The following is a response to a question asked in the comment section regarding my article entitled “Believers do not Pay the Penalty for their Sins, but they May Pay the Consequences” ~ LINK (this is somewhat revised with images added).
Comment by Pastor Mike: “How does a believer be strong in the Lord?”
The answer is you become strong in the Lord by growing in faith.
God and Faith
Faith is my responsibility (I must hear and understand the Word of God, which is how faith grows), strength is God’s responsibility; because He is our strength.
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 ~ KJV)
I have the ability to grow in faith by studying and reading God’s word (Jude 1:20, “building up“) and witnessing that of the over 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah, and almost 2000 prophecies of the future that have been spoken from the Old Testament are coming to pass or have been fulfilled, which leads to the conclusion that this book which “declaring the end from the beginning” (Isa. 46:9-10), displays that its author was not human and could only be written by God (please see footnote #1 for the definition of Biblical faith).
Therefore, this book is more than trustworthy, it is a vehicle of creating faith.
FOR IT IS GOD WHO IS OUR STRENGTH, AND
IT IS FAITH THAT WE EXERCISE IN THAT FACT
AS A CHILD OF HIS. WE ARE TO KEEP OUR EYES ON HIM,
The Lord is my Strength
We are told in Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV)
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
And in Joshua 1:9 (KJV)
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
And as Paul reminds us we are to do something, put on all the armour; but then we are to STAND – IT IS HE WHO FIGHTS FOR US, as stated in Ephesians 6:10-11 (KJV):
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
I am to Grow in Faith
I grow in faith whenever I trust God, and though the events of my life seem to contradict what His plan for me should be, I hold onto Him in spite of it all, even when He doesn’t do what I want Him to do; yet I still have faith in Him, because time after time, even when evil things happen, He brings good and displays nothing but love and goodness to me, even in a life that can be filled with pain and misery.
Joy of the Lord
Faith in God is where I get the “joy of the Lord,” wherein I rejoice (the action of expressing joy) in the Lord, because He is my strength, and I know this – I trust in this, in Him and therefore I lean upon Him in complete assurance, wherein nothing is impossible with Him, therefore I rejoice. Knowing and understanding this assurance comes from a changed perception as a child of God – an enlightening of the Holy Spirit.
JOY IS PREDICATED ON OUR POINT OF VIEW,
NOT OUR SITUATION.
The word “happiness” is derived from the word “happen,” such as what happens to us, which only deals with the external world we live in, and is not an innate internal condition.
The “joy of the Lord” has to do with an internal peace (“Be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and by petition with thanksgivings, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Phil. 4:6-7) wherein even when terrible things happen to us, we still have joy because we trust in the Lord, we have faith in Him. And we have faith in Him because repeatedly He has always taken care of us. Faith is never blind, it’s always based upon something, what we would refer to as a track record.
The Process of Faith Which Leads to Joy
When we first experience faith, it is in the form of belief which is a mental state – a process, and if halted here does us no good (this is what James was speaking about in James 2:19).
Then once belief is exposed to the Word of God, wherein we read of prophecies given hundreds of years before their fulfillment, and read things that are beyond human ability to write, this produces a conviction that it is true wherein faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
The difference between belief and conviction can be seen in what men will do for it. A man will never die for what he knows is a lie, he may die for a mere belief (meaning something they think, but is not validated to the extent it becomes a conviction), but millions of men have died for their convictions in wars and times of peace, convictions are always much greater a motivation than cognitive thought, a belief.
A conviction is a belief that becomes so strong that it changes the mindset of the individual and produces a change in behavior and actions.
This is what faith is, it starts with a mental belief, is combined with examining the word of God which produces a conviction, which changes the person’s way of thinking, their worldview to the extent that it changes their behavior.
And it is faith that brings an inner peace which is referred to as the “joy of the Lord.”
The joy of the Lord is more than a feeling, as our feelings are based upon our emotions, and emotions are unstable, inconsistent, and never meant to lead us in our lives.
Joy in a broad sense as found in the generic Greek word khar-ah’ (G5479), which means: cheerfulness, that is, calm delight: – gladness. When speaking about the joy of the Lord in particular, it is a sense of calm which transcends our situation or our emotions, it is a synonym for a spiritual peace, unlike worldly experiences. This is why the martyrs of Christ, while dying for His namesake, displayed a sense of peace.
THE JOY OF THE LORD IS FOUND ONLY
WHERE A FIRM FAITH HAS GROWN
Habakkuk 3:18-19 (KJV), gives us greater insight into the blessing that leads us to rejoicing in the Lord, as it exhibits that God extends our perception, when it states:
“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”
Do you know what this means?
This is a word picture which has great meaning. You see in the Bible many times when it speaks about valleys it speaks about tribulation, about a time of testing, such as:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 ~ KJV)
The desert valley provided exhaustion because of direct sunlight, but also brought vulnerability to the animals in the basin. As contrasted to the blessing that we see in Scripture repeatedly speaking about the mountain, where there is protection from predators.
When this passage speaks about, “and he will make my feet like Hinds feet,” this is speaking about the back claws and Dewclaws of a mountain deer that gives them abilities to climb up sheer cliffs and get away from predators.
It gives them the ability to get on the top of the mountain.
You see when you are in the valley you are limited in your perception of where you are and what is happening around you and where the enemy is.
Yet, when you are on the mountaintop your perception is much different in that you see where everything is.
From the mountain you see a predator making his way to you, from a mountain you see where you may go, or not go, and is beyond.
From the mountain top you can determine where the water is below you, and watering holes that are dried up.
It is common for God to use these types of metaphors, object lessons, and picture stories to communicate to us on a diversity of levels, levels where color is added to the black and white of the written word, these tools of rhetoric are found in every language and culture and are referred to as “Figures of Speech,” and they are prolific in both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament.
Figures of Speech
God’s Word, the Holy Bible is rich in utilizing many of these figures of speech (E. W Bullinger chronicles and details 217 Greek and Roman figures of speech, especially as they pertain to the Bible). However, this does not mean that we are to rationalize translating the Bible figuratively, abusing figures of speech and implying that a passage should be taken figuratively only, rather than literally. Figures of Speech are designed to always support literal interpretation, never figurative.
A thorough examination of the Word of God will display that every person in the Bible that interpreted a prior writer in the Bible, always interpreted them literally, (such as: Daniel concerning the 70 years, Jesus concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, Paul concerning the gospel being spread to the Gentiles), and this is how we interpret the Word of God – literally.
Yet, within all languages there are tools of communication such as metaphor, simile, hyperbole, analogy, and many other tools of rhetoric that communicate meaning by using symbols, word pictures, numbers, colors, names, and even the lives of individuals; all in an effort to add color to the black-and-white print of God’s Word.
Most of these are referred to in the Bible within the books of Colossians (Colossians 2:17), and Hebrews (Hebrews 8:5, 10:1), using the term “shadows.”
It is the shadows of things to come that we find many of the greatest prophecies concerning the Messiah’s First and Second Coming, the Last Days, and Israel, God’s people that He has not forsaken (Romans 11:25-32).
It is these rich expressions where words are used outside of their commonly understood meaning that give greater insight and emotion to what is being stated. A good example would be if I said to you, “get off my back,” expressing that I desire for you to quit nagging me about something.
You’re not literally on my back, but the meaning is literal in that I want you to quit acting like a weight on my back pulling me down and making me stooped over in burden, taking greater responsibility for something that you think I’m not taking with proper acceptance.
You see the understanding is concerning a literal situation, yet the figurative language only adds color to the literal situation and does not change the meaning of what is being communicated to a figurative esoteric contrivance.
When people take the symbols of Revelation and take it out of both the biblical and immediate context, and say it applies to something totally different than what the book is presenting, therefore stripping it of any literal sense of acceptance or understanding, they make it mute in their attempt to take away the power of what is being conveyed.
Preterists are Christians who believe all the prophecies of the Bible are fulfilled in the past, by using figurative interpretation, not literal. An example of this type of mindset is that approach the first four chapters of Revelation in attempt to say that this book is fulfilled in the first few hundred years after the death of Christ, and relate the 10 persecutions upon Christians concerning the 10 emperors of Rome to prove their point (there is always SOME truth in any wrong teaching) drawing to the conclusion that we are now within the millennial reign of Christ, where Satan is to be chained, and Jesus is ruling the world in righteousness, is a common teaching among Preterists referred to as Amillennialism.
Amillennialism is a form of eschatology (Last Days events) wherein Christians who do NOT believe in a literal millennium rule of Christ. They follow the biblical interpretation method of teaching as founded by the Alexandrian Bishop Origen Adamantius who broke biblical interpretation into three types, the most dominant and prevalent he referred to as “Spiritual Interpretation,” which was figurative in nature. Most people are not aware that he did not believe in the deity of Jesus, virgin birth or the inerrancy of the Bible or its total inspiration.
According to the word of God he was not a Christian in the true sense of the word, he was not a believer and therefore should not be followed concerning his teaching styles. He interpreted mass volumes of the Bible as figurative in nature. Many scholars believe he did this in extreme reaction to his literal emasculation, which he performed on himself. Some believe he went to 180° after this confessed error of interpretation and self-mutilation, wherein from this point on he interpreted the Bible figuratively.
Biblical scholars refer to these figures of speech when used in the Bible as “Expositional Consistency”, meaning that these types of consistent symbols are uniformly understood throughout the whole of the Bible. Such as, if the Old Testament refers to Satan as a serpent (Genesis 3), then when we see a serpent mentioned in the book of Revelation (Revelation 12:9), it is referring to the same thing, or in this case person.
When we see the Messiah dying for the sins of the world (Isaiah 52 and 53), and pictured as a lamb (Genesis 22:7) in a sacrificial system of the Old Testament (Exodus 12), when we see the “Lamb of God” referred to in the New Testament (John 1:29, 36), it again is referring to the same person; the Messiah – Jesus.
Gold always refers to deity, as well as the color purple. Silver always symbolizes redemption. Regarding the symbolic use of numbers, they all have individual meaning and symbols in every society, but especially within the Hebrew and Greek mindset. These symbols are never to take the place of literal interpretation attempting to make what is literal, figurative.
They are only meant as a nuance, to add greater clarity to what is already stated and never to discount or make void what is stated.
As already stated, the best description of it would be like adding color to a black and white picture, but never changing the picture itself. These are tools to build faith in the written word and what God says displaying a complete consistency through all 66 books, which make up one volume, with only one author – God.
God Gives His children the Blessing of His Perceptive
The symbolism of Habakkuk 3:18-19 is that God will give His people the ability to climb the high places of the mountain for protection and perspective, so that they can walk in God’s high places, when it says, “mine high places,” referring to sharing His ability to perceive things that cannot be seen while walking through the valley.
What a blessing this is, this reassurance that He will give us this perspective of seeing things not according to human limitations, but based upon the insight that God shares from His word, all of this is meant to have many purposes, but one main purpose, that we would grow in faith, again this is what we are to do with God’s word as Romans 10:17 says,
“faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God;” (Romans 10:17) which simply means in the Greek, that we gain faith through examining God’s Word.
As we grow in faith, day by day, situation by situation trusting Him, especially when we go through the valley of the shadow of death, and our prayer is to be taken out of the valley, yet this is not what we are promised; to be relieved of the situation.
Our promise is that He is with us as we go through it, faith is not ONLY a way of getting our will to be done (please do not misunderstand, petition is always good and available to our Father), faith is meant to produce in us an attitude where we ask for God’s will to be done, knowing that He knows what’s best for us at that given time, and is more than trustworthy – this is what faith is, and as we exercise faith, we grow in faith.
Faith is a Muscle
And if a muscle is not exercised, it dies. In the Greek grammar, “faith” is always moving, we see this in even the noun form of faith (pístis ~ G4102), where it functions more like a verb (the 15th century middle English vernacular might be a verbal noun – see next sentence), which, unfortunately is translated into the English word “believe;” which I will now explain why the use of the word unfortunately.
History of the English Words for Faith and Believe
In the late 15th century the English verb form of faith, fell out of usage, and translators of the English translation of the Bible utilized the word “believe” in its place, as a verb which was very similar to the verb form of the word faith. (see Holman’s Bible Dictionary, pp 469)
The verb form of the word “faith,” would have been “faithé,” or “faitheth,” or even “faithing” (also see: feith, feithé, fayth, faythé)
To repeat, at the time, the word “believe” was somewhat synonymous with the word “faith.”
However, the word believe has changed – please, look it up in the English dictionary – you will find it is a “cognitive process,” something that is mental only, whereas the verb form of the word faith while utilizing a belief initially, the word faith connected an action that was necessitated, meaning that verb faith, was something that was done not merely thought.
This explains why the English (noun) word “faith” is not found in the book of John, the English (verb) word “believe” is used, it is the Greek (verb) word pisteúō; which is taken from the noun pístis, yet the concept is clearly the word which is its root, “faith,” and not the English word believe, which again is only cognitive.
What was Jesus saying in John 6:29
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (KJV)
What was Jesus saying here? Was he asking them to have a mental belief, or was it more much more. He was asking them to commit their lives and their trust in faith upon Him as the Messiah who would make them right before God. The English understanding of the word believe is NOT what is seen here – a mental thought – what is seen is a life changing commitment, due to a complete conviction which involves a complete changing of one’s mind and heart, which by mandate displays changed behaviors and actions.
It is possible to have what is referred to as a fleeting thought, or even a discretionary thought, something that is entertained in one’s mind, yet this is not what the Greek word for faith means in its verb tense or its noun tense.
Faith displays a conviction which motivates behaviors. I could approach an ancient wooden rope bridge crossing a deep ravine. I couldn’t believe that it would hold my weight enough to risk my life, but this belief keeps me on the one side with never having to cross to the other. It is when faith takes hold and I am willing to wager my life by crossing the rope bridge that is the difference between the two words.
And as said ad nausea:
“So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“
The expression, “so then,” is a conclusion to all that preceded it. Wherein Paul, in the 10th chapter, the 17th verse of the book of Romans is making a concluding statement, that the conviction of faith must be prefaced on reading and understanding God’s word to the extent, that what is believed is life-changing, hence a conviction that is much more than a though!
Conviction is what we get when we read God’s Word, and see prophecies come true, and wisdom far beyond human ability. It is when our initial belief is solidified in the conviction that what God’s word says is true and we are willing to hang our body on that conviction, that we are at the place of exercising verb faith.
IN ENGLISH WE HEAR A GRAMMATICAL ERROR
STATED TOO FREQUENTLY, THAT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WERE WILLING
TO DIE FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVED, YET THE TRUE SYNTAX
IS THAT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WERE WILLING TO DIE FOR THEIR CONVICTIONS.
Lest I be misunderstood, please allow me to beat this to death concerning the differences of these two words – I have found that people do not understand this difference, don’t understand how to grow in faith.
Belief = Thought
Salvation starts with a thought, a belief, but must transcend to be mingled with conviction to the extent that it becomes Biblical faith, which is always seen in behavior; not mere mental assent. This is why James speaks about the devils believing, yet that belief does not bring salvation, it actually brings condemnation, because they’ve seen God, and they know Him, and that He exists and is powerful; yet they do not have faith in God, they have placed their faith in Lucifer becoming unbelievers and will pay the penalty through-out eternity for their refusal to have faith in God. They have faith in the lie of Lucifer and his insanity as stated in his proposed faith in himself of being superior to God, as seen in his five statements said in his heart (Isa. 14:12-20; Eze. 28:12-19).
In the King James, when it states the Lord as saying “Oh ye of little faith,” that rendering does not give a full nuance of what this expression truly means in the Greek. The Greek word used here for “little faith” is actually the Greek singular word “oligopistos,” which some have translate as “incredulous, that is, lacking confidence.” Yet the dynamics of the linguistics of this Greek word are seen in how this word is broken down into its individual components. It starts with the noun form of faith, pistis, then the word oligos, meaning: “Of uncertain affinity; puny (in extent, degree, number, duration or value); especially neuter (adverbially) somewhat: – + almost, brief [-ly], few, (a) little, short, small, a while.” Yet to fully grasp what this word means is not to see it as a measurement of strong verses weak, but more of the idea of dwindling smallness. The idea here is that their faith is weak and dwindling even more. A Doctor in Classical and Koiné Greek linguistics once said that both the verb and noun forms translated into the English word faith conveyed a sense of movement, either diminishing or growing. Though this movement was not to be gauged in minutes or hours, or perhaps even days, it is conveyed in the idea of a process (WES).
Faith must be expressed in actions, and behaviors, understanding that the difference is that acts are individual, and behaviors are patterns; wherein it is behaviors which are exhibited based upon conviction.
The best analogy is the analogy of a chair. Wherein, after a hard day’s work of standing up all day long, lets say I go to visit someone on their front porch. I look at the only available chair and it is obviously very old and weathered. I can look at this rickety old chair, and visually examine if it would appear to hold my weight. I could walk around it and observe the joints, the materials it’s made of, and come to a hypothetical thought that it would hold my weight.
However, I would not be exercising biblical faith until I sat in it, where my attitude displays more than a mental assent, but the conviction that it would be safe to sit in that chair to the extent it controls my actions. Wherein the conclusion is seen in my initial action of sitting in the chair, only to grow into a habitual behavior, not needing to go through such a tedious mental consideration each and every time I come to visit my friend.
Faith = Rest
This is why within ancient Hebrew root etymology, the original pictorials used to display faith were seen in illustrations of “a man leaning on a staff, wherein without the staff he could not stand up.” (Also the concept of faith was also found in the example of little chicks going to rest underneath the hand during the storm, again placed in their trust in their mother to protect them during a time of distress.)
We see a New Testament example of this found in Hebrews 11:21, when Jacob is in bed, sitting up by placing all of his weight upon his staff, worshiping God; then he blessed Joseph’s sons. He was placing his faith in the staff to hold him up with the Greek word epee (translated into the English: “leaning upon“), which is a primary preposition properly meaning superimposition, and understood to mean “to rest on,” “to put one’s weight on in total trust that it will hold and not break.“
Within the ancient Semitic languages, the words used for the concept of trust and faith were understood as synonyms for resting upon, which is what we see in the book of Hebrews where the writer analogizes rest with saving faith (please see endnote #2).
So Pastor Mike, when you asked me how to be strong in the Lord, it is not about our strength, but God’s strength, He is our strength, yet it is our faith that allows us to rest in our trust of His ability, as well as His desire to uphold us. Our strength comes from believing in Him and His power, which is without restraint.
Psalms 19:12-14, says
“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (KJV)
In fact, what seems to be antithetical, is that when we are weak, His strength is made perfect in us, that word meaning completely mature, but why?
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
It is because that whenever I go through affliction and pain as Paul went through, and still trust God in faith, that faith grows stronger, and as I see that God’s Will is so much greater than my own; that He could even use the situations of affliction and pain, this indeed increases my faith that much more.
Remember what Peter said concerning our witness to the world in regards to our hope, remembering that it is faith that must grasp hope – that we cannot have hope without first having faith. 1 Peter 3:15 says:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (KJV)
This is how we grow in faith, the only strength that we have, based upon our own effort can only be in stepping out in faith, watching God move, and in growing in that faith.
REMEMBER, JUST LIKE A MUSCLE,
FAITH MUST BE TORN
AND RIPPED, ALLOWED TO HEAL,
YET AGAIN TORN AND RIPPED
TO GROW IN MASS AND STRENGTH
God Even Uses Our Sin to Build Faith
Now concerning the article from which you asked your question, let me go on to make the further point concerning God’s ability and power to use everything in our lives, even though many times we pay the consequences for our sin, though the price of our sin was paid for by Christ 2000 years ago, yet God even uses the situations for our betterment. This is what Romans 8:28 means when it states:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (KJV)
The Greek translated all things is without any exception whatsoever, yet this should never be used as an excuse to commit sin. Because Christ died and paid the penalty for our sins, but most the time we will pay a consequence for those sins on earth, and it is our loved ones and families at also share in that pain.
Moses paid a consequence for murdering the Egyptian, David paid a consequence for arranging for the murder of the Hittite, Peter paid a consequence for denying the Lord; yet what you see is that even with our failures, when our faith is so small that is going in reverse per se, we see that God is faithful and brings us through the situations and uses what was evil to bring out good in our lives, so that we again grow in faith.
THIS IS WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT BEING
A CHILD OF GOD, HE DOESN’T WASTE ANYTHING
IN OUR LIVES, NOT EVEN OUR SIN
He can do miracles and increase our faith, he can let us go through tribulation and suffer and our faith increases, he will even use our own sin to show his greatness and his ability to take care of it in spite of ourselves, again with a consequence of growing in faith.
So, we are not to be depressed because we will pay the consequences for sin in our life, we should learn not to repeat these sins. But at the same time we must always remember “God is not mocked,” He will NOT let us continually sin without repercussions on the earth, this is where He chastens us, and how we grow in trusting Him and seeing that what He has said is a much better way, than our own desires which get us into sin.
Our God is an awesome God, our eternities are sealed with Him, and we have the blessing of walking on this earth; sometimes through affliction, yet we have joy because we can trust Him, and know that our future is sealed with Him, and that anything that happens to us – No, everything that happens to us is God filtered, wherein God allows the hedge to be lifted as He did with Job, yet the blessing is on the other side is we grow in faith.
You Meant for Evil, but God Meant It for Good
Remember what Joseph said to his brothers after Jacob died, and they were fearful Joseph would take revenge for the evil they did to him as recorded in Genesis 50:20, he said
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.“ (KJV)
this is referring to over a dozen years in prison that Joseph served as a slave, and more years added on because he refused to sleep with his master, Potiphar’s wife. His brothers had cost him years of tribulation and affliction, yet Joseph had grown in faith to the extent he knew that God had used their evil to bring about the good of the whole family of Jacob, who would become the mighty nation of Israel in Egypt.
Even when the time would come when a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph (Acts 7:18), “another king arose“ (Please see Endnote #3) and the miracles wrought by Joseph’s God, made the Jews who were prospering in the land slaves because he was trying to exploit his position as an Assyrian ruling in Egyptian kingdom (Isa. 19:23), knowing that enslaving the Jews would gain him notoriety, yet through their affliction, they sought God.
You see, God is in control of everything, which does not mean that He causes evil, but even when evil occurs He conducts His will and shows Himself all-powerful, which is the reason why we trust Him more and more, and the muscle is ripped, and we become mightier in faith, though it is always because we can trust in the strength of the Lord.
It is God’s strength, but it is our faith in that strength that brings us the joy of the Lord, and empowers us to do His will.
Pastor Mike, hope this helps, not sure if this is where you are want to go with this question, please comment back.
The difference between belief and faith is somewhat analogous to the
difference between involvement and commitment.
“The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’
is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”
1. Faith Defined
One of the major areas wherein this ministry spends an excess amount of time concerns the subject of Biblical faith, understanding that faith concerns establishing and maintaining a relationship of trust with God (not simply a tool of petition – and there is always a place for petition), that it is one of the virtues that we inherit in the image and a son of God wherein all of our relationships are built upon a foundation of faith, or they are destroyed by disobedience in the case of God, and a lack of faithfulness in the case of humans.
You see faith is more than just a vehicle, it is a necessity of life in regards to human relationships. This is part of the image and a set of God, not that God needs faith; but God mandates that we have faith in him in order to establish a relationship with him (this was the first violation, Adam did not trust God – the text is not indicating that he was angry or feeling rebellious, he was sinless at the time. His issue was he did not trust that God could give him a replacement for Eve when she chose to break her relationship with God I not trusting Him).
This explains why it is impossible to please God without faith, as stated in Hebrews 11:6,
“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.”
Not only because we come to God based on faith that He exist, but that those that seek Him, He rewards in a relationship where He takes care of us. God desires those that exercise faith as a free will action in placing their trust in God, which grants us access to God’s grace to become His children through faith, which is the greatest reward man could ever receive.
There is no other value or personal character trait which pleases God, but faith; at least not in this special way according to God’s Word.
Faith Comes from the Bible
The place we gain Biblical faith is God’s Word, as stated in Romans 10:17,
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“
1 Peter 1:23 says
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
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; which 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, which when crossed-referenced within itself present in such a way that it is obvious that 40 different men could not have utilized the exact same type of “Figures of Speech.”
Including: typology, such as seen in metaphor, similes, models; along with prophetic symbols as seen in even the use of numbers, colors, events, material and substances, dates, mathematics, names, roles, and even people’s personality and lives; all done to portray a shadow (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1) 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, and it is thus worthy of our complete trust, all pointing to Jesus the Christ as the Creator and Saviour of the world, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the center of God the Father’s kingdom, preeminent in ALL things, GOD.
Indeed it is God who inspired and orchestrated this book, not written by man, but written through men, 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).
Unfortunately, many Christians have been taught to focus on faith as a tool to acquire the things sought, rather than understanding that faith is a relationship with God, to trust whatever He has allowed or guided to be in our lives, and that God is trustworthy and in total control of all of our lives, no matter what it appears to be from the human vantage point.
Of all the qualities that our current generation LACKS, perspective (Discernment) and fidelity (Latin for “Faith,” as in: trusting God no matter what, and being trustworthy) are perhaps the greatest, hence the reason that this subject needs to be studied in great depth regaining a biblical understanding of faith, which many in this generation have seemed to have lost.
2. God’s Rest
Heb. 3:11 ~ So in My anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter My place of rest.'”
Heb. 3:18 ~ And to whom was God speaking when He took an oath that they would never enter His rest? Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed Him?
Heb. 3:19 ~ So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter His rest.
Heb. 4:1 ~ God’s promise of entering His rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.
Heb. 4:2 ~ For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.
Heb. 4:3 ~ For only we who believe can enter His rest. As for the others, God said, “In My anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter My place of rest,'” even though this rest has been ready since He made the world.
Heb. 4:5 ~ But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter My place of rest.”
Heb. 4:6 ~ So God’s rest is there for people to enter, but those who first heard this good news failed to enter because they disobeyed God.
Heb. 4:7 ~ So God set another time for entering His rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts.”
Heb. 4:8 ~ Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come.
Heb. 4:9 ~ So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God.
Heb. 4:10 ~ For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.
Heb. 4:11 ~ So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.
3. Another King
“But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, till another [het’eros] king arose, which knew not Joseph.” (Act 7:18-19 ~ KJV)
In Koiné Greek, there are 2 different words translated into the English word for “another.”
Another, of the same of the same kind.
Another, of the same of a different kind. (Act 7:18), this King was an Assyrian ruling in Egyptian kingdom (Isa. 19:23).
1). Whereas the Greek word [allos] [G243], translated “another” in the English means: another of the same type.
2). The Greek word [het’eros] [G2087], translated into the English word “another,” actually means: another of a different type.
An example of this is seen when comparing John 14:16, and Acts 7:18.
The John 14:16 passages states:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another [allos] Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever“
And Acts 7:18, which states:
“Till another [het’eros] king arose, which knew not Joseph.”
In the first example, the word for “Another” as in John 14:16 means: the same of the same kind, in connecting Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as being of the same essence.
However, the second example of the word “Another“, as in Acts 7:18 is an example of: the same of a different kind. Here, Stephen in giving the Old Testament Bible study, declares that the Pharaoh of the Exodus was not Egyptian (we learn from Isa. 52:4, that he was an Assyrian); he was “another king,” but of a different race. When Moses speaks about this Pharaoh, it does not give any details as to there being any differance (though the Septuagint and the Talmud state the difference). Moses states in Exo. 1:8:
Other examples are: