Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
Based onthe dialogue between Jesus and Peter about the concept they had generated about Him, in which it is emphasized that revelation can be of two types, human anddivine; we could say, answering the question, that faith can be lived in twoways: inside the church, which would be equivalent to saying, according to thechurch; or outside the church.
It is not the same, even if we are perhaps talking about the same element.
The church orders the way of living the faith of its parishioners, according to its conciliar customs, according to its doctrinal norms, which are often not necessarily biblical, and according to the experiences in community that the church developed while struggling to assert itself as such.
It is not the aspect that we want to develop, because to live the faith inside the church it is enough to join the one of our preference, and they will lead us on howthe faith is lived inside according to their community.
Living the faith outside the church is our concern and the subject of today’s teaching. Living the faith outside the church is completely different, and it takes the firm decision to want to do so to achieve it.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t be part of a congregation, or that I encourage people to get out of it; what I mean is that people today are so used to others programming their life regimen, preparing their diet, regulating an exercise regimen, etc., and they forget that life is the result of our personaldecisions and actions.
Thus, living faith outside the church means becoming stewards of our time, judges of our actions, overseers of our attitudes, and jurors of our thoughts.
To live the life in the church is simpler, obviously, because with attending an average of twice a week, participating in extracurricular activities, and being part of the administrative support of it, is more than enough; and, as it is said from many pulpits, is enjoying the benefits of the work of the cross, and is in communion with the Father.
To live the faith outside the church, on the other hand, is not to be accountable to anyone, but to act as if my supervisor were behind my shoulder seeing everything I do, and hearing everything I say.
To live the faith outside the church is to confront myself all the time with the model ofmy faith, Jesus, and to discover in the defeat and in the frustration of sometimes not understanding what is happening, the school of formation that Hedesigned for my disciple formation.
Living the faith outside the church is a constant struggle, not only against the evil principalities that haunt me but also against how to reconcile my convictions of faith with a world that imposes pagan and atheistic ways of resolving a situation.
To live the faith outside the church is to see myself as a spectator and protagonist of my own life, as if it were a race that I must win. What do I do when a competitor falls? Do I continue? Do I stop? What do I say when someone is troubled? Do I talk to him about Christ, or do I just show him empathy?
Living the faith outside the church is more complicated, it is not enough to confess myself as a “believer”, the life of faith demands of me a code of conduct, it demands of me wisdom to act, prudence to answer, and discernment to stop to myself.
To live the faith outside the church is to reconcile all the time my faith with the daily reality, without allowing that not having acted as I should have done it, fills me with guilt and betrays myself making me believe that this life of faith is not for me.
To live the faith outside the church is to remain firm in what I believe, in what I learned from the reading of the Bible, although the world was shouting louder and their cries sometimes provoke over me, persecution, accusation, criticism, to be misunderstood my actions and even pointed out things that I never said or did.
Before all this, is there any protocol of faith that helps me to live my faith properly? Yes, there is a protocol; we share it below.
THANK GOD IN AND FOR EVERYTHING.
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1st.Thessalonians 5:18
There is a spiritual virtue behind the attitude and activity of giving thanks.
All the biblical references where Jesus appears giving thanks, along with the story also appear the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit product of his action.
In the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fishes;in the breaking of bread during the Holy Supper;in the communion with the disciples at Emmaus;in the resurrection of Lazarus;all of them examples of how faith is lived outside the church.
Giving thanks to God in everything and for everything is Jesus’ recommendation to takecare that the life of faith does not stagnate;
… freely ye have received, freely give.Matthew 10:8
And it is also the condition that keeps Satan from approaching us,
… What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Job 2:10
David recommends and emphasizes that the basis of worship of God is precisely an attitude based on thanksgiving.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4
SHARING WITH OTHERS
Sharing with others means sharing with others the benefits that God gives us; by doing so, God strengthens his covenant with us and establishes our righteousness over others,
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pityon thee? Matthew 18:33
Jesus presents it in the model prayer and establishes it as the foundation of communion with the Father.
Our Father which art in heaven … And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Matthew 6:12
To share with others is to extend a spiritual cover over them, of mercy, to make them partakers of salvation,
And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. 1st. Timothy 6:2
To sum it up. Living the faith in Jesus Christ is a theme of resurrection. Living according to him who overcame the world and imposed himself over theprincipalities of evil that regulate daily life.
Living the faith as crucified to the flesh, but living in the Spirit. Living the faith as dead to sin, but alive for Christ. Living the faith as present in Christ butabsent from the demands of pagan life.
Living the faith as losing everything, but having gained everything for the love of Christ.
May God bless you.
All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.
Pastor Pedro Montoya
 Marcos 8:6; Juan 6:11
 Lucas 22:17
 Lucas 24:30-31
 Juan 11:41