Thursday, January 20, 2011

NOURISHING OUR FAITH


Picture sourced from: www.adrianashton.co.uk
The Bible teaches us that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, [1] but these words do not explain to us how to keep and nurture our faith. The Bible also teaches us that faith is quite a powerful medium. The smallest amount of faith, as small as a mustard seed, can move mountains and cast them into the sea. [2] Now THAT is pretty powerful!

Biblical references for the above:
[1] Romans 10:17
[2] Matthew 17:20 and 21:21

SO HOW DOES ONE NOURISH THE LITTLE FAITH WE HAVE?

Part of the answer can be found in a short biblical passage, taken from I Peter 1: 5-8 (KJV):

“…add to your faith VIRTUE; and to virtue KNOWLEDGE; And to knowledge TEMPERANCE; and to temperance PATIENCE; and to patience GODLINESS; And to godliness BROTHERLY KINDNESS; and to brotherly kindness CHARITY. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Emphasis added)

If we analyse this short passage, bearing in mind that it is the Word of God brought to us by the hand of His servant Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, then we get a reasonably good idea of how to keep and nourish our faith, but we will also see that it is not as painless as what it seems.

In straightforward terms, the above passage states that we need to add moral excellence (virtue) to our faith. Moral excellence embraces the concepts of honesty, decency, and other ethical codes that identifies us as Christians. To moral excellence we need to add knowledge, which obviously implies that we have to constantly nourish our minds with trustworthy information, truthful facts, and accurate data, which in this day-and-age are fast becoming scarce commodities, - but if our virtues are in order and our minds are sober, then we’ll be able to sift the good from the bad without too much effort. The next step requires that we nurture our knowledge with self-discipline (temperance), which also entails that we must guard the tongue and do things in moderation.

I find it quite fascinating that patience is mentioned as the next ingredient in the recipe, because how often do we lose control of matters simply because our patience has run out? How often do problems miraculously vanish on their own by simply doing nothing too drastic, and by remaining calm in tense situations? Yes, there are certainly times when it is beneficial to kick up a storm, but then your timing must also be perfect, as the storm you created may backfire and destroy your efforts.

It is thus quite fascinating to see that the above passage states that godliness must be added to patience, for what is godliness? It has nothing to do with being godlike or holier-than-thou, for that is being self-righteous. Godliness means being completely devoted to God and His laws, -- in other words, being a devoted Christian! It requires that you thoroughly understand His Word as recorded and preserved through the ages in the Holy Scriptures.

The nourishing of our faith does not end there… The above passage goes on to state that to godliness we must add brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, charity. Not just any kindness is spoken of here, but “brotherly” kindness. Who is your brother? Your brother is your fellow Christian, it is not every Tom, Dick, and Harry you happen to meet on the street!

STATEMENT OF FAITH

Readers will notice that this blog does not have a “Statement of Faith”, the reason being that it will be pointless, because this blog’s “Statement of Faith” is the 1611 version of the King James Bible. The KJV has 231 references to the word “faith”, which means that it has 231 STATEMENTS of “faith”.

Here are only three:

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
(II Corinthians 5:7)

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17)

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
(Romans 5: 1-2 KJV)

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