Faith It's original And Modified Definitions

Article aF 1989

Faith It's original And Modified Definitions

Article aF 1989

This article was written because too many people think of walking by faith as taking a step

into the unknown and uncertain, and are really unaware of what the Bible is speaking of when it speaks of faith.

Faith is the element that saves men from hell. Yet today we find two definitions for this unspeakably important word which carry largely differing qualities. The modified definition is today's popular definition. This definition classifies faith as a simple belief of the mind onto the Bible and it's teachings, especially concerning the historical event of Christ dying for the sins of all men and accepting Him as one's personal Saviour. Another aspect of this modified definition counts going by faith as the act of without assurance hopefully stepping into the unknown. The other definition of faith which is largely extinct, past soldiers of the Gospel explain as a solid and assured belief and conviction of the heart which powerfully changes one's affections and goals. They explain this faith in the exact following words, "...the real and true faith which avails before God is a sure knowledge of the heart, a sure confidence which we receive from God, ...through the hearing of the word of God; and which through the illumination of the Holy Spirit; is imprinted on, and written in the heart, and works so effectually in us that we are drawn away by it from all visible and perishable things to the invisible and living God; acquiring thereby a new spiritual taste for that which is heavenly, and not for that which is earthly". They tell of the effectual sanctifying powers of this faith saying, through saving faith "...all true believers gladly and obediently submit themselves to all the commandments of God contained in the holy scriptures, they esteem all the sufferings of this time brief and light, ...gladly suffering for the name of the Lord...". Also in their article concerning the true church of God on earth, they teach that this faith is the number one sign of this church and say these words, "It works so effectually that by it we are drawn and impelled from all visible things and sinful lusts of this world to the invisible God and His heavenly riches". Note they say drawn away from all visible things as well as sinful lusts. aF-1

Jesus sanctioned Simon Peter's confession of faith in Christ saying, "...Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood bath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. and I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt 16:17-18). It must be understood that before Jesus sanctioned Peter's faith as such, He had told him, that flesh and blood had not revealed it to him but rather Christ's Father which is in heaven. A faith anchored in flesh and blood could well be an intellectual faith or simply believing what one has been taught with no deeper anchor. The only faith that saves is one that has is anchor in a revelation from the Father through His Spirit as had Peter. aF-2

The true and original faith includes the following vital aspects. Firstly a heart felt realization of one's sinfulness and need before God, and of God's Holiness and His provided mercy, secondly a living awareness of the goodness and severity of God as is revealed in His creation of heaven and hell, and thirdly a keen awareness of man's proneness to fail of meeting the conditions to be the eligible for God's provided mercy. Thus the fruit of this faith is that it draws one away from earthly goals and treasures to with great carefulness and according to God's Word pursue heavenly goals and treasures. The true faith which assures and motivates as such is a power and gift from God. This faith is like a high energy food which gives sanctifying strength to those which partake of it to produce and possess a humble, pure, and contrite heart, who then may come and dwell within the good pleasure of God and there be a recipient of eternal life at His hand. Forth coming good works and fruit of the body definitely will follow with the exception of physical disabilities. Apostle Paul knowing the importance of faith said, "But without faith it is impossible to please him (God)". The true faith cannot but produce and be zealous of good works and without this faith it is impossible to provide proper fruit and works, it is with respect to this principle that God's Word so often teaches the importance of faith and yet says at the judgment we will be judged by our works. aF-3

The original faith that Apostle Paul preached in his day included a greater cross or self denial than abiding by the complicated Mosaic law. For Paul comparing abiding by the Mosaic law with maintaining the true faith said "...if I yet preach circumcision the [Old Testament law], why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offense of the cross ceased" (Gal 5:11). How can it be that the true faith requires greater cross bearing than the keeping of the complicated Mosaic law, while the faith with the modified definition requires little cross bearing and minimizes the need of works. The true faith to exist requires a continual open channel between one and his heavenly Father. The true faith teaches one of his need of something outside of his abilities and it is as Paul says, "But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)" (Romans 10:6-7). The true faith continually reveals to one his sinfulness and helplessness before God and thus his need of mercy as provided in Christ. When this faith is alive it is impossible to feel self satisfied or proud and is like the prophet said, "Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith" (Habakuk 2:4). The true faith continually teaches one of his great need of keeping his heart with all diligence, and his vast obligation to God and toward The lost around him. The true faith continually teaches the flesh such things as it does not like to hear and truly this faith is an offense to the flesh. aF-4

Note the great difference in the original definition of faith and the modified definition of faith. The original and true definition of faith, is a faith having a heavenly inspiration and assurance, thus it assuredly knows that the words the Christ spake on earth are as alive today as when He first told them and that such word will soon judge the whole world, sentencing many to unspeakable eternal torment while ushering those who abided by Christ's Word into eternal life and bliss and thus this faith motivates one's life, totally changing his affections, goals, and doings, while the modified definition is a faith in Christ as shallow as believing in Abraham Lincoln and understands walking by faith, as to without solid assurance hopefully stepping into the unknown. aF-5

The word faith in it's different applications in the Bible contains varying ingredients. Sometimes the word faith pertains to and means solely that power and gift from God's Spirit to man which assures and teaches man of his sinfulness and need before God and of God's Holiness judgments and mercy, this meaning of faith contains only this one sided element and involves nothing on man's part. The Bible speaking of the faith with this meaning says "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8). Other times faith as used in the Bible includes the above element and includes man's involvement of having a prepared heart to hear and receive this gift of faith. The Bible speaking of Abraham's faith is speaking of a faith with both elements. Abraham faith was counted to him for righteousness, yet it became his faith by him having a prepared heart to receive it. Man cannot be saved by the faith with the one sided element without works. Yet man can be saved by the faith which includes both elements without any works except those that were involved in receiving this faith. Outward works of the body will follow as opportunity affords. aF-6

V Paul concerning faith writes, "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; ... Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed" (Romans 10:10-11). One's faith is revealed by heart language not mouth language. How can it be many individuals and even churches with their mouth confess to believe the Bible which teaches that such things as are highly esteemed among men are an abomination to God and teaches that the world in general is on the wrong road bound for eternal torment, and yet with their heart they try to do and be like them. May no one trust mouth language not even their own but consider all things by heart language. aF-7

May all as Paul said, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith:..." The two definitions of faith are like two roads the one leads to eternal life and the one to eternal damnation which road are you on? aF-8

(Count 1609 2/17/01)