A Lifestyle Of Trusting

Once you’ve committed yourself to Him, you embark on a lifestyle of commitment, trust, obedience that is marked by what the Bible calls faith.

Scripture: Ephesians 4, Acts 4:12, Romans 16:20, Acts 4:20


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m back with you once again looking at the Word of God, Ephesians Fourth Chapter. And we’re looking at some phrases that Paul uses to define the concept of the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit. What is that kind of unity? Well, he goes on to say, verse 4, one body, every believer, blood-bought born again, Spirit-indwelt believer is part of the body of Christ, the church, one body, one spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. Shun all of the shortcuts that the devil offers and put your dependence entirely upon the written Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, so as to keep you straight on the things of eternity. One hope of your calling, that’s based in the person, the Lord Jesus Christ, “He is our hope,” Paul says in Colossians.

We’ve been begotten again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He’s our hope, one hope. He’s coming again to take us to Himself. And one Lord, we talked about the lordship of Christ, didn’t we? Make Him Lord. Let Him give the orders. Your job and mine is to obey. Then we come to this expression, “one faith”. Now, this is a little different from the concept of faith; faith, to use my Cook definition, is the quality of risking any given situation on God and His Word. But he says one faith, and that’s what the Bible calls the faith. “For obedience to the faith among all nations,” Paul says in Romans, “This is the one faith,” what Martin Luther called the “sola fide.”

And you go over especially into Romans and you’ll find this detailed again and again. “We conclude,” says Paul in Romans 3:28, “that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” “Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace,” this is 4:16 of Romans. And in verse 20, “Abraham staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God, being fully persuaded that what God had promised, he was able also to perform, and therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now this was written not for his sake alone, but for us also.” “To whom it,” that is righteousness, “shall be imputed if we believe on Him,” that’s the faith, see, “if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” So, Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. God commended his love toward us, even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

See, the faith, what is it? It is a commitment of your eternal destiny to the Lord Jesus Christ based upon His sacrifice for you on Calvary. Paul says in talking about the gospel, he says “I deliver unto you the gospel which I received, and wherein you stand,” he said, “how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he was seen of Cephas then of the 12 after that, about 500 brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present but some are fallen asleep. After that he was seen of James, then of all the apostles, and last of all, seen of me also as of one born out of due time. By the grace of God, I am what I am.” The gospel, the faith of Christ, what is it? You see, it is that body of truth that says, I’m a sinner, I cannot save myself. Jesus died and paid my penalty on the cross and rose again to be my living Savior, and I trust Him without any reference whatsoever to any works that I could do to be saved. “By grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” The faith, one faith.

Now that works out then in daily living in a continuing commitment to God and to His will and to His Word in situations of everyday life. Abraham is used as an illustration. By faith, Abraham went out unto a place that he didn’t know, but he was guided and he trusted God, obeyed God, and made the move. By faith, Noah, prepared an ark to the saving of his house. By faith, Moses forsook Egypt, choosing rather to suffer persecution with the people of God. Moses, to suffer affliction, that’s the word, with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. By faith, he forsook Egypt, and by faith he kept the Passover. By faith, they passed through the Red Sea. By faith, the walls of Jericho fell down.

See, the idea being that once you have made this one time forever, eternally significant commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you continue to trust Him. Part of what Paul calls “the faith” is a lifestyle of trusting and obeying God. See, that’s how it is, “the just shall live by faith.” You have that quoted three times in the New Testament, quoting the Old Testament verse, “The just shall live by faith.” And you don’t live a whole lifetime at a time. You live a moment at a time, and each moment then, you commit to your blessed Lord. Now that’s why I told the students at the college through the nearly quarter of a century I was there as president, told them often and often, “Pray your way through the day.” Why? Because as the various situations of life come up, you need to commit yourself to God and trust Him and obey Him. You need to look Heavenward for God’s guidance, pray your way through the day. Pray when you wake up. Pray before you start to work in the… Any given day. Pray before you answer the phone. Pray before you open a letter, or send one. Pray before you make a business decision, or hire someone, or transfer someone. Pray before you make a big purchase. Pray before you sign a contract. Pray before you go on a trip, it’ll help you be a better driver on the way. [chuckle]

Pray before you go on a date, I tell the young people, you have less praying to do afterwards. Pray your way through the day. Why? This is part of the faith. It starts at Calvary where you commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and your only hope of salvation. “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there’s none other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved,” said Peter in Acts 4:12. So, you commit yourself to the Lord Jesus as your only hope of salvation. Once you’ve committed yourself to Him, then you embark on a lifestyle of commitment and trust and obedience that is marked by what the Bible calls faith. The just shall live by faith, one faith.

How are you in the faith department these days? Are you trusting your Lord and risking anything on Him? Most of us like things pretty cut and dried. We don’t like to risk too much, especially in areas of dollars and cents and decisions and people and situations. We like to know exactly what’s going to happen. The problem is, God doesn’t always tell you what’s going to happen, and oftentimes, you’ll find the Spirit of God moving you to a course of action that you’re not quite sure you agree with, but you know God is speaking to your heart. Well, do it. Do it. I think one of the nicest illustrations of obeying God by faith came out of a story that my old friend, Jack Richards, told me. He’s been with the Lord now for some years, but he used to cut my hair when I had hair to cut during my college days.

He had a barber shop that was right next to the two or three rooms that we used as a meeting place for the Glen Allen Gospel Tabernacle in the basement of what was then a defunct bank. This was in depression days, ’31, ’32, ’33, ’34, around in there. They were hard days and I was in the midst of starving my way through college. But I was pastoring this little church that met in the basement of the bank. They later merged with a Bible church in Glen Allen and they’re now having a fine time. I understand the church continues to grow, wonderful people. But in those days, every now and then I would go next door and get into the barber chair, and Jack Richards would cut my hair. A wonderful Christian he was. And he used to tell me stories of how God had dealt with him about things. He told me how God delivered him from swearing and from smoking tobacco. And he said that the old minister had told him, “Jack, God will deliver you when you get so desperate about it that you’re willing to do anything, even die, to get rid of it.” And so it was that one day Jack said he got down on his knees in the shed, just outside the farm kitchen, he was a farmer in those days. And there’s a wash shed outside the kitchen door, and he got down on his knees on that rough planking, he said, “Oh God, I’m so sick of all this,” he said, “I want you to take this away from me and do such a good job that I’ll just get sick of the smell of tobacco,” said he.

And then he would whirl me around in the chair when he told that story and he’d say, “Look at that sign,” and there was a sign that said, “No smoking, please,” underscored, “I don’t like to lose my breakfast.” [chuckle] He said, “Just the smell of tobacco smoke turns my stomach now. God did a thorough job.” Well, he told me one day that when he was working as a farmer, they came upon lean days. There was a year or two and not much was happening, and they existed on what they had in the cellar, potatoes and cabbage and that sort of a thing, and it was kind of a lean year. Well, the Spring Revival came around and the minister of course in those days, if you have, hold, a revival service in a country church, there’s no hotel around, you don’t live at the Biltmore, you stay with one family and eat with all the rest.

And so it came Mr. And Mrs. Richards’ turn to have the evangelist and the pastor for dinner. And so one of the roosters out in the yard entered the ministry, they chopped off his head and got him ready and fried chicken and mashed potatoes and that sort of thing was the order of the day. And so they were sitting there at the table and Jack looked at the evangelist and saw that the man’s shirt was worn so badly that the collar was all frayed around the edge of the collar where it turned down. And he said God spoke to him and said, “Give the man your shirt.” Well, he said, “I haven’t got but one good Sunday shirt. Only one white shirt is all I’ve got.” God said, “Give him your shirt.” Jack thought, “Well, he won’t be my size anyway.” So he asked, “What’s your size?” And the man told him, it was exactly Jack’s size. So he went upstairs, got the shirt, brought it down and said, “Here brother, God told me to give you this.” The man was so grateful. But here was the payoff, Jack said, “After I obeyed God on that, things turned around on the farm and we began to make some money.” Have faith in God, one faith. Commit yourself to Jesus at Calvary, and then embark on a lifestyle of trusting God.

Dear Father, help us to believe you today and to obey you, I pray in Jesus’s name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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