Recently I was asked to speak on The Apostles Faith at the yearly International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders convention in Dallas, Texas. Faith is a subject that is vital to all believers, not just ministry leaders that may be in the church or marketplace. My outline for the meeting was as follows and I hope it will be a blessing to you as it was to all present in Dallas last week.
The christian life starts and finishes with faith, Jesus is the “Author and Finisher” of our faith and is called the Apostle and High Priest of our confession.
- HEBREWS 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- GALATIANS 3:2-3 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
- LUKE 18:8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Faith is THE APOSTLE’S MESSAGE.
According to Paul, “faith is a way of life” not just something we do when we have a need. The just shall “live by faith.” ROMANS 1:17
Teaching people how to live by faith is a main responsibility in an apostolic ministry, if people don’t know how to live by faith they will not live a victorious life in Christ.
- 1 JOHN 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
The writer to Hebrews points out the major cause for failure to obtain all God had promised was a failure to apply faith to the promises of God.
- HEBREWS 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
I like to emphasize what I call Big Bible Words in all my teaching. In other words, a Big Bible Word is a subject that God talks a lot about in the Scripture. So if God talks a lot about something, we should as well. Other Big Bible Words would be Love, Righteousness, Hope, Holiness, etc. We could say that the subject of faith may be the biggest Bible Word because the scripture itself is called “the Word of Faith.” ROMANS 10:8
Paul tells us that hearing and understanding the Word of God produces faith in our lives. ROMANS 10:17, Paul’s teaching emphasized “who we are in Christ” or “positional truths” that really produce victorious faith in the believer. Many churches emphasize “behavioral truth” more than “positional truths” which can result in a legalistic lifestyle. Behavior should come from beliefs and not the opposite.
Faith is THE APOSTLE’S METHOD.
Apostle Paul also taught “how faith works” as did Jesus in the Gospels.
- ROMANS 10:9-10 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. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
- MARK 11:23-24 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Faith works by “believing, speaking, and acting on the revealed Word of God.” We are saved by believing in our heart and speaking with out mouth, followed up by actions that correspond with faith. Paul told us to continue the method of faith after our initial reception of Jesus as Lord.
- COLOSSIANS 2:6-7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
- JAMES 2:17 NIV In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Paul demonstrated how faith works in ACTS 27:21-25 while in the midst of a deadly storm.
- ACTS 27:21-25 But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. 22 And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23 For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, 24 saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25 Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.
“there will be no loss of life among you….I believe God that it will be just as it was told me.”
Faith is THE APOSTLE’S MANTLE.
Some people’s faith is visible, it is seen in their word and actions. Jesus saw the faith of the individuals who brought a man for healing, letting him down through the tiled roof. LUKE 5:20
Apostles carry a “mantle of faith”, Paul called it “the spirit of faith” in 2 CORINTHIANS 4:13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
We call it a mantle because it can be imparted to others who receive the messenger and the message. I like to say it like this, “you must receive the Man, the Message, and the Mantle. Elisha received Elijah as a divinely anointed spokesman in his life, he received the Man, but he also received what Elijah taught, so he received the Message. Finally we see that he received the Mantle when Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind to heaven.
Being in an apostolic ministry will result in people receiving the mantle of faith, they will be believing, speaking, and acting on the Word of God as a way of life. The Apostolic Movement should produce the greatest level of victory in God’s people because Fatih is the Apostles Message, Method, and Mantle.