May 2016 Teaching Letter - New Testament Faith
New Testament Faith
2 Corinthians 5:7, ”For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
Romans 10:17, ”So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Hebrews 11:1, ”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:6, ”But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
In Matthew 8:5-10, “great faith” is mentioned concerning the Roman centurion for his servant. In Matthew 8:23-26, Jesus’ response to his disciples after he calmed the storm was, “Why are you so fearful, o ye of little faith?” We see other examples of people who were not born-again new creations, that were able to get what they needed from Jesus with their own mere human faith. See the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:25-24; the Syrophonecian woman for her daughter in Mark 7:24-30; and blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46-52.
In Mark 11:12-23, we see Jesus exhibiting the God-kind of faith. John 6:26-29, ” Jesus answered them and said, verily, verily, I say unto you, you seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him has God the Father sealed. Then they said unto him, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that you believe on him whom he has sent.”
All the people that Jesus dealt with in the Gospels were old covenant people. Their faith was sense knowledge faith. They believed by what they saw, felt, tasted, and touched. It is sad, but New Testament believers do the same today. There is only one faith in the New Testament and it is Jesus’ faith. Romans 10:17 is one of the most misunderstood scriptures in the New Testament. It is talking about saving faith. When we hear the word of Christ, we respond with our faith. Once we do that, then God gives us His faith. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
1 John 5:1-5
Verse 1 Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loves him that begat loves them also that is begotten of him.
Verse 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
Verse 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Verse 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.
Verse 5 Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
The apostle Paul never encouraged the New Testament believers to have faith. Jesus did, but the faith that Jesus demanded was not saving faith. No one who walked with Jesus had the faith that Paul talked about. Ephesians 1:3, ”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Now I do not
need to have faith for anything that belongs to me. Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.” This scripture already happened and was fulfilled the moment we were born-again.
Do I need faith for healing? Provision? Protection? Do I need faith for anything that Jesus has already provided? The answer is no. What is necessary? What is necessary is to believe or to receive or to act like it is already so. Sadly, the New Testament church is on a quest for faith. The reality is that I received Jesus’ faith the day I got saved. There is only one faith and that is saving faith. It is God’s faith. That is God’s gift to me. My part is to believe. Believe what? Believe that the cross gave me everything. The cross gave me His love, healing, provision, protection, dominion-faith! The issue with New Testament Christians is not a lack of faith, but double mindedness due to wrong teaching. And when we are taught right, that I have God’s faith, and everything already belongs to me, then I believe that, receive that, and act like it is so.
When I hear the word of God I believe that. When I act on it or receive it I am believing it. Once I have acted on it and received it, I put it in the past and I have believed. Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” The woman with the issue of blood believed she would be healed if she could just touch the garment of Jesus. When she went to Jesus, she was believing. After she touched Him she had, past tense, believed.
Verse 17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.
Verse 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, so shall your seed be.
Verse 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:
Verse 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Verse 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
2 Corinthians 4:18, “ While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things that are seen are temporal; but the things that are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith and not by sight.”