Blog In Audio
Today I am going to continue to address seven things a leader must lead in – seven things a believer must live in. The first thing was a matter of repentance unto life that frees us from being bound to dead works. The dead places in our hearts are continually transformed by God’s life as the grace of the Spirit of the Lord gives us God’s desires in our hearts. This is a daily process and part of our journey in life. We are continually renewed in the desires of our hearts as God changes us from within.
The second thing that a leader must lead in, and a believer must live in, is a matter of faith towards God. True faith is towards a person, not toward a promise. Because we know the love of God, we love Him. We know that our future is secure, and we have no fear of any form of death, not even the physical death of our lives. The works that we do in life demonstrate our faith towards who God is.
The act of water baptism is a testimony of a work that declares our identification in the person Jesus Christ as a member of the body of Christ. A second aspect in the foundation of the body of Christ is to live a life of faith towards the One we identify in.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Colossians 3:3-11 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Faith Towards God is demonstrated in works of faith that testify of our connection to God. Water baptism is such a work. It is an outward testimony of our internal connection to God in Christ. We are baptized unto a person, who is a personal leader. Baptism is an act of faith that identifies us in a living relationship with a real person. Being baptized in the name of Jesus means being baptized in the name of God’s fullness. That is to be baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19).
Water baptism is a first work of faith and is to be one act among countless acts of our faith toward God. Water baptism reveals the truth of every act of faith we do in Christ. Water baptism testifies to the fact that we died in Christ, were buried in Christ, and have risen to a new life in Him (Rom. 6:4). That new life has no fear of death, since water baptism is an act that testifies of the once-for-all death of Christ. By this act of faith we can know that every action we take of faith toward God has no fear of death in it. Not even the second death, the final eternal death, has any power over us (Rev. 2:11).
A lifestyle of faith marks us as being a part of the Body of Christ. Water baptism is the act of the Christian faith that marks us as part of the Body of Christ, the circumcision of our hearts toward God.
We have faith toward God by the Spirit of Wisdom at work in our lives. Faith toward God is faith filled and fear empty. Faith toward God is not the fear of circumstances.
Every work we do should testify of our connection to Jesus Christ as a member of His body here upon the earth. The works we do we do by faith in Him. Whatever we do testifies that we are members of the body of Christ. We are loved by God, and we love God. Our love for God is testified in the works of our lives.
As the writer of the book of Hebrews wrote, faith towards God is an empowerment of the Spirit of God in our lives. The Spirit of wisdom empowers us to do works that testify of our love for God because we know we are loved by Him. It is part of the grace of God working in our lives. We have no fear of death because the perfect love of God in Christ frees us from yielding to any fear of dying. Leaders lead by example in this, and leaders lead others to embrace faith towards God in their hearts so the works of their lives will demonstrate their faith in the person Jesus Christ.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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