‘The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.’ (Psalms 12:6)
WHAT FAITH IN GOD IS ALL ABOUT
(This was the theme for a series of lessons I taught in our Adult Bible Class in January 2016. The lessons have been edited for viewers of my blogsite.)
#1 LEARNING GOD’S WORD AND ENCOURAGING BIBLE STUDY IN 2016
#2 WHY THE WORD OF GOD IS IMPORTANT
To recap last week’s lesson– The Bible is the blueprint of God’s plan and purpose for man. It gives us instructions to our heavenly destination by pointing us in the right direction. But unlike a map, compass or GPS that can also direct us to a location, the Bible most importantly, does that PLUS it provides clear guidelines to keep us on track with exhortations and warnings, as to who and what will prevent us from reaching the rewards that God has for us.
So, why is the Bible a bestseller and a very important book? It is because many people look to the Bible to find answers in life such as why am I here, what is life all about, is God real, is there a heaven and hell, and what will happen to me when I die? I have met people who turned to God out of desperation and despair over the condition in their lives. Some were in prison when they were handed a Bible and they found peace with God. In my Philippines Missions posts there are pictures and stories of individuals who found the Lord in jail or prison. We did marketplace preaching with a once ‘bad dude’ who dealt drugs and carried a gun until he was arrested in his tracks and his life was turned around! Many folks with bad backgrounds, as well as respectable people, have met God through the pages of the Bible, by hearing the gospel message and from the witness of Christian believers.
About Eternal Life– Eternal life can be found only by faith in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. (John 3:16). It is only by studying the Bible that one can receive revelation of who God is and about His provision for us to have eternal life. Titus 1:2 tells us that before the world began God promised us the hope of eternal life and God cannot lie. (Titus 1:1-2 AMP) The Bible has detailed instructions that are clear and repetitive, with no errors or contradictions: it tells us that we have an enemy or adversary called the devil or Satan who will use his many strategies and devices to ‘steal, kill, and destroy us’, to rob us of eternal life and to take us to hell with him.
Jesus came to show us the way to our Heavenly Father, to teach us about how we could have life and life more abundantly. Jesus said, ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me’ (John 14:6).
Jesus came to teach us and warn us about deception, mentioned 4 times in Mt 24:4, 5, 11, 24. In Mt 24:3 one of the questions asked Jesus was about the sign of His coming and of the end of the world. His answer was that there would be widespread deception in the end times, and that His coming would be unexpected, and sudden, catching many by surprise. Also in Mt 24 are the signs of the world situation and extreme disturbances in the earth occurring everywhere. In addition the condition of the church is described as in great apostasy which it is today, at this present time. The Bible provides us with the daily news and future events on the horizon, but we must search these out by studying the scriptures for ourselves.
Why should we study God’s Word? One good reason is because God has commanded us to do so. Jesus said:
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. (Mt 4:4)
If you continue in my Word, then you are my disciples indeed. (John 8:31)
To be a blessed person, one must love God’s Word and meditate on it day and night. (Psalms 1:1-2)
If we want to learn about God, we will find Him revealed in the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. If we want to have faith to believe in God, we must go to His Word to learn of Him since faith comes from hearing/reading His Word (Rom 10:17). By reading our Bible, we can increase our faith, overcome sin, and temptations to sin. When we submit ourselves to the Word of God and will of God, we are able to be strong and can resist the attacks and fiery darts of Satan. We can have answered prayers. (1John 2:14; John 15:7)
An important reason for studying the Bible is that it will help us to know what is going on in the world and why. We can know where we are in God’s timetable and how close we are to the return of Jesus Christ to earth. Jesus said in John 16:33:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ (2Ti1:7)
‘The thief cometh but for to steal, and kill, and destroy. . .’ (John 10:10a) but Jesus came ‘that they (we) may have life, and may have it abundantly.’ (John 10:10b)
‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’ Mt7:13,14.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov 1:7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Prov 9:10
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:1For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Rom 10:17Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jer 33:3I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psa 34:4
Faith is the opposite of Fear. Here is more on Faith:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 11:6.
‘… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Rom 10:17‘the man in right standing with God [the just, the righteous] shall live by and out of faith and he who through and by faith is declared righteous and in right standing with God shall live. [Hab. 2:4] Gal 3:11 AMP Bible
The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life. John 6:63b