Posted by: dhkrause | August 22, 2012

Living Faith and Loving Obedience

Living faith and loving obedience are the mark of God’s people in whom his joy will be fulfilled.  Yahweh is preparing such a people who will together be the bride for His Son.  To be part of this bride means that one is in relationship with the Father through the Messiah, with living faith expressed through loving obedience to his word.  In regards to living faith, James teaches that faith without deeds is dead.  Living faith is expressed through loving deeds.

James 2 (NIV)
18
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
26
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

John describes in 1 John 3 how living faith is expressed by loving, Spirit-led obedience to God’s commands.

1 John 3 (NIV)
23
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, teaches about the need to be born of the Spirit in John chapter 3.

John 3 (NKJV)
5
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
8
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 5 that those who are in the Messiah through this new birth are new creations in him.  Old things have passed away; all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5 (NKJV)
14
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
16
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The descendants of Israel who put their trust in Yeshua the Messiah will be a part of this great company, and their faith will be expressed in both word and deed.  Also, those who are not physical descendants of Israel who put their trust in Messiah, expressing their faith by loving obedience to his commands are grafted into this remnant of Israel.

Paul describes this believing remnant of Israel in Romans 11, and explains how God will bring together the natural branches and those who are grafted in by faith.  Together they are His people Israel.  He will put his law in our minds, and write it on our hearts.  He will be our God, and we shall be his people, as promised in Jeremiah 31.

Romans 11 (NIV)
1
I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.
2
God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?
4
And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”
5
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
6
And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.  7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.”  [Ref. Deut. 29:4; Isaiah 29:10]
17
If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
23
And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,26 and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them  when I take away their sins.”  [Ref. Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9; Jer. 31:33,34]

Jeremiah 31 (NKJV)
33
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com,8/2/2011


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