Walking By Faith

There is something that has been on my mind as of late that I would like to talk about today and that subject is faith. In essence the word of God speaks of faith often; what is faith? For by it we are saved. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”. We each have physical senses, five to be exact; we have eyes with which take in light and see the objects of our environment, we have ears by which we hear audible sounds, we have nerve endings by which we can detect the objects we touch and detect temperature variations, taste buds to detect flavors of foods, and we have a nose by which we can smell the varying fragrances surrounding us. We all have a spirit that is dead until revived by the Holy Spirit of God. If we are honest with ourselves we know we have all sinned (broken the Laws of God) and the wages of sin is death, spiritual death separated from God, we remain dead in our trespasses unless the Holy Spirit breathes life back into our souls, raising us from the dead, and then we can have faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). He said this to the Pharisee Nicodemus, and He was saying this to us as well. Until made alive by the Holy Spirit of God we are blind, we cannot see anything in the kingdom of God. But once a man is made alive by the Holy Spirit He can see the kingdom of God for the first time, He sees (for the lack of a better word) what has surrounded Him all of this time and did not know it was there. Most men measure truth by what they can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell; in this physical world that we live in. Science means with knowledge so these senses give us knowledge of our surrounding environment. Faith gives us knowledge of the non-physical world, faith sees into the spiritual.

Try as I might I cannot explain faith; I can use words like seeing but it is not like seeing or hearing at all, in fact faith is nothing like the physical senses. I can explain faith in talking about how it manifest changes to our lives, example; “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Faith does manifest itself into physical changes. The bible speaks a lot about repentance and there has been resurgence in the church on repentance after a period of avoiding the subject. To repent in its simplest definition means to change one’s mind. But it goes so much deeper than that; if one were to change one’s mind it causes all manner of physical changes as well. I fear in talking of repentance most focus on the physical changes; has one put away their sin? While putting away sin is a good thing and can be a manifestation of a changed mind and heart, it could simply be a physical man in his own physical attempt to become righteous. We should never focus on the physical but instead on the spiritual the physical will come if you have received the spiritual.

The verse I consider to be the most important in all of scripture is Romans 3:25, and it says; “whom God displayed publically as a propitiation in His blood through faith”. Propitiation simply defined means a merciful atoning sin sacrifice,(for a more in-depth definition see a previous blog called “Mercy, Way More Than I Ever Thought”). We have all broken the laws of God and have no means by which we may atone for our own sins; we are all at God’s mercy. And He provided that sacrifice Himself; two elements and both elements most be present to have propitiation; in addition both elements come from God. Element one is the blood of Christ; “whom God displayed publically”. This occurred at the cross roads of the first century religious world on a hill top outside of the city of Jerusalem for all to see. Martin Lloyd Jones said “God the Father Plackered Him”, a sign was placed above His head in Hebrew, Latin, and in Greek; “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS” (SEE John 19:19-20). God the father pored His wrath out on Jesus Christ His perfect Son as a Man, for the sins of man. It was said through the prophet Isaiah, “But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief” (Isaiah 53:10) and he did this before men. The second element of propitiation is faith which is all of God; Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44). The Apostle Paul said, in the Epistle to the Romans, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). That is why Christ told us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Faith comes about when a man hears the word of Christ and receives the Holy Spirit of God giving him faith, and in having faith, Christ. The man has repented, he has changed his mind, and thus his life is anew. The man doesn’t go out in some form of self righteousness and put away sin to earn a right standing with God, but instead He has turned to Christ, and in turning to Christ, away from His former self. He no longer cares about His former life, he has Christ, the sins he once loved he now hates, and the Christ he once ignored He now loves. He doesn’t spend the next few years putting away sin to earn a right standing with God, sin is put away because His focus is no longer on pleasing Himself, but pleasing Christ, loving Christ, worshiping and adoring Christ. That is repentance and that is faith! “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

If you died today, where would you go? Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).

A slave of Jesus Christ Mike Peek