Posted by: dhkrause | August 1, 2016

Living, Triumphant Faith

The gospels recount how Jesus continually saved and healed people in response to their faith, either their own faith or that of others.  He would afterwards commend their faith with words such as, “Your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22, Mark 10:52) or “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace” (Luke 7:50).  Faith is a precious gift from God for which we can pray, a gift to be kept diligently and exercised often.  David describes his own saving faith in Psalm 27, urging God’s people to stay strong in the Lord:

Psalm 27
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”, starting with a simple faith in Creation:

Hebrews 11
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

1 John 5 teaches that faith is “the victory that has overcome the world”:

1 John 5 (NKJV)
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

The Asbury Bible Commentary comments on this verse:

The world is the world of darkness, antagonistic to the children of God. In his death on the cross, Jesus entered into mortal combat with the powers of darkness and overcame them in his death. When by faith we appropriate the benefits of his atoning work, we enter into the power by which he gained this victory and thus in him we have (and do) overcome the world.  … “To believe that Jesus has been victorious is to have the power that enables us to win the battle, for we know that our foe is already defeated and therefore powerless” (Marshall, 229).”

The IVP New Testament Commentary on this verse notes,  “Faith is the victory, … not because of what faith is in itself but because it is directed to the Son, through whom God wins the victory for us”.

Faith in the Son of God connects us with the One who gives eternal life:

1 John 5
11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

The song “Faith is the victory”, written by John H. Yates in 1891, exuberantly portrays this triumphant faith in Christ:

Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
Oh, glorious victory,
That overcomes the world.

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n;
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in heav’n.
Then onward from the hills of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring name.

Faith, hope and love work together in a believer’s life to glorify God.  Proverbs 23:17-19 illustrates the relationship between faith and hope:

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. Hear, my son, and be wise; and guide your heart in the way.

Darlene Deibler Rose exemplifies living, triumphant faith in her book, “Evidence Not Seen: A Woman’s Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II” (Paperback – November 25, 2003).  She relates how when Mr. Yamaji, the stern commander of the women’s Prisoner of War camp, informed her of her husband’s death, she was able to tell him through her tears that she was not “as others who have no hope” (1 Thes. 4:13), and that she would one day join her husband, alive in God’s presence, because Jesus has overcome death.  The mean commander later repented of his cruelty and became a strong believer, giving glory to Christ in his testimony over Japanese radio.

Hebrews 12, describes the “race of faith”, where Jesus is both the author and the finisher of our faith:

Hebrews 12
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We have the victory as we live by the faith in Christ that God has given us, as Paul describes in Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Paul explains the relationship between faith and works in Ephesians 2:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 

Paul exemplifies a living, triumphant faith in Christ in Romans 5:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/


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