~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Peter DeWitt. You can hear the whole sermon, The Process of Faith, from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
God’s Goodness and Love releases faith in us! Ephesians 6:23 says “Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Look at that . . . faith is a tag-along with love. Faith comes along with love! Know the love of God – the commitment of God to you – and faith will well up. Expectation will arise.
Looked at from the other direction, when we aren’t conscious of His love, expectation requires work because we find ourselves trying to have faith for something that violates our perception of our relationship with Him. We want to believe Him for His promises. We want to believe His good intentions for us, but the reality is we don’t believe we “qualify” for them. But in the context of knowing His perfect love for us, expectation comes naturally when we encounter a need – or even dream a dream. Then the need, circumstance, hope, dream, or desire turns into a deep sense of: “Just watch what MY FATHER is going to do now!” Amen!
If you are a believer, God is completely delighted with you! When you are born again, you become the workmanship of Christ (Eph 2:10)! God is a Spirit and we must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth – when He looks at a born-again believer, He sees the Spirit of His Son in you! And Jesus is perfect! So you are perfect before Him! God cannot become more delighted with you! And He is committed to you individually just as He is committed to the body of Christ. We would be mistaken to not expect wonderful things from Him!
You may think “wow, that’s a pretty specific reading of that ‘love with faith’ scripture from Ephesians.” I would respond to that by saying “all scripture is God-breathed” so we should take it specifically. Nevertheless, 1 John 4:18 is another verse that may help you see the same point: “Perfect love casts out fear.” If you invert that to the obvious, it would say “perfect love releases faith.” Wow! There it is again. Perfect love actually serves to release faith! Faith is a by-product of His Love!
Why is this important? . . . because, if we do not realize the love of God, we will actually turn faith into a work.
Faith is a tag-along to the love of God. When we know His love for us, we stand on His promises for us, because we truly believe they are ALL for us. Our understanding of our position in Christ releases faith in our hearts to receive His promises We don’t want to be the older son that needs told “but all that I have is yours.” Read the Word and see for yourself that all that He has is yours and then lay hold of it!
His Promises + Our Position in Him = FAITH!