Substantive Christian Faith

in

We were created for a Kingdom of faith and belief, not of doubt and fear. It wasn’t that Adam and Eve needed to doubt Satan, it was that they needed to believe God.  Satan was presenting a false reality, if they were living the true reality and believing accordingly, the deceptive offer would have been inconsequential in comparison. The thing that got them into trouble was doubting God, rather than, believing Satan. They could not have believed the lie if they had not doubted the truth.

Christians are often conditioned to be skeptics rather than believers.

We are fearfully skeptical of being susceptible to anything false—so much so that we live according to that fear reality instead of the true reality. More than fear of being taken in by false religion, we fear being taken in by false doctrine or a false prophet.

It is the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth. If we are living in a place of believing God and being led by His Spirit, His Spirit will witness to our spirit the truth in which we are to abide.

We ought to be able to see the truth in all things in all forms because Satan cannot create anything, he can only distort what is already real. It’s like opening a clam and finding a pearl. It may need a little cleaning, but a real pearl is still there.

Bill Johnson, of Bethel Church, often states that under the old covenant you touch a leper and you become unclean, but under the new covenant you touch a leper and the leper becomes clean.  This principle holds true for other things as well. We can touch something false and the falsity will fall away to reveal the true glory of the thing.

The false reality cannot jump on us and hold us hostage. We live in the liberty of the truth. However, this is not to say one ought to feed on a false reality. If we are continually consuming things that are false they can adversely alter our perspectives. We have to be solidly walking in the truth. When we walk immersed in His light the darkness is dispelled to mere shadows which cannot affect our light.

There is never any reason to exercise unbelief or skepticism.

We do not need to be skeptical of what is false when we believe what is true.  The false will be inconsequential in comparison. We do not need to practice not believing the Devil; we need to simply believe God.

According to I Timothy 4:1, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”  Notice that this comes from an abandoning of the faith.  We have to step out from the truth to follow deceiving spirits.  We are not going to follow them if we have not first abandoned the faith.

Hebrews 11:1 states that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Verse 3 elaborates on that point by saying, “By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.”

Therefore if faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, we can have a surety and certainty that God created the universe out of nothing visible.

Faith has often been misappropriated to mean blindly believing in something that has no substance or certainty.  Faith is not something employed when there is a lack of evidence, but it is itself the substance of something real and true.  Another translation of Hebrews 11:1 reads that faith is the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Faith has a tangible substantive quality tantamount to evidence of the unseen. In fact, faith is the greatest substance for it is of the Father Himself.

Faith is when our spirit tangibly touches His Spirit. It is contact with God, not merely mental agreement with a doctrine or propitious truth claim. It is an experiential connection between the natural and the divine that produces physical results in the natural world. The unseen becomes manifestly visible. Sometimes in a sense known only to the person of faith and sometimes it is powerful enough for others to see.

James 2:22 tells us that faith is completed by our actions. It’s like when we do something in line with the faith we have, we activate heaven to manifest which causes completion of that faith in our actions. A dormant faith does nothing for the believer or the world.  We must actively walk out what we know to be true.

Abraham didn’t sit back and believe God spoke to him about sacrificing Isaac; he actually went to go do what he was told to do. However, since he was in a relationship with God, in faith he did not proceed with the sacrifice of his son when God gave him the substitutionary offering. His faith was not based on what God said previously, but on the continual revelation of what God was saying in the moment. This is true faith. Anything less would have cost Isaac his life.

Faithfulness and righteousness are inextricably tied.

An individual or a nation cannot be faithful to false gods. No, anyone worshiping a false god is not faithful, but faithless.  If a husband forsakes his wife for an adulterous relationship, he has not become faithful to a new woman; he has become faithless to his wife. This is why when Israel turned away from God to serve created idols, God called them “faithless” and “adulterers.” Faith is a substance that comes from God. It cannot be allocated in a path separated from God.  To not be faithful in God is to be faithless.

This is not to say that people who do not have faith in the biblical God do not have a sincerity of belief. But the “faith” spoken of in the Bible is not a matter of intellectual belief, but a matter of connecting experientially and substantively with the person of Truth. A person, who just believes the doctrines of Scripture without connecting to the Person the Scriptures profess, does not have the faith spoken of in Hebrews 11.

Reading 2 Timothy 2:12-14 we see that our faithlessness disowns Him, but He is always faithful because He is always Himself, and cannot disown Himself. If faith is inextricably tied to being in line with Him, faith in anything else isn’t really faith at all.

Furthermore, Ephesians 4:5 clearly states that there is only “one faith.” It is; therefore, erroneous to refer to various religions as “faiths” for they are not “faiths” at all.  Within them, if you find true faith, that faith is in God, not in the religion. Only those who are faithful in Jesus have true faith which is substantive and righteous. This is why the righteous live by faith.  And this is why the faith of our forefathers was accounted to them as righteousness for only by that experience with God can faith be found and lived out. Only by Jesus can we have that experience with God.

 

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

A biblical view of romantic love

The Bible refers to a number of types of love. God is described as love and it is his love that enables human beings to love as well. Love of ... Read MoreA biblical view of romantic love

Tax Collector Turns Disciple

Matthew’s gospel is the first book of the New Testament and the second part of the Christian Bible. It is 28 Chapters long and in it, Matthew, one of the ... Read MoreTax Collector Turns Disciple

Mustard Seed of Faith

Jesus taught that faith the size of a mustard seed was sufficient to move mountains. Many will say they lack that much faith as they have never moved a mountain. ... Read MoreMustard Seed of Faith

Restoring American Independence

No matter one’s political or religious persuasion, we can all agree that America, as we have known her, is in danger. The pressures of a long-endured economic downfall continue to ... Read MoreRestoring American Independence

Salvation in the Christian tradition

Christianity possesses a number of key concepts that must be understood in order to have a clear understanding of its teachings. Among the most essential concepts is that of salvation. ... Read MoreSalvation in the Christian tradition