WINDOWS ON THE WORD
October 2011                      Diminishing The Darkness By Lifting up The Marvelous Light Of Jesus Christ
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Window On The Word
Levels of Faith
by Tim Greenwood
Paul had just been speaking of the gospel...
2 Timothy 1:12 Which is "the crime", the reason, and the cause for which I likewise suffer these things: nevertheless without shame: because I know whom I have believed , and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
I Know . I have believed, I am persuaded, and I have committed.
  • I Know
Your faith cannot exceed your knowledge.  To receive salvation, you must first come to know that there is one true God, the Father of Jesus our Lord, King and Savior. And know that Jesus died, was buried and rose again - for us.

In order to believe the Bible, one must ascertain who is speaking to whom, by what authority do they speak and the level of their credibility and reputation. 

Romans 10:17  Faith, good faith, comes from hearing but even more so, hearing of the good word (good reputation) of God.

Hearing brings knowing.  Knowing brings good faith.

Experience also brings knowing and good faith, but first one must hear or gain that initial knowledge.  God even invites you to investigate Him based upon the written evidence from Genesis to Revelation, to see if you can find any incidence of Him not keeping His good word, failing to keep a promise or failing to do what He said that He would do.

The Bible is the best-preserved and most accurate collection of books in all of human history and nowhere in it, from cover to cover, will you find that God ever failed to keep His word.  This understanding will cause you to know God as Paul came to know God.
  • I Believe
Believing means to have assurance, confidence, trust and faith (good faith) in someone or something.  It is something that must be possessed, claimed or appropriated as your own.

Confession or saying is an important part of operating in faith, but believing or faith is much more than that. We have already seen in the last section how knowing God's word is good and causes faith (good faith) to come.  But Numbers 23:11 even goes further.

Numbers 23:19  (TGV) God is not a deceptive liar like man has proved himself to be, neither is the son of man (Jesus) that either should have reason to repent. Has He ever given, spoken or proclaimed His word, and failed to do what He said? Has He ever given, spoken or proclaimed His word, and failed to make it good? 

The answer to the question is "no."  That is because God cannot lie and remain as God.
Hebrews 6:13-15  (TGV) When God made His promise to Abraham, He backed it to the hilt, putting His own name, reputation and Godhead on the line saying, if I say, "Blessings!" then most assuredly I will bless thee, and if I say, "Increase by multiplication!" then most assuredly I will increase you by multiplication.  And so, after Abraham had patiently waited, he did obtain the promise.

So, if God will not lie and always keeps His word then I know that I can have faith (good faith) that as long as I keep doing my part, it is easy to believe in something that or someone who cannot fail.
  • I am Persuaded
To be persuaded is to be totally convinced.  To be totally convinced you must already both know and believe.

Romans 4:20-21  (TGV) Abraham refused to stagger at, waver concerning or doubt the verbal pledge or promise of God or act and speak in bad faith; but rather was enabled and empowered to immediately give honor to God in good faith; And being fully persuaded that, what God had promised, God was able also to perform.

But it wasn't just God doing everything for Abraham.  Abraham, as part of the relationship established as a party of the good faith promise, pledge or contract was required to perform his part.  And he successfully did so because he was fully persuaded that God would perform His part.
Being fully persuaded is confidence personified.

1John 5:14-15 (TGV) And this is the confidence, assurance and out-spokeness that we have in our relationship with Him (Jesus), that, if we ask anything already covered in His documented decrees, then He will always grant us audience: And if we know that He will grant us the audience, then we already know that we possess the petitions that we ask of Him, no matter what we ask.
  • I am Committed
In the Old Covenant God was willing to settle for compliance, but no longer.  What God is looking for in today's New Covenant believer is voluntary commitment.

You see God has made thousands of offers in the form of informal contracts.  We have come to call them promises but they are legal contracts just the same.  To receive the fruit or benefit of any of these promises requires your voluntary commitment to do whatever it takes to fulfill the contract, including establishing the relationship by literally or figuratively signing the document and fully performing your part while maintaining and not breaching the relationship.  There are always  these additional implied responsibilities connected to every good faith relationship.

All of this "well, I'll give it my best shot," "I'll do my best," "I'll try," going into a contract is NOT commitment.  Commitment is like buying and taking full responsibility, whereas being non-committal is like renting with little or no responsibilities.  Being non-committal going into a contract is acting in bad faith.

Bailing out of a contract, agreement or a commitment, without a written escape clause, is simply breach of contract, or what the Bible calls "sin."  Sin can be against God or against another person.  Both will require repentance and forgiveness before this or any future relationship can be restored.

Typically commitments are broken (breached) because one or more parties may have enjoyed at least a portion of the fruit or benefits of the contract and are now looking for any excuse not to fully perform their part.  This is when you hear, "I couldn't fulfill my commitment because, bla, bla, bla."  Because of a breakdown of good faith, people have come to believe that as long as they have a good enough excuse, then commitments, agreement and contracts can be breached with no consequences.

When something needs to be done, and you, for whatever reason, agree to do it, then don't just try or do the best you can within the timeframe that you thought it would take.  You see that is only partial compliance and is not commitment.  If you agreed to do something, then see that it gets done, correctly, no matter what it takes or how long it takes, because this is commitment.  
TGM

Make Plans Now To Attend
The 2011 ICFM
Southwest Regional Convention

October 23-24, 2011 
Echos of Faith Christian Center
11255 S. Central Ave., Ontario, CA 91762
Hosted by Tim Greenwood


Inspirational speakers to encourage you,
Powerful workshops to equip you,
Food, Fun and Fellowship to connect you
with other leaders of like precious faith.



Keynote Speakers

Dr. Jim Willoughby and
Pastor Fred Price Jr.



Tim Greenwood
Pastor Brenda Wood
Dr. Orlando Barela
Dr. Glen Curry




Workshop
Speakers
Luncheon
Speaker

Registration: There is no registration fee for the convention.
Minister’s Luncheon Tickets: $20.00 ---
(Advance Purchase Required)

Please
, RSVP:  626-755-7276 or icfm@tgm.org


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