One of the main focuses of this ministry is the Biblical understanding of faith.
One of the verses that we repeat often is Romans 10:17, which states:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“
What this verse literally means is that faith, biblical faith is achieved when understanding what God’s word, the Bible says.
Understanding God’s Word
The reason that I say that this verse has to do with understanding what God’s word says is that though the word “hearing” is utilized twice in this passage, and both usages have to do with the auditory function of receiving what has verbally been spoken, each word for hearing has a different noun case; indicating different variations of the same word.
Wherein the grammar for the 1st usage of the noun“hearing” is in the genitive case which addresses the action of audibly hearing the word of God, the 2nd use of the noun “hearing” is in the normative case indicating the subject or the medium of the sentence – which is more than simply audibly hearing, it is perceiving and understanding the word of God.
Hearing in Belief
There are many that hear the gospel, as well as the word of God and do not gain faith or grow in faith because they do not believe.
It is hearing the gospel / word of God wherein belief is first created, then grows in the life of the believer.
By examining the immediate biblical context, a few verses ahead in verses 13 and 14 which refer to individuals as: “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” we understand that this verse is in reference to those not only hearing God’s word but believing what it says.
The non-believer gains his faith by hearing the word of God and understanding it; and that the believer grows in faith by perceiving and understanding those things found in God’s word wherein faith is the natural fruit.
Yet what is the process that takes place wherein faith is the outcome of a person understanding the word of God in belief?
Biblical faith is found in God’s word because of the consistency of witnessing miracle after miracle exhibited in God’s word, with the end result being that truly this book could not have been authored by man, but must have been offered by He who can see the ending from the beginning – God Himself, wherein this book deserves our greatest attention as God’s revelation to man. Biblical faith is to be primarily based upon an interaction with God’s word, as is declared in Romans 10:17, which states:
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God“
The Source of Biblical Faith
Biblical faith is created and grown wherein as a person reads the Bible, and the Holy Spirit opens their spiritual eyes to perceive that which is laid out, it is a logical reasonable process of coming to the conclusion that this book could not have been written by mortal man (2 Timothy 3:16), because:
1) There are prophecies given in Old Testament, that are fulfilled in the New Testament.
2) There are prophecies given within the Bible as a whole, which are fulfilled since it’s closing.
3) There are scientific and natural insights presented in the Bible, which were once considered completely false; in time, science has caught up with the Bible proving that it was correct in the first place, and that it is beyond human insight.
4) There is deep wisdom that is written between its pages, which are far beyond the capacity of a human being to create.
5) There are internal evidences found in the Bible when it is crossed-referenced within itself in such a way that it is obvious that 40 different men could not have utilized the exact same type of “Figures of Speech,” including: typology, such as seen in metaphor, similes, models; along with prophetic symbols as seen in even the use of numbers, colors, events, material and substances, dates, mathematics, names, roles, and even people’s personality and lives; all done to portray a shadow of things to come rather in heaven, or in the particular case of Jesus, the fulfillment of the Messiah; as witnessed in His First and Second coming – as well as Last Days events – all done in such a way that the only explanation is that God orchestrated the creation of this Book.
All leading to the conclusion that this book was not written by man, but by a God that is outside of our time domain, who can see the ending from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10); who is all-powerful, and in total control of His creation (Isaiah 45:5-7), and therefore worthy of our complete trust and faith in what He has said and what He will do (Isaiah 46; Jeremiah 29:11).
Faith is More Than Mere Belief
Wherein if you look within a dictionary the meaning of the word “believe,” “belief,”you will find that it means mental assent – a mental process.
Yet, if belief does not go beyond the mental process aspect, it is not really Biblical faith.
This explains James statement as found in James 2:19, which states:
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
Faith goes beyond mere mental belief, wherein it is a mixed with confidence, and then produces an action.
This explains what seems to be a contradiction between what Paul says concerning faith (Romans 4:3-5; see Endnote #1), and what James says (James 2:21; see Endnote #2) concerning faith (Please see article “Does James contradict Paul regarding faith” ~ LINK ); however, once you understand the grammar you come to understand that both Paul and James address faith from 2 different perspectives yet in complete agreement. One speaks about faith and its essence in the life of Abraham, and the other one speaks about the visible action seen which give evidence to this essence (Please see the above article and link which explains this, and will increase your faith in God’s word regarding this and other passages in God’s word).
Faith Always Leads to Change – To Obedience
Biblical Faith always produces a change in belief systems, wherein a person’s actions are changed.
This is the true definition of repentance.
Repentance is not only changing one’s mind, but changing of one’s mind to the extent that it changes their behavior – which are seen in their individual behaviors which exhibit faith.
A person stops going their own direction, changes destination and follows Jesus, which is why He repeatedly stated “follow me“ (Matt. 4:19; Matt. 8:22; Matt. 9:9; Matt. 16:24; Matt. 19:21; Mark 2:14; Mark 8:34; Mark 10:21; Luke 5:27; Luke 9:23; Luke 9:59; Luke 18:22; John 1:43; John 10:27; John 12:26; John 13:36; John 21:19; John 21:22 – Based upon how many times He made this statement, it appears that Jesus wanted to drive home a point).
So we see that faith is made of a mental belief that is mixed with a confidence that is like a mortar between the stones of the foundation of our faith, that makes up the worldview of the believer; wherein the fruit is seen in action.
The ABC’s of Faith
Some have referred to this process as the ABC’s of faith, “Action based upon Belief sustained by Confidence” – though this appears to be in reverse order of how faith grows, this is what should be seen on the outside, when we see the believer.
It is the action that should catch a person’s attention, which draws them to seek Christian’s belief, wherein they seek to understand why the Christian has this confidence, wherein they are re amazed of the Christian’s faith – this is an example of the life of Christ. This is what Peter was talking about when he said in 1 Peter 3:15:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear”
We as believers are to live in such a way that non-believers see the actions of our faith and ask us why we believe.
It is this confidence that is gleaned, and grown within God’s Word regarding that which Romans 10:17 refers too.
Every time the believer picks up God’s Word there should be something that they run across that draws them to a greater confidence in God’s word, convinced that it has a divine origin – which demands the conclusion that an intelligent being – God does exist and functions within this world that He commands.
Main Text – Introduction
One of the passages which is found in God’s word which is meant to display the intricate design consistency concerning the subject of faith, can be found in Deuteronomy 33:25, which states:
“Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
It is common for believers to be confused about expressions that seem so unusual to us, especially many Old Testament passages; and this becomes the reason why so many people get frustrated by Scripture, yet when they are explained, it becomes clear what God has said and the passage makes perfect sense.
This is because God in His wisdom utilized idioms and expressions that were common in the day it was written, whereas a search of history concerning the area and culture where the passage was referring to, would render clear what the original context was, in order that the meaning could be obtained – yet forever frozen in time.
How ingenious of God to do this in this particular manner, not attempting to present things in such a generic simplistic way (In which there would not be a historical marker that through searching of history, the idioms and expressions could be deciphered), but setting them in stone according to a classical meaning buried in history – unchangeable through time.
What this means is that to the diligent student that would NOT simply read God’s Word 2000 years after it was completed, but would study it; seeking to understand the context of what was said historically, as well as literally; he could unearth the richness that God had meant to convey – yet always at the direction and illumination of the Spirit.
How thankful we should be that God constructed history in such a way (protecting the record of history) that we can go back and understand things that were done in the Semitic languages and cultures, and have a reference point to define these idioms and expressions.
Examining the Main Text
Feet always represent our walk through life, thus to walk with the Lord speaks about our lifestyle as far as our behavior (denotatively ~ precisely), and as well as what happens to us during that walk (connotatively ~ generally).
Shoes are what we wear on our feet, to cover us, to protect us as we walk through life.
The Sandals Spoken about in This Passage
The ancient warriors / soldiers would wear shoes which were modified sandals that would have iron nails on the bottom for traction in rugged terrain and for grip, and because brass could be more easily molded, they would have brass arched over the top part of their shoes for protection in battle.
A common advanced sword technique used was to swing high toward the opponent’s head – a fake, which was normally attempted to be blocked, then follow through with the drawback of a sweep to the lower legs and feet.
If you could damage the opponent’s feet or legs, he would be unable to continue to defined himself.
Therefore, according to this passage, the shoes referred to were military shoes, implying that the person referred to is in battle – he is a warrior, a soldier.
Thus God’s promise to His own, to His children, His followers as they are soldiers that are to prepare for battle (Emotionally in feeling claim by reassuring ourselves mentally that God is faithful, and will take care of us no matter how bad it gets. Mentally by dwelling upon God’s Word, and therein holding His Word in our hearts [In Greek & Hebrew, “heart” always means the complete inward part of a person, not just the emotions. It is the 1) mind, & the 2) emotions, and the 3) seat of the will, where discretion is made between the two, where decisions proceed from.], which is why David said concerning the heart: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee,3” wherein we cannot maintain or “hide” words, such as God’s Word in our emotions, but do so in our mind. And lastly, concerning our Will, we exercise faith in choosing to trust God, that what He says we can count on, and that God has not promised to always take us out of trouble or trials – which develop spiritual maturity 4 – but to be with us through the trials), by wearing the proper equipment (This is also seen in Eph. 6:15 ~ “and have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” ~ we do this by studying God’s Word with our minds – becoming prepared. The fight was to bring men to God, so that they would be at peace with God, stop fighting Him. A believer is to advance in their walk as going though a battle, yet not to kill, but to save) because we were meant to go through the battle, without being taken out of the battle.
Walk of Faith – Trials and Pain
This is also seen in the passage where we are NOT told that He will take us out of the valley of the shadow of death, but that He would always be with us as we go “through the Valley of the shadow of death,” (Psalms 23:4).
It is human nature to seek to be relieved of pain and trials, yet many times; in fact most of the time it is His will for us to go through the pain and trials – trusting in Him.
This is not a popular teaching, presenting that we are to be soldiers going through battles as opposed to being victims waiting to be rescued from those battles.
The Church is an Army Base, Not a Hospital
However, the church is God’s army; the gathering of believers is a boot camp in preparation of the battle which takes place in the world the other six days of the week after Sunday, it is our Army base where we not only to prepare, but have our spirit refueled, and need be, have our wounds tended to.
Yet, seeker friendly churches act like they are hospitals, not training grounds – where is their true victory?
The victory does not come from the words of a pastor, or as seen in the praise chorus on Sunday morning.
The victory is out on the battlefield of life the other 6 days of the week wherein spite of trials and pains we exercise faith wherein the world witnesses the power of God, and for those that are ready; asked the question: why do they still trust Him, even when they are hurt and in pain.
The answer is, because He is trustworthy and after the pain, He gives healing to our soul, wherein to our eternal reward our faith is grown even greater, yet – all to His glory.
There is no victory when all we do is focus on ourselves, rather than on Him.
When we take our focus off of the best and place it on the inferior.
We gather to learn about Him, and His Will for us.
How to “fight the good fight” of “faith” (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7), it is NOT about us, it is about HIM.
There is always the mending of wounds suffered during battles back at the base, but the base’s main purpose is preparing soldiers for battle.
This is why Ephesians 4:11-12 says:
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”
The work is to be done by the followers, not the pastors, pastors as to prepare and train the followers – the soldiers for the battle that they enter each day.
Pastors are about “edifying,” the “body of Christ“ (which is a synonym for the followers of Christ), the Greek word translated “edifying” is an architectural term, it is the word: oikodome, which means “to build,” the pastor builds up the follower by teaching the Word of God, so that the follower can function as a soldier by being able to wield the “Sword of the Spirit“ (Ephesians 6:17) – the “Word God” with great skill.
God’s Promise of Strength for the Warrior – Daily
Therefore, God’s promise to us as soldiers concerning the second part of Deuteronomy 33:25 is that “as thy days, so shall thy strength be,” meaning He will give us enough strength for each day, every day of our life.
Not two days in advance, otherwise we might run into battle without Him – we need Him – daily.
This is the same reason that when God gave Israel manna in the wilderness, yet it only lasted for one day (Except for that which fell the day before the Sabbath; which would last for 2 days in order that they did not have to work on the Sabbath in collecting it), God was teaching them to come to Him daily for their needs, and this is what is also implied in this passage in Deuteronomy as well.
God will meet our needs daily, in order to maintain our reliance upon Him so that we do not become presumptuous, nor seek to walk in our own power.
If God did provide far in advance, He would be tempting us to be presumptuous due to a reliance upon the provision, rather than the Provider, to rely upon the system rather the Designer, to rely upon the supplies, rather the Supplier.
It must also be understood, that trials (The same base word used of tribulation & temptation), are a necessary part of growth and the development of faith.
Fear is never the opposite of faith. Faith is what we do when we are afraid, David said:
“what time I am afraid I will trust in the Lord.” (Psalms 56:3)
Without fear there is no opportunity to exercise faith, yet we are not to dwell upon the fear and allow the fear to overtake us.
It is during times of fear that we reassure ourselves of God’s faithfulness of according to His Word.
This is done by dwelling or thinking upon God’s Word as is stated above by David.
David learned to memorize Scripture to the extent that when the Battles came, which they will, he would immediately think upon and dwell upon God’s Word.5
God – which is our strength, will give us strength for today, for today’s battle.
Therefore, this is why shoes are synonymous with faith. It is because as soldiers in God’s army we walk daily in faith protected by him, equipped by him – yet all for his glory.
Now we need to take off our slippers, and put on our battle sandals – and step out in faith – today!
This article is about faith and not fear, but I had to post this picture,
unfortunately I relate to it too often. Brent
1. Romans 4:3-5 ~ “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth [Greek: dikaioo] the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
2. James 2:21 ~ “Was not Abraham our father justified [Greek: dikaioo] by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar”
3. Psalms 119:11 ~ “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.“
4. 1 Peter 1:7 ~ “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold.” (James 1:2-4; 2 Peter 1:5-7).
5. Philippians 4:8 ~ “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
This poses the question, what are the different reasons for trails?
The Reason for Trials in the Life of Believers
To glorify God ~ Most important for us (Dan. 3:16-18; Dan. 3: 24-25, 28)
To build faith ~ Most important to us (1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4)
To cause growth (Romans 5:3-5)
To prove the reality of Christ in us (2 Cor. 4:7-11)
To testify to Angels (Job 1:8; Eph. 3:8-11; 1 Peter 1:12)
To equip us to comfort others (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
To prevent us from falling into sin (1 Peter 4:1-2)
To keep us from pride ~ Paul’s thorn (2 Cor. 12:7)
To teach obedience & discipline (Act 9:15-16; Php. 4:11-13)
To Discipline for known sin (Hebrew 12:5-11; James 4:17; Romans 14:23; 1 John 1:9)
Two Thoughts to Always Remember
Two possible errors concerning trials (which are synonymous with temptations & tribulations):
1. Not anticipating trials ~ which are necessary for spiritual growth
2. Holding a morbid fear of trials ~ “what time I am afraid I will trust in the Lord.” (Psalms 56:3)
We Need a Divine Perspective
Remember: Job & his 3 friends ~ bad things don’t always happen because of bad choices ~ trails?
Remember: Paul & his “Thorn in the flesh” & how he measured “success” (SEE: 2 Cor. 4:7-18; 11:21-28 – By Chuck Missler)
“An apparent Biblical contradiction is the Holy Spirit’s way of getting the reader’s
attention so as to point out a hidden deep truth, which must be examined at great
expense, in order to discover the precious faith building treasure it contains.”
(Brent L Bolin ~ 1990)