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Faith is a natural gift God gave to every man! Yet, faith has spiritual dimensions. Every man has faith, enough for them to receive the salvation Jesus offers and grow in that faith! Faith doesn’t grow in us; we grow in faith from one level to another. One might wonder, if faith doesn’t grow, how then does faith come by hearing? Let’s do a proper Bible Study. I will be using the Good News Bible because that is what I have right here as the Holy Spirit inspired me to pen this down.
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The Bible says in Romans 10:9 “So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ.” There are key words used in this verse of the Bible which clearly shows what it is talking about. Coming isn’t the same thing as growing, they are two different words! I want us to note the words “faith, comes, hearing, message and preaching.” Paul was writing this concerning the initial experience of salvation; he is explaining how one gets saved and not actually how one grows in faith! Actually, that same verse may also be used to teach on growing in faith but when interpreted in context, Paul wasn’t writing concerning becoming a matured believer. How do I know this? Because the words I asked you to note goes only to that direction.
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Preaching Christ brings people to the point of believing, teaching Christ brings believers to the point of growth! We preach to unbelievers and we teach believers! So this is what Paul was saying “faith is caused to be put to work when the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed!” Everyone has this faith; it just has to be activated or put to work! The bible says in John 3:16
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“Anyone who believes shall not perish!”
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This means that anyone can believe, there is no single person who doesn’t have enough faith to believe but they can only get to believe when the gospel is preached to them! In the same Romans 10 and now verse 14 Paul had said
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“But how can they call to Him for help when they have not believed? And how can they believe if they had not heard the message? How can they hear if the message is not proclaimed?”
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Now you see? Paul wasn’t saying “faith grows by hearing…” He was simply implying “people believe the message of Christ when it is preached!” Believing is an exercise of faith! Therefore, we can see that faith doesn’t grow but we rather grow in faith! Everyone has faith but they cannot reach the depths on shallow knowledge. I would want to also explain something I had pointed out.
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We preach to unbelievers and we teach the Church! The church can only grow in the knowledge of Jesus but anyone can believe in the hearing of the gospel! Preaching is the same as proclaiming, Good News Bible uses the word “proclaiming” where King James Bible uses the word “preaching”. Jesus gave us a clear example of how He wants us to carry out the ministry He has given to us. We will look at some verses of the gospel, pay very close attention.
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Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the kingdom, and healing people who had all kinds of diseases and sickness.”
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Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went round visiting all the towns and village. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the Kingdom, and healed people with every kind of diseases and sickness.”
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The Synagogue as at the time of Jesus was the shadow of the Church, God’s chosen people! Jesus never taught in the city, He preached in the city but taught in the Synagogue. Other accounts like Mark 1:14, Luke 8:1, Mark 1:38 and the rest didn’t record that Jesus taught in the synagogue but they recorded that He “preached” in the city. So you see, we preach the gospel and get people saved! We teach the word and get believers grow. You can’t get a believer matured by preaching, you get them matured by teaching.
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So we can derive two powerful statements that reflect what faith does in an unbeliever and in a believer. The first is, the unbeliever becomes a believer by hearing and believing the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Second is, the believer grows to maturity by being taught the word of God! Whichever way, faith doesn’t grow, it us who grow in faith. You shouldn’t be asking God to give you more faith; He gave you that already right from the day you were born! The day you got born again, you also received the faith of Jesus!
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The journey in faith begins the day one gets born again! That moment, you have taken a step out of the natural dimensions of faith into the spiritual dimensions and would continue taking steps, it is a process. It takes faith to believe and it takes same to grow. Let’s talk about growing in faith now. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6
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“No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and reward those who seek Him.”
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God can only be pleased with faith and there is no other way to come to God except in faith. This is because God wants us to trust Him completely and not ourselves. We grow in our trust the more we learn more of Him! The Bible says in Ephesians 3:17
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“And I pray that Christ will make His home in your heart through faith…”
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Look at that! Christ dwells in our hearts by faith! Outside that there isn’t any way we would experience the reality of the word which says “Christ in us, the hope of glory!” The journey of faith which begins from the point we believed the gospel continues as much as we keep meditating on the word so that we can learn of Christ! Christ makes His home in our heart through faith. How do you grow in faith? It is simple… Keep meditating on the word! It starts from the milk. Milk is not a bad thing as long as you need it, the Bible never said feeding on milk will make you a bad Christian; it rather helps facilitate your growth! The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:2-3
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“Be like newborn babies, always thirsty for the pure spiritual milk, so that by drinking it you may grow up and be saved. As the scripture says, “you have found out for yourselves how kind the Lord is””
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The Good News Bible used the word “and be saved” but this actually doesn’t mean the audience aren’t saved already, it means growing in respect to the salvation we have already received. In other words, it means that when we take the pure spiritual milk, it makes us grow up in the knowledge of our salvation… It makes us know how much we are saved. By taking the milk, we are finding out for ourselves how kind the Lord is! You don’t start giving your baby rice or yam, the baby starts with milk and just milk! Rice isn’t a bad food but it would be bad for the baby and in the same way, from the moment of getting saved, one needs the elementary! How can you understand the advanced when you haven’t understood the basics?
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As long as you are consistent with the study of the word and of course not neglecting the fellowship of brethren, you don’t have to worry if you are growing or not! You can only grow… Babies don’t panic about growing! As long as they are well fed with the right food, they keep growing gradually! In the same manner, don’t jump into the deep when you have had the feeling of the water being just about your feet, knee, waist and the rest (Read Ezekiel 47:1-7). The Bible says in Colossians 3:16
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“Christ’s message in all its richness must live in your hearts…”
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You must not lose consistency in getting your heart so used to the word! Let it be what you gossip with, let it be what you sing and let it have way in all areas of your life! A certain brother came to me and narrated how he has struggled to keep the fire aflame to no avail and I asked him
“Do you pray in the Spirit? Do you study the word? What kind of songs do you play?”
“Well, I spoke in tongues then but I don’t feel like anymore, I don’t feel like praying anymore and I play good secular songs… No vulgar!”
“Well” I smiled “you aren’t helping yourself. You can’t be aflame if you don’t start taking the word serious whether you feel like or not! I can’t pray for you and you catch the fire, go back to the habit of meditating on the word, praying in the Spirit and allowing Jesus speak to you through songs that talks about Him. This way, your soul is lifted to Him always!” Let Christ’s message in all its richness dwell in your heart and in everything you do.
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We will continue growing until Jesus comes again! Our Christian life on earth is a journey, a growth from babyhood to adulthood. We will grow completely into Christ in every way and will attain to full maturity. For now, we are on that journey (Read Ephesians 4:9-16). Finally, I would want us to look at 2 Corinthians 3:18
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“All of us, then, reflect the glory of the Lord with uncovered faces; and that same glory, coming from the Lord, who is the Spirit, transforms us into His likeness in an ever greater degree of glory”
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You see, as we journey in faith there are degrees of glory. Everyone isn’t experiencing the same degree of God’s glory! As we keep beholding the word of God which is a mirror of us, the Spirit of God continues to transform us into His likeness in degrees of glory. If you spend less time and another spends much time, the both of you won’t experience the same degree of glory! I said earlier that as long as you are consistent with the word, you will gradually grow from milk to meat and to bones… We can only try pushing people who have relaxed on the level of milk when they should be taking something stronger. Kenneth Hagin calls them “overgrown babies”, that is the worst state a believer should be in…
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Now you see, the Christian journey starts by faith and continues by faith. God counts faith in Him as righteousness which means to grow in faith is to grow in righteousness. We shouldn’t just be on that same level of faith when we first believed; we must grow up and keep growing! We must grow beyond knowing Jesus as savior to knowing Him as Lord… That is where true submission to God comes in! We don’t just get saved; we become responsible for Him… All of these happen by faith!
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Let’s stop here for now.
God bless you.
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-George O.N-
House of Vasiliea
#GracefulGeorge

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