Romans 1:17 "It is through faith that a righteous person has life."
Key 1: We must have a thorough understanding of Submission and Authority.
He read the passage from Matthew 8:9-10 and spoke of some of the great heroes of faith from the OT. He was illustrating a point on being under the authority of God and I looked up and he had put on a Yamika. He was explaining that the Jews did this to show that they were under authority. I thought that was great! I have always wondered why they wore those things. I thought to myself, now as a New Covenant believer how do we show that we are under authority? By the fruit of the spirit. To know if someone is a true follower of the Most High you must examine their fruit. They will be a reflection of Christ and not of this world! In order to do this we must Submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit and die to our own selfish desires. The fruits of the spirit are: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. The works of the flesh are the following: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Key 2: We must Worship The Lord With Reverence
The word reverence means to bow down to his Lordship. Today's churches have become very casual. Not that being casual is necessarily bad, however, when we worship the Lord we should be putting all our heart into it, not worshiping halfheartedly with a donut in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other! Don't get me wrong, I love coffee and donuts but when we are focused on feeding our physical bodies it must be difficult to focus on praising God. In the Spirit! We must ask ourselves everyday, are we making Christ Lord of our lives, are we laying down our will for his will? Are we bowing before him in spirit and in truth to receive all that he has for us?
Key 3: Be convinced of Jesus' Ability and What you Believe.
Romans 4:20-22: 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
In these scriptures we see that it is by faith we are healed and it is by faith that we are made righteous, not by rules and regulations. We must truly believe God has the power to make us a new creation in order to become what he created us to be.
Key 4- Press in Regardless of the Obstacles.
43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
This is one of my favorite passages from the gospels. This woman had to fight through the obstacle of a huge crowd, but she didn't care because her faith was so great that Jesus possessed God's power, that she knew all she had to do was touch him and she would be healed. How many of us possess that kind of faith today? All we have to do is believe that he can heal us and he will. No matter the obstacle or trial we are facing if we just put all of our Trust in the messiah we will be healed for the scriptures say: "By his stripes I am healed" That is not to say that he will always heal our physical ailments immediately. Sometimes our physical pains can humble us and make us stronger and build our endurance, which builds character, which builds hope, and hope never disappoints us.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-9; 16 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
I read this scripture the night before I heard this sermon and it gave me so much comfort. To think that we are in this body but for a moment compared to eternity and today's problems will be gone tomorrow. The Most High definitely renewed my spirit that day because the day before I was feeling low and really needing to be rescued. The above scriptures are so true to a person who is truly living the truth in every aspect of their lives. Just when we feel that we can not go on any longer the Lord rescues us and lifts us up so that we may forget what is behind and press on toward the goal to win the prize in which he calls us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14) We also know that the suffering we experience in this body is nothing compared to the glory we will share in heaven with the Lord. What an amazing thing to hope for and look forward to.
Key 5- Exhibit Boldness in The Midst of Unbelief and Mockery
Matthew 9:24-26 "Get out! he told them. "The girl isn't dead: she's only asleep." But the crowd laughed at him. After the crowd was put outside , however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up! The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside.
This passage shows that Jesus was not looking for man's approval. When I read this passage I ask myself if I would have the courage that Christ had in this moment. If our faith is strong it should not matter what any man says, we should be bold for Christ at any given moment. If we truly believe then we will stand up for what is TRUTH!! Even if we are being mocked by man. In the end it will be GOD we are going to have to answer to NOT MAN!!
Key 6- Be persistent in Humility.
It takes humility to be a follower of Christ. Nobody will inherit the Kingdom of God with a prideful heart. A prideful heart goes before a great fall. Pride is something that blinds many from the Truth. If you are more concerned about being right all the time then you are probably not humble. Here is a good paraphrase of Mark 8:34 that I found "Then Jesus turned to the crowd that had been following Him and said, If you intend to go the same way I'm going (the way to the Father), you'll have let go of your own self-interests every day and submit your life completely to God. You'll have to take up your cross every day as well, so you can die to self - your flesh has to go. And you'll have to follow Me continually. I'll have to show you the way, you'll never find it on your own." The more we deny our own desires the more the Father will make his will known to us and the more faith we will have. It is hard to have faith when all that dominates your thoughts are things of this world. So let us humble/die to ourselves so that Yahweh may increase our faith!
Key 7- Confess and Act Upon Your Faith.
2 Corinthians 4:13 - And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
So..faith is spirit. We must once again die to ourselves to walk in the spirit and to have faith. The same spirit that was in Abraham which caused him to have great faith lives in us so we must not quench the spirit of Truth. If the faith is really living in us we will speak about it. What dominates our thoughts comes out in our conversations and our actions.
James 2:20-22: 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?