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RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Bro Mike,

I like this quote:

Quote:
We do not see the things of eternity. We do not see God, or heaven, or the angels, or the redeemed in glory, or the crowns of victory, or the harps of praise; but we have faith in them, and this leads us to act as if we saw them. And this is, undoubtedly, the fact in regard to all who live by faith and who are fairly under its influence.




It reminds me of the words of our Lord; Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. (John 20:29).

I have a teaching somewhere in which I examine the role of the will in exercising faith. There is something about man that he/she does not weigh evidence consistently. The standard gets changed based upon what a person wants to believe or not to believe. I think this is why its important to live full of the Spirit while we are studying theology because of the influence of rebellion on our beliefs as a whole. Sin always leads to deception.

I suppose the great question is; "why don't unrepentant men believe?" Or "why don't believers have the faith they need to rise to a certain occasion?" More excellently; "Wherefor didst thou doubt?" Jesus answers at least one aspect of this in Matthew 17; And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. (AV) And Jesus answering said, O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me. (Darby) And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. (AV) Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? (AV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. (AV)But an evil spirit of this kind is only driven out by prayer and fasting. (Wey) (Matthew 17)

I see 4 things here:

1) Faithlessness
2) Perverseness
3) Unbelief
4) Insf. Prayer
5) Insf. Fasting

Perhaps we could sort through the ramifications of each of these issues. ;-)


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/17 10:51Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

Quote:
Do you think that the variations in the 'measure' of men's faith is based upon their consistent right response to revelation ? If we respond rightly consistently to God- does this 'build' our faith (as it were)?


I'm sure that all gifts are given 'according to their individual ability' (Matt 25;15) This implies that men have a 'capacity' and that God gives his gifts according to that capacity. However we discover, in the case of the 5 talent man, that his stewardship increased his 'gift' to 10 talents. This must mean that his capacity increased with his stewardship, and could still take another to make his total 11 talents.

I think the exercise of faith certainly developes capacity for faith; this is my continuing theme from Abraham. On a more ominous note it would seem that the single talent man's capacity never grew, and ultimately he lost what he had.

Yes, I do believe that future revelation is dependent upon faithful stewardship of earlier revelation.

As regards 'doubt' I feel another definition coming on... How would you define 'doubt'?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/17 11:43Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Barnes quotation: There is scarcely any verse of the New Testament more important than this, for it states what is the nature of all true faith, and is the only definition of it which is attempted in the Scriptures.


This is a true word. I think we can get an estimate of the importance of a topic in proportion to the enemies attempts to distort it. If that is true, Barnes is right, there is scarcely any verse.. more important than this...

My reasoning with the Abraham series has had this in mind all through. He is the Bible's prime example of faith, but I have tried to show that his life was a pilgrimage with long journeys in between the high points. The tendency is to concentrate of Abraham's leaps of faith, the scripture is more interested in his steps.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/17 11:53Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
As regards 'doubt' I feel another definition coming on... How would you define 'doubt'?



I guess before we can answer why we doubted we must first understand the nature of our error. It seems that the root for doubt in the Greek means twice or two. That leads me to "doublemindedness." I have looked at this before and it meant "two-spirited." I think more excellently it would be one who halts between two opinions. They cannot or will not rightly weigh the evidence, therefor they cannot judge rightly as to whether to believe or not. I see this as a process in some cases of thinking through the ramifications of certain revealed truths (if they are true). If the ramifications fit "their will" then they will believe- if they do not- they will find a way to disprove and dismiss the evidence. This is ultimately why men will believe the lie that they all may be damned who obeyed not the Gospel, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.. That pleasure seems to hold weight in the balance of their judgment tilting the scales into disbelief when left to itself the truth had surely tipped the balance.

I don't know if I defined a thing. ;-)

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/17 12:12Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/3
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 Re:

Quote:
I believe we need Abraham-type faith for justification, and Christ-type faith for regeneration.



I believe there is no difference in faith. Faith is the substance hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. The root of faith is in God. Man cannot have faith unless it is God who works in man. Faith is the supernatural work of God in man.

Brother Robert wrote:


Quote:
Would this mean that the faith exercised for justification is the 'measure' of faith (Romans 12) that has been dealt to every man and that at justification we receive the 'faith of Christ' as a gift to further exercise for regeneration? I never teach on that level and doubt I ever would, but it would be interesting to work out for my own sake.



Why would you not teach the deeper things of Christ?

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2005/1/20 11:25Profile
ZekeO
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Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re:

Quote:

I believe there is no difference in faith. Faith is the substance hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. The root of faith is in God. Man cannot have faith unless it is God who works in man. Faith is the supernatural work of God in man.



Are you sure? I can have an unholy faith for wordly things and a biblical faith for the things of God. I know this may start a fresh revelation of your beliefs, but faith comes by hearing.


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2005/1/20 11:31Profile
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4794


 Re:

Brother Zeke wrote:

Quote:
I know this may start a fresh revelation of your beliefs, but faith comes by hearing.



Is. 30:21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.

You are Scripturally correct. "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it."

God must speak before man can know Him and thus have faith in Him who he hears.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2005/1/20 12:17Profile
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 Re:

Rev. 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.


Jesus is the mediator between His Father and man. Those who hear His voice will be given "[b]the faith of Jesus."[/b] There has never been any other way.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2005/1/20 12:55Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
Why would you not teach the deeper things of Christ?



Hi Bro Jeff,

It's not that I don't teach the deeper things, the settings that I minister in would not support that level of study generally. In some contexts yes, but in most it would not. I wish it would. I also insist on staying in the realm of relative certainty and not exploring areas of speculation while teaching. Time is too short to delve as deeply as we could- yet for some, teaching too deeply opens the door for the enemy cause babes in Christ to rest on things hard to be understood and rattle their faith.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/20 13:29Profile
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Quote:
RonB post:I believe we need Abraham-type faith for justification, and Christ-type faith for regeneration.

Jeff post:I believe there is no difference in faith. Faith is the substance hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. The root of faith is in God. Man cannot have faith unless it is God who works in man. Faith is the supernatural work of God in man.


This was intended to provoke, but not Jeff especially! We have touched on some of these things previously but I'm not sure that 'faith' is the supernatural work of God in man. I think it might be more accurate to say that faith is man's response to God's grace. Salvation itself is plainly said to be 'by grace, through faith'.(Eph 2:8) Faith here is not the gift of God but the necessary channel through which grace must be received. In that sense the 'kind' of faith would be directly determined by the kind of grace that God had given. Faith is the necessary channel through which the grace is appropriated. Certainly the process of faith is the same in all cases, but most bible students would be happy with the concept of 'justifying faith' thereby distinguishing that 'kind' of faith from other 'kinds'.

1st Peter speaks of 'the grace that should come unto you', distinguishing thereby between the 'grace' (and consequently the faith) available in the times of the prophets and the 'grace' (and consequently the faith) available in this 'dispensation of the gospel'.

Faith is not a resident ability waiting some object to fasten on, but the instant response to God's grace made known. Without grace, there can be no faith, but alas, there can be grace without the necessary faith response to appropriate it.

[b]Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the [u]varied[/u] grace of God. (1Pe 4:10 HCSB)[/b] The word translated 'varied' here, or 'manifold' in the KJV means 'variegated, or many coloured' i,e, diverse. As grace is diverse the faith that receives it must accommodate uniquely but also be diverse. Each exercise of faith is a unique response to specific but wonderfully varied grace.

The kind of faith referred to as 'Abraham's faith' is the kind that enabled God to credit Abraham with righteousness; this was and is 'justifying faith'. 'Son's faith' is of a different order.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/20 14:04Profile





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