As I mentioned in this space last week, few subjects in the Bible are more important for us to understand than faith. I think it would be safe to say that many believers have no idea how truly important real faith is to their walk with Christ. In fact, you cannot have a walk with Christ without faith!
The issue of faith pervades every aspect of our relationship with God and our service for Him. Genuine faith is the source of our strength, our provision, our courage, our guidance, and our victory over the world system, the flesh, and the Devil. Faith is the only thing that can sustain us in the trials and persecutions predicted for the last days. It’s imperative that we understand exactly what faith is, how we get it, and how it grows.
As we continue this examination of the role of faith in the life of the believer, I think it’s important to understand that we are like aliens at war in an enemy territory from the moment we are born again into God’s eternal family. We don’t have the option of being pacifists in this war. We have to fight. That’s why it’s important to learn God’s provisions for fighting and winning the war. Once again, faith is the key to victory. It is the only acceptable means we have for appropriating our strength, weapons, and armor for the battle.
I refer to this as “combat faith.”
We’ll also discuss the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Even the Lord Jesus depended upon the Holy Spirit to empower and to work through His human nature while He voluntarily lived on earth under the limitations of being a true man. He kept saying in various ways throughout the Gospel of John, “I can do nothing of Myself.”
Even though His divine nature had the power to perform any of His miracles, He voluntarily laid aside its use. Instead, by FAITH, He depended upon the Holy Spirit, who dwelt within His human nature. And it’s the same Holy Spirit, activated by the same faith, that Jesus promised will do even greater works through us.
I’ll also discuss various aspects of the “indwelling ministry” of the Holy Spirit and how the believer achieves maturity in his or her walk with Christ.
I’m reminded of that old saying, “The Christian life is not difficult. It’s impossible!” Only the Holy Spirit can produce it in us as we depend — through faith — upon Him. But we humans seem to always have the feeling that, given enough time and the right circumstances, we can handle anything ourselves. This is such a subtle trap that the Lord has provided a special kind of training to teach us how to depend only upon the Spirit, and not our human abilities. Both Moses and Paul had to be broken of self-confidence and taught God-confidence. I refer to that course of instruction as the “B. D. Degree.” Which simply means the “Backside of the Desert Degree.”
Finally, in order to help us understand the impossibility of living the truly Christian life, God gave us the Law. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I would not have come to know sin except through the Law….” God gave us the Law to show us how impossible it is to become acceptable to God by our own efforts. It drives us to despair of self-effort, then leads us to see that God’s provision of salvation is a gift through FAITH in Christ alone.
So the more we understand about the role of faith (and grace) in our lives as believers, the more we’ll be thankful to God. Then, out of a responsive heart of love toward God, we will want to serve Him. And it’s the motive of love, not fear or obligation, that God wants to see us use in serving and loving Him.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: “The Hal Lindsey Report” can now be seen on The Word Network on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, 10:30 a.m. Central, 9:30 a.m. Mountain, and 8:30 a.m. Pacific. Just a reminder to those of you who have regularly watched us on Inspiration: Last Sunday was our final appearance on that network.