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Believer’s Basics #3 – Repentance (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
October 26, 2022 6:00 am

Believer’s Basics #3 – Repentance (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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October 26, 2022 6:00 am

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Life again begins to cake up around us and all of a sudden we're not passionate that brightness of our walk with Christ is dimmed significantly and we're not even too bothered by it because we are too self-conscious. You know when you have not Christian joy the main ingredient is missing and that is faith.

You're not trusting and I'm not going to stand here and pretend that that doesn't happen to me. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through his series called The Believers Basics.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 as he begins his message called Faith. Would you please turn to Hebrews chapter 11? We are continuing the series on The Believers Basics. This morning's topic is faith, a very broad topic. We spend every session talking about faith.

There's no way a single session could scratch the surface but we will try to keep it with the basics. So if you have your Bibles open to Hebrews chapter 11, we will take verses one through six. Excellent sacrifice than Cain through which he obtained witness that he was righteous. God testifying of his gifts and through it, he being dead still speaks by faith.

Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death and was not found because God had taken him. For before he was taken, he had this testimony that he pleased God. But without faith, it is impossible to please him. For he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Please be seated. The text, the flagship of this morning's consideration is verse six of Hebrews 11. If you still have your Bibles open, you could look there with me and I will reread verse six. But without faith, it is impossible to please him for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Well, this verse declares that faith is essential for the genuine Christian faith stands at the entrance of our salvation and our friendship with God. I started to say our fellowship with God. Well, that's true, but we hear it so much.

Maybe it loses some of its potency. So the alternate friendship with God, friendship with God is fellowship with God. It is to be his friend. There is no becoming a Christian without faith. It is a basic of our faith, but it is, as I said, an essential. Now, diagnostics are built into our Christianity. Once we come to Christ through the conviction and the leading and the nudging of his Holy Spirit, we can examine ourselves.

We can diagnose the sickness that may be holding us back when we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. These things are not natural. They're spiritual. But God is generous with them. He is not stingy with these things of our faith that we must have. Speak of the gifts of the spirit.

Which gift would I want? All of them, every single one, because I know that I am needy and he is gracious and that combination brings fruit and glory to the kingdom. So Paul writes, examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?

That is diagnostic. True repentance and faith, they're inseparable. Now, I mentioned last session when we discussed, well, when I spoke on repentance, because there wasn't much discussion. When I spoke on repentance, I said that usually in the believer's basics, I coupled repentance and faith together, but this time they've been separated so we can spend a little bit more time on each. True repentance and faith, they are blended. You cannot separate them.

Mutually independent and yet so essential. Conversion. Conversion through repentance and faith.

These things are confirmed by a changed mind, a changed attitude toward the Lord we now serve and whom we now love and who we know loves us. I want to caution you or remind you, maybe you preach the love of Christ to others, but you've lost sight of Christ's love for you. Don't do that. That doesn't make any sense. In fact, it could be quite an insult to Christ who says, I died for you. What do you mean?

You don't think I love you? Blood on the cross is for you. True faith in Christ. It causes confession of sin and full resistance against sin. Not success, but resistance against sin. True faith.

It lives to please God in all things. These are very basics, very basic to our faith. We become a believer.

The lights turn on just like that. We know it, but things begin to cake up on us and we lose touch with these things and they no longer seem as real as once before. When we first came to Christ, must be sure of his love. So that verse, our text, verse six, without faith, it is impossible to please him for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Anything so important to Christ, to God, must be important to me.

It better be important to me. If he says it's impossible to make me happy without faith, then I'd better find out what I have to do to get this faith that brings joy to God. How does the scripture define faith? Because many claim to have faith and they don't have the faith of the Bible. They may have a faith that they're comfortable with, but it doesn't match the scripture. Fortunately, on the other side, there are many who have the faith of the scripture. So let's refresh ourselves. Hebrews 11, again, verse one, it says, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I don't know why people think Christianity goes without evidence, that faith somehow departs from evidence and we just go off believing nothing simply because it is unseen doesn't mean it is not there. Otherwise, what are we breathing? We cannot see the oxygen, but we better get it. Substance, that word, something, something there, something that is inescapable. In fact, when it's not there, it's quickly noticed.

There's no substance to this, we might say to someone. The Greek word for substance, hypostasis, it means it's made up of two Greek words, hypo, to be underneath and stetias, which means to stand. It's a support. For instance, in your homes, you have a support member, a load bearing wall. You know, you just can't cut that wall out without something collapsing unless you take steps to shore it up. So that substance, faith is the substance, it's the load bearer, it holds it up. It is critical because, again, without it, things begin to sag and collapse.

There is great damage. Without trusting God beneath everything, everything we are trying to uphold is no longer upheld. Now, another word for faith that might help us is a very simple word. We don't want to over-complicate faith because when we overthink faith, we mess it up. Another word, not a better word, another word for faith is trust. It's a simple thing, trusting God.

Of course, the forces of evil, the forces of sin in this world will try to push us from trusting Him, and He will work with us to keep that from happening. Illustrated by the Lord is the potency of faith. It is very potent, so potent is faith that relative to its size of a mustard seed, it can move a mountain. Luke's Gospel, chapter 17, so the Lord said, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.

Of course, He said you can tell this mountain to be moved, and it will do it. Now, the cause of Jesus saying that, He's not looking for you to move shrubs and mountains out of the way. There's something deeper. God has bigger fish to fry than landscaping through faith, the mustard seed. A seed means life. There's life in this.

The potential for life is in a seed. It's not a large faith God is looking for, it's a living faith. I mentioned that these are basic matters, but life again begins to cake up around us, and all of a sudden we're not passionate. That brightness of our walk with Christ is dimmed significantly, and we're not even too bothered by it because we are too self-conscious. You know, when you have not Christian joy, the main ingredient is missing, and that is faith. You're not trusting. And I'm not going to stand here and pretend that that doesn't happen to me.

There are times where irritability gets the better of me. I know it's my flesh, but the fact that I am a believer is proven by my resistance to those things that take me away from the perfect life in Christ that I am to pursue. So faith, in touch with the Lord Jesus himself and the Holy Spirit, that's that mustard seed.

Without that, the mustard seed has no chance of doing anything, bringing forth any life. Faith that will allow God to allow. That's what faith does. Even the crucifixion. That's what Jesus tried to tell his disciples.

They're going to crucify me. Faith would say, if that is God's will, we accept it. Well, they did come to that conclusion just not as quickly as we would have liked to have seen them, but we find ourselves in similar situations. Faith always has in mind action.

Do we know that? Did you know coming in here this morning that faith always has in mind action? Faith always has in mind the idea of action movement towards an objective.

Otherwise, it's just a figurine to sit on the shelf. And that's not what faith is all about. Faith is a leap into the light, light based on enough spiritual perception. There's enough there to cause me to move closer to the source. It is the certainty that we have been shown enough to act. We have seen enough to make a move, though we cannot see more. Many times there's no more we can see, but we've seen enough.

That's what God wants. Believing in what you know is true versus dismissing the facts versus dismissing what you've seen. Have you ever witnessed to somebody and you see them convicted, you see them guilty before God, conscious of their guilt, ready to commit and they back away. They've dismissed what they saw. They'll come to church. They hear a message. They say amen to every single point, knowing they are guilty before God, needing repentant that Jesus is Lord. And then they back off.

They've dismissed it. A great illustration of this defect, this defect in human beings is found in Numbers chapter 13. This is the story of the spies going into the land. I'm going to pick it up where they come back and they talk to Moses about what they saw.

Then they told him, they told Moses, the spies, there were 12 of them that went into the land and said, we went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey. And this is its fruit.

We pause there. You see, they had the evidence. God said that land that I'm going to give you is flowing with milk and honey.

It is a fruitful land. So they go into the land. They find God was right. What he said is right. Here's the evidence.

And they show the evidence and then they toss it away because the story goes on. Nevertheless, it's a deadly nevertheless. Watch out for those. You've seen what God has promised.

Don't let a nevertheless come in and cancel it out. Nevertheless, the people who dwell in the land are strong. The cities are fortified and very large. Moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there.

The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south, the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites dwell in the mountains of the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan. That was their reason for dismissing the proof. There are things there that we're terrified of.

There are things there that we don't want to deal with. But then Caleb speaks up. Then Caleb, it says in Numbers 13 verse 30, then Caleb quieted the people before Moses. In other words, Caleb, if you know anything about him, he said this to the people. Shut up. What are you talking?

He probably did not do that, but I like telling the story that way. It's exciting. Anyway, Caleb quieted the people of Moses before Moses and said, let us go up at once and take possession for we are able to overcome it. That is faith.

We can take these guys. Now, when I came to Virginia to begin ministering, I thought that because many churches were saturated with just preaching the gospel every Sunday to people who are already saved and the teaching of the word was not going forth in so many churches. I thought that in the area God was calling me to once I began to preach the word of God, the people would be lining up around the corner. Well, it's been a long road and they're not lined up around the corner nor have they ever been.

And there have been many hits. And where I'm going with this is I felt like Caleb, let us go up at once and take possession for we are able to overcome it. But I didn't factor in all the trouble, the heartache, the pain, the fruitlessness, at least apparently in areas where I expected huge returns. And so I'm saying to you, if you're going to side with Caleb and say, let us go up at once and take possession for we are able to overcome it. Make sure your sword is sharp and you are ready and you have faith. Don't trifle with the things of spiritual conflict because they are real. But the men who had gone up with him said, we're not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. Well, faith is so.

God says go. All right, then we continue, verse 32, and they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying the land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. You see, they were looking at the physical things there. We saw the Giants. The descendants of Anak came from the Giants.

It tells us in parentheses and concludes while I conclude this section with this portion of verse 33. And we were like grasshoppers in our own site. So we were in their site. We were insignificant. We were small. We see all of the perversity, the political liberalism in this land, how they've taken over the airwaves and the media.

They control the Internet. You can end up feeling like a grasshopper. Well, you can say I'm no grasshopper. That's what Caleb did. Well, if you're going to do that, you better have faith and you better not be bashful about it. I did not say be foolish about it and go where angels fear to tread. Even Michael, the archangel, who probably could have taken Satan out, incidentally, referred him to the Lord.

He said the Lord rebuke you and did not get involved with him. Faith is trusting God according to God's word for salvation and for serving. It is a significant distinction. When we talk about faith, essentially there are three types. There is salvation, faith unto salvation, saving faith.

That's what I was looking for. The consent of the soul. It is expressed through enough faith and understanding. And then there is serving faith. That is the one that moves forward, that takes action based on its confession of Christ as Lord. Saving faith, I give my life to Christ.

I recognize him as the only Savior. Serving faith, I begin to act on it and serve him. And then there is false faith contrary to the scripture that has edited out scripture and has added in its own thoughts. First, we'll take saving faith, which again is our receiving our salvation. When we come to Christ, Lord, I believe, I believe you and I accept and I surrender. This is not something that we earn through deeds. Galatians 2, knowing that a man is not justified.

Pause there. There's a beautiful English word in the context of salvation. Justification, just as though I have not sinned because Christ has wiped away the penalty of my sin. Knowing that a man is justified by, pardon me, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. Even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by deeds of the law. For by the deeds of the law, no flesh is justified. The Bible is canceling any IOU on God. No one will go up to God and say, you owe me salvation because look at all the good things I did. What is God going to say? Oh, you did good things.

Oh, I lost 10 pounds because of that. I'm so grateful. Come into heaven.

What would I do without you? God is so high up so far ahead of human beings. There is no claim that we could present to him that would demand mercy or grace or heaven.

It is all his kindness. And so saving faith brings that unconditional surrender to Christ and it stresses faith. Trust Acts chapter 10 to him, all the prophets witnessed that through his name, whoever believes in him will receive remission of sins.

Payment for your sins that you would pay without Christ are gone. I mentioned the word believe and trust. The word believe in the New Testament is the same as trust in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is written essentially or primarily in the Hebrew, the New Testament in the Greek.

But the meanings of what we're after, the words are supposed to mean something. And the word believe in the New Testament matches trust in the Old Testament. So we go to Psalm 9 verse 10 and those who know your name will put their trust in you for you, Yahweh, have not forsaken those who seek you. You see in the Old Testament, my New King James translation translates the word, translates the word their trust.

You could put their belief. Faith trusts belief. Same thing, Acts 16. So they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household, if they believe.

And the idea there in Acts 16 is that they did. So do nothing, just trust the Lord when it comes to salvation. That's what we're talking about, saving faith. We don't seek a feeling to be saved.

Sometimes that conversion, a feeling is there, but it doesn't have to be. Belief has to be there. Trust has to be there. You can be saved without tear, without prayer, without anything but trust. I trust the Lord Jesus with my soul. He is Lord.

I trust His Lordship and it is done. Our Lord indicated that those who believe without proof of the physical senses are blessed beyond those who depend on physical proofs. Spiritual proof is superior, in other words. John chapter 20 verse 29, Jesus said to Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen me, yet have believed. Where would we be without that verse in the Bible?

Where should we be with it? So Paul says, we walk by faith, not by sight, not by physical sight. There's a spiritual sight we're able to see into spiritual truths.

God has allowed that. Repentance, faith blended together. Ephesians chapter 2, for by grace you have been saved through faith. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We hope you've been blessed by this Believer's Basics series, exploring the fundamentals of what it means to follow Christ. If you'd like to listen to more of this series or share it with someone you know, please visit crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit crossreferenceradio.com and follow the links under radio. Again, that's crossreferenceradio.com. That's all for today. We hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the Word of God, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-06 01:52:16 / 2022-11-06 01:57:14 / 5

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