We cannot experience victorious living until we learn to live by faith. James 5:4&5 says:
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (Emphasis supplied).
This text tells us that faith works because it is how we overcome the sinful temptations of this world. So the question to be answered at this point is this:
How does faith work?
James 5:4 gives us the correct basis to supply the answer to this question by saying, Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? Faith works because faith believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Those who believe this also believe in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and in him they are made complete (see Colossians 2:8-10). Those who believe this devote all of their energies to accomplish the one goal of being in Christ Jesus (Please read Philippians 3:7-15). Now the question is:
How do we get in Christ?
We find the answer to this question in Galatians 2:20 which says:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
The reason our faith overcomes the world is because the work of faith results in us living by the faith of Jesus. It is the faith of Jesus that overcomes the world. Faith works because we do the work of faith and desperately seek Jesus. Without this work our faith is dead.
Let me explain this more fully. In Romans 12:3 the apostle Paul says:
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (Emphasis supplied).
Paul lets us know here that God’s grace has supplied everybody that has ever lived with enough faith to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and in Him they can be made complete. It is this measure of faith that responds to the prompting of the Holy Spirit convicting us of our sinful state and our desperate need of Jesus to save us from our sins (see John 16:7-14). When we reject this prompting of the Holy Spirit we are rejecting our only hope of overcoming this world and if we continue to reject to do the work of faith we will commit the unpardonable sin and be eternally lost (see Matthew 12:31). However, when we respond to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit we will use the measure of faith that God’s grace has supplied to do the work of faith. This work of faith is always rewarded by receiving the faith of Jesus because it results in our being able to say, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: This is the faith that the faithful will live by because this is the faith that overcomes the world and this is why the apostle Paul said:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:16&17 (Emphasis supplied).
In next week’s blog I will continue the discussion on, How to do the work of faith, as I relate what Jesus said in Luke 9:23&24 to what Paul said in Galatians 2:20. Spread the word and see you next week.