faith



As mentioned last time, one way of categorizing faith is by three aspects:
1. The Facts and Rule of Faith
2. Live by Faith
3. We will keep this as a mystery for now.

Today we will take a whirlwind tour of the facts and rules of faith. What facts do you believe? "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble!" James 1:19

Clement of Alexandria
(193-202 A.D.) "Whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God' -what you are commanded to do by the rule of faith." Stromata book 4 ch.15 p.427
Tertullian
(198-220 A.D.) "Now, with regard to this rule of faith-that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend-it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth;" Prescription Against Heretics ch.13 p.249.
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "That this rule of faith has come down to us from the beginning of the gospel, even before any of the older heretics, much more before Praxeas, a pretender of yesterday," Against Praxeas ch.2 p.598
Novatian
(250/4-256/7 A.D.) "The Rule of truth requires that we should first of all things believe on God the Father and Lord Omnipotent;" Concerning the Trinity ch.1 p.611

Key Aspects of Our Faith



Faith is much, much more than just facts and rules, but faith includes those also.


_______________________________________


D1. _________________________________________




D2. _________________________________________




D3. _________________________________________




D4. _________________________________________




D5. _________________________________________




D6. _________________________________________




D7. _________________________________________




D8. _________________________________________







_______________________________________




EP1. _________________________________________





EP2. _________________________________________





EP3. _________________________________________





EP4. _________________________________________





EP5. _________________________________________





EP6. _________________________________________




EP7. _________________________________________




EP8. _________________________________________






_______________________________________




AE1. ________________________________________





AE2. ________________________________________





AE3. ________________________________________





AE4. ________________________________________





AE5. ________________________________________





AE6. ________________________________________




AE7. ________________________________________




AE8. ________________________________________

Testing spirits and fruit



In the last session we discussed a brief outline of the core aspects of the Christian faith. But in sitting under a person's teaching, in working with others in evangelism, and in accepting others as brothers and sisters in the Lord, how do we tell who to be with?

"Having the form of godliness but denying its power: And from such people turn away! ... always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 3:5

"Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." 2 Jn 9-11 (NIV)

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) writes, "There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, 'Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.' And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, 'Dost thou know me?' 'I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.' Such was the horror which the apostles and their disciples had against holding even verbal communication with any corrupters of the truth; as Paul also says, 'A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.' [Tt 3:10]" Irenaeus Against Heresies book 3 ch.3.4 p.416


"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God; Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming and is now already in the world." 1 John 4:1


And yet, Mt 7:1-2 says, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." And then he talks about specks and planks. Lk 6:37 and Jn 7:24 say similar.

If that meant that we cannot judge anything, then we cannot be fruit inspectors who obey Mt 7:15-16a: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." We are commanded to judge other people's actions in John 7:24; 1 Cor 5:12; and 1 Cor 6:25.

We are to judge others in who we should spend time teaching: "Do not give what is holy to the dogs: nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." Mt 7:6

We are not to judge other people's worth or election, but we are to discern good and bad actions as 1 Corinthians 6:2-5 teaches.

Three Kinds of Errors - and how People Tell the Difference



What is the difference between a trivial difference, a secondary different, and a soul-perishing heresy? One way is a statement of faith. But what is the difference between a statement of faith that describers your beliefs and practices, and a statement of faith that defines your beliefs and practices? Some people define this wrongly, and while they are not heretics, they are schismatics.


Let's have a look at the Macrostich Creed, an orthodox creed written about 344/345 A.D.. We will have each person read one sentence, but to get the flow read your sentence all in the same breath.

Thumbs up or Thumbs Down



What about someone who says they are a Christian and has a different view on the following. Fill in the group that says this too.

Infant / believer's baptism by sprinkling, immersion.

If you are baptized as a believer, after being baptized as an infant, you are insulting God.

You can lose your salvation.

If you say the sinner's prayer, intellectually believe the Bible and what you said to be true, God guarantees you will be in heaven.

Choosing to have an abortion is OK.

Jesus was mighty God, but not worshipped as Almighty God; the Trinity is false.

I just left Islam after seeing Jesus in a dream, and I don't know anything about the Trinity.

Men can become just like God is now. (only white men prior to 1972 though).

Bread and wine: transubstantiation, consubstantiaion, remembrance, or mystery.

Practicing homosexuality can be OK.

Everyone not in our church is a part of the seeds of Babylon in Revelation.

Jesus rose from the grave; it was a glorious spiritual resurrection, not a bodily one.

Jesus did not die for our sins.

Jesus did not die on the cross for everyone's sins; He died only for the elect.

Those who believe the previous are in the heresy of Calvinism.

Those who think Jesus died for all are in the heresy of Arminianism.

A few people, like Jeremiah and John the Baptist, were born without any sinful nature.

The earth is 6,000 / 4.3 billion years old.

You must be immersed in water for regeneration to be saved.

You must speak in tongues to be saved.

Jesus had two distinct wills: human and divine. Jesus had one fused divine and human nature.

Evolution

Drinking alcohol


smoking

Bible verses are from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.



Girl who called saying we are judgmental

Q: In Mt 7:1-2, Lk 6:37, Jn 7:24 how are we not to judge others, since we are told to judge in Jn 7:24, 1 Cor 5:12, and 1 Cor 6:25?

A: The Bible approves judging actions, but not sitting in judgment on people. 1 Corinthians 6:5 uses a different Greek word, diakrinai, than the others for judge. It refers to a Christian arbitrator pronouncing judgment on a civil matter between Christians.

The Greek word used in the other passages, krinete, has a range of meaning. Matthew 7:1-2, Luke 6:37 says we are not to judge others (no mention of not judging things or actions). In other words we are not to judge the value of other people, judge how good a Christian they are, or how bad a sinner they are. Let God do that; we do not need to judge.

John 7:24 also uses the word krinete saying, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (NASB).

It is irresponsible to tell others Matthew 7:1 teaching abdicating all judgment, so as to disobey the rest of Matthew 7. We are to recognize dogs and swine (Matthew 7:6) and we are to be fruit inspectors in Matthew 7:16-20.

Concerning the murdering of others, the Holocaust, people having sex with animals and children, etc., some people might say we should not impose morality, or in essence not judge what is right and wrong. This is not what the Bible teaches.

See Now That's a Good Question p.163-164 and Today's Handbook for Solving Bible Difficulties p.369-371, and the New Geneva Study Bible p.1515 for complementary answers.

Q: In Mt 7:6, what did Jesus mean by not casting your pearls before swine (pigs)?

A: Do not take what is precious and give it to those who are not appreciative of it, and might use it to turn and attack you. This concept of not casting pearls is behind Proverbs 9:7-9, where we are not to try to correct a scoffer or wicked man. Jesus did not do many miracles before unbelieving people. Also, it is better for a person not to know the way of truth, than to know it and turn their back on it, as 2 Peter 2:20-22 says.

Let's look at the side range of possible interpretation, and then narrow it down to determine the best choice or choices are the intended meaning.

Casting could mean:

C1. Do not cast could mean do not force

C2. Do not nag

C3. Do not make any effort to teach

C4. Be very careful to never tell

Here the verb "cast" is active, so Jesus did not mean hide your pearls, or do not leave any pearls on the ground. Thus C4 is very unlikely.

Pearls could mean:

P1. Godly teaching

P2. The message of the gospel

P3. Anything of value, special privileges, or participation in sacred things Hard Sayings of the Bible p.370-371 has this view.

P4. It could also mean that when the church is being persecuted, do not expose other Christians by giving their names to just anyone.

Jesus taught moral teaching openly, so it probably does not mean P1.

Before swine could mean:

S1. Those who are not appreciative of these things (Hard Sayings of the Bible p.370-371).

S2. Those not ready to learn (The NIV Study Bible)

S3. Unbelievers who do not actively desire to learn

S4. Unbelievers who refuse to learn

S5. Gentiles (according to the skeptical Asimov's Guide to the Bible p.833-835) However, Matthew mentions non-Jews who believed, so it does not refer to Gentiles in general.

Swine was a derogatory term, so it is very likely the intended meanings include those who refuse to learn.

So the best choice may be C1 + C2 + C3, and P2 + P3, and S1 + S2 + S3 + S4.

See Hard Sayings of the Bible p.370-371 and Now That's a Good Question p.585-586 for complementary answers.


Live by Faith



Faith goes beyond reason, but not against it. Knowledge of the truth is an integral part of faith; and we have covered that. What about the aspect of faith that goes beyond knowledge? Let's explore today.

But first, to go with the last lessen there is one more test. Here is one more doctrine five early Christians taught. Can you discern if this is correct or not? "We are like God's chickens."

The righteous will live by faith: Romans 5:1; Acts 13:39; Habakkuk 2:4b

"I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who 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." Galatians 2:20

Mark 9:24 "Lord I believe, help my unbelief!"

"Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not cast it out?' So Jesus said to them, 'Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.'" Mt 17:19-21

Our Faith is Precious



What if a person has no faith? Hebrews 11:6
airplane ride. An atheistic physics professor

"To those who through righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:" 2 Peter 1:1b

"These [trials] have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:7-9.

Examples of Faith



We want to see how faith can increase or decrease. So let's look at both Biblical and non-Biblical examples of faith.

Sitting in a chair

What if we could all just physically see God now?

Soccer bunch ball

A child will fall in his father's arms

Charge of the light brigade (Oct. 25, 1854) 670 British cavalry supporting the Turks vs. 20 Russian battalions and 50 artillery pieces. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a poem on this.

How we evaluate risk (vs. the song's lyrics: 'we don't care no more')


Trusting God for your preserving your life


Henri Blondin - tightrope over Niagara Falls

A temptation of Jesus on wing of the temple (Mt 4:5-7; Luke 4:9-12)

Esther (Esther 4:16)

The three youths: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:17-18)

John Wesley onboard a ship.

Trusting God when in danger


Abraham (Gen 22:1-19). Yet Gen 12:11-13 and even Gen 20:1-2)

Hezekiah (Isaiah 37:1-7; 14-20; 2 Ki 19:35)

Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:25-29)

Elijah (1 Ki 18. Yet 1 Kings 19:3.)

Trusting God for health


Job (and his wife in Job 2:9)

Training your muscles: getting in shape

Trusting God for prosperity


Lottie Moon

Trusting God for your ministry


Elisha (2 Ki 2:10-15)

Jeremiah (only Jer 35 and 36:4 listened - then) Do we want to be "helpful" and edit God (Jer 36:23-24)

Ahimelech and the showbread (1 Sam 21:2-9; 22:13-23; Mk 2:26)

Faith gone bad


Gehazi, Elisha's servant (2 Ki 5:20-27)

Observations on Faith



_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

_________________________________

A Big Faith vs. Toughened Faith



"Peter replied, 'Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.' 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.'" Matthew 26:33-34


Polycrates of Ephesus
(196 A.D.) "I ... have read through all Holy Scripture, am not frightened at the things which are said to terrify us. For those who are greater than I have said, 'We ought to obey God rather than men. [Acts 4:19, 5:29]'" Epistle to Victor and the Roman Church vol.8 p.774
See also Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Ignatius (-107/116 A.D.) "I write to the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless ye hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments" Ignatius' Letter to the Romans ch.4 p.75

Evarestus
(c.169 A.D.) "The proconsul then said to him, 'I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent." But he answered, "Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.'" Martyrdom of Polycarp ch.11 p.41

Minucius Felix
(210 A.D.) "How beautiful is the spectacle to God when a Christian does battle with pain; when he is drawn up against threats, and punishments, and tortures; when, mocking the noise of death, he treads under foot the horror of the executioner; when he raises up his liberty against kings and princes, and yields to God alone, whose he is; when, triumphant and victorious, he tramples upon the very man who has pronounced sentence against him! For he has conquered who has obtained that for which he contends. What soldier would not provoke peril with greater boldness under the eyes of his general? For no one receives a reward before his trial, and yet the general does not give what he has not: he cannot preserve life, but he can make the warfare glorious. But God's soldier is neither forsaken in suffering, nor is brought to an end by death. Thus the Christian may seem to be miserable; he cannot be really found to be so. ...Yet boys and young women among us treat with contempt crosses and tortures, wild beasts, and all the bugbears of punishments, with the inspired patience of suffering. And do you not perceive, O wretched men, that there is nobody who either is willing without reason to undergo punishment, or is able without God to bear tortures?" The Octavius of Minucius Felix ch.37 p.196

What does living by faith look like?
- for you



Sometimes we have learned too much cynicism. Live in reliance on God. Fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Would you go out on a limb for Christ?

Do you really believe God's way is the best way?


"But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation - if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel." Colossians 1:22-23a

The Mystery of Faith



Faith has knowledge or head aspects, of what we believe. Faith has will or heart aspects, of whom, what, and how much we will commit to and put our trust in. But faith has a third aspect: the aspect of mystery. Faith goes beyond reason but not against it. Faith says even I don't have everything figure out, I still trust in Whom I know, even where I don't understand. Faith says I cannot predict God's action, or reaction to everything, but I still trust God everything.

Mystery in the Bible



Mystery is often mentioned in the Bible, though people often overlook it.

A past mystery now revealed

Past prophets and righteous men longed to see what we and the disciples see, but they did not. Matthew 13:17
Past prophets inquired and search carefully, but revealed to us. 1 Peter 1:10-12
The revelation of Jesus Christ was a mystery hidden for long ages past. Romans 16:25
"Having made known to us the mystery of His will, ... that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him." Ephesians 1:9-10
Made known the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:3-4) that Gentiles should be fellow heirs of God's promise in Christ through the gospel. Ephesians 3:6
The mystery of the gospel (Ephesians 6:19) now made known. Colossians 1:26,27
The mystery of Christ. Colossians 4:3

Present mystery to non-believers

"...To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables" Mark 4:11
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory." 1 Corinthians 2:7
[deacons] "holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience." 1 Timothy 3:9
"unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mys-tery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;" Eph 3:8b-9

Present mystery to believers

Mystery of our being changed in the twinkling of any eye at the last trumpet. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52
Great mystery of a husband and wife and Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:32
The mystery of the hardening in part of the Jews. Romans 11:25
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." 1 Timothy 3:16
"that their hearts may be encourages, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ," Colossians 2:2
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1
Mystery of the seven stars Revelation 1:20
In the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. Revelation 10:7

Mystery in God's promises

"They all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11:13

Mystery of iniquity

Mystery Babylon Revelation 17:5,7

Answered and Unanswered Prayer



Psalms: When God is silent
Jesus on the cross
What was Isaac thinking, carrying the wood?
Did Jesus think the cross might be like Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac? no
Fulgentius: The Cross as a battering ram
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
Asking vs. asking in faith. James 1:6-8
Praying boldly. Luke 11:5-10
Praying persistently: Luke 18:1-8
Perseverance: Was Naomi right?

Unoffended by the Unexplained



God answers some prayers, as "yes", some as "no", and some as "wait". When there is no answer, or not the answer we want, we might ask why. What if God gave you what you asked for? There are at least 21 reasons dealing with us, circumstances, and God.
Us:
1.
Praying to the wrong God, an idol. 1 Kings 18:26-29
2.
Requests should not be for spending on our passions. James 4:3
3.
Requests must be for good things. Mt 7:11
4.
Not God's will to have them. Mk 14:36
5.
We have to wait. Daniel 10:12-14
6.
Our prayers are vain repetition. Mt 6:7
7.
Must sincerely persist. Lk 11:5-10, 18:1-7
8.
We cherish sin in our hearts (Psalms 66:18-19), turn a deaf ear to the poor (Proverbs 21:13), or are wicked (Prov 15:29, Isaiah 59:1-3). God does not hear us when we choose not to hear God. Zech 7:11-14.
9.
We need self-control. 1 Peter 4:7
10.
Sin such as divorce. Mal 2:13-14
11.
Ignoring God and His law. Zechariah 7:13; Proverbs 28:9
12.
Ignoring the cry of the poor. Prov 21:13
13.
Inconsiderate of our wives. 1 Peter 3:7
14.
God will not hear if they are still worshipping idols too. Ezekiel 8:8-18
15.
Hands are filled with blood. Isaiah 1:15
16.
God knows what trials are best. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
17.
God disciplines. 2 Sam 12:16-18;22-24
Circumstances:
1.
In his time, God might grant the prayer, but now is not yet the right time. Hab 2:3
2.
It might be that we need to change in some way, or that someone else needs to change. 1 Samuel 1:10-12; Exodus 2:23-24
God:
1.
God answers our prayer as "no"
2.
God might be allowing us to be tested.
Sometimes
, as the book of Job and Daniel 10:2-3,12-14 show, we have absolutely no idea of everything that is going on behind the scenes. But we do know that our patience and persistence glorifies God.

- Bible verses from the NKJV.

The Audacity of the Incarnation


Imagine two angels talking in heaven right before Christ's birth. Can you imagine one angel asking the other what is happening, and the second saying "same ole', same ole'"? I cannot imagine that at all!


secret agent disguise
known but unknown
Heb 11 why without faith it is impossible to please God

Making Christ in their image
Jewish zealots
Muslims
Liberal
Mystery

Herod's Scribes and the Magi



In Matthew 2:3-6, did the scribes in Herod's court believe the Messiah would be born around this time (Daniel 9:20-27) in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)?

So did King Herod and his scribes go to see the baby Jesus, or was the distance too far for them? What did they say instead?

If it was too far (5 to 6 miles, 7 km) for them to come, what about the Magi from Persia?

What is the difference between a life of faith vs. fear, a life of thrills vs. faith vs. proof.


Can God use crooked sticks to draw straight lines?

What can't God do?

Bible verses are from the NKJV, unless otherwise noted.

Alcuin's Epitaph



Can you discern is there is anything wrong with this? If so, what?


Here, I beg thee, pause for a while, traveler,
And ponder my words in thy heart,
That thou mayest understand thy fate in my shadow:
The form of thy body will be changed as was mine.
What thou art now, famous in the world, I have been, traveler,
And what I now am, thou wilt be in the future.
I was wont to seek the joys of the world in vain desire:
Now I am ashes and dust, and food for worms.
Remember therefore to take better care of thy soul
Than of thy body, because that survives, and this perishes.
Why dost thou look for possessions? Thou see'st in what a little cavern
This tomb holds me: Thine will be equally small.
Why art thou eager to deck in Tyrian purple thy body
Which soon in the dust the hungry worm will devour?
As flowers perish when comes the menacing wind,
So also thy flesh and all thy glory perish.
Give me, I beg thee, O reader, a return for this poem,
And pray: "Grant, O Christ, forgiveness to thy servant."
I implore thee, let no hand profane the holy rights of this tomb,
Until the angelic trumpet announces from Heaven high:
"Thou who liest in the tomb, rise from the dust of the earth,
The Mighty Judge appears to countless thousands."
My name was Alcuin, and wisdom was always dear to me.
Pour out prayers for me when thou quietly readest this inscription.

From
http://scriptoriumdaily.com/alcuins-epitaph/
1/17/2016

The Knowledge of Faith - brief answers



As mentioned last time, one way of categorizing faith is by three aspects:
1. The Facts and Rule of Faith
2. Live by Faith
3. We will keep this as a mystery for now.

Today we will take a whirlwind tour of the facts and rules of faith. What facts do you believe? "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble!" James 1:19

Clement of Alexandria
(193-202 A.D.) "Whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God' -what you are commanded to do by the rule of faith." Stromata book 4 ch.15 p.427
Tertullian
(198-220 A.D.) "Now, with regard to this rule of faith-that we may from this point acknowledge what it is which we defend-it is, you must know, that which prescribes the belief that there is one only God, and that He is none other than the Creator of the world, who produced all things out of nothing through His own Word, first of all sent forth;" Prescription Against Heretics ch.13 p.249.
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) "That this rule of faith has come down to us from the beginning of the gospel, even before any of the older heretics, much more before Praxeas, a pretender of yesterday," Against Praxeas ch.2 p.598
Novatian
(250/4-256/7 A.D.) "The Rule of truth requires that we should first of all things believe on God the Father and Lord Omnipotent;" Concerning the Trinity ch.1 p.611

Key Aspects of Our Faith



Faith is much, much more than just facts and rules, but faith includes those also.

DOCTRINE
___________________________________
D1. HOLY SCRIPTURE: is the foundation of our faith. Importance: We are to take all of it seriously as our highest authority. Old Testament prophesied of Jesus. Authority: All of the OT is good, but some OT parts are fulfilled in Christ and we no longer follow, some parts are allegorical, dual meaning of some prophecies, unbelievers won't understand all of scripture, don't twist or corrupt the meaning of scripture. Canonicity: 39 OT books, 27 NT books. Roman Catholics, have others, Orthodox still others, and Copts others. Authorship: Moses wrote the Law, Paul wrote his epistles.

D2. GOD: One holy, good, loving, all-knowing, almighty, sovereign, omnipresent, righteous, wrathful God who cannot lie. The Trinity: One inseparable God in three distinct "persons": Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God's transcendence: God is a jealous God, has a Holy Name, Light, Most High God, the Godhead, Living God, immortal, invisible, unsearchable, spirit, incorruptible, eternal, Ancient of Days. God's Imminence: needs nothing from us, is just, judges, rewards, and punishes, is not mocked send evildoers delusions, can be offended, is merciful, patient, and full of grace. God is our protector, refuge, deliverer, rejoices over us. We can call Him Abba. His is the God of the Living, or Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all of Israel.

D3. JESUS CHRIST: deity, the Word, Timeless: eternally existed and will exist, all things created through Christ, only begotten Son of God, one substance with the Father. Incarnation: Son of Man, virgin born, born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, sinless, obedient and subject to the Father, incarnation, titles, purpose, dying on the cross, rising, from the dead, ascending to heaven, returning. Final sacrifice is finished. Mutual indwelling of the Father and Son. At the right hand of the Father, no one knows the Father except through the Son. Jesus' will was distinct from the Father's. Timeless Titles: Jesus is our Lord, King of Kings, Alpha and Omega, the Door, Image of God, the Rock, Light of Light, wisdom and power of God, Lamb of God, as a Lion. Incarnational Titles: firstborn, last Adam, God with us, High Priest, Shepherd, Physician, the Way, Truth, and Life, Bread of Heaven, Vine, from of Abraham, Jacob, Judah, David

D4. HOLY SPIRIT: is God, Person: The Holy Spirit is personal, addressed as "He", always existed, always will exist. The Holy Spirit is the paraclete, the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Truth. The sevenfold Spirit. Must not commit blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Work: involved in Creation. Gave us Scritpu8re, Christ was born of Mary by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is present now and dwells in us, seals believers, teaches us, is a gift. Our response: Be filled with the Spirit and live in the Spirit. We must not grieve the Holy Spirit.

D5. WORKING OF GOD: Creation: God made all things from nothing; they were created good. God imparted the breath of life, Garden of Eden with four rivers, tree of life, tree of knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve. OT Miracles: God translated Enoch without dying, Noah's flood, Old Testament appearances, Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses, manna, wrestled with Jacob, Hezekiah, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, etc. NT Miracles: Jesus, 5,000 raising Lazarus, apostles,

D6. PEOPLE: Always: Image of God, immortal souls. The Fall: Adam & Eve covered themselves for shame, we have inherited a sinful nature, reason was darkened, we are corruptible, we have broken cisterns, all have sinned, we are prisoners of sin, we are dead in sin, we have guilt, people are hardened. God's response: God wants none to perish, no salvation apart from Christ

D7. SALVATION: How given: Prophesied in the OT, God's gift of grace, only through Jesus' dying on the cross for us. Our salvation: We need to have faith, which is precious. WE are predestined, and we must choose. Believers are the elect, can have confidence. We are adopted as sons of God. Missing salvation: Even Jews who reject Jesus will perish. Believers are the elect of God. Some elect died before knowing the Savior. Others follow Christ for a time, yet perish. Some have shipwrecked their faith.

D8. ULTIMATE THINGS: Endtimes: The Antichrist has not come yet, many lesser antichrists, heresies, and persecutions, Jesus has not returned yet. Rapture, resurrection, Christ will judge the all, believers will judge angels, believers are sons of God, we will reign with Christ, Jesus return in literal clouds, Tree of life, tribulation, God's future temple in Jerusalem, every knee will bow to Jesus. Revelation-specific: Seven churches in Revelation, two witnesses, book of Life, the Best, the Millennium, devil and followers cast into the Lake of Fire, heavenly elders, woman Babylon, Two-edged sword out of Christ's mouth. Heaven and the new Heaven: God's throne and the heavenly host. Paul went up to the third heaven, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, reincarnation is wrong, the wedding banquet, believers who die are with God forever. Believers have crowns, New Heaven and new earth with the new Jerusalem. Angels: holy angels are servants of God, Gabriel, Michael, four living creatures. Hell and the Lake of Fire: some lost have more severe judgment, eternal fire, worm of the lost does not die, Lake of fire. Satan: or Lucifer is a dragon, serpent, deceives, fell from heaven. Satan Is the prince of this world, was a murderer from the beginning, appears as an angel of light. Demons: Fallen angels who deceive people, can possess people, and can be cast out.

EXPERIENCE
________________________________
EP1. EXPERIENCING GOD: Our body is God's temple, be pure in heart, seek wisdom, God corrects us, please the Lord, God renews and strengthens us, glory in the Lord, escape corruption, we are set free, faith like a mustard seed, children of light, none shall separate us from the love of God

EP2. PRAYER AND FASTING: Who: Pray to the Father, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit; don't pray to angels. Importance: Pray at all times, daily, What to pray (ACTS): Adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication (praying for yourself and others). Hindrances: God does not hear prayers of the wicked, or to spend on our passions. Deliver us from evil. Fasting overcomes hindrances.

EP3. WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD: Need to repent and come to God, obey and love God, God, follow Jesus, take up the cross, struggle to live a victorious life, put on the armor of God, faithful Christians still get sick and suffer persecution or martyrdom, martyrs are blessed, no sorcery, witchcraft, or magic, exorcism, live a worthy life, mortify the fleshly nature, we cannot serve two masters, losing your life and finding it, we are servants of God, we must persevere, we are the light of the world.

EP4. PRACTICE: Individual: Do not worship other gods or images or idols. Stars have no influence on people. Have patience; don't let the sun go down on your anger. Pure speech, forsake lies, and flattery. Do not get drunk. Eating meat (including pork) is fine. Do not be gluttons; avoid vain things and being lazy. Be godly, don't be a hypocrite. Keep the commandments of Christ. Loving others: Love all, your neighbor as yourself. Forgive others, even enemies. Turn the other cheek. Do not get revenge. Do not gossip, chatter, or slander, do to others as you would have them do to you. Do not murder, have an abortion. Care for the sick, practice hospitality. Love covers a multitude of sins. Show mercy to others; don't be cruel. Be peacemakers. Money and contentment: Do not love money, no stealing or dishonesty. Help the poor, widows, and orphans. We've heavenly treasure, don't fear earthly loss. Do not covet; be content with what you have. Be humble, not proud. We rejoice, even when afflicted. Do not give or take bribes, or take excessive interest. Don't be wise in your own eyes. You cannot serve both God and Mammon. Love of money root of all kinds of evil. Strive for godliness, not selfish ambition. Remember Lazarus and the rich man. Some make God's house a den or robbers. We should give offerings to the church.

EP5. CHURCH: As Christians sing hymns to God the Father or Jesus, musical choir, celebrate water baptism, Lord's Supper, Easter, no animal sacrifices, offering, learn from, encourage, correct, and warn other believers. Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are the body or Christ and the flock of Christ, the church of Christ, and the churches of god. Christian leaders should be obeyed. As the universal church, we should have unity, accept and greet those of other godly churches. But separate from heretics, unchristian authority, leads fallen into gross sin. There is the priesthood of all believers, but church leaders are shepherds under Christ the head of the church. A church has a pastor/bishop, elders, deacons, and assistants.

EP6. FAMILY AND MARRIAGE: Honor marriage where the two become one flesh; no extra-marital relations. Only marry a fellow believer. No divorce, except for unfaithfulness. We should be pure, modest, not watch violent or lewd shows. No homosexual practices or incest. Honor our parents, nurture our family, and train kids in the Lord. Do not love family more than Jesus. Celibacy is better than marriage. Remarriage OK after death of a spouse.

EP7. GOVERNMENT: Honor officials and pay your taxes. Obey the laws when not against God; disobey or change unjust laws. Do not help persecute Christians or sue others. Officials should be just. In God's providence we are citizens of heaven under Christ our king.

EP8. EVANGELISM: Kerygmatic: We're ordered to boldly preach the truth of the gospel and the Word of God to others. Share personal testimonies. Missions. Creative metaphors, poetry, and parables. Remind them of the promises of heaven, threats of God's wrath, that mortal life is short. Martyrs' blood testifies to the truth. Apologetic: Use questions and answer the questions of others, clearing up misconceptions and alleged contradictions. Show their misconceptions. Nature witnesses to God; appeal to science, history, the First Cause, only one is supreme, morality vs. evil in other religions. Use Psalm 110:1-2; Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Daniel's 70 weeks, Zechariah 12:10-12, and Micah. Polemic: Use debate and argument. Do not throw pearls before swine. Presenting others' beliefs as delusions. Point out the lack of morality of other systems. Use humor, harsh rebuke, and sarcasm are OK.

AGAINST ERROR
____________________________
AE1. AGAINST REJECTING SCRIPTURE: Against those who would reject or only believe selected parts of the Old Testament, Paul or all of Scripture. Against godless evolution, those who deny miracles, or that God created everything from nothing. We affirm that all scripture is true, and should be taken seriously, the way the authors intended. The Bible contains some metaphors, allegories, and parables, but all of it is true as the authors intended it to be understood.

AE2. AGAINST ADDING TO GOD'S WORD: Against those who explicitly say there are additional scriptures, such as Mormons, Rev. Moon's Unificationists, etc. Against implicitly saying there are equal authorities, such as living or deceased individuals or councils. We are still under the spiritual authority of godly Christian church leaders, and we can learn from past Christians and councils. We affirm that scripture is not just true, but also complete and sufficient.

AE3. AGAINST OTHER GODS/DEITIES/IDOLS: whether pagan or Gnostic. We affirm there was, is, and always will be one and only One God.

AE4. AGAINST REDUCING CHRIST'S DIVINITY OR HUMANITY: Against explicitly denying that Jesus is God, or else more subtly saying Jesus is just a God, or "mighty God" but not "Almighty God". Against saying Jesus was just a phantom or less than fully human. We affirm that Jesus Christ was 100% God and 100% man. Jesus Christ had two distinct natures, but one will.

AE5. AGAINST ONENESS/JESUS-ONLY VIEWS: Sabellianism: (Father can be said to have died on the cross), Dynamic Monarchianism (Father became the Son), Split Jesus Christ (the Christ spirit came upon the man Jesus). We affirm one inseparable God in three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

AE6. AGAINST BELIEVING ANY OTHER WAY OF SALVATION apart from Jesus Christ dying on the cross for us.

AE7. AGAINST LEGALISM of both heretics and schismatics who say you must do works to get, help get, or stay saved. Must be baptized by immersion in water as a believer to be saved. Must speak in tongues to be saved. We affirm our works add 0% to getting saved. We are 100% saved by God's grace through our faith.

AE8. AGAINST EASY-BELIEVISM/THE WORLD which says you can be saved without repentance or wanting Jesus to be your Lord. Against saying it is OK to continue to live in disobedience or rebellion. We affirm that god works and a godly life are the marks of a genuine Christian.

Charge of the Light Brigade



1.
Half a league, half a league,
 Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
2.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
 Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
3.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
 Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
 Rode the six hundred.
4.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
 All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
 Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
 Not the six hundred.
5.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
 Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
 Left of six hundred.
6.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
 All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
 Noble six hundred.
Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,
J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870

 

Live by Faith



Faith goes beyond reason, but not against it. Knowledge of the truth is an integral part of faith; and we have covered that. What about the aspect of faith that goes beyond knowledge? Let's explore today.

But first, to go with the last lessen there is one more test. Here is one more doctrine five early Christians taught. Can you discern if this is correct or not? "We are like God's chickens." (Mt 23:37; Implied Ps 91:4; 51:1; 64:4)&&&

The righteous will live by faith: Romans 5:1; Acts 13:39; Habakkuk 2:4b

"I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who 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." Galatians 2:20

Mark 9:24 "Lord I believe, help my unbelief!"

"Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, 'Why could we not cast it out?' So Jesus said to them, 'Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.'" Mt 17:19-21

Our Faith is Precious



What if a person has no faith? Hebrews 11:6
airplane ride. An atheistic physics professor

"To those who through righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:" 2 Peter 1:1b

"These [trials] have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1:7-9.

Examples of Faith



We want to see how faith can increase or decrease. So let's look at both Biblical and non-Biblical examples of faith.

Sitting in a chair

What if we could all just physically see God now?

Soccer bunch ball

A child will fall in his father's arms

Charge of the light brigade (Oct. 25, 1854) 670 British cavalry supporting the Turks vs. 20 Russian battalions and 50 artillery pieces. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote a poem on this.

How we evaluate risk (vs. the song's lyrics: 'we don't care no more')


Trusting God for your preserving your life


Henri Blondin - tightrope over Niagara Falls

A temptation of Jesus on wing of the temple (Mt 4:5-7; Luke 4:9-12)

Esther (Esther 4:16)

The three youths: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:17-18)

John Wesley onboard a ship.

Trusting God when in danger


Abraham (Gen 22:1-19). Yet Gen 12:11-13 and even Gen 20:1-2)

Hezekiah (Isaiah 37:1-7; 14-20; 2 Ki 19:35)

Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:25-29)

Elijah (1 Ki 18. Yet 1 Kings 19:3.)

Trusting God for health


Job (and his wife in Job 2:9)

Training your muscles: getting in shape

Trusting God for prosperity


Lottie Moon

Trusting God for your ministry


Elisha (2 Ki 2:10-15)

Jeremiah (only Jer 35 and 36:4 listened - then) Do we want to be "helpful" and edit God (Jer 36:23-24)

Ahimelech and the showbread (1 Sam 21:2-9; 22:13-23; Mk 2:26)

Faith gone bad


Gehazi, Elisha's servant (2 Ki 5:20-27)

&&&Observations on Faith



Testing your faith exercises your faith

Your faith might not be uniform

You faith might waver at times

Living by faith has the healthy side-effect of less worry and stress

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak

We don't want to just have faith; we want to have faith in God

We want obedient faith, no other kind of faith matters

The strength of your faith might depend on your previous obedience

A Big Faith vs. Toughened Faith



"Peter replied, 'Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.' 'I tell you the truth,' Jesus answered, 'this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.'" Matthew 26:33-34


Polycrates of Ephesus
(196 A.D.) "I ... have read through all Holy Scripture, am not frightened at the things which are said to terrify us. For those who are greater than I have said, 'We ought to obey God rather than men. [Acts 4:19, 5:29]'" Epistle to Victor and the Roman Church vol.8 p.774
See also Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

Ignatius (-107/116 A.D.) "I write to the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless ye hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Suffer me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments" Ignatius' Letter to the Romans ch.4 p.75

Evarestus
(c.169 A.D.) "The proconsul then said to him, 'I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast thee, except thou repent." But he answered, "Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.'" Martyrdom of Polycarp ch.11 p.41

Minucius Felix
(210 A.D.) "How beautiful is the spectacle to God when a Christian does battle with pain; when he is drawn up against threats, and punishments, and tortures; when, mocking the noise of death, he treads under foot the horror of the executioner; when he raises up his liberty against kings and princes, and yields to God alone, whose he is; when, triumphant and victorious, he tramples upon the very man who has pronounced sentence against him! For he has conquered who has obtained that for which he contends. What soldier would not provoke peril with greater boldness under the eyes of his general? For no one receives a reward before his trial, and yet the general does not give what he has not: he cannot preserve life, but he can make the warfare glorious. But God's soldier is neither forsaken in suffering, nor is brought to an end by death. Thus the Christian may seem to be miserable; he cannot be really found to be so. ...Yet boys and young women among us treat with contempt crosses and tortures, wild beasts, and all the bugbears of punishments, with the inspired patience of suffering. And do you not perceive, O wretched men, that there is nobody who either is willing without reason to undergo punishment, or is able without God to bear tortures?" The Octavius of Minucius Felix ch.37 p.196

What does living by faith look like?
- for you



Sometimes we have learned too much cynicism. Live in reliance on God. Fix your eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Would you go out on a limb for Christ?

Do you really believe God's way is the best way?