Bah, Faith, Who Needs It Anyway?

Luke 17: 5-9 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.” Jesus continues, “And which of you, having a servant plowing, or tending sheep, will say to him (the servant) when he has come in from the field, ‘come at once and sit down to eat?’ But will he not rather say to him ‘prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink?’ Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him?’ I think not.”

The apostles of the Lord wanted what Jesus possessed. They had seen Him do all kinds of miracles from raising the dead to miraculously feeding the hungry from a little boy’s lunch. They wanted to be able to do the same kinds of miracles for the people. However, I don’t think they were expecting the answer Jesus gave them. They asked Jesus to, “Increase our faith.” Jesus responded with a story about a man and his servant and how the relationship between the two parties work. In essence Jesus was telling the apostles,  “You already have faith; all you need to do is use it.”

There are many people in the church who argue against the faith message because they do not understand, they, too, have been given faith, if they are born again. These same people who argue against the faith message had to exercise faith in Christ Jesus to be saved from their life of sin and turned into a saint. Jesus told His apostles they didn’t lack faith, what they lacked was understanding of how faith works. Jesus was also telling them faith is the most powerful weapon in God’s creation that is available to man when He said to them, “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.” Faith is not some strange power reserved for only a select few as most people in the church believe. What we call Faith is actually the angels of God working with God’s children to bring about a favorable result. Hebrews 1:14 Faith was given to the child of God to be our faithful servant to meet our needs and the needs of a hurting world. So letting the angels God has assigned to work with us sit idly by day after day doing nothing does not make our heavenly Father happy. The bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” So how can a person think they are pleasing to God when they speak out against something that He, Himself, says, pleases Him?

I think people who speak out against the faith message do so because they see people speaking into the air dreaming that God is going to produce for them whatever they speak when their works and their life do not line up with God’s requirements. James, the half brother of Jesus, talked about faith and works in his letter to the twelve tribes of Israel. He was addressing this same situation. People were talking into the air, but they weren’t doing their part to see that a miracle took place. In real life, God plays a role, and man plays a role. God isn’t going to do for man what He has instructed us to do, and He does not expect us to do what only He can do. James said 2:14-17 “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? (the obivious answer to these questions is a resounding, no!) James continues, “If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?” (again the obivious answer is, Nothing.) Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” We can also conclude from James that works without faith is just as dead as faith without works.

We have two groups of people in the church who think they please God. Those who think if they attend church regularly and do good works, that will please God and He will let them into heaven. Then we have those who speak vanities into the air and do nothing else, thinking this is pleasing to God. Both groups of people are wrong as James explained in his letter to the twelve tribes of Israel. It takes a balanced Christian life to be pleasing to God. That means not only do we believe in the miracle working power that Jesus told His disciples is present with us, (faith) but we are to put into practice what we preach. (works) When these two things are working together people will receive their needs met and will come to trust in the living God. When all they see is works or people talking about faith only the ignorant will believe either of them. Faith is an active supernatural force just like works is a physical effort, but when these two are combined, God gets involved in the situation and miracles happen. Jesus proved it works, and He demonstrated it before His disciples time and again. After His disciples were filled with the Spirit of God on the Day of Pentecost they went about turning the world upside down for Jesus. That, dear friends, is exactly what our heavenly Father expects of the modern day church. We are to turn the world upside down for Jesus instead of the world turning the church inside out as we have been allowing it to do now for a number of years. DThrash


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