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05/07/2015

Courageous faith

In the Bible there are 365 references to ‘faith’ – one for every day of the year! When we read about courageous acts of faith – whether in the Bible or our own ‘acts of courage’ wall – they encourage, inspire and challenge us.

We read in Acts 9:32-43 of Peter’s incredible faith in God’s ability to step in to change a situation, even death!

We can find we have lots of opportunities to use words to proclaim the gospel, but how often do we demonstrate what Jesus has done for people?

Peter was willing to take responsibility and authority. We can often pray, saying, “God, do something!” But the Great Commission in Matthew 28 seems to say that God’s response is: “I’ve given you authority; you’re the answer to the prayer you’re praying!”

Our faith is based on One who is constant, who doesn’t fail, who never changes and is always faithful: Jesus. Faith stems from God’s faithfulness – it’s only because God is faithful that we can exercise courageous faith.

Jesus said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18) We are not in an equally weighted battle. The Bible says that every name will submit to Jesus. There is no doubt in the spiritual realm as to who will come out victorious – Jesus is already the victorious One! This is why faith in Him is actually just common sense! Here are four things Jesus has already done:

1. Jesus has defeated sin and death – the power of sin and death is broken for all who have put their trust in Jesus. We have been raised up spiritually. Peter can be confident that Tabitha will rise from the dead (see Acts 9) because he’s already seen Jesus rise from the dead, so he knows that Jesus has defeated death.

2. Jesus has fulfilled the Law, which means the devil cannot accuse us; we are squeaky clean before any spiritual enemy who would prosecute us. Every allegation has been nailed to the cross of Christ: because of what Jesus has done, we are completely innocent under the Law. It's incredible.

3. Jesus has purchased freedom, liberty and full access for us. Our position, our identity, the very make up of who we are is different when we are in Christ. The same power that took Jesus from death, raised Him up and seated Him in heaven is at work in us! We now have 'access all areas' with the King of kings! Jesus has done it all. It's not Jesus plus something. There is nothing He forgot to deal with on the cross. The penalty for our sin – death – has been dealt with.

4. Jesus has been given every tribe and every nation. This is why we can say that God has a plan for Hastings & 1066 Country.

God has delegated His authority to us. We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. We carry the authority of the Kingdom wherever we go. Jesus has chosen to bring us into His plans – we get to co-labour with Him. He is the head of the Church, but we are the body – Jesus has chosen to work through us. Our authority isn’t about what we do, it’s about who we are. Faith isn’t just about believing, but it’s about doing: you cannot have faith without obedience. James wrote that faith without action is dead! (James 2:17)

What Jesus did, we can do. Jesus was dependent on the Father. Focus more on the love of God in your heart than on the power of God in your hands. Courageous faith is easy when you know the One who is faithful and the power He has given you.

Aled Cousins

Posted by Aled Cousins
20:00


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