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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 7, 2015

Killers of Faith

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

What undermines our faith? What destroys faith in the life of a Christian? We live in an age where Satan has influenced the culture of the day to destroy living faith. Doubt, fear, compromise and a lack of obedience all torpedo our convictions.

Doubt especially hinders our spiritual growth and boldness in obeying God. In Romans 4:20-21 we read the following about Abraham, the father of the faithful: "He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform." The word waver is the same word as doubt in the Greek. To waver means to be in strife with oneself, to hesitate or doubt. The reason Abraham was such a strong example of faith is that he was fully convinced that what God promised, He would do.

James, the Lord's brother, asserted the same thought in James 1:5-8: "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." Notice what the Louw/Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament states about being double minded. This pertains "to being uncertain about the truth of something-double minded, doubting, doubter. In a number of languages 'doubt' is expressed by means of idioms, for example, 'to have two thoughts' or 'to think only perhaps' or 'to believe only a little' or 'to question one's heart about.'"

If God says it (you can read it in the Word of God), don't question what God says. Just believe and do it. If God says to save a festival tithe, we save it! Period! If God says don't work on the Sabbath, we don't work on the Sabbath. Our lives must be guided by the eternal values and principles taught in the word of God, not on secular humanism and the culture of the day. We need to discern right from wrong. Paul expressed it this way in Hebrews 5:14: "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." We should not vacillate between two opinions.

We are to walk by faith and not by sight. Faith is not based upon what we see, but upon what God has promised. Therefore, we must know that God exists and be willing to follow what He teaches us. How do we grow in faith? It is a gift of the Holy Spirit (the faith of Christ). Ask for it daily. Ask God to increase our faith. Every time we obey and show God that we believe and are willing to follow Him, we grow in faith. The opposite is dead faith or no action. Faith also comes through the study of God's Word.

Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible has this to say about faith: "Faith and faithfulness are logically and linguistically one in the OT and NT. That is, the major words for faith in both Testaments also connote the concept of faithfulness. This indicates that faith is more than momentary assent to the truth of God. It is commitment to that truth, and it manifests itself in continued obedience.

"Abraham's life in this regard is instructive. He assented to, relied upon, and acted in conformity to the revealed Word of God. He received God's revelation as true . . . and his subsequent actions proved his faithfulness. He left home and country, settled in a strange land, and offered up his son Isaac as God commanded . . . Faithfulness, then, must not be viewed as an isolated act. Rather it is an attitude that should characterize the entire life of those who say they have faith in God."

Doubt, fear and compromise undermine our faith. We must be fully convinced that what God has promised He will do.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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