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Â Â Â Â The Walk of Faith
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Usable â€“ Working Formulae â€“ for Living Faith
We have all at one time or another experienced the natural
excitement of receiving some new supernatural revelation?
During those exciting times we are obviously enthusiastic and
usually just want to get alone so we can put the new revelation
However, in other instances we believe that we have a new
understanding but by the time we get alone and attempt to put the
new revelation into operation we discover that it just didnâ€™t work as
we had earlier expected! Why? Is this normal among Christians?
Are there reasons that these beliefs did not prove fruitful?
In these frustrating situations, we often feel that we are acting as mere
men, â€ś. . . are ye not carnal, and walk as men?â€ť (1 Cor 3:3). We should
not simply accept this fruitless outcome as the natural experience of all
Christians . What is the solution to these spiritual predicaments?
Jesus Christ is always the answer to all of lifeâ€™s problems! Peter says we get
answers to our problems â€ś through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our
Lord. â€ť Notice this concept in Peterâ€™s letter, â€ś Grace and peace be multiplied
unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord , According
as his divine power hath given (past tense) unto us all things that pertain unto
life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory
and virtue : (we get these things through knowledge! ) Whereby are given unto
us exceeding great and precious promises : that by these ye might (this word
expresses merely â€“ a potential) be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped
the corruption that is in the world through lustâ€ť (2 Peter 1:2-4). The last part of
the passage uses the word â€śmight;â€ť therefore, it is conditional and certainly
possible that a Christian might not!
Jesus died to redeem us from every aspect of the curse that was introduced by satan the
devil! The complete will of God for us is neither suffering nor pain nor problems nor
anything evil! Instead, we have â€ś exceeding great and precious promises â€ť through
Christ who has made us overcomers.
Jesus taught, in Luke 8:11 â€“ â€ś The seed is the word of God . â€ťÂ Please notice that we must
capture the idea that the â€śseedâ€ť identified in that specific parable â€śis the word of
therefore the parable of the sower â€ť (Matt 13:18)! The seed that was sown in us is not
just common seed it is good seed, â€śAnother parable put he forth unto them, saying, â€śThe
kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed (Sperma, what does
that sound like?) in his fieldâ€ť (Matt 13:24). This is the first time that the word â€śspermaâ€ť
appears in the bible! The apostle John used the word when he wrote, â€śWhosoever is born
of God doth not commit sin; for his seed (sperma) remaineth in him: and he cannot sin,
because he is born of Godâ€ť (1 John 3:9). Paul told us, â€śif ye be Christ's, then are ye
Abraham's seed (sperma) â€ť (Gal 3:29).
The concept of seed for the purpose of production of a harvest is extremely important to
God who said, â€śLet the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed , and the fruit tree
yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earthâ€ť (Gen 1:11).
A parable is something thrown alongside: (1) para â€“ alongside; (2) ballo â€“ to throw. Jesus
identified this parable as the most important because it holds the key to all parables, Mark
4:13-15 â€ś Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The
sower soweth the word (Here again, we see the word as being equivalent to seed) .â€ť In
other words, within the parable of the sower, there exists a potential to unlock the other
parables! Through understanding that specific parable, we literally can unlock much of
the Bible! The parable of the â€śsowerâ€ť is clearly a fundamental parable! How would you
like to unlock the Bible?
We discover that the word of God (the seed) is â€śsown in the heartâ€ť and immediately Satan
the devil comes along and takes away what was sown in the heart! We would be wise to
realize that Satan actually spends significant effort and time studying the word of God that
has been sown into our hearts! â€śAnd these are they by the way side, where the word is
sown; but when they have heard , Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the
word that was sown in their hearts .â€ť (Mark 4:15). So letâ€™s break down this important
passage into its component parts that we may review this five-fold seed-stealing process,
(1) â€“ â€śThe seed is the word of God,
(2) â€“ â€śwhich is sown in mans heart;â€ť
(3) â€“ â€śWhen any one heareth the word of the kingdom,â€ť
(4) â€“ â€śand understandeth it not;â€ť . . . the natural conclusion is
(5) â€“ â€ś Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in
their hearts .â€ť
This is the biblical five-fold process that graphically illustrates the course of action
regarding the destiny of the seed that was sown as expressed in the parable of the sower.
Let us examine this process more carefully.
Now pay close attention! satan the devil immediately comes along and steals away what
was sown in the heart! â€śHear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one
heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not , then cometh the wicked one,
and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart â€ť (Matt 13:18-19).
Notice, this takes place only, â€śWhen any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and
understandeth it not. â€ť We must clutch the concept that our lack of understanding is
what permits the seed to be stolen! This teaches us that Satan can only steal the word
â€śsown in our heartsâ€ť when it is not understood!
We have been taught that â€śfaith cometh by hearing.â€ť We all have been taught openly or
privately that when we hear something over and over; eventually we will acquire the
complete understanding! After all the word says, â€śSo then faith cometh by hearing, and
hearing by the word of Godâ€ť (Rom 10:17). So then if we hear over and over and over;
finally we will get the concept. But what happens if we donâ€™t understand? Letâ€™s realize
that Jesus taught something quite different! He said, â€śbut when they have heard, Satan
cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their heartsâ€ť (Mark
4:15). Satan always comes immediately after the word has been sown through our
hearing. Havenâ€™t we all experienced that immediately after we hear some wonderful new
biblical concept that Satan immediately shows up to water-down the idea in our hearts!
The Biblical concept is clear; when we hear something and donâ€™t understand it then
immediately the devil comes and takes it away! Well what if we hear something ten
times and donâ€™t understand it? Satan comes and takes it away all tem times. 10 X 0 is still
0! What about 1,000 times? 1,000 X 0 is still 0! The notion is not how many times we
hear something sown into our hearts; rather, the important thing is the
Understanding is the important component! Luke tells us, â€śThen opened he their
understanding, that they might understand the scripturesâ€ť (Luke 24:45). The Holy Spirit is
the means given to us by God through which we gain understanding, â€śAnd the spirit of the
LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding â€ť (Isa 11:2). Jesus
said, â€śBut the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my
name, he shall teach you all things (in other words He will give to us the important
component of understanding) , and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I
have said unto youâ€ť (John 14:26). Notice that Jesus said that it is the Spirit of God which
gives us the revelation of the (seed) or the word of God!
Let us realize that the Holy Spirit has the job of bringing the understanding to us.
Remember, it is not how many times we hear a thing that is important! What is important
is to get the understanding of the (seed) or the word of God into our lives. Often times
we are in the â€śfaithâ€ť process of believing for something from God; yet we do not observe
the â€śhoped forâ€ť thing come to pass! We perform all that we know to do; yet nothing is
comes to pass. We sometimes say to ourselves, â€śWell he got his healing;â€ť or â€śShe got her
answer, why doesnâ€™t God give me the what I have asked for?â€ť â€śDoesnâ€™t God love me?â€ť
â€śWhy do they get their prayers answered and I donâ€™t get mine?â€ť This precarious period
between the planting of the seed in our hearts and the manifestation of our hope is when
satan performs his ignoble deeds.
What we are all actually seeking after is to cause the word to bring forth its promised
harvest or fruit! The good news is that the word of God will definitely work in our lives;
read about the â€śexceeding great and precious promises!â€ť Yet the scripture says, â€śMy
people are destroyed for lack of knowledgeâ€ť (Hos 4:6). Letâ€™s not let the lack of
knowledge work against us! Letâ€™s observe the botanical truth which came from the very
lips of Jesus â€śVerily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground
and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit â€ť (John
12:23-24). What we are seeking after is the much fruit! The word of God is a seed; yet,
we are seeking after the harvest (fruit) that the seed produces! In reality we are seeking
after the promised harvest! The Bible gives us hope, â€śBe not deceived; God is not
mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap â€ť (Gal 6:7).
Most of us have been taught to use the word of God as a sword, â€śFor the word of God is
quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged swordâ€ť (Heb 4:12). Yet too many
people use the word of God as a sword before it has more properly been used as a seed!
Jesus said, â€śExcept a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone (that one
seed remains simply that one seed) .â€ť Now what does â€śdieâ€ť mean for the seed in that
verse? We would use a much different word in todayâ€™s English to describe the biological
process that Jesus was referencing! Do you know what that biological word is? What
happens to a seed when it is placed into the earth?
Jesus said, â€śbut if it die (germinates) â€ś it bringeth forth much fruit â€ť !
A seed will remain a seed until it germinates. It remains in the form of a seed until it
germinates or is consumed as food! Archeologists have found 2,000-year-old wheat seeds
stored in the Egyptian pyramids! They actually planted the seeds and produced an actual
wheat harvest from that ancient seed! Many of us Christians have bountiful stores of
seeds yet we do not yet see the promised harvest! We are literally turning into massive
grain bins of seed! We need to use the word as a sword; however, we must first learn to
use it as a seed !
The world has learned well from the saying inspired by satan, â€śSeeing is believing!â€ť
There was a certain nobleman who came to Jesus one day and asked that Jesus heal his son,
â€śThen said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe .â€ť Jesus
actually taught that he must believe even what he did not see , â€śJesus saith unto him, Go thy
way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him ,
and he went his wayâ€ť (John 4:50). The next day the man met his servant on the road and
discovered that the boy was healed when he first believed! But what if the man would
have allowed satan to steal away his seed of belief â€śthe word that Jesus had spoken?â€ť
In the same fashion as the nobleman, we must learn to be like a pregnant mother!
We must learn to nurture the seed while it is in us! The just shall live by faith! If we
nurture and speak/proclaim the seed which was planted in our hearts, the Holy Spirit will
come and germinate the seed! Part of our nurturing process is to â€śseeâ€ť the thing that we
are believing on the inside! This is called insight. Our very imagination must get
involved in this process toward germination. God Himself had to stop an evil imagination
that began in
have imagined to do â€ť (Gen 11:6). Imagination (insight) is a very powerful tool! Before
we can see something on the outside we must see it on the inside. God actually stopped
the evil imagination that was being promulgated by confusing the peopleâ€™s tongues!
Consider this example with respect to using the word as a seed â€“vsâ€“ using the word as a
sword â€“â€“ How many of you are going to heaven? Raise your hands if you believe that.
Have you stayed up for long nights confessing that you indeed are going to heaven? Have
you confessed this over and over against Satan in an attempt to beat him into submission
to this concept? No! You simply add the revelation knowledge from Godâ€™s word to your
faith and that is good enough for you! The seed has taken root in your soul and you donâ€™t
need to use your belief as a sword!
In the gospels we never observe Jesus building up his faith and then working hard or
â€śwhite knuckling it!â€ť Do you think that Jesus had any doubts when He called out
â€śLazarus, come forth?â€ť Jesus wasnâ€™t grunting or shaking! He simply had the revelation
knowledge from God, â€śI speak that which I have seen with my Father,â€ť (John 8:38); then
He simply spoke the word and the resurrection took place!
Jesus was mocked on the cross, they said, â€śLet Christ the King of Israel descend now from the
cross, that we may see and believe .â€ť Here we observe the saying, â€śSeeing is believing!â€ť
However, just like almost everything else we have learned through the word, the Bible
teaches the exact opposite, â€śBelieving is seeing!â€ť
Without revelation knowledge, we can become more timid in our approach to Godâ€™s promises!
Whenever we hear in church or in these bible studies that one person got healed and that
another had some revelation and then we begin go wonder, â€śWow, it really is possible to
receive things through faith?â€ť At this point, a seed of faith has been sown! However,
when we try to use the word before it is germinated we naturally experience frustration!
Remember the five-fold process,
(1) â€“ â€śThe seed is the word of God,
(2) â€“ â€śWhich is sown in mans heart;â€ť
(3) â€“ â€śWhen any one heareth the word of the kingdom,â€ť
(4) â€“ â€śand understandeth it not;â€ť . . . the natural conclusion is
(5) â€“ â€śSatan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.â€ť
You should at this point have the following question in mind, â€ś So how do I keep the seed
in my hearts so it may get germinated?â€ť Notice how Isaiah describes the process of
making one to understand, â€śWhom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make
to understand doctrine ? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the
breasts. (this sounds as if it is meant for those who are mature) For precept must be upon
precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people . To whom
he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest ; and this is the
refreshing: yet they would not hearâ€ť (Isa 28:9-12). We discover that we must enter into
this rest of God! â€śLet us labour therefore to enter into that rest , lest any man fall after the
same example of unbeliefâ€ť (Heb 4:11). We labor to enter; after that we simply rest ! This
the appearance much the same as when the children of
the Promised Land!
Jesus lived his entire life with the benefit of revelation knowledge, â€śAnd 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 LORDâ€ť (Isa 11:2). John the
Baptist was witness of Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit, â€śI saw the Spirit descending
from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon himâ€ť (John 1:32). Germination of the word is
revelation knowledge or understanding which comes through the Holy Spirit! The Holy
Spirit brings things to our remembrance and gives us understanding! Just like the
revelation knowledge that we have concerning going to heaven, we need to have the
â€śwordâ€ť germinated in us before we begin to see it produce its harvest!
We experience victory in this life through the things that we believe! Not by our actions,
but simply by resting in Jesus! We often say, â€śThis is the key that I needed!â€ť We always
seem to be lacking something and searching out some new seven point technique! When
all the while all we really needed was to enter into that restful condition! Jesus himself
gave the promise of rest, â€śCome unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest â€ť (Matt 11:28). When we fully realize that we of ourselves cannot do it; only
then are we almost there! It is not a matter of getting the proper seven keys or anything
else that we can accomplish through our own intellect. Jesus died that we might enter into
His rest and cease from our works, â€śFor he that is entered into his rest , he also hath
ceased from his own works , as God did from hisâ€ť (Heb 4:10).
Everything we need has already been accomplished for us in Jesus Christ, â€śGrace and
peace be multiplied (this concept is first used with regard to seed in Gen 16:10 â€śAnd the
angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly , that it shall not be
numbered for multitude) unto you through the knowledge of God (Biblical
multiplication comes through knowledge) , and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine
power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the
knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us
exceeding great and precious promises â€ť (2 Peter 1:2-4). Through our own strength we
cannot make any of the promises come to pass; all we can do is receive!
Living the victorious life is having the healing when we need it; or having the prosperity,
which we have confessed; or having a stable and happy family. These are part of the
promises, â€śWhereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises : that by
these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.â€ť Did you get the concept that it is
actually Godâ€™s very nature that is being imparted to us?
We need to realize that all of Godâ€™s Word essentially comes in the form of seed! From
Genesis through Revelation we have uncounted seeds of the Messiah. We need to view
every scripture as a divine seed about Christ! Every scripture is a different revelation of
the Christ; and in Christ (the Messiah) is everything that we will ever need! We must
learn merely to receive everything that Jesus has already done for us! The process,
through which we learn what Jesus has already done for us, begins with His word! It
doesnâ€™t matter how many times we hear it; what matters is how much we understand the
word! We can be sure that whenever we donâ€™t understand the word we must battle for
what has been sown in our hearts! Overcoming faith requires revelation understanding of
the word that has been sown!
Simply knowing the scripture is not enough. There are people who can quote more
scripture than you know. The Pharisees memorized the first five books of the Bible; yet,
they did not recognize their Messiah (Christ) ! So what good is just knowing the word,
â€śbut the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard
itâ€ť (Heb 4:2). Obviously, knowing and quoting scripture is one thing; but, understanding
the Word of God is something quite different!
The job of the Holy Spirit is to germinate the word in our hearts! Without the Holy Spirit
we become like the people that Isaiah prophesied over, â€śBut the word of the LORD was
unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here
a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and
snared, and taken â€ť (Isa 28:13). This is a picture of religious people like the Pharisees
who merely knew what the word said; yet, without the spirit giving them any revelation!
Notice that Isaiah teaches that it is with stammering words throuogh which the Holy Spirit
speaks to the people, â€ś For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to
this people â€ť (Isa 28:11). True, speaking in tongues is a pretty strange activity. It is
actually quite bizarre anytime someone speaks words that they donâ€™t know what they
mean! The point is that speaking unknown words takes faith! Remember what Isaiah said
regarding the milk and meat of the word. The writer of Hebrews expands on this same
concept, â€śBut strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason
of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evilâ€ť (Heb 5:14).
Remember Peterâ€™s words tell us that we have â€śexceeding great and precious promisesâ€ť
which come â€śthough the knowledge of Christ!â€ť Jesus said, â€śI have yet many things to say
unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.â€ť Jesus meant that without the Holy Spirit the
disciples were unable to hear Him! He continued, â€śHowbeit when he, the Spirit of truth,
is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever
he shall hear, that shall he speak : and he will shew you things to come â€ť (John 16:12-
13). Notice that he said, â€śwhatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speakâ€ť Once more, letâ€™s
break down an important passage into itâ€™s component parts:
(1) the Holy Spirit of Truth will come to us;
(2) the Holy Spirit of Truth will guide us in to truth;
(3) the Holy Spirit of Truth will not speak of himself;
(4) the Holy Spirit of Truth will hear from God;
(5) the Holy Spirit of Truth will speak what He hears;
(6) and, the Holy Spirit of Truth will show us things to come.
Notice number (5) above; how does the Holy Spirit speak? Revelation comes through
speaking in stammering lips or in an unknown tongue! The Holy Spirit does the speaking
and gives the revelation! The job of the Holy Sprit is to reveal things to us! The process
does not work as some say, â€śgetting things deep down into our hearts.â€ť Just the opposite
is true, we are to bring things up out of our spirits and out into the world! That is why
Paul wrote, â€śFor he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but
unto God : for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries â€ť
(1 Cor 14:2). The Holy Spirit actually speaks mysteries through our tongues. The Holy
Spirit produces the germination with the seed that we already have in our hearts!
Now get this, there are different kinds of manifestations of tongues, â€śFor he that speaketh
in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man
understandeth him â€ť (1 Cor 14:2). Notice that when you speak in an unknown tongue
you speak not unto men but unto God! Here is a key point, on the day of Pentecost they
were speaking unto men , â€śbecause that every man heard them speak in his own
language â€ť (Acts 2:6)! Therefore, since they had understanding, they were speaking a
different kind of tongue (language) than we see in the verse, â€śFor he that speaketh in an
unknown tongue speaketh not unto men â€ť (1 Cor 14:2).
There are two different forms of speaking in tongues. One form of speaking in tongues
was used to communicate to men of other languages; this form came about on the day of
Pentecost. However, another kind of speaking in tongues is used as a prayer language, â€śif
I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth , but my understanding is unfruitfulâ€ť (1
Cor 14:14). Our understanding is unfruitful because our brain does not comprehend.
However the spirit will reveal the things generated out of that prayer at some later time.
The Bible describes this second form of speaking in tongues as, â€śFor he that speaketh in
an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God â€ť (1 Cor 14:2).
On the day of Pentecost they began to speak in other tongues as the spirit gave them
utterance! Now letâ€™s come to a realization, either they were making up a false babbling
language or they were hearing the inner voice of the Holy Spirit and repeating the
utterance that He was giving to them! The bible says they â€śbegan to speak with other
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance â€ť (Acts 2:4). Whenever a Christian speaks in
other tongues then, he/she obviously hears the voice of the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit
gives the utterance! The Holy Spirit will reveal things line upon line and precept upon precept!
All word and no spirit, you dry-up;
All spirit and no word, and you blow-up;
But, when you mix the spirit with the word you grow-up!
Many donâ€™t understand the Holy Spirit; yet, it is He who Jesus promised would give us the
We donâ€™t experience success by simply spitting out the word of God toward Satan like a
sword! For example we might be saying, â€śby his stripes I am healed;â€ť â€śby his stripes I am
healed;â€ť â€śby his stripes I am healed;â€ť etc. Rather, we must use the word of God as a seed
before it becomes a sword! We must believe it in our hearts (the word is sown in our
hearts) and have no doubt! Through building a close worshipful relationship with Jesus,
we begin to discover that Godâ€™s love for us through Jesus Christ is what actually performs
the healing in our bodies. This revelation knowledge from God causes the seed of the
word to germinate within us and it takes root! Then, whatever mountain that we face,
when we speak it naturally obeys our voice, â€śFor 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 themâ€ť (Mark 11:23-24)!
When Jesus spoke these words, what specific OT scripture was He quoting from?
(Answer) â€“ â€śNone!â€ť There is no OT scripture, which gave Him that concept! There is
nothing wrong with quoting scripture! Yes we need to understand and quote from the
Bible. But more importantly, what we really need is to speak unto the mountain while
experiencing a close personal relationship with God and it shall be done!
Often times we make things much too hard! We just need to chill! When we get into a
relationship with Jesus, we do things out of a â€śwant-toâ€ť mentality not out of a â€śhave-to
point of view!â€ť When we are living out of a â€śwant-toâ€ť mentality, we no longer need to
function! At this point we arenâ€™t having to perform; or working to bind the right devil; or
having to quote the correct scripture! Rather, we are simply enjoying victory through a
close relationship with our daddy, the creator of the universe!
The Holy Spirit continually germinates the word in our hearts, â€śWhich things also we
speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;
comparing spiritual things with spiritualâ€ť (1 Cor 2:13).
Praying in tongues is simply a spiritual gateway into the spiritual things of God! We
should pray often in the Holy Spirit! When we pray in tongues spiritual things begin to be
revealed to us! As we continue to receive from the Holy Spirit our relationship grows and
we naturally enter into the rest of God!
The bible teaches us, â€śthe just shall live by faith!â€ť But what is that specific â€śfaithâ€ť that the
just actually live by? Our problem is that many Christians donâ€™t know what the true Bible
meaning of â€śfaithâ€ť really is! Most people understand faith as a form of deep believing or
having a strong conviction about something. Isnâ€™t that what most of you feel? Yet, that
concept is incomplete! The concept of true Bible â€śfaithâ€ť is too often elusive. James
chapter two has long been the source of major theological disagreements regarding the
relationship between â€śfaithâ€ť and â€śworks.â€ť
However, in order to understand just what â€śfaithâ€ť is, we must have the proper and
complete Bible definition of â€śfaith.â€ť Next, we must put that â€śfaithâ€™ into operation!
Misunderstanding â€śfaithâ€ť can result in frustration and certainly produce unfruitful results;
if anything at all!
Jesus left clear instruction regarding our walk of faith, â€śBehold, I give unto you power to
tread (walk) on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy : and
nothing shall by any means hurt youâ€ť (Luke 10:19). Obviously He gave us the spiritual
power to tread or (walk) on the unsavory elements of the spiritual realm. The bible
teaches, â€śFor we walk by faith , not by sightâ€ť (2 Cor 5:7). Jesusâ€™ words clearly mean that
we have God on our side as we walk by faith and tread on serpents (demons) ! This
clearly implies that we are assured of defeating the devil and his emissaries in every aspect
of our lives! That specific power to tread down our enemies is expressed as our walk
But, letâ€™s make sure of our understanding! When I was a teenager, if anyone said that
something was â€ścoolâ€ť they certainly didnâ€™t mean that it was characteristic of a low
temperature; rather it meant that the thing was wonderful or outstanding in nature!
Another expression from that era is the phrase â€śout of sight!â€ť The phrase in no way meant
that one experienced obscured vision! Rather, â€śout of sightâ€ť was another euphemism
meaning that the thing or concept was wonderful or outstanding in nature!
There is always an important need to have a clear and proper understanding regarding the
specific meaning of words in the vernacular. It is significant that we understand the
Biblical meaning of important concepts such as â€śfaith.â€ť This is especially true when the
words have a direct bearing on our daily lives! The words â€śfaithâ€ť and â€śworksâ€ť as used in
the second Chapter of James are two such concepts that need clarification!
Let us search out more carefully the words â€śfaithâ€ť and â€śworksâ€ť as we seek a more
complete understanding of the concepts that James, penned. The Greek word â€śpistisâ€ť
meaning â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť as found in James chapter 2, is translated into the
English word â€śfaith.â€ť Likewise, the Greek word â€śergonâ€ť which means â€ścorresponding
actionâ€ť is also found in James 2. We get the English word â€śenergyâ€ť from the Greek word
â€śergonâ€ť and it is most often translated into the English word â€śworks.â€ť Therefore, in order
for us to fully get the complete understanding of the passage in James chapter two, we will
substitute the corresponding definition noted above in order to bring out a clearer meaning
of the passage.
In every instance from the second Chapter of James where we see the word â€śfaithâ€ť we are
going to replace that corresponding Greek word â€śpistisâ€ť with its literal meaning,
â€śconviction or persuasion.â€ť And everywhere we see the word â€śworksâ€ť we will replace the
Greek word â€śergonâ€ť with its meaning â€ścorresponding action.â€ť Going through this effort
will bring out some important clarification form this passage.
Letâ€™s begin the process with James 2:14, â€śwhat doth it profit, my brethren, though a man
say he hath â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith , and have not â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť
works ? can â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith save him (meaning to deliver rescue or set
free) ?â€ť Next we go to verse 17, â€śEven so â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith , if it hath not
â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works , is dead , being alone . (We must stop here in verse 17 as
we capture the important Biblical concept that there is such a thing as Biblical dead faith!
This dead faith is equivalent to â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť without any â€ścorresponding
action!â€ť Therefore, the opposite or living faith should be characterized by â€śconviction or
persuasionâ€ť along with â€ścorresponding action!â€ť The following two formulae identify
these concepts more clearly!
â€˘ Living Faith = â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť + â€ścorresponding action!â€ť
â€˘ Dead Faith = â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť â€“ or without â€ścorresponding action!â€ť
Every time we come across Biblical miracle-producing â€śfaithâ€ť it is always characterized
by the type of faith as identified in the Living Faith formula noted above. The Living
Faith always includes the component of a â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť notice the action verbs:
â€˘ widow gave the prophet Elijah her first cake from her final provision;
â€˘ woman with the issue of blood reached out for the hem of Jesusâ€™ garment;
â€˘ Naaman dipped himself in the
â€˘ man born blind washed in Siloam and came seeing;
â€˘ centurion said, speak the word only , and my servant shall be healed
â€˘ the Hebrews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego said , â€ś we will not serve thy
gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set upâ€ť
Returning to James chapter 2 we read in verse 17, â€śYea, a man may say, Thou hast
â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith , and I have â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works : shew me thy
â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith without thy â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works , and I will
shew thee my â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith by my â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť 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 â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith without
â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works is dead â€ť (James 2:17-20)? ( Notice the definition of Dead
Faith as listed in the bullet above.) â€śWas not Abraham our father (in the faith) justified
(made right with God) by â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works , (Abraham took what he believed
or his â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť and combined it with his â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť)
when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altarâ€ť (James 2:21).
Abraham fulfilled the whole formula as follows: Living faith = â€śconviction or
persuasionâ€ť + â€ścorresponding action!â€ť What we discover in this passage is that we must
get our â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith operational along with our â€ścorresponding
actionâ€ť or works ! When we completely perform this we fulfill the scripture concerning
faith! Notice that verse 23 confirms this idea: â€śAnd the scripture was fulfilled which
saith, Abraham believed God this means that in order for Abraham to believe he had to
take his â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť + his â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť and this became his
living faith ) , and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend
of Godâ€ť (James 2:23). Abrahamâ€™s faith was not just composed of the â€śconviction or
persuasionâ€ť which he possessed inside his mind! Rather, he took his â€śconviction or
persuasionâ€ť faith and combined it with â€ścorresponding action!â€ť We continue with verse
24, â€śYe see then how that by â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works a man is justified, and not by
â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified
by â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works , when she had received â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť
the messengers, and had sent â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť them out another way? 26 For as
the body without the spirit is dead, so â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith without
â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works is dead alsoâ€ť (James 2:24-26).
This last week I conducted a funeral for a dear friend. It took her body plus her spirit to
make the individual . In the same manner it takes â€ścorresponding
actionâ€ť added to â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť to compose a living faith!
Letâ€™s follow Jesusâ€™ words, â€śBehold, I give unto you power to tread (walk) on serpents
and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy : and nothing shall by any means
hurt youâ€ť (Luke 10:19). Notice that Jesus told us that nothing shall by any means hurt us!
Yet, God said, â€śit shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heelâ€ť (Gen 3:15). Is this
a contradiction? Absolutely not! Jesus was killed on the stake in fulfillment of the
scripture â€śbruise his heel!â€ť However, Jesus bruised his head, â€śFor this purpose the Son of
God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devilâ€ť (1 John 3:8).
Just as the spirit gives life to the body so â€ścorresponding actionâ€ť works gives life to
â€śconviction or persuasionâ€ť faith and thus produces Godâ€™s Living Faith ! Now we have
the complete two-step treading advance toward spiritual success:
When we walk by faith we will, â€ś tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power
of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt youâ€ť (Luke 10:19).
Written by M. Larry Perrino Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2/5/2008
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