SermonBoldly Declare Faith
An all-creatures Bible Message

Boldly Declare Faith
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
17 May 2020
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 66:8-20
John 14:15-21
Acts 17:22-31
Boldly declare faith may sound like the ideal that most people seem unwilling to do, but it shouldn’t be if we are true believers who live in God’s heavenly will all the time, for then we can boldly declare faith by simply talking about why we live and believe the way we do.
Let’s think about this in another way: don’t we boldly declare faith, if only to ourselves, when we turn on a light switch and expect the light to go on?
And if this is true in our lives, then we should be able and willing to do the same thing with our faith in God, and why we believe the way we do.
As a vegan animal rights Christian, I boldly declare faith at least a couple of times a week, because I truly believe that this is the way that the Lord wants us all to live.
Psalm 66:8-20 is a declaration of faith as are all the psalms, but it doesn’t fit into all situations…
8. Bless our God, O peoples,
And sound His praise abroad,
This is something that we all should be doing, but not just with our words, for that is easy, but with our very lives every moment of every day, for this is what it means to be living in His heavenly will.
9. Who keeps us in life,
And does not allow our feet to slip.
If we are truly born again and living in the heavenly will of God, then the Holy Spirit will prompt us when we are straying from what the Lord desires us to do, but we have to want to be guided back onto the heavenly pathway, otherwise this verse will not be true in our lives.
10. For Thou hast tried us, O God;
Thou hast refined us as silver is refined.
God sure has tried us, but if we don’t want to be refined, then we will slip back into the corrupt ways of this world, like most people, including many Christians and clergy.
11. Thou didst bring us into the net;
Thou didst lay an oppressive burden upon our loins.
This most often happens when we are listening more to the corrupt ways and people of this world than we are to God, in the hopes that the Lord will bring us back into the heavenly realm of God.
12. Thou didst make men ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water;
Yet Thou didst bring us out into a place of abundance.
This happened in Egypt and the exodus, but as we know from history, the vast majority of the people rejected the way the Lord wanted them to live.
13. I shall come into Thy house with burnt offerings;
I shall pay Thee my vows,
It is far too easy to scapegoat and kill an innocent animal, particularly for hunters, fish killers, and those who eat animals, for they have lost their empathy for the animals; God wants obedience not sacrifice.  

14. Which my lips uttered
And my mouth spoke when I was in distress.
We refer to these as part of the jailhouse and battlefield conversions, and it is part of bargaining with God, which we should never do, for relatively few people actually fulfill such bargains, contrary to what the psalmist wrote.
Such actions give the opposite impression of boldly declaring faith.
15. I shall offer to Thee burnt offerings of fat beasts,
With the smoke of rams;
I shall make an offering of bulls with male goats.
The prophets and Jesus have told us many times that this was not what God wants; He simply wants our obedience and to live in His heavenly will, and Isaiah in the first chapter refers to such people as murderers.
16. Come and hear, all who fear God,
And I will tell of what He has done for my soul.
Here the psalmist addresses the true believers and not everyone, because he knows that only they will understand what he wants to tell them.
17. I cried to Him with my mouth,
And He was extolled with my tongue.
Just remember that we can do this from the depths of our heart and soul, or they can just be words, and often they may sound the same, so it requires more for us to know the true intent.
18. If I regard wickedness in my heart,
The Lord will not hear;
This is certainly true, and we need to remember that, according to Proverbs 12:10, those who do not have regard for the life of their animals are wicked, and to us it is obvious that people who eat animals do not have regard for the lives of those animals.
19. But certainly God has heard;
He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.
And the psalmist would certainly know if this is true, just as each of us should know whether we are living what we say to God is true.
20. Blessed be God,
Who has not turned away my prayer,
Nor His lovingkindness from me.
And we hope and pray that this is true with each and every one of us.
In John 14:15-21 Jesus tells us what it takes to boldly declare faith…
15. "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
God’s greatest commandment is that we love the Lord our God with every part of our being and with all that we have.
What Jesus is saying here is that if we truly love the Lord in this way, we should also love His commandments, not because we are ordered to, but because we know they are the correct things to do to live in the heavenly will and realm of God.
And if our heart’s desire is to live this way, Jesus tells us…
16. "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
This Helper is the Holy Spirit, and if we are truly born again and desire to live in His heavenly realm, we should sense the presence of the Holy Spirit and listen to His promptings and guidance to remain in His heavenly will.
17. that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.
This is saying the same thing that we just said, but we also know that the Holy Spirit seems to prompt everyone in the form of what we may say is our conscience.
18. "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Jesus knew He would not be here on earth much longer, so He was preparing the people to have the faith to hold onto the Spirit of God even if they could no longer see or feel the physical presence of Jesus.
19. "After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also.
The world only sees the physical realm, but those who are truly born again see or sense the spiritual realm as well, where we shall live forever.
20. "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
And we who truly believe should know this now.
Then Jesus sums up what He just said…
21. "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him."
Unfortunately, most people live in the corrupt and evil ways of this world, but Jesus is telling us that those of us who hold His commandments in our heart, soul, and mind and do them naturally will also see God, and abide with Him forever and ever in heaven.
In Acts 17:22-31 we are given an example of how we can boldly declare faith by following what Paul did.
22. And Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.
Notice that Paul doesn’t turn off his audience by telling them that what they are doing is wrong; if anything, he flatters them by mentioning something good about them or what they are doing.
23. "For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.
Then Paul utilizes something about them to bring out the truth, but in a way that is intended to spark their interest without turning them off.
24. "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
Then he starts telling them something about God and how He differs from their god and religion.
25. neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things;
And he continues as long as there seems to be any interest.
26. and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation,
27. that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
28. for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His offspring.'
And he even brings in things about their own religion and lifestyle that have a bearing on the points he is trying to make, and we could do it even with things like food, or recipes.
29. "Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
And like Paul, we always need to bring our conversation back to God so that our listeners stay focused on things of God.
30. "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent,
31. because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
And finally we need to bring the conversation back to what they need to do.
To boldly declare faith we don’t have to memorize any special Bible verses, or rehearse anything special, all we have to do is live as Jesus taught us, and respond when the opportunity presents itself.

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