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What faith is and what it is not.

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by geralduk, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. There is great confusion in many minds today as to what faith IS.
    Compounded by the world who count that all the religions of the world are called 'faiths'.
    While there are many man made definitions of what faith 'is' including dictionaries. The Bible itself gives the true definition in Hebrews. 11:1
    "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,the evidence of things as yet unseen"
    We need to get away from every other definition and understand what God means by faith.and in consequence what pleases Him and what is acceptable or not.
    We are not talking about the measure of a person's faith.but what 'is' faith and what is not faith.
    It should also be realised and understood that ALL men have this faith,but not all men have their faith in God.So we do not need to get faith or find faith or struggle to attain faith.
    For "faith in God comes by hearing and understanding the Word of God"
    In that regard then faith in God comes by the same process as faith in anything works.and those in the world who mock and ridicule any faith in God, do but undermine their own faith in whatever their faith is in.
    In Christ
    Elizabeth Lambino, KingJ, Complete and 3 others say Amen and like this.
  2. Now faith is...
    Faith can only be exercised in the NOW or present.
    It can't be in the past it has gone.nor in the future it is yet to come
    Only in the now.NOW faith is.
    Today if you will.."
    Today is the day of salvation.etc

    Now faith IS.
    The title of this post is what faith IS.and what it is not.
    I do not argue over what people think faith is or assert what faith is.but what scriptures as faith IS.
    In that regard I have said that all men have a measure of faith wether they are saved or not and that faith is the same 'sort'of faith as faith in God save that it is not in God but in something else.but according to what faith IS then it is the same.and worketh in the same manner.
    So we must be clear in our minds as to what is faith and what is not as well as what faith IS
    in Christ
    Grant Melville likes this.
  3. On what foundation of Scripture do I say all men have faith, wether saved or not?
    God has given to every man a measure of faith to profit with all.
    If this is doubted let us look then at any man who wants to catch a bus in the true light of what faith IS.
    The word /promise of the London bus company is that the number 24 bus will go from Victoria train station to Hampstead in nw London. If you stand at the a propitiation bus stop at a certain time the bus will come and you can get on it to go where you need to go.
    having understood the message/promise you in faith believing go and stand at the bus stop.by so doing you give substance to your hope in the promise.
    You might 'believe' the message but if you do not act on what you believe you will never catch the bus. If you believe the message but presume to go and stand in another place other than the place the promise said (the bus stop)you may indeed see the bus but be unable to get on it for the bus company is not obliged to stop anywhere else than the place promised.
    In faith believing then you stand at the bus stop waiting for a bus you cannot see or have any control of.
    when you go to a bus stop and no one is there. Nearly always you think you might have missed the bus,but if someone is there you hope the the bus is still to come.
    by standing at the bus stop.you not only give substance to your hope in the promise,but it is the evidence of things as yet unseen.
    I once lived at a place where the bus stop was on the other side of a crossroads.the bus came from the left and turned left to the bus stop.when I was walking towards the bus stop and saw people running towards the bus stop . Although I could not see the bus myself. The very fact of the people running towards the bus stop made them witnesses to the fact the bus was coming and I had better hurry up or I will miss it.
    So then the church are to be witnesses to the truth not only of the resurrection of the Lord. But also to his imminent return."looking for and hastening to the coming of the Lord"
    Complete and Francis Drake say Amen and like this.
  4. A thing is established in the mouth of two witnesses.
    So we have the first of any man catching a bus on the word or promise of the bus company.
    The second ;though there are many other examples ;can be taken as a man working for his wages.
    For the word and promise of any company is that if you do such and such work for so many hours a week then we will pay you at the end of the day/week/month.
    Having confidence that they will and can full fill thier promise you work in faith believing .Giving substance to your hope in thier promise and by that work it is the evidence of things as yet unseen your wages . Your faith is rewarded as also in the example of the bus when your wages come into 'sight' and into your hand .
    Indeed the whole financial system of the world works by faith even down to the UK £5 pound note and every other note that has written upon it "I promise to pay the bearer £ five pounds.
    All men have faith then and according to what faith IS then that "measure of faith " works in exactly the same way as faith IN God.
    Save in this regard . The things of this world fade away and those things men put their faith in, fade with it and their faith as in a bus not turning up or a financial crash is not always rewarded for men fail and for all sorts of different reasons thier word and promises cannot be kept.
    But they whos faith is in God is a sure and certain hope and they who put their trust in the Lord shall never be ashamed or confounded for he always keeps His word.
    if it is argued as an objection that people who wait for a bus do nto do so in faith .For they know by experience that the bus will come .
    The first reply is that it does not always do so .
    The second is that you were taught to put your faith in the promise of the bus company and while experience tells you in the main your faith is not in vain ,you not only still have to act in faith believing but now you have experience to strengthen your faith.
    Is that not what the Bible says when your faith is in God? When you pray?
    So faith is NOT blind . But 'see's ' or understands that which is afar off or not seen and being convinced or fully persuaded of it acts accordingly despite what the prevailing situation 'says'
    True faith then is neither unreasonable nor illogical nor indeed unsustainable . For not only do all men have it but use it every day of our lives .
    They who mock your faith and deride it simply do not know what they are talking about and undermine mock and deride their own faith and while if your faith is in God cannot be undermined as it is based on that which passeth not away . Those who mock and deride any faith in God will find sooner or later they have put their faith in the wrong things.
    It can be seen or understood then,that what people call world 'faith's is nothing of the kind.
    For all the false religions of the world seek to impose a religion by ritual and laws and demand blind obedience to prelates omahs and 'teachers' who demand submission to them but . Rather than a willing and righteous submission to the truth and God.
    Putting man where God should be and giving glory to man and his works and rituals than to God.
    It is not faith in God they have but rather faith in thier own good works and the teachings of whatever religion it is and its leaders.
    It is then a vain hope that ".........dies with them" that they are accepted by God .
    But who has declared by his action with Caine that it is not acceptable nor their offering respected .
    For he by his offering sought to establish by his own good works ,by the sweat of his brow, his own righteousness.
    As he sought his own righteousness he denied God's and by seekign his own righteousness ; sought but his own glory and not God's .
    he denied his sin the righteousness of God and put his faith in his offering to justify himself before God .
    Abel on the other hand offered a firstling of the flock a lamb.
    He then followed the pattern laid down by God himself in the garden of eden when He sacrificed an animal to give them a covering of animal skins .
    But as that "covering" did not restore them to their "former estate" He also gave a promise of one ("it") male ("he") child born of a woman but not of Adams seed. who would come to destroy the works of the devil.
    When Abel offered a lamb sacrifice .He acknowledged his sin .The righteousness of God and in faith believing in the "lamb of God ." who would come to "take away the sin of the world" was counted righteous and accepted . and his faith rewarded .

    in Christ
    Francis Drake likes this.
  5. Don't know what else to say but "brilliant!"
  6. We do not then have to get faith or search for it.
    Faith in God comes not only by hearing the Word of God but by understanding also.
    Which is why the word "hearing is used twice in the scripture."faith in God comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God Romans 10:17 (?).
    For many hear the word of God preached but with no understanding.
    The Bible says in another place with all thy getting get understanding!
    So when you understand by the Spirits gracious working in the mind but more in the heart faith naturally rises for with the understanding comes also the understanding God will and can perform it.
    It is then a response to the Word of God that produces results in the positive.
    If people react to the Word of God and to the pressure or move of GOD? Then people are worse off for doing so.
    Faith in God comes then with understanding of God's Word. Not only is it then very reasonable to have faith in God it is also more logical and sensible to have such faith.Not only because who God is,but also because so many people for the last 2000 years at the very least have all found God is faithful to His word.
    Experience then comes over time and our faith grows from a mustard seed onwards.
    Moreover in Ephesians Paul speaks of those ministers who's ministry is to bring us all into" a unity of THE faith........."if faith comes by understanding the Word of God then clearly to have a unity of the faith,there needs must be a unity of understanding also.
    Meaning all of God's people to come to the same understanding. Or" be of the same mind" as Paul says What mind is this you may ask?
    Not my opinion nor yours,
    But of Him who it is written "knows the mind of God" "and the deep things of God" even the Spirit of truth, who has been promised" to lead us into all truth by those ministers whom God has called ,by our own studies the same Spirit which the scriptures say we are all baptised into and in another place "they that are joined to the Lord are of one Spirit"
    There should not be so many if any vain debates and needless strife among God's people, as if you are truly led by the Spirit of God and seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness then you will recognise the truth when you hear it and recognise the truth when you see it and respond accordingly.
    The whole body then growing in unity of the faith being not only of the one body but also by degree and measure of the same mind also.
    Not then this false unity that denies the truth as it is in Christ and mixes truth with error.
    If then we walk in the light of God's Word as He is in the light we have fellowship one with the other and the blood of Jess Christ cleanses (continually ) from all sin" even as the blood in the natural body ceases it from all impurities.

    In Christ
    Complete likes this.
  7. Spurgeon once said about "faith"........
    "It is not thy hold on Christ that saves you, it is only Christ. It is not the joy we have in Christ that save you, it is only Christ.
    It is not even your faith in Christ that saves you, though it be the instrument. It is the blood of Christ and merit".

    Faith lays hold of all of that and it is that which looks ahead to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Dr. J. Oswald Sanders once said of faith that..........
    "Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as the present, and the invisible as the seen".
    KingJ, Grant Melville and geralduk says Amen and like this.
  8. It's interesting how often this is blithely quoted - as if it's instruction for us to believe in Fairy tales..... That's actually the opposite of what it's saying..... Re-naming belief in fairy tales as "Faith" is one of the worst abominations that "The Church" has brought us in the last 200 years... It was their "Answer" to Darwin... and it's been their answer to everything else when they don't know the answer or don't believe in Jesus themselves....

    And WHY did they take up this position? By and large - because they were taught in the Seminaries that there WAS no proof for either Jesus or God the Father... and historically that's what so many actually believed as well.. "The Cloth" was a good paying, respectable career... It was a "Good, stable job" - and so many parents made sure that at least one of their kids made it into this field... It didn't matter whether or not you REALLY truly were "Born Again" or whether you really even believed at all so long as you were good at translation, languages, "The Bible," administration, or had a well connected family... Look at the beginning of John Wesley's career for an example... He was a practicing minister for several years BEFORE he "Converted" to Christianity..... When you read so much of the work that has come out of these seminaries you find that they don't REALLY believe in Jesus in the "Real Life" sense.....

    So.... "Faith if the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen"

    The word "Substance" is the greek "Hypostasis" - which literally means a Foundation (As in a building).... A hard, solid stone structure that everything is built upon.... A foundation must be tested and it must be proved - it's not simply an idea or theory... It's not your "Interpretation" or "Some-assembly-required" modern incarnation of pagan idolatry - and it's certainly not fairy tales of cheerful men riding flying sleighs driven by flying deer...

    What we believe is FACT and it's based on testable FACT. That's the "Foundation"....

    Next "Evidence" is the greek word "elegchos" - meaning physical proof of testing. This was a word which referred to testing things which could not directly be seen..... So, for example - while you cannot directly "See" air - you can measure a lot of things about air to determine both that it exists and what it's physical properties really are.... I know there is "Air" because I can test for the evidence of presence or absence of air....

    Last "Hope" in the greek is a word that is stronger than "Know". It's something that is going to happen with 100% certainty, though it may not have happened yet... Unfortunately, in modern usage, it has come to mean wishing and dreaming for things that most likely won't happen - though there is a slight chance they might.... In this sense "I hope it will fall" is what happens when you finally let go of the rock...... It's GOING to happen - it's just a matter of when.....

    So.. Restating Hebrews 11:1 - in a way far less elegantly than the Author of Hebrews....
    "Faith" is the rock solid, tested, proven foundation that lets me trust with 100% certainty that God will do what He says. It is the Physical evidence that proves the things which I cannot see.

    In effect - what The Author is REALLY saying is that the opposite of what we often take "Faith" to mean... In this sense - the "Faith" is the solid evidence that Underpins our knowledge - not the wish or dream that we so often call "faith"... "The Faith" is the sheet of paper listing the Assay of the Metal that proves the metal to be Gold.... The "Faith" is that try as they might through the last 1,970 years - the skeptics STILL have not found The Body of Jesus buried somewhere.. and it's not for lack of trying....

    Connecting the "Head" with the "Heart" is one of the hardest things that many Christians ever have to do... and it's one that we FAIL to do so often... SO many Christians turn away because they cannot reconcile This Fellow Jesus who lived and died and rose again back in Jerusalem some 1,970 years ago with their daily life.... They may well believe in "God" in the generic sense - but that "God the Father" fathered an actual Human son... That this human son of God LIVED in real life... That he actually did what the Scripture says the Messiah will do... That he actually DIED in real life and then recalled his spirit into his dead body and re-animated himself at will and showed himself to MANY people in Jerusalem and the Galilee..... That this MAN then ascended into heaven and sits in heaven at The Right Hand of Power as a human....

    So.... "O Ye of Little Faith"... think of WHEN Jesus said this to the disciples... They got the "O Ye of Little Faith" bit from Jesus when they balked AFTER he had already shown them that He could do it with 100% certainty.... After he had already proved to them that it was possible AND it was time..... AFTER they saw and experienced the evidence for themselves - and then they STILL balked....

    Juk, Complete and Francis Drake says Amen and like this.
  9. That is because real faith requires a bit of practice. It is very easy to understand things on an intellectual level, but much harder to put them into practice.
    A great part of the problem is that practically everything that we all have been taught from day one is just plain WRONG. If any actually take seriously
    that tripe and claptrap that is beaten into our collective skulls in our splendiferous edumacation system, it almost precludes any faith at all.
    Padre Pio could walk on air. How? He put his foot up and KNEW there would be support under it, I put mine up and KNOW there won't be any support.
    My "lack of faith" keeps me stuck on the ground.
    KingJ likes this.
  10. Faith not only requires exercise, but it is supposed to grow.
    It is interesting that the two people who Jesus said had "great" faith were gentiles.
    Peter who had not only got out of the boat and walked towards Jesus in a stormy/choppy sea (?) And walked back with him to the boat, was reproved as having little faith.
    Abrahams faith was a very miserable little thing to start with. As he took his father and half his family . With him to start with.it was not until his father died did he go a little further in obedience and was not in perfect obedience till Lot and he parted
    By then he was saying if you go left ,I will go right, if you go right I will go left.
    It did not matter which way he went for he was walking by faith
    Lot on the other hand was walking by sight and chose accordingly.
    In Christ
    Complete likes this.
  11. When we remember that "Faith" is the rock solid, tested and proven foundation that is based upon testing and proving the things we cannot see by evidence.. This makes more sense... What did the Gentiles and the Destitute do? They observed Jesus act and they based their decisions upon the evidence they saw.... They SAW him heal others - and they rightly concluded that their own healing was based not upon Jesus ABILITY to heal, but rather simply his willingness... If you watch the gentiles and destitute - they appeal to his WILLINGNESS... "If you are willing, I can be healed" or "I am also a man under authority... I say to this one....." .

    The Religious leadership over and over denied his ABILITY to do what he said - even though they were presented with evidence over and over and over and over..... Over and over they denied that he was who he said he was - even though he came on schedule at the appointed time in the prophesied manner.... Why? 2 main reasons.... They reasoned that if Jesus came to power - it would threaten their own benefit bestowed by the Romans.... They also denied Jesus because their doctrines, confessions, and professions prevented them from SEEING and HEARING the evidence.... Unfortunately, this hasn't changed - we see it all the time within The Church, not just within Orthodox Judaism.

    Complete likes this.
  12. I must point out that in Biblical terms Jesus is the Rock not our faith . We must therefore be careful to be consistant as the bible is .
    The English translation is "substance" and while you might infer that it has the 'solidity' of fact ,I do not believe you can use the term 'rock' in relation to faith. Only in that Jesus is the rock in whom our faith IS .
    "The "substance" of things hoped for " That is to say what has been said or promised .Our sure and certain hope is Jesus Christ.
    For he never has will or can fail and always keeps His word.
    But in faith believing (on the promise/s) by acting in line or conformity to the Word of God as it should be understood then we give substance to our hope in that Word and the one who promised or spoke it.
    They did not deny His ability they could not. They denied who he said or implied who He was.
    When Jesus rose lazerus from the dead .While some believed others mostly the religious" were filled with madness" because as they could not deny the fact that He had just raised the dead after the person was three days dead. It drove them mad for they refused to accept the fact and believe and at the same time they refused to repent of thier sin and error .
    and the scripture goes on that "they sought ways to kill him"
    The great danger of holding false ideas and concepts of God or his purposes is that those very ideas will blind you to the truth .
    The Jews then as now thought the Messiah will come only once first to suffer and almost in the same breath in glory .
    They could not 'see' or understand that he was to come twice . One in a body to suffer in. "A body hast though prepared for me" and one to be glorified in.
    The church is in danger of doing the same thing. For the Lord is coming again FOR His bride ,then coming WITH His bride.
    But many and I think the vast majority think he is only coming 'once' as it were.
    But there were too many scriptures in the old testament that the Jews ignored . As also there are too many scriptures in both that the church is ignoring .
    In the end those Jews who still held to their errors despite all the evidence to the contrary handed him over to death and thought as Saul of Tarsus did that they did Gods will.
    It is my conviction that the Bride of Christ will be rejected by her bretheren also and will like Moses and the Lord have to "suffer without the camp"
    But this realy is for another post .
    But as a pointer we should take the warning of Paul seriously and be not like them who while all came out of Egypt not all entered into the promise .Because of unbelief.
    But unbelief is not just not believign God ,it is also believing the wrong message .
    and while they were all children of God who after 40 DAYS were set at the borders of the promised land. The vast majority walked by sight .As if the last 40 DAYS had never happened and while willing to allow God to get them out of Egypt .Were not willing to let God get Egypt out of them.
    The two faithful witnesses saw things in the true light of what God had done in the past .Who it was who was with them. and what He had promised them for the future .
    In THAT light which was the true light .Not thier own reasonings and perceptions they declared the exact opposite of the other ten.
    For they walked by faith and not by sight .
    I hope this is not taken as some penny pinching petty criticism .It is not a critisism at all .Simply an observation and a desire for clarity of 'seeing'
    In Christ
    Complete likes this.
  13. Why was the Serophoncan woman credited with "great faith"?
    The only two people ,I am aware of that Jesus said had great faith were gentiles. The other being the Centurian who sought Jesus help for his beloved servant .
    The woman cried out "Son of David have mercy upon me"
    But got no reply .
    Blind Bartemaous cried " Son of David ..." and he got a reply.
    But he was a Jew and as the term "Son of David" was a title of the messiah he had the right to do so .
    The gentile woman had no such right .
    God is a God of order and we must aproach God the right way .
    She kept crying out all the same .So much so that the disciples said to the Lord "The woman crieth unto us send her away "
    There they got things wrong. She was not crying unto them but to the Lord . We should not make the same mistake .Its the Lord people need not us .
    When Peter and John went up to the temple and met the man lame from birth . They said "look on us" but after he was healed and the people came to them with false praise and gloryfing them. They said "why look on us!"
    It was and is the Lord people need .
    It was not that the Lord did not want to help her . But she was not ion a place where he could or she could receive the help she wanted .So he waited.
    Finally in her deep need and desperation she fell at his feet and worshiped him and said "LORD have mercy on me"
    Then it was he replied to her . The thief on the cross said "LORD" and got a promise. The woman caught in adultery said "LORD" and she was given another chance .
    Many have accepted Jesus as their Saviour . But we have to also accept Him as our Lord and King. also.Before we can go on .
    He replied to her ."What would you have me do"? There are not many occasions when it is recorded that he said such a thing. A blank cheque as it were. For there are not many peopel he can say it too who will ask for something in reply that will give God glory .
    If Jesus asked you that queston what you you reply?
    What truly of the highest good you could ask for ? Yourself ,your family, your neighbour , your enemy, your country and have the faith to answer ?
    But she was brought from faith to faith .she replied and the Lord seemed to put another obstacle in her way .
    "I have come but for the lost sheep of the house of israel" Salvation is of the Jews first then the gentiles and He came to gather Gods people to himself .
    It is not meet therefore to give the childrens bread to the dogs"
    He was in effect saying that healing was the right and basic need of the children of God. The Jews .
    For bread is at hand to all men who sit at the table .
    She was not offended by His words but rather embraced them and put herself where he put her and in faith said "true Lord but even the dogs eat from the crumbs that fall form the table "
    She not only had come to the point where all she needed was a 'crumb' of the bread of life . But something else .
    For if healing was the childrens bread of the Jews . Then it was in the next dispensation be also the childrens bread of the gentiles .
    Her faith then had not only been added to faith upon faith as the Lord led her to a place where He could meet her need and she could receive it .
    But her faith had extended from one dispensation of the present to the next of the future .To a place where the Lord was going to give it and where she as a gentile could recieve it .
    Thus her faith was indeed great faith and not in all Israel did the Lord find such faith.,
    She by her continuance in faith and by the gracious workign of the Lord laid hold of the thing she sought God for .and received the healing of her daughter .
    That is wonderful enough .
    But consider this .
    That the kingdom of God that is to come and in some measure we have a foretaste and "earnest" of is a dispensation or time where sickness will be no more and a baby will be a hundred years old.
    Then our faith can be led to lay a hold of that healing and health that is to come and in some measure manifest it today .
    Both for ourselves and for others.
    For healing and deliverance is the childrens bread.
    For if it was then for the Jews .So then is it now for the gentiles.
    In Christ
  14. Hello Gerald,
    I have enjoyed reading through your postings in this thread, Thank you. I would just like to comment on the sentences quoted above, concerning the Syrophenician woman (Matt. 15:21-28; Mr. 7:25-29).

    'Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
    And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts,
    and cried unto Him, saying,

    "Have mercy on me, O Lord,
    Thou Son of David;

    my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil."
    But He answered her not a word.
    And His disciples came and besought Him, saying,

    "Send her away; for she crieth after us."
    (v. 24) But He answered and said,
    "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
    Then came she and worshipped Him, saying,
    "Lord, help me."
    But He answered and said,
    "It is not meet to take the children's bread,
    and to cast it to dogs."

    And she said,
    "Truth, Lord:
    yet the dogs eat of the crumbs
    which fall from their masters' table."

    Then Jesus answered and said unto her,
    "O woman, great is thy faith:
    be it unto thee even as thou wilt."
    And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.'

    * We have no reason to believe that the Lord Jesus was waiting until she reached the point of desperation before He healed her: nothing is said to indicate that. He had given His reason for not doing so in verse 24 & 26.
    In Mark's gospel, the wording of our Lord's final reply is recorded slightly differently, giving us His reason for responding, finally, as He did,

    'And she answered and said unto Him,
    "Yes, Lord:
    yet the dogs under the table
    eat of the children's crumbs."
    And He said unto her,

    "For this saying go thy way;
    the devil is gone out of thy daughter."

    * It was, 'for this saying,' that He healed her, for it reflected her great faith. She had heard, and she had believed: she does not refer to Him now, as, 'Son of David'; a title she had no right to use, but with the title, 'Lord', and followed it humbly with words which indicated her acknowledgement of the truth He had spoken, and she tempered her reply to meet it.

    Praise God! That a saved Israel, will be saved, not for their own sake alone: but that all families of the earth may be blessed through them.

    Thank you, Gerald,
    In Christ Jesus
    Major likes this.
  15. #15 Complete, Jul 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
    Hello again, Gerald,

    Your entry#12: appears to indicate that you identify with the hope of 'The Bride'. I this so, Gerald?

    Regarding 'faith': I have a little illustration, concerning three characters, 'Faith', 'Hope', and 'Experience', who were walking along a wall together. Faith was in front, followed by Hope, and Experience followed on behind. Hope was fine as long as he kept his eyes on Faith, but when he turned around to look at Experience, he fell off the wall along with Experience, but Faith went marching on. --- This illustrates the need to fix our Hope on The Divine Facts our Faith rests on, and not rely on experiences.

    We walk by faith and not by sight. Praise God!

    In Christ Jesus
    Major likes this.
  16. Do I believe that not only is the Lord preparing a Bride? Yes I do.
    I also believe that the Bride herself is to "get herself ready" also.
    I also believe that every true born child of God is called to that "high calling" Even as each and every child of God must make sure that not only is thier lamp lit but thier vessels full as well . and to remeber the words of the Lord "be ye also ready"
    As for your point about experience ,I would agree with you .
    I would add though that we do not live in a bubble of 'now' .
    But we have from the moment we responded by the grace to Gods love and mercy by the preaching of Gods word have over time gained experience of Gods faithfulness ,such in answers to prayer for ourselves and others .
    Our faith as you said is not based upon our experience but we should remember our experience to encourage us to "greater works" and our faith grows. Does not paul speak about our experience in relation to prayer?
    For our faith is to grow from a small as a mustard seed to a great tree ,how can or does it do that ? If not by degree and by measure as our experience grows?
    Our faith is always or should be in the Lord who spoke or gave those exceedingly great and precious promises .When it is not then the Lord graciously reminds us by our failures and his chastening and reproofs .
    "Little children " said John, Then "young men " then "ye fathers ye know Him who is from the beginning "
    In another place Paul(?) says by faith we know God created the world ,yet strangely many do not believe Gods account of the beginning and what followed .But have by degree because of the challenges of the worlds presumption have compromised the truth and now half believe God and half believe the world .
    How can we know Him who is form the beginning if we do not believe Him who wrote the beginning?
    By faith we know......... the faith of little children needs to be tried and tested . So too ye fathers . But ye fathers have bene tried and tested in that which little children always have to be .the trials and temptations of a father are not those of little children.
    That is what I mean by experience .
    Having said that Peter who saw the transfigueration and other things no one else did save John and James .still said "but we have a better prophecy" Meaning the Word of God . So no matter what "experience " even revelations we may have the bed rock for our faith is the Word of God; the understanding of which gives us our faith in God in what ever field our faith needs to be excercised.

    To come back to the Bride of Christ then. We are reminded or warned not to be like thosew ho failed to enter into the promise "because of unbelief" They did not just not believe God .They believed another message .It has always been thus .Even to the very beginning .When Eve believed the lie and not the truth .
    She thus SAW that the tree was good to eat . Her perceptions then had bene changed and she became bl.ind to the truth.
    For once you reject the truth you will believe a lie and once you believe a lie you become blind to the truth .
    She reasoned thus "it would make her wise " Her reasoning also was "darkened" Those who lay great store on thier intellectual abilities need to understand that the intellect in ,of and by itself is a false light .and needs the illumination of God the holy Spirit to give the right understanding. and put the Word of God in its proper order and context .(see the temptations of Christ in the wilderness)
    She then did that which was good or right in her own eyes . The awful list of chapters in the book of kings and chronicles that start with the lines "and they did evil in the sight of the Lord"
    Adam and Eve already had knowledge of what was good and what was evil. For God had told them what was good to eat and what was evil to eat . "For of all the trees in the garden ye may freely eat ,(that included the tree of life) but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat ,for the the day in which ye eat ye shall surely die"
    " for man shall not live by every tree that was good to eat but by thy that Word of God that proceedeth from the mouth of God as to what was good and what was evil " and by that word they lived . and by the rejection of that word they died .
    The ten spies saw things from a carnal point of view .That is to say with thier own eyes or by sight and they reasoned thus ,We will be defeated and our children become as bread to them.
    It only took 40 DAYS to reach the promised land . a MONTH and 12 DAYS . They had forgotten every thing that had happened in that short time even as those did who 3 DAYS out of Egypt built and idol etc while Moses was up the mountain with God.
    The two faithful spies saw things howver in the true light of what God had already done (experience) who it was who was with them. (Now faith is ) and what had bene promised by Him for the future (the substance of thjngs hoped for)
    in THAT true light then preached the right message .
    But sadly they found tha the vast majority were of the same mind and heart as the ten spies .
    Paul was speaking to Christians in Corinth when he said to them "ye are yet carnal"
    We must be careful then that our minds are not only renewed but brought into subjection to the mind of Christ that we may 'see' things as He does in the matter .
    was it not to christians that Paul said he prayed constantly for them thjat the "eyes of thier understanding maybe opened........"?
    While the devil cannot stop God saving us he will do all he can to still blind our eyes to see "what is the exceedign greatensess of his power that is towards us who believe..........................................................................................." Eph
    Little children do not see very far ahead if at all. Young men filled with the Word of God are not only beginning to see things more clearly in the present but by the Word of God in some measure the past bas well even to the beginning as also to that which is to come .
    The Old testament is in one sense the past of a child of God fro we have bene grafted into a tree whos roots go as deep as anything you might imagine ,But which are in God who is from the beginning.
    Can we not then learn from anothers experience?" who were given for our ensample"?
    Both as to the positive as also the negative .For it is far better and less 'expensive' to learn from anothers error and failures is it not?
    So thank you for the reminder.
    The matter of the Bride of Christ I think is for another post as it will 'confuse' the issue here as to faith.
    in Christ

  18. Hello again ,thanks for the comment.
    It is not unreasonable or indeed presumption to not only wonder why he did not respond straight away and appeared to ignore her .
    For clearly she already had faith that Jesus could heal or deliver her daughter.
    You are correct in saying the Lord later gave his reason for not doing so.
    If you read other accounts of people callign upon him as "son of David" while he seemed never to answer the first time he always answered in the affirmitive when he did so.
    Why then not this woman?
    It was not till she was desperate, she already was .given the condition of her daughter .
    But as the Lord came ONLY to the "lost sheep of the household of Israel " then on two grounds he could not answer her.
    First he could not answer her as the "Son of David" for only the Jews had that right .
    Secondly salvation is of the Jews FIRST then the gentiles.
    As he came but for the lost sheep and the household of Israel how then can he justly come to her as a gentile?
    God is a God of order we must come His way . and while we may have great needs we needs come the right way to Him to recieve an answer to those needs.
    So he did not wait till she was 'humiliated' but his waiting led her to his feet and worship and the acknowledgement of "Lord"
    Is that not the way of the gentile?
    But even then he could not give her what she wanted .Though he gave her carte blanche "what would you have me do" Her repsonse to Him brought such a response to her .
    If healing is the childrens bread ,then the bread belonged to the Jews first before it was offered to the gentiles .
    How then could he give her that which belonged to another?
    Or in other words take the bread out of the childrens mouths and give it to another?
    Or what seemed worse , take the bread form the childrens mouths and give it to the dogs?
    But she did not reject his words or the place where he put her .But rather embraced them wholeheartedly and with great boldness said true Lord but even the dogs eat from the crumbs that fall from the table "
    I would argue that while she had faith in the beginning it was not great faith . Nor did it do justice or glory to God . She had no rights as to call Him Son of David .
    So He did not reply to her . But it would be unthinkable that he was ignoring her .
    For while in the Old testement some prophets of God spoke of having "no regard" for some people , As Jesus knew full well in the next dispensation the gentiles would have access to "the bread" His lack of response was something else .
    Given that in other places he taught about beign persistent in prayer and God rewards those who are "diligent"
    Then He effectively led her to the place where not only He could answer her but she also could receive what she asked for in faith.

    in Christ
    Complete likes this.
  19. Hello Gerald,

    Thank you for answering my question (above) in reply#16: saying that you believe that every child of God, born from on high, is a member of, 'The Bride'.
    I respect your desire not to continue talking about this subject in this thread. Perhaps it will be possible to talk about it in a thread begun for that purpose (I don't believe it to be one of the subjects advised against by the administrators, I will check up on that)

    Another time then.
    Thank you
    In Christ Jesus
  20. Hello, I have already started a thread on the subject . I too would hope that it is not a subject"advised against by the administrators" As it is by far one of the great doctrines of the faith as well as one most pressing for the church to understand today
    in Christ

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