August 2018 Newsletter - "Faith" by Nathan Padilla

Without faith it is impossible to please God [Heb_11:6]. In today’s modern church, faith has been adulterated to a means of financial gain and fulfilling our own desires for material possessions. For one, they are ignorant of the injury it will cause them.

“If, then, they should ask and receive what they call pieces of good fortune, these injure them after they receive them, being ignorant how to use them. For they pray to possess what they have not, and they ask things which seem, but are not, good things.” [1]

Clement was expounding on James 4:3 when the Apostle James throws light on the reason why prayers a not always answered is because it is out of their lust to fulfill their good pleasures, not God’s. It appears that there is more faith in material possessions, finances, and other such mediums that are in reality needless to fulfill God’s plan. Faith is not in the realm of the material or the believing for it, but faith is believing in the realm of the invisible and knowing that it will bring the manifestation of that invisible realm to the physical. It’s seeing what is behind the veil and bringing it through the veil (matter) to come into existence.

Noah is an archetype for us to examine. The Apostle Paul says, “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household,” [Heb_11:7]. What was the thing not yet seen? It was rain. What was the evidence of Noah’s faith or conviction of what he did not see and yet believed? His works, the building of the ark. James ratifies, “Faith without works is dead,” [Jam_2:17]. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” [Heb 11:1]. So what was the evidence of Noah’s faith that he did not see? His works, building the ark. If you peruse through Hebrews 11, you will discover that faith is not just a belief, but it is an action based on the conviction they heard.

Faith has much to do with power and the ability to perform miracles and receive healing. Throughout the Gospels, we see plenty of examples of the power of healing being released based on the faith of the person. However, in contrast to those who were healed based on their faith, we see at the same time Jesus rebuking those who were of little faith who could not cast out demons [Mat_17:17], as well as not being able to do as many miracles because of the unbelief of the people [Mat_13:58]. We see then the gravity of having faith, or lack thereof. Origen gives insight about the effects of faith:

“For attend to the words, ‘He could not there do any mighty works,’ for it is not said, ‘He would not,’ but ‘He could not;’ as if there came to the power when working co-operation from the faith of him on whom the power was working, but this co-operation was hindered in its exercise by unbelief. See, then, that to those who said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said, Because of your little faith.’ (Mat_14:31)” [2]

 

Origen describes the relationship between faith and power, depicting a sort of “law of attraction.”

“But, moreover, she who had the issue of blood, who did not ask for the cure, but only reasoned that if she were to touch the hem of His garment she would be healed, was healed on the spot. And the Savior, acknowledging the method of healing, says, ‘Who touched Me? For I perceived that power went forth from Me.’ (Mat_17:20) And perhaps, as in the case of material things there exists in some things a natural attraction towards some other thing, as in the magnet for iron, and in what is called naphtha for fire, so there is an attraction in such faith towards the divine power,” [2]

 

Faith attracts the power of God, and at the same time He is repulsed by unbelief. Yahushua exclaims, “How long shall I put up with you?” [Mat_17:17] He was rebuking his own disciples who couldn’t cast out a demon and brought Him this little boy. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that it wasn’t for lack of trying; they “work” signs and wonders (James said faith without works was dead, so they were trying to work miracles however lacked the faith, hence these were dead works). What attracts His power to heal and the ability to cast out demons and even remove mountains (“mountain” in Hebrew is “har” which means mind, or mindset), is having trust in the Word of God that His promises are true. I can say lack of faith is the same as lacking trust in God. To perform a right sacrifice that is pleasing to God, to heal the sick, to be translated, to even step over the grave as Enoch and Elijah did, it will be having such a conviction of truth within our soul that it becomes irrelevant the current circumstance. If God is with us who can be against us? Insecurity, anxiety, and depression are all the thorns and thistles of doubt. According to Hermas, doubt is the daughter of Satan. [3] It’s time we put away the daughter of Satan, stop believing her lies, and trust with full conviction Son of God!

References:

  1. Clement - Stromata, Bk. 7 Ch. VII, ANF Vol. 2
  2. Origen - Gospel of Matthew, Book 10 Pt. 2 Ch. 19, ANFVol. 9
  3. Hermas the Shepherd, Book 2 Pt. 1, ANF Vol. 2
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