Friday, November 29, 2013
Part of my quest today is for an answer to a question that in the scheme of things most people would say is of little importance. Did God use faith when He created the universe? Does it matter whether or not He used faith to do His work? Since nothing is impossible with God, did faith even enter into the equation?
Hebrews 11:3 ... "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
Is this scripture saying, "Through (God's) faith the worlds were framed?" Or is it speaking of our faith?
The general consensus is that the writer of Hebrews is clarifying that it's ... "through (our) faith we understand" ... that God made the worlds from something other than what we now see. From nothing. Which is why we need faith to understand that all God had to do was speak, and it was.
I do agree with this scripture in Hebrews, and here as well in Psalms 33:6 that states ... "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made ..." In Psalms the translation from Hebrew to English is correct, with the meaning of "word" being ... a spoken thing, a cause. God spoke and His words caused creation to happen.
But so far, faith is not mentioned as part of the cause. God alone is the cause. If God is God, He has need of nothing, including needing faith to operate. Man needs faith because we are not all powerful like God is. Man needs help ... a lot of help.
I want to look at God Himself for a moment and what men have said about Him ...
God is a spirit, invisible, without body or parts, infinite in being and perfection, having no limits or boundaries in space, time or knowledge. He is almighty, but loving, merciful and long suffering. God is immutable (not subject to change), immense, eternal, and absolute ... His word being final.
God is all-sufficient in and of Himself, self-governing with all authority and power over all creatures He created. He answers to no one. All things are open, naked and revealed to Him. He is infallible (incapable of failure or error), and independent (free from external control); so as nothing to Him is uncertain or contingent on circumstances.
As the Creator of all things, God upholds, directs, disposes, and governs … all … creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest event to the least. And this is the short list of God's attributes.
Therefore ... since God has no limits and can do anything, my answer as to whether God needs faith to act on anything He chooses to do is ... no. But faith is necessary for man to even believe in God because for most of us ... God is incomprehensible without it.
If faith is necessary for man to believe, and it is, where do we get this faith?
In the Apostle Paul's letter to the believers in Rome, he starts off by saying that he's not ashamed to preach the gospel because the power of God is ... "revealed from faith to faith" ... from the one speaking to the one hearing. (Romans 1:16-17)
A little later Paul makes this statement ... "Faith comes by hearing the word of God." (Romans 10:17, edited) Simply hearing the word of God produces faith ... a belief in God ... if you receive what you hear.
Paul continues in his letter and says in Romans 12:3 ... "God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Literally, God gives each believer ... a degree of faith. Whether the portion given to each man is the same, I cannot tell from this verse.
After we hear the word of God, and the faith God gives us begins to grow ... a change takes place. Faith many times replaces sight. Paul put it this way in 2nd Corinthians 5:7 ... "We walk by faith, not by sight." Things may look bad, but faith says ... God will get us through it.
To walk speaks of our life, our conduct as we journey through this present seen world, believing in those things which we do not see. To walk by faith, and not by sight ... is to live in the confident expectation of things that are to come; walking in the belief of the existence of those unseen realities, and allowing faith in them to influence us as if ... they were seen.
Why is faith important? Because the battle is real.
In 1st Timothy 6:12, Paul instructs his young assistant to ... "Fight the good fight of faith, (and) lay hold on eternal life."
A believer's life is in a state of constant warfare against ... the things of this life, temptations to sin, Satan, false teachers, false doctrines, and physical afflictions such as sickness and disease. "Lay hold on eternal life" ... salvation is a gift ... not a right. Jesus paid for it, but you must receive it by faith. Paul is saying to seize it, hold on to it, and not let life wrestle it from you.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:12 that "the kingdom of heaven ... is taken by force." The example used here may be of cities plundered and taken by force in war ... therefore men should pursue salvation with all they have with-in them, and lay hold of Jesus ... just as Jacob did when he wrestled with God and would not let Him go. (Genesis 32:24-30)
You have heard ... "the just shall live by faith" ... (Hebrews 10:38.) Do you know why it is necessary to live by faith?
Because the life we now live at this present time, is not eternal life. We're not there yet. We will live that life someday, but right now, this life takes faith ... in Christ ... not in or of ourselves. We have all been given a portion of faith. So ...
Take another look at faith ... and then walk and live in it.