KTTK 21 Faith Operating by Love

Faith is absolute trust in God. It is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1 NKJV). Paul, writing to the Galatians was admonishing them for falling under the spell of the Jews that demanded that the new Christians should be circumcised. He noted that, in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love (Gal. 5:6 NKJV). The Greek word for “working” as used here is energeo. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that this word implies the use of energy. The implication being, of course, that Agape love energizes faith. I like the Amplified translation of Gal. 5:6 because it better indicates the variety of meaning that energeo could imply in this instance: For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.

There are four aspects of love’s work that affect faith. First, our absolute trust in God is activated by love. Each of us was given the measure of faith (Rom. 12:3) that allowed us to accept Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords in our lives (Gal. 3:22,26, Heb. 12:2). It is the Holy Spirit Who convicts us of sin (John 16:8). When we understand that we are living in the kingdom of darkness and in rebellion against God, and we choose to make the transition into the Kingdom of Light, it is our absolute trust in God’s promise of salvation that prompts us to ask for forgiveness and to become His child. This faith for transformation comes to us because God loved us even before we knew about Him or loved Him (1John 4:10, 19). That faith was activated by God’s love for us.

When we accept God’s saving grace and become His children, His Holy Spirit pours God’s Agape love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5). It is there for eternity. God does not take it back. It is put there so that we, as ambassadors, can reflect that love to others around us and help them see God (2Cor. 5:20). It is there so that we can worship God in spirit and absolute truth (John 4:24). It is there so that we clearly understand that God has only good for us (James 1:17). God’s love for us activates our absolute trust in Him, giving us that ability to live according to His design for us and not according to the ways of the world (Rom. 1:17, 2Cor. 5:7).

God’s Agape love energizes our faith because we understand that God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him (1John 4:16). We know that we have become the very righteousness of God by our trust in Jesus (Rom. 3:21,22) so that our prayers will avail much (James 5:16). We work with God by knowing His Scriptures and praying in His will in absolute trust that He will, indeed, do as He has said because He loves us (1John 5:4-15). We are empowered in our union with God through Christ Jesus (Eph. 6:10); and through Him have the strength to do everything that He has for us to do (Phil. 4:13).

Third, our faith is expressed through God’s love in us. We want to operate in faith because we love God and want to do what pleases Him. And we know that without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6). Faith is not just something that we just have, it something that we use. We are to use it for all of life’s situations. James clearly understood the difference between the intellectual recognition of faith and the actuality of it in our day-to-day lives. He very wisely pointed out that someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith (James 2:18). Then he went on to, again, very pointedly note that as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead (James 2:26). If we really love others as God loves us, then we must act in faith to help them become all that God intends for them.

And fourth, faith works through love. Agape is giving the best you have without regard to the consequences to self. It is desiring the best for others. We cannot really use our faith to help others unless we truly desire the best for them. Not only that but we cannot expect the Holy Spirit of God to work through us to help others if we are not operating in God’s love. For, if we are not operating in God’s love, then we are operating outside His system, and God will not honor such activities. The Holy Spirit will not aid us in bearing fruits of the world or of the Evil One. The fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge] (Gal. 5:22,23).

Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him. But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him: Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself (1John 2:4-6). Certainly Jesus lived His life in constant, absolute trust in the Father. And if we want to be all that God intends us to be, we need to live our lives in the same manner.

God’s love has been placed in all of us. Allow His love to fully activate your faith, energize your faith, help you express your faith, and cause it to work to its fullest capacity.

Key Verse: Gal. 5:6

Associated Keys: 1John 4:16, James 2:18, 1John 2:4-6

Using the Key: Gracious Father, in Jesus; Name I ask You to help me live my life, every day, in Your all encompassing Love. Please activate and energize my faith through Your love in me, and help me express my faith and use it to carry out Your will in my life. I love You and give You praise and thanks for all You have done, and continue to do, in my life. Amen.

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