Faith In Action

Anyone can say they love God because they believe in Jesus. However, the Holy Bible is very clear that true love for God and true belief in Jesus Christ is characterized by a change in a person’s life where sin is removed and godliness begins to flourish. An example of this occurred in Ephesus a few years after Christ ascended.
Faith In Action
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2017 by the author, Peter P. Macinta (BrotherPete).

Many amazing accounts of what happened to some people when they truly turned to Christ are recorded in the Book Of The Acts Of The Apostles (hereafter referred to as “Acts”). In Acts 19 we read that the Apostle Paul and his group arrived at Ephesus. Once there, Paul found some disciples that needed the fulness of the Holy Spirit and upon baptizing them and praying with them they spoke in tongues and prophesied. We then read he went to the synagogue to share Christ, and as he continued to dwell in Ephesus God worked through Paul with miracles.

Further in

the text we read the following (verses 18 to 20), “Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. 19 And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.” 

These verses show what often happens when someone truly comes to Christ. A change within takes place which is soon seen outwardly. Perhaps a new believer will tear up his or her pornography collection, throw out their alcohol, destroy their cigarettes, or something similar. Faith in action is depicted in verses 18 to 20 from which we will see the following two things.

I. Our Faith Is Not To Be In . . .

While the “exciting” part of the account is that books about magic were burned it needs to be realized they were books written by the sinful, those were devoid of the real knowledge of God. In this case, the books can speak to us of earthly matters and the various thoughts and opinions of people. Aside from the thousands of religions in today’s world, consider that most of the nearly eight billion people on earth actually have what they think is their own moral compass. However, these earthly things will pass, but the Word of God will remain forever.

Now, let us consider that these were books of magic. In general, this speaks to us that our faith must not be in deception, which there is a lot of today. Indeed, I and others will exhort people to trust the written Word of God. However, when I say that, I mean the true Word of God of the ancient texts of the original languages. That, though, means most of us will have to use a translation into the language we speak. So, again, deception rears its ugly head because there are many translations and versions that are actually spiritually detrimental {1}. In short, if you read and speak English, I recommend the New King James, works by Jay P. Green, and Young’s Literal Translation.

And, of course, the world has plenty of deception. It is not hard to find. While there might be some truth or real help in some of the areas I am about to mention, deception is their overwhelming content. Politics, governments, and religion are three areas. Science, psychology, and medicine are three more. While modern science has been somewhat helpful to mankind, many of its theories, warnings, and applications are based on assumptions. Psychology offers no real answers. Modern medicine is at times helpful, but many medications lead to other problems. Contrast all of this with God and His true written Word.

During the week this article was composed I came across two examples of deception. One was a video of a “free thinker” that encouraged all viewers to question authority. One thing mentioned in the video was the book of Job and the author alleged that God told Job not to question His authority. That was not the case. One aspect of God’s response was to get Job to understand his need to trust God. The other was an article that claimed recent DNA tests cast doubt upon what they falsely stated as the Biblical account of the near eradication of the Canaanites. The Holy Bible never said the Canaanites were almost eradicated. In fact, the very opposite is true! The Jews failed to get rid of them as recorded in Joshua, Judges, and elsewhere.

Our faith must not be in money, wealth, power, friends, family. People err and material things will pass. With all this and more, with all that the world is and has to offer, I must think of 1 John 2:15-17 which says the following: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

II. Our Faith Must Be In God And His

True Written Word
 

It is very apparent these people were changed by the power of God through Christ. Trusting Christ and His Word will lead us to destruction of sin within and without. A true disciple of Christ will find after their initial conversion it is a learning process that is ongoing. However, some changes should notably occur the moment one comes to Christ. We have already given some examples above. 

The changes must come because Christ dwells within the one who sincerely surrendered to Him. Christ and sinful desires cannot coexist. At some point a disciple learns the true peace of God remains and increases as they, in faith and by the grace of God, act in accordance with Galatians 2:20 and a host of other Holy Scripture. As there is destruction of sinfulness within there is destruction of sinfulness on the outside.

For example, when we were serving as pastors in Triadelphia West Virginia I was nudged by God to destroy my Simon and Garfunkel records. I had enjoyed their music because I was of the opinion it had some deep meanings to it, and once I was saved by Christ I felt some of their songs pointed to life in Christ (like, “Only Living Boy In New York"). One of the albums I had contained their hit song, Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Nevertheless, I burned them. I do not remember thinking this at that time, but looking back at some point I realized that their music added to my depression. God took that act of obedience and others I did by His grace a few short years later and helped me to overcome depression {2}.

Recently I have seen articles that claim it might be okay for a real Christian to read Harry Potter, participate in Halloween, and so on. I feel it would be good for us to be very careful. There have been many who have felt such things had no affect on them. However, we must remember we are in spiritual warfare and some who have taken that approach were later adversely affected. As we read the Holy Scriptures we see we are to strive for purity and avoid being tainted in the slightest way by sin.
  
Our passage from Acts for this message shows our dedication to God through Christ must be demonstrated privately and publicly. Verse 20 indicates there will be spiritual development. It also shows that the Truth of the Word of God will be proclaimed in word and deed. Additionally the verse, with its entire immediate context, shows that the power of God is not just evidenced in miracles, but is demonstrated by lives changed by Him unto the glory of God.

Acts 19:18-20 exhorts the disciple to proclaim His Remedy, and the only remedy, for sinful lives. If one surrenders to God through Christ and remains in Him, by God’s grace they will prevail against sinfulness within and eventually sinfulness without. While here, true disciples are brought by Christ into dominion with Him over their entire being. If they remain in Him, they shall return and rule with Him until the appointed time.

Notes:

{1} I strongly encourage you to read Holy Bibles Good And Bad  at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/holy-bibles-good-and-bad .

{2} Let’s Overcome Depression https://oasisofhope.neocities.org/dep.html .

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by August 31, 2017 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M462 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates and adding “(The Existing One)” to readily express the meaning of His Name without making repeated explanations in articles. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 28-07-2017 117 4

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  • mandini alya  30-07-2017
    That is certainly true. In my opinion, religions, whichever you have faith in, teach the same thing: one of the things I am sure of is we, God-created people, should respect one another. And another thing I am sure of is that there is only One God, who rules the Universe. Correct me if I am mistaken.
    reply 0
    • BrotherPete  04-08-2017
      Greetings mandini alya . I am afraid all religions do not teach the same thing. Some have multiple gods ruling the universe. A few say angels created mankind. It is a real hodge-podge out there!
      0
  • somedirection  29-07-2017
    Claiming to be a believer and having faith without walking your beliefs is like a dead branch of the tree that will be thrown into the fire. Share the faith.
    reply 0
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