Lesson 7 - The Christian Way of Life

Lesson 7 - The Christian Way of Life

Lesson for February 12, 2012

Christian Integrity

The Christian Way of Life

The Christian Way of Life begins with obedience, not with complete understanding.  Category two of God’s game plan for a believer is the execution of the Christian Way of Life under the filling of the Holy Spirit.  A spiritually immature believer must begin his spiritual growth by mastering and practicing certain spiritual skills so they become second nature.  We often call these the mechanics of the Christian life.  These mechanics are designed by God to sustain and empower a believer to live daily by means of the Bible doctrine resident and circulating in his/her soul.

Category two of God’s game plan takes a believer beyond the Rebound Technique to include the Faith-Rest drill and impersonal love.  Faith in its verb form is “to believe” and must have a subject and an object. In salvation, the subject is whosoever and the object is Jesus Christ. (John 3:16)  In the Christian life, the subject is the believer and the object is the Word of God. (II Timothy 2:15)  Faith is effective in the believer’s life only if faith has the right object.  Faith is thinking.  The content of what you’re thinking is what determines faith’s effectiveness in your life.  There is no limit to the amount of faith that a believer can have, but doctrinal content in the soul is what determines the strength of your faith. 

Development of Faith

Faith is developed by the study and application of God’s Word under the control of God the Holy Spirit.  Faith is developed by means of growth when a believer begins to consistently use the Problem-Solving Devices, such as Rebound, the Filling of the Holy Spirit and the Faith-Rest Technique.  Faith can also be developed through suffering.  (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 4:1-3, 12:2; Galatians 5:22-23; I Peter 1:7-9; I John 5:1-5)

The Principle of Faith-Rest

The principle of Faith-Rest is from God, Who is perfect. Therefore, the Faith-Rest Technique is perfect.  No human deed or work can be added to a perfect provision from God.  The believer must cease from human good and enter into a rest where he does no work.  The Holy Spirit does the work.  The requirement, therefore, for the believer is faith, not human works.  Faith is the absence of any human merit, which means, that in and of itself, faith has no value or worth.  The value or worth is in the object of our faith.  The object of faith for the believer should always be God and His Word.

Faith-Rest is knowing, believing and applying the promises, the principles and the doctrines of the Word of God. (Isaiah 33:6)  There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible for the believer.  These promises do us no good unless we mix them with faith and apply them to our situation. (Hebrews 4:2)  Claiming these promises eliminates mental attitude sins such as fear, worry and anxiety, which cut off Divine Viewpoint Thinking.  Faith-Rest will restore Divine Viewpoint Thinking and stabilize the believer in times of pressure and adversity. Faith-Rest results in a relaxed mental attitude. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Satan is going to use everything at his disposal, which includes his world system and Human Viewpoint Thinking, to distract you from your spiritual life.  Remember that the spiritual life is a battle.  When you spend time worrying, being upset and disgruntled about life, you’re lining up with Satan’s program and you have lost the battle.   Peter warns us about the strategy of Satan.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He cares for you. 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil,

as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may

devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that

the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren

who are in the world.”  (I Peter 5:7-9)

Casting means “to make a deposit.”  In the case of the believer he/she is to deposit “all of his/her cares” or literally “all of his/her anxieties” on the Lord.  In other words, take all your worries to God and leave them there.  This means that no one is strong enough to carry his own worries.  So stop trying to do the impossible and instead use God’s system, Faith-Rest.

The Mechanics of the Faith Rest Technique

Mechanics means that you have made a resolve - a decision as to future action.  This means that you have predetermined in your mind what course of action you will take when a problem arises.  The Faith-Rest Technique is a versatile technique for overcoming any difficult situation, any problem or any disaster.  By faith the believer applies doctrine logically while resting in the promises of God. By reaching a doctrinal rationale the believer is re-explaining to himself/herself the basic concepts of doctrine that pertain to his/her relationship with God.  This will be necessary in a crisis because emotion will normally take over and suppress proper thinking.  You must take deliberate steps to reestablish the control of the Holy Spirit in your soul. 

Here is how the Faith-Rest Technique works as illustrated in Romans 8:28-35:

  1. A believer claims a promise.  A promise is a guarantee from God that expresses His essence (sovereignty, righteousness, justice, love, eternal life, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, immutability and veracity).  When you lay hold of one of these promises you are able to bring emotion under control, which allows you to think.  You were in a state of panic, but now you have peace.  This, however, is only the beginning of the drill.  Now you must begin to think. (Romans 8:28 - God is working all things together for my good, if I am an advancing believer.)
  2. The believer applies doctrinal rationale.  The application of Bible doctrine requires a believer to recall certain doctrines that have been stored in his soul.  A rationale is the rational basis for something or an explanation of reasons or principles.  It is at this time that a believer explains again to himself/herself the doctrine which is pertinent to the situation.  (Romans 8:29-30 - God has a pre-designed plan for my life.)
  3. The believer reaches a doctrinal conclusion.  This means that a believer is able to take control of the situation.  By asking and answering certain questions pertaining to his/her spiritual life, the believer takes control and evaluates the circumstances.  He/she can now make good decisions from a position of strength and take action using the good judgment and the wisdom from Bible doctrine stored in his/her soul.  (Romans 8:31-35 - If God is for me, who can be against me or separate me from the love of Christ?  Therefore, I can take control using the power of the Holy Spirit to enable me.)

Fear vs. Faith

Everyone is susceptible to fear, even a mature believer.  Fear is a mental attitude sin that shuts down thinking and makes application of Bible doctrine impossible.  When fear catches us off guard, it is important to know the correct recovery procedure.  Since fear is a sin, the first step to recovery is the utilization of I John 1:9.  By naming “fear” as our sin, we are forgiven and under the control of the Holy Spirit.   Then we put the Faith-Rest Technique into action.

Again, this technique involves claiming a Bible promise, applying a doctrinal rationale and reaching a doctrinal conclusion.  This is the reason that it is so important that we all learn theology.  The nice stories and “Christian principles” will not sustain us in times of extreme difficulty or disaster.  We need Bible Doctrine!  We cannot apply what we do not know.  Therefore, we need to be consistent in our intake of God’s Word for the purpose of growth.  Growth means learning to use the Word of God resident in our souls to combat and to control our sin nature and the influences of the world system. 

Now we are in a position to use the Faith-Rest Technique.  The best illustration of the Faith-Rest Technique is Romans 8:28-32.  We can easily follow the progression from claiming a promise, to application, to reaching a conclusion.  Romans 8:28 says, “We know that God works all things together for good for those who love Him, for those who are the called ones according to a predetermined plan.”  This is the Biblical promise to those who are maturing in their faith (executing God’s plan for their life). This promise is guaranteed by God.  When a believer claims this promise, it can reduce a very complicated situation into a very simple one.  When we claim this promise, that God is working all things for our good, fear is brought under control because we are now thinking, not emoting.

Once thinking is resumed, we can move on to step two, application.  A doctrinal rationale can be any doctrinal truth that you have learned and stored in your memory.  In our passage the doctrinal rationale is a series of five related doctrines. 

  1. Foreknowledge - God’s awareness of all the assets that He prepared for the believer in eternity-past.  This assures us that God was thinking about each of us in eternity -past.
  2. Predestination - God predesigned a plan for us in eternity-past.  That plan calls for us to be set apart unto God in time and in eternity.
  3. Election - God chose each Church Age believer to be spiritual royalty.  Since Jesus Christ was elected, we share in His election because of our union with Him.
  4. Justification - God declares the believer to be righteous.  God actually imputes His righteousness to each believer, setting up the potential for divine blessing in time and in eternity. 
  5. Glorification - God will give each believer a glorified body and eternal rewards based on execution of His plan in time.

These five doctrines in Romans 8:29-30 outline God’s plan for every believer of this age.  By recalling these doctrines, a believer can remember his/her place in God’s overall plan, which is another step in driving out fear.

Finally, in Romans 8:31-32, a believer is able to reach a doctrinal conclusion.  Reaching the doctrinal conclusion “that God is for us,” allows us to retake control of our situation and restores confidence in God and in our ability to make good decisions.  If the problem is too overwhelming, beyond our ability to solve, we are still able to cope by placing ourselves in the mighty hand of God and trusting Him for the solution. (Exodus 14:13)

Utilization of this technique restores the most important ability God has given us: thinking.  This technique does not need to be a mechanical, “step one, two, three,” but can be if the situation demands it.  The key is to stop fear in its tracks and restore the thinking process by using the Faith-Rest Technique.