How should we believe God? How should we love God?
In the last post we studied the first of three subjects that God asked us to do without hypocrisy. We are not to love/agape with hypocrisy.
First lets look at the verse we found this statement in.
“Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”
This verse uses the Greek word, anypokritos, which means hypocrisy. We also found this word regarding three other subjects. Today we are covering the next subject which is faith.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:5-7
Wow what a compliment to Timothy. The word “faith” is the Greek word “pistis,” which means faith, steadfastness, faithfulness, believing. Pistis, is used in the New Testament 244 times. If we want to know how to have faith without hypocrisy like Timothy did, we have to know what it is.
Pistis is listed 37 times in Romans alone. Another word I use interchangeable in this blog with faith is believing. All seven church epistles fit within the framework of doctrine, reproof and correction. Romans was given to the church as the doctrine of faith/believing so it fits that the word pistis would show up more in Romans than any other book of the seven church epistles. Romans tells us the doctrine; or the right way to believe, about faith and our believing. Let’s look at some examples in Romans of believing, or faith.
“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” Romans 3:3
Faith of God. Wow! What’s that? And what could make the Faith of God lack effect? I’m so glad you asked. The word unbelief is a very interesting word too. It is the Greek word “apistia” and means that you haven’t hear or haven’t heard enough to believe. Well, that is interesting because how do we get more faith? That’s in Romans too. Ha!
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
So if we spend time hearing the Word of God, we will gain the Faith of God because the lack of faith is unbelief, and this unbelief happens when we haven’t heard enough of the Word to believe. What is the ultimate act of faith unfeigned?
“But what saith it? The word is nigh (near) thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:8-10
How do we have faith without hypocrisy? Confession is made with the mouth, and believing comes from the heart. Our hearts and our mouths are so tied to our faith that we cannot separate them. Have you ever wondered what someone believes? Just listen to the content that comes out of their mouth. It won’t be long before you know exactly where they stand. Listening is the most underrated skill taught today. Those who are mature in Christ listen, because listening can solve so many problems and questions. We listen to God, to His Word, and we have more faith. We listen to our fellow believers and we learn what they believe.
They say it’s after you think you know it all that you really begin to learn.
Why? Listening. Active listening.
The word in Romans 10:17 listed above, “hearing” is the Greek word “akoē”. Look at where else it’s used.
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard (akoē) of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe (pisteuō, which has the root word of pistis, meaning faith in manifestation).” 1 Thessalonians 2:13
This defines how one should listen. We receive the rightly divided Word of God as the truth, then this truth effectually worked in them that what? YES Believe! Ha! Are you as excited as I am right now? When that Word of God sinks into your mind, heart and life like a gem of truth for all ages you want to change how you act in accordance to that new belief which is the definition of the renewed mind. Put the Word of God in mind and act accordingly. WOW! This ties bigger than we could have ever known! They say that actions speak louder than words. But in today’s world words speak pretty loud! Our media, news and social media has vaunted the spoken word higher than anything. We hear that someone said one thing, but they never mention the way the person acts. I really believe that this is the cause of so much strife in our country. Someone uses a racial, prejudicial slur and the media goes wild. They do not look at what kind of life the person leads. On the other side they vaunt someone to the sky who has all the right words for them, but none of the right actions. Actions and words must go hand in hand if we are to build our faith. Does that make sense?
We must hear the rightly divided Word of God before faith will come. When we hear and receive, (the Greek word for receive is dechomai, to receive inwardly) that word of God it will effectually work, which is not just work and get results, but work and get the right results. We will have faith in action. Wow! So what is another way to say faith in action? Faith unfeigned!
Look what Jesus Christ said just before he ascended to heaven.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe (pisteuō= faith in manifestation); In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18
We have the opportunity everyday to have faith unfeigned by using this gift of Holy Spirit that God gave us. In the next post, we will learn the last subject God says we should have without hypocrisy.
God bless you today!