Jesus ~ The Ultimate Example of Faith! (Notable Original Work)

Jesus - the author and FinisherIntroduction (Update ~ 03/26/2015)
This is one of the most important subjects I have ever attempted to teach.  While it is 86 pages long, please go through it slowly and thoroughly, take your time.

It is a subject that changed my life.

It is because faith is so much more important in the daily life of the believer than we realize, as displayed and exemplified in the life of Jesus Himself.

Jesus lives out what faith is meant to be in the life of the believer – not a one time act of accepting God – but a daily exercise as seen in the smallest of things we don’t think about, And the largest of obstacles that we do.

Faith is not a tool to get what we want, cause God to do what we want; it is a relationship – a relationship of trusting that no matter what things look like God is in total control of our lives, especially when the situations of our life make no sense – this is the meat and potatoes of faith – trust.

Faith is one of those subjects, which for the adult believer can be misunderstood because it seems to be so obvious in its definition.

However, faith is more complex than many of us realize.

Faith is a subject that a child can exercise so easily; yet it is also a subject that is so exhaustive that a scholar can spend a lifetime studying it and uncovering new facets and greater depths.

The subject of this essay is the faith of Jesus Christ – that is the faith that was displayed by Jesus Christ during His Incarnation on earth.

Many Biblical teachers shrink back from this subject because it would appear to assault the deity of Jesus Christ, in that faith necessitates need; and if Christ was the Son of God, and Divine, He would have no needs.

However, this is a false assumption based upon a misconception concerning the incarnation of Jesus, concerning the definitions and understanding of His essence as compared to His attributes.

This whole conversation should beg the question, “How could Jesus be fully Divine, and yet fully human, wherein He would have needs; and there not be a contradiction.

Or else stated, how could Jesus be fully Divine, and not have dynamic power at His disposal without end – which would be the opposite of being human.

These are a few of the issues that we shall address in this article.

jesus-on-the-cross

Faith ~ Pleasing God
Faith is the only human attribute in the Bible which is mandated in order to please God the Father as seen in Hebrews 11:6, which states:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

The Greek word translated into the English word “please” is the verb: (Greek) euaresteo (G2100) and is used in only three places in the Scriptures (The two remaining being Hebrews 11:5, and Hebrews 13:16; however, in completely different tense, and in some translations a diverse voice and mood), however, in this particular usage it is in the aorist tense, meaning the “Action Occurred in the Past (“Once & for all”), it is used to make the point that the things spoke about must be a “complete certainty,” “no exceptions“.

In the Greek, the aorist tense, is used less concerning past incidents, but rather as a current complete certainty (In the Greek mind if you wanted to make the point that something was unchangeable and complete, the best way was to speak of it was in the past tense, as the present tense can always change, but the past never can – it is unchangeable and permanent, which is the case here wherein the point is that this verb, “to please” God can only occur through the use of “faith”).

The essence of what the Scripture is saying is that the only complete way to fully and 100% please God is by faith; there is no other way to please God, this is sure and unchangeable (Just like the past).

It is in the active voice, meaning that the (Subject) “the person” causes the action, not God – It is man exercising faith in God that is the only thing that pleases God.

It should also be noted that it’s an infinitive verb, meaning that this passage (“has no person”) is not speaking about an individual person (Such as: Enoch from the prior verse, which refers to him separately having “pleased God,” which is not connected with this usage of the word please, and is in the perfect tense, meaning that Enoch had completed his faith in the past, which continues to be a blessing to him even in the present, and into the future), but refers to all people, it is singular indicating the ability to please God can only be done by the specific person who acts in faith; not in any other way, but only by the person who exercises faith.

It is self-evident that based upon the grammar that God is making the point that there is nothing else in all of the existence that can please God outside of the behavior of faith.

Change in Belief and Behavior
Remembering how many times that Jesus used the expression, “follow me,” as an object lesson concerning what faith is, that of a man changing his own direction in life, turning 180° and going the opposite direction by following Christ – this is what following Christ means.

road_trip_-_repentance_-_art

Repentance
This is also the mindset behind the word repentance, which is more than a change in belief (Belief is a mental process only, it is merely cognitive; which explains James statement about demons as found in James 2:19), it is a change in belief that changes one’s behavior – this is the only way to interpret the word repentance no matter how much we have attempted to change its meaning in the English implying that repentance means guilt, shame, regret, or a verbal acknowledgment of wrongdoing.  Repentance is none of these.

And to reiterate, repentance as taught by many churches is not simply a changing in belief system by itself.  It is a change in belief system that is so immense it must change a person’s behavior and actions – it is a revolutionary change.

Both of these words, faith and repentance; mandate three things:

1) A change in belief system which progresses to,
2) A change in behaviors,
3) which creates a pattern as seen in a change of lifestyle (“follow me”).

Jesus and Pleasing the Father
With this in mind, it is in understanding that our best example of pleasing God the Father is seen in the person of Jesus Christ, as stated in John 8:29, which states:

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”

Which is confirmed by God Himself audibly from heaven concerning Jesus’ baptism in the Holy Spirit as found in Luke 3:22 (As well as Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11), which states:

And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

As well as confirmed by God Himself audibly from heaven on the mount of Transfiguration as found in Matthew 17:5 (As well as Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:17), which states:

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

And for the third time that God Himself audibly speaks from heaven concerning Jesus was the one day that Jesus openly accepted worship as the Messiah, commonly referred to as the triumphant entry which is recorded in John 12:28, which states:

“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

Whereas God spoke from heaven at Christ’s baptism and the mount of Transfiguration concerning Jesus having pleased Him as a man, at this last time that God spoke from heaven concerning Christ’s divine side as having glorified the Father, and that the Father Glorified Himself through Christ, and will yet do so through the Resurrection of Christ.

One other gospel passage which speaks about Jesus pleasing God is found in Matthew 12:18, which is quoting Isaiah 42:1-4.

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” (Matthew 12:18)

What this means for believers that take the Bible literally is that Jesus had to exercise faith in order to please God; and according to these passages this is exactly what Jesus did.

Therefore, Jesus is the ultimate display of faith.

The Premise
There is no way of escaping this conclusion, in spite of the fact that many sincere scholars and theologians, who say they are attempting to maintain the Deity of Jesus Christ (Which Satan has attacked over the centuries, which is why scholars have fought against this issue, yet it is the Deity of Jesus Christ that is the foundation of this essay and without such, all is vain) by demanding that Jesus maintained the attribute of Omnipotence (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible”), during His Incarnation.

The Rebuttal
However, the flaw in this thinking is that the same scholars have no problem with Jesus disallowing / putting-off the other two attributes, that of  Omnipresence (Latin: “Existing Everywhere All at Once, Non-locality”), and Omniscience (Latin: “All Knowing” – Mark 13:32, speaks about Jesus’ limited knowledge during the incarnation); while at the same time demanding that Christ held onto the attribute of Omnipotence  (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible”).

The problem with this type of rationale is that these three attributes have always been presented and held as synonymous with one another.

The question then becomes how can we rationalize Christ disrobing Himself of certain attributes of divinity, while only holding onto one?

Logic dictates that Christ laid aside the attribute of Omnipresence (Latin: “Existing Everywhere All at Once, Non-locality”) by simply taking on a human body with its time-space, and physical limitations.  And according to Christ’s own comments as recorded in Mark 13:32, during the incarnation He did not possess Omniscience (Latin: “All Knowing” );

Therefore how can we stand on stable ground demanding that he maintained Omnipotence (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible”)?

And as long as Christ held any of these three attributes of deity while in the flesh during His Incarnation, He would NOT be completely self-dependent upon the Holy Spirit and therefore God the Father – He would be self sufficient, wherein He would have NO needs or necessity; which are the basis for faith.

faith-1 (1)

Faith ~ Necessitates Need
Faith is only faith, when there is need and necessity; it is impossible to have the circumstances to exercise faith without need and necessity, which are stressors which promote fear, hence David’s proclamation in the Psalms 56:3,

What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.”

Fear
Faith in God is what the believer does when they have fear.  David expressed it very well in that fear gives an opportunity to exercise faith, hence if there is no necessity, no need; why else would there be fear, and why else would you need faith for something if you have no need which is the object of that faith.

Fear is based upon an expectation of need, due to an inability to handle a tumultuous situation or event.

Faith is what you do when you experience fear.

It is a shame that the false faith teachers attempt to create shame in believers for experiencing fear, as they claim that fear is the opposite of faith.

This displays the extent of their heresy, for even common sense teaches us that experiencing fear is when faith is most needed.

It is their confusion concerning the feeling of fear, as opposed to giving into fear, allowing fear to overtake us; this is their shortcoming.

We should not live in fear, and allow fear to rule our lives, which would display a lack of faith because we would NOT be trusting that God can handle the situations in our lives.

Fear Is the Opposite of Faith
Yet, this is not the same as the experience of feelings fear in response to an negative situation, this is normal.

Yet because so many teachers have stated that fear is the opposite of faith, believers are afraid to admit when they are apprehensive and fearful in any given situation no matter how warranted it is.

We are to admit our fears so that we can choose to act in faith.

If we act like were not fearful the why do we need to hold onto faith – what these teachers do is the opposite of what needs to be done.

We need to follow David’s example and admit our fears – then claim to God and proclaiming our faith and trust in him in spite of those fears.

Do we not realize that it is negative situations, scary situations, intimidating events that most compels us to turn to God in faith, which indeed he uses for our own good to draw nigh and a Him – to shake us away from our self dependence and independence upon anything else other than Him.

Fear is a safeguard that God gave us so that we would run as a wild animal approaches, or when men mean us harm in threaten us adrenaline is produced so that we can either run in fear or fight in fear if backed into a corner.

Some referred to this as the flight and flight mechanism of our makeup – whatever it may be that we call fear, it is meant to protect us from that which may harm us – fear is meant to create alarm – it is meant to be a recognition mechanism to indicate action must be taken, and for the believer that action is turning to God in faith, and trust that He can overcome all that brings us fear in life.

Fear is not our enemy; it can be our best friend; if it drives us to the foot of the cross in faith trusting that God for our salvation.

fears

Yet at the same time we should never let fear control us and be our master –
fear is meant to motivate us, not to master us.

Faith
Hebrews 11:1 is not a definition of the word faith, but it it is a description of what faith is and looks like when it states,

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hope
If you must hope for something, it is because you don’t have it, you NEED it – this is a necessity.

If you have hope for something, it means that you lack it or NEED it; hence faith is what enables us to utilize hope in achieving what we desire, what we need.

It is impossible to separate necessity and need (For Biblical examples please see Endnote #1) from faith, hence the problem that many scholars have in attributing the necessity of faith to the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

The Core of the Confusion
I believe the core confusion concerning the incarnation of Christ in regards to Him experiencing need and necessity wherein He lived as the ultimate example of faith, and the fact that this need or necessity does not make Him weak, it simply makes Him human.

It is the results of Christ this putting-off His divine attributes while maintaining His divine essence – it is the confusion regarding the difference between the essence and the attributes of God that creates our problems with this issue (See Endnote #2 for a limited introduction which is mandatory in understanding the difference between “Essence and Attributes;” ~ Please read this Endnote before you Continue).

I believe the above referred to scholars and teachers that refuse to accept the concept that Christ live by faith do so due to our limited capacity as humans to conceive of the makeup of God, something far beyond our capabilities to begin with; yet if we use models / metaphors in the form of words, sometimes we can begin to grasp that which is beyond our contemplation, hence the following words may present a model that we can understand when handling this delicate issue.

Essence and Attributes
The word essence identifies those inward qualities unseen to the human eye which make up the core of a substance or person – It is that which is NOT readily knowable about the substance or person.

The word attribute identifies those outward behaviors and actions which can be seen by the human eye which make up what can be known about the substance or person in regards to those responds and acts which communicates Certain aspects in understanding the person or substance – It is that which is easily observable to identify the person or substance.

In order to simplify addressing this very complexed subject, it seems best to refer to the definition of the English words as opposed to the Greek since we are attempting to establish patterns of thinking regarding our everyday definition of words.

Dictionary References

Essence
From Medieval Latin essentia, from Latin: “the being…” (of something), from esse to be.”

1. The characteristic or intrinsic feature of a thing, which determines its identity; fundamental nature.
2. The most distinctive element of a thing.
3. A perfect or complete form of something, esp a person who typifies an abstract quality.
4. In Philosophy

a. The unchanging and unchangeable nature of something which is necessary to its being the thing it is; its necessary properties compare.
b. The properties in virtue of which something is called by its name.
c. The nature of something as distinct from, and logically prior to, its existence.

5. In Christian Religious Writings / Theology:  Theol an immaterial or spiritual entity. (Collins Essential English Dictionary)

Essence
The permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being. The individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence. The most significant element, quality, or aspect of a thing or person.
 (Merriam-Webster)

Essence
The basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features. A substance obtained from a plant, drug, or the like, by distillation, infusion, etc., and containing its characteristic properties in concentrated form. Philosophy. The inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc. Essentially; at bottom, often despite appearances. Absolutely essential; critical; crucial. (Random House Dictionary)

Attributes
To regard as resulting from a specified cause; consider as caused by something indicated. To consider as a quality or characteristic of the person, thing, group, etc. To consider as made by the one indicated, esp. with strong evidence but in the absence of conclusive proof. To regard as produced by or originating in the time, period, place, etc. (Random House Dictionary)

Attributes
To relate to a particular cause or source; ascribe: attributed their failure to a lack of preparation. To regard as the work of a specified agent, place, or time. A quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something. An object associated with and serving to identify a character, personage, or office. Grammar, a word or phrase syntactically subordinate to another word or phrase that it modifies. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

Jesus ~ His Divine Attributes
As referred to above, Jesus temporarily laid aside His divine attribute of being Omnipresent
(Latin: “Existing Everywhere All at Once, Non-locality” ~ which became mandatory whenever He dwelt in the human body ~ in concerning John 1:48, when Jesus told Nathanael that He had saw him when he was under the fig tree, the word first “saw” in the Greek refers to having “known,” or “sensed,” or “perceived,” all of which would be capabilities given by the Holy Spirit), as well as Him being Omniscient (Latin: “All Knowing” – Mark 13:32, speaks about Jesus’ limited knowledge during the incarnation), and Omnipotent (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible”) in order to fully become a man – to take the body of a man – a temporary tent (Please see #3, how the Feasts of Israel, concerning the “Feast of Booths”, sukkot in the Hebrew; is a prophecy concerning Jesus tabernacle / tenting [“dwelt” ~ John 1:14] Among men relates to Jesus), with limitations, to be rolled up, which we call death.

Jesus became all man, not part man, not the appearance only, otherwise He would be a fraud, a fake; Jesus was neither.

The reason Jesus became all man is most notably seen in the Biblical object lesson of the Kinsman-Redeemer, which God had established in order that we can understand this necessity that Christ would have to become a man in order to redeem mankind .

The Kinsman-Redeemer
A role that God established in the Old Testament, the Kinsman-Redeemer, is a living object lesson (Please see the post entitled: “Kinsman Redeemer ~ Part 1 – A Brief Introduction” ~ LINK ~ which makes the point of why Jesus had to become a man in order to atone for man’s sins), prophetic model Which explains why the Messiah – Jesus had to become NOT part-man, but all-man; and would have to lay down His attribute being Omnipotent (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible.”), in order to become a real man; with the man’s needs and frailties.

Therefore, it does not change Jesus’ essence as God to temporarily pour Himself out of His divine attributes, and in so doing making Himself vulnerable, necessitating faith in God the Father, concerning fulfilling their plans (All three persons of the Trinity were involved in the plan of salvation before the foundations of the earth) for humanity, which was designed before the foundation of the earth (As seen in: Psalms 2:1-12 ~ Acts 4:25-27;  1 Corth. 2:7-8; Eph. 1:4; Peter 1:19-20; Mark 13:35; Hebrews 1:4; 4:3; 9:26; Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:4).

The Traditions of Men
It is commonly taught that Jesus had some magical power in which He could touch a rock and have it turn to bread
(Even though the Bible is completely void of any miracles by Jesus prior to the anointing of the Holy Spirit – which is why He was not tempted until after He was anointed by the Holy Spirit ~ Luke 4:1 – from that point on having the power of the Holy Spirit available to Him), and that He took the appearance of a man’s body, yet maintained His God-like abilities, with the ability to change a rock into bread, which is exactly what Satan tempted Him to do.

Yet notice of the three types of temptation that Satan utilize, the only time he refers to Scripture – in regard to the power of Christ, does not refer to the divine power / attribute of Jesus, but regarding the charge of the Angels to take care of Jesus, as found in Psalm 91:11-12.  Wherein if Christ had this type of divine power to take care of Himself, why would the Angels be necessary.  

Another clue that the power that Jesus was afforded was from the Holy Spirit whom He would beckon to fulfill God’s Will, not as a display of His own power.  

This also presents the question, if there was an intrinsic divine power within the body of Christ, how could you kill him?

Satan’s temptation, where he states: “And the devil said unto him, if thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.” ~ Luke 4:3; gives no suggestion on how Satan thought that Jesus would accomplish this miracle, rather it would be because of Jesus having the direct ability to do miracle on His own, displaying the attribute of Omnipotence, or that the Holy Spirit would do the miracle in response to Jesus request.

Every miracle that Jesus did can be understood as being performed by the Holy Spirit, in the same that others have done miracles without being divine themselves, wherein the Holy Spirit has granted them the ability to do such un-human miracles, such as with: Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Elisha, Peter, and Paul.

They did miracles, or more correctly stated, the Holy Spirit did the miracle – and this would explain Jesus ability to do miracles, and we need to remember that Jesus did not have the Holy Spirit in limitation as these other men did.

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Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Jesus had the Holy Spirit in complete fullness, as stated in Luke 4:1, which states:

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness

For those that have such a narrow view concerning Christ setting aside His Divine attributes of: Omnipotence (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible”); Omniscience (Latin: “All Knowing”); and Omnipresence (Latin: “Existing Everywhere All at Once, Non-locality”), why was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized in the Holy Spirit, and also concerning the above passage regarding blasphemy of the Holy Spirit – this is proof that He did not do these miracles in His own power, but it was the Holy Spirit that did them based upon His exercise by petitioning the Holy Spirit the same as we do today.

The difference between us petitioning God and the Holy Spirit and Jesus, is due to Jesus sinlessness.

He never asked anything except for what was God’s perfect will that glorify the Father only, He was not contaminated by sin as we are, where would “ask amiss” as James calls it.

James shows us why we don’t get our prayers concerning the influence and power of the Holy Spirit, and why Jesus did when he states in James 4:3,

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

It is the Holy Spirit and His power that enables us as, well as Christ to do miracles; the anointing power of the Holy Spirit which Jesus was anointed with when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, in the same way that it would later descend in a limited manner upon those that would make up His church at Pentecost, would explain Satan’s statements.

Jesus later stated that unless He left, the Holy Spirit could not indwell within the believer’s (Ephesians 1:3). John 16:7, states:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Jesus Full of the Holy Spirit without Limit
Is it because Jesus had the complete fullness of the Holy Spirit indwelling Him, that Jesus would have to leave in order to “send him unto you,” so that believers could be filled with the Holy Spirit as stated in Acts 2:4.

Based upon the Greek Textus Receptus text and it’s Grammar as seen in Luke 4:1, Jesus being “full of the Holy Ghost,” is different than the believers at Pentecost being “filled with the Holy Spirit.”  

The adjective “full (Greek: pleres) means to be replete, covered over, by analogy: “complete,” “full,” (Strong’s Greek Dictionary) “perfectly complete (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, by Zodihiates) it is completely filled and running overwithout limitation – it has to do with volume, and whereas this word is used three other times in the New Testament in connection with the Holy Ghost (“Ghost” is another term for Spirit).  

Once regarding the calling of the seven deacons, and twice concerning Stephen.  

They did not have the volume of Jesus due to the sinful nature, as compared with Jesus’ sinless life and Divine essence.  

What other man had the Holy Ghost of God rest upon him as Jesus did of whom was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah which stated:

And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” ~ Isaiah 11:2; or Isaiah 61:1-2a, which states:

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and……”

Regarding being baptized in the Holy Ghost, this term is only used on two occasions though recorded other times in the New Testament.  

Once by John the Baptist referring to Jesus baptizing the followers and the Holy Ghost and with fire, and the other time with Jesus Himself referring to him baptizing them after his resurrection (Luke 3:16, Acts 1:5; with all other passages referring to these two occasions).  

There are other phrases referring to the Holy Spirit as “falling upon,” “poured out upon,” however the term that is used most frequently concerning the Holy Spirit is being “filled” with the Holy Spirit.

The word “filled(Greek: pletho) is a verb, an action completely different and has to do with completely filling, it has to do with accomplishing in time that which was prophesied; NOT a complete filling as expressed in volume.

This is further seen in the following statement, the second part of Acts 2:4, which states: “as the Spirit gave them utterance,” signifying the limitation that the receiver had wherein the Spirit was still in control.  

Whereas, regarding the baptism of Jesus Christ, the word “full” is an adjective, remembering that an adjective is a modifier of a noun to denote a quality of the thing named, to indicate its quantity or extent, or to specify a thing as distinct from something else.  

This is not seen concerning the fullness wherein Jesus was baptized in the Holy Spirit.  

We must remember that Jesus only asked and did those things which centered on fulfilling the Will of God the Father and not His own Will – therefore anything and everything that He would ask would immediately be accomplished by the Holy Spirit as the fulfillment of God’s Will.  

Humans, due to their fallen nature are incapable of this; and therefore the Holy Spirit must filter and control the power that God would seek to allow believers – this was not so with Jesus, His use of the Holy Spirit would be only according to God’s Will, and without restraint as such.

Yet, Jesus had the spirit without measure which was the medium of the miracles that He performed as found in the Scripture themselves in John 3:34, which states:

“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.”

What more do we need to hear concerning the power without restraint in the form of the Holy Spirit that rested upon Jesus during the time of his earthly ministry.  

As such this should defeat the idea that he had a mystical power all his own where he had no need or necessity.  

Jesus lived a human life with limits and was fully depended upon the Holy Spirit’s power to provide those signs and wonders improving His identity, and He was completely dependent upon God concerning His life.

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
Yet another example that Christ did not have some power within Himself, the attributes displaying power regard blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Mark 3:28-29 states:

Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation

This passage in itself indicates who did the miracle – the Holy Spirit.  The miracle was not innate to Jesus as a man, it was done by the Holy Spirit or else’s whole episode would be a fallacy.

And notice the distinction between blasphemy against Jesus and blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, why wasn’t it blasphemous to slander Jesus (Blasphemy means to openly slander someone else, and slander is to lie with full intention of doing so.), why is there a difference between intentionally lying about one and not the other?

Is it because it is understandable that great suspicion shall be placed upon any human that claims to be divine wherein for the person who is totally unaware or unconvinced that the man Jesus was divine could be accepted of God and therefore forgiven, wherein even if a miracle seems to be connected to the person does not indicate the person is divine as Jesus had claimed.

Yet to say the source of the miracle was evil, when we know that only good comes from God therefore equating a good miracle with the Holy Spirit is complete open rebellion against God knowing that it is only God that could of done the miracle – it is a sand that is only capable of being committed with complete knowledge that you are speaking against the God of the universe, that you are openly lying in front of others which is slander, and you are doing it for a self-serving sinful reason – all of this is what the Pharisees committed who Christ condemned for this unpardonable sin.

To reiterate this whole passage plainly states that the miracle power was of the Holy Spirit, wherein Christ exercised faith stating that a person was healed knowing it was predestinated before the foundation of the earth that this person would  be healed and Jesus simply spoke the words.

Why is it important to understand that Jesus was the greatest example of faith.
The reason an understanding that Christ exercised the greatest faith known to man is quite simple, it has to do with emphasis.

You see if we emphasize the sinlessness of Jesus as the perfect man, this is well and good and is necessary concerning understanding Him as the perfect sacrifice from God – God’s Son who took our place at Calvary.

And while It is important to NOT submit to sin in our life, how many churches fully emphasize and focus on fighting sin in the flesh, wherein if we follow our greatest example Jesus, and therein attempt to follow His example of sinessness, which was his natural essence as divine, we will always fall short.

However, it was His example of faith that needs to be our emphasis, that which we can follow and achieve in order to please God.

focus

One thing that needs to be understood concerning the word emphasis which parallels with the word focus, is that both of these exemplifies by their very nature a singularity, meaning that you cannot emphasize two things at once, or focus on two things at once.

By the very definition of the words you will focus more on one thing than the other, or within your life you will emphasize one thing over another, no matter how much you attempt to emphasize both.

Hence the biblical doctrine of the preeminence of Jesus Christ, you cannot hold Christ as preeminent within the Bible, while focusing as preeminent the law.

Sin vs. Faith
Regarding our emphasis; or for the simplicity of our vernacular; our focus, we need to remember that we will never be as sinless as Christ, and lying to ourselves that we can do so is one of the worst sins of all.

Yet, we can appropriate faith on a daily basis, and exercise such faith as our Master would be pleased – as addressed above, mark this word pleased.

Not even our lack of sinlessness, which is impossible in the first place, and if we declare we obtain, this is not only impossible, but more importantly it is hypocritical and evil in the second place; our attempt at sinlessness will not please Godonly our faith will please God.

And regarding sin, the Pharisees should be a good example to us of what happens when a person becomes focused (Or “preoccupied,” which another good word concerning this subject; meaning: “being occupied with.., before even starting”) on washing the outside of the cup at the expense of forsaking the inside of the cup  – in this place pleasing God by daily acts of faith in trusting Him (Please see footnote #3b concerning further insights regarding faith vs. sin, and Important issues Regarding Faith as Well).

This is where our focus needs to be, on faith.

The believer should focus their life regarding daily acts of faith in trusting God in order to please Him as a Scripture says.

Focus ~ The Enemy of the Best Is Not the Worst
One problem with focusing on sin as opposed to focusing on faith can be understood regarding “the enemy of the best.”

The enemy of the best is not the worst.

The enemy of the best is the second-best when it takes attention from the best and places the intention upon itself.  

This is the error of so many churches that have so many programs that are people centered and they don’t realize that they take from the preeminence that is due Christ by focusing on people rather than Him.

And concerning this subject matter, any doctrine that is emphasized greater than that of faith stands the chance of unseating faith as a prime point of focus in our daily walk, and in the process forsake the opportunity of pleasing God on a daily basis.

Hebrews, the Book Written to the Hebrews, Concerning the Subject that they Thought they were masters Of – Faith
Look at the 11th chapter of Hebrews.

This is the only place in the Bible were man is given accolades – only regarding one subject, faith.

The individuals that are noted In the 11th chapter of Hebrews committed some of the worst sins, yet are honored because of their faith.

What is amazing is you will hear nothing about their sins, and only about their faith.

Do you realize this is how God sees you and I, because he sees us through the glasses of Christ’s atoning work on the cross; and the only positive behaviors that stand out are those acts of faith where we display a complete trust in him, this is what the book of Hebrews is about.

This is where the concept that God remembers our sins NO more is validated in a real way (A living example of Psalms 103:12).

Yet, what is most interesting is the conclusion concerning these individuals of faith as is stated in Hebrews 11:33-40, which states:

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promiseGod having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”

What you see here is individuals exercising faith, obtaining a good report because of their faith; yet NOT receiving deliverance while on earth.

What do the “name it and claim it” preachers have to say about this text, what the text is saying is very obvious, faith does not guarantee that you will receive deliverance on this side of deaths door, while you live in this tent of flesh.

However, exercising faith will give you a “good report” on the other side of that door – and isn’t that what’s most important.

This becomes very hard for many Christians to receive, the idea that there is not immediate gratification, we have become spoiled and used to getting it now, and getting fast.

Yet this is not God’s way, we are the ones that need to change our frame of reference and our expectation, not God.

We need to be heavenly minded, not earthly committed.

It is eternity that we need to focus on, it is not today but it is the blessed hope of tomorrow; the resurrection body that we shall receive living in eternity with God based not upon equality without merit or penalty, but understanding that what we do today affects tomorrow.

How many of the parables does Jesus give us that explains that you are building up a treasure in heaven while you are on earth, that everybody doesn’t get the same reward in heaven, which would lack justice and righteousness; that what you get in heaven is based upon what you did on earth, and the qualification that determines this is reward is faith.

Biblical Faith
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 metaphorsimilesmodels; along with prophetic symbols as seen in even the use of numberscolorseventsmaterial and substancesdatesmathematicsnamesroles, 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 During Tribulation
When it comes to faith many believers handle the subject superficially thinking it’s about petition only – about asking for things or changes in situations, never fully understanding that many times faith is about accepting tribulation in our lives (James 1:2-4) Will- it’s about trusting God, no matter how bad things get.

And yes to a lesser degree it is SOMETIMES about petition – but most importantly it’s about trusting God and His Will being done for us – IT IS AlL ABOUT HIS WILL (“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 6:10).

It’s about walking “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalms 23:4), not being consumed with Him taking us out of it; realizing it is much more precious to us (It is gold ~ 1 Peter 1:7) that He is with us in that valley, and that He is trustworthy in that valley.

Because everyone will come upon that valley, a time of tribulation, this is where so many Christians that have expected God to answer prayers based upon their own desires and thoughts, lose their witness, as well as their display of trusting God in faith – How do we respond when the answer to our prayer is NO – and it hurts!

Tribulation is a Gift
And instead of growing stronger in faith as it is stretched from situation to situation, they become milquetoast – they find themselves always questioning deep inside why God would allow this terrible thing to happen to them, never coming to the understanding that the thing that to them is the greatest burden, is the greatest gift – an opportunity to grow in faith as is stated by Peter in 1 Peter 1:7, which states:

“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”

Arm Muscles

Faith is a Muscle
Faith only grows when it is stretched by “trials” which is a synonym for tribulations (Which is also a synonym for: problems, hard times, difficultiescalamities, trials, and testing; they’re all synonymous concerning the “trying of our faith” ~ See Endnote # 3c concerning these terms).

Faith can only grow incrementally, as more and more is demanded of it. 

This is because trust is a process contingent upon experience, as someone (Or in the case of God, in His Word, the Bible – Romans 10:17) proves they are trustworthy situation after situation, we trust them more and more. 

In this way faith is analogous to a muscle which must be torn before growth can occur.

Therefore, we must always realize and therefore understand that testing is not done as a process whereby God attempts to validate the existence of our faith, or its degree, which might appear cruel on the surface; but that these trials are necessary for faith to grow, and that without these trials, it is impossible for faith to mature ~ James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 4:12.

Many Americans misunderstand this word for “trial“, Which in the Greek is dokimion, which is not a trial in the sense of God is a Judge who puts us on trial and causes terrible things to happen just to validate if we have sin, this is NOT the word at the least.

It is a trial which does not include if something is valid or not, it is a trial that proves that it is valid.   In fact a better English translation of the word is “prove,” as in the “the proving of your faith, being much more precious than gold.”  

You may ask what is the difference?

It is a process to display the reality that something exist, that truly does faith exist.  

It is a process of proof, not a process of distinction.  

It is a process to display legitimacy, not to determine legitimacy

The difference is that God is not doing terrible things to us to see if we really have faith, He is using terrible things so that our faith will grow and will, proving what He already knows in His foreknowledge, that His children are His own because they are children of faith that trust in their Father.  

And that they mature in faith as they go through terrible situations holding onto God and His promises, even if they don’t see the answers to their prayers as they ask.  

Even if they do not get what they petition for, and it appears that God has fallen through.  

It is as said before, it is with an eye on eternity that the child of God exercises faith knowing that as they hold onto God and perhaps dies in the process, it is God that will resurrect them to newness of life with a body everlasting to live in God’s presence in joy and happiness – this is what biblical faith is all about.

Faith and Our Last Breathlast breath
Biblical kind of faith should take us to the place of trusting God with everything we have as seen in the life of Job, and as stated in Job 13:15,

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”

It is this attitude, the attitude that God can even take my last breath, and I will still place my trust in Him; knowing that if He allows me to die I will walk through a doorway called death and on the other side receive reward of the end of my faith for having believed Him, and displayed a willingness to trust Him, when He is taken the last thing I have – my life – this is the type of faith that Jesus displayed.

Faith is a Relationship
What we must understand about faith is that in reality that is built within mankind.

Faith it is an aspect of our character because it is an aspect of God’s own character wherein faith is the most important ingredient to any relationship.

While working within the prison system, dealing with habitual criminals in gangs, what you think the greatest value for a gang member was – trustworthiness – faith.

If you are a police officer what is a most important ingredient from your partner – trustworthiness – faith.  

If you are in business with another man who is your partner, what is a most important ingredient to that relationship – trustworthiness – faith.

If you are married what is the most important ingredient in your spouse – trustworthiness – faith.  

Within any environment concerning human relationship the most important ingredient is faith – faith to trust that the other person has your back.

The World’s Answer
Psychologist said many years ago that the most important ingredient within marriage were finances.

However, all you must do to disprove this is examine the closeness of relationships of those that went through the Great Depression, wherein finances were at the worse that has ever been known in this country.  

For these relationships that went through this great trial wherein those individuals years later when one spouse dies, within six months to a year the other dies also, proving that finances are not the most important aspect of a marriage.

Psychologist later stated that the most important ingredient to a marital relationship was friendship.

Yet in some of the closest relationships I’ve ever observed, I was told that there were more than a few occasions where the couple did not feel intimate love, nor even liked each other, yet if they stayed together the ties became unbreakable.

Then recently psychologist stated that the most important ingredient to a marital relationship was communication.  And while I agree that this is very important over a long-term period, if a couple stays together, this too can be overcome.

The glue that holds this type of relationship together is the commitment to each other.

This is why so many Pre-arranged marriages develop such strong relationships, and this is why God hates divorce, because it is so unnecessary, while being so disastrous to kids in society at large.

Divorce, unless it is for infidelity is a selfish choice.

I can honestly say that I have seen a few individuals out at of Hundreds that divorce for a righteous reason.

However, while doing pastoral counseling regarding problems within marital relationships The issue that is the hardest to ever get over within a marital relationship is infidelity.

The most intimate act between two people is a part of marriage.  And when this form of intimacy is violated it is the most devastating violation of trust and faith, and has the least opportunity for healing.  Though with Christ all things are possible.

Yet, in consideration of all this, what greater proof that faith is the foundation of every relationship that we will ever have, wherein when this most intimate of relationships encounters infidelity (This word is a Latin form of the word faith, wherein faith is broken), such harm is done that most relationships never make it

Why do you think that God the Father displays such anger and broken hardness when Israel stops exercising faith in Him, and the allegorical language He uses, He describes it as a woman committing adultery against her husband.

He feels so strongly that he even had a prophet (Hosea) marry a whore to live out in his life In order to communicate what God was feeling concerning Israel.

All of this is been presented so that you might understand some of the aspects of faith wherein it is the only ingredient that will ever please God, it is the only ingredient that gives access to God’s grace wherein salvation, and is The most important ingredient and foundation of every relationship we will ever have.  

This is how we share part of the imageness of our Father, we are beings that live by faith in everything we do, and in every relationship we have.

philippians_title

A Key Passage ~ Philippians 2: 5-8
We are told that Jesus emptied himself (Which is more than simple humility), as Philippians 2:5-8, states:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Starting in the middle of the passage, concerning the Greek language, we first find the expression: “and was made (Greek: ginomai [G1096], which means: “to become,” “or “to be made…”) in the likeness (Greek: homoioma [G3667], meaning: “a figure,” “image,” “likeness,” “representation,” i.e. resemblance amounts to a “quality” or “identity” ~ again this addresses the human attributes of Jesus, not His essence, that of being God) of men (Greek: anthropos [G444], which means: “a human being, either male or female; plural in number since it expresses the idea of humanity,” “with the added notion of weakness” ~ emphasizing the fact that Christ had human limitations, which directly opposes Him maintaining His divine attribute of Omnipotence.  It is interesting that the Holy Spirit uses the term “men” as opposed to “man“, stating that Jesus “was made in the likeness of men,” which focuses in on Jesus being made like all of humanity, all of mankind, rather than in the image of a single human being, such as Adam. It is evident that the Holy Spirit wishes to corner us concerning the conclusion that Jesus became a 100% man, yet at the same time, in His essence was fully Divine; what a mystery that is beyond human comprehension!): And being found in fashion (Greek: schema [G4976], we find this individual word specifically means: “figure, mien, deportment” and here it is the same as “state” or “condition.”  Thayer says concerning this phrase: The habitus, as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses, the figure, bearing, discourse, actions, and manner of life etc.” ~ [See Endnote #4 regarding schema].  The sense is, that He choice to be reduced to the condition of being human, and thus to being killable – the state of being a human being, which mandated he could be killed.  These were Jesus’ attributes – and proves the fact that He did not have Omnipotent power. , as a man”, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (There is no greater proof that Jesus Christ became a man than the fact that His body had life taken from it by His death on the cross in the normal human sense that His body stopped to function on the physical plane for which it was created to dwell in.  Yet, in the same way that human beings do not stop existing once there body dies, even more so concerning Jesus in that His essence was divine and was unhampered by it’s extraction from the body.  It was at this point that Jesus Christ was given a resurrected body [Regarding the resurrection body see Endnote #5], the same type of body that we will receive [Romans 6:5], and that Jesus Christ now has as He sits with God in the Father’s throne, waiting for His throne – remembering what Gabriel said to Mary: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” ~ Luke 1:32-33.  What should be the most shocking aspect of this to you and I, is that it appears that Jesus now has a resurrected body as He is in heaven, He was not just changed temporarily, but for eternity?  He is still in a man’s body – a resurrected man’s body – Please see Endnote #6).

To reiterate, there is no greater proof that Jesus Christ became a real man than the fact that His body had life taken from it by His death on the cross – as a real man Jesus surrendered His attribute of Omnipotence, otherwise He would have been fraudulent in not being a real man, subject to the limitations of the real man – He would’ve been a faker! (To be further addressed below)

The Scripture says that “God is not a man, that he should lie,” (See Endnote #7 yet those that would espouse that Jesus maintained His divine attribute of Omnipotence (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible.”), naïvely accuse God of breaking His Word, because here in Philippians 2:8, it unequivocally states concerning Jesus: “being found in the fashion as a man,” became as a man in every sense of the word, yet a sinless man.

“The Form of a Servant”
Now, going back to Philippians 2:5-8, when it says that Jesus “took upon him the form
(Greek: mophe, it means: “the form by which the person or thing strikes the vision” or “external appearance” ~ this term refers to a being’s attributes, not their outward attributes, such as power) of a servant,” what does that mean?

A King is a King, and a servant is a servant; and a servant never exercises the powers of a King.

Man, Sinless?
And for those that would say that Jesus being sinless would NOT make Him fully man – because man is sinful, ignore the fact that Adam was fully man and when he was created, he was created sinless prior to his fall.

So Jesus could be fully man, and yet sinless at the same time, and exactly fulfill His mission.

The point is, Jesus could be fully man and sinless at the same time (While also fully God).

prince-and-the-pauper

The Prince and the Pauper
In an effort to attempt to understand how Jesus was divine, yet also human; fully both, not partial in either, a good analogy might be the story of “The Prince and the Pauper” (Mark Twain’s fictional story concerning Edward VI, 1881).

This is the story about a Prince that desired to understand what it was like to be one of the King’s subjects, and therefore found a pauper (A person that was destitute, extremely poor) that looked like himself, and traded places to gain this knowledge, experientially.

When the Prince physically traded places with the pauper, he no longer had the power of a Prince; though he was indeed truly the Prince.

His essence (See Endnote #2, if you have not already) the reality of who he really was did not change while the pretense was taking place; yet the attributes of being the Prince, his power and authority were not present.

If the Prince, who was dressed as a pauper walked up to a soldier and gave an order, at the least the soldier would laugh, if not punish the pauper that stood before him.

The Prince is still fully the Prince; however, he has laid aside temporarily the attributes of his power and authority.

Every analogy breaks down at some point, this is what makes it analogy (Analogy means: “to lay next to“; as if to lay something next to something else, in order to give clarity to the meaning of the first thing, by way of example or familiarity of that which was laid down next to the original); however, in a crude way this story simplifies the reality of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Jesus fully became a man – a real man, in order to take man’s place on the cross and died for his sins.

To suggest that Jesus was simply faking His humanity is an insult and an accusation against His perfection and sinlessness as deity.

Theatre-Masks-Happy-And-Sad-Laugh-And-Cry

Jesus ~ The Actor?
Do we really want to go there, to make Jesus Christ into an actor?

The reality is acting is lying – it is deception.

The English word hypocrite (Greek: hupokrisis) is based upon one of its derivatives combined with the Greek word “to cover,” and “one who answers“; meaning a person who is hiding while judging from behind a mask, covering who he truly is, this word was originally used in regards concerning actors (Please see Endnote #9 concerning the full meaning of the word: “Hypocrisy“).

The Greek plays, which were symbolized by two masks, one laughing and the other crying (This icon has been used ever since movies originated), goes back to this idea.

Hypocrites are not only those that say one thing, and do another, they are individuals that hide behind a mask and judge and mock those in front of them, the idea of condescension is prevalent to this word.

Acting is lying, Being Deceitful Even if the Audience is in on It
This is what the actors had the ability to do because of the cover of the mask while they were wearing them (These masks were not worn on the face, but held in front of the face, and were attached to a stick that the actor held up in front of Him) on stage.

SIDE NOTE: Have you ever noticed that in our current culture, in regards to the media of acting, how that many times actor’s that holds very liberal ideologies many times play roles of conservative people.

This has been done for thousands of years. If you wish to make a point, what better way than to act as if you were an adversary, and then display their weaknesses concerning the issues, if not the fallacies within their intentions or a lack of morality. What is also amazing is that these actors are very good actors.

The star of the Jason Bourne series, “Bourne Trilogy” [The series: “The Bourne Identity,” “The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Bourne Ultimatum], Matt Damon plays an excellent spy that is a patriot and would be considered truly a conservative character. However, in reality Matt Damon is extremely liberal and progressive to the extent that he is an anathema to any conservative.  However, we also see that the character, “Jason Bourne,” is a victim of the Government, who has been used and abused him for their own evil plans – again, play your adversary and display their bad side.  Matt is a very good actor, but what we’re really saying is he’s an excellent liar.

An actor is pretending, nothing more, He is lying to us as willing participants referred to as an audience. Yet, we become convinced that the personalities that they play are a reflection of themselves, and therefore love the personages they play. One other amazing little tidbit is the fact that the mental health and lifestyle of most actors is more predominantly unhealthy and destructive than the population at large, according to a few studies.  The evidence is overwhelming that an individual that is a professional actor – who pretends all the time – who habitually lies to others, and must be obsessed about the appearance of creating a character; even if the audience is aware and participates in the subterfuge, may be sacrificing aspects of their mental health in the process.  

You cannot habitually be deceitful. even if it is commonly known and accepted by the audience, without negative repercussions.  Did you ever see Jesus do a skit, in fact did you ever see skits or plays used by the Israelites based upon God’s instructions.  It is amazing that plays and skits are held as innocent because they are a medium of exchange, they are the medium and not the message; but does that necessarily mean there harmless.  Maybe we need to look at this issue, maybe we need to be willing to consider if this is what we should be doing in our churches?  

If we say that Jesus was simply acting human (Then was He also mocking us, acting like He was vulnerable, like He trusted God when all along He had power to do whatever He wanted), when He had divine power beyond human attributes, if so, then He would be a faker?

Faking Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit
Do we really want to say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was NOT necessary for His ministry and the miracles that preceded; that the baptism was a charade, a farce, and unnecessary?

If during His earthly incarnate existence, Jesus maintained the attribute of Omnipotence, and acted like He experienced vulnerabilities (Matthew 4:2,11; John 4:6-7; 2 Cor. 13:4; Phil. 2:7-8; John 1:14; Gal. 4:4; Romans 8:3), then He was a deceiver and a manipulator and a hypocrite in that He would demand of others what He did not give Himself – faith (See Endnote #10 regarding Jesus demanding that others exercise faith when He didn’t have to follow this demand Himself).

This would not be the Jesus of the Bible!  Remember, “Faith necessitates need.”

Jesus ~ Our Ultimate Example
So, if this is such a fundamental doctrine that has been overlooked, downplayed or misunderstood for centuries, what are the key texts.

Perhaps the best place in dealing with faith is to consider again the 11th chapter of Hebrews, referred to as the “Hall of Faith” of the Old Testament believers.

Because of the break in the chapters sometimes we miss a key aspect when read the last part of chapter 11th and the first part of chapter 12 of Hebrews; that while looking back we consider those “faith warriors,” this passage ends with the greatest faith warrior of all, that of Jesus Christ.

But first we need to consider one of the types (A biblical metaphor or model that teaches a spiritual principle, such as Christ being “the Lamb of God,” which displays What Jesus would become as a sacrifice for man’s sin) that God established in the Old Testament, particularly the Torah referred to as the kinsman Redeemer as seen most prominently in the book of Ruth.

Jesus ~ Our Kinsman-Redeemer
God established the role of the Kinsman-Redeemer (Which has two components), in order to set a symbol or typology concerning Jesus Christ and His two missions on Earth, in order that He would be recognizable in either mission (Commonly referred to as Jesus’ 1st & 2nd Coming).

Christ’s first role seen in His first coming was as the (Hebrew)Goel,” a family redeemer (Deuteronomy 20 5:5-10; Ruth 3:9-12; Genesis 38:8); with His second role being seen in His second coming as the “Avenger of Blood,” who carried out family Justice (Numbers 35:12; Deuteronomy 19:6, 12; Joshua 20:3, 5, 9.  Again, please see the post entitled: “Kinsman Redeemer ~ Part 1 – A Brief Introduction” ~ LINK ~ which makes the point of why Jesus had to become a man in order to atone for man’s sins.)

The Messiah would be identifiable as the (Hebrew)Goel (“The Redeemer” ~ Isaiah 41:14; 48:17; 54:8; Luke 1:68; 24:21; Galatians 3:13; 4:5; Titus 2:14)“the lamb slain before [“from”] the foundations of the world (John 1:29; Revelation 13:8) for the sin of humanity (1 John 2:2), as seen in His 1st coming.

And then in Christ’s 2nd coming, He comes as the “Faithful & True Judge (Psalms 98:9; 110:6; Revelation 19:11) dispensing vengeance (“The Avenger of Blood” ~ Deuteronomy 19:6, 12; Joshua 20:3, 5, 9) upon unbelieving world and to rid the earth of the “Earth dwellers,” #11, to take possession of that which He paid for with His own blood (Romans 8:21-22; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1), and to judge His enemies (Acts 10:42; Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1); all of which is seen at His 2nd Coming (Further information can be found in the “HOLMAN BIBLE DICTIONARY,” page 848, please see Endnotes #12).

Hebrews

A Key Passage ~ Hebrews 12:2-3
We are told that Jesus is our example having gone before us as recorded in Hebrews 12:2-3, which states:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our [“our” is not in the Greek text, which is why the King James always has “our” in italics. It was added by the assumption of the translators, because they couldn’t believe that Jesus had to actually exercise faith Himself – they believed and it has been taught since then that to teach that needed and acted in faith would be against His deity – which it not] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

This passage states indisputably that we are to look unto Jesus as our example, as Jesus is the author and finisher of faith, not OUR faith, but of faith!

This is the context that is set-up according to the prior verse, verse 1.

Verse 1 is also the conclusion concerning the prior chapter which is referred to by many as the “halls of the heroes of faith” – what better example of faith to climax with than Jesus; although those humans that displayed faith throughout God’s Word, as noted in the prior chapter, were so noted because of faith; if this is a conclusion of those, then the subject matter must also be faith, which climaxes with the greatest person to exercise faith, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As we know, the chapter divisions were introduced to the Bible in the 12th century, with the verse divisions added in the 15th century – neither divisions were inspired by God which explains why many times in the Bible, the chapter division is in the wrong place, either late in the next chapter or before by one or two verses, which can be easily seen because the context either stops prematurely, or continues on into the next chapter, such as this case – the reason we know this is because of the conclusionary word: “Wherefore.

This is the case here concerning the division between the 11th and 12th chapter of Hebrews.

The flow is such that at the conclusion of the 11th chapter, wherein the subject matter is examples of faith continues into Hebrews 12:1 & 2; which states:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We notice that this passage starts with the word: “wherefore“, which indicates that it is the conclusion concerning all that was set before, in chapter 11; with a summary statement that “... we are compressed about with so great a cloud [group of] of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us….. Looking unto Jesus….

You see the flow is very easy to follow.

The subject matter for the last few chapters has been faith, with the last chapter laying out of chronological listing of individuals that displayed faith that was very pleasing to God, with the 1st verse of chapter 12 listing a conclusion which goes on to list the greatest exerciser of faith – Jesus.

We seeing back and witness these men’s examples, yet we look forward in following Christ’s example of faith. Jesus is our FOCUS, not men. 

And when we examine The first part of verse 2 of chapter 12:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of faith…”

Having the translators insert of “our” taken out (Translators do this when they think a word is implied, and at the beginning of the 16th century it was considered heresy to teach that Jesus did not have all power on the earth and subsequently exercised faith, which explains why the translators because of their own precepts assume that this must be talking about the believers faith and not Christ’s, assuming that the word “our” must have been left out, they inserted it on their own), we easily recognize from the grammar that it is not speaking of faith in the sense of: “the faith,” concerning Christianity as an institution or of Christian doctrine because there is no definite article (Such as most commonly in the English the use of the word “the“) used, which would be necessary to interpret this as Christianity or a doctrine; But would necessitate that this would be a subjective faith as in the exercise thereof.

Meaning that this was speaking about faith that was the action of a believer or in this case its creator Jesus Christ.

Concerning the subject of faith; the word for “author (Greek: archegon) more specifically is translated “the originator and first to utilize;” and the word “finisher (Greek: teleioten) more specifically means “to completely have done (in the past) and finished what was started and works in unison with (Greek: archegon), both describing Jesus being the originator and best example to have thoroughly demonstrated faith (More passages citing “the faith of Christ” will be cited later).

James Moffatt States:
The scholar James Moffatt says of the word “author (Greek: archegon), should be translated: “The pioneer of personal faith

Marvin R. Vincent States:
The most noted, and often quoted Greek scholar, Marvin R. Vincent states “

“The word “finisher (Greek: teleioten) more expressly means “perfecter” of faith, having done it wholly (completely), without exception.”

Vincent went on to say that:

“Christ is the leader or captain of faith, in that he is the perfecter of faith. In himself he furnished the perfect development, the supreme example of faith, and in virtue of this he is the leader of the whole believing host in all time.

Both of these Greek words are experiential words, not theoretical.

They insist that the individual referred to, has practiced and perfected the subject that is at hand – and in this case we’re talking about Jesus displaying complete faith in God the Father.

Again, Jesus is not a hypocrite; He would not demand something of us, which He, while He is the man would not do and do perfectly Himself.” (Endnote # 13)

Albert Barnes states:
The author and finisher of our faith, states Albert Barnes:

“The word “our” is not in the original here, and obscures the sense.

The meaning is he [Jesus] is the first and the last as an example of faith of confidence in God – occupying in this, as in all other things, the pre-eminence, and being the most complete model that can be placed before us.

The apostle had not enumerated him among those who had been distinguished for their faith [Chapter 11], but he now refers to him as above them all; as a case that deserved to stand by itself.

It is probable that there is a continuance here of the allusion to the Grecian games which the apostle had commenced in the previous verse.

The word “author” (Greek: archegon) means properly the source, or cause of anything; or one who makes a beginning.

It is rendered in Act 3:15; Act 5:31, “Prince”; in Heb. 2:10, “Captain”; and in the place before us, “Author.”

It does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament.

The phrase “the beginner of faith,” or the leader on / of faith, would express the idea. He is at the head of all those who have furnished an example of confidence in God, for he was himself the most illustrious instance of it.

The expression, then, does not mean properly that he produces faith in us, or that we believe because he causes us to believe – whatever may be the truth about that – but that he stands at the head as the most eminent example that can be referred to on the subject of faith.

We are exhorted to look to him, as if at the Grecian games there was one who stood before the racer who had previously carried away every palm of victory; who had always been triumphant, and with whom there was no one who could be compared.

The word (Greek) arch corresponds in meaning with the word “author.” It means that he is the completer as well as the beginner; the last as well as the first [the Alpha & Omega ~ Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13].

As there has been no one hitherto who could be compared with him, so there will be no one hereafter; compare Rev 1:8, Rev 1:11.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last.”

The word does not mean that he was the “finisher” of faith in the sense that he makes our faith complete or perfects it – whatever may be true about that – but that he occupies this elevated position of being beyond comparison above all others.

Alike in the commencement and the close, in the beginning of faith, and in its ending, he stands pre-eminent.

To this illustrious model we should look – as a racer would on one who had been always so successful that he surpassed all competitors and rivals.

If this be the meaning, then it is not properly explained, as it is commonly (See Bloomfield and Stuart in loc.), by saying that the word here is synonymous with “rewarder,” and refers to the (Greek) brabeutes – or the distributor of the prize; compare notes on Col 3:15.

There is no instance where the word is used in this sense in the New Testament (Compare ~ Greek: passow), nor would such an interpretation present so beautiful and appropriate a thought as the one suggested above.” (Endnote # 14)

The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
Jesus repetitively stated that He could do nothing of Himself (John 5:19; 5:30; 8:28), outside of the power of the Holy Spirit or the Father.

Plus, if He had all this power in hand, why was there a necessity for the Holy Spirit to indwell Him (Luke 3:22), empowering Him for His ministry.

While some have said this was for display purposes only; this is ridiculous concerning God.

God may do something, and then display it so we can see it, but God never acts, nor does He need to make excuses or prove Himself to man.

What God does or says is either real and we see it; or it is real and is hidden. God does not act or do things simply to be seen.

If the Holy Spirit was the same with Him all through His life prior to his ministry, as well as from the dissension of the dove on, then why was there this necessity to show the Holy Spirit landing on him in the first place? (This would be a false display, as the Spirit had already been with and in Him before).

Jesus said that we would do greater things than what He had done (Concerning miracles? John 14:12), what does this mean if it is not referring to the power of the Holy Spirit which He functioned in, stating that we shall also have that same power to do greater things in He was doing

And the strange reference in John 7:39, which states:

“But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.

Which in the Greek seems to imply that believers could not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit until the Holy Spirit was no longer functional in the life of Jesus during His incarnation, with John 16:7, repeating this same idea when it says:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Some scholars have wondered if this was because Jesus contained all of the Holy Spirit, having the ability to maintain (house) all of the Holy Spirit because He was absolutely sinless and divine in His essence.

A Man!
There are those that would consider this teaching heretical, yet for man to attempt to understand God beyond what the Scripture has told us, is in reality what is really heretical.

We know that Jesus was all man (Hebrews 2:17), and yet there were men that did miracles, but there was never a man that had the Holy Spirit to the degree that anything and everything they did was completed at their command.

Jesus could see things that no one else saw, Jesus could read the minds of everyone around him, Jesus understood the intention of the hearts of people, Jesus could know of things happening outside of His locality, Jesus understood the Spirit world and it recognized Him, Jesus without exception could raise the dead, heal; yet He could also go hungry and thirsty, suffer and die.

This is because all the things Jesus did were made possible by the complete indwelling of the Holy Spirit within Him, it was the Spirit that empowered Him to do all these things, and yet still be fully man; man enough so that He had human limitations in order for Him to be hungry, thirsty, to suffer and die; in order to be like us – and need faith like us as well.

To say that Jesus was NOT fully limited within His incarnation, is blasphemy concerning the atonement and the concept of the Kinsman-Redeemer concerning the propitiation of sin, where one man died for another man’s sin.

How often have we heard the unbelievers say that according to Christianity, it’s not fair that all of humanity would be cursed to hell because of one man, Adams behavior*.

Yet, the other side of that coin, how marvelous it is that by one man, Jesus (“The Lord God”), all of humanity may be saved (*1 Corinthians 15:45-58).

It is vanity to attempt to fully understand the essence of God, or to define it; we simply must accept what God’s Word has said – Jesus became a man (Yet still with the essence of divinity), period.

How Could This Be
The old question is, “could God make a rock so big that He could not pick it up,” the answer is, yes He could, but He is not stupid enough to do so.

The point is, if God chose to make a part of Himself, His Son incarnate (human); could He not divest Him of His Omnipotence (Latin: “All Powerful, Visible & Invisible”), because apparently Jesus was divested of being Omniscient (Latin: “All Knowing”) as seen in Mark 13:32, which states:

But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father

The same as Jesus was also divested of being Omnipresent (“Latin: “Existing Everywhere All at Once,” Non-locality), having the limitation of locality; Jesus could only be at one place at a time, never everywhere at once.

God is Not a Hypocrite
If Jesus maintained during His earthly incarnate existence, and the attribute of Omnipotence, then He was a deceiver and a manipulator, and a hypocrite in that He would demand of others what He did not give Himself – faith.

Can you honestly picture the Son of God demanding something of you and I that He Himself neither had to do or experience (See Endnote # 10 for Scriptures of where He demand and accepted faith from His follower)?

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”  (Hebrews 4:15)

What was the whole reason of His incarnation if it was not to be tested as you and I, in all ways, not some.

And if all along He had that power to end His pain and suffering, then not doing so was a display of a charade of pretending to be human and in actuality he was not (This point is made ad nausea for a purpose).

Therefore, Jesus Christ being the greatest example (Please see Endnote #15 for further reference websites on “The Faith of Christ“) to ever exercise faith makes more sense than anything else.

About the GrammarGreek letters
Before addressing the following verses, a brief lesson on Greek nouns would be helpful, because it is in understanding how the Greek word for faith functions in these verses that gives insight into their meaning and application.

Greek is a highly inflected language (i.e. the form of words change to indicate the role each word plays in the sentence), a noun changes forms based upon its relationship to other words and how it functions in the sentence.

The stem of the noun contains the basic meaning of the noun, but a suffix is added to indicate the noun’s role in the sentence.

The suffix / endings are changed according to certain patterns, or ‘declensions,’ that indicate what are the number, case, and gender of the noun form.

The following Scriptures are based upon the “Authorized Text,’ which is translated from the Textus Receptus, known as the Greek translation used in the English King James Translation of the Bible.  If you look up this information below and any of the modern translations, the information is usually referred to in marginal notes many times rather than in the text themselves.  Again, the work below is based upon the Textus Receptus only.

About Nouns
Declension (Or to “parse”) of a noun means to analyze it and break it down into its basic parts according to number, gender, and case.  (See Endnote # 16)

Concerning nouns, there basic parts, the case provides perhaps more information than anything else.

There are four different case forms in Greek; they are nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative.

Concerning the present study we are only going to narrowly look at three of these cases (Types of nouns), the genitive case, accusative case, and dative case.

The following 9 Scriptures utilize the Greek word pístis (G4102), which is translated into the English word “faith” in each of the following Scriptures.

Genitive Case
Pístis (“faith”) is a noun, and in the cited examples below it is in the genitive case (The subjective genitive, not objective ~ which is the subject of another essay dealing with Greek translations of the Bible) which displays possession within the sentence.  Genitive is often Translated with the preposition “of” which again shows possession, where in this case it is “the faith of Jesus,” not the faith in Jesus

What this means is that in the following Scriptures is that the faith that is being spoken about is possessed by Jesus Himself, without equivocation.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our [“our” is not in the original, it is merely assumed and added by the translator, which is why it is in italics] faith [G] ...” ~ Hebrews 12:2

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith [G] of Jesus Christ…” ~ Romans 3:22

“…by the faith [G] of Jesus Christjustified by the faith [G] of Christ…” ~ Galatians 2:16

“… the promise by faith [G] of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” ~ Galatians 3:22

“…we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith [G] of him.” ~ Ephesians 3:12

“… which is through the faith [G] of Christ, the righteousness…” ~ Philippians 3:9

To reiterate, the above verses mean that the faith that is being spoken about is possessed by Jesus himself, without equivocation – IT IS JESUS’ FAITH!

Accusative Case
In the next Scriptures, the Greek noun pístis (“faith”) is in the accusative case, which displays the direct object of the sentence, and Jesus is in the genitive case; Meaning that Jesus possesses the faith which is the direct object of the sentence.

“…not the faith [A] of our Lord Jesus Christ [G] ... with respect of persons.” ~ James 2:1

“… and the faith [A] of Jesus [G].” ~ Revelation 14:12

To reiterate, the above verses mean “Jesus” is in the genitive case; meaning that Jesus possesses the faith which is the direct object of the sentence – IT IS THE FAITH OF JESUS!

Dative Case
In the following verse, the Greek noun pístis (“faith”) is in the dative case, which displays the means by which an action is accomplished – Meaning that faith is the action which is possessed by Jesus Christ.

“…the life which I now live… I live by the faith [D] of the Son of God [G] …” ~ Galatians 2:20…

Galatians 2:16
Below is an example of Parsing.

Parsing is the process of analyzing / diagramming text to determine its grammatical structure with respect to a given inflected formal grammar.

The parsing of Galatians 2:16 is as follows: the light green / lime numbers are Strong’s numbering system, the light gray letters are grammatical keys in which the 1st singular letter, which is bold represents the type (verbs, nouns, verbal nouns, prepositions, conjunctions, participles, etc.), followed by underlying space then the remaining part of the cluster is the subtype of the grammatical code, regarding inflections (Such as: tense, mood, voice, person, gender, number, case, etc. ~ Please see Endnote #17 for further reference material concerning grammatical codes).

Perhaps one of the better passages that presents the “Faith of Christ” while also separately discussing “Faith in Christ” is seen in Galatians 2:16, which states:.

Knowing 1492 V_RAP_NPM that 3754 CONJ a man 444 N_NSM is 1344 V_PPI_3S not 3756 PRT_N justified 1344 V_PPI_3S by 1537 PREP the works 2041 N_GPN of the law 3551 N_GSM, but 1437 COND by 1223 PREP the faith 4102 N_GSF of Jesus 2424 N_GSM Christ 5547 N_GSM, even 2532 CONJ we 2249 P_1NP have believed 4100 V_AAI_1P in 1519 PREP Jesus 2424 N_ASM Christ 5547 N_ASM, that 2443 CONJ we might be justified 1344 V_APS_1P by 1537 PREP the faith 4102 N_GSF of Christ 5547 N_GSM, 532 CONJ not 3756 PRT_N by 1537 PREP the works 2041 N_GPN of the law 3551 N_GSM: for by 1360 CONJ the works 2041 N_GPN of 1537 PREP the law 3551 N_GSM shall 1344 V_FPI_3S no 3756 PRT_N flesh 4561 N_NSF be justified 1344 V_FPI_3S (www.biblespeak.com)

“The faith” (Greek: pístis – G4102) ~ is used twice concerning the faith of Jesus Christ in the genitive case , indicating His possession of faith that created the justification of those that have “believed” in Jesus (“believe” from the Greek: pisteuoStrong # 4100, which is a verb, and in the aorist tense, indicating the subject – the person that “have believed” receives the action, that of being “justified“) – being justified because of the faith of Jesus Christ in God the Father.

Both times that “the faith” is referred to above, address the fact that it is the faith of Jesus Christ in the Father that produced the implied justification to “even we have believed in Jesus Christ…” and not the works of the law.

The focus of this verse is Jesus Christ and His faith which brought justification unto man, not man and his faith, which he received from God as a gift to begin with according to Ephesians 2:8.

It is a misconception to believe that salvation is earned in trade for faith, which is a gift from God; faith is not the basis of salvation, (Grace is) but should be the result of it.

There is a delicate tension in understanding that belief in God and trust in Him is necessary for a person to become a believer, yet at the same time even this faith is a gift of God.

The point of view that people are convinced on a human level into exercising saving faith is incorrect in that it would mandate salvation based upon man’s action, as opposed to God’s grace (Please see Endnote #18 regarding, “Do Acts which Display Faith Create a Believer, or is it that Believer’s Display Acts of Faith“).

Due to the Biblical doctrine of “faith,” Scriptures can relate (Either due to the translations found in the newer versions of the Bible which are based upon the Alexandrian Codices, or by the replacement of the word “of,” with the word “in,” which is even noted in many of the newer translations lexicons – or as seen in LEXICONS where the original language is listed both words “of” in regular script, and “in” in italics is listed – words found in italics indicate they are not in the original manuscripts) to the believer’s faith placed in Christ, yet, there are also passages which relate to the “faith of Christ,” which should be noted as distinctive and therefore garner our attention.

king_jesus020508_01

Jesus the Greatest Believer
It is because Christ trusted and believed in God the Father, that upon His death, God the Father (who is the Head of Jesus ~ 1 Corinthians 11:13) would resurrect Him and reestablish His divinity and position in the Trinity.

These issues are hard to understand because how can God lay down those attributes, yet maintain divinity in His essence, and still be divine.

Part of the problem is that finite man is attempting to understand the infinite God.

Our faith is built upon an examination of God’s Word, “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17), it is because God presents a track record which is worthy of our trust that we gain faith in Him.

He has displayed a pattern in the Bible which if we believe enough to search it out; will affirm yet greater faith and establishes yet a firmer confidence of who God is, and what He can do, in light of what He has said in His Word.

Jesus had to exercise faith and trust in the Father, not only as our example in every way, but as a declaration of God’s complete and utter reliability.

Yet, if Christ failed in His faith, if He chose to take up Satan’s proposition (Satan offered Jesus the easy way to rule earth from an earthly throne, yet it would’ve been done in sin, whereas Christ relied upon fulfilling God’s Will, doing it God’s way; which met doing it through the cross), or do anything to disrupt His upcoming execution; Jesus would have displayed a lack of faith in God the Father, and not fulfill the ability of our salvation by His atoning death.

Therefore, it is much more important to us that Christ exercised complete and utter faith in God the Father, in securing our salvation, then for us to remain faithful to Him.

The Scripture tells us that when we are unfaithful to God, He is still faithful to us, and faithful in our place (2 Timothy 2:13).

God knows that each and every one of us will act unfaithfully at different times, and if the fear is that we would do so at the jeopardy of our salvation, we are the sorriest of creatures.

Because we could never do it, thoroughly, completely, and all the way.

Yet, concerning the passages above what is prominent is the fact that without exception faith was mandated, and if it was mandated of us; just one act of disbelief would be detrimental to our spiritual life.

However, the fact that Christ never lacked faith in God the Father, has granted unto us eternal life, not hindered by our own failures; but guaranteed by Jesus’ victory at the cross, the greatest display of faith ever committed, giving life to the worst of use…

roman_soldier_and_jesus… among whom I count myself Chief.

Brent

Endnotes
1.  
Faith Must be Contingent upon Need ~ Without Need there is No Necessity for Faith

2 Kings 4:1-4 ~ “Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

Nehemiah 2:1-4“And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? [It was a perpetual Royal order that to be sad in front of the King mandated death] this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.”

Esther 4:16“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”

Daniel 3:16-18“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

Luke 23:42-43“And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Hebrews 4:1-3“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. “

2.  Essence vs. Attributes

A common problem that I see in the church today is confusing attributes and essence.

The essence of something is what it is in its makeup, whereas the attributes are behaviors (which can be seen and therefore identified, which is not true of essence), which are simply displays that radiate from, and are distinct from the essence that created them.

It is very common for people to mistake attributes for essence, and falling short in their understanding many times they misinterpret the essence of something because the attributes or behaviors may vary in diverse situations.

Attributes may be generic, with different people sharing the same type of attribute, yet the essence of each individual is never the same as each individual is their own person and distinct.

Dictionary References

Essence
From Medieval Latin essentia, from Latin: “the being… (of something), from esse to be.”

1. The characteristic or intrinsic feature of a thing, which determines its identity; fundamental nature.
2. The most distinctive element of a thing.
3. A perfect or complete form of something, esp a person who typifies an abstract quality.
4. In Philosophy

a. the unchanging and unchangeable nature of something which is necessary to its being the thing it is; its necessary properties compare.
b. the properties in virtue of which something is called by its name.
c. the nature of something as distinct from, and logically prior to, its existence.

5. Christian Religious Writings / Theology:  Theol an immaterial or spiritual entity. (Collins Essential English Dictionary)

Essence
The permanent as contrasted with the accidental element of being. The individual, real, or ultimate nature of a thing especially as opposed to its existence. The most significant element, quality, or aspect of a thing or person. (Merriam-Webster)

Essence
The basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features. A substance obtained from a plant, drug, or the like, by distillation, infusion, etc., and containing its characteristic properties in concentrated form. Philosophy. The inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc. Essentially; at bottom, often despite appearances. Absolutely essential; critical; crucial. (Random House Dictionary)

Attributes
To regard as resulting from a specified cause; consider as caused by something indicated. To consider as a quality or characteristic of the person, thing, group, etc. To consider as made by the one indicated, esp. with strong evidence but in the absence of conclusive proof. To regard as produced by or originating in the time, period, place, etc. (Random House Dictionary)

Attributes
To relate to a particular cause or source; ascribe: attributed their failure to a lack of preparation. To regard as the work of a specified agent, place, or time. A quality or characteristic inherent in or ascribed to someone or something. An object associated with and serving to identify a character, personage, or office. Grammar, a word or phrase syntactically subordinate to another word or phrase that it modifies. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

Roles
The following may seem like rationality for hypocrisy, however, different roles / situations mandate different responses, this is more readily seen because different roles maintain different responsibilities and therefore mandate different responses.

An example of roles can be seen in human relationships.

A man may be the King of his castle at home, yet a servant while at work.

He may have ultimate authority as a father to his son, and therefore hold that prominent place of respect, yet when he is in the presence of his own father, he is to the one that displays submission and respect (Biblical “honor”).

He is the same person, yet functions differently in different roles. At home, a man may be a kind and loving father to his daughter, yet in his profession he may be a stringent judge in the courtroom.

In his role as a husband, he may be the loving mate to his wife, yet the aggressive defender of his home taking the life of an intruder.

The person is the same, the essence of him has not changed, yet his roles and responsibilities are diverse in different situations, and therefore he displays different attributes.

There is an old English euphemism which describes the diversity of roles that a single individual may maintain, when we say that: “he is a man that wears many different hats,” referring to the different roles and responsibilities that a single individual may be accountable concerning.

This adage displays our understanding that while it may be the same individual who wears diverse hats, yet he functions differently according to those roles that he may undertake.

His essence is always the same no matter which hat he may wear, yet each individual role or responsibility may display different attributes.

While true attributes flow out of essence, and some maintain that attributes are part of the essence, this definition breaks down when dealing with matters of the soul (Greek: psuche), and spirit (Greek: pneuma).

Attributes
Humans relate to our environment (Which includes each other) solely and specifically regarding our five senses, which defines our perception of something or someone, and which is described in observational terms as the attributes of the essence that we encounter.

Therefore, these attributes are relatable concerning observable and definable behaviors and actions that are the outward manifestation (attributes), as compared to the essence which is unobservable and hidden from the five senses.

As the philosophers have said, you do not see me (my essence), but the abode (My body which is defined by its attributes of behavior) I now dwell in.

As Isaiah 53:2-3 says concerning the Messiah:

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”

These Scriptures refer to Jesus’ physical presence his attributes that He displayed as a man, yet it was at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2) that what was on the inside of Jesus, His essence was radiated (at least as much as fallen man could conceive).

Distinction between Attributes & Roles
In examining anyone we must always be aware of the role that the individual is playing at the time in order to evaluate the correctness of those attributes. It is in examining those attributes, or behaviors that discretion must be seen according to the mandates of the situation.

It is rightly said that we should not judge one another as referred to in Matthew 7:1 (For the sake of this argument let us temporarily set aside the different Greek words for “judgment,” which can vary from unrighteous condemnation to righteous condemnation to evaluation for education’s sake.  Whereas certain judgment is demanded in certain situations, such as: I Corinthians 5:12, 13; 6:2-5; 11:31;14:29; I Thessalonians 5:21 as compared to that which is condemned in other situations, such as: Matthew 7:1; Colossians 2:16; James 2:4;4:11,12), yet only a few verses later, Christ commanded that we judge concerning false prophets in Matthew 7:15-20.

What is the main difference in these two situations?

It is the role of the one being evaluated, because they are a leader and therefore affect people in a different way than normal members of a group.

Wherein a false student may lead one or two astray, a good teacher will ferret them out; however, a false prophet (remember that the word “Prophet” means one who speaks for another, and may not have anything to do with telling the future, such as the case of John the Baptist), especially in the role as a teacher, can do an immense amount of damage to many individuals; therefore because of their roles, and the responsibility that it entails, we are to evaluate or judge teachers because of this.

The role makes the difference, and as such, there should be different attributes that also follow.

Roles many times define attributes, or behaviors.

The Roles of God
The reason this discussion is necessary is to distinguish those attributes that God displays during certain roles He performs at certain times in history, as compared to other roles at diverse times.

This is why individuals have made the mistake of stating that the God of the Old Testament is a warring God that kills and judges; and the God of the New Testament is a loving and forgiving God, as seen in Jesus.

God the Father is the same, and so is Jesus in both Testaments, yet it is in the roles that they play at certain times wherein the confusion lies.

It is when men do not take the “whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) into consideration; by using the justification of the local context only, isolating it from the rest of Scripture in an attempt to make their own point. Scriptural context is more than its local application; it is in its application to the Bible as a whole that it must be utilized.

When God the Father instructed the Israelites to kill every man, woman, and child of certain tribes and nations in the promised land, He did so as a father that is protecting His own child from those that would later seek out to destroy that child by either destruction or genetic contamination. God the Father’s role was that of a protecting father.

Yet, how could one question the love of God the Father in that He would nail His own Son to the cross for His enemies, which He would then adopt.

It is in misunderstanding the roles of Jesus Christ that many liberals rationalize pacifism.

They concentrate on Jesus in His First Coming and interpret Jesus’ essence according to those attributes of that particular role that He displayed on that occasion.

This is why it is so helpful to understand that the four Gospels display four views of Jesus in His First Coming: that of Matthew as the Messiah, the lion of the tribe of Judah; that of Mark as the suffering servant; that of Luke as the perfect man; and that of John as the son of God.

Without the benefit of this perspective many concentrate only on Jesus as the suffering servant, and therefore only see Him as demanding that everyone always turn the cheek.

While Jesus instructed the 70 disciples to not take a sword with them on their first Ministry training outreach (Matthew 10:10; Luke 10:1), they forget that Jesus later speaking concerning His upcoming departure instructed them to carry a sword (Luke 22:36).

When they speak about His kindness, they do so by isolating Him from the contempt He showed to the Pharisees, or the intolerance He displayed to the opportunists when He turned over their money tables in the Temple courtyard.

And most importantly they separate Him from the role He will play at His Second Coming, that of a warring conqueror claiming His prize.

They allegorize fire coming from His mouth, and the fact that He will kill millions of people.

His role at this time is defending Israel, and vanquishing the earth dwellers by killing millions of people.

They also seem to have a hard time with the Christophanies of the Old Testament, the fact that Joshua was confronted by Him at night wearing a soldier’s uniform, a sword drawn in His hand, and announcing that he is the captain of the Lord’s Host, meaning that He is the very highest ranking warrior leader of God’s armies.

The world either wants to keep Jesus as a baby at Christmas who has no power; or as a pacifist unwilling to display power; either way, they can avoid His sovereignty to their own demise.

Caveat
Understanding that God displays different attributes according to the role He is fulfilling at that time, we must still understand the deficiency in defining God according to those, or any attributes; because attributes are not a definition of essence.

And whenever we attempt to define God according to His attributes we in essence attempt to minimize and compartmentalize Him.

We attempt to bring Him down to our capacity to understand.

How can the finite define the infinite?

It can’t, and any attempt to do so is condescending.

Yet at the same time, we are intellectual creatures, created with logic and rationality, and have a need to understand anything and everything.

And by necessity, we must attempt to understand or define God, while at the same time; regarding the task with great reverence.

We can never wrap our arms or minds around God, and to think we can to any large extent is blasphemous.

Yet, how do we know which God is really God? God is a title and not a personal name or descriptor.

So which deity is truly deity?

This can only be accomplished by the mere act of attempting to understand, and therefore define that deity, but to do so in reverence and awe.

Technical Definition
Elwell’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology says, concerning the attributes of God:

God is an invisible, personal, and living Spirit, distinguished from all other spirits by several kinds of attributes: metaphysically God is self-existent, eternal, and unchanging; intellectually God is omniscient, faithful, and wise; ethically God is just, merciful, and loving; emotionally God detests evil, is long-suffering, and is compassionate; existentially God is free, authentic, and omnipotent; relationally God is transcendent in being immanent universally in providential activity, and immanent with his people in redemptive activity (See Endnote #19)

Answer to the Question
Of those attributes which are observable concerning God, if I had to name one that was most appealing to me, it would be that attribute for which my whole existence hinges: that of God’s mercy.

We know that mercy is not receiving that negative reward we deserve, and that grace is receiving that benefit we do not deserve.

Therefore, it is difficult at best to separate grace from mercy.

What is most amazing is that God in His infinite wisdom could display both attributes of justice as well as mercy, because they are mutually exclusive. To display mercy mandates the restraint of justice; to display justice mandates lacking the ability to display mercy.

Yet God, as only God could; devised a means to maintain both of these attributes; while also maintaining an attribute just as necessary, that of integrity.

In comparison, how unfortunate for those deceived by the false religion of Islam, their non-existent god lacks mercy as well as integrity, and is as inconsistent and capricious as he is cruel.

By contrast, we as Christians have a heavenly Father, who in His role as Father is invincible; we have a Savior, who in His role as Savior is the perfect propitiation for sin. Their mercy and grace unwavering and Their integrity unceasing.

3.  The Feast of Booths

The “Feast of Tabernacles (Hebrew: Sukkot), also referred to as the “Feast of Booths” is one of three major holidays known collectively as the (Hebrew) Shalosh Regalim (Three Pilgrim festivals), in which it was mandatory for the oldest males (As well as the family) to travel to the temple in Jerusalem.

This pilgrimage festival that takes place on the fifteenth day of the month of (Hebrew) Tishrei (Late September to late October), and last for seven days, and is celebrated by the Israelites building thatched huts as types of tents in symbolic remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt.

It is a symbol God’s children living temporarily in the world as seen by them abiding in tents, destined for their heavenly home with God their Father ~ Exodus 12:2. However, of even more importance is that this feast is a type of shadow (Hebrews 8:5) concerning Jesus, where as stated in John 1:14 says: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The Greek word translated “dwelt“, is skennoo, which in actuality the word “tabernacled,” meaning to “tent,” or temporarily lodge in a place, and is used concerning Jesus’ earthly existence as a man (The Incarnation).

The verb used here concerns Jesus being made flesh, in regards to Him displaying on the outside, by transfiguration that which had already existed in His essence, His divinity and holiness as the only begotten Son of God – the “Word (Greek: Logos: “The literal communication”) of God personified.”

3b.  Further Insights Concerning “Sin and Faith (Important issues Regarding Faith as Well)

You see when we concentrate our full attention on coming across or appearing like a sinless person, which unfortunately is to common in the church today, we are NOT concentrating on the opportunities to trust God in our daily walk especially concerning the small things.

Attempting to keep up the charade only breeds deception and hypocrisy along with condemnation of those that can’t keep up with our pretense; this is where legalism comes from, wherein we understand that the law kills, but the spirit brings life (2 Corinthians 3:6) wherein grace abounds.

Grace to admit who we really are, along with our weaknesses (James 5:16, Not only regarding prayer, but regarding the humility that should accompany it), which promotes grace in other people’s lives to admit who they are – this is called genuineness.

There is nothing worse than attempting to act sinless, which is the very definition of sin, that of being fraudulent and deceptive.

If we believe that the most important issue we deal with is sin, and keep our focus their, we will miss opportunities at faith.

Yet it is how we classify sin so many times that becomes an obstacle in our life.

We have a tendency to think of sin as those overt things that weigh us down.

Alcohol, smoking, cursing, inappropriate sex; the big Ten.

However what we don’t really think about is that every sin that we do is based upon a lack of faith.

If I am hungry and steal food, I am saying that I do not trust that me being hungry is a tool that God can use in my life, and because I don’t trust Him, I will take it into my own hands and steal; and is based upon a lack of faith.

If I see that my brother has more than I do, or better things than I have, are what appears to be a better spouse; what does this sin do internally, it creates envy, strife and an attitude lacking in gratitude and acceptance; and displays that I do not believe that what God has allowed me to have is adequate for my life, or I don’t believe He’s given me what I deserve, or that the spouse I have Is who is best for me; this is all based upon a lack of faith.

If I murder someone that has murdered a loved one of mine, I am displaying that I do not believe that God can dole out justice to this individual in this life or the next; this is based upon a lack of faith.

Every one of the commandments of God must be seen as a violation of not trusting Him – this is what it truly means to be fall short, which is what the Greek word for “sin” means.

Sin is lack of perfection, and the road to get there is a lack of faith.

The Greek word for “sin” is a archery term wherein the bull’s-eye is the size of an arrow and the only acceptable score.

To shoot 1 inch below the bull’s-eye, or 30 inches below it makes no difference, “missing the mark,” (Greek: hamartia, the most common Greek New Testament word for “sin”; Literally means: “to miss the mark“) has to do with either perfection, or non-perfection; nothing in between.

This is where we get the Biblical doctrine of all sin as being the same, which in reality is not true regarding the justice of God.

All sin as a group, is falling short of the glory of God (“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” ~ Romans 3:23), yet God is just in rewarding and compensating individuals in the life to come based upon the severity of the evil that they have committed, the same as it was when God dealt out different punishments based on the severity of the sin within the establishment of His own governmental system, we referred to as a theocracy; wherein Moses established the laws of God and the governance thereof.

It was the 10 commandments that all had the same punishment of death, not the rest of the Torah; which the Jews totaled up to be 613 different types of sins (The Talmud) as found through the Torah, mostly in the book of Leviticus.

Therefore to be obsessed with the outside of the cup, easily becomes a form of legalism for the Christian who is called to live a life of faith.

And yes it should go without saying that we are called to live a life of holiness, understanding that the word “holiness” means “separated” in regards to God.

Yet what most Christians Believe that this is a separation from sin which matter-of-factly is true, yet in the reality of the word we are actually separated to God.

Many false religions separate from sin.

What makes Christianity different is we separate to God, and we do this by faith.

To reiterate, the way to be separated unto God for good works is to trust Him in all aspects of life, especially the small ones.

It is to focus upon trusting God on a daily basis, especially when the situation makes no sense; this is where we please God in obedient faith.

However, if we separate faith out of the equation, even obedience can be contaminated.

Contaminated if we obey simply for the sake of obeying, and not because we trust Him.

This is where religion comes in.

Whenever man can figure out a system to do something, rather than the relationship that is meant to occur, this is religion.

We are not called to a religion, we are called to a relationship with a living God.

And the foundation of that relationship is a most important ingredient within any relationship involving a human, faith.

If God says “thou shall not eat of this fruit,” because in that day you shall die; and we disobey, we are saying He is a liar and untrustworthy, therefore we disobey because of a lack of faith.

The reason that we are to walk in faith is because we trust Him and therefore obey because He knows best.

This is what we desire of our children, to trust us and have faith in us and therefore obey; the same as our faith walk with God.

We obey because we believe and trust in Him.

This is why a lack of sin does not please God.

Even if you could stop sinning, it is only temporary as you will sin again.

And also we must remember that Christ died for all of our sins, He did not die for our lack of faith; faith is what gives us access to His free unmerited favor / His grace, wherein He placed our sin upon Christ on the tree – this is why we must respond in faith.

There are many religions out there that have followers that sin a lot less than those in the church, yet they will not be saved.

Only those that please God by saving faith in the atoning work of Jesus on upon the cross, these are those that are saved.

Sin came by one tree being violated in paradise, salvation comes by another tree being erected in a trash dump where sin was crucified in the form of the Son of God.

3c.  Romans 8:35 Suggest “7 Difficulties” For the Believer (Paul experienced them all – 2 Corth. 11:23-28)

Tribulation (thipsis): “pressure or distress (Paul used frequently in 2 Cor)
Distress (stenochoria): “narrowness,” as in being “pressed in,” “hemmed in,” “crowded.”
Persecution (diogmos):chased or pursued (10x in NT, always about Gospel)
Famine (limos): “to hunger” (12x in NT, the God of Elijah looks after His own)
Nakedness (gunnotes) 1 Corth. 4:11
Peril (kindunos): “in jeopardy or danger(8x in one verse = 2Co_11:26) (1x 1Co_15:30)
Sword
The world hates the Saints, and this is the easiest way to eradicate them.  (By Chuck Missler)

4.  Thayer’s Greek Definitions, Parsons Technology Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, USA, 2008, Electronic Media.

5.  Regarding the Resurrection Body

Philippians 3:21 ~ “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

Romans 6:4-5 ~ “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection

Roman 8:23 ~ “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

Philippians 3:21“Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

1 Corinthians 15:42-43“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

Ephesians 1:13-14 ~ “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. “

Romans 8:19 ~ “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

Romans 8:21 ~ “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Ephesians 4:30 ~ “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

Which we technically refer to as the Rapture, when believers will be transformed into their new glorious body, See: 1 Corinthians 15:42-54; 2 Corinthians 5:2; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 John 3:2.

The word resurrection is taken from the Greek word, anastasis, which means: “a raising up,” or “rising,” and literally is taken from two words, one which means, “up” and the other which means, “to cause to stand.”

Concerning Christ’s resurrection: Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:33; Romans 1:4; 6:5; Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:3, 21. Concerning the resurrection of believers: Luke 20:33, 35, 36; John 5:29. The Resurrection concerns both believers and unbelievers: Acts 24:15; John 5:29; Revelation 20:5 & 6.

6.  Jesus, The Only Man Found in Heaven Worthy to Open and Read the Book

When Jesus was resurrected and given a resurrection body; what does that really mean? What we know of the resurrection body of Jesus is that it can be material, such as when Jesus told Mary to, “touch me not,” (John 20:17), which is a poor translation of what Jesus said, which in reality the Greek is: “restrain me not.”

Yet, in His resurrected body, Jesus could penetrate walls and solid barriers either by changing dimensions or de-materialize (Or whatever.  Both of these are just guesses at best.  The point is we don’t know how He did what He did; just that He did do it).

After the resurrection Jesus could eat, in fact it should be noted that almost every time He is seen after the resurrection, He eats food. We also know that His resurrection body maintained the same appearance as His human body.

The reason why some disciples did not recognize Him, was due to the fact that His beard was completely pulled out (Isaiah 50:6) and while He was being tortured he was disfigured according to Isaiah 52:14, which states; “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men (according to this verse in the original language, Jesus was brutalized and disfigured even more than the movie, “The Passion” could portray).

And we know he maintained His scars, which is seen when He displayed His pierced side and hands to Thomas and the disciples.

What we need to understand about this incident as recorded in John 20:16, where we have Jesus speaking to Mary and her not recognizing Him is that we know that He was speaking to her in Greek at first, which she seldom heard Him speak as their daily vernacular was Aramaic, and it was when Jesus called her name and air make that she recognized him.

Yet, Of all these things concerning the resurrection body of Jesus Christ, what is more unbelievable is that He may still have the same body now as He sits in God’s throne in heaven.

Notice how in Revelation 1:13, when Jesus is portrayed in heaven as He is now, that it states that Jesus appeared “like unto the Son of Man.” Which in the original language conveys the idea that Jesus appeared as Himself; that He looked like Himself as He was on Earth.

Then four chapters later, in Revelation 5:2-3 states:

“And I saw a Strong Angel proclaiming with a loud voice, who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in Earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon

Notice that Jesus was not acknowledged as being present in these verses; and then John’s reply in the next verse: “and I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereupon.

According to these verses, God demands that the book had to be opened by a man (which is a reason why Jesus had to become a man in the first place, to become our Kinsman-Redeemer, as seen in the book of Ruth ~ please see: “Kinsman Redeemer ~ Part 1 – A Brief Introduction” ~ LINK ”), not by Deity, not my angels, but by a man.

Then in response to this, one of the elders states to John, “behold,” which is interpreted to mean: “see,” “behold,” “lo,” and is a participle that indicates where previously Jesus was not in view, now Jesus is apparent, as seen in Revelation 5:5-8, states:

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”

And as Jesus was seen in Revelation 1:14-15, the description was: “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

This appears to be His essence, the same as Christ’s essence was seen during the transfiguration (Matthew 17:2; Mark 9:2), which showed Him in His glory, the Deity that was hid under His flash.  Which is described in Matthew 17:2, which states:

And was transfigured [Greek: metamorphoo] before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”

The Greek word translated “transfigure,” is: metamorphoo, and means to change the appearance or form, it does not denote the change of the substance of that thing, but simply its appearance.

And with the verb ending in the suffix: “oo,” we further understand that the change referred to: is to display what is already on the inside, on the outside (Please see the below Endnote #7 concerning: “Faith vs. Works ~ Paul vs. James, Or Are They Both Right” which address the use of this type of verb).

Conclusion
From an examination of all the Scriptures which address the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus Christ, Scripture appears to maintain that Jesus retains His resurrection body.

In forty years of being a Christian I have always presupposed that Jesus simply donned a human body temporarily while He was on Earth, and then went back to being His spirit entity as before, yet there is nothing in scripture to indicate this.

We understand according to God’s example of the Kinsman-Redeemer, which mandated that the Redeemer had to become a Kinsman (A family member, which is where we get the word, “kin,” and “kind,” the idea is we are always more kind to family members than others) to the one under penalty, that Christ was mandated to become a human in order to save humans because a human got us into trouble; how do we get to a place of Him simply temporarily being one of us, as opposed to being changed in some manner forever.

Believe it or not, I tremble at this presentation; I take very seriously handling a definition of Christ or anything that seems to be somewhat controversial concerning Him, and usually only come to a conclusion if there is enough Scripture to support it. This issue I hold onto loosely and present for your own evaluation.

And it, as everything I present; I present only because it has reinforced my own faith, and changed me for the positive, trusting God yet more and more as I see the Divine signature of God that He has designed into His precious Word, the Bible.

And if His Word is completely true (which it is), then God is completely true, and those things that He speaks about I can take completely refuge in and trust.

And the only reason I even venture to bring this particular teaching forward is that it shook me to my bones, the day I understood how great was Jesus’ sacrifice, and love for you and I, that Jesus would change Himself forever in order to redeem us.

There is no way that eternity has enough time for us to express our love and dedication to Jesus Christ who would do so much for us, that He would become one of us, to save us, for eternity.

This is more than my mind can comprehend without emotions taking hold.

Please prayerfully consider this short presentation, and much more importantly dig deep into God’s Word, and see what the Holy Spirit says to you concerning this presentation and please, please; if you find any Scriptures teaching otherwise please share them with me.

7.  Faith vs. Works ~ Paul vs. James, Or Are They Both Right

James 2:14-23 –

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works [Greek: ergon = “deeds”]? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified [Greek: dikaioo = “legally declare just” ~ “acquitted”] by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Concerning the Greek word: dikaioo, which is a verb, it is translated into the word justified in the English. In the Greek, verbs ending in “oo,” “indicate that what is already on the inside is then displayed on the outside(Which is not the same as asserting that what is seen on the outside creates what is on the inside, in fact it is antithetical to this).

James was not saying that Abraham’s works (Outward actions) were what justified him.

It was that he was already justified on the inside because of his faith which was already on the inside and that the act of offering his son was displaying on the outside that type of faith he had in God on the inside, it is not saying that Abraham’s works made him justified before God, but that his works were the outside manifestation of what had already taken place on the inside.

In this passage, James is referring to Abraham’s offering of Isaac as proof of his faith which is referred to in Genesis chapter 22, when Abraham was over 125 years old, perhaps even 130 years old (Making Isaac at least thirty years old, and as far as some topologists [A scholar who studies Biblical typology] are concerned, Isaac would’ve had to been thirty-three years old to fit the typology of Christ’s crucifixion).

Yet, we understand that Abraham’s saving faith in which God counted it “for righteousness” occurred over at least forty years prior to this as recorded in:

Genesis 15:6 ~ “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Therefore, it is impossible for James to be stating that Abraham was saved by faith when he offered up Isaac more than forty years after Genesis 15:6, which is when he displayed saving faith (In which God counted it as righteousness) by believing God’s promise concerning becoming a mighty nation, by first having a physical son of his own.

What is easily understood especially in light of the Greek grammatical principle concerning Greek verbs ending in “oo”, is that James is stating that what was already on the inside of Abraham, saving faith in God, was fully displayed in the act of him being prepared to take the life of his son according to God’s direction.

This also clears up the misunderstanding that somehow presupposes that James teaching on faith is opposed to Paul’s teaching on faith. By example, Paul states in:

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.”

Here, Paul is quoting from Genesis 15:6, when Abraham was around 80 years old, and is being justified according to his faith by God. Paul uses the same Greek verb for justifieth, indicating that he then was exercising that faith that had already dwelt on the inside concern in God and his promises.

We must remember that it was God that ten years before had instructed Abram to leave his home and relatives to go to a new land that God would later show him. Abram delayed his departure until his father had died (According to Stephen ~ Acts 7:4), then disobeyed God by taking his nephew Lot with him.

So though Abraham had faith in God, it had not matured to the place of confidence that would mandate obedience. Yet, the scripture is quick to tell us that it was his belief in God’s promise, not Abrams works wherein God saw his heart and imputed righteousness to him.

We understand that justification is God’s declaration that a person be treated as if he is innocent of the charges made against them.

It is a declaration of immunity, being acquitted, not a pronouncement based upon evidence, but in spite of it. In reference to justification, Paul declares in:

Romans 4:1-8 ~ “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 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 the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Therefore, what James says in James 2:21; agrees with Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-9; whereas James states that Abraham displayed (What was on the inside was exhibited on the outside) his saving faith by his works (deeds), of trusting God when he was preparing to present his son as a sacrifice, this was 40-50 years after he was already saved by his faith in God as recorded in Genesis 15:6 (Paul states in Romans 4:3; 4:9; Galatians 3:6, that Abraham received his salvation when he first exercised faith back at Genesis 15:6).

Other Examples of this Type of Verb

Another example concerning Greek verbs ending in “oo (which indicate that what is already on the inside is then displayed on the outside) can be found concerning the Transfiguration of Christ as recorded in:

Matthew 17:2 ~ “And was transfigured [Greek: metamorphoo] before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.”

The word transfigure means to change the appearance or form, it does not denote the change of the substance of that thing, but simply its appearance.

And with the verb utilizing the “oo,” we further understand that the change referred to is to display what is already on the inside, on the outside.

Another example is seen in John 1:14 where the English word “dwelt” (Greek: skennoo), which in actuality is the word “tabernacled,” meaning to “tent,” or temporarily lodge in a place, is used concerning Jesus’ earthly existence as a man (The incarnation).

The verb used here concerns Jesus being made flesh, in regards to Him displaying on the outside, by transfiguration that which had already existed in His essence, His divinity and holiness as the only begotten Son of God, the “Word (Greek: Logos: meaning: “the literal communication”) of God personified.”

Yet, all men live on this physical plane temporally, as we tabernacle on this earth (2 Cor. 5:1,4; 2 Peter 1:13 & 14).

The last example is seen in Ephesians 3:16 regarding the English word “strengthed(Greek: krataioo), concerning the believers being strengthed on the inside by the Holy Spirit which would be exhibited on the outside (Yet the strength is according to the power of the Holy Spirit, and not the individual).

What we must also understand concerning this word is the Greek grammar, in which the word “strengthed” is in the passive voice, meaning that the person receives the power from another, not from themselves; and that it is in the aorist tense, meaning that the action occurred in the past (It occurred “Once & for all.”  The action occurred or was made possible when Jesus died on the cross, giving the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to indwell the believers according to salvation as adopted sons of God) and it is in the indicative mood, meaning that it is a complete certainty (“A Reality ~ it is a done deal, completed”).

Therefore, with this in mind what this verse indicates is that by becoming a believer and therefore having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there is power available to the believer which indwells on the inside and should be displayed on the outside.

This is what true witnessing is all about; this is what 1 Peter 3:15 also alludes to.

Note ~ If you use a Greek Parallel Interlinear New Testament, you will notice that the spelling for the verbs referenced above (“Justification,” “transfigured,” “dwelt,” and “strengthened”) in the Greek language do not display two “o,” just one.

This is because in a Greek Parallel Interlinear New Testament, the Greek words are combined into cognates and not distinguished individually. However, if you utilize a Bible Dictionary on Greek (Such as: Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words; Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, Larry Richards; Jamieson, Fausset, Brown; Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Kenneth S. Wuest; Word Meanings in the New Testament, Ralph Earl; Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible & Word Studies, Spiros Zodhiates), as well as any of the current computer dictionary programs; the spelling of the individual words will be with the double “0” ending. Thayer’s Greek Dictionary20 is used concerning the above translation.

Concerning grammatical reference to the utilization of “oo” in Greek verbs wherein its usage “indicates that what is already present on the inside is then displayed on the outside;” one of many sources is Dr. Wayne A. Barber’s book, “The Surrendered Walk,” page 28, as well as other books and manuals which teach (Greek) Koiné Greek.

8.  Numbers 23:19 –

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good.

9.  Hypocrisy

Regarding the word “hypocrisy” the Greek is word in the Bible is: hupokrites [G5273], corresponding to the (Greek:, hupokrisis), which primarily denotes “one who answers“; and came to be rendered: “a stage-actor“; it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak through large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of “a dissembler, a hypocrite.”

The word is found only in the Synoptic Gospels, and always used by the Lord, fifteen times in Matthew; elsewhere, Mark 7:6; Luke 6:42; 11:44 (in some mss); 12:56; 13:15. The root of the noun is “to cover“; and (Greek) hupokrisis (G5272) which denotes “a reply, as to answer (akin to the Greek hupokrinomai, “to answer”).

It later became known as meaning: “play-acting,” as the actors spoke in dialogue; hence, “pretense,- hypocrisy“; it is translated “hypocrisy” in Matthew 23:28; Mark 12:15; Luke 12:1; 1 Timothy 4:2; in the plural in 1 Peter 2:1. In Galatians 2:13, (Greek) anupokritos, “without hypocrisy,” and in James 3:17 as well (see Dissimulation)

10.  Jesus Demands Faith of People

If Jesus maintained during His earthly incarnate existence, and the attribute of Omnipotence, then He was a deceiver and a manipulator, and a hypocrite in that He would demand of others what He did not give Himself – faith.  Such as seen in the following passages:

Matthew 13:58 ~ “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

Matthew 17:20 ~ “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Mark 6:6 ~ “And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”

Mark 9:24 ~ “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

Mark 16:14 ~ “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”

Matthew 6:30 ~ “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

Matthew 8:26 ~ “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”

Matthew 14:31 ~ “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

Matthew 16:8 ~ “Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?”

Luke 12:28 ~ “If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?”

11.  Believers are Pilgrims – Unbelievers are Earth Dwellers

As Hebrews 11:13-16 states:

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

God has from the very beginning, established this principle that the Earth is not the home of His children, that they are simply pilgrims passing through.

This is because the Earth is not His home, and His children will live with Him in heaven.

We see this first concerning Abraham. That though he owned all the land of Israel, yet he lived in a tent (Hebrews 11:9), as opposed to house.

The tabernacle was not just a pragmatic way of dealing with a “house of worship” that was to be mobile, it was an example of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:2; 9:11-15) who would tent / tabernacle among men (John 1:14 ~ “dwelt” = Greek: skennoo, which means that He “tabernacled,” among us – and see Revelation 21:11 as well); as all men temporarily tabernacle on this earthly plane (2 Cor. 5:1,4; 2 Peter 1:13 & 14).

We even see this among the “Feasts of Israel,” during the “Feast of Booths,” (See Endnote #3) where the Israelites would set up a tent that they would stay in during the festival, which was symbolic of the Exodus (and on a much deeper mysterious level is Representative of them as pilgrims on the earth, never meant to permanently lodge here).

Christ died to redeem mankind, but also to redeem all of creation (Romans 8:22; 2 Peter 3:13) which was corrupted by the fall. Jesus second coming is centered around the fact that He comes to revenge Himself against His enemies, and take the possession of what He died for, not just mankind, but the Earth as well; from the usurpers, commonly referred to in the book of Revelation as “Earth dwellers.”

Believers are referred to as pilgrims (Eph. 2:19; 1 Pet. 2:11), passing through the Earth (Heb. 11:13), which is controlled by “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2), “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4) who offered to trade the Earth if Jesus would bow down and worship him (Matt. 4:8), without Jesus repudiating this (Matt. 4:10); hence “Earth dwellers” are unbelievers who are under the control of their leader, Satan (Rev. 13:8).

Revelation 3:10 ~ “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

Revelation 6:10 ~ “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

Revelation 8:13 ~ “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound

Revelation 11:10 ~ “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”

Revelation 12:12 ~ “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

Revelation 13:8 ~ “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Revelation 13:12 ~ “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”

Revelation 13:14 ~ “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”

Revelation 14:6 ~ “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

Revelation 16:14 ~ “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”

Revelation 17:2 ~ “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

Revelation 17:8 ~ “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

Revelation 17:18 ~ “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

Revelation 18:3 ~ “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Revelation 18:9 ~ “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,”

Revelation 18:11 ~ “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

Revelation 18:23 ~ “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”

Revelation 19:19 ~ “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army

12.  Holman Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, TN 37234, USA, 1991-1998, Electronic Media, see “Faith,” page 469.

13.  Vincent’s Word Studies, Marvin R. Vincent, Covenant Parsonage, New York, USA, 1886, E-Sword, Rick Myers; http://www.e-sword.net

14.  Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Albert Barnes, (1798-1870), e-Sword.net.

15.  For Further Research on the Subject of “The Faith of Christ

THE FAITH OF CHRIST, Grace Bible Study; http://www.gracebiblestudy.net/TheFaithofChrist.html

THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST: THE NARRATIVE SUBSTRUCTURE OF GALATIANS 3:1-4:11, Richard B. Hays, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, 2002

THE FAITH OF CHRIST, ENGAGING THE WRITINGS OF RICHARD B. HAYS, 19th Annual Symposium on Exegetical Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, January 20, 2004; http://www.ctsfw.edu/events/symposia/papers/sym2004just.pdf

IS THE FAITH OF JESUS FORMED IN US (GOD CENTERED) OR IS IT OUR FAITH IN HIM (MAN CENTERED), http://www.scionofzion.com/foc_fic.htm

BY THE FAITH OF CHRIST, OR THE FAITH IN CHRIST, Tony Warren; the mountain retreat; http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/bible/faithof.html

THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST – ROMANS 3:21-22, Ian Potts, http://thegospelofgod.wordpress.com/2007/11/14/the-faith-of-jesus-christ-romans-321-22/

THE FAITH OF CHRIST IS LACKING IN THE NEW KING JAMES BIBLE, http://www.geocities.com/benwebb.geo/faithofChrist.html

16.  NTGreek.org ~ “RESOURCES FOR LEARNING NEW TESTAMENT GREEK,” Corey Keating, http://www.ntgreek.org

17.  New Testament Exegesis, Benjamin Chapman, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI 49506,USA, 1977.

18.  Do Acts which Display Faith Create a Believer, or is it that Believer’s Display Acts of Faith

By way of example let us first consider the wise old expression: “we are not sinners because we sin, but we sin because we are sinners.”

This goes back to the idea that it is human nature that is sinful, and therefore it is acting human to be sinful, humans cannot be sinless.

This is where our focus needs to be concerning the subject of sin, because if we focus on the individual acts we may think that we are sinning less on a particular day and therefore our attention is placated upon a false assumption that we can ever be less sinful and therefore more worthy of forgiveness.

The very act of trying to minimize our sinfulness is sinful (“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” ~ 1 John 1:8).

This principle is also true concerning the flip side of the issue, that of salvation as well. We believe because we are believers, rather than we are believers because we believe.

Ephesians 2:8 states:

for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Even the very belief (cognitive) that we exercise, which is referred to as “faith(faith as an action, is the application of belief), is a gift from God, and not something that merits (earns or is in exchange for … ~ Romans 4:4) salvation.

God will be the debtor of no man (Isaiah 42:8; 48:11), it is God that chose us (John 6:44) before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-6), man has never chosen God (Romans 3:10-18).

This is not to take from our responsibility of trusting in God, yet this goes back to the fact that we exercise faith because of God and not ourselves. It is His displayed faithfulness in the Word of God that we rely upon (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23), not the strength of our own belief (2 Timothy 2:13). The point is that the faith is the substance that is borne out in the life of the believer.

19.  Elwell’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, Walter A. Elwell, Baker Book House Company, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA, 1984, Electronic Media.

The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’
is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”

Brent

3 comments

  1. Awesome amount of work. Would be very powerful if you also had a version for “smaller bites”.

    Like

  2. You are right. I hope to do so in the future. As you can tell I am a detail person, a bit too much most would say. In this day and age few are willing to take the time to fully read my articles.

    I want to make sure I totally nail down these subjects as some might have a hard time accepting them. Regarding this article, almost all scholars disagree with my take, yet it is important in understanding faith and the place it must take in our lives, as it did in the human life of Jesus; our Lord, Savior, and God.

    I write for one main purpose, that Christ would be gloried by His children growing in faith because of what is in His word. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Brent

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks. I look forward to reading your articles, love the subject matter. Brent

    Like

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Faith Bible Ministries Blog ~ An Online Study of the Bible

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This online Bible study series addresses primary New Testament words in their original language - Koinè Greek - as opposed to mainly using the English translations; which is like adding color to a black-and-white picture.

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

Faith Bible Ministries

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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