Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rob Rufus on New Covenant Faith

Here is an excerpt from a sermon by Rob Rufus (at the Grace and Glory blog) that is just wonderful.  In it he talks about the nature of faith in the New Covenant.  It's so encouraging to be in the New Covenant, where everything is up to Christ and the pressure is off me...He even takes cares of faith!  New Covenant faith is about God's faith in us, not our faith in Him - wow!  I need to ponder that for a while!  Here's the excerpt:

"Listen stop trying to have faith - put all that blooming Old stuff and weights and laws and put it all off and run with patience". Not looking to have faith or trying to have faith! But looking to Jesus the author and perfecter of faith! The NIV says; "Our" faith but it is not in the Greek. "To Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith". So we have a high priest who authors our faith. You didn't author your faith. Your High Priest - HE is the originator and the perfecter! You need perfect faith to be perfectly saved!

Some say; "Am I really saved - I don't know if I have enough faith!?".

No - there is someone called your High Priest that represents you on all matters relating to God and He has perfect faith and is the author and perfecter of faith and so because of Him you have perfect faith before a perfect God and you are perfect in your High Priest!

I want to say a few things about this.

Old Covenant faith is me trying to please God. New Covenant faith is something God gives to me and something that Jesus has on my behalf. Jesus has faith for you. And Jesus has faith IN you.

Did you know that our New Covenant High Priest is better than the Old Covenant priest that failed? He dealt gently with those who are ignorant and went astray - this perfect High Priest is touched with the feelings of our infirmities and He sympathises with you. He has faith for you - but listen to me. He has faith IN you.

I want to say something life-changing here. Your life is not primarily or essentially changed by who you believe in. Your life is essentially changed by Who believes in you.

The most powerful influence over your life is not who you believe in - the most powerful influence over your life is Who believes in you. Our great High Priest has faith in you and has faith for you and is the author of faith and the perfecter of faith as the perfect High Priest because He has made you perfect forever.

When you know someone believes in you, it has such a powerful positive effect on your life. Everyone in this room has many natural gifts and talents - forget about the supernatural for a moment. Many natural gifts and talents. But most people do not exercise them in fullness unless someone you love and respect believes in you and lets you know that. Whether that be a mother, father, brother, sister, friend or a mentor. Take away the Old Covenant law and bondage and condemnation - and see this great High Priest who believes in you and a Father and a Holy Spirit who believes in you. Can you imagine the revelation of that supernatural power that would be released into your life?

Do you know that when someone recognises you it empowers you? Do you know that if you went to a celebrity concert and whoever your great celebrity is was performing on the concert with 20, 000 people there and they stopped and said; "Oh there's so and so! They were a great blessing to my life!". You would just feel a thousand feet tall! Someone as important as that has just recognised you!

It is not the lesser recognising the Greater - it is when the Greater recognises the lesser that the power of the supernatural of the New Covenant takes place!

The Old Covenant had great emphasis on faith in God. The New Covenant's emphasis is on God's faith in you and for you. The Old Covenant lays the burden on you to have faith in God. The New Covenant lays the burden on our Great High Priest to have great and perfect faith on our behalf so you are not examining yourself all the time to see if you have faith - but your eyes are on Jesus all the time - the author and perfecter of faith.

It takes all the pressure off self-focus! It is not your concern anymore. No - my focus is on the revelation of Christ and in Him I was crucified. He did it because He loved me and gave Himself for me. I am crucified with Him! And the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God.

Before the Cross, the flow of faith was us to God. After the Cross the flow of faith was God to us.

When someone asks you; "Do you believe in Jesus?" - you say one thing. "Well I know one thing - He believes in me!". And I am not insecure about whether I have enough faith in Him - I am very secure that He has enough perfected faith for me! If you ask me - do I believe in Jesus? I say - absolutely! How much do you believe in Him? That's not the issue. I do not even want to probe or analyse or introspect that. I just want to keep looking at His lovely face!

I want to keep looking at what He did at the Cross because THAT releases His faith and confidence in me. Your life is not stabilized by you trying to have faith. Your life is stabilized by the revelation of how much faith He has in you and for you.

You see - the High Priest has to have faith for you. The power of the King is not rooted in man's faith in God. That is Old Covenant elemental milk teaching. The power of this kingdom is rooted in God's faith in you. He believes in you - His faith in you is not a blind faith. He is not pretending. He invested everything at the Cross for you so that now His opinion of you is one of integrity.

He sees you not as one trying to be holy or trying to be righteous or trying to be sanctified or trying to be redeemed - He sees you AS YOU ARE. You are acknowledged by God because of the perfection of your great High Priest.

Yes - God says - "I know who and what you are. I know everything I have made you to be through the Cross."
                                                                                                                        Rob Rufus

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14