THE FAITH OF MAN

THE FAITH OF MAN

THE FAITH OF MAN

Our father in heaven, I thank you for today. Help us to be who you want us to be in Jesus name, Amen.

I’m going to be talking about the faith of man. I asked myself, why would God require faith from us? Why should it take faith to please God? In this write up, I’m going to try answering these questions and possibly more as God gives me the enablement.

There is no other place to start except from the beginning with Adam and Eve.

GOD’S FIRST COMMANDMENT TO MAN WAS: BELIEVE ME!

When God created Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden. In that garden there was a special tree that God had created; the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil.

God gave Adam and Eve one moral commandment to live by:

“Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17

GOD’S COMMANDMENT WAS SIMPLE: There was only one Law, not many.

GOD’S COMMANDMENT WAS EASY: It was a commandment not to do something. No effort was required.

 

GOD’S COMMANDMENT WAS CLEAR: God was indicating that righteousness cannot be achieved through learning the difference between right and wrong. To learn right from wrong would be a sin worthy of death with God. The way of righteousness would be to simply believe God and obey His commandment concerning the forbidden fruit.

Throughout the Bible ‘believing God’ is also referred to as ‘having faith in God’.

2 WHY IS FAITH IMPORTANT?

In Exodus Chapter 20. Moses got the 10 commandments it summed up God’s moral requirements for us; what we must do if we would be accepted (justified) and blessed by Him.

God’s commandments are divided into two sections. The first five address the ‘vertical’ relationship between us and God (and our parents). The second five address our ‘horizontal’ relationships with our fellow man. The first five are summed up in the commandment ‘Love God’, and the second five are summed up in the commandment ‘Love your neighbour’.

When God gave His one commandment to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, it represented the first five laws of Moses. The forbidden fruit represented the question of whether or not Adam and Eve were willing to love and worship God. It represented the question of whether or not they were willing to acknowledge four things:

1) The infinite wisdom of God.

2) The righteousness and trustworthiness of God.

3) The goodness, kindness and generosity of God.

4) The infinite power of God.

THE IRONY OF EDEN WAS THAT FAITH OBEYED THE LAW, WHILE LEARNING RIGHT FROM WRONG BROKE THE LAW.

3 WHAT WAS GOD’S PLAN?

God’s plan was simple. As Adam supplied the ‘primary righteousness’ of believing and honouring God, God was going to enter Adam’s body through the Holy Spirit and live inside him. The love, kindness, goodness and compassion of God Himself would flow out of Adam’s heart. This is still God’s plan today. God wants to share His very nature with us; He wants us to truly know what it is like to be God. In the book of Zechariah 4:6 it says “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” says the Lord of hosts.

Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God.”

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Philippians 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Colossians 1:27 “To whom God would make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Righteousness belongs to God alone. It is a supernatural trait. For instance, the ability to love our enemies is supernatural; we are not capable of it. But we can experience this ‘secondary’ righteousness if we are willing to provide the ‘primary’ righteousness of acknowledging and glorifying God.

FAITH = OBEYING THE LAW. As I have just pointed out, the forbidden Tree represented the most important Law of all time:

Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

In requiring that Adam and Eve simply believe, God was asking them to acknowledge His glory and trustworthiness, while also being thankful that He had created them and had given them all that they had. It was a most reasonable request and commandment.

Faith is often referred to in the Bible as ‘godliness’. It is an acknowledgement of God’s glory, and of the worship that He deserves. A proper attitude toward God is also the foundation of all other righteousness. When our hearts are right toward God, they are ‘tuned’ to relate properly with our fellow man as well. It is impossible to love our fellow man if we do not love God first. The logic of this is straightforward

He made us in His own image and likeness.  Man messed up. God is a God of faith who speaks and things happen. In our messed up state, Jesus came and died for us to give us a new lease of life. Now it is up to us to get the word of God into our system so we could be transformed into the real people God wants us to be. There is a lot in the process of having faith.

Someone might say, “I want strong faith. I am going to pray that God will give it to me.” The truth is, you don’t need to pray for it – you already have it stored up in you. All it requires is for you to activate it. Romans 12:3 says  “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith

Notice: it was a letter to Christians as we can see at the beginning of the book. Romans 1:7 “to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints …” And in it he told them that God has given to every man the measure of faith.”

If we turn to the book of Hebrews Chapter 11. Before the eleventh chapter in verse one where we will begin from, Paul had been talking about the works of faith and its usefulness. So, in the 11th chapter and verse one it says…

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence (Conviction) of things not seen…” Hebrews 11:1 The Hebrew word translated substance there is the word hupostasis, it means setting under, support, assurance or confidence. In other words faith is like the floor you are standing on. It is like the chair you are sitting on or the vehicle that takes you to your destination. The bottom line is this, FAITH is the support or carrier of your belief. Faith and Hope go hand in hand.

Unfortunately, the devil had sold a lie to the church and we bought it hook, line, and sinker. It’s called mental assent.

Many people read the scriptures and agree that it is true, but they are agreeing only with their minds. And that is not what gets the job done. It is heart faith that receives from God. Let us see Mark 11:23, 24
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”.

If you notice here in verse 23, the word “say” is mentioned three times. Three is the number of the Godhead. That is to tell you of the power of confession. The Godhead sanctions confession. You need to say what you believe, speak it out repeatedly.

Then there is another word there called “DOUBT” targeted at the heart where your belief is meant to be domiciled. The Greek word translated doubt here is the word diakrino, it means to separate thoroughly, to withdraw from, or oppose that which you believe. That word, Doubt comes in once. That is all it takes. Scripture tells us that… A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9. The picture here could be likened to that of a city garrisoned by heavy and high insurmountable walls. These walls are not what people can easily climb. (That stands for your faith.) Since the enemy finds it impossible to penetrate, they attack from a distance. They shoot a rain of fiery darts from their bows over the high and highly guarded fence into the city. Whatever the darts hit usually caught fire. In so doing, the defence behind the city gate and wall can be overcome when there is fire everywhere. They now engage in putting out the fire instead of manning their posts and the whole city can eventually be burnt down. That is the job of doubt. Like the case of Peter when the Lord asked Him to come to him walking on water. As long as Peter kept his eyes on the Lord, nothing happened But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.” Matthew 14:30 He got distracted from his only mission of focussing on the Lord. Fear came in like fired fiery darts.

In essence, doubt becomes those fiery darts shot into your heart to cause you to separate thoroughly, to withdraw from, or oppose that which you believe. When that happens, it’s all over. How do you guard against this?

How can we tell whether we have this heart faith or we are just mentally agreeing? Mental assent says, “I know God’s Word is true. I know God has promised it, but for some reason I can’t get it; I can’t understand it.” On the other hand, real faith in God’s Word says, “If God’s Word says it, then it’s so. It is mine. I have it now.” Faith says, “I have it, though I can’t see it.” Faith is for NOW!! Remember Hebrews 11:1 begins with Now faith is …” Two present tense words, NOW and IS, emphasising when it happens. There is nowhere in the scriptures we are advised to understand anything God says. He says believe me!!! That’s all. Like I told you last week, by their action Adam and Eve queried the veracity of God’s words, His instruction not to eat the fruit. That is what put us here today. The world says seeing is believing but faith says believing is seeing. The world has it backwards. Faith simply obeys the instruction regardless how stupid it may sound.

Notice from that Mark 11:24 verse quoted, that the receiving comes after the believing. “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” Jesus was simply saying, “You’ve got to believe you have it now first before you can receive it.”

Too many Christians have the “Thomas faith” when they should have that of “Abraham.” Thomas said, “I’ll not believe until I can see Him…” John 20:24-29. Whereas “Abraham staggered not at the promise of God … but was strong in faith.”
“Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body, now dead, (The fiery dart of doubt) when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:18-21

Faith does not deny reality but only acknowledges the word of God to be supreme over the situation. That was why Abraham “considered not his own body, now dead…”

Real faith is built on the Word of God. We should meditate on the Word; dig deeply into it and feed upon it. Then the Word becomes a part of us just as natural food becomes a part of our physical body when we eat. What natural food is to the physical man, the Word of God is to the spiritual man. Scripture says “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms 37:4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *