Gospel Overview Scriptures
 

Matt 3:2    And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 
 
Matt 24:14    And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
 
Matt 28:19-20    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:     Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
 
Mark 1:15    And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
 
Luke 24:47    And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repentance Scriptures
 

Acts 2:38    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
 
Acts 3:19-21    Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
 
Acts 8:22    Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
 
I Jn 3:4    Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Baptism Scriptures
 

Matt 3:13-16    Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
 
Acts 2:38    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
 
Rom 6:1-8    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
 
Col 2:12    Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Living Scriptures
 

Faith: 
Rom 1:17    For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
 
Rom 10:17    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
 
Eph 3:17    That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 
Heb 11:1-2    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
 
James 2:22-24    Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
 
Salvation:
Matt 16:27    For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
 
John 3:16-17    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
 
Rom 6:23    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Eph 2:8-9    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 
Heb 6:1-2    Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
 
The Christian:
Rom 8:9    But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
 
1 Cor 12:13    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
 
Sin:
Rom 6:23    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Eph 4:32    And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
 
Col 1:14    In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
 
I Jn 3:4    Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kingdom of God Scriptures
 

Resurrections:
John 5:28-29    Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
 
Acts 2:32    This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
 
Rom 8:11    But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
 
1 Cor 15:20    But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
 
1Thes 4:13-17    But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
 
Rev 20:4-6    And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.   Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
 
Rev 20:13-14    And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
 
Judgement:
Matt 13:49-50    So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,  And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
 
Matt 25:34    Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world
 
1 Pet 4:17    For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
 
Rev 20:15    And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
 
Rev 21:8    But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
 
Kingdom of God:
Mark 4:11    And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
 
Rev 5:10    And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
 
Rev 20:4   And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
 
Rev 21:1-3, 7, 10    And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.    And 1 John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.    And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

7    He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

10    And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sabbath Scriptures

Gen 2:2-3
2    And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3    And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Exod 16:1-36
1    And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
2    And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
3    And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
4    Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
5    And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.
6    And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt:
7    And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?
8    And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.
9    And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings.
10    And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
11    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
12    I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.
13    And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.
14    And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
15    And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
16    This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
17    And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
18    And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
19    And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
20    Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.
21    And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.
22    And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.
23    And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24    And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25    And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26    Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27    And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28    And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29    See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30    So the people rested on the seventh day.
31    And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
32    And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.
33    And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.
34    As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
35    And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.
36    Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.
Exod 20:8-11
8    Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9    Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10    But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11    For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Exod 31:12-17
12    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
13    Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
14    Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15    Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16    Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
17    It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
Mark 2:27-28
27    And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28    Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Luke 4:16
16    And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith Scriptures

Rom 1:17

17    For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
 
Rom 10:17

17    So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
 
Eph 3:17

17    That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 
Heb 11:1-2

1    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2    For by it the elders obtained a good report.
 
James 2:22-24

22    Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23    And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24    Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith Chapter

Hebrews 11

1    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2    For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3    Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4    By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5    By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6    But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
7    By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
8    By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9    By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10    For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11    Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12    Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13    These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14    For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15    And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16    But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
17    By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18    Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19    Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
20    By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21    By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
22    By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
23    By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
24    By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25    Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26    Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27    By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28    Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29    By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
30    By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
31    By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
32    And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33    Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34    Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35    Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36    And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37    They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38    (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39    And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40    God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doctrinal Statement on Faith
 

Faith is the sure knowledge that God exists and that He will accomplish those things He has promised. Faith in God—trust in His promises and belief that He is in overall control is a major element in the Christian life and is absolutely necessary for salvation.

"…the just shall live by his faith." These words were first uttered by the prophet Habakkuk and quoted three times by the apostle Paul. Living faith is at the heart of true Christianity. It is absolutely essential for salvation (1 Pet. 1:5-9). Christ described faith as a weightier matter of the law (Mt. 23:23). Paul listed it among the three greatest Christian virtues (along with hope and love). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Far from being simply a feeling in his heart, the Christian's faith motivates his entire pattern of living. Faith functions as the fulcrum of true Christian thought and behavior.

The two distinct meanings of the word "faith" are found in the English translation. When preceded by the definite article ("the faith") it means the overall system of doctrine and belief accepted by the Church, and by extension, the Church itself (Acts 6:7; 13:8, 14:22). When used without the article it means "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1) which is perhaps the clearest biblical definition of faith. Faith is thus an absolute belief that God exists and a total trust in His statements (Heb. 11:6).

Ultimately, faith deals with God's promises—with the future. It is the trust in "things not seen." Of course, belief cannot be blind. It must be built on genuine conviction. It has to come from perceiving God's hand in creation, His work in history and the experience of His fulfilled promises in one's own life. This is the foundation of faith. But one does not need faith in what has already been accomplished. Faith, therefore, is the willingness to believe God will not fail even though He has not actually brought about what is promised (Heb. 11:1).

True faith must come from God and has many facets, though the primary ones relate directly to Jesus Christ. Faith in its simplest but most profound manifestation is a deep personal belief in Jesus Christ; in the fact that He is our Savior; in the truth that His death paid the individual penalty of our personal sins. Faith is the full confidence in the message Jesus brought. This faith in Christ is the belief that leads us to baptism. (Baptism is merely an outward symbolic testimony that we have inward faith in Christ.) Paul speaks of this faith in Galatians 2:16 when he remarks we "have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ."

After baptism, one receives God's Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. At this point Christ, through the Spirit, lives in us and empowers us with a growing and internalized godly faith. Since faith is not self-generated, but is rather the faith of Christ's Spirit in us, it is termed the "faith of Christ" (subjective genitive). It is this faith of Christ that we must express and live by in every facet of life.

But faith is not an end in itself. It is rather the vehicle by which we may obtain salvation. Of course, salvation can in no way be earned, either by obedience or faith, for nothing man can do would obligate God to grant salvation had He not decided to give man this gift of His own volition (according to certain terms). But God nevertheless has obligated Himself to grant salvation if one has living faith. God says the presence of this faith is counted in His eyes as righteousness and indeed justifies us before God (Rom. 4: 1-7).

Faith is the motivator which causes us to live a godly life. >From this it follows that one who has real belief in God and hopes in His promises will demonstrate this fidelity by his actions, by his obedience. Indeed, "whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Rom. 14:23).

The true Christian will obey God and do good works, for "faith without works is dead" (Jas. 2:20). Our good works do not save us, but they do demonstrate faith. James wrote, "I will show you my faith by my works" (Jas. 2:18), directly contradicting the notion that faith can maintain an exclusively mental / spiritual existence devoid of any physical action and behavior. One who does not obey God is said to possess "dead" faith, a trait no better than that of the demons who themselves believe God exists but refuse to obey Him (Jas. 2:19).

To have real faith, does not mean that one will never doubt. Doubt is a normal human characteristic and emotion, and even the truly begotten Christian is not immune from it. Yet one must contest doubt, not by deluding oneself but by rehearsing reality. One should return to the fundamentals of biblical belief, to one's first love, by thinking the thoughts and doing the works he did when he was first being converted. Doubt need not undermine faith, but true faith can surmount doubt.

God commands that "the just shall live by faith" in every facet and area of his life. One must fully live by faith, because God has made promises which affect virtually every part of man's existence. He has promised to help us in trials if we are faithful and to answer every prayer that is prayed according to His will and in faith. These expressions of faith are again not ends in themselves. In fact they are secondary as compared to a Christian's main thrust of faith which is belief in God's promise of the resurrection from the dead and in salvation. Other areas of faith are important only as they contribute to our faith in the resurrection. Paul says one who does not earnestly hope for the resurrection has "faith in vain" (1 Cor. 15:14), because one who has no hope of being resurrected from the dead has no hope at all! It is a Christian's faith in the resurrection from the dead which lies behind all his earthly actions. It is this faith and hope which encourages him to press onward toward salvation in spite of trials and disappointments.

God's ultimate design is to bring every human being from the human level to the divine level—from flesh to spirit—from a temporary physical existence to an eternal spiritual existence. This is the foremost frontier of faith. It involves development of character, which includes the trials and experiences of human life. God's promises for the "good life" on the physical level are subordinated to His ultimate purpose of fulfilling His main promise on the spiritual level.

A Christian who is living by faith realizes physical promises may be delayed for his spiritual benefit, but he knows that his life is absolutely in God's hands no matter what. Some by their faith have been delivered, while others by the same faith have been martyred (Heb. 11) or allowed to die without seeing the ultimate fruit of their endeavors in this life.

The faith of Christ in us is one of the fruits of God's Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. As such it cannot be "worked up" and is in no other way self-generated. It should never be static but must be constantly growing and expanding in every aspect and area of life. This faith may be built and grow in different ways, through experience, through trials (Rom. 5:1-5), by reading the inspired Word of God (Rom. 10: 17), through the interaction with the faith of others, etc. Faith must be constant, unfeigned, based upon true promises, without time limit and always growing.

The Bible illustrates the faith of the patriarchs and men of God throughout history as an example and encouragement to us. We are told of Abraham, the father of the faithful. We are reminded of Enoch, Elijah, Samson, Jephthah, David and the prophets. We see the awesome example of Jesus Christ Himself, who gave up His exalted position as God, emptied Himself into human form and was sacrificed in faith, so that He could become the Savior of mankind after the Father would resurrect Him. Likewise, we look at the examples of the apostles and of fellow brethren who were martyred for the sake of Christ. Finally, we learn that God will grant these faithful men salvation and eternal life in God's kingdom, because they believed they would receive it, and because they had real faith. They will receive the reward they hoped for, because they believed that God existed and that He was the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Our task is to follow their example and receive this same reward.