Jul 08

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The reason for the question mark in the title is because of the misuse of the words. In other words, just what do these words really mean and to what do they relate? Let us recall the number of ways the word “faith” is sometimes used. People use the word “faith” in the following ways: 1) to refer to personal “faith,” as in I believe; 2) to refer to a written code of “faith,” at times which may appear at the front of the auditorium; 3) an unfounded “faith” subject to change at any moment, as it is not based on anything, other than what I believe at this moment in time; 4) it may be used to refer to and identified as “the faith once for all time delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3); and 5) it may refer to one’s personal faith, which came by “the faith once for all time delivered unto the saints!
Truly we can see the need to identify just what we mean when using the word “faith!” The text we looked at in the first article was 2 Corinthians, chapter five, and verse seven: “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:).”In the first article, we showed how that seeing, “sight” does not destroy “faith.” This is the right place to determine what the word “sight” means in this text. The Greek word is “eidos” and means: “1) the external or outward appearance, form figure, shape; 2) form, kind.”If we are to understand this word, we must get into our minds, that Paul is contrasting spiritual wisdom with the world in which we live; or worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom, never sees beyond the physical, “the here and now;” what is to be gained in this world in which we live. “Worldly wisdom” is seen in the attitude of the parable a “certain rich man;” Jesus said: “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:16 – 19). There is worldly wisdom, pure and simple! However, the man’s worldly wisdom, failing to understand there is something higher and this is spiritual wisdom. His ends as stated by Jesus: “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Verse 20). This rich man failed totally to understand the simple truth: “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6:7). It was at the end of the parable, that Jesus uttered these words: “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21). Worldly wisdom never makes one “rich toward God,” but spiritual wisdom does!
With the above in mind, it should be one of the easiest things to see, the rich man of Jesus’ parable was “walking by sight” and not by faith! Yes, it is true, he was walking by his personal faith, or belief system; but even here he failed, as he did not see even what life on this earth teaches; which is in harmony with the inspirited text: “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Tim. 6:7). His words express worldly wisdom: “And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19). This is “sight,” measured only by this world, “the external or outward appearance” of things! “Sight,” as used by Paul is addressed several times by Jesus; such as: 1) “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4); 2) “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matt. 6:19-20). How awesome are the following words of Jesus, as he concluded: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (verse 21).
It does not take much learning, but a willingness to “walk by faith,” to understand the difference between: 1) walking in the wisdom of this world and 2) walking by faith, which in reality is: walking by the revelation from God! But, before we jump to a false conclusion and have a wrong idea how Paul was using the words: “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:);” one, the rich man was living according to what he believed; thus, his personal faith. Two, it might be said of him, that he was living in harmony with the words of faith written in front of his place of worship. Third, he might have been living according to his own set of faith; as I believe it, therefore, it is so! And fourth, it is very clear, he was not living in harmony with the revelation of God; therefore, he was not “walking by faith” as Paul used the words!
This should help us understand Paul’s use of the words, “For we walk by faith, not by sight!” To “walk by faith” is to live in harmony with “the teaching of Christ!” It requires that one surrender his will to that of God: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16). There it is! Do we walk, live, in “obedience unto righteousness;” or do we live, walk, in harmony to the wisdom of this world: “sight?”

Frank R. Williams

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