Exemplary Faith

Romans 1:8-10

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

Convention of Churches

A small church had been consistent in giving contribution to the convention of churches for three succeeding years. The church’s faithful contribution has been appreciated during their convention annual assembly. And, churches with much larger membership were challenged to contribute faithfully. And as a result, they also increased their giving to the convention faithfully on the succeeding years.

It says in 1 Thessalonians 1:6-9, 6You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us.

In the midst of their suffering, the church in Thessalonica experienced joy. Christ’s Spirit dwelt and prevailed in their life, and they imitated the lifestyle of Christ and Apostle Paul. Believers throughout the provinces of Macedonia and Achaia heard about the exemplary practice of faith of Christians in Thessalonica.

Should Christians post about their faith on social media accounts? When others Christians hear about our lifestyle, will they praise the Lord? If God uses our testimony to inspire others to be faithful in Him, praise belongs to God for He transformed us! Transformation is not a confidential incentive to join missions. It exhibits our practice of faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Similarly, Apostle Paul wrote the church in Rome and expressed gratitude in the Lord because he also heard their faith proclaimed around the world.

1. Proclaim

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.

When we live by faith in Christ, praise rightfully belongs to God, why? To live by faith is God’s work, not our effort. Living by faith is living in accordance to God’s righteous instructions. And, no matter how we want to live righteously, our sinful nature resists godly righteousness. We can only live by faith when Christ transforms us, and it’s proper that praises belongs to God when we live by faith.

Our human sinful nature opposes living by faith in Christ, why? By human effort, we cannot reach God’s glorious standard of godly righteousness. And, it’s a premise of Apostle Paul when he thanked God through Jesus Christ those believers in Rome because their faith was reported all over the world. Their faith was exemplary for believers so that it has been proclaimed all over the world.

Take note: Exemplary practice of faith in Christ can never remain secret!


When asked about your faith in Christ, have you ever answered, “Secret?”

Living by faith is not ashamed of Christ, right? It’s not scheming anything devious or deceitful. So, there’s nothing to be ashamed of when we live by faith. It helps other believers to imitate our lifestyle. Is it a Christian lifestyle to be secretive?

Did Christ command us to have secretive lifestyle? Spiritual lifestyle cannot be secretive if Christ is active in our life. What does secretive lifestyle imply? It is lifestyle by human effort. In contrast, living by faith exhibits God’s work in our life. Christ expects us to witness for Him. Do courts of law accept secretive witness?

If faith is practiced secretly, it is disobedience to Christ’s mandate to witness for Him. When Christ transforms us, our righteousness is to inspire others to imitate us! A righteous lifestyle cannot be secretive when Christ is present in our life.

It says in Mark 7:24-26, 24Jesus … went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 2In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman… begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

Jesus did not want that He entered a house, why? Did He plan to rest? Did He imply that His presence cannot be secretive? News about Him easily spread. A woman asked Jesus to help her daughter. Jesus did not dismiss the woman. The story narrates that Jesus freed the woman’s daughter from impure spirit.

Exemplary practice of faith won’t allow us to live a secretive spiritual life. God wants others to know His love and work in us. Righteous lifestyle will be proclaimed or reported to others when Christ is active in our life, no matter how we may want it to be confidential. If by faith, we imitate the lifestyle of Christ, the saying that says “Action speaks louder than word!” is very appropriate for us.

Have you experienced a joyful heart when your testimony of living by faith is used to amplify sermons? I’ve met Christians with exemplary practice of faith. Their righteous lifestyle serves as goldmine of illustrations for preachers.

2. Preach

God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you

It can’t be secretive to serve God by preaching the gospel of Christ. Paul made it known to the church in Rome that he remembered them. Their practice of faith was exemplary as reported all over the world. It’s possible that Paul used their testimony as illustration to amplify his preaching of Christ’s gospel.

Paul did not hesitate to mention that God is his witness that he remembers the church in Rome constantly. He didn’t keep it confidential to himself. He didn’t keep it secret. He may have encouraged them to keep on practicing their faith.

Why do we need to keep on practicing our faith? Is it not enough to be assured that we’ll enter heaven one day? Faith in Christ is enough to be saved! No problem! But we’ve got to be sure that we’ve got active saving faith in Christ.

It says in Philippians 2:12-13, 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Salvation in Christ is progressive. It’s active as oppose to no activity at all or dormancy, why? It testifies to God’s transformative work. Salvation in Christ desires spiritual growth until God’s good purpose prepared for us is fulfilled. And, when His purpose is completed, what do you suppose that God will do next?

Paul says in Philippians 1:3-8, I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

Another letter when Paul mentioned that God is his witness and testifies that he remembered or longed for the Philippians. He also mentioned his work of sharing the gospel of Christ in which the Philippians have partnered with him. It’s significant that Paul told the Philippians about the Lord who started good work in their life will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus, His Second Advent.

It says in 2 Timothy 4:1-4, 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

We’re not Apostle Paul. We’re not called to be pastors. We’re just ordinary Christians. Those are some excuses we may hear from Christian communities.

Listen: We are all called to testify of God’s work until His purpose for us is fulfilled, to proclaim or preach the gospel of Christ and to make disciples.

Truly, not everyone is called to be a pastor. And, not everyone is called to preach before huge crowd. But, the Lord mandated us in Acts 1:8, But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Christ declared that the result is to witness for Him after we receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on us. You may ask: “How can we confirm that the Holy Spirit has come on us?” We receive power. We’ve got enthusiasm to witness for Christ, His offer of salvation and His transformative work in our life.

If you’ve accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, make sure His Spirit has come into your life and receive His power. Did you sense His power in you? And we cannot be secretive witnesses for Christ, why? When God’s Holy Spirit is at work, He empowers enthusiastically to testify of His transformative work in us.

It says in Jeremiah 20:7-9, You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long. 9But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.

Like Jeremiah, we often encounter people who ridicule us whenever we preach God’s word. It’s undesirable situation. But, when Christ’ Spirit empowers us, we enthusiastically testify about Him, that is, if we are living by faith in Christ.

So, when there is undesirable situation or events surrounding your life, you should consider a lifestyle of prayerfulness instead of secretive kind of life.

3. Pray

10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

Paul was optimistic that he will be visiting the church in Rome. He prayed just as he testified that he prays at all times. He trusted that God had arranged series of events for him to travel to Rome. Paul was accused by the Sanhedrin. He could have been easily acquitted, but he preferred to appeal to Caesar, why? He considered that as God’s will for him to visit the church in Rome.

It narrated in Acts 26:28-32, 28Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” 29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” 30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.” 32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Apostle Paul was not secretive about his faith. In midst of adversity, he’s very optimistic that situations were arranged as fulfillment of God’s purposes for him. Paul was assigned by the Lord be an apostle to the Gentiles. His ministry was not limited to the Gentiles in his neighborhood. He explored possibilities of ministries beyond his comfort zone, even if he’s in danger. Why?

He testified in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, 7Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Most often, God may allow difficulties and struggles. There’re unpleasant events surrounding our families. God may even allow dreams to fade away. Why won’t God allow us to be the person we desired or have a lifestyle we wanted? Why is it that we are surrounded with unbearable situations, unfavorable events?

God wants us to live by faith in Christ even when taking Road Test. But if you are confident of yourself, do you apply faith in it? Not necessarily! Why?

It says in Hebrews 11:1, 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

This faith is confidence that God’s grace is sufficient enough to sustain us to keep on going even when we are surrounded with uncontrollable situations. It is exemplary practice of faith that testifies to God’s transformative work in our life.

It says in Ephesians 2:10, 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Now! Make sure that the Holy Spirit has come on you when you accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. How? God empowers us to tell others about His work in our life. He has already designed a ministry where His saving grace manifests in our life. When God commands, He also prepared what we need for godly life.

It says in Exodus 31:1-6, 1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:

The Lord commanded Moses to set up the Tabernacle according to the vision He showed him on Mt. Sinai. It’s not mentioned that Moses argued, “Lord, are you kidding? I am 80 years old. I have no idea how to do what you ordered.”

The Lord commanded an old man Moses. Whenever God commands us to do something, He also provided help necessary to accomplish His plans and purposes. Moses was task to lead and not the one who will do every detail.

Have discovered your spiritual gift, yet? Are you called to lead? Are you called for detailed works? Be transformed and practise your faith!

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