October/November 2014 - Vol. 76

Faith to Live By 

“The life I now live… I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me”
- Galatians 2:20

Seeing the glory of God 

Steve Clark, in the introduction to his book, Growing in Faith, illustrates the goal of faith in our personal lives.

“Didn’t I tell you that if you would have faith, you would see God’s glory?” These were Jesus’ words to Martha just before raising Lazarus from the dead. And Martha did see the glory of God when Lazarus walked out from the tomb.

God is glorified when he works in a powerful way that men can see and appreciate. When Jesus healed people, cast out demons from them, and even raised them from the dead, men saw God’s glory before their eyes in a way that they could not easily miss. And the glory of God is what we are looking for when we want the life of the Spirit. We want a life which is lived by the power of God, a life in which God is at work in a way that can be experienced and seen. We want to see the glory of God in our own lives, and we want to be glorified among other people.

The key to seeing the glory of God is illustrated in the story of Lazarus. Jesus had heard that Lazarus was sick, close to death. He deliberately waited until Lazarus died, and then came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. Once there, he went to the tomb:

“Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrances. ‘Take the stone away!’ Jesus ordered. Martha, the dead man’s sister, answered, ‘There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!’ Jesus said to her ‘Didn’t I tell you that if you would have faith [believed], you would see God’s glory?’ They took the stone away, Jesus looked up and said: ‘I thank you Father, that you listen to me. I know that you always listen to me, but I say this because of the people here, so they will believe that you sent me.’ After he had said this he called out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out with his hands and feet wrapped in grave cloths, and a cloth around his face. ‘Untie him,’ Jesus told them, ‘and let him go.’” (John 11:38–44)

Sometimes we think that faith is only needed for beginning the Christian life, for getting into a relationship with the Lord. Faith is for the beginning of our Christian life, but it is also meant to be a part of our lives as Christians all the way through. Saint Paul says:

As therefore you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Col. 2:6,7)
Whenever we want to see God do something, whenever we want to experience his presence or see him improve a situation, we need faith. If we want to live the life of the Spirit, we have to live the life of faith. Faith makes it possible for the Holy Spirit to live in us and work through us.

In this issue

This issue focuses on growing in faith in our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and our growth in faith and unity together as brothers and sisters in Christian community. 

Steve Clark's first article examines “What is Faith?” He distinguishes three kinds of faith – believing faith, trusting faith, and expecting faith. His second article, Growing in Faith, examines practical steps for maturing in faith.

Carlos Mantica, founder of the City of God community in Managua, Nicaragua reflects on his experience of discovering and growing in faith through a vital personal encounter with the Risen Lord Jesus.

Derek Prince presents a biblical perspective on faith as a fruit of the Holy Spirit that enables us to grow in our trust in Christ.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks about the gift of faith to youth in Germany on the occasion of their confirmation and profession of faith as young adults.

Jim Berlucchi, a seasoned evangelist and Christian leader, offers sound wisdom for person-to-person evangelism – helping individuals encounter a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Sincerely in Christ,
Don Schwager

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