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7 Facts About The Faith of Jesus Christ
by David A. DePra
1. The Faith of Jesus Christ is evidence within.
Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen." Get that. Faith IS that. Faith IS evidence and substance.
What this means is that it is entirely possible to have NO evidence outside of me that God’s Word is the Truth, or that He is faithful. In fact, the evidence may seem to prove He is NOT. But if I have real faith, the faith I have IS the evidence that God’s Word is the Truth. In effect, I can have evidence WITHIN me that is the complete opposite of the supposed evidence outside of me.
I am not saying that the evidence outside of us is necessarily a lie, or our imagination. No. We may actually have all the facts – as they are right now. But the question is whether those facts line up with the Truth. If those facts do not line up with the Truth, then God will deal with them up, one way or another. This is what it means for the kingdom of God to invade any situation. But first, He must do a work IN ME. He must LINE ME UP with the Truth. He must build evidence of the Truth in me.
Natural man obtains evidence through the natural senses. We see, hear, and feel. We reason and we think. We conclude. But it is possible that all of that could lead us to a conclusion that is utterly contrary to the evidence of God.
Furthermore, the evidence that we obtain through natural senses is always filtered through those senses. In other words, we interpret life through how we react – we interpret life through our SELF. Often, we totally misinterpret it. So even that evidence, while it may be factual as things presently stand, may also be completely distorted by the time we are done with it.
Herein we see the purpose in the trial of faith. The trial of faith is intended to BUILD IN ME the evidence of God. God wants to build in me substance and evidence of Himself – and ironically it will often require the use of contrary evidence that is outside of me.
We might ask WHY it requires that? Because we must have a choice if faith is to be built. Simply put, I must continually choose whether I am going to believe the evidence within me, or the evidence outside of me. The more I believe the evidence within me, the more I will be set free from the effects upon me of the evidence without. The Truth will be PROVED, not only TO me, but IN me.
Herein we see that it is nonsense to, "try to have faith." No. That would be like saying that you are trying to have substance and evidence. No. Faith that is substance and evidence must be built in you. It is really a matter of Christ being formed in you. So rather than trying to have faith, seek the Author and Finisher of our faith. If you see Jesus, you will believe.
Faith IS the substance and evidence of things not seen with the natural senses. Sure. John the apostle tells us in I John 5, "This is the witness (evidence) of God – life in His Son." The Christian life is NOT a belief system in a list of historical events, or merely belief in a list of THINGS or doctrines. No. Christianity is CHRIST IN US. He is evidence. And as we grow in Him, the faith of Christ will be evidence and substance IN US of those things that are eternal, and of the will of God.
2. The Faith of Jesus Christ is not a FORCE we generate.
Faith is a RELATIONSHIP word. It is not a force. Kenneth Copeland teaches that faith is a force that we generate to God through our words. Such nonsense betrays a complete blindness to a Christian basic.
There are those of us that picture us on one side, and God on the other, and then imagine us generating the force of faith from our side to God’s side, in order to get desired results. It is almost as if we think that our life is our own, and it is by faith that we get God to service our lives. This is all wrong.
Faith is really an abiding in Jesus Christ. If Christ is in me, I don’t need to generate faith as a force. No. All the potential for faith is in me because the embodiment of faith is in me. The key is to become immersed in Christ. I am one with Him through salvation. Now I need to start acting like it.
Faith is trust and reliance – dependence upon God. But it is not based upon my ability to generate it. It is based on my knowing that God is trustworthy. And I come to know that by surrendering to Him right where I am.
If you are a Christian you have some faith. You would not be saved if you did not have some faith. Plus, as mentioned, you have Christ in you. So what God does it take you right where you are, with the faith you do have, and begin to make opportunities for you to grow in faith. You grow in faith by committing yourself into God’s hand with the faith you have. In short, you plant your faith like a seed is planted down into a death. What comes up is not only God’s purpose, but more faith.
The Bible never speaks of money as a seed – although this is taught everywhere today. No. YOU are the seed – and YOU are basically wrapped up in your faith. When God brings you into a trial of faith, you sow your seed – you relinquish it into, "the ground." In other words, you believe God and leave the results to HIM. This is a death to YOU. What comes up out of that death is a resurrection. What is raised is God’s will – both for you and in you. And with that comes MORE faith. Then you are ready for the next round!
Of course, more faith comes up through this resurrection precisely because through it I have been enlarged in Christ. The faith that comes up is not my faith. It is the faith of Jesus Christ. In short, let God BE God, let God do what He pleases, and let God glorify Himself. Your surrender will actually make you a recipient of all of that – of God as YOUR God, as God doing what He pleases in and to you, and the glory of God. In short, if you plant your faith, you will become God’s will. Do that, and you will find a greater release of Jesus, and all the faith that comes with Him.
Faith is not a force we generate, or a button we push. It is the result of us having become one with God’s will through Jesus Christ.
3. The Faith of Jesus Christ is not birthed from YOU as the source.
If you think it is up to you to muster the faith God requires, just try to do it. At best, you will delude yourself into thinking have done it – at least until the test comes. But once the test comes, you may find that there is nothing in there to work with.
What part of you do you suppose is able to generate faith? Do we realize that faith is the only aspect of our Christian walk that is both a GIFT and a FRUIT of the Spirit? In other words, real faith isn’t of us. It is of God.
The Bible tells us that we are born with NO Truth in us, and NO life in us. So if we have any faith at all, we weren’t born with it. So where does faith come from?
Romans 10:17 tells us: Faith comes by hearing, and hearing comes by the Word of God. But lets’ turn that around for clarity: The Word of God births hearing, and hearing births faith. Thus, the Word of God carries faith. And if we hear it, faith is birthed in us.
Now, someone is going to say that you have to HAVE FAITH to hear the Word of God. So how can we say that the Word of God carries faith? The Bible answers by saying that every person is given, "a measure of faith." We have enough in us that if we hear the Truth, it is possible for us to respond to God – it is possible for us to HEAR.
Romans 10:17 is describing the process of faith. God decides to reveal the Truth to us. We open our hearts to Him – hopefully they are already open – and this is our, "hearing." At that point, there is planted in us that Word. But then what happens is that God begins to do a work in us whereby we are brought into conformity with that Word – with that Truth. And as we are brought into conformity, faith emerges in us. The faith was already in the Word. Now it is being made manifest.
In reality, if you have Christ in you, you have all the potential for the faith of Christ to operate in you. But the faith of Christ doesn’t operate independent of you – the faith of Christ operates through you. The need, therefore, is to bring you into adjustment with the will of God and the faith of Christ – so it can.
God plants His Word in us, to do the work of conforming us to the Word He plants. And if we are being conformed to the Truth, we will have the faith of Jesus.
The faith of Jesus Christ in me is the product of a work of God – a work of God to reveal to me His Son, and to reveal in me His Son. The result is what Paul described: The life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God.
Faith is NOT something you birth from yourself, and generate up to God. No. Faith is something God BUILDS IN YOU. As you grow to know Christ, and He is revealed IN YOU, you believe.
What is our part? To surrender ourselves to God’s work. As we surrender with the faith we do have, ground is opened up for more planting. It is a process.
So we have this conclusion about faith: Faith is of God. It is like a seed He plants in US – the Word He speaks to us is like that. As that Word grows in us, it brings US into conformity with the Truth. And then eventually this grows into FAITH. And that faith flows back to God.
4. The Faith of Jesus Christ is not intellectual assent.
Some people think that if they are certain about something, that their certainty is proof that it is the Truth. What they fail to see is that Truth is not dependent upon whether we believe it. In fact, it is entirely possible to be completely deceived, and yet, in your mind, be absolutely certain you believe the Truth.
There are people everywhere today who are so certain about their religion that they are willing to die for it. And yet their certainty proves nothing. Most of these people believe lies.
Many Christians operate under the same assumption – they think that if they are certain about doctrine, teaching, etc., that it must be the Truth. If it makes sense to them, or satisfies a need in them, or just clicks with them, it must be Truth. But again – none of that proves anything. Christians disagree about most everything. My certainty means NOTHING.
The problem with thinking that faith is intellectual assent, is that it really amounts to trust in myself. It is faith in my perception, or in my ability to understand. It is faith in my faith – faith in my ability to believe. I assume that because I believe, something is the Truth – for I could not be wrong.
I would not suggest that it is wrong to be certain. We don’t want to walk around being afraid of what we don’t know. But that is really not the question. The question is whether we continue to be open to God. There are many Christians who are nothing short of arrogant – they believe what they believe because they believe it. To open themselves to the possibility that they are wrong is unthinkable to them – their pride won’t allow for it. But there are others who are open to God --- and ironically, because they are, not only do they believe the Truth, but they are certain about it.
In the final analysis, Truth comes only through revelation from God. And while it eventually will be understood by the mind, and articulated by words, and lived out in life, Truth is not obtained in any of those ways. So how is it obtained?
Truth is the product of death and resurrection in Christ. In any situation, if I die into the hands of God, there will come a greater release of the life of Christ in me. And with that LIFE will come LIGHT. Sure. It is ALL CHRIST. If you have Christ in you, you have LIFE in you, and you have LIGHT in you. It is just a matter of increasing IN HIM.
If Jesus Christ is the Truth, then can we see that to know the Truth we have to know HIM? The two cannot be divorced.
But people think that this can be accomplished by studying the Bible. No. The Bible will tell you what you need to do to find Truth, and will say everything I’m saying. But you cannot know the Truth merely by studying the Bible – anymore than you can know what it means to die and be raised by reading about it. You can to pass through it.
Again – Truth is not information. It is revelation – of a Person.
5. The Faith of Jesus Christ has nothing to do with our emotions, flesh, or natural man.
We don’t believe – as God defines FAITH – with our emotions. If you can FEEL it, it’s not faith. And if you FEEL like you don’t have faith, this may mean nothing.
Notice how we, "monitor ourselves." We check inside to see if we have feel right about something, and then if we do, then we assume it must be true. And so believe! This is actually faith in my emotions.
It is also possible to know the Truth, and therefore know that you are supposed to believe. But then we check inside of ourselves to see if we are. And if we don’t feel like we have faith, we get discouraged, because we are falling short. But in this case we are mistaking emotions for faith. We cannot believe with our emotions.
It is actually impossible to check, "to see if you have faith." What are you looking at? You are looking at you? Usually what we are looking at is how we feel, and not at what we believe. If we would allow God to do a work of separation in us of soul and spirit, we would discover that when we look to see if we have faith we are actually betraying that our faith is in our ability to believe with our emotions. Most of our faith has been in how our soul has been responding.
In reality, if you want to know if you have faith, you don’t have to try to figure it out. God will prove and try you. You will find out that all the time you had every ability to believe. But because of all of these emotions and other things of the flesh, your flesh had to be crucified out of the way. And then, if you go on with God, faith will emerge, because Christ will emerge.
Emotions are REACTING agents. We don’t believe WITH our emotions. We react to what we believe with them. If you believe something is true, your emotions will respond. They will respond to a lie the same way they will respond to a truth – as long as you think it is the truth. So for a Christian, emotions are never what we are to follow. We are to constantly hold to the Truth despite them.
Most of the faith trouble we have as Christians isn’t because we have no faith. It is because we have faith in something other than God. We have faith in our emotions. We have faith in our brains. We have faith in our works. But the faith of Jesus Christ is always in God Himself.
6. The Faith of Jesus Christ is for only the will of God.
The Faith of Jesus Christ is impossible for anything but the will of God. Furthermore, I cannot have the faith of Jesus Christ except for that which Jesus has faith. It is HIS faith, not mine.
The moment I try to generate faith for something that is outside of God’s will, or outside of the Truth, I’m on my own. The faith of Jesus won’t flow there. This is why you and I cannot live by the faith of the Son of God unless we are in the process of BECOMING the will of God. The faith of Jesus cannot flow in one unless they are becoming the will of God.
But notice the great news in this same Truth. It means that as I grow in Christ, and become the will of God, to His glory, I will be able to live by the faith of the Son of God. Absolutely.
Herein we see why there are few miracles today: The faith of the Son of God is not moving in His people. Why? Because His people are trying to DO the will of God to the disregard of becoming the will of God.
God wants us to be living epistles of Jesus Christ – living evidence of the resurrected Christ. If we become that, the faith of Jesus will be in us, and can work through us. And the faith of Jesus operates only unto the will of God.
7. Once God reveals Truth to us, we are able to believe, or not believe.
The moment we recognize Truth AS Truth, we are admitting we CAN believe. Sure. Thus, Truth carries with it the ability to impart the faith necessary to embrace it. That is a little mechanical, but makes the point. We are really talking here about seeing Jesus Christ in a new dimension. The moment I see Him, I can believe.
But I can also refuse or neglect to believe. The question is never whether it is up to me to drag down Truth from heaven. I cannot do that. But once God reveals Truth to me, the question is what I will do with it. Not only must I embrace it, but I must HOLD FAST to it and surrender to it. I must allow God to adjust ME to the Truth. And expect this to be challenged, opposed, and questioned by the enemy, our flesh, and others.
It is important here to understand that when I use the word, "Truth," I am not talking about the meaning of a Bible verse, or some doctrine I have discovered. Those are, "truths," to be sure. But I am talking about the revelation of a Person – a revelation that will be affirmed by scripture. Never turn Truth into a THING – that is separate from Christ Himself. No. That will turn Truth into dead religion.
There is a big difference, for example, between reading in the Bible the phrase, "God is love," and actually seeing it, experiencing it, and believing it. The former does nothing but add to my list of facts about God. The latter actually changes ME.
When God speaks a Word to me, or reveals to me Jesus Christ, it is too late to go back. I am now accountable. The question, as mentioned, is what I will do with it. Of course, this should not be a BIG question. It should not be a debate. Do we want the Truth or don’t we? But the fact is, what we have seen is going to be tested.
Why? To prove to us that it IS the Truth. But more – to build the Truth in us. There is nothing of Himself that God will reveal but that He wants it to become part of us. He wants it to govern our living. As I said, Truth revealed is not information only. It is an impact of Jesus Christ in me.
But in order for such an impact to take place, I must surrender to the Truth. This means I must let go of error. But again – not information that is error. No. Rather, I must let go of all of the patterns of the flesh that are error. I must let go of those facets of my relationship with God that do not line up with the Truth.
It is at this point – in the testing – that we will do one of two things. We will either allow God to adjust us to the Truth. Or we will adjust the Truth to fit ourselves. We are actually in the process of doing that all the time. It should be plain as to which God desires for us.
Truth is personified in Jesus Christ. All that is revealed to me about Christ will work redemption, understanding, and will set me free to a deeper relationship with God.
Now, if you see what I am getting at, you cannot help but come to a great conclusion: If faith is birthed by a Word God speaks, by the time it manifests through us, faith can be for NOTHING but the will of God. Sure. Faith essentially comes FROM God Himself, does a great work in us – to conform us to God – and then it flows through us back again to God.
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