WHAT ABOUT FAITH ~
The Lord is correcting our understanding of the word “faith” and what it means. Despite what the world has taught; there are not “Many faiths”. There are many religions but, there is only One Faith (Ephesians 4:5).
Faith is not merely a belief. Faith is The Belief that is based on The Truth and that Truth is Jesus, The Word of God. People have many beliefs in lies but, we can only have True Faith in something that is True because “1… faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. 2For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.” Hebrews 11:1,2
Faith has actual substance because it is not just a reality but, The Reality. Faith is not based on false hope but true hope because God’s hope does not disappoint! God’s kind of hope never lets us down. In the same way, faith proves the unseen things that we hope for because God has promised are true.
Before Jesus came, there was no “religion of faith.” The world was full of religious works and polytheism but not True worship in the Spirit by faith. God doesn’t want worshippers on a Mountain and not even Mt.Zion in Jerusalem but True worshippers by faith through love! The Mountain is removed from the scenario by faith. Jesus declared that the time was here and it was coming…the time had arrived for faith to come!
22But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise, by the faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to them that believe.23But before the faith came, we were kept under the law shut up, unto that faith which was to be revealed. ~ Gal.3:22
Yes, the OT saints were approved by God by faith because the Gospel to Abraham had been declared but in it’s entirety; the Jewish religious system had completely misunderstood the intent of the Law. They reduced the Written Code to a formula to please God by works of the Law instead of believing in the God of mercy. In the middle of Heb.11, “The Faith Chapter”, as the Holy Spirit described some exceptional people of the OT who were righteous by faith, it says ~
6And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Who pleased God? Those who were of faith. Those who lived according to the Law? No.
9Therefore they that are of faith, shall be blessed with faithful Abraham.10For as many as are of the works of the law, are under a curse. For it is written: Cursed is every one, that abideth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11But that in the law no man is justified with God, it is manifest: because the just man liveth by faith. 12But the law is not of faith: but, He that doth those things, shall live in them. 13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law…” ~ Gal.3
Paul was so extreme in his passionate declaration that no flesh could be just by works but by faith alone! Not just “a belief” but faith! Even THE faith of Jesus Christ!
WHAT ABOUT JESUS?
How did Jesus please God? Think about this. I have and it is liberating! Did Jesus please God? We know that He did.
So, how did he please the Father? Was it by works of the Law that He was just? NO.
The first time that I heard this concept taught by Andrew Wommack; my “religious hackles” went up! But, it is completely verified by OT and NT Scriptures, even if it’s something that wasn’t taught much in recent church history.
Consider the words of the Prophet Habakkuk ~ “4“Behold, as for the proud one,
His soul is not right within him; But the righteous (one) will live by his faith.”
All of the Scriptures pointed to ONE. The Old Testament prophets weren’t predicting us! I think that some previous American eschatology has seduced the last few generations into believing that the Prophets wrote concerning us and our generation. This idea is very easily latched onto by an egotistical culture. However Jesus made it clear that all that was written in the OT would be fulfilled within that (His) generation and it happened as the Prophet Jesus said, in 70 A.D. No. Scripture was not written primarily about us. All Scripture pointed to Jesus!
Jesus was the righteous one who lived by his faith.
Even the Religious leaders that crucified him linked his salvation to his faith in God! “41In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying,42“He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43“HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
Consider his “moment of doubt?” in the Garden, the night before his crucifixion. He must have been wrestling with His faith. But, His faith was the victory! (1 John 5:4) . Sometimes, we win by merely hanging on to faith, even if the situation seems to “die”, believing that God will redeem it! Jesus did all of this by His faith in God, who raised Him from the dead!
In Paul’s insightful revelation of the Gospel to Romans, he spoke of God’s faith multiple times. Rom.3:3 and 1:5 ~ “5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name..”
At the very beginning of this amazing letter, he introduced multiple things. We have noticed the “Gospel, the power of God unto salvation” and “The righteous lives by faith” but, let’s not forget the introduction to something that Paul called ~ “The Obedience to Faith.”
Paul wasn’t declaring obedience that leads to faith. He was announcing “The Faith that is Obedience” and this obedience was not our but, as usual…it’s about Jesus!
Paul again picked up the theme of the obedience of the Righteous One in Rom.5 ~ “18Therefore, as by the offense of one (First Adam), judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one (Second Adam) the free gift came upon all men to justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
The Righteousness of The One and The Obedience of the One are the same thing. It’s the Obedience to the Faith that Paul had already declared was Gospel revelation! Our obedience is not our works of the Law, or even Jesus works of the Law, it’s believing in Jesus perfect fulfillment of a New and Better Way! That is obedience to The Faith that Jesus introduced. Living by the very faith of God.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
I believe this is part of the profound revelation that Paul articulated so powerfully in Galatians. Remember that above in Gal.3, Paul declared that “The Faith had come”.
Now let’s hop back to what Paul said about himself and his relationship to the Law and The Faith ~”16having known also that a man is not declared righteous by works of law, if not through the faith of Jesus Christ, also we in Christ Jesus did believe, that we might be declared righteous by the faith of Christ, and not by works of law, wherefore declared righteous by works of law shall be no flesh.”
He spoke this to Peter, when Peter fell into the fear of man and tried to appear just in front of religious people. The only thing Peter did was live like James had suggested in Acts 15 by separating themselves from “unclean food”. How merciful is God, who had already given Peter the Vision that “all things are clean” by God 3 times and yet, Peter had still not completely grasped the New Covenant reality either.
Paul declared to him that ~ “18For if I build again the things which I destroyed (The Law), I make myself a transgressor. 19For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God. 20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God!”
Paul passionately made it clear that the 613 works of the Law have absolutely no place in a Christians life! What is dead must stay dead! Since our old nature (spirit man) was crucified with Christ through the Law, we must not try to resurrect our old nature by applying any parts of the works of the Law to our New Creation lives! Old things (Law included) have passed away and all things (our spirit man) have become new!
That is why we are now the righteousness of God (in our spirit man) through Christ! Because the righteousness of God has been revealed from faith to faith in the Gospel. The righteous now live by faith alone because no works of the Law profit anything. What matters now is faith working through love.
In this liberating victory accomplished for us, we now perceive what it means that we “run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”
Jesus finished what He started. He didn’t just start an idea or a theology. He initiated a completely new way of living or a “New Living Way!” Jesus introduced and fulfilled the Way of Faith for us by living according to “The faith of God” and that’s why Paul had also said in Gal.2:20 “I live by The Faith of the Son of God” ( not every version but literal versions and KJV & AKJV)
Paul was plainly continuing the theme that Jesus, The Righteous One lived by faith. So, we too can now live by faith…not just acquire faith but, live by God’s faith! Jesus himself had encouraged the Disciples to “Have The Faith of God” (Again, not all versions but the YLT and others)
When the Disciples asked Jesus “Give us more faith!”, He didn’t say ~ “Ok, you guys really need it.” He told them that all they needed was faith the size of a tiny mustard seed! The key wasn’t that they didn’t have faith because they did. If they didn’t have faith, they wouldn’t have been trying to cast out the demon in the first place! It takes faith to even attempt to cast out demons or heal the sick but; it takes faith with no doubt to do it!
They did have tiny faith and that was enough. But, Jesus says ~Do not doubt, only believe. The problem was that they had doubt mixed with their faith. Because James 1:6,7 make it clear if we have any doubt mixed with our faith; we shouldn’t expect any of our prayers to be answered. Wow. That explains a lot in my personal prayer life.
You see, we don’t need more faith. We have the Holy Spirit, who is “The Spirit of Faith” and in him is all of the faith that God needed to speak and create the universe!
The fruit of the Spirit is Love. Faithfulness (full of faith) is an aspect of that fruit because “Love believes all things”. That statement is so incredibly deep because we know that God is love and since love believes all things; we know that God actually believes in us! Just always remember that He is actively loving you and walk by faith in love!
Since “what matters is faith working through love” and we have been given “The Spirit of Love” and “The Spirit of faith”(Holy Spirit), I bet we actually do already have everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. We need to fully realize that we truly cannot do anything on our own! “A man can have nothing unless it comes from above.” But, we are not on our own, we are In Christ and He is in us.
We simply need to abide in love by faith. Maybe the only thing we need is less doubt.