And now abide these three – faith – hope – love.
I remember you always for these three things: your work of FAITH, your labour of LOVE, your patience of HOPE in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father .
God loved you so much, that He sent His Son into the world, to be the object of your faith – for you to believe on Him. This was not God’s response to the fall although it embraces that element. God was not startled or taken by surprise by what happened in Eden. God was not forced to take a ‘quick-fix’ avoidance strategy because of man’s sin. This was planned in eternity past. He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. This was God’s purpose, before time began: the Lamb of God was slain:- from the foundation of the world. Rev.13:8
God had you in His heart and thoughts before the earth and time were created – you specifically. You have been the object of His love from eternity past, and you are accepted, spotless and without blemish, in the Son – and you will continue as His blessed beloved through time into eternity future. Why? Because He knew your heart would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew you would be one that would place your trust in His beloved Son – and so He chose you in Christ before the world was created – and He has waited 6000 to hear you cry Abba, Father. And every jot and tittle of scripture has been written for a purpose: that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through His name.
Faith – Trust – Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ has two important elements: 1) a past and saving faith in Him, so that you might be saved and live. 2) a present and sanctifying faith, as you are being conformed into His image. For in the future there will be no need for faith, for we shall see Him as He is, and we will be like Him. But for now, the righteous shall live by faith. Heb.10:38
In former times prophets, priests and kings of Israel were to live by their own faith. Habakkuk put into words what others had expressed in prophecy: the just shall live by his faith. Hab.2:4. The permanent, indwelling Holy Spirit was not a gift to the prophets of old. He often came upon the prophets some for a reason, but he could be given or withdrawn as God determined. David, a man after God’s own heart pleaded to the Lord: take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Psalm 51:11
But two thousand years ago the permanent, indwelling Holy Spirit was given. He was prophesied by Christ in John chapter 14, where we read: He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. He was sent by Christ in Acts chapter 2, where we read: they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. And He was confirmed by Paul as permanently indwelling all believers: ye are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. The permanent, indwelling Holy Spirit became the gift to the church – an irreversible gift to you: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col.1:27
God’s plan before the foundation of the world was to place His own children in Christ. God’s plan before the foundation of the world was to place Christ in His own children. Jesus tells us: it is better for you that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:7. This is why Christ so stressed in John 15, of what it meant to be in Christ. How vital it is for the believer to live in Him and He in us, for when we are in Him, Paul tells us that we live by His faith: we live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loves us. Gal.2:20
This is how Paul writes it in Galatians: I am crucified with Christ (and this is the old sin nature that was crucified..) nevertheless I live (for we live in this physical body..) yet not I live (“I” is old sin nature received from Adam..) but Christ lives in me (this is the indwelling spirit of Christ in my body..) and the life which I now live in the flesh (the day by day process of living in a physical body) I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me (Christ’s Spirit indwelling and living in me) – and gave Himself for me.
The permanent indwelling Holy Spirit is the most precious gift of faith imaginable, and at Pentecost His permanent indwelling became unique to the church. At Pentecost He poured out His gracious promise to the church. One day the prophecy of Joel will be fulfilled for Israel. They will no longer have to live by the their faith as Habakkuk said – they will all live by the faith of the indwelling Spirit, just just like the Church of God in this dispensation. The day is coming when God will pour out His gracious promise to Israel: and afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions – for God will write His Law on their hearts Joel 2:28
This promise to Israel is yet future for Israel. This promise to Israel will happen at the end of the tribulation, but this promise to the Church has already happened: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God. Gal 2:20. But God knows Satan’s accusational strategies and schemes against His own, and God’s plan smashed Satan’s falsity – and yet today many bemoan the fact that their faith is not strong like the apostles. They feel themselves as ‘second-class’ Christians because their faith wavers. They think God can’t love them as much as He loves others with a ‘deeper’ faith.
But this is misrepresenting scripture and feeds the accusational lie of Satan, “He cant love you – just look at your circumstances,” ” Satan hisses, “He doesn’t bother about you – your prayers are not being answered,” he taunts. And accepting this lie of satan, they live defeated lives and are overcome. Please, banish that lie for ever – resist the devil and his false accusations.
No, faith is the key that unlocks our hearts to the love of God – faith in His Son: the faith of the Son of God.. Who loves us. And the faith of the Indwelling Son of God is the weapon we use against Satan. I in Him and Him in me is the only way a believer is able to live. Check out Paul, for he u this point about being in Christ. Why? – because this is the only way to live a faithful, overcoming Christian life.
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