Wednesday, April 16, 2014
“There is One Faith”
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It’s Wednesday, April 16, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph. 4:4-6).
As I reflect today on the opportunity that many of us will have to assemble with the saints for Wednesday evening Bible study, I’m reminded of the great fellowship that we enjoy together. There’s a unity that we have as God’s people. You know, fellowship is more than just talking and visiting; it is a state of existence, a commonality between agreeing people on a set of standards and rules for a given activity. For example, people who play golf are a part of a fellowship in the context of golfing. They understand and agree upon the rules of the game.
Fellowship with God is exactly the same. We have a standard, a set of rules, by which we govern our lives, and we understand that abiding by the rules is necessary to maintaining our fellowship with God and with God’s people.
Ephesians 4:4-6 gives us seven pillars on which we stand to be unified together: one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God. This Wednesday edition of The New You brings us to an examination of the one faith.
Faith and knowledge are linked together. You can’t have faith without knowledge. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing God’s Word. In fact, faith and knowledge are so linked together that the New Testament often places the article “the” in front of the word “faith” to refer to the New Testament’s teaching as a whole.
Let me illustrate. In Galatians 1:23, Paul mentions some brethren in Judea who had heard of his conversion to Jesus. He says that they heard this about him: “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” What did they say Paul was preaching? “The faith.” Note the singularity of this message that Paul preached; it was THE faith, implying that there is no other. But we don’t have to just imply the singularity of this message. Paul actually preached and boldly defended the singularity of the message of Christ.
In Galatians 1:6-9 Paul warns these brethren that they have been deceived by false teachers to think that there is another gospel. Paul says that this isn’t another message, instead “there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:7). Then we find these chilling words:
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed (Gal. 1:8-9).
Now how many times does the Holy Spirit have to say something in order for it to be both true and binding? Well the answer to that is only once. Here, this inspired apostle offers two back-to-back warnings of the danger of perverting the pure, true New Testament.
Let’s wrap it up: There is one faith. That’s “the faith” that had converted Paul to Christianity. That is “the faith” which Paul preached to Felix (Acts 24:24). That is “the faith,” the doctrine of Christ, that unifies you and me as new creatures in Jesus Christ. For that matter, that is “the faith” which continues to renew the inner man day by day (2 Cor. 4:16).
By the way, you and I are to have a passion for the defending the faith, too. Listen to Jude 3:
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Memory Verse: How are you doing with this week’s memory verse? I love this verse! I’ll say it once, then you repeat it with me the second time.
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Sometime today: Speaking of this week’s memory verse, sometime today head on over to Romans 5:6-11. Read that text at least once today and spend a few minutes thinking about how the death of Christ has impacted your life. We’ll look at that topic together tomorrow.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
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I’ll meet you tomorrow for another edition of The New You.
Today, increase your faith by studying and applying THE faith. Learn it, love it, spread it, and defend it.