Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Beginning of Faith

This is the first passage in the New Testament where the word "faith" is mentioned. How fitting that it is mentioned by Jesus.

Matthew 6:20-35 (King James Version)
20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

It seems to me that in this passage, Jesus is telling us to "take no thought" for what we will eat, drink or wear. In the sentence where He mentions faith it is like if we think that we need to ask Him for these things then we don't have faith. Not that we should use our faith to ask for and attain these things. He is saying that God knows all our needs and if we seek first the kingdom of God then God will provide these things for us without us even thinking about them. He says that these things are what the Gentiles seek after.

The next passage where faith is mentioned again is by Jesus:

Matthew 8:5-11 (King James Version)
5And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus marveled at this man's faith. He didn't feel the need to confess repeatedly, ask again repeatedly or figure out how to receive. He KNEW that what Jesus said would be done and he knew it even without Jesus being there.

Matthew 8:24-27 (King James Version)

24And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Here in this passage Jesus told the disciples that they had little faith. Maybe it was because they were so afraid of their circumstances and they didn't KNOW that He would take care of them. Whatever the reason, it had nothing to do with their material needs.

The next:

Matthew 9:2 (King James Version)
2And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

In this passage, the people NEVER asked Jesus for anything. He SAW their faith and healed the man. Could it be because He saw that they KNEW that He would heal the man if they just brought him to Jesus.

This is just the start for me. I doubt that I will comment on every place in the New Testament where faith is mentioned and yet I might. I know that this seems to be the beginning of the truth that what I have been taught about faith is definitely false teaching.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is Faith

For the past fifteen years, I have been deceiving myself by listening to teachers and preachers teaching the faith message. I neglected my responsibility to prove out what I heard by the Word of God and listened to the false teaching that faith was for me to use to get things for myself.

Whether it was for circumstances to change to my advantage or for material things that I wanted or needed. I foolishly believed that if I got things using my "faith" that I actually had faith. I have come to believe that faith actually has nothing to do with material things or circumstances that I want.

The word "faith" is used in the King James Version of the New Testament 231 times. In glancing through the passages that contain the word "faith", I found that I could not find any passage where we were instructed to use our faith for money, houses, clothes, jobs, or any material thing. I can't find where we were instructed to use our faith for the necessities of life or to get what we want. I have come to the conclusion that our faith is for furthering the kingdom of God, to help us live holy lives, to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, and to love others with the love of God.

My blog posts may not be so controversial for a while but I am going to satisfy the questions I have about all I have been taught for the last fifteen years. I think faith should provoke us to want to DO something FOR God not GET something FROM Him. So I am going to go through and actually READ every passage IN CONTEXT where faith is mentioned in the New Testament and see for myself what it is. Maybe then I will get back to my "first love". I remember it and can feel it tugging at me. I am determined to rediscover it.