Faith or Believing?

How many times have you heard it said "…you have to have faith…"? Have you been taught to think that "faith" is a mental gymnastic which stubbornly adheres to a certain doctrine in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary?
The definition of these words are important, if Hebrews 11:6a is true:

…And without faith it is impossible to please him (God)…

How worthless is it to bend your mind around a doctrine and to force yourself or to talk yourself into defining it as truth without question? This type of mental exercise is guaranteed NOT to result in the operation of the power of God in your life!
This includes the doctrines of "positive believing". "Positive believing" will NOT result in the energizing of any Godly spiritual power in your life!

If you read further in Hebrews 11, you will see that the faith discussed there resulted in the energizing of Godly spiritual power. Hebrews 11:8 – 12 reveals what Abraham did through faith.
Romans 4:3 says of these same events that

"…Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness."

Genesis chapter 12 gives more details regarding Abraham (Abram). Briefly, God communicated with Abram; he told Abram what to do, and Abram obeyed. In this record are the simplest of instructions on how one walks by the spirit.

First of all, Abram had to have holy spirit in order for God to communicate with him. This holy spirit was from God and it could be upon humans, conditionally. This communication is also called "revelation" and is made up of what Paul records as "word of knowledge" and "word of wisdom".

When Abram obeyed the instructions he received from God via revelation, something marvelous happened. He began operating spiritual believing, or faith. This happened because he had holy spirit upon him. This spiritual believing, faith, is why Abram could move with such power in his life. Later, this spiritual believing resulted in the miracles which led to the birth of his son Issac.

So, what does this ancient history have to do with you, me and the other Christians today? Galatians 3 reveals the answer.
Most of the translations I have read do a very poor job with Galatians 3:7 – 9; George M. Lamsa's translation from the Aramaic is very clear:

You must know therefore that those who trust in faith are the children of Abraham.
Because God knew in advance that the Gentiles would be declared righteous through faith, he first preached to Abraham, as it is said in the Holy Scripture, In you shall all the Gentiles be blessed.
So then, is is the believers who are blessed through Abraham the faithful.

Logically then, it makes sense that those who walk by the spirit, manifesting spiritual believing, show that they are the children of Abraham. They show that they are blessed through Abraham.

Abraham came from a different part of the world, a different culture and a different time. God was communicating with him in the language Abraham spoke, using words and concepts a man from that time and culture could understand. If we are going to understand the deep roots of our faith that go all the way back to Abraham, we will need to learn about the ancient Hebrew culture. You can start at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/  and http://straightbible.org/

Walking by the spirit is not difficult. Abram was flesh and blood like any other human. He did not go to church, he did not study the Bible – that book did not exist at the time! He did not fellowship with other "believers", or sing hymns or share 10% of his cash with a local corporate religious organization. Even so, he became the father of all those who manifest spiritual believing or faith. See how simple it is to walk by the spirit, to walk with your heavenly father?

Put away the mental gymnastics, the powerless religious doctrines, and start listening to the voice of God. Then you too can start enjoying walking with some power in your life.

Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com

(C)2013 Keith S. Radcliffe

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