Overcoming: The Nature of Faith
“Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith”
Scripture is clear that the inception of faith is Jesus Christ. He is the author of its power and effect. This faith is the result of “God’s work”!
“This is the work of God,
that ye believe on him whom he hath sent”
It is the mercy of God that He imparts to fallen man the divine enablement to know, believe, and walk in new creation life. This faith is beyond human capacity to initiate and the wonder of it brings us to the full declaration of His mercy towards all who believe.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us
all things that pertain unto life and godliness…”
2 Peter 1:3
It is His “divine power” that gives us the essential element of faith; a faith that responds to the movings and the desires of His heart. The new birth of the Living Christ within the heart of fallen man infuses us with the desire to live a life pleasing to Him. We are forever indebted to His grace. Where is boasting? Where is there any room for the vestige of pride on our part?
“For of him, and through him, and to him,
are all things: to whom be glory for ever”
The various parables and the exhortation of the Epistles reveal our responsibility to this great gift of faith.
Peter admonishes us to “add to our faith” (KJV) the graces of His person accompanied by the words “give ALL diligence”. There is diligence required in our faithfulness to “add” to that living wonder of faith by our corresponding obedience.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-11
The Christian life is one that affects the world around it. It is a life that carries within its being the substantial weight of a living faith. Let us consider verse 8: “for IF these qualities are yours and are increasing they” (the development of these qualities which are being added to your faith) will keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful” (LSV)!
The “precious faith” that has been entrusted to us requires the utmost care and devotion of our hearts. Too few in our day comprehend its full worth. Faith has often become a product of our own reasoning, an intellectual commodity that in some way we regard as a sign of our spiritual worth. When faith is relegated to the intellect there is often a hidden element of pride.
An appreciation of faith’s true origin will produce a holy awe and humility as we consider this wondrous gift He has given. Those who understand in some measure its worth will be diligent to keep its fire burning.
Those who are complacent, over time, will lose the power of its inspiration and reduce their faith to statements, words, and confessions rather than the evidential expression of HIS life and reality.
Paul boldly declared:
“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 of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”
What was the faith that Paul lived by? “The faith OF the Son of God”. He recognized its origin; he knew emphatically that his “now” life was the fruit of this living dynamic of the Son of God.
Only from this fresh fountain of living faith can we discover the secret of overcoming ALL things. Without it, there is no means by which we will know our victory in Christ!
“This is the victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith”
1 John 5:4
To be continued: We are posting segments of a wider scope of work where these individual posts are but part of the whole. We pray God would grant mercy for the readers to receive grace from these fragments…
Other Excerpts from a new book: The Overcoming Life