Bible Bytes

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Learning God’s Word in byte-sized portions is the absolute best way to gain an understanding of the Scriptures, especially the sections within the Bible that are written to the believer of today. The Church Epistles are directly addressed to believers who live and grow daily in the grace of God’s divine Word. In I Thessalonians we have a series of Bible bytes that give to the believer tremendous understanding and spiritual light.

I Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice evermore.

This is the entire verse of Scripture: “Rejoice evermore.” So when are we to rejoice? Evermore. This means always, during good times as well as hard times. To rejoice is to have joy over and again, and the result of rejoicing is laughter, like Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Her laughter was the result of beginning to believe in a promise of God and the joy within her heart overflowed into laughter. As we learn God’s healing Word, rejoicing becomes a second nature response from simply knowing that God is so very well pleased with us. Some negatives may come our way today yet we are able to rejoice evermore because we know the result, we know that we are more than conquerors because we believe God, His Word, and we believe His promises of deliverance to us.

I Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.

Again this is a Bible byte, yet it contains a world of truth with instruction, guidance, and encouragement. To “pray without ceasing” means never to give up on our prayers though at times it may appear that some of our prayers go unanswered. Still, when God’s Word promises us something and we pray with believing for it, it will absolutely come to us. I have one prayer that I have been faithful to for more than seventeen years, and I believe in my heart that the answer is still coming. Almost all of our prayers are answered right away, or in the due process of time as our need truly arises, and sometimes they do take time before we receive our answers; however, if we pray with believing and we do not give up, we will reap.

When we put our trust in the hands of God and pray without ceasing, even if we do not immediately see the results that we want, it does not mean that God does not care. Rather, we can use this as a challenge to help build our thankfulness and faithfulness to the words of life. When I first became a Christian believer I had hundreds of questions, and over the years I have received hundreds of answers to my questions, yet I still have questions, perhaps even more than at the start. Yet God continues answering me through His Word, or by hearing a teaching, or I see it in a book, or God inspires me with inspirations and revelations as life seems to go on without too much trouble.

This is the same with prayer, we can believe that God’s timetable is always perfect, and when we do receive the answers to our prayers they are usually greater than we could even imagine because God always goes beyond what we can ask or even think.

I Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Being thankful for everything that God gives to us is a result of our prayer life, this is the context that the giving of thanks is set in, for this is living in the will of God. “Concerning you” means that God’s will is always directed toward you in Christ Jesus. God will is to be continuously answering our prayers as we continue to be thankfully “rejoicing evermore” along our life’s path.

However, and Thank God, Our Shameless Hope Is Something to Be Excited About

“The hope of Christ’s return and our gathering together unto him maketh not ashamed- Romans 5:5, meaning just the opposite of shame, giving us something that we can indeed be so very proud of, as hope fills the desire in our hearts to want to tell anyone who will listen that Jesus is coming back. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:19, If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. The context of this verse is that if we hope in Christ and our gathering together to be with him for eternity, and if he were not to return, then we should be the most wretched people on the planet for hoping in vain. However, and thank God, our hope is that Christ indeed is returning and then we will be gathered up and blessed for all eternity. For the present time, God has given to us His own love and the permission to believe His promises to us which will help sustain our lives as we continue to believe and enjoy His healing Word that guarantees our pleasurable expectations of divine hope.” ~LMJ~

A Threefold Cord

A threefold cord is not quickly broken– Ecclesiastes 4:12. The threefold cord as it concerns Giving and Receiving is that God first gives divine spiritual treasures to man, secondly man in return gives thankfulness, honor, and respect back to God, then thirdly God again returns to man the spiritual blessings in physical abundant realities. This is a threefold cord that God will honor and continue to reward. This is what Jesus and Paul were explaining by teaching and by example. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee– Deuteronomy 16:17.” ~LMJ~

The Word of Faith (The Longer Version)

 Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In this study, we will take a closer look at the word “faith” from a biblical perspective. The words “faith” and “believing” are the same Greek word pistis and always mean believing or believing faith. We are born with the innate ability to believe, however, there is another kind of believing faith that the Bible reveals called, “the faith of Jesus Christ” and this faith is something new and introduced to believers when they become saved. With salvation, the believing Christian receives Christ in them (Colossians 1:27), and thus we become endowed with the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself which is purely perfect.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus {who is} the author and finisher of our {believing} faith,” and since he is the author and finisher of our faith, we can look to him in the Scriptures for our example of how to grow our believing faith to maturity. Another way we could look at this is that without Jesus, we will have a lack of Christian faith. So then, how do we learn more about this faith of Christ that we now have? We go straight to the Word of God!

Romans 10:17:   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The faith of Christ comes to us by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This verse carries a double meaning. First, the word hearing is repeated doubly to emphasize how the faith of Christ comes to us, and that is by hearing, and hearing to the point of our believing – and believing one thing and one thing only – and that is the word of God! The second meaning of the word hearing here is that the more of the Word of God we hear, the greater our own believing can rise to believe in the promises that are laid out for us in God’s faithful Word to receive and to enjoy. There are promises such as, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalms 37:4), and “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12), and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Since Jesus ascended unto his Father after his resurrection (Acts 1:9–11), just as he said he would in John 14:12 above, the “greater works” that Jesus promised can become something we can now accomplish. One of the major works Jesus did was to completely believe what God’s Word said about him. Jesus’ believing faith was perfectly complete; he had believed to do more than anyone on earth had ever done, and then (because of the resurrection) God gave men and women who will believe on and accept his resurrection, the actual faith of Jesus Christ. His believing faith is similar to our believing faith, but Jesus never doubted the Word of God, which caused his faith to be immensely precious and extremely powerful. We find in Mark 9:24 that a man came to Jesus Christ in need, imploring with tears in his eyes ― “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Well, today Jesus still helps our unbelief mature to faith equaling his own, for he is “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.”

The Epistle of Galatians 3:23–26 sheds some interesting light on Jesus’ faith:

Galatians 3:23:  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Before faith came means that there was a time when there was no faith. Many people believe that faith, all faith, has always been around, but the faith that Galatians is referring to in verse 23 is the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself. Before faith came, refers to before Jesus was on earth, and therefore his believing faith was not available. Thus, the Scripture says, we were kept under the law until Christ and his faith came; for the Law was designed to protect the believers up until Jesus would come and give men and women his faith, the faith that would be from “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.” But what confuses people sometimes about the word faith, is that it is used for our believing faith (pistis), and this word is also used for Jesus’ believing faith (pistis). In both usages throughout the Bible, faith is the same Greek word pistis. Only when we observe the context where pistis is used will the difference be apparent of which faith the Text refers.

For an example of the confusion of one word with more than one meaning, I could say, “I am at the bank,” and it could mean I am near a river, or it could mean I am depositing money at the bank, or I could be in a bank of snow for that matter. We need to view the broader context to know where I am and we can use the same logical deduction with the word faith, pistis. Only as we see the context in which the word faith is set will we understand whether the Scripture implies Jesus’ faith, or ours. At the conclusion of this study, you will be able to recognize many more of the passages where the word faith is used, and more verses will open up for you and become much clearer.

Galatians 3:24:  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto {or until} Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The Scripture says we are justified by faith but by whose faith were we justified? When we see the context of this verse, we find we are justified by Christ’s faith! As Romans 4:25 declares, “Who {Jesus Christ} was delivered {unto death} for our offences {our sins}, and was raised again for our justification.” We are justified because of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, not because of our faith, thus, Ephesians 2:8–9 reveals, “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.” Our justification into salvation is a gift from God through faith, and since salvation is not based on our works, then our salvation is given and received because of the faith of Jesus Christ who had done all the work so that we could receive by grace. The Epistle of Romans celebrates this blessed truth of our gift of God which is our salvation, “but the gift of God is eternal life through {by the work and faith of} Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

 Galatians 2:16:   Knowing that a man {or woman} is not justified by the works of the law, but {a man or woman is justified} by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

See how not only the immediate context fits together with Christ’s faith, but all the related passages work towards a wonderful enlightenment that we are justified because of his faith! With the believing faith of Jesus Christ, we have received our justification, being made completely justified from the dictates that the Law demands. It took the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself to give his life on our behalf to redeem us; his own faith now sets us free from the Law, giving each of us an equal justification, affording us a perfect standing before God, as we simply believe in the completeness of Jesus’ faith. This is the perfection of the faith of him who is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Romans 5:1:  Therefore being justified by faith {i.e., Jesus’ faith}, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Acts 26:18:  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God {this is literally the mission of the Pauline Epistles}, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me {Christ Jesus}.

Today in grace, we are not only justified by Christ’s faith, but we have peace with God, and we are also sanctified, and we have “the righteousness of God which is by {the} faith of Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:22). We also have access into God’s grace by the faith of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:2:  By whom {Jesus Christ} also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Any faith that we read about in the Old Testament and in the Gospels is man’s own believing faith or that perfect faith of Jesus Christ. However, in the New Testament, faith could be man’s own faith, Jesus’ own faith, or believers utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ as in these verses, Acts 3:16; 6:5, 8; 15:9; Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 2:5; II Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19; 6:16; and I Thessalonians 2:13. Today, in grace, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We are able to live in a Christ-like lifestyle because we have received the faith of Jesus Christ, which is, the faith of the Son of God.

Recall that Galatians 3:23–24 above talked about before faith came, but now the Epistle continues with “after that faith is come:”

Galatians 3:25–26:
-25: But after that faith is come {again, Jesus’ own faith}, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
-26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in {of or by} Christ Jesus.

Now that the faith of Jesus Christ has come, we are no longer under the rules and regulations of the schoolmaster, i.e., the Law. Believing faith was always around since the beginning of time, but a new and enhanced, spiritual faith came with Christ, and with Christ came spiritual freedom to experience a much greater life than what the written Law offered in the Old Testament times (see Ephesians 2:15; Hebrews 7:16–19).

Galatians 5:1:  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage {i.e., the schoolmaster — the law}.

The main difference between man’s faith and the faith of Jesus is that human faith can only rise up to believe in that which is seen, like the phrase says, “seeing is believing.” As Jesus said to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). In stark contrast to seeing before we believe; the faith of Jesus Christ is given so men and women can rise all the way up to believe in that which is not physically seen, yet is spiritually real ― such as salvation, love, peace, grace, joy, and the faith of Jesus Christ.

 II Corinthians 4:18 and 5:7:
-18: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
-7: For we walk by faith {Christ’s believing faith}, not by sight:

In truth, man needs Jesus’ faith to fulfill his own faith, as we read in Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus {is} the author and finisher of our faith,” and this is how Christians can become fully satisfied, feeling complete within their hearts (Colossians 2:10). The faith of Jesus Christ is only available to the Christian believer, as II Thessalonians 3:2 emphatically states, “for all men have not faith.” This cannot be one’s personal believing faith, for anyone can believe, but not all men have the faith of Christ to apply towards believing God’s Word and to enjoy and believe for help in times of great need. This is also why spiritual truths in the Bible make perfect sense to the believer, whereas the same truths make absolutely no sense to the unbeliever (I Corinthians 1:18–31, 2:14).

Living by the faith of the Son of God works like this: If someone was to tell you that you are going to hell or if you once thought so yourself, now being equipped with your upgrade of the faith of Jesus Christ, you can say and believe in your innermost being that is not true. Instead, you can say to yourself ― I am heaven bound, and you can think and say this with believing conviction because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say you are unrighteousness or if you ever assumed this of yourself, now with faith, you can know in your heart that you are as righteous as God Himself is because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say to you that you are destined to failure or if you believed in your heart that success was not for you ― with faith, you can rise above that negative perception of yourself because faith has made you more than a conqueror through all situations. Faith believes the Word of yourself, faith delivers to you the promises of God; faith is the power of Christ manifested in your life! This is why I Corinthians 2:5 boldly proclaims, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” We Christians have “the same spirit of faith” (II Corinthians 4:13) to believe that we are “filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Talk about ease of believing ― Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and all we have to do is follow Jesus’ instructions to “come unto him.”

Matthew 11:28–30:
-28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light {nothing brings peace and rest into our souls like coming unto and accepting and enjoying the uplifting faith of Christ}.

There was a time that I believed that I was so far removed from God that hell was to be my ultimate destiny, for I believed I was a sinner and had no rights to heavenly blessings, and I believed this with all my heart, and obviously I feared the end of my life. But with the believing faith of my Savior, who is my hero and everything to me, I can boldly say with believing conviction, “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” What made the transformation in my thinking and in my inner heart? The faith of Jesus Christ; his faith now flows through my heart and assures me that God loves me completely! I now know effortlessly that I am justified and sanctified and that I have peace with God through the faith of the Son of God. Christ’s faith gives the Christian believer the feeling of flying high because God has, “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), and “ye are risen with him {Christ} through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

We only need to believe in the work that our Savior has done for humanity (and what he has accomplished for you personally), to experience completeness and fullness. For with Christ’s faith we collectively, “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 Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Our Savior’s faith is now so pleasantly real that it causes one to simply accept the grace of God with humbleness. Rather than searching for “more faith in yourself,” you will find faith to be real – to be palatable – to be in you – and to be enjoyable.

Romans 10:8–10:
-8: But what saith it {the Scriptures}? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The word of faith when preached (as well as when heard, when read, when understood, and when believed), will be as close as in your mouth and in your heart. Because the Word of God is that close to you ― you can spiritually taste its divine presence (and presents), as it settles deep within your soul, giving you tangible impressions of God in meaningful revelations of divine truths, so that your believing the Word continuously becomes an exciting daily adventure. You will increase your own believing by tapping into all the believing faith that comes with having Christ within your heart (Colossians 1:27), and his faith accompanies your salvation with your belief and confession of Romans 10:9–10.

We have shown the simplicity of receiving and utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ is as it is succinctly stated in Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Today, I invite you to think about the word of faith that God has placed within your mouth and heart, for the word of faith delivers to you the salvation of God (Romans 10:8–10). When you begin believing the Word of God within the depths of your soul, you will come to experience the realities of the Word effectually working in your heart and life and surroundings, as the word of faith Christ’s faith – continues blessing you and all that you have and all that you do.

I Thessalonians 2:13 (The Amplified Bible):**  And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.