1 Peter 5:10: But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen and settle you.
The month of July 2018 has been declared a month of common salvation and un-common faith by God Almighty through the Angel of his Church as inspired by the Holy Spirit.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus died for all: Salvation for all has been paid for, free for all but I would say not entirely free because someone paid dearly for it with His precious Blood. I guess it is free for all because we did not do anything to warrant it, deserve it or be worthy of it.
But the Bible says in Ephesians 2:9, it is by the grace of God that we receive it, not of works, lest any man should boast. I believe that is why some people find it so difficult to accept and believe in the simplicity of the gospel (salvation) that is free of charge because they feel they should be able to do something or give something to merit it.
The Bible in Titus 2:11 says: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.
The plan and desire of God are that salvation should be common to all men (regardless of their race, colour, language, status, height, weight, educational status or vocation). Jesus Christ the Son of God died for all, the Cross is a wealthy place because God sowed his only Begotten Son, so that He can reap you and I. That’s why the Bible says if the prince of this world knew that the King of Glory will resurrect, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Let somebody shout Halleluiah.
The Bible says in Matthew 24:14: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.
Romans 10:15 says: And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things.
Faith, as it were, is the solid foundation of every born again spirit-filled life. It is like the air we breathe.
Hebrews 11:6 makes us to understand that without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek (& serve) Him.
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
A great man (Martin Luther King) defines faith as: ‘Faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God). It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different from other people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it (Job: Though he slay me yet will I trust Him). Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire!
I believe every man is born with a measure of faith, but the extent to which it grows or can be strengthened depends on who you yield your spirit to (Romans 6:16: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?)
Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. You can begin to imagine when this mustard seed faith begins to be exercised in the living word of God, we can do the unimaginable, extraordinary, amazing things and exploits for the Lord.
I want to liken uncommon faith to un-wavering faith (devoid of the doubt like the one James described in James 1:6-8, a double-minded man cannot receive anything from the Lord)
They say if you do not stand for something you will fall for everything. Consistent faith, the faith that does not easily give up, no matter the distraction, discouragement or how intense the fire of the trial might be. Elisha in 2 Kings 2 when he journeyed with his Master Elijah before he was taken away.
There were 3 people in the Bible that Jesus accorded accolades (means special honour & acknowledgement) to in the Bible because he saw them exercise great faith. The Greek Woman & The Centurion.
May God Almighty strengthen our faith to become great faith in Jesus name.
Please journey with me as we look at these 2 examples from the Bible of people that demonstrated un-common faith.
The Greek Woman (In Mark 7:24-30)
A Gentile woman from Syrian Phoenicia asks Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter. A Gentile is not expected to have faith in the Jewish Messiah. In fact, Jesus tries to shoe (discourage) her away, basically calling her a dog. It was a rare moment in the ministry of Jesus indeed, that he would say no to someone asking for help. Clearly, this serves as an opposition to faith. This gentile woman had every reason to just walk away, but she didn’t. Instead, she responded that even the dogs get the scraps from the table. Jesus delivered her daughter because of this reply. Both the initial rejection by Jesus and His statement that the woman’s reply is the reason she got her miracle makes this event unique.
The one characteristic this woman did not have is that she really had nothing to lose by stepping out in faith and not walking away when she was rejected and discouraged.
Her faith was desperate, she had a demon-possessed daughter at home, and she left home believing that when she met with the Great Physician (The Son of David) all will be well with her daughter and she received because she believed.
They say life does not give you what you want in your mind, it gives you what you demand with your actions. Matthew 7:7: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’
John 16:24: says: ask until your joy is full. Let’s not ask in murmuring, complaining, or in vain repetition, but we ask in faith believing we will receive because God is too faithful to fail, He is infallible, He has never lost any battle, He cannot deny Himself or His word).
The Centurion (Matthew 8:5-13)
The story of the Centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. It is unusual in that the centurion actually prevented Jesus from going to his house. He said ‘Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed’. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say to this man, Go and he goeth and to another, come and he cometh and to my servant, Do this and he doeth it’.
The story is unique and it scores the centurion’s faith as great faith.
There are only a few instances in the Bible where Jesus healed from a distance, and in none of them, does the recipient of the miracle express faith in long distance healing, but this centurion stopped Jesus from entering the presence of his sick servant, declaring that he believed Jesus had enough authority to heal from a distance just by saying the word. Jesus responds with great praise, saying, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Jesus spoke the word and his servant was healed that same hour.
Brethren, we might not be able to see Jesus face to face now as the Centurion or the Greek woman did, but He lives in us and we have His living word which is spirit & life. The Bible says in Mark 11:24 ‘Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them’.
Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Luke 17: 4-5 Even if he sin’s against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to say, ‘I repent, thou shalt forgive him. ’ And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
(The Power of Faith) Remember the Bible says it is impossible to please God without having faith in him. So everything we do as children of God must please God 100%.
The sermon, The God Of All Grace, by Pastor (Mrs) Tonia Obafaiye, was delivered on July 29, 2018