Radio Broadcast Monday 04/27/2020

Classic Christianity – A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love P4 (04-27-20)

Synopsis

Turn to 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11, Ephesians 6, and Galatians 5:5-6. We are going to learn more about this faith, hope and love. We will see this connection of faith to putting on the full armor of God in Ephesians 6, so we can stand against the powers of darkness, of evil forces, in heavenly places. Much of what the apostle Paul lists is defensive armor, which we put on so we can stand, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the feet shodded with the gospel of peace, and other spiritual truth Paul illustrates with the armor on a Roman soldier.

Since as children of God, we are no longer in darkness, and can see more clearly, not with physical eyes, but with spiritual eyes, and in truth. For the Holy Spirit is living in us, guiding us into all truth. Truth is what we stand on, the very words that proceed from the mouth of God. The truth revealed to us through the scriptures we hold in our hands is powerful to take down strongholds. So, the word of God is the sword of the Spirit, the one offensive weapon we are to hold in our hands, the word of truth.

Now, this faith is what allows us to respond to God, who is the initiator of love. This love then changes lives, and our minds are being renewed with truth. We share truth with the love of God in our hearts, helping people to see truth that sets them free. When God calls something as sin, that is truth, and when a person is told something is sin, then we are convincing him of that so he might seek a Savior and be truly set free to live as God intended, just as God had set us free. And there is no fear in love, for in knowing God, we have this certain hope in what God has promised. In Hebrews, we read this definition of faith. Faith is certain of what we do not see, that Jesus is God, the creator of all things, and by His Spirit we learn to live in total dependence upon Him, who loves us perfectly. So faith, hope and love are inseparable and working together.

Now, often times when we first come to Christ, we are told to get busy for God before we totally grasp who we are, a child of God, a new creation. Out of that new identity, we learn to live connected to the head, who is Christ. We come to understand that we are unconditionally loved and accepted. All this requires the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit that is through the scriptures. It is our love of God that then results in dependency upon God that then results in obedience to God. That is the triplicate. We cannot love God. It is not that we love God but that He loves us first.

A person needs to get to know God better so as to know this deep love of God. For if the love of God is not grasped, then what really can be accomplished? For the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. It would be like a branch trying to produce fruit detached from the vine. It takes time to grow in grace and truth, in the love of God. That does not happen overnight. It takes time for an infant to become a child and a child to become a mature adult. So too in the spiritual realm. A believer needs to know what it means to be in Him, what He has done for you, what He has promised to you, who you are in Christ.

Transcript

Turn to 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11

1 Thessalonians 5:4-7
4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.

To be sober means to be self controlled. We will discuss that later.

1 Thessalonians 5:7-8
7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

If you are in Christ, you have been transferred from darkness into light. Those are conditions. We are born into this world in spiritual darkness. The human spirit is what separates us from the animal kingdom. A dog has a soul. Your soul is your mind, your emotion, and your will. An animal has a soul. So what separates the animal kingdom from the human kingdom? It is the fact the man also has a soul but man has a spirit. Now that spiritual aspect of the man is what continually creates in us that emptiness that something is missing. The reason for that is because something is missing. The human spirit was given to man to be indwelt by God’s Spirit, so God in the man is indispensable to the humanity of the man just as gasoline in a car is indispensable to the function of the car, and just as oil in a lamp is indispensable to the function of the lamp. God in the man is indispensable to the function of man.

Until God comes to take up residence back in man, we will live without the Spirit, with an incomplete feeling. Every place on the face of the earth, no matter how remote it is, there is a religious system in effect, in every place in the world. There is no place where you do not see that in effect. You saw in the heathenistic community, as an example, when Paul was shipwrecked on Malta. That was a heathenistic island, full of reprobate people. I mean jungle people. They had no knowledge of the scriptures, none at all. They were certainly not fed scripture to get their morality.

Acts 28:1-6
1 Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

When Paul was gathering up wood for a fire, a poisonous snake attached to his hand. What was the response of that heathenistic group? This man must be a murderer and therefore the judgment of death is upon him. Where did that idea come from? Have they been reading the ten commandments? No. They would not know what they were from the sixteen commandments, if there were sixteen. The fact is we are a law unto ourselves.

Romans 2:12-16
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Inside all of us is a conscience. A child knows right from wrong on some issues. That is why a child learns to lie before he can talk. A little baby does not know how to talk but he will lie. Did you do that? He shakes his head no. Does he know if that is wrong? Of course he knows it is wrong. He knew it was wrong to do what he did, otherwise he would not be shaking his head saying he did not do it when he did. So there is something inside of us so we know what is right from wrong. So people saying this is okay saying, “I am just born this way” or “Do not blame me. That is a disease.” are really suppressing truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). We know in our hearts that is not proper behavior, not because society says it isn’t. It is because we know something is wrong there. A person says, “The reason I am feeling this way is because society has imposed morality upon me.” No, it isn’t. The reason a person is feeling that way is because God says it is in your heart (Mark 7:20-22). It has been placed there.

Romans 1:18
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness

Who took the wrath of God against sin for us? Jesus.

Mark 7:20-22
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come – sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

So to this group on this island of Malta, where did they get the idea that a person who murders is subject to death? I do not know, but they got it. It is in their heart. We cannot escape that. We are built with that. In every place, why is there a religion? Because man says there is something wrong. I am empty inside. I am looking for something. I want to know who made the sky. The testimony about God is everywhere. I want to know who made the stars.

Romans 1:18-20
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Some intellectual said one time. “You just tell me everything about God, and I will bring down everything.” The man said, “God, bring down the stars. That is all we need to know there is a God.” That is in us.

So when you are dealing with this thing, we have to realize we were born into this world in spiritual darkness. We were born into this world dead spiritually. That occurred when Adam fell. The day that Adam fell, we fell.

Romans 5:12
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

Being born into darkness, I either stay in darkness or come into the light. I do not get put into darkness. I was born in darkness. To get out of darkness, I have to be translated out of darkness into light. That is what it says in scripture.

Colossians 1:13
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

So he is saying to them, “you are no longer in darkness. You are saved. As a result of being saved, let us be self controlled. That is one of the fruit of the Spirit. What does self-controlled mean? Does that mean to gut it out and positive think? No, it says to keep yourself under the control of God. You are not to be self- controlled. You are to be Christ-controlled. Self-controlled means to keep the old self under the control of the Lord Jesus Christ, putting on love. What is faith and love? Work is produced by faith. That is perspiration. Our love is motivated by His love. That is motivation. Our inspiration is endurance that is inspired by hope. He says put those things on, the breastplate of love and the hope of salvation as a helmet. In other words, guard your head.

1 Thessalonians 5:9
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath

What is the wrath of God? It is the wages of sin is death. That is upon all people. It does not come upon people. It remains on people. The wrath of God remains upon us until we are able to accept the life that is available to us in Christ. The wrath of God is not God beating you to death. It is the fact that the wages of sin is death. When born into this world, we were born dead spiritually. That is the wrath of God upon sin, and the only solution to that is in Him, in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11
but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

It is interesting that in this passage in 1 Thessalonians that we just read, that he is talking about putting on faith and love as a breastplate and the hope of salvation as a helmet. It is interesting to me, because over in the book of Ephesians, Paul again uses the Roman armor as an example of what we put on in regard to our salvation. Obviously I think the possibility, in both cases, he could have been observing a Roman soldier at that time, and just equating these illustrations. That is good teaching. Jesus used seed, soil and all kinds of things to amplify and explain spiritual truth.

In the book of Ephesians, they are both tying into not only a warning to us, as to what to look out for, but also an admonishment to us, that we are in the light and, therefore, live as children of light. That is who you are, a child of God. So be one of those. Jesus, being God, lived like that.

Ephesians 6:10-11
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

The devil has schemes. He is extremely smart and accurate in what he is doing. He has got schemes for you. You need to stand against those schemes. You cannot stand in your own armor. You do not have any. Our struggle in this world is not against flesh and blood. It is not against people. We think it is against people, but our struggle is against what it says.

1 John 2:16
16 For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.

Ephesians 6:12
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Our struggle is against the world, the flesh and the devil. He is talking about the fact of rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world. Do you realize that every war that we have ever fought or been involved in is prompted by rulers and authorities and powers of people, that is, governments? What if somebody called a war and nobody showed up? What is bringing about the conflicts going on in the world today? Leaders. Well, then get rid of them. Why? If you got rid of them, then maybe we will get rid of conflict. What caused World War II? Was it German people or was it Hitler? An authority in high places, gaining power of military and all the other things to exercise that power. So what was it? It was a leader. Why did Italy enter into World War II? It was Mussolini, having a relationship with Hitler, wanting to take over the world. Who were we fighting against? Rulers of other countries. Winston Churchill determined that these men are not going to take over his country of England. It is entrusting that free countries are always being attacked by bondage countries. Free countries are not attacking other people. They are not interested in starting wars with other countries. Bondage countries are always interested in taking freedom away from free people. When the pilgrims came to America, what did England do? Take over. Why? They do not want you to be free. I want you to be in bondage to our king. So they came over to try to defeat them in war. Who brought that about? People? No. They wanted to be free to practice their religion and start over. When are to realize the world we live in, the leaders we have in office will predicate how we will live our lives to much degree. We are not just fighting against our own flesh and blood. We are fighting against the things that put pressure upon man that many times causes unbelievable decisions.

Ephesians 6:13-20
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

You have, as an example, if man is basically sinful, which the bible says we are, then how could you have liberal laws when man is sinful? How does that come together, if man is prone toward perversion? I am talking about man as opposed to women, because we are more prone to that than woman are? If men are more prone to these types of things, why then do you have liberal laws? Why do you allow pornography to exist in a country under the guise of free speech? In other words, to be as filthy as you want? Howard Stern can say anything that he wants to say on the air and nobody does a thing. Yet, Reggie White stands up to say a speech to politicians, and mentions homosexuality is a sin, and gets barred from a multi-million dollar contract, and alienated from the media, for speaking what the bible says is true? Howard Stern can get on and make a statement, that before they killed these people at the schools up there, they should have raped them, and nobody says a word. Why? Is that fighting against flesh and blood? No, that is fighting against rulers and authorities that allow that type of thing to take place, and have no laws to curtail the base instincts of man.

So, if man is sinful, you do not allow rules and regulations to flaunt and to tempt that sinfulness. You try to restrain that in some way. When you don’t do that, then you have chaos in America today. Nobody knows right from wrong, good form evil. We stood at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and said to God, “Get lost. You say something is sinful. I say it is an alternative lifestyle. If you say something is sinful, I say it is a disease. Don’t blame me. I caught it.” So, we have come to worship at the feet of psychological thoughts, where no one is guilty about anything, and no one is responsible for anything. “Anything goes, and that is the way I want it.” That is the way people live today. We are not fighting against flesh and blood but rulers and authorities, powers in the dark world. Where do they get their motivation? From spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Now, we know where they are getting programmed and now we know why we are getting programmed. If we are to stand against this. He does tell us to stand.

Ephesians 6:13-14
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist

How are you going to stand apart from truth, and also do not come down and water down truth? Truth is truth. But you love in the midst of truth. If a person calls something a sickness that God calls as sin, I am not going to call it a sickness. That does not mean I do not love the person who does call it a sickness. If I love them, I will try to help them to get to the truth. I am not there to condemn that. What I am there for is to point out the error of it.

Ephesians 6:14
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

Again, over in 1 Corinthians, we read about putting on faith and love as a breastplate of righteousness. Where does righteousness come from? Faith in Christ. It is the love of God we put our faith in. What does He do? He imputes to us His righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own. Would you not hate to stand before God in your own righteousness, saying “No wonder you love me, for I am so wonderful.” No, we realize righteousness that we have is because Jesus gave it to us.

Ephesians 6:15-17
15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith

That faith is so important in here, for which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Ephesians 6:16-17
with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Again, over in Thessalonians, it talks about the hope of salvation as a helmet. What is our hope in? The salvation that has been given to us in Christ Jesus. That is where your hope is. Now, take up the sword of the Spirit. That sword is the only offensive weapon. What is that? The word of God.

Ephesians 6:18-20
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

It is interesting to see these illustrations in the writings of Paul.

Galatians 5:5-6
5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

When we look at this, we see it is by faith that you and I are eagerly awaiting the righteousness for which we hope. We have that Spirit of righteousness living in us. Our hope is in that truth. Again, our righteousness does not come from our good deeds of a Jew or bad deeds of a Gentile. It comes from the hope in Christ Jesus. When talking about faith, the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Neither Jew or Gentiles, slave or free, but we have all become one in Christ Jesus, and because we are one, it is not a big deal to be a Jew or a big deal to be a Gentile. The big deal is being in Christ. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love.

A Closer Look at Faith Hope and Love

Order the Bible Study; “A Closer Look at Faith, Hope and Love” book today!

Turn now to chapter 2 in faith, hope and love in our study series. We will look at it in three sections. In chapter two, we will look at this area of faith. Then we will discuss hope and love. We are in the section titled “Faith defined”.

We saw the triplicate with faith, hope and love. Now, we will look at their individual parts. When you are talking about faith, we are talking about dependency. A person said faith is an action taken on the part of a man toward a promise made by God. That is true. When we can trust what God says in his word, to walk by faith means to walk in dependence, not only in the written word, but also the living word, who is Christ. So faith is a conscious choice we make to believe and trust what He has said and what He did on our behalf. In the New Testament, we are constantly going to be learning who we are. First, who we are in Christ. What does God say about us? Then it exhorts us to present ourselves to God in dependent faith.

Learning to walk in these truths does not happen overnight. It takes time for us to grab a hold of these things, and to have dependency upon it. It requires the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit that is through the scriptures. It is our love of Gods that then results in dependency upon God that then results in obedience to God. That is the triplicate. We cannot love God. It is not that we love God but that He loves us first.

1 John 4:19
19 We love because he first loved us.

Once again when dealing with faith, we are seeing Him as the initiator and us as the responder. We do not initiate love to God. We can only respond to His love for us. When we finally understand that we have a God who loves us perfectly then dependency begins to set in. I begin to realize, there is someone I can depend upon. When I can depend upon someone like that, then what is so difficult about walking in that truth, obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ? But we try to get people to be obedient before we get them to understand love, and what love has done. The standard mode of operation is to teach someone who comes to Christ to go out and get busy. In other words, we do not teach someone all the ramifications of what it means to be in Him and what He has done for you, what he has promised to you, who you are in Christ, but go get busy and get to work for God. So we are so busy being busy that we do not even know who it is that is being busy. We do not have our identity based in Him, but we have got our identity based in the ones who told us to get busy.

Let us look at scriptures that defines faith.

Hebrews 11:1-2
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and certain about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

So faith is defined as something we are sure of what we hope or. And we are certain of those things we do not see. Jesus said that no one has seen God but Jesus has made Him known.

John 6:46
46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.

John 1:18
18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

I have never seen God yet I know there is a God. I also know God’s name. It is interesting when that when we were talking earlier about how this very remote heathenistic people could still know that there was a snake bite, and that it must be because something bad has happened, and there is a punishment to that. It is instinctively in our hearts. The story was told that when Helen Keller was administered to by Anne, who pulled her out of her unbelievable condition, she could not see and hear. Then she started being able to communicate. This woman began to communicate with her the things about God. It was interesting that in the way she communicated back to her, in her sign language, communicated back to her this. “Oh, I knew all about this God. I just did not know his name.” There are a lot of people who know about God but do not know His name. His name is Jesus.

A Closer Look at Faith, Hope & Love

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