EVEN FROM THE time of the chosen twelve, up until today, folks have sought to increase their faith. I’ve often wondered about the Lord’s answer, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” [Luke 17:5-10]
It’s seems that our Saviour is telling us to get busy and to serve Him. We serve Him by keeping His commandents [John 14:15; 1John 5:3; Matt 7:24]. When the Prophet Elijah was emotionally down from the pressures of Jezebel’s persecution, the Lord came to him and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Upon hearing Elijah’s pessimistic view of the world God said, “Go…” [1Kings 19:9-18]. His command to “go” was for Elijah to finish his work. No “thank you”, no “you sit here and I’ll get somebody else”, no “oh, I’m so sorry.” God said “GO!”
Is “go” really the answer to this request for an increased faith? I believe it is. An active faith has always been a requirement of God’s people. It was the inactive faith that has caused many to be punished. Just read about the complaining and diobedient children of Israel in Exodus, Numbers and Hebrews 3. Their lack of an active faith kept them out of the promised land.
INCREASE OUR FAITH
In another passage on faith, the Apostle Peter gave instructions on how to add to our faith. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith…[2Peter 1:5]. Let’s examine the inspired 7 step plan for a better faith.
ADD TO YOUR FAITH…
Virtue; the greek word is “arete” and has the meaning of “moral excellence.” When adding to our faith, the first step is to look at ourselves and cleaning up our own sins. One way to do this is to recognize who we are as God’s children.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: [1Peter 2:9]
Knowledge; Knowledge is a seeking to know, investigation. To often, the folks dealing with a weak faith are also weak in their own knowledge of God. Romans 14 and 1Corinthians 8, speaks about a weak faith and it’s connection to knowledge. Paul urged the faithful to read, study and teach. What would a better understanding of God’s word do for your faith? [Ephesians 3:4; 2Timothy 2:2,15]
Temperance; Having self-control, as this word is defined, is what keeps us out of sin. We must practice it daily. Though God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, as well as providing a way of escape, we must have enough control over ourselves to take the escape, [1Corinthians 10:13], …against such is no law. [Galatians 5:23]
Patience; The word used here is a cheerful enduring patience. None of us knows when the Lord shall return, but we endure cheerfully because we believe He keeps His promises and is a rewarder of those who are diligently seeking Him [Hebrews 11:6]. Built upon knowledge of God’s word, patience is added to our faith through the comfort of the scriptures [Romans 15:4].
Godliness; The next addition to our faith is defined as godliness. Conforming to the laws and wishes of God is the definition of godliness. Everyone gets this, from the atheist to the most ardent believer. Command keeping, although condemned by most denominations, is an essential aspect of our faith. Look back at the original request “increase our faith”, Jesus answered it by describing an obedient servant.
Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, [2Peter 3:11]
Brotherly kindness; Translated love in many places, this is a brotherly affection. One of the building blocks of our faith is kindness toward each other, in particular, toward those of the household of faith [Galatians 6:10]. Romans 12:10 says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” And Peter wrote, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:” [1Peter 1:22].
Charity. In the KJV, the greek word “agapa” is called charity. This is a sacrificial love toward another. This is the love God has toward us in John 3:16; Romans 5:8. Love can only be described by the action it prompts. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” [1John 4:7-9-13]. And this is the word used in John 14:15, “If you love me…”
Review this list often. Do you see how doing these things can “increase our faith?” If there’s any doubt, read what is said about this list. “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2Peter 1:8]