" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."
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Basic Christianity: The Faithful.
by Ken Browder, Editor
When Jesus returns to this earth, will He find faith? That is a question that even bothered Him. (Luke 18:7-8) If it bothered Him, shouldn't we also wonder about that same thing and even wonder about OUR OWN FAITH?
And yet, Jesus tells us that in order to be a Christian, we must be CALLED, CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL!
This, then, is an explanation of that third requirement.
So many times during a trying time in my life, people have said to me, "You have to have faith!" As I have lived these 73 years, I have come to learn that most people don't have a clue as to what Godly Faith is all about!
Do you know what faith is and what it is all about? Yes, I know you probably know some of the scriptures that mention faith, but do you UNDERSTAND what faith is? We, of course, will need to go over some of the scriptures with which you may be familiar.
One of those is:
Romans 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Faith comes by hearing what?
As we study God's Word we need to always remember to study a subject within the context it is presented.
We need to look back a few verses to get the idea of what Romans 10:17 is talking about.
Romans 10:14 "How then shall they call on him in
whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom
they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?"
Yes, truly, we can only BELIEVE after we have heard the Gospel of Peace.
That 'hearing' comes "by the word of God."
We must remember that JESUS is the Word of God (John 1:1, i.e. Greek=Logos=Spokesman). Today Jesus speaks to us from the pages of the "books" which have been provided for us to read. We call that Bible (means 'books'), "The Word of God" in print, don't you see?
So we have the word of God that we can read and that is the 'hearing' which God gives us. Preachers should preach from the Word of God and we can then 'hear' those words.
BUT ... is that ALL of it? The Bible tells us that we should 'get' WISDOM, and with all our 'getting' we should 'get' UNDERSTANDING!
However, in the Book of Proverbs we are told this:
Prov. 3:1 ¶ My son, forget not my law; but let
thine heart keep my commandments:
2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.
3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
Hmmmm....? Don't lean to our OWN understanding? How in the world do we do that? There must be more to it than JUST reading and hearing then.
What could that be?
So many, many people think and even believe that if we just read the Bible we can understand it. However, God has just told us that when we read His Word, we CANNOT lean to our OWN understanding, hasn't He?
Yes, there is quite a lot more to it than just reading or hearing the Bible read to us!!
There is that thing called God's Holy Spirit that we need to be extremely aware of. Only if we have God's Holy Spirit IN US, can we ever hope to understand God's Word.
When God calls us, when we repent and are baptized, God then gives us His Holy Spirit which then is 'within' us. That Holy Spirit (which is the MIND of God) then begins to teach us how to THINK like Him.
With THAT KIND OF THINKING, we can then begin to UNDERSTAND what God is truly saying!