THE ORIGIN AND COURSE OF FAITH
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Author of faith! Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author (the same Greek word translated “captain” in Hebrews 2:10), and finisher (From the Greek word translated “he hath perfected” in Hebrews 10:14), of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. And as faith is active and never dormant, He originated faith in his own personal trust in the Father.
John 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. 27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. 28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
The Hebrew writer states that the Lord Jesus “put his trust” in the Father. And that he was faithful (full of faith) to God who appointed him to be the Savior! Hebrews 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
Listen to him as his voice echoes from the Psalmist. Psalm 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
The Apostle Peter in his Pentecost message clearly refers this to the Lord Jesus! For he states that David being a prophet spoke this of “the resurrection of Christ.” Acts 2:25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Therefore the issue of his faith was that his father would not allow him to experience bodily corruption in the grave, but would also raise him from the dead. Carefully read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Every believer listed there had one thing in common. They all exercised a living faith. But they all had one thing completely different from one another; the personal issue of their faith. Abel’s issue of faith was offering a blood sacrifice! This had to come to him by the inner voice of the Spirit of God. For there was not yet a Moses, nor a written law to command any to do so.
And consider what the scriptures state of him. Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. Once his inner faith had been expressed through his outward action, the Lord God “testified of his gifts!”
And none but Noah was ever inspired to build such a huge ship whose size would not be equaled until the 1800s. For the scriptures state that he was “was warned of God of things not seen as yet.” In so doing he not only saved his house, but also condemned the entire world. And the remainder of Hebrews 11:7 states of Noah that he “became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” For faith without works is but a dead faith!
And not to labor this point in excess, but let us see one more verse in this Hebrews eleven chapter. Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. Take careful notice of that word, “after!” For it was only after the Hebrew children obeyed the seemingly impossible instructions of marching around the walls of Jericho that they fell! For it is not that this issue made any sense to their logical minds. It was that the issue of faith required absolute obedience to the Lord’s command!
And this is exactly that which faith’s author set forth as his practice. John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
And of the actual history of Jericho we read: Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
Just as the Lord insisted to John the Baptist that he must experience baptism, though he had no sin to be repented of, so he had to obey the Father’s inner voice to experience an exercise of faith in order to be its Author! Matthew 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
He only came to be a perfect captain of salvation by experience in sufferings. Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
The experiencing of the sufferings of Christ not only approved himself to be the Son of God, but also set forth both the example and the ability for his sheep to follow. Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Now another thing which we must understand is the significance of our above listed text. Faith comes by hearing. Therefore the holy humanity of the Son of God had to hear the Father’s voice in order for him to act out his obedience in faith! Therefore we carefully read those three verses listed above from John chapter five and see that this is the testimony of the Lord Christ. For we find in those verses such phrases as, “what he seeth the Father do” and “the Father…sheweth him all things that himself doeth.” Then we read in verse thirty the words, “as I hear, I judge.” Therefore his faith did come by hearing the Father’s inner voice and acting physically upon those inner revelations, thus revealing his faith!
Therefore He, like Abraham, was made perfect in his faith by obedient works! James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
For Abraham’s bare belief that God had spoken to him concerning the offering of his son was not enough to bring forth an imputed righteousness. He had to obey that instruction. For it was only when he displayed his full intention to sacrifice Isaac that the Lord spoke his approval of Abraham’s love and faith. Genesis 22:12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. There is no assurance of our love to God without obedience to his word! John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
And it was the same with the Son of God. The voice of approval did not come until he came up out of the baptismal waters, revealing his absolute obedience to his Father’s will. Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Therefore he would instruct us that when he sent the Holy Spirit into the world, after his ascension, he would convict the world, not only of their unbelief of himself, but also of their failure at righteousness. And that judgment would be based on the fact that the Lord would return to the Father having completed by faith all that the Father had given him to do! John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
For the believer’s righteousness must far excel the supposed righteousness of those legalists who imagine that their religious works establish their acceptance with God. Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation (under the law of Moses) be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness (under the grace of Christ) exceed in glory.
Consider the plight of ‘dedicated’ religious persons, as they come down to the end and are judged. Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Make no mistake about it dear Reader, righteousness imputed is also righteousness imparted. The good tree will always bear good fruit! For if God invests and deposits righteousness into one’s soul, it will always manifest itself in their actions! Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
And I can leave you with no better instruction concerning your personal faith than these words of the Apostle Paul to his spiritual son, Timothy. For he warned him not to make “shipwreck” of faith, giving him example of those in Timothy’s day who had done so.
1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Pastor Gene Breed
September 22, 2018