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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 9

The Faith of Jesus
 

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Let’s pray together:

Our Father,

The study of Your prophetic word requires that we use very precise tools, in order to understand its content. Now, all these tools come from You.

So we humbly ask You to fill our toolbox, and to show us how to use each one of the tools, beginning with the faith of Jesus.

In His name we pray and thank You beforehand.

Amen.




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Revelation 14:12

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

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During our next seven lessons, we will discover seven tools essential to the study of Bible prophecy.

The first tool, which is mentioned in the book of Revelation as a distinctive mark of the saints, is «the faith of Jesus».

What is the faith of Jesus? How important is it? How can we get it?

Let’s allow the Bible to answer all these questions.




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Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

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Mark 11:22

And Jesus answering said to [His disciples], «Have faith in God.»

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Faith is an absolute trust which enables us to have a living communion with God.

Faith says «Yes» to God and follows Him, whatever the doubts, the obstacles and the resistances that may take place.

The best example of this faith is the one Jesus demonstrated during His ministry here on earth: the «faith of Jesus».




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Matthew 26:39

[Jesus] went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying,

«O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will.»

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John 6:38

For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.

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The faith of Jesus enabled Him to trust His Father entirely and to fulfill His will in all things.

This is the faith we need.




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Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

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The Word of God teaches us that faith is an essential element, indispensable in the life of the Christian.

We need faith for many reasons. The most important reason is the role of faith in the plan of salvation God has prepared for each one of us.

Let’s take a few moments to explore this absolutely crucial subject.




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Luke 5:20

And when [Jesus] saw their faith, He said to [the paralytic], «Man, your sins are forgiven you.»

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1 Peter 1:9

(...) receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

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Romans 1:17

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, «The just shall live by faith.»

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To save us, God needs our collaboration.

He asks us to have faith in Him, to trust Him entirely.




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Ephesians 2:8

For by grace are you saved through faith.

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Faith is the act by which we acknowledge our complete trust in God for our salvation.

By faith, we believe that God’s plan of salvation is sufficient to give us eternal life.

But then, what can we do to get this faith, this trust in God?




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Romans 12:3

For I say, through the grace given to me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.

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First, let’s specify that God has dealt to each one of us a measure of faith. Nobody starts out with nothing.

Then, the question is no longer:

«What must we do to get faith?»

but rather:

«What must we do, so that the measure of faith God has already given us may grow?»




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Luke 17:5

And the apostles said to the Lord, «Increase our faith.»

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Romans 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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It is through careful study of the Bible, in a spirit of humility and sincerity, that each one of us will learn to know God better, and then to trust Him more and more.

Our faith in God and His plan of salvation will thus grow day after day.




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John 3:36

He that believes on the Son has everlasting life.

And he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him.

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Acts 16:30,31

[The keeper of the prison] said, «What must I do to be saved?»

And [Paul and Silas] said, «Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house.»

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God gives us salvation on only one condition: that we accept this salvation with all our heart.

He asks us to believe in Him, and to place all our trust in His plan of salvation.




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Galatians 2:16

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ.

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We can do nothing to earn our salvation. No work, however good and fine it may be, can contribute to saving us from our sins.

Salvation is God’s free gift to us, and the only work that has contributed to it is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Now, let’s carefully read the following verses...




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Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.

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Ephesians 2:8,9

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

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So, the Christian is called to perform good works, not TO be saved, but rather BECAUSE he is saved.

We must really understand this point.




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James 2:17,26

Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. (...)

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

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Galatians 5:6

For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.

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Thus, the role of the works is not to save us, but rather to show the presence of a living faith within us, a faith «which works by love».




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Galatians 3:14

(...) that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

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John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak.

And He will show you things to come.

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Now, what is the role of faith in the study of prophecy?

First, faith gives us access to the Holy Spirit, whom we absolutely need to understand prophecy, because it is He who «will show [us] things to come».




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Hebrews 11:7

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

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Luke 17:26

As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

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Faith also allows us to take God’s warnings seriously, and therefore to make the necessary decisions without delay.




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1 Timothy 4:1

Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

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Luke 18:8

Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?

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The last days will be marked by the scarcity of living faith, the faith of Jesus.

Now, this faith prevents us from departing from the truth.

This explains why a total confusion will prevail here on earth.




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Ephesians 6:16

Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

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1 Thessalonians 5:8

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.

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Satan’s repeated attacks, especially in the last days, force us to put on the whole spiritual armor of God, and faith is one of its main component.




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1 Peter 1:7-9

(...) the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

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Faith will play a determining role in the time of trouble that will take place shortly before the return of Jesus.




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Hebrews 10:38,39

«Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.»

But we are not of them who draw back to perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

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Revelation 13:10

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

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The link between «faith» and «patience», or perseverance, is well established in the Scriptures.

Genuine faith is indeed patient, persevering. It stands the test of time, even when we have to go through dark periods.




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Hebrews 12:2

(...) looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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The finest example of persevering faith is once again the faith of Jesus, Him who «endured the cross, despising the shame».

This is why He is designated as «the author and finisher of our faith», this living faith we all need, as we live in the last days of the history of mankind.




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2 Thessalonians 1:4

We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure.

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1 John 5:4

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.

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In spite of the very difficult times that appear on the horizon, the faith of Jesus will give us victory.




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Revelation 2:13

I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan’s seat is.

And you hold fast My name, and have not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you.

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«You have not denied My faith.»

Here are encouraging words Jesus would like to address to each one of us when He returns.

Keeping the faith of Jesus remains our guarantee of security for the present, and our guarantee of victory for the future.




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Let’s close this lesson by addressing a prayer to God:

Our Father,

We thank You for having given to each one of us a measure of faith.

Please help us to keep alive this faith, to make it grow, to make it living and persevering. Transform this faith into the one that Your Son showed during His ministry here on earth.

May the faith of Jesus be one of our daily-used tools. We pray in His name, and for Your glory.

Amen.


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