This teaching is a transcript from the podcast entitled “One Faith.” It can be read along with the audio or simply read in place of. God bless!
The title of today’s message is “one faith” and I’ll begin reading in:
Ephesians 4:4-6 (KJV)
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
I consider this verse a foundational truth supporting our Christian system of beliefs. I presented a study of this verse in another podcast entitled, “There’s Only One” which can be found on the Spotlight Ministries web page. There’re many paths to follow in this verse, all of which form the basis for the gospel (or good news) of God; and I just can’t help but make a quick comment on verse six where it presents the truth when it reads, “6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” What an amazingly, awesome revelation! The God and Father of all – in you! But today my focus is on the: one faith. The word “one” having a definition from the Greek of being: only one, to the exclusion of any other. So let’s begin to chisel away at a mountain of facts and expose a foundation of truth that can’t be shaken.
Hebrews 11:3 reads: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed [and the word “were framed” means to have been completed thoroughly, so…] Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
In this reference to the creation account in the book of Genesis, we find that the faith through which the world and every age and progression of its existence was thoroughly accomplished, began with God. Let me repeat that: the faith through which the world and every age and progression of its existence was thoroughly accomplished, began with God. And today it’s His faith that continues to support the reality of His, and our worlds. Well, wait a minute brother! It reads that it’s through or because of faith that we understand how the world was created. OK, if we need to discuss this verse on that level then let’s talk. A menial, human definition of faith is the acceptance of something as fact that we cannot understand with rational thinking. For example one might say, “I have no idea how this can be true, but I just accept it by faith.” In making this statement you’d be admitting that you don’t understand the method by which or why something exists, but add that you just have to accept its reality by “faith” (faith being in air quotes); but in making such a statement you’d be admitting to an absence of comprehension regarding its reality. As a result, this definition of, air quote “faith” cannot bring understanding. It’s impossible for us to gain understanding or comprehension by simply accepting anything as factual without rational proof of its existence.
The Bible states that “Faith comes by hearing…the word of God.” So before faith is imparted to you (and I’m speaking of the God-faith) you must have heard the word of God. Now is hearing the only thing necessary to receive this faith? No. Jesus, when speaking of the parable of the sower and the seed plainly said that understanding is the key to receiving. I’ll not take time to cover the parable, but read it and notice how understanding what’s heard is the only way for the seed of the word to produce its fruit. Therefore, it’s understanding what is heard which establishes a true heart belief. It’s by understanding what’s heard that this original/fundamental faith of God is immersed into our spirits; and if this is true (and it is) then to make a statement that it’s by or through “faith” that we can understand anything is a total reversal of principle. OK, enough said. It’s my contention that the faith that framed the worlds is the very faith of God and my understanding of that fact is confirmed by my ability to hear, read, see and understand the written word of God which explains such facts. Therefore, the proper sentence structure, according to biblical principle should read, “It’s though the faith of God that the worlds (including every age and progression of its existence) were completely and thoroughly fashioned in completeness, by a calling together of unseen/intangible substances; and I understand it to be so by the Holy Scriptures.” So let’s continue.
Then we find in the letter of Paul to the Colossians that the pre-incarnate Jesus, the Son of God, was the agent (or Word) who formed the “worlds” when we read in
Colossians 1:16-17 (KJV)
16 For by him [the Him meaning Jesus] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Then we find in Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
“2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…” The wording meaning that Jesus is the chief leader, the beginner / originator and the one who flawlessly and perfectly completed all things that are necessary to fully and completely support God’s expected intentions toward humanity and the entire cosmos. I know that I just loaded you down with information, so I’ll repeat: Jesus is the chief leader, the beginner / originator and the one who flawlessly and perfectly completed all things that are necessary to fully and completely support God’s expected intentions toward humanity and His intentions toward the entire cosmos. He is the author and finisher of faith.
Now because I’m using the KJV of the bible, you must notice that the word “our” is italicized in this verse, meaning it was not in the original manuscripts and therefore never intended to be used. In leaving it out, the perfect meaning of the verse suddenly springs forward. It’s God’s faith and not ours. Therefore, in the light of these verses I can learn that before anything became a reality in the creation of the world and the ages of its existence, the faith of God, “was.” It, His faith, is the underlying and supporting substance that holds all things together and in perfect order. This fact establishes the starting point of discovering our foundation.
Now before I move forward, let me say that I see in the Bible where it definitely uses wording that reads, “our faith,” or “your faith,” which I fully intent to address. But for the time being, hold on to the actual intended definition of the word “one” when speaking of the “one faith.” And that’s “only one, to the exclusion of any other”; also implying that this faith is singular and the ultimate / highest in the universe. Now let’s look a bit closer and bring this concept into our “now” and present life, and read some Holy Spirit inspired scriptures that we can use to locate the source of this “one” faith.
Paul writing to the churches speaks these truths giving heed to the use of the simple word “of” and how it’s applied:
Galatians 2:16 (KJV)
16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith [the one faith to the exclusion of any other] by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed [notice that the word used here is believed and not “faithed”] even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith [the one faith to the exclusion of any other] of Christ…”
Then in a bit further into chapter 2 it reads in Galatians 2:20 (KJV):
20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [the one faith to the exclusion of any other] I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
I’ve intentionally linked these together without commenting on each of them because they, being in the same letter, are consistent in supporting the location and owner of this “one faith,” and that truth being established by the repeated phrases, “the faith of Jesus Christ” and “the faith of the Son of God.”
Now I realize that other translations remove the word “of” and replace it with the word “in,” and such a changing of the intended meaning by substituting other words, at least in this case, is not totally incorrect because throughout all of the Bible we’re encouraged and instructed to believe on / in Jesus. But let’s look more closely at verse 16. In the verse I see the intentional use of both words. The Holy Spirit, by the hand of Paul, writes that we are justified by the faith of Jesus; then says that we’ve believed in Jesus; then repeats the truth that we are justified by the faith of Jesus. I submit that the choice of these small and seemingly insignificant words are intentional and in changing them all to read “by faith in Jesus,” we act as a thief or a robber in that we can circumvent a perfect revelation of truth by redirecting the focus to a different truth. In the natural, if I had a desire to side track you from getting too close to a reality that I didn’t want you to discover, all I would have to do is substitute, by suggestion, a different fact that paralleled your path of thought and I could steer you away to a different discovery of truth that I would rather you have.
I contend that the reality of us as Christians, being justified by the faith of Jesus is a very, very important foundational truth that supports the very core of our lives as sons in the kingdom of God. So let’s participate in a reality check. Since the Bible is the inspired word of God according to 2 Timothy 3:16; and since there is only one accurate and true interpretation for any part of it (according to 2 Peter 1:20); then an incorrect translation of its intended meaning subverts the intended truth whether intentional or unintentional, and causes other important truths to remain hidden and un-noticed. So which translation is correct? The translators of the KJV or the translators of all other versions that have made these word substitutions? Or more importantly, which translation would the Holy Spirit endorse concerning these verses? We must all be open to the guidance of the Spirit in such areas and I’ve already made my choice. It’s by the faith of Jesus that I’m justified in the sight of God; it’s by the faith of Jesus that I now live every day of this life, in the now; and it’s in this revelation of truth that I’ll continue to mine out this “one faith,” the one to the exclusion of any other.
So what about the parts of the bible that plainly use the words of our faith or your faith? I’ll use the following verse of scripture from 2 Peter 1:1 in beginning to address that concern:
2 Peter 1:1 (KJV)
1 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”
There’s a lot contained in here, so let’s begin. Peter, an apostle chosen by Jesus, wrote this letter to a particular group of people, those being, quote – them who have obtained like precious faith – unquote. In examining the Greek words used here we find that the phrase, “to them that have obtained” is actually one word in the Greek that means: to receive or obtain by divine allotment or by divine appointment. Then he continues by stating that this divine allotment is “like precious.” This also is one Greek word and translated means: (and just as a side note: this is the only time this Greek word is used in the entire New Testament) and it means: of equal value and held in equal honor; of equal value and held in equal honor. Then Peter uses the words, “with us” indicating this faith that he and the other apostles received is the same type of faith that’s allotted to each Christian. What! Did he just say that you, as a Christian, have been appointed by divine allotment, have been given as a reality the very same “faith” that the chosen apostles of Jesus had given? And are we to understand that this faith is of equal value to the faith that existed in the life of Peter? Or even more questionable: are we to understand that not only is the faith that we, as Christians, have been given is of equal value to the point that it’s the exact same faith that Peter and the apostles were allotted; but are we to understand that this faith is also of equal value and the exact same faith of Jesus, the Son of God? Yes, yes, yes a thousand times yes! We are to understand this to be so and we can understand this truth by the hearing of the rightly divided word of truth contained in the bible.
Allow me to read a paraphrased translation of this verse:
“I, Simon Peter, one of the chosen apostles of Jesus Christ and one who has chosen to be bound to Him in my daily life; I write this letter to you, my fellow Christians all of whom have received by divine appointment according to the will of God, faith. Such faith that is exactly equal in value or potential to the faith that we apostles have received by the same divine appointment. It is through the integrity and fair judgement of God that we all have been given this faith, because of the perfectly finished works of Jesus Christ, our Savior.”
I’ll read that again:
“I, Simon Peter, one of the chosen apostles of Jesus Christ and one who has chosen to be bound to Him in my daily life; I write this letter to you, my fellow Christians all of whom have received by divine appointment according to the will of God, faith. Such faith that is exactly equal in honor, value and potential to the faith that we apostles have received by the same divine appointment. It is through the integrity and fair judgement of God that we all have been given this faith, and because of Jesus Christ, our Savior.”
Now let’s revisit this previously read verse that was written by Paul, the last known, personally chosen apostle of Jesus:
Galatians 2:16 (KJV)
16 “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ…”
Peter established that faith has been appointed to us by the righteous judgement of God because of Jesus. So now the question arises: why because of Jesus? I’ll answer the question by giving the short version. Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, came to earth as a man, to represent humanity in the family of God. Living, being put to death as the only sacrifice for the body of sin, going to the grave, rising from the dead, ascending into the heavens and sitting as humanity/God in the divine circle of the family of God, He completely finished and carried to completion the adoption of humanity into the circle of God’s life. This was all thoroughly fashioned, completed and supported by the faith of God that was allotted, appointed to Him, Jesus, by the Father/God. This is the same “like precious” faith that “framed the worlds.” So how does this mighty, powerful system that supports all of reality come to you and me? Check out the phrase encapsulated in Gal 2:16 when it reads: “even we have believed in Jesus Christ…” Here’s where it happens.
Notice that snuggled right between the “faith of Jesus Christ” stated two times in the verse, is the verb or action word of “believed” and more specifically the believing is on or in Jesus Christ. Let me make this point: belief has its source in us. It’s something that we do. Faith always, always, always has its source in God. It’s His. It’s the one faith, to the exclusion of any other; and it’s something that He’s able and willing to immerse equally, in its fullness, into all who believe in Jesus and His completed obedience to the plan of son-ship for humanity. Let me repeat. It is our place to believe. It’s God’s promise to supply the system of support that upholds all of our hopes and expectations. We call that the ultimate, the one faith of God. This underlying, eternal and powerful support system that upholds the cosmos and all of life is in and from the God-head. Without this one faith, nothing could exist. The most beautiful thing is that God, at the time of our spiritual re-generation and immersion into the family of God by the Spirit, we Christians were given, allotted and appointed by the Father-God, His very own, “one faith,” the faith of Jesus Christ. In that, it’s a gift to and in you, just as any type of gift given to you is without question considered “yours,” this one faith [the one faith to the exclusion of any other] is considered by God to be “yours” in supporting and upholding every expected blessing in your life, and in accordance with your true heart beliefs.
Just as in the same way that I can say and understand that the joy of the Lord (listen to what I’m saying) the joy of the Lord. So whose joy is it? It’s the Lord’s, Jesus’ joy: The joy of the Lord is my strength; in the same way that I can say and understand that it’s the peace of God (whose peace? The peace of God) that reigns in my heart; in the same way that I can say and understand that it’s the love of God (whose love is it? It’s God’s love.) that works in me; in the same way that I can say that it’s God’s hope (or positive, hopeful expectance) that works in me; according to Romans 15:13 which reads:
“13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” In the very same way that I can accept that these mentioned gifts of God: joy, peace, love, hope, are in me and are mine for the accomplishment of His, God’s purposes in my life; in that very same way I can call the “faith” of God, the faith of Jesus, the one faith to the exclusion of any other, my very own in supporting the expectations of God for my life, now and eternal.
It’s the faith of God that supports and enables His plan of son-ship for humanity through Jesus, His only begotten. It’s His faith that supports the created worlds. It’s His faith that sustains the earth in all of its eternally expected ages. It’s His faith that enables us to participate in His gift of grace, our eternal salvation in every area of our lives. And it’s His faith, to the exclusion of any other that makes you pleasing to God.
So let’s end today’s podcast with this summary: Don’t allow a mere human, dictionary definition of “faith” subvert or cheapen the scriptural reality of the “one faith,” the faith of God. Know and understand this: while we live here in this earth, we, the sons and daughters of God, live by the faith of Jesus the Christ. Then when we close our eyes hear to the things of this earth, and open our eyes in the fullness of His revelation in the life to come, these following things that began to operate in our earthly lives, will remain as a constant throughout all of our eternities with Him: His love, His hope, and His faith, to the exclusion of any other. God bless and thanks for listening!