Today a friend asked me these questions:“How can I grow, increase and build my faith in Jesus Christ?For one reason or another, I seem to be stuck in this one place and I feel like I’m unable to move forward.”After hearing her question, my mind immediately rushed to the famous and popular scripture found in Romans chapter 10 verse 17. That says:
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”Romans 10:17
This scripture shows that if we are to grow and increase our faith in Christ Jesus, then we have to listen to his word.
But this scripture goes deeper than just hearing the word of Christ.Several times, when this scripture is quoted by people, they will stop at saying, hear the word of God and you will develop your faith. But I feel this is superficial and the verse goes much further than this:We can see this by reading further in Romans 10:
“But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” 19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.” 20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” 21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”Romans 10:18-21
Verse 21 is where I want us to focus: Hearing the word of God alone is not enough. It’s not enough to just listen to the preachers and to read the Bible. You have to be obedient to the word that you hear. You have to follow the commandments of God and you have to do what he asks of you to do. You have to live in righteousness if you are going to build your faith and if it is going to grow, increase and develop. The Apostle James goes deeper with this:
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.James 2:14-17
So this clearly illustrates to us that you can have a Faith that is dead and useless.But Faith is supposed to be alive. Faith is supposed to be powerful. Faith should be able to move mountains like Jesus said.Dead Faith can’t move things since it has no life and is thus useless. For Faith to have Life, you have to be obedient.
You have to walk the talk. You have to do what God asks of you to do. You have to live in righteousness and godliness so that just like Abraham, you can be called a friend of God having being justified by your Faith accompanied by works.
“And the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”James 2:23-23
By works, James is saying, actions! Living in righteousness. Doing what the Word says after you have heard it. In the world that we live in today, most of us want to do what we want, when we want it and how we want it. It has become so bad, that we have become worshippers of self. People worship themselves and they have turned their ears and hearts away from listening to the word of God.
Obeying God and doing his will has become very difficult for most people. I do understand that we can only walk by grace but how many people are willing to pray for the Grace to walk upright?
Another burgeoning trend is people quoting scriptures and posting gospel songs on social media like Facebook and Twitter for the sake of it. Many post these words from the Bible but they never live by these words. I pray that we start living by the words of Christ in deed and not just in speech. Our lifestyles and character should be reflective of his words and teachings. When people observe your behavior and how you live, they should see Christ and not you.
So, how do you build your faith in Jesus Christ?
- Hear his word: This could be through reading the word of God, listening to preachers, Bible Study, Gospel Music etc.
- After hearing the Word, putting the word in action by obeying and living righteously. I pray the Lord gives us the strength and courage to obey his word and live our lives for him and not for ourselves.
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Also published on Medium.