Can your faith or my faith be measured? If we say, ‘Yes’ – then it means we can look back on our lives and ‘measure’ our faith in some sense! The main sense in which ‘faith’ is measured is by past actions which demonstrated our faith. Our thoughts unfolded in this way as we meditated on Paul’s words to the Corinthians in today’s chapters 10 & 11 of his 2nd letter.
Paul had become concerned that those with fleshly motivations were influencing the ecclesia. Chapter 10 ends with Paul’s point, “it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” But how does the Lord commend? He is not here to say so! That will happen when our Lord returns – and how awesome will that be!
There is a human saying that actions speak louder than words! How important that we search our hearts to identify the motivation and genuineness of our actions! Paul is greatly concerned with the Corinthians that “if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus … or if you receive a different spirit … or if you accept a different gospel … you put up with it readily enough.” [11 v.4]
Paul told them bluntly, “I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” [v.2] How “pure” are we? Do we really see Christ as our “husband” as well as our Saviour? We should do, and this is shown by the way in which “(y)our faith has increased.” Paul challenged them, as we read yesterday, “you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge …” [8 v.7], they needed to show this by their consistency of action. Paul’s letter has been preserved to challenge us to do the same.
The fundamental factor to be seen “as our faith increases“, is, to quote the Apostle Peter, that (we become) “like living stones (that)are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrificesacceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” [ 2 Peter 1 v.5] In the next verse Peter says, “whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Surely this means, when he comes! Our “spiritual sacrifices” show our faith is increasing – we ‘sacrifice’ worldly pursuits to give our mind and our time more and more to the service to our Saviour – and so be as ready, as is humanly possible, for his return.