Tuesday, February 7, 2012

105. - The Nature Of Faith

105.0 - Faith: Essentially, Humility:  When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith in Luke, chapter 17, he replied, "... So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'" The simple word for what Jesus describes here is Humility.

Again, in Luke, chapter 14, Jesus said, "For whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." And, once more, in Matthew, chapter 16, He said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake [give up control to me] will find it." [Brackets added]

105.1 - The Comparison: So, from these and other verses in the New Testament, we can easily understand that redemptive faith is essentially a very profound humility which causes us to confide ourselves to the care of our Savior in the sense that we embrace His values and guidence for life. Obviously, this is the exact opposite of the sin impulse which causes us to trust only in our self.

105.2 - True Conversion:  So,the faith which saves our soul is the willingness to give up our sovereignty over our own life, and willingly place ourselves under the control of our Savior. This is true conversion to Christ and the real salvation of the soul.

105.3 - Intellect vs Will:  This is what it means to believe, to trust in Christ in a soul saving way. Saving faith is not to simply subscribe to the idea that God exists. It is not to believe that Jesus exists or is the Savior of the world. 

The Bible indicates that the Devil knows all of this beyond the shadow of a doubt. Redemptive faith is never so much about what we know of God in our intellect, as it is our willingness to respond to what we know, our willingness to confide the government of our life to Him.

When we correctly understand that redemptive faith is a true willingness to embrace all that God has for us, including the renewal of our character essence, we can then truly grasp what John was saying in chapter 3 of his epistle where he writes, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in [entrusts himself to]Him should not perish but have everlasting life. " [Brackets added]

105.4 - Again, A Duel Nature: But notice, faith, like sin, also has a dual nature. It also exists first as an inner motive. And, as with the sin impulse, the faith impulse also has a visible dimension:  the works of faith, which are simply humble actions of obedience to God . So, good works, born of a humble and obedient heart, are simply the real expressions of a true faith.

Behold, the "Life Tree of Faith."  Like "The Death Tree of Sin," it is also composed of both an inner motive, and the outer and tangible expressions of that motive.  And also, as it is the motive of sin which condemns us, it is the motive of faith which first acquits us at God's judgement seat. Our obedient works of faith are simply the evidence of that redemptive inner motive.