Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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The Obedience of Faith
Romans 16:25. Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began 26. but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith 27. to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
The New American Standard says it like this. 26. but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;
The Simple English says... 26. This secret has now been made clear through the prophetic writings. The eternal God ordered this, so that when it becomes known, all nations will believe it and obey.
God has given us what He calls the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began. It must be of great importance if God had to keep it secret, but now it has been revealed. It has been revealed for a purpose and that purpose is so that we might receive the revelation of this mystery, and in receiving believe. But thats not all that He wants. He wants us to act upon what we have believed. He wants us to obey. I would like to ask a question. What good is faith if not acted upon?
You can see throughout the Bible where ordinary people did extraordinary things. The one major difference between them and everybody else is that they did something with what they had received from the Lord. They heard, faith came, they acted, and out of their obedience to faith, God's divine will was manifested upon the earth.
The promise of salvation comes this way.
Romans 10:13-14 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
You have to believe before you call. You have to hear before you believe. What do you hear that causes you to believe? God's Word. Faith always comes, but faith not acted upon is faith wasted. The promise of salvation comes when we have acted upon what we have believed.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
In other words there will be no manifestation of God's will in our lives because we did not act upon what we came to believe, we didn't use the faith that He went to such great lengths to get into us. He wants us to use it or He wouldn't have given it to us in the first place, would He? I would like to point out that faith used, is faith acted upon, and faith acted upon will always produce.
If you will not use the faith you have received, you can get to the point where you get a calloused heart. You get so hard hearted that you can't receive anymore. A willingness to act in obedience to the faith produced will keep your heart supple and open for more faith to be given. Remember it comes from hearing and if your hearing isn't working your faith isn't working as well. This may seem like an obvious thing, but many Christians miss it right here. They ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit that will lead to faith, that will give the opportunity to act and fulfill the will of God, and because of this get to the point where they are so hard hearted that nothing can help them.
Christians must be open to the truth of God's Word, by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We have to be willing to believe the truth, or we will not be able to act on it.
John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.''
In other words we will never act on the truth simply because we don't believe it to begin with. This is not God's fault, it is ours and ours alone, and we will be held accountable for our actions.
Bad teaching can as well dilute the truth or negate the faith that comes from hearing the truth. You have to accept the truth as the truth before you can act on it, right? Sometimes people get desperate enough to throw away their stinking thinking and just do it! God's Word will not fail, it is only our fear of failure that many times holds us back from stepping out into God's provision. Be a doer of the Word of God, and act on what you know! Take the truth and just do it. He has never failed, and He never will. As James says in 1:25. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
I like that. I want to be blessed in what I do, don't you? Lets look at a few examples in the Word that describe both sides of this. These were put there for our benefit and we should learn from them.
Lets start in Mark 6:1-6 Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, "Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?'' And they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.'' Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.
Look at what is going on here, Jesus actually marveled at their unbelief. They were so caught up in their religious dogma that they would not open their minds up to the truth.
They refused to hear, and because they refused to hear they would not believe, and because they would not believe, they could not act on the truth that would have healed them and made them whole. I know that’s a mouthful but it's the truth just the same.
Because of their unbelief, the Bible tells us that Jesus could not do any mighty works there. It did not say He would not, it said He could not. Wow!!! Do we have a part to play in this? You bet we do. If it were just up to Him they could have all been healed, yet we can see that it was not just up to Him. The works that God called Jesus to do in that area were not done. I've heard people say, well, if God wanted me healed I would have gotten healed. Really? God wanted those people healed as well, and they didn't get healed did they? If Jesus Himself could not get the faithless healed, would it be any different with us. It want Jesus fault it was theirs. We should never blame God He's never wrong, so lets look to where the true problem lies and make the proper correction if necessary.
It's no different in modern times. Many are offended at the message of the Gospel and will not act on what they have heard. What a shame. It's not God's will, and it certainly doesn't have to be this way, yet God can not override our unbelief. Lord open our eyes that we may receive your truth and believe, let us not be stuck in our preconceived ideas of what the truth is, but be fully open to You so that we may be obedient to it.
I heard a minister say one time that peoples minds are often like concrete, thoroughly mixed and well set. Let that not be said of us. Let us be a generation that is open to the truth, and willing to receive and act on what we know. There are many scripture in the Gospels where the persons faith was the reason for the answer being manifested or in some cases not manifested. I will share a few, but study this out for yourself and see that it is mentioned many times in the Bible.
Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.'' And the woman was made well from that hour.
Matthew 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you.''
Mark 10:52 Then Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well.'' And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.
Luke 7:50 Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.
Luke 8:25 But He said to them, "Where is your faith?'' And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, "Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!''
Matthew 15: starting in vs. 21 if you would like to go back and read the entire passage. 28. Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.'' And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
This woman was not even Jewish or a child of the covenant, yet she persisted and continued to act on what she knew to be the truth. She knew Jesus would heal her, and she would not take no for an answer! Would to God that we were all like that. Jesus honored her faith and His response was recorded for all eternity for us to see. "O woman, great is your faith! Jesus only made this statement twice, and both of these people were not the ones He was sent to. They were not children of the covenant, yet they acted on what they knew, and because of this received the promise by faith.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord! I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God! Glory to God!!!! Amen.