has provided for His children many other means by which
our faith grows and is strengthened. Among the most
important of these is the fellowship with others of
“like precious faith,” who can encourage us and help
us in our spiritual growth. We are admonished by Paul to
not forsake “the assembling of ourselves together, as
the manner of some is.” This means, among other
things, having Christian friends with whom we can pray
with and confide in; and most importantly, it means to
join with fellow Christians as a body of believers in a
local church. No Christian is an island, and we are only
complete as we abide in the body of Christ. We need
other believers; we need their gifts, their
encouragement, and their love and concern. None of us
has it all, knows it all, or can do it all; and God has
designed it that way so that we must be united together
to be “a perfect man,” a
“measure of the stature of
the fulness of Christ.”
Cor 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith,
but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye
Pet 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus
Christ, to them that have obtained like precious
faith with us through the righteousness of God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the
knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all
things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the
knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious
promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the
divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in
the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your
faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance
patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they
make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot
see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from
his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to
make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these
things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you
abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke
unto love and to good works:
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Eph 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace
according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high,
he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also
descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up
far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave
some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of
the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man,
unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of
some would say, ‘But I feel like such a hypocrite in
going to church because my life is such a mess.’
However, that is the very reason you need to go. Church
is not a showplace for saints, but a hospital for
sinners. We do not go to fulfill some religious duty, or
to maintain our spiritual piety before others. We go
because we need to go; because God has designed for us
to join together with other Christians; and that we may
be strengthened, encouraged, and have our needs met.
Still others would say, ‘But I feel so out of place,
dressing up in a suit or a dress.’ Then go dressed
however you may feel comfortable. If a church does not
accept you for how you look—as long as it is modest—you
need to find a different church.
Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray;
the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God,
I thank thee, that I am not as other men are,
extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not
lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon
his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house
justified rather than the other: for every one that
exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth
himself shall be exalted.
Sam 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his
countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I
have refused him:
for the LORD seeth not as
man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looketh on the heart.
James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold
ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a
poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay
clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good
place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit
here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become
judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren,
Hath not God chosen the
poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the
kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
important thing is to go to a church where Christ is
preached; where the people have a love for God and the
souls of men; where the Word of God is preached in
power; and where you can grow as a believer. Don’t get
stuck going to grandma’s church, or the church on the
corner if you are not getting any “meat to eat.”
You may have to try several churches and travel many
miles to go where you are fed the Word of God and sense
a real fellowship of believers. For your sake, and the
sake of your family, don’t get stagnated in a dead, dry,
John 4:32 But he said unto them,
I have meat to eat that ye
know not of.
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the
Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the
faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor
hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold
nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased
with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not
that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and
blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire,
that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou
mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness
do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that
thou mayest see.
Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with
unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with
unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what
part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath
said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will
be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye
separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean
thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my
sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Another aid to our faith, and one that has been largely
forgotten among the children of God, is fasting. This
has happened because a false idea about the purpose of
fasting has arisen. It has come to be viewed as a way to
have some glorious experience with God; a means by which
we prove to God how serious we are about being a
Christian; or making a show of our spirituality to
others. However, these motives are far from the truth
and the real purpose of fasting. Nutritionists say that
fasting is a wonderful tool to cleanse the body from
toxins and poisons that build up in our system; that
make us sick, and drag us down physically and
emotionally. While fasting is important for physical
health, it is more important for spiritual help in much
the same way. As we travel this life as a believer, we
are bombarded with the toxins and poisons of the world,
the flesh, and the devil. We become worldly-minded,
overtaken by the pride of life, and the deceptions of
the evil one. All of these pollutants drag us down, and
make us spiritually sick and lethargic. Fasting is the
denial of our bodily appetites. It may be we fast from
food, or the physical union of our mates, or worldly
pleasures such as shopping or entertainment. What
fasting does is to make our flesh miserable; it brings
to the surface those contaminants of the flesh that are
making us sin sick. It reveals to us again and again how
sick we are in ourselves apart from Christ. Fasting
purifies our faith, because in the misery that we feel
in the flesh, we again see that our only real strength
and hope is in Christ. Fasting is also important to
prayer, because it removes all the fleshly arguments we
bring to God as to why our prayers should be answered.
In our misery we see that it is Christ alone who can
avail for us before the Father.
Matt 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John,
saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy
disciples fast not?
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the
bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with
them? but the
days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from
them, and then shall they fast.
Matt 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the
hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure
their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Psa 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with
fasting, that was to my reproach.
11 I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became
a proverb to them.
Dan 10:2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three
3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine
in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all,
till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Dan 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for
from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to
understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God,
thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
Cor 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be
with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to
fasting and prayer; and come together again, that
Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and
Almost every great work, that has significant meaning in
the Scriptures, has had fasting attached to it. Moses
fasted for forty days, twice, before receiving the Ten
Commandments. Jesus fasted for forty days in the
wilderness before His earthly ministry began. The
Apostle Paul fasted as he waited for God’s direction in
his life. The sending out of the first missionaries was
preceded by a period of prayer and fasting. Yet we need
not wait for some momentous occasion for fasting to be
useful, for even day-to-day benefits, such as spiritual
cleansing, or prayer make it useful to us all. However,
many there are like me who would say, ‘I have tried
to fast, but I become ill and cannot do my job, or take
care of my family.’ Indeed, after two days without
food, one can become so weak and nauseous that it
disrupts their daily routine. Howbeit, we need not fast
for long periods for it to be effective, for even a one
meal fast, a one day fast, or a juice fast for a week or
more is beneficial. Other fasts may be a television
fast, shopping fast, or a physical pleasure fast, while
we instead pray and read the Bible—and these also can be
effective. The Apostle Paul said, “I keep under my
body, and bring it into subjection,” and one of the
ways he did this was by constant fastings. If we do not
correct our tendencies toward worldliness and pride, we
leave the Lord no choice but to bring His discipline
upon us in more severe ways, after things have gotten
out of hand in our lives.
Deut 9:9 When I was gone up into the mount to receive
the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant
which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the
mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat
bread nor drink water:
10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of
stone written with the finger of God; and on them was
written according to all the words, which the LORD spake
with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in
the day of the assembly.
11 And it came to pass at the end of forty days and
forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of
stone, even the tables of the covenant.
12 And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down
quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast
brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves;
they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I
commanded them; they have made them a molten image.
13 Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have
seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked
14 Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out
their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a
nation mightier and greater than they.
15 So I turned and came down from the mount, and the
mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the
covenant were in my two hands.
16 And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the
LORD your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had
turned aside quickly out of the way which the LORD had
17 And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my
two hands, and brake them before your eyes.
18 And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first,
forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread,
nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye
sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to
provoke him to anger.
19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure,
wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you.
But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.
20 And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have
destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same
21 And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and
burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very
small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast
the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of
22 And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at
Kibroth-hattaavah, ye provoked the LORD to wrath.
23 Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadesh-barnea,
saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given
you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the
LORD your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to
24 Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day
that I knew you.
25 Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and
forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the
LORD had said he would destroy you.
26 I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O
Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance,
which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which
thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.
27 Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob;
look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to
their wickedness, nor to their sin:
28 Lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say,
Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the
land which he promised them, and because he hated them,
he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.
29 Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance, which
thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy
stretched out arm.
Matt 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the
wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he
had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward
Matt 4:17 From
that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for
the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Acts 9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his
eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the
hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was
three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at
Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and
Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and
Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the
tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the
Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the
work whereunto I have called them.
3 And when they
had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them,
they sent them away.
Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into
subjection: lest that by any means, when I have
preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Cor 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings
often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often,
in cold and nakedness.
Another aid to our faith is to purpose in our hearts
every day to be a witness for Christ. The work of the
church, the body of Christ, is to “Go ye into all the
world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” It
is the reason why the church exists in this present
dispensation—to be a witness for Christ and to spread
the Word of the Gospel into the entire world. Every
program of the church should have as its primary
purpose, either to prepare the people of God to be a
witness, or to have an evangelistic outreach into its
community and the world. The very purpose that “Jesus
came into the world” was “to seek and to save
that which was lost.” It was His goal and motivation
every day of His life. It was what kept Him on track—to
do the will of the Father—“to be the Saviour of the
world.” The purpose in life for every Christian is
to be a witness to those whom God has placed in our
lives—“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,”
and He “hath given to us the ministry of
reconciliation.” As a believer, it should be our
goal in life, our motivation in living, to strive every
day to be a witness for Christ. It is a vital part of
the overcoming life, that which the Holy Spirit
empowers us to do, and blesses us to do. It is “by
the word of” our “testimony” that we are made
victorious over sin, self, Satan, and the world. When
something comes into our life that would turn our hearts
and minds from this purpose, we know that it is not of
God. Therefore, we must “lay aside every
weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and …
run with patience the race that is set before us.”
It is when we walk with the same purpose and mind of
Christ—that of seeking the lost—that we truly experience
the life of Christ.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them,
Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of
the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all
acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to
save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Luke 19:10 For
the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which
John 4:14 And we
have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to
be the Saviour of the world.
Luke 9:51 And it came to pass,
when the time was come
that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his
face to go to Jerusalem,
Cor 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as
though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in
Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled
us to himself by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the
ministry of reconciliation;
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the
Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and
they loved not their lives unto the death.
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every
weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and
let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Finally, learning to be a giver is also something that
is vital to the life of faith. The carnal life, the life
of the old man of sin, is a self-driven life. Everything
we do in the flesh is for ourselves in some way; even
those things which we do for others are rarely done for
unselfish reasons. In all that we do, we have the same
motivation—what am I going to get out of this? It may
not be material gain or wealth, but are we looking for
self-glory—to have others look up to us by what we have
given or done? Much of what we do is for the purpose of
having some good works to present to God. Even the most
ungodly of men are at times generous with their time and
money, as they try to tip the scales of judgment in
Luke 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The
ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I
do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my
barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my
fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods
laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul
shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things
be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that
layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward
Matt 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men,
to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your
Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a
trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the
synagogues and in the streets, that they may have
glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know
what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine
alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in
secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Matt 23:5 But all their works they do for to be seen
of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and
enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief
seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men,
contrast, the life of Jesus Christ was the most
unselfish life that has ever been lived. In coming to
this earth He had nothing to gain, because He already
had everything—all wealth, all power, and all glory. His
purpose in coming was to give Himself, that we
“through his poverty might be rich.” He was born as
a poor carpenter’s son; and although He could have had
all the riches and honor of this world, He rejected
everything in order that He might give “himself for
our sins.” If we desire to walk “in
Christ” we must learn to give as He did—unselfishly,
expecting nothing in return, even from God. We can
experience the same joy and blessings that Jesus did in
doing alms for others, who could do nothing for Him in
Cor 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the
grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 How that in a great trial of affliction the
abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded
unto the riches of their liberality.
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond
their power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive
the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the
ministering to the saints.
5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave
their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of
6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun,
so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and
utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in
your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace
8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the
forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of
9 For ye know
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was
rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through
his poverty might be rich.
Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high
mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world
in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I
give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered
unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be
8 And Jesus
answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan:
for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God,
and him only shalt thou serve.
John 5:41 I
receive not honour from men.
Gal 1:4 Who gave
himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this
present evil world, according to the will of God and our
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down
his life for his friends.
Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and
of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye
also to them likewise.
32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have
ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what
thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
34 And if ye
lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have
ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much
35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend,
hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be
great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for
he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Through unselfish giving we also receive Heaven’s bounty
in our own lives. God will be a debtor to no man—“He
that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and
that which he hath given will he pay him again.” It
becomes grace to us when we learn to give as Jesus did,
for He promised “give, and it shall be given unto
you.” The only thing we must guard against is that
we do not begin to give for the purpose of obligating
God to give back to us. That kind of giving is not
motivated by love, but by the selfish desires of the
flesh. Many misdirected preachers use this tactic to try
and motivate their congregations to tithe. They promise
them that the “windows of heaven” will rain down
blessings upon those that give. We must learn to “do
good, and lend, hoping for nothing again.”
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and
running over, shall men give into your bosom. For
with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be
measured to you again.
Prov 19:17 He
that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and
that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,
that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now
herewith, saith the LORD of hosts,
if I will not open you the
windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that
there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Cor 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall
reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully
shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,
so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for
God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may abound to every good work: