Jesus wants to save you - Jesus will Sie retten !
           Jesus wants to save you   -  Jesus will Sie retten !

Growth in Faith                                                                    How we should grow in faith?

We grow in faith when we study his Word, lead a life in accordance with the will of Jesus, cultivate our relationship with Jesus andhave an experience of Jesus, as well as taking to heart the experiences of other Christians.


1.) Acknowledging the greatness of God

God is holy and almighty. God created the heavens and the earth. Let us praise and glorify God for the greatness of his being, his work of redemption on the cross at Golgotha, his wonderful creation. Worship is important.

In John 4,23 we read:
“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.”


When we acknowledge the greatness of God and of Jesus, human beings can no longer make us nervous. Jesus is greater than your boss, your managing director, your doctor – and so on. And Christ lives in you. Of whom should we be afraid? God is almighty!


2.) Living in sanctifiaction


1.Peter 1,16:
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

For our life of faith it is important that we should live in a sanctified way. How do we manage this? Not by our own efforts but through Jesus' precious blood which was shed for us on the cross at Golgotha! 

For this it is absolutely essential that we should have made a full life confession – acknowledging all the sins we have committed in our former life, and being forgiven for them by Jesus. It is helpful and it is the will of God that we should confess our sins to another person (e.g. to our pastor, or to a fellow Christian whom we trust!).


1.John 1,9:
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Normally this acknowledgement of sin will occur at the time when we become Christians. As believers we bring to Jesus the sins that we become conscious of, or that the Holy Spirit makes us conscious of. The important thing is that we should really be sorry for these sins and should try, with the power of Jesus, not to commit them any more in future.

Having our sins forgiven is just as important for our relationship with Jesus as breathing in and out is for our natural physical life. But we will notice that we grow in faith and increasingly come to be transformed into the image of Jesus.


3.) Keeping his word

1.Peter 1,25:
„But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”

Psalms 119,11:
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Psalms 1,1 – 3:
“Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth
his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he
doeth shall prosper. “

Psalms 119,105:
“NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Hebrews 4,12:
“For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of theheart.”


For believing Christians, reading the Word of God is essential. Without the Word we cannot exist. It is the Word of God. In John 1,14a we read: 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory)...' Jesus is the Word of God and the Word was made flesh through Jesus Christ who came into this world some 2000 years ago. Jesus and the Word of God are inseparable.

When we study God's Word we know that, by contrast with this world, it will last for ever. God's Word is not perishable, but remains for all eternity. Scripture also helps us to recognise what is sin. The Word of God shows me the way. It purifies my thoughts and senses, dwelling in my heart. It is a two-edged sword. The Word of God comforts us as well. Through it we get to know Jesus and God. The Word of God is brought to life by the Holy Spirit. It has something to do with your life, now and in future.


We read the Word of God in quietness, in the presence of Jesus. We can call this our 'Quiet Time'. Pray to Jesus before you start to read the Bible, and ask him to make the Word come alive for you. Make this a time when you can be on your own, when you will not be disturbed. Pray to Jesus – worship him, praise and glorify him, thank him for everything, bring him the needs of others and your own needs. Read a passage from the Bible and ask yourself perhaps how you can apply this passage to your own life, what it tells me about God and Jesus, what comfort it offers me or whether it gives me any pointers for my life. Make time every day for this Quiet Time. Persevere in your relationship with Jesus. Don't let this time be squeezed out.

I am acquainted with times when I had to force myself to make this Quiet Time.I am also acquainted with times where I felt a hunger for the Word of God. The difference was generally down to the fact that I was living in sin when I experienced the Quiet Time as a compulsion. After I renewed the dedication of my life to Jesus, I felt a hunger for this time that the Holy Spirit has brought about. I think this Quiet Time is extraordinarily important. Jesus too withdrew into solitude repeatedly, to find quiet in the presence of the Father.
Of course we can pray to Jesus at anytime and anywhere, and so we should, but making personal time for experiencing his Word and praying to Jesus is something special. As I understand it, this Quiet Time is a vital nerve for having a deep relationship with Jesus. If we don't keep it up, we run the risk that our relationship with Jesus will be disturbed or may even be lost.

It is also a good thing if you have two translations – then with difficult passages you can refer to an alternative version for comparison.



4. Living in community with other Christians


Matthew 18,20:
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Acts 2,42:
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

It is a wonderful promise that Jesus is in the midst of us when we are in
community with other believers. Thank you, Lord! 

In Acts we read how the first Christian congregation came into being. It is important that you should join a congregation faithful to the Bible. To be a Christian, you need to be in community with other Christians! Even if you have to travel a long distance, this community with other Christians is very important. Perhaps the congregation you join may also have 'house fellowships' where you can meet in small groups to talk about faith, your experience of faith and any questions you may have with other Christians. The congregation is important, because you join others in subordinating yourself to the Word of God, and can give and receive mutual support. The congregation is essential. And Jesus is the head of the congregation.

In Ephesians 5,23 we can read:
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”


We are also called to constancy in the community of the faithful – that is to say, we should attend the congregation loyally on a regular basis. The Holy Spirit will help to bring it about that we feel a longing to be part of the congregation.


5.) Jesus is the Lord

As Christian believers we are under the dominion of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2,20:
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”


I live – but it is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me and has taken control of my life.


All areas of our life are included here. It is important that we do not keep back any area for ourselves. It all belongs to Jesus. So we should subordinate all areas of life to him. This may include our finances, our marriage, our children, our work, our health, our plans, our decisions, our time management, our priorities, our capital, our assets, our sexuality and so on. Are you really ready for this? As believing Christians, we can't have any secret corners that we do not entrust to Jesus. 


The spirit of the times tells us differently. You should realise yourself. You determine your life. Take your life in your hand. Enjoy your life. But Jesus says the opposite. You should deny yourself. He that loseth his life shall find it, but he that findeth his life shall lose it.

Mark 8,34 -35:
“And when he had called the people [unto him] with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.”


As a believing Christian I must be willing to deny myself, even unto death. That shows us just how far it goes. But with Jesus there are no compromises in the interest of a comfortable life. The Lord Jesus calls for our total dedication. All our
decisions should be subordinated and entrusted to Jesus. That includes our choice of workplace, choice of partner, moving house, building a new house, major acquisitions and so on. Do you ask Jesus what you should do?   


Are you prepared to move, if the Lord wants you to? Are you attached to your neighbourhood, your house, your relations etc.? Who or what do you put before Jesus? Jesus is your Lord. You belong to Jesus. Nothing is more important than Jesus!

Are you attached to your money? Are you fonder of your money than of Jesus? Nothing is more important than Jesus. You can also entrust your finances to Jesus. Be willing to donate money to your congregation or for missionary activities.


Are you willing to do penance when the Holy Spirit shows you your sins?


Are you willing to give up old habits? In my case the Holy Spirit made it clear to me at my television consumption was inordinate. I got rid of my TV and it was a lessing for me. This is not a new doctrine. With you it may be a different matter. But listen to the Spirit of God, and act accordingly!                                                     


Entrust yourself to Jesus completely! He will not give you any burdens that you cannot bear! He has promised that. He wants the best thing for you!

Matthew 11,28-30:
“Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ake my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.”

Romans 8,28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”


So how can I find out which path I should follow?

John 10,27-29:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand.”


By 'sheep', we Christian believers are meant. Jesus says that we will hear his voice. Jesus also says that no one can pluck us out of his hand. Thank the Lord! Hearing the voice of Jesus can happen in different ways. There is no set pattern. The Lord will find a way to speak to you. But I can certainly offer examples of practical experience from my own life.


For example: 

The Lord has made a passage in the Bible come to life for me, in such a way that have corrected my life.  
Other Christians have received a word from the Lord that applied to me.
But the Lord can also speak directly. This generally doesn't happen in the form of a   loud voice, but rather as an impression in me. In one case it was so manifest that  the entire voice of the Holy Spirit was in my entire body, speaking aprophetic word which later came to be fulfilled.
Sometimes I also pray to Jesus and ask him to close or open up a path for me. For example, I prayed for a new job and prayed to the Lord that I should be offered not several interviews but just one, so that I would know that it was the
path indicated by the Lord. And that was what happened.
Paths may also close.
Many right and wrong paths are also described in the Bible, so here we do not need   any special revelation from Jesus.

The Holy Spirit can also impel me. He impelled me to attend an event, for instance,
where I acquired new insights about Israel and about prophecy.  
Jesus may also speak to us in dreams.
Complete dedication to Jesus is the foundation of our life of faith. And the Lord will speak to you as well. Jesus is the Lord!



6.) The fruits of the Spirit

2. Corinthians 3,18:
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of  the Lord.”


We all, as Christian believers, are permitted to behold the glory of the Lord with uncovered face as in a mirror. The believer of the New Covenant can direct his gaze on Jesus Christ and his glory unveiled, the glory that is revealed in the Bible as in a mirror. At the time of the apostle Paul, mirrors were polished sheets of metal and so offered only a weak and imperfect mirror image. While we already see the picture unveiled, one day we will see the glory of God in its full perfection. But the verse makes another important statement. As believing Christians, we come to be transfigured into the image of Christ. This  means that we are undergoing an on-going transformation, all the time that we  journey with Jesus. We come more and more to take on the likeness of Christ. The Holy Spirit brings this about in us.  
In this connection it must be pointed out that the Holy Spirit plays an essential part in our lives as Christians. He is our helper and comforter. He reminds us of the teachings of Christ. He impels us. He reveals sin. He leads us into all truth.
We receive the Holy Spirit in baptism.

Acts 2,38:
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. “

We can also ask for the Holy Spirit.

Luke 11,13:
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
The Holy Spirit is not a theme for fans. The Holy Spirit is given to us, and without the Holy Spirit we would not be able to live or serve as believing Christians at all.
The Bible tells us even more plainly in Romans 8,8-9:
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the  Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”


Those are plain words. God's Spirit must live in us, if we want to be a child of God!
The holy transformation I referred to above, the transformation which we experience as we become increasingly like Christ, is brought about by the Spirit of God in us. If the Spirit of God is in us, we are not fleshly but spiritual beings. We cannot achieve this by our own efforts. It happens through the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit remains in us if we do not grieve him – by living a life of sin, for instance, or setting more store by other things than by Jesus. If this is true in your case, please recommit your life to Jesus Christ once more and confess to him all your guilt. So he will forgive your guilt with his precious blood. Ask for the Holy Spirit, and make a new start of travelling on the path with Jesus.  
What fruits will result? What signs make it evident that we have become more like Christ?

In Galatians 5,16 -26 we find a clear statement of the differences between the spiritual and the fleshly life. The passage also describes the fruits of the Spirit:

“[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous
of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.“


Fleshly life


  (people who act like
  this will not inherit the Kingdom of God!)

 Adultery, fornication, uncleanness

The Greek word 'porneia' which is contained in our
  word 'pornography'. It stands for any kind of illicit sexual activity
  including adultery.


 Lack of discipline, lack of restraint.


 Idolatry also includes addiction to


 Occult practices, witchcraft, magic.

Hatred, variance




 Wrath, strife, seditions






 Drunkenness, revelling




  life (fruits of the Spirit)



It stands for freely given love, characterised by
  respect, reverence and affection. This love readily expresses itself in the
  service of others. 


Joy which is a heavenly joy and which is founded on
  the revelations of the Word of God.


The peace that comes from an inner repose in the
  confidence that we are saved.


The patience that can also put up with injustices or
  irritating and painful situations.


Meeting people in a friendly way.


Being good-hearted, being united in the good.


Commitment to attending the meetings of the
  congregation; faithfulness in marriage, loyalty.


A meek and mild attitude – does not want revenge or
  to make people pay.


Temperance has to do with self-mastery in connection
  with our fleshly pleasures and desires. We should be temperate and restrained
  and live in a disciplined way.



Joh 15,5:
“I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”


Without Jesus, without the Holy Spirit, we can do nothing. We cannot achieve the fruits of the Spirit by our own efforts! The Holy Spirit brings these fruits into existence. In time we will become increasingly like Christ, if we follow Jesus. With the power of the Holy Spirit, let us put off fleshly life!



7.) Confessing Jesus

Matthew 28,18:
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in
heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen“
Matthew 10,32-33:
“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also
before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”


Jesus says quite plainly that we should go out into the world in order to make people disciples. In the second verse Jesus says that he promises us that if we confess him before other people, then he too will confess us before his heavenly Father. The same thing applies in reverse, if we do not confess him before people or even deny Jesus. That is a clear warning! One thing is clear as well – that we shouldn't preach the gospel to people out of fear. My experience is that the neediness of unbelievers has become increasingly evident to me, the more I commit myself to Jesus. The Holy Spirit shows me the neediness of unbelievers who are going to eternal ruin.
Is it really a matter of complete indifference to you that your fellow human beings should be lost eternally? Surely not!
So some may hear a clear call to missionary
activity coming from the Holy Spirit. These sisters and brothers should take the call seriously, and act on it! You can take a course in a Bible college, for instance, or learn a profession that is needed in a missionary context, like nursing or the caring professions.  
But there will be many believing Christians as well who practise a perfectly normal profession or are housewives, and have not received any special call to missionary activity. Are we then exempt from Jesus' command to make disciples of all nations? Surely not! So we will fulfil our task as missionaries in our immediate environment. What possibilities do we have here? First of all, we can take part in missionary campaigns of the congregation of which we are a member. Besides this, I think it is extremely valuable if we can always be ready to act as missionaries. What do I mean by this?  
In talks with our neighbours or working colleagues, or other people we come into contact with, there are always going to be opportunities of referring to Jesus. My experience is that most conversations touch on difficult situations or problems where we can refer to Jesus as the one who looks after us. It is also possible, if our fellow human beings are in difficulties, to ask if they would like us to pray for them. It is hardly likely that they will turn down the offer. Besides, other people may touch on the question of God of their own accord – in the staff canteen, on business trips or wherever. Then we must tell them about Jesus insistently. It may also happen that people make fun of God and Jesus. That is a signal for us to speak out!
In addition to this, the Holy Spirit will show us people we should approach or who are sent to us. This may even happen in the street. Then we should actually talk to these people and tell them about Jesus.
I find it is always helpful to have Christian brochures or leaflets with me that I can hand out to people. With working colleagues I generally manage it in such a way that I try to find a suitable opportunity of confessing my faith. On the following day I approach them again, referring to the previous conversation, and give them Christian brochures. If they then take these brochures home, there is some hope that they will get to grips with them and perhaps it may make an impact on their wives and children as well. Another thing that it is important to know is that while we should confess our faith, we are not responsible for converting our fellow human beings. This is something that only the Holy Spirit can bring to pass. But we can pray for it!

Jesus also spoke of the fact that there are people who completely reject the faith, and that we should not cast the pearls of the gospel before swine (see Matthew 7,6). The disciples were told to leave those villages where they were not accepted. We do not have to spread the gospel by violent means, but we should seek out the open hearts among our fellow human beings, and preach the gospel to these people. There will be lots of people who are open to the message, people who are very much searching for something. We can also pray for people who to outward appearances reject the gospel. The Lord can open the hearts of such people as well.
If you say you can't do this because you are afraid of people, then pray to Jesus to take away your fear. You can be sure that the Lord Jesus is always with you and that he has all power in heaven and earth, and so you do not need to be afraid of anyone! The more you commit yourself to Jesus, the more you will feel the Holy Spirit in you, and the Spirit will guide you.Thanks be to the Lord Jesus for giving us faith and eternal life, and in this thankfulness we do not want to withhold the gospel from our fellow human beings, but we approach them with Jesus at our side!


8.) Forms of service

Matthew 5,14-16
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”


As believing Christians, we want to serve Jesus in gratitude for his having saved us. There are plenty of opportunities that offer, within the congregation or for that matter outside the congregation. Pray to Jesus and say that you want to serve him. He will suggest a task for you to do. It is also an important thought that we shouldn't push ourselves to the limit and think that the more we do, the better Jesus is going to be pleased. Above all we should serve Jesus and not aim to achieve great things by our own efforts, while subconsciously patting ourselves on the back. We should serve Jesus with simplicity and humility. What examples suggest themselves – the following for instance:

  • We can get involved working in our congregation
  • We can visit sick people or the elderly
  • We can do missionary work (distributing
    literature, talking to people, perhaps starting a Christian website)
  • We can run a house fellowship
  • We can contribute our musical talents.

There are a great many possible ways for us to use the gifts we have been given by God. At the same time we should consider that we need balance in all things, between work, our homes, marriage, family tasks, our own children and the congregation – so we shouldn't neglect family responsibilities, shall we say, at the cost of another activity. May the Lord give us wisdom about this. Let us take care to ask the Lord what we should or shouldn't do, and let us not be pressured by other people or our own ambition. The Lord knows exactly what you can still do and what not. The Holy Spirit will show you the most suitable task. 



9.) Learning from other Christians


We have the big advantage of living at a time when there is an abundance of books, films and information on the internet, so it is easy for us to find out about our faith. It is also a good idea to read about other Christians' experience of their faith. This can encourage us and give us pointers. Works of reference, like concordances, Bible lexicons and commentaries, are also helpful. There are lots of things that we no longer need to work out laboriously for ourselves, because the work has been done by other people already, so we are in a position to benefit from it. For your 'Quiet Time' there are good devotional books you can use that elucidate biblical passages.


In addition, we should also attend seminars or Christian conferences to learn from the experiences of others.

With all sources of information, however, the Bible, the Word of God, should remain the most important book for us, and we should read it in our Quiet Time on a daily basis.


10.) Jesus will come again  - expect him!


Luke 12,35-40:
“Let your loins be girded about, and [your] lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will returnfrom the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Blessed [are] those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching:
verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to
meat, and will come forth and serve them.
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find
[them] so, blessed are those servants.
And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief
would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken
through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.”

Titus 2,11 – 13:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and
our Saviour Jesus Christ; “


The Lord urges us to expect his Second Coming on this earth. Let your loins be girded about means that we are expecting him and will be ready to welcome him immediately. The long garments that people wore at the time were gathered with a belt so that one could walk without tripping over them. We should wait for him. How do we do this? I think it is a good practice quite consciously to anticipate the Lord in our Quiet Time, and to be altogether prepared for this event in the course of the day.

Incidentally – the Lord wants us to wait for him, even if it turns out that the Lord will only come in the next generation. Why?
For one thing this gives us a glimpse of the heavenly future, so that we do not get caught up with the things of this world.


2. Peter 1,19:
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: “


We should pay attention to the prophecies in the Bible and to news about current events. In this way we can avoid falling a victim to false prophecies or doom and gloom scenarios. We do not need to have any fear of the future, because Jesus holds the future in his hand. At the same time, all the events the Bible tells us about will occur. There will be a time of tribulation and fearful events. But the Lord will come again!

Another important task is fulfilled by the attitude of expectation about which we can read in 1. John, 3,3:
“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”


The possibility that Jesus Christ may come again at any time protects us from sin. Would you give way to your sinful desires, if you really expect Jesus to come again right now? How ashamed we would be if Jesus were to come again just to find us engaged in some sinful activity.

Let us await the Second Coming of Jesus, not out of fear but in the joyful expectation of seeing again the Lord in whom we have believed. The next event due to occur is the Rapture. The Rapture of the congregation may happen at any time without warning. Let us look forward to its happening!