May 22

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Let me try to reach a conclusion on the subject under which we have been writing in the last ten articles. It should go without writing it, but we will, nevertheless more needs to be written as there is no good place to stop. Nevertheless, we will conclude this series of articles with number eleven.
There are those who “believe” that they can have faith without “the faith.” However, our personal faith is limited to our knowledge of “the faith.” As Paul wrote: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is interesting that the Greek word translated “hearing” is the same as the word translated “report” in verse sixteen. Therefore, we are free to write that the “hearing” is the thing heard; it is a noun not a verb. Therefore, faith comes by the gospel. After all, where else would we expect to get our faith? It is easy to see that “from faith to faith” is always truth! Your faith can only be as good as “the faith” is in you! Draw two lines, one marked “the faith” and the other marked “your faith.” People would like to believe that their faith goes beyond “the faith,” but how can this be; as faith comes out of “the faith.” Some people think that their faith can run past their knowledge of the word of God, but it cannot be so! Remember, it “from faith unto faith.”
When it comes to testing your faith, it cannot be tested beyond “the faith” that is in you! Therefore, your faith is a test of how much “the faith” is in you! Keep in mind we do not believe in a “leap in the dark!” You really do not believe that faith “is a leap in the dark,” do you? Or do you hold that you can have a faith that is “a leap in the dark” but not other people? “Faith” is a funny thing when it really comes to what one believes! Some would say, that “it is better felt that told!” Is this what you really believe but you would not like to admit it?
Let us go to Abraham and his being willing to offer-up Isaiah. Abraham was willing to offer up Isaac, as he knew that God had promised that his son through Sarah would bless all nations! Therefore, if Abraham offers up Isaac, then God would have to bring him back to life, based on his promise! Abraham’s faith did not go beyond the word of God! Abraham was not working on a “leap into the dark” but walking according to the word of God!” In Abraham’s case it was the word of God, then, to Abraham’s faith! It was not “from faith to faith,” as “the faith” had not been delivered. But it is nevertheless, “from the word of God unto faith.” Some things do not change!
Noah built the ark by faith! But it was not “the faith” that Noah followed, as “the faith” had not been delivered, as that would have to wait until the New Testament was “delivered unto the saint” (Jude 3). Nevertheless, Noah walked by faith, as God had spoken to him! Noah’s faith was not a “leap into the dark!” Here is what is written in Hebrews: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Did you notice it? Noah being warned of God of things.” Noah, nevertheless, walked by faith, but it was not “the faith” as “the faith” would have to wait unto “the faith” had come.
In one respect Abraham did walk by faith, but it was not “the faith.” “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.” (Heb. 11:8). Did Abraham walk by a “leap in the dark?” No, he did not! He followed the word spoken to him by God and he by faith went into a land he did not know but God had spoken to him; therefore, Abraham “walked by faith” but not “the faith.” Are you willing to say that Abraham walked as a “leap in the dark? “God forbid!” Walking in the “dark,” is never walking where God had directed!
The writer of Hebrews wrote: “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Much like we, who stand by the grave of a loved one, may all die before the coming of the Lord, but we will “died in faith” for God has spoken. The words of Paul will go just here: “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,” and with those who died in faith; thus, the faithful!

Frank R. Williams

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