On Sunday, Feb. 2, Rev. Louis R. Blakey, Jr., pastor of New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia preached to the congregation using the subject, "From Faith to Faith: Living A Lifestyle of Faith" based on Romans 1:16-17.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Pastor Blakey began by saying, "Faith is the ingredient by which all things work." Then he explained that faith is a lifestyle. Faith is with us from the beginning of the day until the end because all of us have some faith. We have faith from first to last.
From the scripture, the pastor emphasized and compared "first faith and last faith."
According to Pastor Blakey, "First faith is the primary or saving faith. However, faith has to be developed to bear fruit." He continued to explain that first faith is the foundation. The last faith takes you to another level. First faith is about assurance as in the hymn "Blessed Assurance." The faith that happens after that tells us what we can become. The first faith is about redemption. The last faith is about risk taking. We need to step out on faith and bear fruit instead of being "Fig Tree Christians" all dressed up but bare and not producing fruit. The first fruit is a gift. The last faith is about growth. The first fruit is about you. The last fruit is about someone else.
We know we need to step out when things become stale. God might not be where you used to find Him. God has moved, but you haven't.
How do you get more faith?
The pastor listed five ways to get more faith.
Believe. Believe that you have faith and that it will grow. We cannot go about our daily activities without having faith. Examples include sitting down on the pews and believing they will hold us; learning to ride a bike, learning to swim, learning to drive, or learning to skate. None of these activities happen all of a sudden. You stumble first before the skill is developed. Believe you have faith, and believe your faith will grow.
Associate with people who have faith. Seek out people who have demonstrated faith, and associate with them instead of people who have faith weaker than your own. The more we associate with others who have great faith, our own faith will grow. Then the pastor quoted what a member of the church used to say before she went home to be with the Lord: "If you stay around the fire long enough, you will get warm."
Read and abide in God's word. Get into God's word and believe what He says about you. For example, you are the righteousness of God. Notice that when people in the Bible were at their lowest is when God blessed them the most. Read God's word for more faith.
Practice prayer and fasting. Some problems are solved only when you combine prayer and fasting. Some situations must be totally immersed in prayer. Remember if God brought you through that, He will bring you through this also.
Remember past victories. Remember what God has done or you in the past. Keep a victory diary. Keep a prayer book. Record your answered prayers. David knew he was able to slay Goliath because of his track record with God answering his prayer about killing a lion and a bear before.
Keep these five things in mind if you want to have more faith. Then you will be able to say, "Faith is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."