The Word of Faith (The Longer Version)

 Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In this study, we will take a closer look at the word “faith” from a biblical perspective. The words “faith” and “believing” are the same Greek word pistis and always mean believing or believing faith. We are born with the innate ability to believe, however, there is another kind of believing faith that the Bible reveals called, “the faith of Jesus Christ” and this faith is something new and introduced to believers when they become saved. With salvation, the believing Christian receives Christ in them (Colossians 1:27), and thus we become endowed with the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself which is purely perfect.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus {who is} the author and finisher of our {believing} faith,” and since he is the author and finisher of our faith, we can look to him in the Scriptures for our example of how to grow our believing faith to maturity. Another way we could look at this is that without Jesus, we will have a lack of Christian faith. So then, how do we learn more about this faith of Christ that we now have? We go straight to the Word of God!

Romans 10:17:   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The faith of Christ comes to us by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This verse carries a double meaning. First, the word hearing is repeated doubly to emphasize how the faith of Christ comes to us, and that is by hearing, and hearing to the point of our believing – and believing one thing and one thing only – and that is the word of God! The second meaning of the word hearing here is that the more of the Word of God we hear, the greater our own believing can rise to believe in the promises that are laid out for us in God’s faithful Word to receive and to enjoy. There are promises such as, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalms 37:4), and “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12), and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Since Jesus ascended unto his Father after his resurrection (Acts 1:9–11), just as he said he would in John 14:12 above, the “greater works” that Jesus promised can become something we can now accomplish. One of the major works Jesus did was to completely believe what God’s Word said about him. Jesus’ believing faith was perfectly complete; he had believed to do more than anyone on earth had ever done, and then (because of the resurrection) God gave men and women who will believe on and accept his resurrection, the actual faith of Jesus Christ. His believing faith is similar to our believing faith, but Jesus never doubted the Word of God, which caused his faith to be immensely precious and extremely powerful. We find in Mark 9:24 that a man came to Jesus Christ in need, imploring with tears in his eyes ― “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Well, today Jesus still helps our unbelief mature to faith equaling his own, for he is “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.”

The Epistle of Galatians 3:23–26 sheds some interesting light on Jesus’ faith:

Galatians 3:23:  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Before faith came means that there was a time when there was no faith. Many people believe that faith, all faith, has always been around, but the faith that Galatians is referring to in verse 23 is the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself. Before faith came, refers to before Jesus was on earth, and therefore his believing faith was not available. Thus, the Scripture says, we were kept under the law until Christ and his faith came; for the Law was designed to protect the believers up until Jesus would come and give men and women his faith, the faith that would be from “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.” But what confuses people sometimes about the word faith, is that it is used for our believing faith (pistis), and this word is also used for Jesus’ believing faith (pistis). In both usages throughout the Bible, faith is the same Greek word pistis. Only when we observe the context where pistis is used will the difference be apparent of which faith the Text refers.

For an example of the confusion of one word with more than one meaning, I could say, “I am at the bank,” and it could mean I am near a river, or it could mean I am depositing money at the bank, or I could be in a bank of snow for that matter. We need to view the broader context to know where I am and we can use the same logical deduction with the word faith, pistis. Only as we see the context in which the word faith is set will we understand whether the Scripture implies Jesus’ faith, or ours. At the conclusion of this study, you will be able to recognize many more of the passages where the word faith is used, and more verses will open up for you and become much clearer.

Galatians 3:24:  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto {or until} Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The Scripture says we are justified by faith but by whose faith were we justified? When we see the context of this verse, we find we are justified by Christ’s faith! As Romans 4:25 declares, “Who {Jesus Christ} was delivered {unto death} for our offences {our sins}, and was raised again for our justification.” We are justified because of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, not because of our faith, thus, Ephesians 2:8–9 reveals, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Our justification into salvation is a gift from God through faith, and since salvation is not based on our works, then our salvation is given and received because of the faith of Jesus Christ who had done all the work so that we could receive by grace. The Epistle of Romans celebrates this blessed truth of our gift of God which is our salvation, “but the gift of God is eternal life through {by the work and faith of} Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

 Galatians 2:16:   Knowing that a man {or woman} is not justified by the works of the law, but {a man or woman is justified} by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

See how not only the immediate context fits together with Christ’s faith, but all the related passages work towards a wonderful enlightenment that we are justified because of his faith! With the believing faith of Jesus Christ, we have received our justification, being made completely justified from the dictates that the Law demands. It took the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself to give his life on our behalf to redeem us; his own faith now sets us free from the Law, giving each of us an equal justification, affording us a perfect standing before God, as we simply believe in the completeness of Jesus’ faith. This is the perfection of the faith of him who is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Romans 5:1:  Therefore being justified by faith {i.e., Jesus’ faith}, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Acts 26:18:  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God {this is literally the mission of the Pauline Epistles}, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me {Christ Jesus}.

Today in grace, we are not only justified by Christ’s faith, but we have peace with God, and we are also sanctified, and we have “the righteousness of God which is by {the} faith of Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:22). We also have access into God’s grace by the faith of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:2:  By whom {Jesus Christ} also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Any faith that we read about in the Old Testament and in the Gospels is man’s own believing faith or that perfect faith of Jesus Christ. However, in the New Testament, faith could be man’s own faith, Jesus’ own faith, or believers utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ as in these verses, Acts 3:16; 6:5, 8; 15:9; Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 2:5; II Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19; 6:16; and I Thessalonians 2:13. Today, in grace, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We are able to live in a Christ-like lifestyle because we have received the faith of Jesus Christ, which is, the faith of the Son of God.

Recall that Galatians 3:23–24 above talked about before faith came, but now the Epistle continues with “after that faith is come:”

Galatians 3:25–26:
-25: But after that faith is come {again, Jesus’ own faith}, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
-26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in {of or by} Christ Jesus.

Now that the faith of Jesus Christ has come, we are no longer under the rules and regulations of the schoolmaster, i.e., the Law. Believing faith was always around since the beginning of time, but a new and enhanced, spiritual faith came with Christ, and with Christ came spiritual freedom to experience a much greater life than what the written Law offered in the Old Testament times (see Ephesians 2:15; Hebrews 7:16–19).

Galatians 5:1:  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage {i.e., the schoolmaster — the law}.

The main difference between man’s faith and the faith of Jesus is that human faith can only rise up to believe in that which is seen, like the phrase says, “seeing is believing.” As Jesus said to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). In stark contrast to seeing before we believe; the faith of Jesus Christ is given so men and women can rise all the way up to believe in that which is not physically seen, yet is spiritually real ― such as salvation, love, peace, grace, joy, and the faith of Jesus Christ.

 II Corinthians 4:18 and 5:7:
-18: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
-7: For we walk by faith {Christ’s believing faith}, not by sight:

In truth, man needs Jesus’ faith to fulfill his own faith, as we read in Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus {is} the author and finisher of our faith,” and this is how Christians can become fully satisfied, feeling complete within their hearts (Colossians 2:10). The faith of Jesus Christ is only available to the Christian believer, as II Thessalonians 3:2 emphatically states, “for all men have not faith.” This cannot be one’s personal believing faith, for anyone can believe, but not all men have the faith of Christ to apply towards believing God’s Word and to enjoy and believe for help in times of great need. This is also why spiritual truths in the Bible make perfect sense to the believer, whereas the same truths make absolutely no sense to the unbeliever (I Corinthians 1:18–31, 2:14).

Living by the faith of the Son of God works like this: If someone was to tell you that you are going to hell or if you once thought so yourself, now being equipped with your upgrade of the faith of Jesus Christ, you can say and believe in your innermost being that is not true. Instead, you can say to yourself ― I am heaven bound, and you can think and say this with believing conviction because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say you are unrighteousness or if you ever assumed this of yourself, now with faith, you can know in your heart that you are as righteous as God Himself is because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say to you that you are destined to failure or if you believed in your heart that success was not for you ― with faith, you can rise above that negative perception of yourself because faith has made you more than a conqueror through all situations. Faith believes the Word of yourself, faith delivers to you the promises of God; faith is the power of Christ manifested in your life! This is why I Corinthians 2:5 boldly proclaims, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” We Christians have “the same spirit of faith” (II Corinthians 4:13) to believe that we are “filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Talk about ease of believing ― Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and all we have to do is follow Jesus’ instructions to “come unto him.”

Matthew 11:28–30:
-28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light {nothing brings peace and rest into our souls like coming unto and accepting and enjoying the uplifting faith of Christ}.

There was a time that I believed that I was so far removed from God that hell was to be my ultimate destiny, for I believed I was a sinner and had no rights to heavenly blessings, and I believed this with all my heart, and obviously I feared the end of my life. But with the believing faith of my Savior, who is my hero and everything to me, I can boldly say with believing conviction, “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” What made the transformation in my thinking and in my inner heart? The faith of Jesus Christ; his faith now flows through my heart and assures me that God loves me completely! I now know effortlessly that I am justified and sanctified and that I have peace with God through the faith of the Son of God. Christ’s faith gives the Christian believer the feeling of flying high because God has, “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), and “ye are risen with him {Christ} through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

We only need to believe in the work that our Savior has done for humanity (and what he has accomplished for you personally), to experience completeness and fullness. For with Christ’s faith we collectively, “come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Our Savior’s faith is now so pleasantly real that it causes one to simply accept the grace of God with humbleness. Rather than searching for “more faith in yourself,” you will find faith to be real – to be palatable – to be in you – and to be enjoyable.

Romans 10:8–10:
-8: But what saith it {the Scriptures}? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The word of faith when preached (as well as when heard, when read, when understood, and when believed), will be as close as in your mouth and in your heart. Because the Word of God is that close to you ― you can spiritually taste its divine presence (and presents), as it settles deep within your soul, giving you tangible impressions of God in meaningful revelations of divine truths, so that your believing the Word continuously becomes an exciting daily adventure. You will increase your own believing by tapping into all the believing faith that comes with having Christ within your heart (Colossians 1:27), and his faith accompanies your salvation with your belief and confession of Romans 10:9–10.

We have shown the simplicity of receiving and utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ is as it is succinctly stated in Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Today, I invite you to think about the word of faith that God has placed within your mouth and heart, for the word of faith delivers to you the salvation of God (Romans 10:8–10). When you begin believing the Word of God within the depths of your soul, you will come to experience the realities of the Word effectually working in your heart and life and surroundings, as the word of faith Christ’s faith – continues blessing you and all that you have and all that you do.

I Thessalonians 2:13 (The Amplified Bible):**  And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

All in Good Time

“When I first became a Christian believer I had hundreds of questions, and over the years I have received hundreds of answers to my questions, yet I still have questions, perhaps even more than at the start. Yet God continues answering me through His Word, or by hearing a teaching, or I see it in a book, or God inspires me with inspirations and revelations as life seems to go on without too much trouble. This is the same with prayer, we can believe that God’s timetable is always perfect, and when we do receive the answers to our prayers they are usually greater than we could even imagine because God always goes beyond what we can ask or even think (Ephesians 3:20).” ~LMJ~

Jesus Said, I Am . . . The Truth. . .

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus said in the Gospel of John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by {through} me.” Jesus is not only the way to the Father but he also is the truth. Today we will be looking at the word “truth” in the Bible to gain a greater understanding of what the truth really is, and what it means to the individual believer.

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work {God’s creativity} is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

First, it certainly is a blessing to know who “the Rock” really is. God is from everlasting to everlasting and He is always here for His people. One of the ways that God manifested His truth to His people was in giving His Son to the world (John 3:16), so that people could see the love of God in manifestation. Jesus said “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9), because God was in Christ reconciling the world (I Corinthians 5:19). The word “judgment” relates to the ways of God, for He is the eternal judge in matters of the human heart, showing man what is spiritually “just and right.”

“Judgment” means to bring matters to the rule of right, to administer justice, to recompense justice to the wronged (some of which will be dealt with in the last day). Anyone who becomes saved receives from the right hand of God His divine acquittal and a right to their spiritual inheritance that God in Christ gives. This is why God is the “God of truth” for He is truly “just and right” in all His ways, which are always perfect.

Psalm 100:5 – For the LORD is good; his mercy {as the righteous judge} is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

The word “good” in the Hebrew Text is the word for great and is correctly translated in Psalms 95:3 “for the LORD is a great God.” God’s loving mercy is to us everlasting, just as His truth is everlasting even to our generation thousands of years after the great God began revealing Himself to humanity through His Prophets. His final legacy was of course to send Jesus Christ who is the truth and way that reveals the Father of lights.

This is why Jesus could say “If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Jesus made God’s Word his own (as we can), and he spoke God’s Word (as we can), and he lived it (as we can), this is why he is called in the Scriptures “the truth.” What is truth? God is, His Word is, and Jesus Christ is.

Proverbs 12:17a He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: . . .

Psalm 119:30 – I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid {set} before me.

When we speak the truth, the healing Word of God will show and radiate righteousness to others. It is a joy and a privilege to be given such wonderful knowledge and understanding, healing and comfort, to really know that we have chosen the way of truth, and to understand and receive the righteous judgments of our God.  And to receive Christ within is a heavenly privilege and it is our God-given rightful honor to “set” these wonderful blessings before our own lives and to others.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.

“Sanctify” means that we are set apart for heaven, through or by means of having the truth within our hearts, because we have Christ within. “Thy word is truth,” for God cannot be separated from His Word, which is truth, any more than we can be separated from our words. Jesus Christ cannot be separated from the truth of God’s Word, because he was, is, and will always be the way and the truth, for he continues showing us how to approach the Father and enjoy His presence.

The Daily Inspiration of Jesus Christ (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

This is a study revealing how we Christians can allow the principles of the Master Teacher, Jesus Christ, into our daily lives so that his teachings motivate our daily thoughts, and his inspiration can become our rescue in times of need. Following is an example from the Gospel of Luke wherein we learn how Peter learned to allow the daily inspiration of Jesus Christ into his heart, giving us a vivid example of how we can allow the written Word to nourish and strengthen our souls.

Luke 5:4:
Now when he {Jesus} had left speaking {the Word of God}, he said unto Simon {Peter}, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

To set this morning scene for you, Jesus had been sitting in a fishing boat and teaching the Word of God to a multitude of people. There were so many people that Jesus went out a little way from the shore where the acoustical sound over the lake must have carried his voice quite well as he expounded divine truths. Then after Jesus had finished teaching, he asked Peter to launch out further and let down his nets so they could haul in a load of fish.

There are stories, and maybe you have heard some of them, about Peter and the other Apostles quitting their career trades and at full throttle began pursuing after Jesus, come hell or high water. Well, Peter was still fishing with his partners here in the Gospel of Luke, and still walking with Jesus. How else did Peter have the funds for supporting himself, his family’s home, his wife, and even his mother in-law who lived with him (Luke 4:38)? One cannot sustain himself without some kind of employment, and Peter was a fisherman, a noble profession, and we, like Peter may also walk with Jesus and carry on with our careers. Jesus Christ is with us wherever we are, and he is with us in whatever we do to support ourselves.

There needs to be a balance in life while we are walking with Jesus, or the scales will tip and things will not go as smooth as they should. Peter set a wonderful example and worked to support his physical needs rather than solely living off the charity of others, while God continued to bless him. Even towards the end of the Gospels, after Jesus was raised up from the dead, Peter and his partners were still fishing (John 21:1-8), and still walked with the daily inspiration of Jesus Christ.

In the example we are looking at in Luke’s Gospel, we see how Peter recognized Jesus as a wonderful teacher during the meeting, yet when the meeting was over, Peter left Jesus’ teaching and inspiration behind at the shore, and let us notice the result that followed.

Luke 5:5:
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled {worked, fished} all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

Peter told Jesus that the previous night’s fishing expedition was a waste of time and grudgingly Peter said, nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. When Jesus spoke to Peter he was speaking the Word of God to him (John 14:23-24; 15:15), but Peter felt that he was the expert when it came to fishing; after all, was it “only a carpenter” who told Peter what to do? No, it was the Son of God, who in Scripture is the inspiration and guidance of the human heart. It is he who leads and directs and lights our life’s path to the way our heavenly Father desires for His children to follow. “I am the light of the world {says Jesus, and}: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Notice what Peter did with Jesus’ instructions. Jesus said, let down your nets (plural), but what did Peter do? He let down a net (singular).

Peter literally had the opportunity to take Jesus Christ with him to work and to take his word at face value. Can you imagine the awesome blessing of having Jesus sitting beside Peter in his boat? Today in God’s grace we have Christ within (Colossians 1:27), and he does reveal God to our minds whenever and wherever we allow him and his inspiration into our hearts and life’s endeavors.

Luke 5:6-7:
-6: And when they had this done {the letting down of the net}, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net break {because they did not use their nets as instructed by Jesus}.
-7: And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Proverbs 3:6 comes to mind: “In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” No matter what we do for a living, or where we are at any moment, we can carry God’s healing Word and its inspiration with us to become successful. Jesus Christ reveals God to our hearts, and as we allow Jesus into our daily lives, the greater he reveals his Father’s will and His direction to us.

Luke 5:8-10:
-8: When Simon Peter saw it {recognized that Jesus was right}, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
-9: For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
-10: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Peter immediately knew that he was wrong, he knew that even with Jesus in his boat, sitting at his side, he did not allow the words of his Savior’s inspiration to filter down into his actions.

Peter, to his credit, realized that he was just a man, one that was not perfect, and like any other, a sinful man.

Jesus, to his praise, did not condemn Peter (or throw him out of the boat), but rather encouraged him that he most definitely would have better days, more opportunity to believe the Word that Jesus would continue revealing to him.

Jesus’ words of comfort still rings true for us: fear not, because we are dearly loved by God and by His Son Jesus Christ. So today, as we continue living our lives to the best of our abilities, let us continue walking with our Savior and allow him and his inspiration into our lives. Then watch God work miraculous things for us as we believe and act on the inner inspiration emanating from the words of our Savior for which we have purposely made room in our hearts.

When we allow the Savior’s words of comfort and inner peace to be at home in our minds, his words can inspire us to be the best in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in our life’s endeavors. When we allow the Master Teacher into our hearts — his words will become our thoughts (our inner consciousness) as his inspiration will be with us in our time of need, and this is the how of utilizing the daily inspirations we receive from Jesus Christ.

Serenity Now – and Then

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also– Matthew 6:21. When we are thinking about God and His wonderful Word, our hearts will be right-on with God’s thoughts, which are His treasures. Nobody walks around continuously thinking about God and His Word (for we are not perfect); however, we can at least have precious moments of serenity throughout the day that can help us to remember God and His many promises to us.” ~LMJ~