THE DEMONSTRATION OF FAITH

Rom 12:14-21

 

When one is born again, he will demonstrate a faith in the God whom he trusts.

 

This faith is exercised in ones heart and demonstrated by his actions toward others.

 

This portion of Scripture teaches how one should conduct oneself in a demonstration of faith.

 

I.  WITH EMPATHY.

 

In our communication.

Rom 12:14

14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

 

The word “bless” means to speak well of.

 

It comes from the Greek word “eulogeiota” from which we receive our word “eulogy”.

 

We are to speak well of all men, even those who do not speak well of us.

 

If we are to speak well of those who persecute us then much more those who do not persecute.

 

Matt 5:43-45

43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

In our interaction.

 

Rom 12:15

15  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

 

When those who we may feel undeserving are promoted, we have a tendency to be sad.

 

The Bible teaches us to rejoice with those who rejoice.

 

There is no place for covetousness with the believer.

 

Weep with those who weep.

 

1 Cor 13:4

4    Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Ever now and then a person will be put to death for committing murder in America. I think murders should receive the death penalty.

 

But, there is something very disturbing about the reaction to that death by the public now days.

 

It is always sad when a person dies.

 

I do not understand the rejoicing and cheering outside the death chambers when a convicted murderer is put to death.

 

Justice is necessary but cheering over the death of another human being is never appropriate.

 

It is always sad when a mother looses her child.

 

How can one rejoice and cheer in the face of those grieving family members?

Our faith is demonstrated by empathy in our communication, in our interaction and

 

In our humiliation.

 

Rom 12:16

16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

 

 

Being of the same mind means simply, that we should not think of ourselves more highly than others.

The Apostle Paul placed himself as the chief of sinners.

 

1 Tim 1:15

15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

 

There are those who believe they hold the answers to all the questions of mankind.

 

If you do not believe it just ask them.

 

 

 

To make matters worse they think that anyone who does not agree with their assessment is wrong and unworthy of fellowship.

 

We must never claim to have all the answers but we do have a relationship with the one who does have all the answers.

 

And we can gladly share Him to those who are seeking answers.

 

Our faith is demonstrated

 

 

II. WITH HONESTY. 17-18

 

Uninfluenced.

 

Rom 12:17

17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

 

1Thes 5:15

15  See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

 

1 Pet 3:9

9    Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

 

Prov 20:22

Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

It matters not what others may say or how they may act; it is our duty and our responsibility to be honest and kind.

 

Someone else’s wrongdoing is not a reason or excuse for the believer to commit an act of dishonesty or malice.

 

Honesty is to be uninfluenced and

 

Uninhibited.

 

That is, without restraint.

 

Honesty must continue in the face of this wicked world.

 

 

No matter how wicked the world becomes, no matter if everyone else is doing it, no matter if the world expects it, the believer has an obligation to his Savior to always and at all times to conduct himself honestly.

 

Uninstigated.

 

Rom 12:18

18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

 

1 Cor 14:33

33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 

 

2 Cor 13:11

11  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

 

Eph 4:3

3    Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

 

1Thes 5:13

13  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

 

Demonstration of faith:

 

 

 

III.     WITH AMNESTY 19-20

 

When dealing with others in a demonstration of our faith it is important to forbear the imperfection we observe for which of us have no imperfections.

 

We want to help one another lift each other up.

 

Prov 27:17

17  Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

 

A.   Forgiving    

 

No grudges.

 

 

Eph 4:32

32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

Col 3:13

13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

 

B.  Forgetting

 

No stereotyping.

 

We tend to place everyone in a category.

 

Sometimes we do so too early.

 

We see certain symptoms we have seen in others and we place a person in that category at the first sign of offense.

                                                                                         

We must keep in mind that no two people are alike.

 

We should not judge.

Matt 7:1-3

1    Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

 

John 8:7

7    So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

 

1 Cor 4:4

4    For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

 

Therefore after forgiving we must forget it.

 

Give complete amnesty to the offender.

 

Forbearing

 

No forbidding

Once we have forgiven an offender we must forget it.

 

We cannot continue to judge a person based upon his previous actions.

 

It is only natural to be cautious.

 

Indeed we must be cautious but not to the point of turning away from the one who needs us.

 

Once we have forgiven and forgotten an offense we must restore the relationship.

 

We can not withhold fellowship from a person after we have forgiven them.

 

If we do that have we truly forgiven them.

 

We must not withhold our affection from those who have at some point in the past hurt us.

 

We must be available for friendship and fellowship.

 

Did your children ever lie to you?

 

And if so, did you accept them back afterward?

 

And did you not believe them ever again?

 

Of course we forgave and forgot and now we are willing to be a companion once again.

 

Rom 12:20-21

20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

When we are willing to demonstrate our faith in this manner the Holy Spirit is able to bring conviction to the offender.

 

“Coals of fire” refers to that intense conviction of guilt brought about by the Holy Spirit of God.

 

This can never be brought about by our own efforts to change a person or by malice or by vengeance.

 

Only the Holy Spirit of God can bring this intense conviction that may lead to salvation or a change of behavior in an individual.

 

God help us all to place our faith in the one who is able to bring the vilest sinner to salvation and to change the hearts of men and bring us all into conformance to His blessed will.

 

When we yield to Him we also win the victory over sin and evil.

 

Evil is overcome with good.

 

 

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