Isn't this text from Romans chapter 5 verse 1 simply marvellous? You can plead a promise of GOD and nobody knows about it, but you and GOD. You take very great care that nobody else should know; and GOD answers in such a way that you know it could only have come from Him. He does that again and again in our daily experience. So we have evidences for our faith, and this is what will help us; the man with an experience is not at the mercy of the man who only has an argument. You have the Word of GOD, and your own experience, besides history and the testimony of others.
Then what are the fruits of a living faith? First and foremost, salvation! When you put your trust in YESHUA, suddenly everything was new, different. You KNEW it! I knew it because, before I became a Believer, the Bible was for me just as dry as dust. It had no life in it at all. It was boring to read. But the day I came to trust in YESHUA, It was a Book that was alive and brimming with all kinds of good things; waiting for me to discover them. Salvation! We know we have peace with GOD!
Salvation! But there's more! Faith will also give you steadiness; it will steady you. It will give you steadfastness.
'They that trust in the LORD,'says Psalm 125,
'shall be as Mount Zion which cannot be removed, but abides forever.' 'Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.' 'This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.' This is what holds your slipping feet; this is what keeps you steady in the storm.
Another fruit of real faith is obedience. Before we were Believers, we just lived as we pleased. But now we can't do that any more. Our conscience, the Holy Spirit within us, both warn us when we are about to do something wrong. Not only that, but sometimes we are going to do something, and we are not aware that it's wrong, but there is a terrible sinking feeling inside you. Have you ever had that? A terrible sinking feeling; 'Oh, don't do this!' is the cry that you hear in your heart: "Stop, don't do it! Why? I don't see any harm in it. Don't do it!" You pull back. You're even scared. The Holy Spirit is saying adamantly, 'No, My child, this is not the way you should be going. This is not what you're doing; this is not what you should be saying.' Some times I've started to say something, and the Holy Spirit has put His finger on my lips. Not literally, but I had to stop and change the direction of what I was going to say. He would not let me say what I was about to say.
So we find obedience, a new principle of obedience is within us. And that is the fruit of true faith.
'To obey,'said Samuel,
'is better than sacrifice; and to hearken than the fat of rams.' Obedience. But there is more than that. There is a desire to be like Messiah; to be holy. We are grieved that we have so many failings. In fact, we look back, and we are ashamed. When Shaul wrote to the people, the Believers in Rome, he says to them;
'What fruit had you then in those things of which, even now, you are still ashamed?' The Believer still retains the sense of shame. And when GOD speaks to His people Israel in the Prophet Ezekiel, right at the end of Chapter 20, this is what He says to them:
''Even after I have restored you','(Ezekiel, Chapter 20, verses 42 and 43; the sense of shame remains);
''then you shall know that I am the LORD when I bring you into the land of Israel; into the country for which I lifted My hand in an oath to give to your fathers.'' That's Ezekiel, Chapter 20, verse 42. Then comes verse 43:
''And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled, and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils which you have committed. Then you shall know that I am the LORD when I have dealt with you for My Name's sake; not according to your wicked ways; nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,' says the LORD GOD.' A desire for holiness. And what spurs us on, is the sense that we have done enough bad things; now is the time to make amends for the past. Holiness. That's a fruit of faith.
There is also another surprising aspect of faith, and that is a holy boldness; even to the extent of being importunate. The LORD, YESHUA spoke about an importunate man who came in the middle of the night and banged on his friend's door. 'Friend, lend me three loaves. A friend of mine has come; he's been on a journey and I have nothing to give him;' banging at his door in the middle of the night. The LORD says that's how we are to bang at the door of prayer! Keep knocking! Men are always to pray, and not to faint. Keep knocking.
'Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.' It seems sometimes that we have been knocking a good, long time and the answer hasn't come yet. The LORD says, 'Don't give up!' Like Jacob, who clung to that angel;
'I will not let you go unless you bless me.' That's faith. Faith never gives up. Faith may faint; you may have your fainting fits, but faith never dies. Faith revives; and for a while faith will say, 'Oh, I give up; I can't do it anymore.' But after a while, we pick ourselves up from the floor, and we try again.