Where Do We Really Begin To Live?
John Wesley Davis
The Humble Man
All roads lead to somewhere, use care as to which you walk and follow.
Unwavering Faith Is Spiritual Empowerment
For through the grace given to me I say to every one among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Without dispute or question, each and every person has been given a measure of faith. Our measure of faith serves a primary purpose, which is, so that we are enabled to call and believe upon the Lord, “in faith”. By faith alone, we are saved, not by works (so that all are able to receive) as this would preclude some who are unable to work, due to illness or disability. But everyone, can use the very faith, given them. Works are necessary, in that faith, without works, is dead. But works do not and cannot grant us salvation. So that no man may boast of their works, leading to salvation while another cannot work and is condemned, it is not of works, but by faith, that we are saved. And works are not limited to physical actions; they can be verbal, in the form of testimony, teaching, ministry and the like, so that every person has an ability, not a disability. We are to do our reasonable service, but our first and foremost determination must be the use of our faith, unto salvation, through Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ, is the only means by which we can receive salvation and see the Father.
This all said, from where does one begin? What must we do with this measure of faith we’ve been given? Is there some magical button or mystical incantation? Certainly not and certainly neither. But there is a necessary portion of the formula. In the Bible, we learn that our faith must be used in such a way as a small, child approaches. One must set aside their inclinations toward disbelief and allow their faith to take over. Emptying the mind and heart of its disbelief, we approach Christ, in faith. In faith that Jesus, actually exists and believe upon him.
What does that mean? Simply put, you may have doubts and even wonder, but it is the act of speaking (We must confess our sins, with our mouths. See Romans 10:9 below) our profession of need, belief of him and confession of sins to the Lord, that is needed. It’s easiest for me to explain to you in this way, what using this manner of faith is like. Imagine, if you will, that you are in a room with a high ceiling and need to change a light bulb. You have no ladder, but you have been given a short, aged and seemingly, unstable chair. Looking at that chair, everything about it suggests that it will break under your weight and can, by no means, support you. However, even with doubts, you place the chair under the light fixture and step onto it. Stepping onto it is faith.
King James Bible
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Okay, so I have my chair, now what? So many people, being confused as to this, very simple process, are simply unaware of these fundamental items. What must I say or do? Well, the simplest answer is “Father, forgive me” with the sincere understanding of a few things, within your heart.
You and I, are sinners. Nobody and I mean nobody, can claim (with truth) that they are not. Jesus Christ is the only sinless, blameless, man who has ever lived. All of mankind, after the age of accountability, are sinners. However, every last one of us can receive salvation, except, under one condition, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which I will discuss later. Additionally, as sinners, our sin is against God and none other. Our sins, must therefor, be pardoned by God and can only be pardoned because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the son of God, sent to the world as a sacrifice, a means of atonement, by which we might be granted grace. Grace is defined as an unmerited gift…rightly accurate; we did not deserve grace, but may be given it, through the mercy of God, through Jesus Christ.
Now let’s not have you all confused, puzzled or bewildered; here are the things you need to know in your heart and admit. You (as am I and everyone else in the world, without exclusion) are a sinner, plain and simple. You (we) require forgiveness, as sin separates us from God, who is perfectly righteous and sinless. You need to know, accept and believe, that you require God’s forgiveness and that you have, admittedly, sinned against God. You must have a sincere remorse for your sins and be willing to confess them to God (yes, if you’re like me, there are far too many to name and that is okay. State what you know, ask for them all to be forgiven, for God knows every single one of them in detail).
You must decide, for yourself, that you cannot and do not, desire to continue a moment longer in your life, separated from God, by sin. Nobody can pray this for you. Nobody on Earth can absolve you of your sins or do it for you. Salvation comes from the admission and repentance, (the turning away from) of your sins. In your heart, you must trust, in belief and acceptance, that Jesus Christ exists, came to the world, lived, died and was resurrected. Your belief must be, upon him. Confess your sins, ask forgiveness for them and accept Jesus Christ as the, very, personal, savior that he has just become. This acceptance is what the Bible calls, being born again as you have just become a new creation.
The new creation? What is that? It is just that, all things old are passed away and you are made a new creation, in Christ. All of your past sins are forgiven you and you have been made blameless before God, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. At this point, you are now, as it us affectionately called, born again into salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
But the buck does not stop there. You are free from condemnation but not obligation. You are now, not only born again, but a witness unto all mankind. You are to share and tell of this and lead others to salvation. This is what we know as “fruits” and it is expected that all shall produce good fruits. Although you have been granted exclusion from an eternal death, you’ve also been given an obligation to witness unto others and should be glad in your heart enough to do so!
Now in the title, I alluded to a caveat, saying, “unwavering faith is spiritual empowerment”. Allow me to expound upon that for a few moments. In the bible, James and the unknown author of Hebrews tell us the following:
James 1:6 ESV
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Hebrews 10:23 ESV
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
What makes that an empowerment? Trusting that James, nailed this one on the head. Not only are we required to trust but also, to ask, with complete faith. If you have faith one moment but it is absent in the next, you waver. The very nature of our salvation and all things stemming from the it, come from faith. Faith in the existence and belief in God, faith in Jesus Christ, down to the each and every book, chapter, verse, word and punctuation mark of the Bible. We must accept and trust, in faith, that all these things are so. When we cease to believe and cease to accept, ask, trust or even do (with/in faith) we are like the waves of the sea, tossed about to and shipwrecked. Use caution when asking but seemingly, not receiving; for it is not God or Jesus who are unwilling. Consider this, below:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Without faith and unwavering faith, we are hopeless. But with faith, now that, that’s another thing, altogether! Recall the many men and women of the Bible? The ones who were healed, delivered, raised the dead, parted waters, cast out demons, etc? The man who called down fire from Heaven or another, commanding the sun to stand still? We don’t have to be Elijah, Joshua Peter. But we must have unwavering faith to accomplish anything, through Jesus Christ and God, the Father. No exceptions, no preclusion, no limitation, real faith is spiritual empowerment as it enables us, just as it has every single person spoken of or alluded to, above.
None of us, not a single person, does anything through an ability their own, or within their own power. Nope, nobody. No person is gifted to do so, not of themselves. Each and every person performing miracles, really, performs no miracle at all; they ask and believe in faith (through the power of Jesus Christ) and it is granted, done and carried out, by Jesus Christ. Now it seems miraculous to us, but to Jesus, having all power and authority over everything, it is merely being merciful, loving and gracious. By no means do I discount what men may accomplish through Christ or what Jesus does, but it all stems from our faith, when we ask, in Christ’s name. How do we know this to be so?
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Remember also, Jesus gave his permission and authority to the disciples to go and teach, do, heal, etc. They had no power of themselves, but they had faith and used it, according to the power and authority given them, by Jesus. Yes, men, women and children, are enabled to do “all things, through Christ, who strengthens us”. But the keyword is through and it speaks of Christ, not man.
To be more concise on what that “unpardonable sin” is, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can be understood easily. Here are some examples, please note, in all cases, this is to be against the Holy Spirit to be unforgivable. Jesus said this, in Matthew 12:31:
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And according to definition, blasphemy is this:
n. pl. blas·phe·my
A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct. The crime committed if a person insults, offends, or vilifies the deity, Christ, or the Christian religion.