Below I have a transcript of my talk about us being people of faith. It is not the best transcript but I’m sure you will get a lot out of it – I do recommend watching the video for the full effect.
The main point:
We hear a lot today about culture. I want to represent our culture. I want to represent my people. Well, the people in the Bible are our people. This is our story and this is our culture - faith! We should have a faith culture. It is our culture. It's what we represent. It's what we stand for. God's people are our people. Everything in our life is based around this faith.
We Are Faith People
Galatians 3:7-9 – Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
This whole chapter is just amazing but I could spend all day just talking about it. I just want to bring these points out:
Verse 14 – That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. My whole point of this talk is that we are faith people.
We Are a Family of Faith
We belong to the faith and it doesn’t matter what race, what nationality, it doesn’t matter who you are – when you’re born again you are adopted into the family of God. You become His family. So we belong to the family of God or the family of faith. We are the faith family.
Verse 15 – Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulled, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.
He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. There’s no other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved. There’s one righteous seed, Jesus Christ.
Verse 17 – And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
This promise was given to Abraham four hundred and thirty years before the law. It’s not the law, you know. The law was given just to keep them under control. Sometimes people get confusing and think God gave them the law that’s how they had to be saved in the Old Testament.
No one could keep the law so no one was saved. No one in the Old Testament was saved by the law. Hebrews 11 is the great faith chapter we call it the hall of faith.
People in the Old Testament were saved the same way as in the New Testament, outside of the holy spirit of course, but they were saved by faith. They were never saved by the law.
Verse 26 – For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Again, we’re in the family of God aren’t we? We’re the children of God.
Verse 29 – And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. But I just want to set that foundation today that we, you know, I want to just say today that we have been adopted into the family of God.
The People in the Bible Are Our People
And we hear a lot today about culture, don’t we? I want to represent our culture. I want to represent my people. Well, the people in the Bible are our people. This is our story and this is our culture – faith!
We should have a faith culture. It is our culture. It’s what we represent. It’s what we stand for. God’s people are our people. Everything in our life is based on this faith.
We witness to people to bring them to the faith. We encourage the people to stay in the faith. We walk by faith, we live by faith, we’re the faith family. Faith is our culture; we are testimonies of what the Lord has done. It’s building up faith. It’s a faith culture.
Don’t forget the stories of our ancestors is where I’m heading today. The stories in the Bible are our stories. They’re not that we belong to them – they’re our ancestors, our ancestors of faith.
We might be literally descended from them, you know, so on and so forth, but when you’re born again you belong to this story and when we read Abraham, we’re reading our family tree.
Learn About Your Culture
We’re reading, we’re learning about our culture, we’re learning about our history and I just want to encourage us today. I want to walk down memory lane. Don’t forget the stories in the Old Testament. Don’t forget those who’ve gone before us.
This this came about…I’ve been watching a few movies on YouTube. They’re free, it’s fantastic! There are all these Christian movies on there for free. Some are duds and they’re not and they’re low budget.
They’ve quite often been put out by small Christian movie houses, whatever. You’re not going to get great effects but they tell the story and I got to see quite a few in the last few weeks and it just inspired…
As you play there it might be wrong here and there and you, you’re getting you know the Hollywood version or whatever. Not quite Hollywood, but that reminds us where we come from. It reminds us what we’re involved in and I’ll start with Ruth, the story of Ruth.
The Story of Ruth
We’re not going to go into scriptures. I’m not going to look at…I’m just going to walk us down memory lane to remind us of our culture, of our people, of where we come from, what inspires us to continue on our testimony and the story of Ruth.
In this movie it starts with this old, this young kid with a sling practicing and missing and getting all upset. No guessing for who that was! David! And this old man comes over and says, let me tell you a story of hope. And that was his grandfather. And so from that perspective he’s the old man telling David this story of Ruth and it ended with basically saying: so that didn’t happen David you and I would not exist.
Just think of a world in our world how culture without King David and all the stories and you can go into the British phone if you like all this sort of stuff. Just what would not exist if it wasn’t for Ruth! That’s amazing.
You know the story of Ruth is that Naomi, her mother-in-law and her husband and her two sons went to Moab to try to find a better life. Things were tough. I think there was a famine in the land. I don’t quite understand why they went to Moab but just over the hill…Why don’t you…
Don’t see where you think that would be better but you know that’s what I say: if you’ll over the mountains you can walk it but it’s tough. But they went to Moab and we’re not told any of the real any of the…This the story apart from the two sons married Moabite women, right? And all we’re told is that Naomi’s husband dies. We don’t know how and then we’re told that her two sons die. We don’t know how. The period.
We don’t know how long. We don’t know any of that story…This hardship…This woman…Like…It’s not like our days. You just don’t go down to Centrelink, get a help, you know?
Like you just…It would have been hard going especially for a household of women only back in those days in drought, in tough times. It would have been hard going and I can only assume Naomi spoke about her God and would have been mocked by the Moabites perhaps.
“Oh yeah, God’s doing you a great deal.”
“So yeah, here’s your God.”
“Yeah you worshiping your God, you lost your husband, nothing works for you, you lost your sons.”
Just imagine it and the time comes when she decides it’s better to go back to Jerusalem. Apparently, the famine actually had lifted and she tells her daughter-in-laws that they’re now free to…They don’t have to go with her and one of the daughter-in-laws decided to stay.
Does anyone know who she is? Na…The one who stayed.
Anyone know? That’s what happens when you walk away from the Lord. We just get caught up in this life. It’s gone. Ruth is still spoken about to this day thousands and thousands of years later. This life is nothing folks, 70, 80, 90 years. I’m sure we’ll see.
This week I’ve gone through all the funeral notices because you know we’ve just gone through Michelle’s father passing away and they have all the funeral notices on Facebook. Man is that depressing! Check out the ages folks.
This life is so fleeting. It is so fleeting. Stand up for what’s right, it’s worth it in the long run. So many times we we cowered away or over things. What are you going to get? Another 10, 15 years? Whoop! You do, you know. Like Ruth is remembered to this day. Stand up for what’s right!
And so obviously Ruth decided on going with…I want you to…I want you to put this in context. She was a foreigner going to a foreign land. So it sounds a little bit like Abraham, doesn’t it? She was a foreigner going to a foreign land, a place she didn’t know, a foreign people, but basically she was going somewhere where she had zero prospects, zero.
Who was going to marry a foreigner? She was. That’s why the other girl went back. She can remarry. She could…She could get married because they didn’t have children, obviously designed by God as well. But Ruth was signing up for no life. You’re signing up for a life of poverty really.
She said those amazing words to Naomi: “Where you go I will go, where you live I will live. Your people will be my people. Your God shall be my God.” Now we read of the misery of Naomi. She even didn’t want to be called Naomi. “Call me bitter.” Her life was just called me bitter.
But somewhere in there, she was a testimony to an army. Was she not? How else would Naomi know to follow her God to…You know…She’s obviously had conversations with her at some stage and this is our culture. This is what I want to get at.
We’re a bit like Ruth’s. We’ve all come in. We’ve all come in. We were all foreigners. Now we’re fellow citizens of the Israel of God. We’re fellow citizens. We have come in.
Naomi called Ruth daughter. “My daughter-in-law”…She’s called daughter-in-law in the scriptures, but Naomi called her daughter. She became a child of Israel. We know the story that it all worked out and God was…Yeah…I…God chose Ruth. God chose faith. She shared faith.
That’s an amazing story. Don’t ever forget this. We are children of this story of faith, of the faith story of hope. We cannot even comprehend the hardship that they would have gone through before all this unfolded into a bigger story of God’s glory.
They never knew why. “Are we starving? Why are we hungry? Why are all these bad things happening?” It was all leading to a much, much bigger story. Sometimes we can take our eyes off the big story, can’t we? And be lost in the things that are before our eyes.
Just thinking there this morning, you know…I…I inadvertently…I didn’t even know I did it…Many years ago basically said what Ruth said here to my father…Many, many years ago I got tossed out of home.
Dad was saying “You people do this…They do that…They do this…They do that…” Running down the Revival Fellowship, running them down. This wasn’t long after he had his heart attack by the way. So he had to be a little bit gentle which I wasn’t, you know…”I’m sorry but it’s just coming up all these lies. They do this. They do that.”
And I said “Wait a minute, I go there. That’s not they, it’s we and I do not do that. We do not do that.” I didn’t realize it until this morning that I basically said…
“What? Those people are my people and when you’re talking about those people you’re talking about me and we don’t do that. Your lies…They’re lies…You’re peddling lies…” Or find out what gnashing of teeth was that day!
I made my sister and my mother angry…I got asked to leave anyway. “Never bring religion up again. Never bring it up you just bring it up.” But that’s it. We’re these people are our people. This is our culture – faith! There’s plenty in there for us to learn from, isn’t it?
David and Goliath
David…Yeah he’s famous for you know “David and Goliath” is probably one of the most known stories in the world. What’s not known…I mean there’s something about the giants, something evil beyond the normal evil.
All these places that God wiped out was where the giants were and people who are on side with the giants and we read when the children of Israel went into the promised land Caleb drove out the giants. I’m gonna have to give a talk with this just fast. I gotta…I’m still working that out but he drove them out and the giants were only found in three places.
I can’t remember their names. I think Gath was one which would make a life. That’s right! So later on you fast forward, David comes and kills Goliath and we know the story. He picked up five smooth stones and ran towards Goliath. Goliath had four brothers. You’ve got to actually go on piece of scriptures together.
Later on David and his men killed the other giants. David wiped out…He finished the job…He wiped out the giants. You don’t hear about them ever again after the time of Dayton. So it’s just not just not Goliath. “Life was the beginning in David”…You know…Again this this movie pictures David coming to the camp and his brothers just paying out on him “Who do you think you are?”
When David said he’ll take him on, you know “You can’t do it!” But none of them would. Not one of the mighty! Can you imagine this big giant coming out? He’s about 10 foot tall and they were bigger giants and there’s one guy who had a bad 13 foot long and six foot wide.
Can you imagine? You imagine extra three foot on you? Oh what about another six for this? So Goliath…He was a puppy! So 10 foot you’d imagine an extra four, four…He was a scary guy and he’s coming out!
“Yeah yelling threatenings in there oh the mighty army of Israel sitting up there hiding behind the tree. Who’s gonna find him?” Which would have been the majority of us wouldn’t it? To be honest…I don’t know…
Then along comes David this little shepherd boy “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine?” These boys… “The armies of God”…Like…And then all the negativity comes his way “Oh who do you think you are you spoke Brett?” His own brother… “She can’t”…
“You’re going to get yourself killed!” So a lot of times in our Lord walk in the Lord as a story of faith you’ve got to overcome the negativity or the doubts. Something amazing in the story of David said “Goliath was a warrior from his youth.”
Everyone that went against him we’ve sowed and shield or spear got killed and everyone’s into David “What are you going to kill him with? You haven’t even got a sword you haven’t even got a spear…Yeah…You’re an idiot.” He goes out with a sling…”You’re an idiot!” And then he kills Goliath chopped his head off with his own sword.
David won because he didn’t go out like all the others did. If he went out with a sword like all the others he’d have been killed like all the others. If he went out with a spear…Like he’d have been killed…He went out in the power…You know “It’s not by might not by power but by my spirit saith the Lord.”
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, they are mighty for pulling down a stronghold. So we go out with the same weapons as everybody else…We’ll turn tail and run like everybody else. Go out with the weapons of God and that’s what David did and there’s so much in his story…I love…I love his men…I love his mighty men.
But was he how he longed for it wasn’t a cup of water from the world… Of Jerusalem or where it was…It was…At least men went down and risked their lives to get him a cup of water…Then he was ashamed himself… “Like he’s a mighty man…Man you’re a mighty man.” When you stand in a field of lentils and defend them… Just saying…I mean these are inspirational stories.
Let’s just look…We could go on… There’s so many stories in the Old Testament and in the New… There are so many stories just in our fellowship if we care to listen…
Your God is My God
Let’s finish One Corinthians chapter 2 verses one to five. Just…Just remember we have a culture that’s a faith culture…Just remember these are our people…Your people are my people…
Your God is my God...This is basically what we do...It's basically the vow we take...We come...We get baptized by full immersion...We receive the holy spirit...We're adopted into the family of God...
And I brethren when I came to you came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom declaring unto you the testimony of God…I’ll just stop there because I saw this moment yesterday I think it was on Facebook…Can’t remember it word for word that has said…
Knowing or having knowledge of God is not enough… Satan was with God more than all of us…Satan knows God…Satan has more knowledge than all of us about God…Satan believes in God…He sees him…He’s been with him all these type of things…
That’s more than knowledge…It’s more than excellency of speech…Basically that’s more than more than wisdom you know…It is the…Yeah…The love of God surpasses knowledge…Yeah knowledge is great to have you’ve got to have it but it’s the love of God that surpasses knowledge…
So Paul’s saying I didn’t come with to you with excellency of speech or of wisdom declaring unto you the testimony of God…
Verse 2. Next verse…As in verse two…For I determined not to know anything among you…Say Jesus Christ and him crucified…Now stop again because some people say “See he didn’t talk about baptism…He didn’t talk about this…He didn’t talk about it…”
No it’s not what it’s saying…He’s saying he didn’t argue about where…Before it’s better than hope…He didn’t argue about politics…He didn’t argue about…He didn’t want to notice about that… Saved Jesus Christ and him crucified…You’re only worried about our culture…Standing up for the faith…Not…Not big swelling words…Just the gospel…Our life is about Jesus Christ and him crucified…
Next verse…And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling…Can you get that? We look at Paul…”Gun wow what a guy!”…He’d been shipwrecked…He’d been beaten…He’s going into circumstances where man not too many of us would go into where they stoned him…
“I was with you in weakness and in fear”…Sometimes we can be hard on ourselves isn’t it? We feel afraid…You know…What heroes are made by doing things when they’re afraid…
Yeah people come across you…You have an outer image…You try not to look afraid but everyone…Everyone has their their moments…The thing is…Is overcoming them…
But even something as stupid as playing football back in the day…The big bloke could smack someone…You just give me the ball run straight at him scared out of here…Which would happen…Maybe spent all his energy on the guy before you…But you overcome your fear…That’s the whole thing in all life circumstances…Don’t let fear stop you from pressing forward…He’s poor…He was with them in weakness and…
Your next verse…And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom…Here’s the crunch…But in demonstration of the spirit and of power…
This… This…This is the culture of God…This is the culture of faith…You know words are cheap…Words are encouraging…Words…Words…Words are…Words are good but it’s in demonstration of the spirit and in power…And you’re going to read these scriptures…You’re going to see so many demonstrations of God’s spirit and his power throughout…
And finally in verse 5…That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God…Amen.
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