You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘faith’ tag.

 

“We are not preaching the Gospel of ADAM where our choice and FAITH was robbed from us. We are preaching the Gospel of JESUS where choice was restored. We have a free will now, we had no freedom under ADAM. It can be likened to slavery. When freedom comes they have choice, they are not placed into NO CHOICE again, that is bondage. Many can still not believe what Jesus has done for us, we are restored to HIM (JUST LIKE HIM). If He can choose I can choose… simple.

I refuse go back to bondage…” ~Bertie Brits

Chose this day whom you will serve, said God. When Jesus came, He said to His disciples that they hadn’t chosen Him but He had chosen them. What? Well, they still had choice. Most dropped everything and followed the rabbi who had the words of life. One said, not now, because he had to bury his father (which was a polite way in those days of saying, “No”).

When we hear the message of the gospel, we can be persuaded by it and believe. Or we can not be persuaded and not believe. We of course are drawn to Him by God and He knows just the right way to present Himself to us at just the right time. That is why most will, at some point, respond by believing. Faith (belief and trust) will rise up and they will recognize Him for who He is. We are designed to know God.

This is good news. Many tell us that we do not choose. What? Are we puppets? No! We all have the ability to believe, to have faith, to be persuaded, and to trust. We are made that way. 

Advertisements

 

 

The community of believers in Christ has come though works, to faith, to new birth, to Spirit-filled, and now to grace. This true both historically and relationally. Grace is more than a bridge, but it is rather a growing. It never ceases. It is in us, the divine influence on our hearts, which teaches us godliness.

 

I have seen the joy and freedom of living by faith, of being born from above, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Now, even more than all that, comes the absolute explosion of joy and freedom, peace and love, from knowing we live in grace. The realization that there really are no chains binding us to performance, to giving account of ourselves, or to sin consciousness, cannot be put into words.

 

We experience all these things when we come to Christ. It seems to explode over us, and in us, when we are filled with the Spirit. Then we learn about grace. The explosion may be softer. But the fruit of it is more constant. The fruit of the spirit really begins to ripen and it has a sweet savor. The love that was put in us begins to change us in ways we never knew possible. We don’t try to do it, it just happens. Fruit grows.

 

Is love the step that grace has led us to? I’m thinking it is. It will be something we’ve never known before. Let’s not miss it by camping in a grace valley…..

Ephesians 2:8 (The Message)

Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! 

The word for faith means trust. God cannot give us trust. He gave us the ability to trust. Every man has that (Romans 12:3) – Paul calls it the measure of faith. God gives us that. It means the ability to believe, since God cannot trust for us. It can also mean that He has given us “the faith”, which is the new and living way. And it also means ‘fidelity’ or trustworthiness/faithfulness.

Paul is actually talking about thinking soberly of ourselves, saying that each one has the measure of trust, the same as anyone. No one has or gets more faith/trust. Either you believe or you don’t. Actually, if everyone believed because it was a gift, then preaching would be unnecessary.

The idea that faith is a gift comes from misreading and misunderstanding these passages. Perhaps seeing faith as a gift appeals to those who think that using faith is a work. But scripture says without faith it’s impossible to please God. You don’t use your faith anymore than you can use your trust. Faith is something you have.

In other words, we must believe that He is in order to even come to Him. This is called having faith toward God, often badly translated as the faith of God. But in the passages that say that, God is the modifier for the word, faith. It is having the God kind of faith, or faith in Him. God doesn’t have or need faith. He knows and doesn’t need to trust. 

Therefore all people have the ability to believe. He gave us that much, but He does not trust or believe for us or give us His trust. We trust. Suppose we want to believe and can’t seem to. If faith is a gift, then we would be blaming God for not giving us this necessary gift. How preposterous! 

Some say that the gift of faith is ours and we just need to use it. Well, how to you use trust? You have trust, you don’t use it. Trust comes from being persuaded of something. In fact, the word for faith also means to be persuaded.

Again, God doesn’t give us persuasion, any more than He gives us trust. How do we become persuaded that anything is true? We hear about it and make up our minds, perhaps with the spirit’s nudging, but we believe it. We have faith. We trust. It’s the same root word, meaning to believe or to trust.

The gift is salvation, by grace – and grace is His favoring us, and His divine influence in our hearts. Grace enables us to believe. It is that divine spark in us that only mankind has. And yes, trust is one of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, like the fruit of the spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-9).

Clearly, if faith is handed out to this one or that one, this passage in 1 Corinthians cannot be talking about basic faith or trust. It is something else here.

Grace is the gift and its various out-workings are by the Holy Spirit.

True, we do not earn grace or salvation. God gives it to us because He loves us. We are His children. The idea that we don’t deserve it is not the best understanding of favor. Like we give good things to our children without making them earn it or do something to deserve it, God gives gifts, like grace, to us. But faith/trust is not one of them.

by André van der Merwe on Friday, June 17, 2011 at 7:04am

G265 ἁμάρτημα ham-ar-tee’-ah

From G264; sin (properly abstract): – offence, sin (-ful)

 

G264 ἁμαρτάνω ham-ar-tan’-o

Perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and the base of G3313; properly to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), that is, (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin: – for your faults, offend, sin, trespass.

 

Hamartia (missing the mark) is often misinterpreted to mean “breaking the 10 Commandments”. But if this were really the case, what about those people who lived before the law was given to Israel? Because the Bible clearly says that sin was in the world before the law was given:

 

…for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is the type of Him who was to come. (Rom 5:13-14 MKJV)

 

This scripture says that death even reigned over those who hadn’t sinned like Adam did. This means that they missed the mark too, even though they hadn’t broken any laws, because remember that the law hadn’t even been given yet.

 

Doubly Guilty

 

Mankind was dubbed into a condition of sin through Adam’s disobedience, and was made aware of this sinful condition through the giving of the Old Testament Law:

 

1)     We were made guilty through the condition of sinfulness, inherited from Adam:

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Rom 5:18-19 KJVA)

 

2)     Each and every person who tries to justify themselves before God through trying to obey the law, are made guilty by the law as well:

 

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:19-20 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

Missing the Mark?

 

It’s easy for some to say that we sin when we “miss the mark”. But let’s think about this for a moment: What is the mark? How big is the mark? And how do we miss it?

 

If “hitting the mark” means that we perfectly obey the requirements of the law, then it gets very interesting, because remember the law didn’t just consist of the 10 Commandments. No, a total of 613 laws and stipulations were given to Israel (from Exodus to Deuteronomy) which they had to obey down to the last letter for as long as they lived. The law was given as a covenant, which means it was a life-long contract. Suddenly the mark becomes a 1mm little pin prick set against a wall about 9,000km away.

 

Paul the apostle talked about a different kind of righteousness; a way of being able to stand perfectly justified before God apart from trying to obey the Old Testament laws:

 

But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; even the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ, toward all and upon all those who believe. (Rom 3:21-22 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

The entire New Covenant (after the cross) proclaims a redeeming message of being made perfect through faith in Christ. Through faith we enter into unity with God, receive eternal life, we have all our sins forgiven and we are made completely, 100% righteous… forever. As a mark of our salvation we receive the promise of the Father, the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. (Rom 8:9 MKJV)

 

The Sin of Unbelief

 

Although God has already forgiven the sins of the entire world and extended His Grace towards all men, not everybody chooses to receive this offer of peace. If it were somebody’s birthday and their friend arrived at their door with a gift, the birthday person still has to make a choice to open the door and take the gift. The gift becomes useless if the gift bearer is left standing outside the door.

 

The only choice that can nullify the redemption of the cross in a person’s life, is choosing not to believe in Jesus. The Bible is clear that it’s only through faith that a person becomes born again:

 

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. (1 John 5:1a MKJV, emphasis added)

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

 

Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Rom 10:9 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:1 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

The Sin of Trying to Live According to the Law

 

The Law isn’t based on faith. It promises life only to people who obey its commands. (Gal 3:12 CEV)

For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Rom 14:23b ESV)

 

The Old Testament Law is not based on faith, because it didn’t take any faith for a person to know that they were wrong when they transgressed one of the commands. But it does take faith for us to still believe we are the righteousness of God, even when we just messed up!

 

When we combine Gal 3:12a with Rom 14:23b it says this:

 

“Living according to the Old Testament Law is sin.”

 

Bottom line.

When Jesus said faith the size of a mustard seed was all that is needed to cast a mountain into the sea, He was not talking about natural faith which we all have. He was talking about the kind that comes from God. He often told the disciples that they had little faith. And that some, who tended to be Gentiles, had great faith.

The God kind of faith believes God, and that is what pleases God.

The faith He was talking about is so powerful it can move a mountain, but they didn’t have that kind of faith. He wasn’t telling them that if they only had a little they could do big things. He was telling them what the God kind of faith was.

Mark 11:21 And remembering, Peter said to Him, Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which You cursed has withered. 22 And answering, Jesus said to them, Have faith of God. 23 For truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and be thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be to him, whatever he says.(Green’s Literal Translation)

Please notice that the literal translation of verse 22 above says to have faith of God, not in God (vs 22). The word for God, theou/theos, is the modifier of the noun, belief/faith, pistos. This could indicate having either faith that comes from God, or faith directed toward God, or both, like love. We only love His way because He loved us first and put it in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

In other passages, the faith of God is in the sense of His faithfulness to do something. That is, we can trust Him to do it. Pistos means trust, as to be persuaded of His trustworthiness. This is faith toward God, or the God kind of faith.

Paul talks about having all faith and references Jesus’ statement: 1Corinthians 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all (any, every, the whole) faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

The word for “all,” used in this passage, means “any, every, the whole”.

This indicates that we may not have “all” but that we possibly could.

He goes on to say that we only know part of the whole in this life, but one day we will see Him face to ­face and will then know the whole. Until then we have to renew our minds in order to walk in faith.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is the good and pleasing and perfect will of God. (Green’s)

We prove (test or approve) the will of God by believing and acting on the gospel of the kingdom. The kingdom comes with power, not by the words of men. It is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The renewed mind is one that understands what the kingdom is like.

It is only observable through the actions of its members. We prove the will of God when we see this, and then go and demonstrate it by healing the sick, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and loving one another.

Having faith toward God and in Jesus is the faith of God – the God kind of faith.

By it we are made righteous and saved, laying hold of what God provided by His grace. By it we exercise all authority over sickness, bondage of evil, and even death. It is not the world’s kind of faith. It is the God kind, eternal and true. People put their faith in many things and many gods, but that faith is futile. Only the faith of God operates in the kingdom.

In other words, we can’t have faith in just anything. The world, and yes sadly even Christianity, has programs, and motivational speakers, and spiritual leaders that are blind. You can motivate yourself and believe you are great, attracting money or love, or that you will please God. It may even seem to work for a while. But it is not the kingdom, which is eternal and leads to life.

The end of all that other stuff is death, because it is faith in what you can do. Doing doesn’t make it so. Doing doesn’t make it real. Just because you believe a thing doesn’t make it so.

It must be so – before you believe it!

What is so is that Jesus has rescued us from the need to please or perform, and has given the kingdom into our hands. Have faith in this.

I hear preachers and teachers talk about how Christians can have the power of God in their lives. Most get it wrong.

True power is not love, or surrender, or service, or speaking fine words – or yelling a lot.

Here is what it scripture says:

Matthew 9:8 – But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

Matthew 10:1 – And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Matthew 28:18 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Luke 4:14 – And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

Luke 24:49 – And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 4:33 – And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Acts 6:8 – And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 10:38 – How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 15:19 – Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

1Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1Corinthians 1:24 – But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1Corinthians 2:4 – And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1Corinthians 2:5 – That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

2Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2Corinthians 6:7 – By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

2Corinthians 13:4 – For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2Timothy 3:5 – Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Hebrews 7:16 – Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Why is it that we think there is power in anything else?

I’ve heard some say our power lies in loving one another. Or that power lies in surrender to God. Or the baptism of the Holy Spirit (and this is actually right – if we walk in it). And on it goes.

Power comes from God through the Holy Spirit, and from the preaching of Christ crucified and risen – and the power is for healing, delivering, demonstrating the kingdom here now.

In that power, we do all things, including loving one another.

It’s not our power, but Christ in us, by grace and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Grace is the divine influence on our hearts.

The full expression of grace looks a lot like the fruit of the spirit, in fact. Hmmmm…….

Christians today are believing contradictions about the promise to Abraham. Far too many of us don’t understand that the promise to Abraham was or how it has been fulfilled in Jesus.

Ephesians 3:1 Because of this, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you, the nations, if, indeed, you heard of the stewardship of the grace of God given to me for you, (2)that by revelation He made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief, (3)by the reading of which you are able to realize my understanding in the mystery of Christ, (4)which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as now it was revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit, (5)for the nations to be joint-heirs, and a joint-body and joint-sharers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

(6)of which I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me, according to the working of His power. (7)This grace was given to me, I being less than the least of all the saints, to preach the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ among the nations, (8)and to bring to light all, what is the fellowship of the mystery having been hidden from eternity in God, the One creating all things through Jesus Christ,

(9)so that now to the rulers and to the authorities in the heavenlies might be made known through the assembly the manifold wisdom of God, (10)according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, (11)in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through His faith. (12)Therefore, I ask you not to faint at my troubles on your behalf, which is your glory. (13) JP Green’s

What is the promise?

Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

(Romans 4:9)How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; (10)and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, (11)and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

(12)For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. (13)For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; (14) for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. (15)For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (16)NASB
Consider this: (Galatians 3:26) For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (KJV)

It is not physical, ethnic, Israel who inherits the promise made to Abraham.

God has one people, not two. Not Israel and the church. The middle wall of partition, that separated Jew from Gentile, was removed by Jesus’ death and resurrection. The veil in the temple was symbolically torn in two so that all could approach God through Jesus. The veil only remains over the understanding of those who read and cling to the law of Moses.

Why do believers continue to elevate natural Israel as though they were special and separate? And in doing so, trample on the work of Jesus?

The words of Jesus:

Matthew 21:43 Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. (New International Version ©1984)

What part of that do we not see?

Or, the following:

“…ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people… Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.” (I Peter 2:9-10)

Read the context.  The scripture is not a weapon but a message!  The law is done away, and so is the physical kingdom. Now, it becomes physical and/or visible only by virtue of the people who populate it.

The kingdom of God is not an earthly administration, but heavenly.

It is spiritually discerned, for it comes without observation. And it is diametrically opposed to the kingdoms of the world, which operate by exerting power of others. God’s kingdom operates by serving others through the power from on high – the Holy Spirit.

So then, what did Paul mean when he said “all Israel shall be saved”?

Romans 9:27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

  • (The Complete Jewish Bible) 11:26 – and that it is in this way that all Isra’el will be saved. As the Tanakh says, “Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer; he will turn away ungodliness from Ya’akov
  • (God’s Word translation) 11:26 – In this way Israel as a whole will be saved, as Scripture says, “The Savior will come from Zion. He will remove godlessness from Jacob.]

From Strong’s:  Houto hoo’-to 1..in this manner, thus, so

(KJV (213) – after this manner, 3; even so, 9; likewise, 4; misc, 10; on this wise, 6; so, 164; thus, 17;)

The phrase, “and so” does not mean that “therefore” all Israel shall be saved, but rather “in like manner” to us shall they be saved.

By grace through faith. There is on other way to be saved. That is the basis of the gospel! How dare we change it?!

And now we have some saying that the temple has to be rebuilt, and Jesus will return to become the shekinah glory and there will be renewed rituals of animal sacrifices – as a reminder of his perfect sacrifice.

That is not only silly,  it denies the finished work of Christ.

This is where the doctrine of dispensationalism will take us if we follow it through in all its implications. We who are His have the witness of the spirit. We don’t need, nor could we stomach, animal sacrifices to remind us. And God takes no pleasure in them, nor has He required them (Psalm 40:6).

We need to wake up.

Neither Israel nor Jerusalem are any more special than any other nation or city. They are kingdoms of this world and will always be opposed to the kingdom of God.

Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is old covenant thinking. We are to be peacemakers to the world, carrying the peace of Christ. The church is the new Jeruslem. There is no longer Jew nor Greek.

Further, chastising Israel for wrong actions is not cursing Israel. Israel is judged and the kingdom is heavenly.

RSS Charisma Ministries

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Grace Walk

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: