No comments yet

How to Build Upon Your Faith

It’s true. I have been known to do some dumpster diving. You know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

My most recent dive was into the dumpster located on our new construction property. Builders throw away a lot of good scrap wood and, when I find the time, I love to reclaim and repurpose it into something useful and/or decorative. (Recently I repurposed some into a barn door).

In some way, I think of it as mimicking my heavenly Father who specializes in turning trash into treasure.

In the book of Acts, 20 the Apostle Paul is saying good bye to the elders of the church at Ephesus and he warns them of false teachers that will arise among themselves. Then he finishes by commending them to the Lord’s care and says the following:

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”

Act 20:32 KJV

It is easy to distinguish the difference in creative energy that exists between a standardized apartment building and a custom home. The former requires a simple repeatable formula where one unit is indistinguishable from another. The latter requires a creative force to plan and execute something unique that is the reflection of the owner’s tastes.

What we notice here is that the creative and energizing force that we are given to build with is not ‘the word of His Law’ but it is ‘the word of His grace’. This is the creative power required to transform trash into treasure.

Most Holy Faith or Mostly Holy Faith?

The Lord’s earthly brother, Jude wrote a letter that, like the Apostle Paul, warns believers of false teachers that come into the church with a demonic agenda to transform the faith once delivered to the saints from a solid foundation of grace to a crumbling foundation of works.

After some very interesting examples that warn us of false teachers, Jude encourages believers to ‘build upon your most holy faith…’ That is, the foundation of salvation by grace is already laid by the finished work of the Lord Jesus:

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11 KJV

After this a foundational course of stone is laid by the Apostle’s teachings:

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone]; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are being built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” – Eph 2:19-22 KJV

So, when we talk about ‘Faith building’ experiences, what we really mean is ‘faithful building‘. That is, our spiritual growth should be true to the foundations that we are building upon.

Sadly, most of the professing church has built upon a corrupted faith that is ‘mostly holy’ rather than ‘most holy’. In other words we have substituted the imperfect works of mankind for the perfect work of Christ.

“If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1Co 3:14-15 KJV

When we attempt to build upon the shaky foundations that rely upon man made traditions, doctrinal statements and law keeping, we are sure to suffer loss rather than receive a reward at the judgment seat of Christ

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.” – 2Co 5:10 KJV

Repurposed Faith

Jude reminds us of four necessary elements for faithful building and remaking our lives into what the Lord of the house intends for us.

First, we are to Remember that there will be false teachers who appear as angels of light but lack the Spirit of God and knowingly or unknowingly are informed by doctrines of demons. Their primary focus is upon themselves and gathering a following that they can remake into their own image.

Second, we are to Pray in the Holy Spirit. What are we told about prayer? It is not to be showy. It is to be others focused. It is to be done in expectancy of receiving good from the Father. It is to be thankful. It is to be simple, without rote repetition.

Third, we are to Keep ourselves in the love of God. (Jude 1:21) Jude writes warnings of those who have turned away from God and in the process led many others into various errors.

The Apostle Paul reminds the believer that nothing can separate him/her from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). So Jude is not suggesting that we can remove ourselves from the love of God. Rather, the idea is to guard the position that we have in the sunshine of God’s love.

The sun is always providing light, but it is only when we are exposed to daylight that we receive its benefits. It follows then that our enlightment in the truth of God is directly related to our exposure to the Word of God.

Fourth, we are to be Looking for the mercy of the Lord at His appearing. When we are away from our loved ones for any length of time, we soon find ourselves missing them and looking forward to the day when we will be with them to enjoy their support and acceptance.

In anticipation of meeting them again we want to look our best and keep ourselves clean so that we can meet them without fear or shame. So it is that the anticipation of meeting the Lord either in death or at His return to receive the church unto Himself (John 14:3) keeps us alert to being defiled by sin.

So, when our faith appears to be worn out and useless, the Holy Spirit can enable us to apply the Truth of God to re-create our faith and re-purpose it into something appealing to a whole new group of people.

All that we need is the humility and courage to allow the Holy Spirit to ‘dumpster dive’ into our souls and pull out some hidden treasures.

Post a comment