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“You Have Been BORN AGAIN [through Baptism] Not of Seed Which is Perishable but Imperishable, that is, Through the Living and Abiding Word of God”
1 Peter 1:23

In order to give you His gift of faith and to justify, sanctify, and save you, God breathes/speaks/sows/plants His living Word into the soil of your heart (Matthew 13:3; Mark 4:3; Luke 8:5). “Receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).


Note the upper left-hand corner on the opposite page. This is where all the sowing/planting begins. God speaks/sows/plants the Seed of His living Word into the soil of your heart through the lips of His called spokesmen (Ephesians 4:11).
Why do some of God’s living Words/Seeds grow, while other seeds die or get destroyed? This is one mystery God never explains.
This Seed, the living Word that is planted and continues to grow, creates God’s “Root” of faith, which is also Christ at work in you. “I, Jesus . . . am the Root” (Revelation 22:16). “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). 


QUESTION: Why is this teaching of the Spirit so important for you?
ANSWER: Before God planted the Seed of His living Word into the soil of your heart, you had no faith. “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). Before God planted His Word into your heart, you may have had religious or spiritual “feelings,” but feelings are not what God defines as saving faith.

GOD IS NOT LIMITED TO A TIME SEQUENCE

As you consider God’s definition of faith and as you view the picture on this page, note carefully that this picture seems to show a “sequence” in the growing process of faith: first one thing happens, then the next. However, in spiritual reality, there is no sequence. All of what you see takes place in the same instant. 


Consider this analogy. Some seeds take days, weeks, or even months to germinate, but the mung bean germinates in eight hours! In contrast, God’s Word requires no time to germinate—not eight hours, not even one second. The instant God’s Word enters the soil of your heart, it creates faith and, in that same instant, this gift of faith (Romans 12:3) gives God’s gift of repentance to you (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Timothy 2:24–26), along with His full forgiveness (John 15:3), daily strength, assurance, and eternal salvation (James 1:21). The Holy Spirit teaches that the “soil” of some hearts does not permit the Seed to grow to maturity. Why? The Holy Spirit never says (Matthew 13:3–8).

GOD BOTH CREATES—AND SUSTAINS YOUR FAITH!

God’s teaching and definition of faith is not acceptable to human reason. Never try to place your reason over God’s teachings. Your reason is hostile to all spiritual teachings from God (Romans 8:7). Rather, simply ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to believe His truths and then confess with Mary: “Be it done to me according to Your Word” (Luke 1:38). 


It is good news to know that God creates faith within you. How does He do this? By speaking/breathing His living Word into your heart. Here is even more good news: the Holy Spirit tells you that God waters your faith and makes it grow throughout your entire life. It is God who “causes the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7). 


Each time you go to the house of the Lord, God graciously waters your precious faith with His living Word through Christ-centered sermons and Bible studies, through Scriptural sections of the worship service, and through Absolution and Communion. This is why the Spirit admonishes you to never forgo an opportunity to “assemble” together with others in the Lord’s house in order to receive His weekly faith-strengthening blessings (Hebrews 10:25).
Blessed Holy Spirit, as I hear how You define “faith,” Your precious gift to me, cause me to set aside my reason and any attempts to understand Your miracles. Rather, move me to rejoice in Your gift of faith and all that faith brings, including repentance, cleansing, forgiveness, strength, and hope. In Jesus’ name. Amen.… 


For more teachings of Scripture by the Spirit on God’s gift of faith, go to the Bible study beginning on page 38. 

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