What is the purpose of the
body of Christ, the church of our Lord? Are we building in a wise way or are
we pursuing things that are not in the Lord’s will? It is important to know
the foundation that God gave His people so that we can be sure to build upon
it. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master
builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each
one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay
than that which is laid, which is Jesus
(1 Cor 3:10-11).
We must build on the foundation of Jesus Christ. In the
work of conversion and in the work of helping a Christian to grow, we must
help others to build a personal faith in the Lord. To truly bring one to
“see the unseen” and then to “know the Lord” is not an easy process. When
you see the reality of the spiritual realm, then you will make decisions
that will be very much “out of step” with this world. When Moses rejected
the riches and esteem that was offered to him as a prince of Egypt so that
he could “suffer affliction with the people of God,” he did this because he
could “see Him who is invisible” (Heb
we helping people to “see the unseen” or are we making people comfortable in
Struggle to Find a Biblical Faith
did you come to trust in the Lord? I can remember many years ago, when I was
in High School, an occasion in my life where I saw the emptiness of the path
I was following and desiring to find something more. On a clear, cold night I
went outside and looked up at the stars and prayed a simple prayer for God
to let me find Him. It was a humble prayer for light and truth that I
followed up with my first attempt to read the Bible for myself.
As I started reading the
scriptures there were so many things that I did not understand but there
were some things that stood out distinctively to me. As I read the book of
Romans I came to see the power and optimism of a genuine faith in Christ. When I read the words of Paul concerning his life and sufferings as
viewed by the heart of faith, I was amazed! “For I consider that the
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with
the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom
8:18). Later, in the same chapter, Paul expresses the confidence that
faith brings in our outlook on our day-to-day events. “And we know that
all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are
the called according to His purpose” (Romans
After reading that chapter I sincerely wanted to have that kind of faith in
I came to find out that the process of building such a
faith takes time! In the year that followed I began to seek the Lord in the
best way that I knew (Jn
7:17). So many
steps that I took were imperfect, but I constantly sought to do what I
believed the Lord had spoken in His word. As I went through this seeking
process I tried to surround myself with people who also placed a high value
on walking by faith. I found that both in the denominational world and in
the local churches that I would later attend, that I was “out of step” with
others that seemed to have another reason for attending the assemblies of
the local church.
The stand that I take today is one of
faith. When I left the human movements that dominate the religious world, I
simply wanted to follow the Lord apart from the rule and the traditions of
men. Paul left Judaism with this simple goal in his heart: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for
Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish,
that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (Phil 3:7-9).
When I was baptized into Christ, I did so with “faith in the working of God” (Col
2:11-13). As I came to face the
unpredictable difficulties of life, I came to know that I serve a God that
will never forsake me and thus learned to live without fear (Heb 13:5-6).
time I have found a faith that allowed me to view my life in light of the
promises of God (Rom 8:18, 28)!
Does the local church that we
attend make the building of faith a priority? Are our homes a place where a
daily trust in God is a priority? The reason why I ask these questions is
that I fear some Christians and some churches have drifted from this great
foundation. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of
unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily,
while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be
hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:12-13).
Do I have a daily confidence in the promises of God and of His care, or do I
worry and have the scornful attitude of the world?
2. In times of uncertainty and hurt do I read the
promises of God and pour my heart out to Him in prayer, or do I complain and
seek out worldly companions to take my burdens?
3. When I attend the
assemblies, am I able to place myself before God and personally find
application to my life from His word regardless of how interesting
the speaker is or how friendly others are?
4. Do I often think about the
Lord, His present approval, His future return so that in everything I do I
see Him as my constant companion (Col
Do Not Accept
Please do not let the
approval and the praise of men be the “joy” you find among Christians (Gal 1:10, 2 Cor
10:12, 17). Some become “issue-oriented” out of a sense of party loyalty or out of a desire to display
their personal knowledge and thinking skills. There is a big difference
between building up another’s faith in the Lord and in preaching one’s
personal glory (2 Cor 4:1-2).
What will the Lord find when
He returns? It is my prayer that He will find in each of us a genuine, pure
faith that has been tested by fire! Does this describe you and me?
“In this you greatly
rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by
various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more
precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found
to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having
not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you
rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your
faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).