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Faith Toward God (32)

So far, in investigating why so many Christians are fearful and faithless, we have unearthed five root-causes as follows:
1. A lack of interest in doing the Will of God;
2. An unwillingness to deny themselves of worldly pleasures;
3. A lack of desire to carry their cross daily and follow Jesus;
4. A strong desire to preserve their lives here on earth; and,
5. Their ignorance of the true value or worth of their souls in eternity. When the true value of a thing is not known, it is subject to abuse, misuse, and even disuse. So many Christians have tried to equate the value of their souls with earthly things, and yet their souls are more valuable than anything that can be afforded on earth; so much so, that it is only the precious blood of Jesus, which was shed on the cross at Calvary, that can pay for, and redeem, the soul of man from going down to hell for all eternity. And because many Christians are yet to appreciate the true value of their souls, and the price that was paid for theirs by the Lord Jesus Christ, they would rather pay obeisance to men and the devil, than they would, the Lord Jesus Christ. For this cause, many are fearful of the devil, demons, witches, members of the occult and cult members, as well as, what people will say or are saying about them, and so on. But when you come to the real knowledge of the magnitude of the payment God had made to redeem your soul, you would then begin to understand how very precious your soul is to God, and then, you will appreciate that God alone deserves to be worshipped and reverentially feared!

Now that we have identified these major root-causes of fear in many believers in Christ, the next question is, How does a fearful Christian overcome fearfulness and faithlessness? Answering this question, is the subject of this broadcast.

When a person comes to the saving knowledge of Christ, through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross at Calvary, he becomes a child of God. By this token, he is said to be born again, born from above, or born of the Spirit of God. In John 3:5-8, the Lord Jesus, in explaining what it means to be born again, said to Nicodemus, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. So, a person who is born again, is born of the Spirit of God, and by that token, has the Spirit of God now resident in him. In John 14:16-18, the Lord Jesus, while encouraging His disciples before His departure from this world, said, I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. In these verses of scripture, the Lord is telling even those of us who are Christians today, that when we became born again, the Spirit of truth, Who is also known as the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, or, the Holy Spirit, came to indwell us, and thus became our Comforter. The word comforter, is translated from the Greek word, paraclete, for lack of a better English word; but it really means, someone sent to be by the side of another. Hence, it can be rightly translated advocate, helper, counselor, or, strengthener. So when you became born again of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit became your closest Ally, Friend, Counselor, Adviser, Attorney or Legal Counsel, and began to live within you, in your spirit man. It is the Holy Spirit in a child of God, who speaks to him from within, directing him in the way he should live and behave. Let us quickly dispel any attempt to ascribe to the Holy Spirit, some of the instructions that people have made, saying that the Holy Spirit or God told them to do certain ungodly things: the Lord Jesus Christ made it extremely clear in the verses under review that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and by implication, He cannot say anything that is not truthindeed, the Holy Spirit cannot lie! He cannot say anything that is contrary to the written word of God as contained in the bible! For example, the Holy Spirit cannot ask you to kill someone, neither will He tell you to marry someone who is already married or divorced, nor can the Holy Spirit direct you to perform any immoral sexual act, like fornication, masturbation, homosexuality, etc. When the Holy Spirit indwells a Christian, His presence introduces certain qualities, which would never have been in the Christian, except put there by the Holy Spirit. One of such is lovethis is not the human kind of love, which is based on sensual, selfish or filial motives. The love which the Holy Spirit introduces into the Christian is the God-kind of love, which is love or benevolence on the basis of the kindness of the giver rather than on the worthiness of the receiver, or, what we can call, undeserved kindness. In Romans 5:5, the bible tells us that, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. What this means is that, as the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence in a believer in Christ, from the moment the believer receives the salvation of God through faith in Jesus Christ, the love of God is poured into the believer through the Holy Spirit; and because this love is not the human kind of love, but the perfect love of God, according to 1 John 4:18, this love casts out, or drives out, or chases off, or takes away, fear! Thus, when a person becomes born again, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell him, and as a result, fills his heart with the love of God, which completely eliminates fear of all sorts, except, of course, the reverential fear of God. From the time that you were born again therefore, if indeed you are born again, the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, flooded your entire being with Gods love, and as a result, you should no longer have any fear in you; be it, fright, terror, dread, anxiety, worry, fretting, trepidation, timidity, respect for men over reverence for God, and so on. Hence, fear is dealt with, by allowing the Holy Spirit to have full access into every aspect of your life. It is important to note that although the Holy Spirit is a gift to everyone who is born again; like any gift, the Holy Spirit must be received or accepted; that is, He must be welcomed by the recipient, and allowed to perform His functions without inhibition from the recipient, to enable the Christian live a godly and righteous life here on earth. Therefore, when a Christian does not welcome the Holy Spirit into his life, as he ought to, by giving Him priority in everything that he does, he inevitably estranges himself from the love of God which was poured into him in the first place, only because the Holy Spirit was in him. And when this estrangement takes place, he denies or starves himself (that is, his spirit man) of the love of God, and as a result, fear begins to grow in him, and eventually dominates him. Now the bible says, in part, in 1 John 4:18, that, fear hath torment. This is referring to the terror or anticipation of punishment due to the guilt of sin in man. In other words, the fear which many Christians have, is the dread of punishment arising from the guilt of sin, eating at their hearts. The bible says in 1 John 3:20-21, if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. A guilty conscience gives rise to fear, vis--vis, Gods judgment. The bible is thus saying that if your conscience condemns you (meaning that, fear is the result of a guilty conscience), it must be that there is an unconfessed or secret sin in your life, and if you are sincere with yourself, and go to God with the matter, God who knows all things, and Who does not condemn us, will bring peace to our troubled hearts, by pointing out such unconfessed or secret sin, and encouraging us to make amends through repentance and restitution where necessary. Please, let us note that God gave conscience to man to help him become aware when he has sinned, even if he does not immediately know it; hence, the bible says in 1 John 1:8-9, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Once your conscience is eating at you, it is a sign that you have sinned, and as you go to God in genuine repentance, you shall be cleansed from that sin, and fellowship will be restored between you and Godthe condemnation ceases, and you can again, exhibit faith toward God, and be confident that He is with you, by His Holy Spirit. So, as long as the Holy Spirit is indwelling you, you cannot, and should not be afraid; but if you are not sure of the Holy Spirits presence, or, if you have sinned against God, and your heart or conscience gives you no peace, even if the whole world is telling you that you are okay, then, you will become fearful! So, if you have not been doing the Will of God, are unwilling to deny yourself, not carrying your cross, not following in the Lord Jesus footsteps, seeking to preserve your life here on earth, rather than focusing on eternity, or, have settled down to earthly living, having traded off your soul, then, you will be in terror of the judgment of God. But God has made a provision for all those who have guilt within them to confess their sins before Him and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus.

The problem with many Christians today, is that they are taking the grace of God for granted, and continuing to live in sin, unhindered. And like Samson, they dont know that the Holy Spirit has left them, even though their consciences have triggered a warning through restlessness and fear. The reason why this has happened, is so that all such Christians who are living sinful lives would cease from doing those things that make their conscience to trigger the warning alarm, and to turn to God in true repentance. Unfortunately, many Christians have bought into the false doctrine of once saved, always saved! which is a doctrine that erroneously teaches that once you have received the salvation of God, it doesnt matter how you live, you can never lose that salvation. Friend, nothing can be further from the truth! The truth is, it is possible to lose the salvation of God, if you live contrary to the word of God consistently without repentance [we advise you to read Hebrews 6:4-6 on this matter]. Samson continually sinned before God, but because he was able to do great things, albeit, in the power of the Spirit of God, he thought he was okay; until the day that the Philistines captured him. Let us read the biblical account of the capture of Samson in Judges 16:20-21: And she said [this was Delilah, after she had shaved off the locks of Samsons hair, believed by bible scholars to represent the presence of the Holy Spirit in Samsons life], The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house. Samson did not realize that the Holy Spirit had left him, and so, as he attempted to attack the Philistines who had come upon him, as he had done in time past, he realized that he could do nothing because the Spirit of God had left him. And when the Philistines captured him, they made certain that he would never again see the light of daythey plucked out his eyes, took him to their territory, bound him with chains, and made him to labour in their prison. Had Samson heeded the early warning signal which God, through his conscience was sending to him, he would have repented, and would have saved himself from the humiliation and gloating of the enemies of Gods people. Brethren, let us learn from Samson, and heed the warning that the Holy Spirit is sending to us through our conscience, which may be palpitating, even now as you are hearing this message. And if this is the case with you, turn now to God in true repentance, and He will again give you the Holy Spirit, Who will once more fill your heart with love, peace, and, the joy of the Holy Spirit; re-establishing fellowship with God; and, as a result, eliminate all fear from your heart. Remember that God has not given you a spirit of fear or timidity, but one of love, of power, and of a sound mind. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by doing things which offend God; rather, befriend Him, by doing what He asks you to do, which is always the Will of God; and you shall indeed be living in the love and power of God, and in soundness of mindthe mind of Christ. Start today to live free of fearfull of Gods love and in faith toward God!

Let us pray!