Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Word Study of Faith

Faith (4102) (pistis) in this context describes the Christian's personal confidence in God, Christ, His Word and His promises. Christians will be enabled to stand fearlessly firm against the roaring lion only if they lean wholly (which is what faith does) on Jesus' name, standing on the promises of God.
The noun "Faith" is in the locative case, the idea being that the stability to stand against the adversary is found in the sphere of one's personal faith.
Wuest adds that "The words "in the faith" refer to the believer’s own faith, the definite article here pointing to ownership. That is, the Christian is to stand firm against the onset of the devil, not in himself, but in the exercise of a faith that depends upon the strengthening and protecting power of God."
Remember that faith is not a feeling but "is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb 11:1 and that believers are called to "walk by faith, not by sight." (2Cor 5:7-
The basic nature of faith is confidence that things yet future and unseen will happen as God has revealed they will. Peter is saying that if this is our attitude, we will be enabled to stand firm.

Your faith will be firm if your trust is in the Solid Rock. Victory is not assured by the personal tenacity or intensity with which we cling to our personal beliefs. Victory is found in adhering to the finished work of Christ on the Cross, where Christ forever defeated our adversary the devil. Prior to His crucifixion Jesus declared
"Now judgment is upon this world (sentence is now being passed on this world); now the ruler of this world shall be cast out." (Jn 12:31).
Although the Cross might have appeared to signal Satan’s victory over God, in reality it marked Satan’s defeat. The sentence has not yet been carried out on the devil, but his doom has been sealed. He is still going through the world carrying on his evil business, but at the end of Messiah's 1000 year reign John records that the devil who deceived (the unbelievers in the 1000 year reign) was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
(Rev 20
The purpose of trials is not to weaken our faith but to strengthen it. Trials are not allowed by God to make us "bitter" but "better". The outcome depends on our attitude - receptive versus resentful.

Thomas Watson…Faith is the grace which does Satan most harm; it makes the most resistance against him. "Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour! Resist him, standing firm in the faith." 1Peter 5:8, 9. No grace more bruises the serpent's head—than faith. It is both a shield and a sword, defensive and offensive. It is a shield to guard the head and defend the vitals. The shield of faith prevents the fiery darts of temptation from piercing us through. Faith is a sword which wounds the red dragon.
Charles Simeon warns that…Unbelief is a powerful instrument in the hands of Satan. He excites it in us that he may turn us from the faith: we must therefore hold fast the doctrines of faith. We should not suffer ourselves to be moved from the hope of the Gospel: this is our anchor whereby we must outride the storm (He 6:19-We must also steadfastly exercise the grace of faith. This is the weapon whereby we overcome the world (1Jn 5:4, cp Gal 6:14; and by this shall we triumph over Satan himself (Ep 6:16-
Let not the ungodly despise this adversary; but let them seek deliverance from him through the Gospel (Acts 26:18); and let the godly be continually on their guard against him (2Co 11:3), so shall they experience that promised blessing (1 Peter 5:8, 9 The Means of Defeating Satan's Malice)http://archive.org/stream/horaehomileticae20sime#page/n7/mode/2up

Spurgeon in his sermon The Roaring Lion (click for full text) comments on Steadfast in the faith writing that we should
Seek to obtain a clear knowledge of the doctrines of the gospel, and then get a good grip of them. Be ready to die, sooner than give up a particle of God’s revealed truth. This will make you strong. Then take hold of the promises of God, which are yea and amen in Christ Jesus. Know that to every doctrine there is serve opposite promise. Have ready for every attack some strong word commencing with "Is it written?" Answer Satan with "Thus saith the Lord." — "Steadfast in the faith." Remember, all the water outside of a ship cannot sink it. It is the water inside that perils its safety. So, if your faith can keep its hold, and you can still say, "Though he slay me yet will I trust in him," (Job 13:!5) Satan may batter your shield; but he has not wounded your flesh."

In Acts we read that the churches were being (passive voice = church acted upon by outside force, the Spirit of the Living God) strengthened (stereoo - verb form of stereos
 over and over the church was being made firm and solidified like muscles) in the faith, and were increasing in number daily. (Acts 16:5)

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