01 What is Faith? Defining the Term

Audio: mp3

It is my personal desire to be ready when Jesus comes. I desire that we can all be translated. The day of the Lord is something that Christians look forward to but it is actually a day of wrath. At such a time when the consequences get unleashed upon the heads of those who do not regard God, it is a dreadful day. It’s called the day of God’s wrath. It’s a day of darkness. Who shall abide in the day of His coming? Who shall stand at the day of His appearing? There was a man who was translated, Enoch. He had this testimony, that he pleased God. Of all the times, it is best to please God in the day of His wrath. By faith Enoch was translated. If we desire to be translated, it must also be by faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]:

If we want this testimony we must please God. By faith Enoch was translated. Why is it impossible to please God without faith?

Romans 14:23 …for whatsoever [is] not of faith is sin.

Do we suppose that sin pleases God? It never has and never will therefore by faith we can be translated.

How to exercise faith. This is the science of the gospel. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” The knowledge of what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating faith, is more essential than any other knowledge that can be acquired. We suffer much trouble and grief because of our unbelief, and our ignorance of how to exercise faith. We must break through the clouds of unbelief. We can not have a healthy Christian experience, we can not obey the gospel unto salvation, until the science of faith is better understood, and until more faith is exercised. There can be no perfection of Christian character without that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. {RH, October 18, 1898 par. 7}

Faith is called science, faith is scientific but no one wants to do the experiment. If we would do the experiment and prove faith then we would understand what the Bible means. The word faith has a blurred meaning. It is the most important knowledge you could ever acquire. Do you think Satan is going to tap into that? It’s not what we think faith means, it’s what the scriptures means.

The devil is always against the scriptures. He tried to kill the Word of God Jesus Christ himself. Then he tried to set up a system where you could only ask the priests for an interpretation of the scriptures. He tried to hide it in a hidden language and then he burned the Bibles because Satan doesn’t want us to know the science of faith. Bibles are all around us and Satan wants to change the translations and the meanings of the words and how we use the words in our daily language so we are going to define the gospel terms. As you go through the meanings of the terms you’ll know what the scripture means by that word. That way in our further lectures you will be able to understand the gospel and you will be able to read it for yourself. When we understand and cultivate that faith then we can be translated by that faith. Here are a few terms to define. Generally hope, faith and belief are not easily distinguishable.

  • Hope is belief, desire or trust.
  • Faith is belief that is not based on proof according to the dictionary meaning.
  • Belief is something believed in; an opinion or conviction. How can we distinguish these apart?
  • Grace is unmerited divine favour.
  • Works is any effort whatsoever.
  • The ‘Law’ is any requirement of command.

When you look at these words and saw we are saved by hope are you correct? Yes. Are you saved by faith? If we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will we be saved? Absolutely. Grace is a free gift undeserved and works, if we have faith are we released from works? When you read the Bible our salvation doesn’t come from works. The law, if you are of faith and led by the spirit you’re not under the law. These definitions have lead people to say that as long as we have a mental exercise towards God and a trust that everything will be just okay and we are always under grace as we never deserve Gods favour which is true, therefore we don’t have to make any effort and we’re not under any requirement or command. If these words meant that, that is what the gospel would be. But do these words mean that? We want to understand the difference between hope, faith and belief. They are very clearly different. As we see how the Bible uses the word, we’ll know what it means when it used that word.

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life.

See how it used the word hope? It took out ‘hope” and put in “desire”. That’s how the Bible used the word.

Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

If you put in the belief or desire, it doesn’t fit into this context. If you’re hoping for something, it’s your desire to have it. But when you have it, you don’t desire it any more. Can you trust something you have? The Bible is using the word hope as desire. If you desire something you haven’t got, you still desire it.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Here is the desire of a Christian that really wants to be like Jesus. Everyone that has this desire goes and does it.

Ephesians 4:4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One hope. We need to bring our desires to one thing. That one desire is that one hope.

Psalm 27:4 One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

How many hopes does David have? One thing do I desire of the Lord.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Do you want Jesus? Is that your hope? Christ in you, the hope of glory. The apostle makes it very clear what our hope is.

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, [which is] our hope;

Jesus is our hope, the desire to be with Him. The desire that is awoken in our heart is what leads us to faith. The Bible is using this word as desire.

Faith

Faith hinges on the definition of hope.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The dictionary said faith was belief in something that has no proof. Is that what the Bible said? Not at all. Faith is the substance. Does that sound imaginary to you? This is what the scriptures say. When we understand the word faith as the Bible defines it, the Bible takes on a whole different meaning. What was the hope? Jesus. Faith is the substance of Jesus. The evidence of things not seen. Does science rely on evidence? Is faith science of is it imagination? Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Substance in the dictionary is the actual matter of a thing as opposed to the shadow. Faith is the actual matter of the thing hope for as opposed to the shadow of Him, the proof of the invisible. There is the seed of the bean stalk.

The Seed

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

Faith isn’t a mustard tree, it’s a mustard seed.

Belief

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

This is talking of Jesus when he came to the Jewish nation. He came to his own and his own did what? They did not receive him. Did they believe in him? They didn’t believe him

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

See how the word believe is used. They didn’t believe, they didn’t receive but as many as received he gave even those that believed. Belief is receiving. You can receive things in different ways.

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

You can receive something as a fact or you can receive it as a treasure. Does Satan believe in the existence of God? Of course. He believes it as a fact. When it says believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved does that mean believe it as a fact? Jesus died, existed and rose again, are you saved? What does it mean to receive and believe?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Receive in your heart. When Jesus comes, should you receive it as an intellectual fact or something that goes into your heart? You can tell whether or not someone talks about Jesus if they talk about him a lot. If you believe or receive it in the heart, you shall be saved. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart you will be saved. How that works I pray we can find out. Many people who suppose they believe will find out that perhaps they don’t believe. How does Jesus use this word belief?

Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

The devil doesn’t mind if it stays in your intellect as long as it doesn’t enter your heart where you treasure it. He doesn’t want that.

Luke 8:13 They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Belief means reception into your heart. That’s how Jesus is using the word. Grace is unmerited divine favour. How does the Bible use the word?

Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Grace is given according to the gift of Christ. Jesus is the first gift. As they receive Jesus, grace was given. Grace is the second gift. There is a gift Jesus Christ who gives the gift of grace that gives other gifts, plural. Those that receive Jesus go and ask the Father and he will give you another comforter, a gift. What happened when the holy spirit came? There are diversities of gifts but the same spirit. If you receive him you’ll receive the Holy Spirit and if you receive the Holy Spirit you’ll receive gifts. The word grace is interchanged with the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

What’s the Holy Spirit going to do when he comes? He’s going to teach you.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly, in this present world;

The grace of God teaches. It’s more than just unmerited divine favour. It’s the Holy Spirit. Do we deserve the Holy Spirit? No. But if we receive Jesus Christ into our hearts, we will receive the gift of grace.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

The Old Testament says he’ll pour out the spirit of grace upon the house of David. The word grace means the Holy Spirit.

They must have His grace, the Spirit of Christ, to help their infirmities, or they cannot form a Christian character. {FW 38.1}

Grace from dictionary.com – the spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them. The grace of Jesus will be with your spirit. Whenever we see that word grace, put in the word Holy Spirit, it fits exactly. Who inspired the Bible? The Holy Spirit. People wonder why you see only the Father and the Son. Do you know the word grace is always there too? The Holy Spirit doesn’t talk about himself. He only makes the necessary mentions and he puts the word grace in. There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit and these three are one.

The Law

There’s the law of God and the law of Moses. There are many laws in the Bible. Every time you read the word law, it’s a bad word. What does the word law mean? It means a principle of behaviour. If you’re playing football there are laws of how you need to behave. We don’t mind those laws. It includes instinctive and spontaneous behaviour. Just like gravity. That law is spontaneous. You don’t have to write up a decree that gravity exists, it’s instinctive. There are laws in the animal kingdom, certain behaviours that animals do. The Ten Commandments are a principle of behaviour but they’re not instinctive. It’s the same with the Law of Moses. Those laws are incorporated, but if I had the law of genetic or of heredity, that is instinctive. It’s not hard to become like your mum and dad. How does the apostle use this word law?

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? [is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Which law is he talking about? The Ten Commandments.

Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

I’m not surprised that I don’t have to teach my children the wrong thing. We need to differentiate whether or not it’s talking about instinctive or written law. The Bible talks about the law of faith. It’s a substance. It will produce something that we want to understand.

Works

Is works effort? No. Work is effort. Works is what you produce.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

By the Holy Spirit we’re saved through the seed. We didn’t create the seed. It is the gift of God. If we use this word works as effort we become stuck in reading the scriptures. There’s another word in the Bible that is used as works – diligence which means constant and earnest effort to accomplish

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

Diligence is effort. Works is what is produced from your effort.

Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are [these]; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Works means fruit. These two texts contrast. It means produce.

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Are we created in Christ Jesus unto good works?

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

What is brought forth determines where it came from. If you have an orange, it came from an orange tree. That’s what Jesus is trying to say. Wild berries don’t come from an orange tree.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

If that was effort and you’re judged according to your effort because you’d be condemned according to your effort. Works doesn’t mean effort it means produce. But being saved we will produce. There is a big difference in the meanings. Hope is a desire of Jesus. Faith is the actual matter of the thing hoped. Belief is the receiving of that matter into the innermost soul. Grace is the work of the Holy Spirit in the soul. Law is the principle of behaviour including instinctive behaviour. Works is the produce of or the fruit of the work. Our salvation is not based on our principle of behaviour. It is based upon receiving the thing that will make it instinctive to make it such.

How to exercise faith. This is the science of the gospel. The Scripture declares, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” The knowledge of what the Scripture means when urging upon us the necessity of cultivating faith, is more essential than any other knowledge that can be acquired. We suffer much trouble and grief because of our unbelief, and our ignorance of how to exercise faith. We must break through the clouds of unbelief. We can not have a healthy Christian experience, we can not obey the gospel unto salvation, until the science of faith is better understood, and until more faith is exercised. There can be no perfection of Christian character without that faith that works by love, and purifies the soul. {RH, October 18, 1898 par. 7}

Without faith you’re not going to be ready. You can do as much or as little as you like, if you don’t have faith, you won’t be ready.

Amen.

Posted on March 4, 2011, in Living Faith Seminar, Sermons For Sabbath. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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