Building Bridges between God and Man
THE GOD KIND OF FAITH
Let’s begin with a recent statement I made to a friend!
“Faith has seemed somewhat elusive to me!”
When I heard what I said to my friend, it seemed like a strange statement for me to make after being a Christian for 35 years. I guess it isn’t the statement itself that was so strange as it was the realization, that after all these years, true spiritual faith itself, and knowing its purpose, had been so elusive to me. I heard the Bible definition of faith many, many times and yet I had to admit to myself that I didn't really understand what true spiritual faith meant until God Himself opened my understanding to it’s meaning.
Perhaps I would never have understood it, had I not delved into logic, as it was this study that triggered my investigation. Proverbs 25:2 But the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
If you will, come spend a little time with me. Let’s study until we reach a destination of understanding the meaning of true spiritual faith and its’ purpose.
In my search for truth, I was introduced to the writings of D.Q.McInerny. His book, “Being Logical” was extremely helpful in understanding the art of logic. I will be using the principles or laws of logic in explaining why true spiritual faith and logic do not mix. There is a deep seated, hard to recognize error in using this science in spiritual matters. This error is hard to recognize by the philosophers who use the principles of logic and those they try to influence. When the error becomes known, it often times leaves those influenced by it feeling manipulated. Even though this is not the intent of the science or philosophers, it is often the result.
So let’s deal first with a statement on Pg. 21 of McInerny’s book. He writes: “what determines the truth or falsity of a statement is what actually exists in the real world. Logical truth, in other words, is founded upon ontological truth.”
Logical truth! Logic: A particular mode of reasoning viewed as valid or faulty. So, a philosopher could say: “a mode of reasoning produced what I believe to be true.”
When scripture says “Come, let us reason together” in Isaiah 1:18, you will notice no one except the Lord went on to speak. In context, he was telling them that though their sins were as scarlet they would be white as snow and though they were red like crimson, they would be as wool. There is no science anywhere that will ever understand this by logical thinking.
Herein lays the difference between logical truth and bible or spiritual truth. Spiritual truth does not need evidence in the “real world” to be known as truth. In fact, McInerny makes it clear that in the science of logic any objective truth comes from the world we live in, not the Spiritual world, therefore any idea has its roots in what we see with our eyes and concludes that it is objective because it has been perceived outside of ourselves with no acknowledgment of God. This so called, “real world” is inferior to the world of the Spirit in the same sense that our bodies are inferior to our spirit. We are one Spirit with the Lord, but this world and our bodies are in decay and must be overcome. Logical truth produces human, earthly answers and spiritual truth produces faith. Abraham is a good example. He obtained righteousness that he could not see; righteousness that was not yet even provided. The natural had not yet been seen upon the earth (Jesus).
This world is not the way God made it. It must be restored to reflect that invisible quality of God that it possessed when it was created. (Romans 1:20) What we see in looking at the “real world” today is a distortion of the truth. The creation itself must be delivered. Abraham went out to obtain a city that was not made with hands. When the city he went to look for fully manifests, we will once again enjoy creation as it was established before the men of wickedness (humanity: Adam and Eve) denied God. Rom.1:21 Because...go on to read the rest of the story. (verse) The point is: this world is distorted. God is not full of weeds and thorns. I have a feeling that when we ever see a “true” color, it will be so brilliant it will astound us. Set not your affections on this earthly realm! No man ever met Jesus Christ by looking at water or anything else natural. They met Jesus by hearing the Holy Spirit. Albeit, we do see the Godhead in water in the sense that it is 3 in 1: water, steam and ice, as well as other natural things. Being able to see this is a result of knowing God as Romans states: that before man fell, he knew God but changed the glory of God into an image made like corruptible man.
If we need to know truth by what exists in the “real world”, we are in deep trouble and our faith is in vain. It has been pointed out to me that I don’t live in the “real world”. I consider that to be a compliment, for spiritual truth says we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. I live in this world, but I am not of it, therefore the spiritual world is far more real to me and it is where I live and move and have my being. 2nd Corinthians 5:7 says: The just shall walk by faith, and not by sight. After hearing the scripture Martin Luther quoted so many times, I realize that this quote usually does not contain the last portion of this verse. It is possibly because he quoted the scripture “the just shall live by faith” which is in another portion of scripture. But to connect the last portion gives us the whole picture. We see not only how the just live but also how they DO NOT LIVE. They do NOT live by sight. (form or appearance, shape, or fashion)
Another saint who did not walk by sight was Noah. He built a boat even though rain was not yet seen. Sarah conceived a child in a womb that was seen as dead. Had she relied on what actually existed in the “real world”, there would have been no Isaac.
The science of logic cannot interpret scripture or spiritual experiences. This is the job of the Holy Spirit. Logic and faith do not mix! God speaks illogically based on the definition that the science of logic says of itself.
The science of logic does not require faith. This is because it is based in human reasoning. Spiritual truth requires faith! The science of logic admits of itself that it is about effective “THINKING”. Logic is human reasoning.
1st Timothy 6:20-21 “Oh Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of SCIENCE falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the FAITH!” Science: gnosis (noun) knowledge, understanding, science.
Logical truth has its roots in human reasoning. Evidence of this is that anyone, Christian or otherwise, can use it effectively. But the best evidence is what it says of itself. The science of logic requires what you see in the “real world”.
Logical truth is fallible. Spiritual truth has its roots in God and is infallible. What God has given us in the scriptures is infallible. Jesus said in John 6:63 “The words that I speak, they are spirit and they are life”. 2nd Timothy 3:16 says: “ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2nd Peter: 1:19-21 says: (New International) And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. ABOVE ALL, you MUST understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy NEVER had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” SELAH........... If you don’t get this, you can throw the scriptures away. You will never give them their rightful place. Believe me, I am an X Mormon and know the difference when I hear what people say about the bible.
Philosophers, human thinkers that I have met, all have three things in common:
1. They do not give the Scriptures their proper place of importance.
2. They do not compare spiritual things with spiritual to obtain their truths. They compare spiritual things with material things or material to material.
3. They place preeminence upon their logic versus being led by Holy Spirit. If what they believe to be true disagrees with the scriptures, they side with their own thoughts and self perceived evidence.
Christians do not need to be skilled in logic. They need to be skilled in hearing the voice of God, in being led by the Spirit.
A logical thinker can have great ability to counsel and teach, even as AA has ability to reach some with their programs, but logical thinking will not produce true spiritual faith.
So what is true spiritual faith?
Hold on, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s now consider the first principle of logic.
The 1st principle of logic, according to McIrnery, is the principle of identity that states: A thing is what it is. Explanation: An apple is an apple. It is not an orange, a banana, or a pear.
Here’s the problem when you try to interpret the scriptures based on this principle: Sin is sin! True? Yes! But defining sin can change one’s entire interpretation of scripture. For instance if I merely say: “Sin is lawlessness”, then I must define lawlessness. If it is defined incorrectly it can change one’s entire concept. As an example, let’s say a concept concerning Jesus.
If you define lawlessness as not knowing or unaware of law (innocent), then you could make Jesus a sinner at birth and say he sinned objectively, but not subjectively. In other words God saw him as a sinner but he never actually entered into sin from a subjective position and so you could say Jesus wasn’t always perfect or spotless. Before I go further, here is the problem with the word perfect: it can mean mature or without spot, depending on how you decide to define it. But, back to lawlessness! If you defined lawlessness as not knowing or unaware of law, it could lead you on a rabbit trail to falsehood because this might not be a right definition but you wouldn’t know it.
Or... you could define lawlessness in this manner:
(A) As an adjective, the thought is not simply that of doing what is unlawful, but of flagrant defiance of the known will of God as (without law meaning unruly, illegal and defying law).
(B) As a noun lawlessness sets forth its essential character as the “rejection” of the law.
Which of these definitions are right, or are they both wrong?
NOTE: The law does not make men sinners, but the law makes men transgressors, hence sin becomes exceeding sinful.
Let me say just for the record that all animals sacrificed in the Old Testament were spotless (no flaws) from birth, a type or foreshadow of Jesus Christ our savior.
Here is the point in presenting these definitions; True spiritual faith is not based on a correct definition of a word.
Now, let’s take the scriptural way of studying: comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1st Cor. 2:13), reasoning from the scriptures (Acts 17:2), searching the scriptures daily to see if what is said is true (Acts17:11). For God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and to gain insight into His thoughts, we must see what He has written, not what man says or sees. Jesus said, “my kingdom is not of this world”.
When we compare scripture with scripture we find many scriptures that say Jesus was a sin offering, not sin itself.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot share our infirmities; we have one who was tempted in everything as we are, AND YET WITHOUT SIN.
1st Peter 2:22 He (Jesus) DID NO SIN, neither was guile found in his mouth.
2nd Cor. 5:21 (Vines Expository Dictionary Pgs. 22-23 Volume 4: Set - Z Index) For HE WHO DID NOT KNOW SIN, for your sakes made himself a sin offering that we may through him be made the righteousness of God.
(See Vines Expository Dictionary Pgs. 22-23 Volume 4: Set - Z Index)
In the KJV, this scripture says he was made sin ... this is why we must compare scripture with scripture. When only one scripture says he was made sin, we must remember that the truth is established in the mouth of two or three. We cannot take one scripture and build a doctrine on it. In this particular instance, we benefited with clarification from Vines.
Hebrews 9:28a So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.
Hebrews 9:13-14 If the blood of goats and calves and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who were defiled sanctified them even to the cleansing of their flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself WITHOUT BLEMISH to God, purify our conscience from dead works so that we may serve the living God.
Jesus Christ was the Lord from heaven, made a quickening spirit. Adam was a living soul (of the earth).
When Jesus was tried in the
Our very salvation exposes the next principle of the science of logic as fallible.
The 2nd principle of logic is the principle of the excluded middle.
The basic idea behind the principle of the excluded middle is that there are no gaps in being. In other words Bonnie could not become Bonnie if she were not already Bonnie. No one becomes something they are not already.
Well, we only have to look at Adam and Jesus to see we cannot apply this logic to their lives. Adam became a different person than who he was. Adam was not a sinner, yet he became one. Although the potential was there, he was not already a sinner. The potential was also there with Jesus, but he did not become a sinner. When you confess Christ, you become a new creature (person), someone you were not already. If you can only become who you are, salvation is impossible. True, it requires a miracle, but this is where logic cannot go. We see it even today: philosophers will water down every bible miracle until there is no faith to believe.
With the first two principles being a foundation for logic, we need go no further to understand that any building built on sand, is fallible. If you do not have the God kind of faith to believe what I’ve written, you will not get it. It must come by revelation, not just words on paper. Upon the rock of revelation, God builds!
1st Cor. 1:20 through 31: (Amplified)
Where is the wise man, the philosopher? Where is the scribe, the scholar? Where is the investigator, the logician, the debater, of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world’s wisdom? For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching (of salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him), to save those who believed, who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him. For while Jews (DEMANDINGLY) ASK FOR SIGNS AND MIRACLES, AND Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom, we preach Christ, the Messiah, crucified, which to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block (that springs a snare, trap), and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense. But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ IS the power of God and the wisdom of God.! This is because the foolish thing that has its source in God is wiser than men, and the weak thing that springs from God is stronger than men. For simply consider your own call brethren; not many of you were considered to be wise, according to human estimates and standards; not many influential and powerful; not many of high and noble birth. No, for God selected, deliberately chose, what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. And God also selected, deliberately chose, what in the world is lowborn and insignificant, and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might DEPOSE AND BRING TO NOTHING THE THINGS THAT ARE; So that no mortal man should have pretense for glorying and boast in the presence of God. But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, that is revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as our Righteousness and thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God; and our Consecration making us pure and holy; and our Redemption providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin. So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord.
1st Cor. 2:6 through 11 (Amplified)
Yet when we are among the full grown, spiritually mature Christians who are ripe in understanding, we do impart a higher wisdom that is, the knowledge of the divine plan previously hidden; but it is indeed not a wisdom of this present age nor of this world or of the leaders and rulers of this age, who are being brought to nothing and are doomed to pass away. But rather what we are setting forth is a wisdom of God once hidden from the human understanding and now REVEALED to us by God; that wisdom that which God devised and decreed before the ages for our glorification that is, to lift us into the glory of His presence. None of the rulers of this age or world perceived and recognized and understood this; for if they had, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. But, on the contrary, AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, what eye hath not seen, and ears not heard, and has not entered into the heart of man all that God has prepared, made and keeps ready, for those who love Him, that is, for those who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed.
1st Cor. 3:19 & 20 (Amplified)
For this world’s wisdom is foolishness, absurdity and stupidity with God. For it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their own craftiness; and again, the Lord knows the thoughts and reasonings of the humanly wise and recognizes how futile they are.
Enough said about logic.
WE REPORT, YOU DECIDE
CONCERNING TRUE, SPIRITUAL FAITH:
When we first accept Christ, we come with many things in our learning that in the light of the scriptures, are not true. If you have not shed many, many things you thought when you were born from above, you still have lots of old ideas to shed. I would venture to say that the largest percentage of things we believed and the ways we lived were in error. This is why I always ask people to continue to ask God the question: “WHAT DO I BELIEVE THAT IS NOT TRUE”?! This will do two things for you:
1. It will help get rid of error we bring with us when we accept Christ.
2. If we continue to learn from man, it will help continue to get rid of error as God is so faithful to answer this prayer. This prayer says to Him... I do not think I have always gotten everything perfectly right. It also says to Him that you remain teachable. I believe God loves the humility of this position.
It is my testimony that once I understood AND BELIEVED the foregoing message, my understanding of true spiritual faith, exploded. All of a sudden the entirety of scripture came alive. I was no longer waiting for a particular scripture to speak to me. EVERY scripture was alive to me, BY FAITH. Scripture doesn’t just say that Jesus lives in our hearts, but it says that Jesus lives in our hearts.... BY FAITH. We don’t see Jesus climbing into our hearts but, BY FAITH, we know by His Spirit, he did. I no longer have to have a visible manifestation to know that I am healed. I believe the scriptures past what I see. I LIVE IN and SEE another world, BY FAITH.
There is only one proof of God. Relying on the validity of scripture (which I do), the proof is FAITH, THE GOD KIND OF FAITH.
(For a clear rendering of our subject, I will quote Hebrews 11: part of 1a and b)
Now Faith is the evidence (proof) of things NOT SEEN. (Amplified): Now Faith, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of THEIR REALITY), FAITH PERCEIVING as REAL FACT what is NOT REVEALED to the SENSES.
So, B says to me: “Man, Sister Bonnie, you mean you believe you are healed even when you are sick? That isn’t logical!”
Bonnie says to B: “Yes, I know, that’s the point. The condition of my body does not negate what God says about me/us. I do not mentally assent to this position. I have the God kind of faith to believe it. It didn’t come easily. But, it did come! Hallelujah”
Herein lays true spiritual faith! Christians mature to the God kind of faith and its purpose. The purpose of the God kind of faith is to believe what God says regardless of what is seen or heard in the “real world”. When God said to Adam: (Amplified) “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and of blessing and calamity, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (There is much more to be said about this, but we will leave it for another article)
All God desired was for Adam to believe His word. But no, Adam got his eyes on the “real world”. Today, we have the same challenge. Will we believe what God has written/spoken or will we analyze it to unbelief?
Years ago, my sister LaVerne asked me what I thought of a particular scripture and out of my belly came this answer: “I don’t, I just believe it.” Little did I know back then, I had touched the tip of the iceberg about operating in the true spiritual faith that I understand today. So then, true spiritual faith believes EVERY word that has ever come from the mouth of God. It doesn’t have to think a certain way about a scripture, it merely believes it. WHEW! What a journey to have come to this place.
What a wonderful world we have to explore, the world of FAITH! THE GOD KIND OF FAITH!
BE FREE............... WE REPORT, YOU DECIDE