Roots-Faith (Matthew Corbitt)
"For if the first fruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches."
Salvation is impossible without faith. Holiness is impossible without faith. Relevance is impossible without faith. Relevance is impossible without holiness. Holiness is impossible without salvation. Salvation produces holiness and relevance. [We must be relevant-relevance is not the ability to make someone like you, it is the ability to have the answer to their problem. We dont always want to admit what is truly relevant. Relevant to a sinner=Acts 2:37-40]
Everything we do as christians must stem from a desire to be consecrated unto God. From the places we go, to the people we talk to, there must be, at the core of our being a desire to move closer to Christ. From our very inception as Apostolics we must begin to seek out our own salvation with fear and trembling. This is not a "reverence" fear, but a literal fear of dishonoring God and spending an eternity in hell. Therefore we must seek for ourselves salvation. We must study to show ourselves approved, fast ourselves, pray ourselves, live a life pleasing to Him for ourselves. We have to have an understanding that our pastor cannot get us into heaven, or bring us any closer to God than we are willing to move on our own. Our parents are powerless to save us; it is imparative to every Apostolic that we learn to take responsibility for our own souls.
It is a simple truth. There are blessings directly associated with separation from the world, but separation alone will not save your soul. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to obtain salvation, the only way. Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved; and without faith, it is impossible to please the Lord.
If a person has faith, they will have something to show for it. If i had a billion dollars in my checking account, i would begin to act accordingly. Purchasing houses, planes, cars and boats, you would begin to see true faith in action. I see it on the statement, I've talked to the representative of the bank, i would begin to do all of this because i had faith it was there.
Now if you have faith in Jesus Christ, i mean real faith, you would begin to act accordingly. If you believed in His word, you would begin to read, study, meditate, and memorize it, and thus act accordingly. The problem my generation faces is not a distain for the old ways, but a lack of faith.
According to Acts 2:37, the devout Jews had listened to the sermon of Peter and became convicted. They showed their faith in the risen savior by asking a sincere question, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?". They felt conviction because they believed, and their faith in Jesus prompted them to ask that question.
Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom, and it was now that he began to share those with everyone. He told those devout Jews to "repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Now these Jews were the studious type. They knew the Word better than most, they were devout. They didn't begin to break down Peter's words and try to see if it was applicable in their day, they didn't cross reference and attempt to destroy his sermon, their faith in Christ wouldn't allow it. They believed, they had faith, therefore they were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and received the Holy Ghost (the initial sign of the Holy Ghost is speaking in tongues: Acts 2:1-4).
Now that i have all of the Apostolics on board, its time i lose half of us. We will preach Acts 2:38-39 until we are blue in the fact, but we rarely reference 37 or even less, if ever, 2:40. The keys to the kingdom were not simply Acts 2:38. If you believe that, you are gravely mistaken. I would hate even to limit the keys to Acts 2:37-40, but for the sake of this blog, I am going to focus on this, for this would be the root of our experience, this would be the beginning.
As i have said previously, 2:37 references faith, 2:38 repentance, baptism of water and Spirit, and 2:39, the explanation of who shall receive the promise. As i have said before, we will preach this far and stop, because after 2:39, it Peter begins to tell us what we can no longer do as the bride of Christ, and that is not pleasing to our flesh. In fact, Luke doesn't record all he said because he evidently preached about it for a while. He said, "save yourselves from this untoward generation." Peter was telling us that we need to leave this world and come unto Christ. Our generation has no direction, they only know sin, their hearts are on evil continually. You need to save yourself from this generation by changing what you do and how you do it. Giving yourself to Christ is not a small, nor easy thing to do. Matthew 16:24 says that we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. There are some things that are pleasing to our flesh that we must do no longer, and some things that we do not enjoy, we must do.
To tell you that following Christ is miserable, is totally false. If fact, following Jesus leads to life and a lasting happiness that will carry you through even the worst times in your life. That feeling that something is missing in your life dissipates in Him. The Holy Ghost conquers all, but you must stay active in the Spirit if you are to achieve victory. That is not to say that there will no longer be any evil thing happen to you, for we understand that time and chance happens to everyone, but when evil does come your way, you have an anchor that you can hold on to, even when you are all alone. He is a friend that is as close and the mention of His name, you have to but ask.
So here is a thought. Go back to your foundation, your roots and examine yourself. See if there are any cracks or perhaps you are a little dry. If there is something that you've been missing and just haven't taken the time to find, look, find, fix. Faith in God will spur you to just that, the absence of faith will lead you to remain unchanged.