Do you wish you could make a more significant impact for God? You can! Add these elements to your faith and watch your power with God and men increase.
There is little doubt that the Apostle Paul is one of the most effective Christians of all time. His inspired teaching makes up much of the New Testament. His powerful preaching changed the lives and destinies of Jews and Gentiles alike. His missionary efforts are legendary. God used Him to shake the world with the Gospel.
The same God wants to use you to make an impact on your world. You too can be a force for good and God. We can find three elements of Paul’s powerful faith in Acts chapter 26. How will you apply them to your life?
Paul gave his testimony often. He recounts his personal faith to King Agrippa in Acts 26.
“My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee. And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:”
“I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities. Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,”
“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me. And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.”
Powerful faith is personal. New life begins when you are born again through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No one is a Christian because they are part of a “Christian” family. No one is born a Christian. No one will go to Heaven because they go to church.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
The saving faith spoken of in the Bible is not merely a mental acknowledgment that Jesus is the Son of God Who died on the Cross. The devils believe that and tremble (James 2:19), but they are not saved. The moment of salvation occurs when you personally accept God’s gift of eternal life by faith. You apply His blood to your account. You accept Him as YOUR Saviour.
Powerful faith is personal faith. If your faith isn’t personal, it’s not saving faith.
Paul based His personal faith on the Word of God. Christ spoke to Paul on the Damascus road to explain His need of salvation and His commission to take the Gospel to the world.
“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Powerful faith is not based on feeling. It is grounded on God’s Word. Feelings change, but God’s Word will remain the same long after this world is gone. Your heart is deceitful and will lead you wrong. God’s Word is Holy and will lead you along paths of righteousness.
Powerful faith is not based on experience. Life experiences should inform our faith, but must never overrule God’s written Word.
The Apostle Paul taught the importance of sound (healthy or Biblical) doctrine.
1 Timothy 1:3–10
“As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”
Be careful from whom you learn the Bible. Many popular teachers and preachers will lead you astray on the fundamentals of Bible doctrine.
Sound doctrine is the lifeblood of powerful faith. False doctrine will weaken or even destroy your faith. Spend time in God’s Word daily. Faithfully attend a Bible-preaching Baptist Church. Read doctrinally sound books. Study the Word. Befriend principled believers.
Powerful faith is Principled Faith.
The Apostle Paul was passionate about His faith. He was committed to obeying the commission to spread the Gospel. He preached the Word at significant cost to himself.
“Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me. Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness. For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.”
While powerful faith begins personally, it must continue publicly. There should be a passion you to share the good news of the Gospel. I have met too many people that are happy in their personal faith, but seem content to keep salvation to themselves. Anyone who reads the New Testament will see that God intends the salvation message to be spread to every creature.
People respond to passion. They can sense it in how you speak about a subject. They can see it in your actions and attitude. Do people who know you recognize that you are passionate about God?
The Apostle Paul paid for his passionate faith with his life. Spreading the Gospel may not cost your life, but it will cost you something. Are you willing to sacrifice to proclaim Christ? Stop making excuses and tell someone about Jesus today! You’ll be glad you did.
Ask God how to apply these truths to your life. Your power with God and men will increase. Where will you start?