Feb 13

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It is understood that there is disagreement about the word “faith” and how it is used in the New Testament. A brief look at a few statements will help us see this. Having identified “the faith” as used by Jude when he wrote: “… it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Noticing the words “the faith,” is used here just as Paul did in Romans one and verse seventeen in the first part, “from faith,” is here, referring to “the faith,” which once for all time was delivered, as Jude wrote! When this is understood, it requires us to see the same thing in other passages!
It will in fact, change the way we should see a text. Before getting into another passage, let us notice a few things that we all need to understand. First, the words “objective,” and “subjective. Objective is never changeable, while the second one “subjective” is changeable and in fact, it must change, and we must be willing to change. The first being never changing while the other is ever subject to change, as we learn more of “the faith!” ‘This basically defines the word “subjective,” otherwise we would never grow, as growth means change. Here we have Paul’s “from faith to faith;” “the faith” is not subject to change, but it continues to produce “faith” in our hearts/minds which must change. That is unless you know all there is to know, but as Peter wrote: “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever.” (2 Pet. 3:18). If our faith never changes, then, it means we will never grow, and we stand opposed to Peter’s inspired words and this we must never do! In Peter’s words we have found how our ever-changeable faith must continue to grow by means of the never changeable words, here we have Paul’s “from faith to faith!”
Let us now look at another text, one of the favorite verses the denominational folks just love! It is used by the denominational people to teach “faith only,” it reads: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” However, neither this text nor any other teaches “faith only!” So, just what does it teach? First, the text then, the Greek word that needs our attention, The text is: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” The words that have our attention are “through faith.” The Greek word translated “through” is “dee-ah,” and Strong gives this: “A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act.” The channel is “the faith!” Now, notice this, our faith is not the channel by which God’s grace is reached but “the faith” is.
In this text you can see what difference this would make in the text and what Paul is teaching! One difference is that what I believe, my personal faith, is subject to change, whereas “the faith,” ‘the teaching of Christ,” (2 John 9) is not subject to change! Even what I hold to be truth, is subject to change and must be as I learn more of the inspired scripture; on the other hand, no matter how little I know of the scripture, the Bible is not subject to change; at same time, no matter how much I know of the Bible, scripture is still not subject to change. As I learn more and more of the Bible, the more I must make the necessary changes in what I believe, I must make the necessary changes in my personal faith!
Truth never changes! Take the words Jesus said: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). The words are clear, “if ye believe not,” then we will die in our sins! In another place Jesus said to the disheartened disciple: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). Though these words were spoken to the men who would be apostles of Christ, nevertheless, it is a universal truth, it was true then and it is true now! Jesus also said: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
Truth never changes but what we think is truth may change as we learn more and more as we go “from the faith” to our faith!

Frank R. Williams

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