A couple of nights ago, I had this really intense dream, but could only remember a few parts. Upon awakening, I pondered at what I had seen and heard. In the dream, I was having a conversation with someone. That person was explaining the importance of FAITH. This person said that “the Law” will only take a person “so far”. Basically, when someone is following the law out of obligation, they will only do the bare minimum and nothing more. For instance, one of God’s commandments is “thou shalt not steal”. If, through our attempts to follow the law by our own strength, we choose NOT to steal, we will consider ourselves “successful” when we don’t shoplift, commit robbery, or outright steal from an individual. We may; however, not think twice about theft of intellectual property, like downloading music for free, since many of us do not think of that as “stealing”. Also, In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He teaches us that we should not only ABSTAIN from stealing, we should GIVE away our excess. If we have 2 cloaks, give one away. The person in my dream was saying that those who try to follow the law out of legalism, out of obligation, will only do the “bare minimum”. Why is that? Because mankind’s heart (OUR HEARTS) are deceitful, meaning that we lie to ourselves, and our hearts are “desperately wicked” All of us are born into the same sin condition.
Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The law confronts sin but cannot change the sinner. It is powerless to convert the soul, control sinful passions, or change the inner person. However, this does not mean that the Law is bad. On the contrary, God’s Law is good because it exposes our sinfulness, which is our core problem. The Law is good and holy—but it is inadequate to deal with the heart problem of man. That is why Jesus came. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can change the heart.
In my dream, the man then said something that really made me stop to ponder the meaning. He said “someone with True and Total faith is someone who is willing to lay down his life for another“. I KNEW that he was speaking of JESUS!
John 15: 13: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
This is what Jesus did for us. He gave His LIFE for His Friends. Through His death on the Cross, our sins have been FORGIVEN and buried FOREVER, and through His Resurrection, we also RESURRECT into ETERNAL LIFE. On this earth, we have His Holy Spirit WITHIN US, the TRUE LIFE that connects us to the LIVING VINE (Jesus), and when we leave this earth we are promised ETERNAL LIFE in the KINGDOM OF GOD. Jesus gave up His earthly Life to reconcile us back to God so that we could have ETERNAL LIFE! This is TRUE LOVE. “The Law” says “Do not murder”, but Jesus went WAY above and beyond the written Commandment, the Law. This is the law of LOVE that is so much HIGHER than the written laws. So I’m sitting here contemplating what the Holy Spirit was teaching. Jesus fulfilled the Law of LOVE by laying down HIS LIFE for all of us. But in the dream, the man did not speak of LOVE, he spoke of FAITH. So I had to stop and ponder, also pray over this.
Scripture tells us that the RIGHTEOUS (Justified) will live by FAITH. What is Faith?
Habakkuk 2:4: “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his faith.
Galatians 3:11: Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.”
The dictionary defines faith as “belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.
The Bible has a lot more to say about Faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance (solid assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The Dictionary definition of faith makes it sound like the person with “faith” is illogical, or has checked their mind at the door. This is not surprising since those who wrote the dictionary understand that faith is usually describing someone who believes in Jesus Christ. Their definition is skewed and really not accurate, at least pertaining to Biblical faith. God wants us to love Him with all our heart, MIND, soul, and strength. God doesn’t expect us to have “BLIND FAITH”. Instead, He has left plenty of EVIDENCE for us to contemplate…if we choose to do so. Last year, my husband watched a movie titled “The Case for Christ”, which is a movie based on a TRUE STORY about an atheist who was married to a Christian. He was also an investigative reporter, by profession. Because he was so frustrated with his wife’s FAITH, he set out to PROVE her WRONG. His INTENTION was to DISPROVE the Resurrection, to DISPROVE Jesus’ Miracles, to DISPROVE Christianity as some “mythical religion”. He certainly got alot more than he bargained for. We’ve included a short trailer, but the full length version of the movie appears to also be available on Youtube if you are interested.
Faith is believing in something that we cannot see based on what we can see. Christian Faith is based on the Word of God. The object of our Christian Faith is the Gospel (GOOD NEWS) of Jesus Christ, His Crucifixion and Resurrection.
- We BELIEVE that Jesus exists.
- We BELIEVE that Jesus IS the Son of God, GOD who came to earth in the LIKENESS of HUMAN FLESH
- We BELIEVE in HIS MIRACLES.
- We BELIEVE that Jesus was the ONLY ONE who COULD LIVE a SINLESS LIFE.
- We BELIEVE that He DIED on the CROSS to pay the penalty for our sin, and that He resurrected 3 days later.
- We BELIEVE that Jesus is ALIVE and now sits at the Right hand of the Father.
- We BELIEVE in the Holy Spirit of God who dwells within and SANCTIFIES every Believer.
- We BELIEVE Jesus’ own words, that HE IS COMING AGAIN, and will GATHER HIS BRIDE (Believers) UNTO HIMSELF.
Do we believe because we’ve PERSONALLY SEEN these things? No...Why do Christians have these beliefs? It’s really hard to explain. I could say that it’s based on the evidence, archaeological, historical, psychological, etc, but that would be an understatement. Yes, there is PLENTY of evidence that DEFINITELY POINTS to a Risen Savior, Jesus Christ, but it’s more than that. FAITH is a GIFT of GOD.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
The “gift of God” in the original Greek appears in the neuter grammatical form, which means that it refers back to both grace and faith. Grace and faith are both DIVINE GIFTS. Does God give everyone the GIFT OF FAITH?
Romans 12:3: For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
The Bible tells us that FAITH is a GIFT FROM GOD to the Believer and that He has given EACH BELIEVER a MEASURE of FAITH. The fact that I believe the BIBLE is evidence that I have the GIFT of Faith. If you BELIEVE in JESUS CHRIST, the MESSIAH and SAVIOR of your soul, then God (YHWH) has given you the same GIFT! You did not come to the Faith out of your own intellect or mind, but you are the recipient of a very DESIRABLE and AWESOME GIFT.
Matthew 16:13: Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Even the investigative reporter, Lee Strobel (the video above), though he sought hard to DENY the TRUTH of JESUS, was led to the FAITH, not by his own intellect and even his years of research, but by the HOLY SPIRIT of YHWH who had already chosen him for the Kingdom of God. That is also the truth. If you are a BELIEVER in Jesus Christ, it is because JESUS CHOSE YOU, you did not choose Him. Jesus thought about you, He created you, and He chose you. You are chosen and you are LOVED! Of course, that leads us to the obvious question…why did God choose us and not someone else? Why did YHWH bestow the GIFT of FAITH on us, but not on the unbeliever next door? We can’t answer that question. That goes back to “predestination”, which is a very controversial doctrine. Here’s what the Bible says about “Predestination”.
John 15: 16: You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
John 15:19: If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
We won’t go too deeply into the doctrine of PREDESTINATION. The Bible makes it pretty clear that God is sovereign and chooses whom He will. Why some and not others? We can ask God that question some day when we see Him face to face. We do know one thing. God is COMPLETELY FAIR and JUST, and there is NO PARTIALITY with GOD. He has His reasons for everything that HE does. Although we may not fully understand His ways, which are so much Higher than our ways, for now, It’s just good for us to know that if we Believe in Jesus Christ, it is because God CHOSE us, HE LOVES us , and HE HAS GIVEN us THE GIFTS OF FAITH AND GRACE! Although we may not feel worthy, God is sanctifying us through His Holy Spirit and will complete the Good work that He started.
Another thing we learn about Faith is that without it, it is IMPOSSIBLE to PLEASE GOD.
Hebrews 11:6: And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him
This is a REALLY important verse in the Bible. This verse tells us the converse is also true…WITH FAITH, it is POSSIBLE to PLEASE GOD. If anyone DESIRES to PLEASE GOD, then this verse is super important to know. Hebrews 11:6 says that if we want to please God, then the first thing we have to do is BELIEVE HE EXISTS, and the second thing is to believe that He REWARDS those who SEEK HIM.
Hebrews 11:3: By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
Hebrews 11:3 must be a pretty challenging verse for Churches who preach EVOLUTION. The writer of Hebrews tells us that people OF FAITH (Christians) BELIEVE that the WORLDS (universe) was CREATED BY THE WORD OF GOD..namely that GOD SPOKE the UNIVERSE into EXISTENCE. Very early on this Blog, in the first series of posts, we went through the THEORY of EVOLUTION and showed that there are HUGE GAPS, unexplainable GAPS, that make the THEORY IMPOSSIBLE. That’s right! The THEORY of EVOLUTION is a HUGE LIE straight from the pit of hell! The “god of this world” (devil), who is in CURRENTLY in control of the VAST MAJORITY of our GLOBAL EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS, will absolutely NEVER, EVER allow this information to be TAUGHT in public schools. Instead, he (devil) presents the THEORY OF EVOLUTION as though it were a FACT. It is NOT! It is a theory made up by an agnostic (Charles Darwin) and promoted by atheists who seek to leave God out of the equation. In our very early posts we showed EVIDENCE for the TRUTH that GOD SPOKE the CREATION into existence. That, also, will not be permitted to be taught because it does NOT support the antichrist narrative. But Churches SHOULD, BY FAITH, teach the truth..however, we know from 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 that there would be many GREAT DELUSIONS, DECEPTIONS, and APOSTASY in the Church IN THE LAST DAYS. We are in the LAST of the LAST DAYS! Anyway, you get the picture. There is plenty of evidence to support the Creation, things that we can SEE…but, the only people who will BELIEVE the TRUTH are those with the GIFT OF FAITH. Only God knows who these people are, so we hope and pray that as many people as possible HAVE ACCESS to the TRUTH that leads to SALVATION.
Without Faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. The people who do NOT BELIEVE, the atheists and people mixed up in false religion, CANNOT please God. It’s NOT POSSIBLE. Of course, those people could care less anyway since they either don’t recognize that God exists, or they’re following after a false god, a false religion and denying the TRUE GOD (Father/Son/Holy Spirit). God wants us to Believe in HIM EVEN THOUGH WE CANNOT SEE. No man has ever SEEN GOD (with physical eyes – John 1:18). We have not physically SEEN JESUS (YET). Most of us have not SEEN an angel, or Heaven, or anything like that. And yet, those of us with the GIFT OF FAITH BELIEVE. This is a powerful statement.
Early ACTS of BIBLICAL FAITH – Hebrews 11
Hebrews 11:7: By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Noah believed God’s Warnings, and He listened to God’s instructions about preparing an Ark. From what I understand, during the days of Noah, rain did not even exist on the earth. Prior to the flood there was a sort of “mist” that watered the ground. There was no rain. So Noah, having never seen rain or floods or anything like that…BELIEVED GOD and HEEDED GOD’S instruction. How might something like that apply to our day today? Well, we’re in the middle of writing a series on “THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION”, a time of terrible disasters on the earth. Does God give us any warning in His Word about this time? Yes, He tells us to get on the ARK of JESUS (Believe in Jesus and follow HIM)...praying to be counted worthy to ESCAPE the things coming upon the earth and stand before the Son of Man. If we’re following Noah’s example, although we don’t have to literally build ourselves an ARK, we are PLEASING TO GOD when we HEED HIS WARNINGS and BELIEVE HIS WORD. Jesus old us to WATCH (be like a night watchman) and pray accordingly, seeking Him, understanding that the time is growing near. How much nearer are we today than when John wrote the book of Revelation! Noah spent 100 years building the Ark. I can imagine that there were even people in his family who ridiculed him for being crazy, but still, Noah BELIEVED GOD.
Luke 21:36: Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
If we want to be pleasing to God, we need to believe what He says, and ACT accordingly. This is FAITH. I’ve heard it likened to a chair. Sure, everyone can SEE a chair sitting on the floor. But to SIT in the chair is a whole new ballgame. One has to not only SEE the chair, but TRUST that the chair will hold them up. This is Biblical FAITH! We TRUST IN JESUS to FORGIVE ALL OF OUR SINS and CARRY us to VICTORY through His Shed blood on the Cross.
Hebrews 11:8: By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
We have another example of faith, Abraham. God told Abraham to leave his family, his home, his “gods”, and go to a place where God would take him. Abraham had NO IDEA where he was going…but he went. He did not SEE God, but he BELIEVED so much so that he was willing to LEAVE everything that was familiar to him and STEP OUT IN FAITH into a foreign land. This is another example of BELIEVING GOD, believing God’s promises, and acting on them even when we CANNOT SEE or may not UNDERSTAND. Abraham was PLEASING TO GOD.
For us, we need to be willing to step out in Faith when we feel the Holy Spirit lead us. No, we can’t SEE God, and we may not have experienced His promises yet, but we need to BELIEVE. Are you waiting for a healing that has not come? Are you praying for deliverance for a family member? Have you been asking the Lord for a wife or husband, someone to share your life, and no one has showed up yet? Don’t give up. Hang onto God’s Word and BELIEVE His promises. In so doing, you will be PLEASING to GOD.
John 20:29: Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me (RESURRECTED), have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
Believe in the Resurrection. Believe in the BLESSED HOPE. Have we physically seen these things with our eyes? No! But we are greatly blessed if we can BELIEVE without having SEEN. We Believe even when we cannot SEE…We Believe even if we NEVER see (on this side of Heaven). We will Never stop believing! The Scriptures say that many people of FAITH went to the grave without having PHYSICALLY SEEN the promises ON EARTH. But they WILL SEE the PROMISES IN HEAVEN..ONE DAY. That much is certain! And they will be REWARDED for their FAITH!
Hebrews 11:13: All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them
The ULTIMATE ACT of FAITH – JESUS CHRIST
The man in the dream told me that laying down one’s life was a POWERFUL TESTIMONY OF FAITH, THE MOST POWERFUL TESTIMONY OF FAITH. I had to stop and think about this for a moment. As soon as I heard about someone who laid down his life for another, of course I KNEW he was speaking about Jesus. And yes, as the Scriptures state, the willingness to lay down one’s life for a friend is the ULTIMATE act of LOVE. But was it also the ultimate act of FAITH? So this got me to thinking. In my mind, Jesus, as God, didn’t NEED FAITH because He’s God. Surely HE KNEW EVERYTHING…right? But that really got me to thinking…
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed 3 times to the Father to take this cup from Him (crucifixion)..but not His own Will, but the Father’s Will be done. Jesus KNEW that it was going to be EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL! He KNEW that the Father would FORSAKE HIM at the very end. He even knew that every one of His Disciples, except for John, would FLEE out of FEAR. Those whom He had loved would NOT stand beside Him. It was so real to Jesus that drops of blood formed in his sweat.
Matthew 26:39: Going a little farther, He (Jesus) fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.
Luke 22:44: And being in agony He (Jesus) was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
Jesus was FULLY GOD, but He was also FULLY HUMAN. Jesus had to TRUST the Father. He was God wrapped in human flesh, and yet Jesus had to operate in FAITH while on earth. I’m sorry if I’m a little slow on the uptake, but this is mind-blowing to me. Perhaps when Jesus set aside His Deity to take on the likeness of human flesh, He wasn’t “all knowing” for that period of time, and had to completely rely on the FATHER. Always, Jesus would make statements like this…
John 12:49: For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.
John 8:28: So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
John 5:19: Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.
Jesus completely trusted the Father, YHWH to direct even His Words! Jesus set aside His deity for a brief time, making Himself completely vulnerable to humanity. By taking on the likeness of human flesh, Jesus Himself taught us HOW to live a life of faith. Thinking about this further, the Father’s Will was for Jesus to die for the sins of Humanity. In Heaven, the Word of God UNDERSTOOD the plan. It was HIS PLAN! However, when THE WORD OF GOD BECAME FLESH, when Jesus took on the likeness of human flesh, He made Himself completely vulnerable. He was human in every way. He struggled with KNOWING He was going to the Cross because He KNEW how painful it would be. Father, He prayed, Isn’t there any other way? (to save humanity)? And Jesus went to the Cross, completely obedient to the Father. In His humanity, he could have doubted…What if…What if it doesn’t work? What if nobody believes even after I lay down my life? What if???…….But Jesus had no doubt. He 100% BELIEVED what the Father told Him to do, always and in every situation. Jesus BELIEVED the Father, even to the point of death on a cross. He BELIEVED that the FATHER would resurrect Him in 3 days. Can you imagine? We humans would be asking…Um, are you sure? What if you forget? What if the people could care less? Are you really there?? What if I do this, go through all of this pain, and it helps no one because no one believes anyway? Wow, can you imagine the doubts we HUMANS would have had? Jesus was a YOUNG, HEALTHY MAN! He could have had a FULL LIFE ahead of Him. But Jesus GAVE HIS LIFE because HE BELIEVED the FATHER. Jesus had perfect and complete FAITH! Can you even imagine? Perhaps Jesus did not have a memory of His Life with God BEFORE He was incarnate. Perhaps He went to the Cross totally on FAITH. That’s not something that I’ve ever contemplated and brings a whole new level of WOW to the game! Actually, every time I contemplate this, it brings tears to my eyes. Jesus is REALLY AWESOME!!!
Philippians 2: 5: Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
So If I’m reading this right, Jesus Christ, who existed in the form of GOD in HEAVEN, set aside HIS DEITY (EMPTIED HIMSELF), and HUMBLED HIMSELF. He took on the likeness of HUMAN FLESH. As a man, Jesus was cooperating with the LIMITATIONS of being a man, and he had complete FAITH in the work and plan of God the Father. He was TOTALLY OBEDIENT to the FATHER, even until the POINT OF DEATH ON A CROSS. He fully TRUSTED the Father. He had PERFECT FAITH in the Father. so He told the Father “Not MY WILL, but THY WILL BE DONE”. In Luke 2:52 Jesus increased in wisdom and stature. So, there was a sense in which Jesus was not accessing the full attributes of divinity which includes divine omniscience (all knowing). We do not understand completely how this works, but he was, after all, BORN under the law (Galatians 4:4).
The Bible tells us that without Faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. What did God say to His Son?
Matthew 3:16: As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. Suddenly the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and resting on Him. 17: and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Faith makes us pleasing to God, and God was WELL PLEASED with Jesus. Jesus had PERFECT FAITH. I find this really awe-inspiring. Jesus Christ, our God, tells us to have FAITH, and He’s not telling us something that He Himself hasn’t done. He set aside HIS DIVINITY while on earth, and walked in PERFECT FAITH. Jesus had so much FAITH in HIS FATHER, whom He also couldn’t PHYSICALLY SEE while on the earth, that HE was willing to DIE a horrible, excruciating death…for us! He BELIEVED that the Father would RESURRECT HIM. He BELIEVED the Father, who told told Him that MANY would come to Him throughout the age of Grace! HE BELIEVED that many of His own Brethren, the Jews, would also be SAVED. JESUS FULLY BELIEVED in the PROMISES OF GOD..and HE WAS WELL-PLEASING to THE FATHER. Now, Jesus sits at the RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER, in FULL GLORY.
Let’s ask our Father to make our feet like Hind’s feet. A hind is a female deer that can place her back feet exactly where her front feet stepped. Not one inch off! She is able to run with abandonment! In times of danger, she is able to run securely and not get “off track.” The hind is able to scale unusually difficult terrain and elude predators. WE NEED TO WALK IN JESUS’ FOOTSTEPS IF WE WANT TO HAVE MOUNTAIN MOVING FAITH.
Let’s BELIEVE in the PROMISES OF GOD!