Readings from the New Testament
Jesus prayed for the strengthening of Simon Peter’s faith and for all who would become Jesus’ followers. Know that Jesus prays for you.
“I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail.”
“I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message.”
The apostle Paul encouraged believers to remain strong in their faith.
I want very much to see you, in order to share a spiritual blessing with you to make you strong. What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours.
For the gospel reveals how God puts people right with himself: it is through faith from beginning to end. As the scripture says, “The person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”
Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory!
Since you have accepted Christ Jesus as Lord, live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving.
It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. This life that I live now, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me.
I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power
through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves,
and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith.
I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love,
so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand
how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love.
Yes, may you come to know his love – although it can never be fully known –
and so be completely filled with the very nature of God.
To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do
so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of:
to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time,
forever and ever! Amen.
Other writers in the first century A.D. wrote about faith and putting faith into action.
To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for,
to be certain of the things we cannot see. It was by their faith
that people of ancient times won God’s approval.
It is by faith that we understand that the universe
was created by God’s word, so that what can be seen
was made out of what cannot be seen.
My friends, what good is it for one of you to say that you have faith
if your actions do not prove it? Can that faith save you?
Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes
and don’t have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them,
“God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!” – if you don’t give them
the necessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone
and includes no actions, then it is dead.
But someone will say, “One person has faith, another has actions.”
My answer is, “Show me how anyone can have faith without actions.
I will show you my faith by my actions.” Do you believe
that there is only one God? Good! The demons also believe –
and tremble with fear. You fool! Do you want to be shown
that faith without actions is useless? How was our ancestor Abraham
put right with God? It was through his actions, when he offered his son Isaac
on the altar. Can’t you see? His faith and his actions worked together;
his faith was made perfect through his actions. And the scripture came true
that said, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith
God accepted him as righteous.” And so Abraham was called God’s friend.
You see, then, that it is by our actions that we are put right with God,
and not by our faith alone.
It was the same with the prostitute Rahab. She was put right with God
through her actions, by welcoming the Israelite spies
and helping them to escape by a different road.
So then, as the body without the spirit is dead,
also faith without actions is dead.
Each one, as a good manager of God’s different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. Those who preach must preach God’s messages; those who serve must serve with the strength that God gives them, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4.10,11