There are different kinds of faith. In Mk 11:22 Jesus said: ‘Have faith in God.’ To have faith in God means to have the God-kind of faith. This is saving faith, which is different from other kinds of faith such as natural faith and presumptive faith. The God-kind of faith is based not on presumption or trial and error but on the authenticity of who God is and the infallibility of His Word. The human soul thrives on unrealized, future expectations. Hope is unrealized expectation.
Faith gives substance to hope. Without faith hope is useless. What is hoped for can be seen with spiritual eyes. The evidence is the Character of God who cannot lie and His infallible promises in His Word. Faith gives tangibility to what cannot be perceived with the senses.
Faith is now and flows from the heart or the inner man; it does not come from head knowledge or feelings expressed in the natural human senses. Faith comes from a conviction based on hearing the Word of God and is creative.
Faith looks to the future as repentance looks to the past. The progression of the principles of the doctrine of Christ starts with the past to the present and to the future. Repentance deals with the past. Salvation is now, while saving faith sustains the past, the present and the future life of the believer.
The God-kind of faith calls those things that are not perceived by the senses as though they were. In other words, faith is the ‘substance,’ tangibility or practicality of what is hoped for. Faith is the stand-in for the hope that has not manifested.
Faith is not needed for what is seen or can be perceived by the senses. The spiritual realm is contacted through faith, which believes God and take Him at His Word, so that when a promise has not manifested, it is appropriated now to manifest in future.
As noted earlier, faith originates from God as a gift, an act of grace. It is received in, and proceeds from, the spiritman. Faith has the potential for increase through use and through precept-upon-precept addition by the Word of God. Faith can grow, not through prayer for increase, but by use and can be added on by virtue, knowledge and understanding. Assurance of faith is hearing and doing the Word of God.
Jesus asked this question: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?” (Mt 24:45). To have faith is to focus on the mandate and ministry of Jesus. A faithful follower of Jesus Christ is one who is able to:
1. Endure persecution.
2. Trust that Jesus will do what He promised to do.
3. Be steadfast and unmovable in following Jesus to the end.
4. Be in daily expectation of His return.
5. Occupy till He (Jesus) comes to earth again.
6. Busy working the works of God.
7. Shun weird doctrines and modern fads that lead to perdition.
Faithfulness is witnessing for Christ “… and you shall be witnesses to Me.” It is following Christ and abiding in Him to the end. It calls for total devotion to the Lord and His mandate. Faithfulness is expectation of heavenly rewards. It is to believe Jesus when He said: “I come quickly and My reward is with Me.” It also means to do one’s assigned duty and be able to declare: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished ….”. Faithfulness is to look forward with tenacity to the evacuation of the Church Jesus Christ to heaven to occur any time from now. Faith is the anchor for enduring hardship with the hope of receiving heavenly rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ after the rapture of the Church.
Faith is measurable from no faith to great faith. Even so, abiding in Christ is measurable from stand aloof to full immersion submission and fire baptism in the Holy Spirit. This is the God-kind of faith that endures hardness, persecution and diverse temptations. Works done by faith produce fruits of righteousness. Grace takes to heaven but works done in faith determine ones position in eternal hierarchy. For, it is the grace of God that has appeared to all that can take you to heaven. Even within the Body of Christ in glory, a select few will function as priests in similitude to the Aaronic priesthood. Your works and labor of love in the Vineyard of the Lord will determine your hierarchical position in the millennial kingdom of God.
ARTICULATING FAITH THROUGH WORKS
The truth is that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith as a supernatural phenomenon is valuable only when it is living. The exercise of faith must affect your life and environment positively. Faith can be seen, demonstrated and is measurable.
The God-kind of faith is a spirit; it is not a natural life force. Before you became born-again you did not have the God-kind of faith. At the point of salvation, you received the gift of faith. It came to you as a gift, a favor. Faith must be shown through works, otherwise, it is inoperative and useless. Jam 2:14, 17 and 26