What is faith?
- “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
How to get faith?
- “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” – Romans 10:17
- “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—” – Ephesians 2:8
- Paul says “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” – 1 Corinthians 3:5-8
- “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” – Romans 10:9-10
- Faith is nothing but the gift from God, that will be planted as a seed in our heart through the preacher which you have to receive by declaring the word “Jesus is Lord” with your mouth.
Why to be faithful?
- To receive what you seek for.
- “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” – Matthew 21:22
- To receive what you are promised.
- “So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” – Galatians 3:9
- “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” – Galatians 3:14
- To receive salvation.
- “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;” – Romans 3:10, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” – Romans 3:20, but it is written, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” – Romans 3:22, because “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21, therefore “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” – Galatians 2:16
What people received through faith?
- Hebrews 11
- “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
- By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
- By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
- By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” – Hebrews 11:3-5, 7-12, 17-34
Why to grow in faith?
- “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
- “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
- The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
- “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
- “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “ ‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” – Matthew 25:14-29
- This parable was told for faith, sometimes we have to face trials in our life, at those times we may feel like God is not near and we have to handle situations all by ourself like that, here God is the man who went on a journey after entrusting their servants with the bag of gold, in our case God has entrusted us with the bag of faith that is nothing but the situations where God had helped us before because of the faith that we had shown at that time, this is the bag of faith you are holding on to, so we can say like those are faith you had at past, now you have to use those faith from past to win your current trial period, But how to use it? You got this question right! it is nothing but showing Gratitude.
So all you have to do is take out your faith from past and say like the Lord who made me to overcome that situation will help me to overcome this too. That’s it, you have gained one more faith. So easy right! to be grateful. Thus we can use Gratitude to grow in faith.
- If we don’t use faith from past that is not being grateful to overcome our trial during the times when God seems to be the one who went on a journey, and if we try to solve it in our own wicked ways with our mere human wisdom or whining to God, with the bag of faith kept idle, then all the faith we had once will be taken away from us, then we can’t use it anymore, but if you use faith (being grateful) you will be gifted with much more faith as it is written,
“With the measure you use (Gratitude), it (faith) will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has (faith) will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” – Mark 4:24-25
- As we already seen why to be faithful, to receive those gifts we should not keep our faith idle but we have to use it (show gratitude) whenever we do have opportunity and it will grow,
“making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:16, 20
or else your faith will be taken away. So to not let it taken away we have to make it grow.
How to grow in faith?
- The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
- He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
- “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ” – Luke 17:5-10
What is the meaning of the parables told to increase faith?
- First parable compares faith with mustard seed, to make mulberry tree obey us.
- Second parable we are seeing how the servant should humble him before his master.
- Let’s see it’s deep meaning.
First parable: Faith as small as mustard seed
- Jesus explained about mustard seed as
It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade. – Mark 4:31-32
- We already seen that faith will be planted as like a seed in our heart, here Jesus compares faith with mustard seed, so once you had faith planted in you as small as mustard seed, God will make it grow into the largest one.
The mulberry tree will obey you
- It is not the tree God said will obey you, as God doesn’t want everybody to throw up the tree into the sea to prove their faith, he meant our problems.
- We are given the authority to handle problems that we face in our life, using the mustard seed like faith, you can command at your problem to be thrown away from your life and it will be done. Jesus said ‘mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you’, God said it because what seems to be impossible with our human wisdom can be possible with faith as it is written
“Nothing will be impossible for you” – Matthew 17:20
He said it “so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power”. – 1 Corinthians 2:5
- You are given this authority, the bag of faith, use it to gain more. As it is written,
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” – Luke 16:10-11
, God trusted us with this authority to handle these little problems in our worldly life, and if we are trustworthy in handling these worldly issues by using faith and making it grow till the end then God will give us authority to handle things in heaven the true riches, as it is written,
“To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ —just as I have received authority from my Father.” – Revelation 2:26-27
- So always remember you are given authority through the faith so say to yourself, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13. With each trusting times your faith will grow as it is said,
“Whoever has (faith) will be given more” also be careful in your ways so that your faith will not be taken away.
So Say to The Mulberry tree
- “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” – Galatians 3:29
- So all the promises God gave to Abraham’s seeds will be apply to you too, if you have faith on Christ. Say those promises loud, and see the work of God.
- Your mulberry tree may be anything, but it will obey you.
- If you are afraid that you may not have baby then be faithful and say,
“I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.” – Genesis 13:16
- You may be afraid about your health report then be faithful and say
“I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” – Jeremiah 33:6, “You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.” – Genesis 15:15
- You may be afraid about your job or marriage then be faithful and say,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
- You might be treated unfair by someone then be faithful and say,
“If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.” – Isaiah 54:15
- Somebody spreading rumors about you?, then be faithful and say,
“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.” – Isaiah 54:17
- If your human wisdom condemns you as sinful or telling you are not deserved for rising with the Lord or you might have lost faith (faith taken away in some situations), then ask for forgiveness and to give clean heart, you have to rise along with the Lord, that has to be your main goal in your life. So clear those trees immediately by saying
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will call for the grain and make it plentiful and will not bring famine upon you.” – Ezekiel 36:26-29
- Are you afraid you will not be saved at end? Then say
“He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 1:8
Second parable: Qualities of the Faithful servant
- From second parable we can see that God says about the qualities of the faithful servant, those are,
- He should follow his master’s commands (working in field or taking care of sheep)
- He should obey his master apart from those commanded at first, (he followed his master’s commands to prepare supper and to wait till he finished his eating and drinking even though he is tired after finishing his work at the field)
- He shouldn’t expect reward by thinking himself high as he did all those commanded to him. Instead, he should humble himself before the master because he is not greater than the master.
We are the servants
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” – Romans 6:15-16, 18-19, 22
- Our older master was flesh that leads to sin, Now our new master is God, the righteous that leads to eternal life.
Follow his commands
- Follow his commandments to be a good slave (to righteousness)
- “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
- “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” – 1 Peter 2:16, don’t use the given authority for your flesh desires but to please the Spirit by giving it’s fruit,
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:19-23
- Thus we should not use our authority to curse or harm someone as Jesus said,
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:27-31
Difficulties in the field
- It’s not going to be easy to take care of sheep or plowing (that is following his commands in this world) servant has to defeat the wild animals that attacks to save the sheep, save your sheep (soul) from the wild animals (trails and temptation)
- “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” – James 1:13-14
- We are humans and we do sin, it is written there is none who is righteous in this world, that’s why we should confess when we sinned and ask God to give us clean and pure heart. To not fall into the temptation Jesus gave us a solution,
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Matthew 26:41
Prepare my supper ~ preach gospel
- Apart from following his commands to be righteous he wants us to preach gospel, preparing supper is preaching gospel to everyone in this world therefore God’s people can be gathered from all sides of the world and so anyone can receive salvation.
“For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”” – Romans 10:12-15
- “Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.” – 1 Corinthians 9:10, 14, 16-18
Get yourself ready ~ be on your guard
- “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” – 1 Corinthians 9:25-27
- Don’t get tempted in the ways of wickedness. Be good to all, not only to those who love you but also to your enemy as it is written, ‘Love all’.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ” – Matthew 6:9-13
- This prayer helps us to be ready daily, we are asking for his kingdom to come, this will make our conscience beware of it. And as we do sins we ask for forgiveness daily to God, and asking to not lead us into our temptation by giving strength to defeat it, and to save us from all the evil ways. We are giving our today’s life to him by asking his will be done, so that whatever we do it will be counted as we are doing it for God, and when we thank for each thing our faith will grow. Use all the opportunities to say thanks so that your faith will grow.
- Only through God we can continue as his child, so to receive salvation we have to ASK him by FAITH. That’s what this prayer is about, it is the prayer to receive salvation and to be ready daily.
Wait till I eat and drink ~ you can’t rise and judge before he does
- Waiting till he eats and drink is nothing but, we have to wait patiently for his arrival and then he will judge all. Until that time we shouldn’t judge anyone as they will be sentenced to hell or they are people who will never understand God, or they are evil, like that as you being righteous through faith. As you are following his commands you don’t have rights to judge others who doesn’t. That’s why in the parable it is said, Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?
- You don’t know the plans God have for each one, they may be touched by God at anytime, Paul is the one who opposed gospel very much, yet he is touched by Christ and wrote many books, dedicated his life for the gospel till the end. He said
“I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” – 1 Corinthians 4:3-5.
This is how we should be without judging anyone until it’s time. Remember you shouldn’t even judge yourself.
- You may think like “Are you saying after his arrival can we judge?” Yes, because of Christ we will be justified as righteous by faith, “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” – Romans 3:22, when we hold to that faith then when he rise and judge the world, we too will rise and judge the world.
“Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!” – 1 Corinthians 6:2-3
We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty ~ be humble
- “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” – John 13:14-17
- Servant is not greater than the master, Our master Christ himself have set as an example here as he humbled himself to wash the feet of others, we the servants can’t be greater than the one who washes the feet of others. We should not consider ourself high just because we are following the commands.
“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” – 1 Peter 5:5-6
Second parable conclusion
It explained the qualities we have to posses to be the Faithful servant of God,
- Follow his commands (Love all)
- Preach gospel
- Be on your guard
- Wait patiently till the arrival of Christ
- Don’t judge anyone until it’s time
- Be humble
Faith without these good deeds is nothing as it is written, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” – James 2:26
“For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’ ”
Peace be with you