Grace Energized Men: Healthy Faith vs. Unhealthy Faith
Please open to Titus 2, where we find the marching orders for all men in Christ's church.
We have come to the fourth quality of grace-energized men that the Spirit of God moves Paul to record in this letter to Titus. Paul tells him that men, who are energized by His grace, are characterized by what God calls "soundness in faith". This sound faith or literally as the word hugaino means, "healthy faith" is a most precious commodity in a believers life.
Faith is Vital to God
God's Word talks much about faith. The word "faith" occurs in our Bible no less than 245 times (in the NKJV translation of God's Word). The Bible describes faith by many different words.
There is "weak faith" and "little faith" that should be avoided at all costs because it leads to unhealthy faith that is devastating as we'll see today.
Then there is "healthy faith" (Titus 2:2) that is described in God's Word as "strong" faith, "bold" faith, "rich" faith, "abiding" faith, "steadfast" faith, "precious" faith, "common" faith, "unfeigned" faith, "working" faith, "obedient" faith, and "great faith". Each of these 12 types of faith is commended by God and should be sought after and imitated.
And finally there is that one last dreadful strain of faith, God's Word often warns us about, called "dead" faith that should be carefully watched out for as we go through our life-long spiritual pilgrimage, waiting for our Savior's coming or calling for us.
There are some key questions that we should ask and answer for ourselves as an obedient response to the clear command of II Corinthians 13:5. Why not prayerfully ponder these questions all alone with the Lord this week?
1. Can you describe a time when you honestly realized you were a sinner and confessed this to yourself and to God?
2. Can you describe a time when your heart stirred you to flee to Christ as the only escape from the wrath to come? Has your heart ever seriously grieved over the gravity of your personal sins that you agree with God that you have committed?
3. Have you truly understood the Gospel of grace? That Christ died in your place, took your sins, and arose from the grave having fully satisfied God's wrath against your sins? Have you understand and confessed that you cannot save yourself?
4. Did you sincerely repent of your sins and turn from them? Or do you secretly love sin and want to enjoy it?
5. Are you presently clinging to Christ and and trusting in Him alone, for your salvation? Can you describe a living relationship that you enjoy with Him through His Word and in His Spirit?
6. Can you identify how Christ has changed your life? Are you seeking to daily maintain good works, or are your works occasional and weak? Do you seek to grow in the things of the Lord? Can others tell that you have been with Jesus?
7. Do you desire to share Christ with others? Or are you ashamed of Him?
8. Do you enjoy the fellowship of God's people? Is worship a delight to your heart?
9. Are you seeking each day to be ready for the Lord's return? Or will you be ashamed when He comes for you?
Each believer is uniquely born again into the family of God; but all are saved the same way—by God's grace through faith only in Christ's ability to take their sin upon Himself. Experiences will differ, some words will not be the same, and degrees of sanctification are always present—but the essence will always be there.
However, these 9 questions can truly become a tool to allow each believer to do that spiritual self examination and say with David:
"Search me, O Lord, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps. 139:23-24).
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