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The Precious Gift of Faith

July 18, 2012

James 1:16-17 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

Most that profess to know God are truly deceived. They do not heed nor even understand this warning from James. Only God is good. It is only by His Will we receive any gifts or truth of heavenly things. We are sown in bodies in corruption in the likeness and weakness of sinful flesh. Born slaves to sin, no good thing comes from within us unless the Lord does the initiation. As the Apostle James wrote above, every good and perfect gift comes down from our heavenly Father. This includes our faith and belief in God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The gift of faith is not even our own faith, it the faith OF Jesus Christ.  It is the faith OF Christ that becomes our faith.   As Christ is so we are in this world!

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore He says:
“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

Faith is truly a gift from God. This gift is only revealed unto God’s chosen ones in their appointed times. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God. What this means is God must give us the ears to even hear HIS words. The gift of faith is free. Yet it is not for everyone to receive based on when they decide to receive it. Like all gifts, the giver of the gift determines when and how the gift is imparted. If the recipient of a gift got to choose when they got it, then a gift is not a gift but rather becomes an entitlement. That is pretty much how the carnal minded church views this amazing gift of God. They can “name it and claim it” whenever they decide, or so they think in their carnal mind. We are certainly living in an entitlement society at least in the western countries so what else is new under the sun. But the Scriptures and God both say this view of the gift is an error.

The purpose of this post is to show the truth on the gift and in so doing preach the gospel of faith to this world. May God give ears to hear this message of truth to those He has predestinated to hear it. God has brought many of us together here at Truth In Scripture. We are just a part of the larger Body of Christ called and chosen and the recipient of this wonderful gift of faith. Having been predestinated or chosen to receive it before the world was formed; we have received a tremendous blessing to be the firstfruits of the harvest and salvation of all men. This is the way God’s impartation of faith has always worked. Jesus does indeed build His church in His appointed times.

ACTS 13:48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed

Until the Lord is revealed unto our hearts we will never come to believe this truth and have this faith on our own. One can spot a false teacher in seconds based on how they handle the truth on this amazing gift. When man gets credit and is the one who chooses to have faith, then the speaker is yet carnal and has not the power of God working in them. Salvation will come to all men in the appointed time; this is the promise of God He swore on an oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This salvation which comes by faith is an inheritance. When someone inherits something, they had absolutely nothing to do with their newly found riches. Such are inherited gifts given to men as the Book of Ephesians declares.

Ephesians 1:11 - In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

This makes the adoption by our Father Abba that much more special, knowing it was all from HIM.

Many hear this word of God preached but have not the gift of faith. Without such faith it is impossible to please God and many zealously pursue the things of God but without knowledge that is accessed only by this gift of faith. But when the WORD is combined with this precious gift, ONLY THEN comes the revelation and we enter into the door that is Christ and find the promised rest for the people of God.

Hebrews 4:2 -3 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,

“ As I swore in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”

Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. The Scriptures tell us in the examples of old Israel that they could not enter into this rest because of their unbelief. They had not been given the gift of faith that only comes to the chosen few.

Hebrews 3:18-19 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

The promise given to the father of all faith Abraham was prepared before the world began as even the lamb was slain in that time. All men will be redeemed back to God in the appointed time. This is the blessed hope for the ages to come and eternity when all creatures shall be singing praises and bowing to the glory of God.

Revelation 5:13 And EVERY CREATURE which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

As was shown in many of the prior post comments, every creature means exactly what it says, every creature. This includes even the devil and the demons that were made and used for the very purposes of bringing about God’s plan of creation and reconciliation. Man it’s going to be good. Far greater blessing to those chosen few who are given this truth now by the impartation of faith in God.

WHAT IS FAITH

Faith has been greatly complicated and confused by carnal man, especially of the religious persuasion. Faith simply defined is believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. www.dictionary.com defines faith this way.

faith,

noun

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.

2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.

I love that word confidence. That is what I now have, full unwavering confidence. This only comes from God and once given to a man leaves ZERO doubt. Trust is another very good definition for faith. When a man has faith, they have absolutely 100% trust in God and His promises. The fact that all men are saved is already settled in heaven and we will not even debate such heresy to the contrary. We will trust fully in the Father and His Son Jesus to accomplish all His good works in their appointed time. This brings real freedom and peace and a joy that truly is inexpressible.

But I want you to notice one more thing about “faith” and its definition. Faith is a NOUN. It is not a verb or an action. Faith is not an action. Faith is a possession. It is something we hold in our hearts and stand upon as the guiding truth of our lives. Once faith is received you will never ever let go of this precious gift. This faith will keep you on the straight and narrow path, confidently trusting and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the savior of all men. This is very good if you can receive it.

The great chapter on Faith in Hebrews 11, tells us of this precious possession that the true Patriarchs of God held dear. It was only by faith that we all shall be saved. But this gospel is preached even to dead people sitting in graves so says the Lord. But what a treasure to receive it now by the will of our heavenly Father. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is by this faith that we do all the things we do for God. Whether it be obey, warn, receive, preach, etc, all these are done in faith and by faith. Those who come to God must really and truly believe that HE is the Great I Am. Know that all things are held in His Mighty Hands.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

We can do nothing for God without this given faith. Believing on the Lord means that we are trusting God to deliver on all of His promises. Faith is believing that God will do what He said, that He will be faithful to His Covenants, even if we are not. I have some good news for you, very good news. It does not depend on us and our faithfulness. God is faithful to His covenants and promises, all of them.

2 TIM 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself

Without faith it is impossible to please God. This is because, without faith, a man will lean on his own understandings and trust in his own works and effort to bring about the will of God. But you see, God does all the work in our lives. He directs ever single step we take. God is letting us live in the darkness so that when He does give us this gift; we will truly know and appreciate His goodness. He is indeed that powerful that Jesus used the example that not even a bird falls from the sky outside of the will of our Father.

Proverbs 16:9 A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps

I need to be brief here but I also want all to know that each of us are given a measure of faith based on God’s design and greater purposes. Not all receive the same gifts or the measures of the gifts. This needs to be its own topic and will one day. But I have come to appreciate the uniqueness each of us in the Body of Christ have as it relates to the gifts, including that of faith.

1 COR 12:4-5 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.

I have now been given a strong measure of faith and it has come from God. Perhaps God is going to use me to bring encouragement to others going through trials and afflictions. I don’t know for certain what today or even tomorrow will bring, but I look forward to going where He sends me and using these gifts to edify the Body of Christ, the true saints of God.

Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift

Faith is a gift. Faith is a noun. It is all of God and man has nothing to do with it. Those who have ears will have heard these words.

The New Birth

The result of God giving us this wonderful gift of faith, is the new birth that results. God is the Master Potter and we are likened to pieces of clay. We are born as natural men with natural bodies. Yet God’s plan was to make us in a two step process that He designed. Carnal man will want to argue with the Potter on what and how He makes us but we will learn to just trust Him and believe the Scriptures.

Jeremiah 18:3-5 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. 4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?” says the Lord. “Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

Praise God. We truly are in His Holy Hands.

We come in as natural bodies, a seed of what is far more glorious to come. We shall surely die God told Adam. We all must die to be raised anew in the likeness of our Lord and Savior. This promise will not be fully fulfilled until the ages to come and only a few get the down payment of this promised inheritance here in this life.

John 12:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

Paul spoke about the grand plan of the Potter also echoing the same words of Jesus.

1 COR 15:37-38 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.

This mystery of godliness and how Christ is formed into us cannot be comprehended by the carnal mind. It is only understood when God imparts His precious gift of faith to the chosen few. The bible scholars and religious zealots will never ever see it. Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, an esteemed teacher of the Scriptures who was quickly shown to be blind as a bat to the true heavenly wisdom.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

This mysterious work of the potter is done to rebirth us into spiritual people. This is all the work of God by the circumcision made without hands. God does this to those He chooses in their appointed time. Man has no say so on the timing of their rebirth. It is all by the Spirit of God. Here is how Jesus answered the carnal minded Nicodemus regarding how this transformation and rebirth would occur. No free will choice in this answer!

John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Lastly on this topic of the new birth, let’s consider the strong clarity with which Paul spoke of these great mysteries of the Master Potter. First comes the natural man and then the spiritual man.

1 COR 15:42-45 The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

The above Scriptures along with a hundred others fly directly in the face of the heretics that speak against the doctrine of Original Sin. Man is absolutely brought into this world as a sinning machine that cannot help but practice sin. That is the selfish nature of a natural man. This man will be remade into a new man in God’s appointed time. The beginnings of this is the impartation of faith by the Lord.

1 COR 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

Those With Faith Profess Jesus As Lord

The true gospel is hated by the carnal man. His mind is at enmity with God and is repulsed at the idea that it is God alone who chooses to whom He imparts spiritual gifts. This election of a group of people by grace, is the called out remnant that is the true church of Christ and His bride. This is very few people overall but in total represent the Body of Christ on this earth. This body is given power of the Holy Spirit and the gift of faith is salted with fire to go preach this gospel to the ends of the earth.

The world will hate those that God has chosen. They will reject us and persecute us at every turn, speaking evil of the good news and glad tidings we preach. But we will preach it anyway as we no longer live for the approval of men.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One of the most well known lines in the entire Bible is this one, which speaks a major pillar of truth.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast

Those of us that have been blessed to receive this unmerited gift from God can spot false teachers miles away. As soon as we see someone speaking of faith as an action a man takes, we know they are still bound in spiritual darkness. No other discernment is necessary, it is indeed that easy. The power of an almighty God is always denied by those still in the flesh.

Paul said something very provocative that is missed by the carnal mind.

1 COR 12:3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

What Paul was saying here is that nobody calls Jesus Lord, in spirit and in truth, without having the Holy Spirit inside of them. This is confirmation of the essential truth that faith is a gift. The Holy Spirit is only given as a gift and it is only by the Spirit that one can express true faith.

There are many that profess faith and that claim Jesus is Lord but their testimony is not valid. In their works they deny Him. These are those Jesus will say depart from me, I never knew you on the last day.

The preponderance of evidence and the full council of God makes this clear. I will provide at least 10 witnesses below to this immutable truth that the Holy Spirit and by extension faith is totally a gift of God. Man has nothing to do with it. But what is so glorious is that when God truly gives you something, you know it was from Him. You don’t need to see it in a book, because your spirit testifies of the origins of the gift.

Romans 3:10-14 I will continue to show this Scripture often as it contains powerful truth that proud people have a hard time accepting at face value. But when they are humbled, they will see it and rejoice.

As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.
13 “Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known

John 15:16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Jesus does all the choosing. He builds His church, man does not build it, and they only toil in vain and unbelief.

Luke 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

Our Father loves us and gives His children good gifts, including faith and salvation. AMEN

ACTS 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth

God calls His witnesses. He alone awakens us to righteousness. True faith always comes with POWER. There is a lot of powerless Christianity out there today.

ACTS 2:23-24 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

Again we see the origins of all gifts having come from the Father in their appointed time. We don’t decide what gifts we get and when. If we do not have this power working in us, we are none of His yet.

ACTS 10:45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

The early church freaked out when they came to realize that God had poured the same gift into the gentiles that was given to them. They could see it was all of God and not of any man’s choosing.

ACTS 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Getting the Holy Spirit is a gift. Does anyone want to really dispute that now? This gift follows the gift of faith. If faith was man’s doing and choosing, then it could rightly be said that we give the Holy Spirit to ourselves by our own action. Do you see the foolishness of such carnal thinking?

ACTS 19:32This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

This immutable truth is everywhere once you see it. Three times is the charm it is said. But make no mistake, the Father gives us faith and by extension pours out the Holy Spirit into our hearts.

John 7:37-39 If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified

Here we see Jesus directly linking FAITH with RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT. It is all the work of God. Do you see it? Will you start to believe in this gospel and the goodness of our Father in heaven?

Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

Whose will is it to give all of these gifts? It is not man’s will, it is God’s. To HIM goes all the glory.

EPH 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory

Believing and having the Holy Spirit go hand in glove. Believing is true faith and it always comes with the Holy Spirit and with fire. There is power and boldness that come with the real deal given from God.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire

I am on fire for God now. No more lukewarm Pete. The words God gives me to speak are the fire and they will burn the wood up that they are sent to burn. Thank you Jesus.

So my friends, I love all of you, especially those that share with me this precious gift of faith given to us by God. We must stick together and encourage and strengthen one another in these evil days and the increasing persecution and rejection of the true faith. It is a lonely walk but I have been greatly encouraged by my being dragged out of Babylon. God has sent you to me to give Pete encouragement at just the right time. I am here for any of you, to give back what was given to me.

Let us not exalt one another or think more highly of ourselves than we should. None of us are good, only God is good. Let us rejoice in our partaking of these great and special promises of the Lord. Let us celebrate His goodness and treasure the gifts He has so freely poured upon His Elect. There will be unity in the church of Jesus Christ. He is bringing His children together.

1 COR 12 - There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

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