Jul 23

DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT MEAN THE SAME THING TODAY— – AS IT DID IN THE FIRST CENTURY? (4)

Is the New Testament true or is it an ever-changing book? This is an important question to all who believe the New Testament and who live their lives according to it. What if you are one of those who believe that it is true from beginning to the end, from Matthew to the end Revelation, just what are we to do? What about it, are you one of those who believes that the New Testament is the inspired word of God? These questions need an answer!
Let us start answering these questions by going to the words of Jesus. He said to those Jews who believed in him: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). First, Jesus starts with those who “believed on him” and this is a most important point. Jesus is not addressing the Jews who did not believe on him; Jesus was not telling them that they would know the truth, which would make them free.
Second, this is before the revelation of “the truth” was made known to the twelve disciples on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). At that time, Jesus made known by the Holy Spirit, “the truth,” that would have the power to make those who believed on him free. He did so by the preaching of the twelve. At that time, they, those who believed, had the opportunity to obey it and be free from their sins! How beautiful are the words of Peter as recorded by Luke; Luke wrote of these who did believe on Jesus: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Truly they were searching, and they were ready to hear the words that would make them free! Luke continued to write: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” How soul/spirit striking are the words of the apostles!
Third, those who did believe were allowed to hear and obey the inspired words; as Luke wrote of it: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (verse 41). What did they now do? Luke will answer this: “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (verse 42). They were now free from sin, and they worshiped God!
Now, Jesus having told the lost Jews who did believe on him and they having received and obeyed the truth, which Jesus had said they would “know;” salvation belonged to them! However, we have the question before us, is that truth which these who heard and obeyed the truth on the day of Pentecost, which is over two thousand years old still truth today? They heard the apostles preach it and we read it! Is it still truth, or has it changed over the years? Can we today preach what the apostles preached and get the same salvation? If not, just what can we preach to the lost?
But this is not all we have before us. Jesus said to the men who would be apostles, that they would receive the truth. Here is what Jesus said to them: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7). Did Jesus tell them the truth, or not? Who would dare say, “no!” Who would stand against Jesus? Who would say, that the apostles did not receive the Holy Spirit, who in turn gave them the “truth,” which “truth” they preached on that day of Pentecost; which truth those on the day of Pentecost heard and obeyed it; would jump to their feet and it was truth then, but is it not truth today?
At some point, those who say that the New Testament was truth, but it has changed; owe us an answer. If it was truth but it is no longer truth; just what is the truth?? If the New Testament is no longer the truth, what part of it is not true today. Who has the wisdom to know what is true and what is not true? I have no such wisdom; therefore, just like you, I need for those who think they have such wisdom to stand up and speak? But they had better prove to the rest of us, that they now have the Holy Spirit, for there is no other kind of person who would have the power to reveal the “modern day truth?”

Frank R. Williams

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Jul 17

DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT MEAN THE SAME THING TODAY— – AS IT DID WHEN WRITTEN? (3)

In our quest to understand the New Testament, we have come face to face with the thought, the teaching, the New Testament does not mean the same thing today as it did in the first century. We have posed the question: If the Faith of the first century, does not mean today what it meant then; just what does it mean today?
With the above question before us, let us call attention to Jude three, first, notice it was Jude’s desire to write of the “common salvation,” but was more needful, therefore, he had to write of something else. Something was more in need at the time Jude wrote than the “common salvation.” So, what was more needful at the time Jude wrote, than the “common salvation; it was also more needful” Jude answers our question in these words, it was needful that Jude “exhort” them that they “contend for the faith!” Two words express the greater need than the “common salvation.” This naturally brings us to the second question: What was more needful than the “common salvation?” It was that they “should earnestly contend for the faith!”
This brings us to the question under which we write: “Does the faith mean the same thing today that it did in the first century?” If not, and some are teaching that it does not, just why did Jude by the Holy Spirit write such? And, how would we teach on this verse today; seeing that it has no meaning at all? Nevertheless, Jude did write the words, that was a greater need that he write, on the “common salvation” but it was necessary that he “exhort” that they should “contend” for the faith! The word “contend” is the Greek “epagonizomai” and means “to struggle for: – earnestly contend for.” (Strong). They were to take to the heart these words!
Now, this naturally brings to the next words from the pen of Jude; as he wrote: for what they were to “earnestly contend” for. He used the following word “for the faith.” What brought “the faith” to the forefront? It was “once delivered.” The word “once” is most interesting. It is the same Greek word as the Hebrew writer used in referring to the death of Jesus. The words are: “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” The word “once” here is the same as in Jude three. It is the Greek “hapax”, and it means “one (or a single) time.” It is once for all time! Jesus died once for all time never to die a second time. This is the point of Jude, when he used the Greek “hapax” in the context of “the faith:” as it was once for all time delivered unto the saint!
If the words of the New Testament were to change in meaning during the next generation; it would appear that it is a total waste of time and effort, to “contend” as “the faith” would change and mean something different during their lifetime!
Now we turn our attention to another text which put the words “the New Testament does not mean today what it did in the first century,” on the run! Text comes from Romans, where Paul wrote: “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17). If the meaning of the words are continually changing from one generation to the next, we have only a short time to “catch” those who are so identified in Paul’s words; “cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine.” Did it jump out at you, “what would be “offences contrary to the doctrine;” if it is continually changing!
If the teaching that the New Testament does not mean now, what it meant in the first half of the first century; just what does it mean? How would we know if it has changed. Who is to tell us that a change has taken place? Where did they get their authority? It must be that some man did it, but where did he get his authority!

Frank R. Williams

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Jul 03

DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT MEAN THE SAME THING TODAY— – AS IT DID WHEN WRITTEN? (2)

If the New Testament does not mean what it did when first delivered, then it means nothing at all! It was important in the first century delivery to the lost and clearly seen in Paul’s words to the Galatian “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal.1:6-7). Why was such rebuking language used if it was only going the change in a few years?
Truly the words of Paul could not be spoken at any time from the year Paul wrote them, as each generation would have to settle what it means to them! Then, why all the written warnings found in the New Testament, given only them in the first century? Here the words of John: “And if man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22”10). It is a total waste of time and effort to read and study any of the New Testament, if the truth stated by the inspired writers of the New Testament was only good for those in the first century group of Christians. Just “take away” as you please, as the words are not for you, as they were written for the first Christians! The first century Christians were given warnings which apply only to them and not to any person living today. You know, we could make the New Testament a lot smaller by removing all that does not mean anything to us today but only to them! They received warning after warning, but these mean nothing to us today! We just think it away.
Let us take a few words found in the New Testament and see what they mean today if anything at all! We have some “good” examples to look at. The denominations can help us here, as they have done for us what would be totally acceptable per-this new movement among us. Look at the word “baptism,” the meaning of which has been changed, first by the Roman Catholic Church “baptism”. We have debated this subject for years, only to learn today, that it was a total waste of time and effort to those living today. The Catholic Church told us long ago, that the word means pouring or sprinkling. Other denominations have followed their action. Not all denominations believed this, take the Baptist, which also debated other denominations on this subject. Correctly pointing out, that the Greek word translated baptism did not mean sprinkling or pouring! Of course, that was then, and we are living today. This means, that their debates were a total waste of time and effort, as they were removed from the first century. You are begining to get the idea by now!
Now, look at the Lord’s Supper and when it should be taken. Does the New Testament address the subject of when it should be taken? Yes, but only if you desire to “speak where the New Testament speaks,” do you know any denominations that speak out about this subject? If yes or no, it matters little, as this only relates to the first Century! So, all those churches about us are right and we have been wrong, as if the New Testament does address the subject, of when the Lord’s Supper should be taken, it matters little to nothing, as we are not under those examples anyway!
You may be wondering why we pay any attention at all as to what the apostles wrote as the meaning has changed hundreds of times. So, with this view of things, that is that words in the New Testament do not mean what they did in the first century! At the same time, we need to give little to no attention, as to what the apostle wrote, as it surely cannot mean the same thing to us today!
The warnings are a waste of time, as we need not pay any attention to them as they were written in another time and to another people. It is, however, a false thinking and denominations will be the result! Take down the sign and put up whatever anyone may desires. After all, this is what the denominational churches have been telling us all along! Just look about yourself and see all the words used to identify those who worship there!
Are you one of them? Do you question the New Testament; do you revolt against those who say, “The New Testament means today the same thing it did when it was written and delivered in the first century?” If you do not like what the gospel meant in the First Centuy, then, don’t concern yourself, as it does not mean what it did then, anyway; and should you be able to live into the next generation, maybe they will change the meaning to fit you!

Frank R. William

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Jun 26

DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT MEAN THE SAME THING TODAY— – AS IT DID WHEN WRITTEN?

Through the years, fads come and go, without any real changes being made. In fact, if you live long enough, things just go in circles, as they come again. Take the subject of ties, they get wider, then back to being narrow once again and all in between. Have you looked at the color of skirts, as they get longer only to get shorter again? If you don’t like them today just wait a short time, and they will get back to what they once were. These changes do not mean much as the world goes on. But, there are some who believe that the New Testament changes meaning with every generation! Therefore, what a father may believe and teach as the “teaching of Christ,” it no longer teaches the same thing it did in the father’s generation. So, here is the question: “Does the New Testament mean the same thing today as it did when first preached and written?” This is a most important question.
It is hard to write on this subject without writing, if the New Testament does not mean today what it did in the time it was first delivered by the apostles; then just what does it mean? Then there is another question, “Who is to determine what it now means?” There are a few who might be able to answer this question: 1) The one who can only read with great difficulty but loves the truth; 2) It could be the man who reads very slowly but loves the truth; 3) It could be the man who sits in the pew and never says a word in class but knows the basics of what the New Testament means; 4) It could be the man who has studied the Bible all his life and understands the meaning; 5) It could be the college professor who has taught classes fifty years and loves the truth; and 6) It could be you, the child of God who loves the truth more than life itself?
Hear the words of Peter to the Jewish council and think of what they faced when preaching “the teaching of Christ; they answered: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). If “the teaching of Christ” was only good for one generation, then it was to change! It might have been good for them anyway! Why did the apostles say anything? The apostles would have answered, “No problem as it is only going to change what it means in a few years anyway! No, this is not what they said, is it? Then, here recall the words of Jude, who wrote: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, 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” (Jude 3). Do these words sound like there is no urgency in knowing what the teaching is, in that generation and the one to follow? No! A thousand times, no! The apostles where willing to die and they did; for “the teaching of Christ!”
If it, “the teaching of Christ,” was going to change in only a few years, why be concerned? Keep in mind, that one generation overlaps each other! This just may reveal the friction between each generation! Not only this, but keep in mind, not only does two generations overlap one end but it always overlaps the last generation. Seeing things in this light, reveals that we have nothing more than friction, at the beginning of each new generation and at the end of each generation. No peace at all! However, Jesus said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Which truth is Jesus addressing: the one at the beginning of each generation, or the one at the end of each generation; then, there is the middle generation? Yes, it is true, we always have three generations at the same time and each one is free to determine what truth is for themselves! This brings about “war” at all times, as no one can say what truth is for generation at the being; in the middle, and the one at the end.
James will answer our question, as he wrote: “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” We conclude this article with word of John: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Do these two verses mean the same thing today as when John wrote them by the Holy Spirit? Do we really believe that we now are authorized to “lusteth to envy” and to love this world?

Frank R. Williams

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Jun 18

OUR FAITH (4)

Our faith is a most interesting subject. Most of us, older people, were those who grew up in a home and a nation that believed in the existence of God. This is not the case now! There are families, starting with the parents, who do not believe in the existence of God. Therefore, we must admit that the world is changing for the worse!
Those of the older generation, first believed in the existence of God and the devil. Before going on, let us put what we believed and what we now believe, in the positive and negative. Just as we believe(d) in God, we also believe(d) in the devil. Second, we believe(d) that the Bible is the inerrant inspirited word of God, as opposed to it being just another book written by men. We believe(d) that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God, as opposed to him being just a good man like other good men. Before continuing our list of things, we believe(d) in, let us make the point, that Jesus cannot be a good man while lying to us in his own claim, that he was the only begotten Son of God. As he said to the troubled disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). Just as it is natural to believe in God, so it is natural to believe, that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God! Fourth, we believe(d) in heaven and the negative hell. One being more than we can even “dream,” while the other, hell, is far worse that the mind can comprehend. If people understood the torment of hell, they would instantly become a child of God, a Christian! What a thought, a world of believers, Christians! Fifth, once more noting the words of Jesus to his troubled disciples, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:2-3). What a thought! What comforting words to the troubled and misunderstanding disciples! Just think of it for a moment, as Jesus spoke to his very troubled disciples, he was going away but he would not forget his disciples, but he would prepare a place for them. That prepared place waits for all who became a child of God and who live faithful to him! Though Jesus was speaking to those disciples who would be his apostles, the just of the words are for us also! So, we believe(d) in heaven a place beyond our minds to fully comprehend; as we think of its beauty; while on the other hand, there is hell, which is more horrible that the mind can even think! Seventh, we believe(d) that the Christian life is the most blessed life one can live. At the same time, even though those outside of Christ may have more of this world’s goods, and let us say, even if we live in poverty, our life is more blessed than those who love his world and its goods. In moments of trouble and our heart breaks, we still have the promises of God, while those outside of Christ do not. All the good they have and will have are perishing and will totally perish. John wrote this: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15). What a difference between those who believe and those who do not believe! Let us now move to the end of the subject. Living within those who believe and those who do not believe; read the words of John once more: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). While on earth, those who believe are preparing their lives for that blessed day when we shall see Jesus as, he now is, and what we shall be like!
There in brief is the difference between a child of God, a Christian and those who do not believe! Even in poverty our hopes look up to the heavens knowing that one day, Jesus will come to receive his own! Paul wrote of our subject in these words: “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, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:14-17). With these words we close our subject of “Our faith.”
No, one more thought as Paul concluded this subject in these words: “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (verse18). It is hoped that the reader will benefit at least some!

Frank R. Williams

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Jun 12

OUR FAITH (3)

There is much to write about on the subject of “our faith,” that needs our attention. It would appear at first that if we are a “believer,” that the subject of faith ends; however, this is not the case at all. In what points do we agree! Do we believe that we live under the Old Testament or the New Testament? Most of those who claim to be Christians will say, “I never knew that was a question!” Replying with, “I believe we are under, as in subject to, the Bible!” Therefore, under the subject of “Our faith,” there is a major division!! Therefore, the subject of “our faith” is one that needs attention.
What are the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament? Let us just take the day of worship; under the Old Testament the day of worship is the Sabbath, or the seventh day of the week. However, under the New Testament, the day of worship is the first day of the week. The day of worship changed from the sabbath, which is the seventh day of the week, to the first day of the week. This can be seen, as the saved of Christ (Acts 2: 41-42), worshipped for the first time. It was the first day of the week and not the seventh day! This is a major change as the New Testament became the authority, the authority of Christ, became the law under which the saved would worship! Therefore, before we even get started, our subject of the saved in the New Testament, we see that we have a major disagreement. So, “our faith,” is a subject that much be addressed.
In the subject, “Our Faith,” we are addressing all who announce to the world, I am a saved person, I am a person of faith. Yet, even as we start the subject, we have found a major disagreement which must have our attention. This naturally brings us to the simple question: “How can our faith ever agree, when we cannot agree on the day of the assembly of worship? We must, as in all cases, allow the Bible to speak for itself. You see, faith, as in “Our Faith,” must start and end with the Bible. The Bible itself moves us to the New Testament and not the Old Testament authority. If you really believe in the Bible, you must accept the New Testament as our authority. There is no real way to bring people together, if there is no agreement in “our faith, in our authority; thus, “our faith” must rest in the New Testament. The blood of Christ stands between the Old and the New Testament and must not be removed. It is true, that the blood of Christ runs both backwards and forwards, as it relates to sin; but it does not run within the Old Testament laws of worship! Now, seeing the first major difference between some, those who claim to believe in the authority of Christ, and others who make the same claim to hold to New Testament authority.
The point as it all stands in “our faith” is that our faith must start and end with the word of God. We must not take one step outside of what the Bible teaches. As “old fasten” as it may sound, it all comes down to the authority of Christ. Not only must “our faith” be limited to the New Testament as it relates to authority but the whole of “our faith” either stands upon the New Testament – the authority of Christ – or not and this is an excessively big “not!” So, where did you get your faith? It must stand with the Bible; it must walk in the steps of the New Testament. It must stand with Moses or with Jesus Christ; here I speak of both feet as one foot cannot stand in truth and the other stand in Moses! It is Moses or Christ and cannot be in both as it relates to authority for today.
“Our faith” must start and end with the Bible. The truths that are revealed in the Old Testament, such as creation, is a truth, both in the New Testament and in the Old Testament. Jesus referred to creation to answer a point of faith in Matthew nineteen, as when he said, “have you not read,” and then, he goes to creation.
So many people get mixed up on this subject. How can we take part of what the Old Testament has, that is truth today and what is not? We are not talking about the “truths” of the Old Testament but authority! We must believe both! But where is our authority for worship, is it in the Old or the New Testament? It is in the New Testament, and here “our faith” must stand.
It is not as hard as some people appear to think! There is a difference between authority, as things we believe and what we must do! “Our faith” must start with Genesis one and end in Revelation. To believe the Bible means, we must believe both the Old and the New Testaments; thus, “our faith,” must stand with our “feet” in the truths of the Old Testament, while what we do, we do by the authority of the Christ which is in the New Testament!

Frank R. Williams

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Jun 04

OUR FAITH (2)

If there is agreement on any Bible subject, it Is that faith is necessary to be saved. Some believe in “faith only;” as all a person must do to be saved is just believe. Some believe that “repentance” comes before faith, which is strange doctrine, as why would a person repent, if he did not believe. There is a passage which reads: “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). We have often pointed out that context must be understood if the passage is to be understood and this is one such text. Who was Jesus addressing? He was addressing the Jews before his death. They were sinners and needed to repent of their sins so they could be ready for the gospel. This was before Pentecost, which is covered in Acts chapter two. Jesus was trying to prepare their hearts for the gospel which would come later, but without repentance they would not be ready for it. All things must be read in the context in which it appears! We are believing unto Abraham’s bosom.
Faith is a most comforting thing! Just think for a moment. When we stand as the body of a loved one who is being put into the ground; if there is no faith on our part, then, we are standing at the end! I mean the end as there is nothing else for that loved one, we are putting into the ground, our faith stands before all else! A life lived without faith in the word of God is a most miserable life. First, we must believe in God; then, we must believe the Bible is the inspired word of God; then, we must believe the gospel; and we believe that our spiritual life rests in “the teaching of Christ” (2 John 9). This believing brings us to Christ who is our salvation!
For, Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” (Rom.1:16-17) We will not write anything on this text, as we have written eleven articles on it. However, it does show that believing is necessary to our salvation. The gospel and salvation go together, just as faith and salvation go together. Believing is required, as it leads us to repentance, which leads us to confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Our confession takes us to baptism which is where we come to salvation. Now, it is understood that some do not believe that baptism is necessary to salvation; however, Peter wrote: “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, …” (1 Pet. 3:21). It is in baptism that we put on Christ, as Paul wrote: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal.l 3:27). It is here that we learn that we are all one in Christ; for Paul continues to write: “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
In all of this, we have learned the place of “our faith” in our salvation! At the same time, we have learned that it is never faith only, but faith runs all through our salvation there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Anytime we stop believing the gospel we have lost our salvation! By removing our faith, we have put something else in its place, but there is no salvation without faith in the gospel of Christ! Thus, we have seen how faith leads us unto salvation.

Frank R. Williams

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May 28

OUR FAITH (1)

Having written several articles on “From faith to faith,” it seemed only right that I write an article or two on our personal faith. Let us realize that no two people will have the same, identical faith; meaning that no two people have the same amount of the word of God living in them; thus, no two people believe the same thing in the largest context of faith. Even if we all sit under the same teacher, we would not all learn the same amount of what was being taught. However, that being said, there are things we all must believe and here, we all believe the same things, the more knowledge, the more faith!
With the above in mind, let us turn our attention to a most beautiful text, which reads: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report” (11:1-2). The number of articles written and the volume of sermons that have been preached on this text could fill a library. For me to think that I can cover it in one article is most presumptuous of me, to think that I can do so in one article; therefore, expect more than one article.
Chapter eleven starts with the word “now,” as in continuing in faith and reveals what “faith” is as used in the inspired scripture is now seen; therefore, it is the “substance.” Faith is built upon what we have not seen but is nevertheless, the substance, the Greek “hupostasis” and “a setting under (support)” (Strong) of our faith. Thus, “faith” in one sense is the foundation upon which other things are built that relate to our salvation. It is remarkable how some people look at faith, but these are far from the faith as revealed in the Bible.
Now, to the text we shall go! First question: “Have you ever wondered just what the “now” means in this text? More than likely your answer is, “no!” But this is the stuff that articles and sermons are made of. The Greek word is “de” or “deh,” which is “A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.: – also, and, but, moreover, now [often unexpressed in English].” (Strong). Here it is not looked over but is in the text, and identities a continuation of the thought at the end of chapter ten, which reads: “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Chapter ten ends with believing and not drawing back unto perdition. Therefore, chapter eleven reveals what faith is and what it does in us. Of course, the most well-known is verse six: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Thus, our salvation stands upon our faith, as in what we believe! There is no room for what is called “a leap in the dark” kind of faith which is no faith at all. Our writer clearly states that “faith is the substance of things hoped for” but “hope” describes something we do not now have; nevertheless, we firmly stand upon it! This reveals the importance of “faith,” as defined in scripture! It stands upon what we have not seen! Nevertheless, we believe in it! “Faith” is also “the evidence of things not seen.” The Greek word used here is “elegchos” and means “proof, conviction.” Does your life reveal enough that someone would convince another to take a look at why you believe as you do? It should! As “faith is the substance of things, hoped for!” Hope is something you do not have but you are patiently waiting for! If there is no “substance” there is no real faith, as it is only make believe! There are folks who even gladly boast that their faith is “a leap in the dark!” The inspired writers of the New Testament knew nothing of such! Just how do you justify your faith? Is it, “Better felt than told?” The writer of the Hebrew letter knew nothing, no not one thing, of such! Paul did write that some had removed themselves from the gospel of Christ unto something else, but it was never the gospel of Christ in the first or even in the second place!
Yes, we will write at least one more article under the above title. Of course, you knew this at the beginning, “Yes!” Faith is truly a great subject and yet is so greatly miss-understood! Remember, without faith, there is no pleasing, no acceptability, with God! Do you believe, have faith, that God is? What is your evidence? Is your faith so evidenced that you can convince another that God exists?

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/our-faith-1/

May 22

FROM FAITH UNTO FAITH (11)

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

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/from-faith-unto-faith-11/

May 15

FROM FAITH UNTO FAITH (10)

Is it “faith” as in “the faith” or is it “faith” as in my “faith?” This is the question of the day! As in the other nine articles, we will continue to deal with this question in Galatians the third chapter. “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law” (Gal. 3:21). It is only natural if you are a Hebrew in the first century and have been living under and faithful to “the law of Moses” as it is addressed in the question by Paul, a Hebrew!
The answer to Paul’s question: “is the law of Moses,” “against the promises of God?” God is never against himself in what he says or what he had others to write! There are some, who try to justify their man-made teaching, who put “the teaching of Christ,” equal to saying “God’s teaching is against itself!” (2 John 9). We do our absolute best never to do such! So clearly has Paul stated, that the law of Moses is never, no, not in even one point against “the teaching of Christ!”
Now, let us move to the next verse in Galatians chapter three: “if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” (verse 21). We already know that “righteousness” comes from “the gospel of Christ;” here is what Paul wrote on this subject: “the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth … For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith” (Rom.1:16-17). Therefore, the law of Moses was totally unable to bring righteousness, salvation! Once this truth is learned, it needs never to be brought up again! Remembering that truth never contradicts itself! Therefore, moving on with our subject: From faith to (unto) faith!”
Now, here is the second most natural question: “Wherefore then serveth the law?” Gal. 3:19). So, how serveth the law?” Let Paul answer the second question: “It was added because of transgressions.” Here Paul continues: The third question now long would the old law continue, Paul answers: “till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” Remembering “the seed” is Christ Jesus! Paul now writes: “and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” Before continuing, allow me to make a point that is so often totally overlooked? Who are the “angels” who “ordained” the law of Moses? The Greek word for “angels” is “aggelos” and means, “messenger” (Strong). So, who are the “messengers?” The messengers” are the Old Testament profits! How else do the Hebrews and ourselves get the words of the Old Testament, wherein was “the promise?” Just for the fun of it, this question: “How do you know about the promise?” The law, as a “schoolmaster” gently took the hand of the Hebrew and put it in the “hand” of Jesus who is the “mediator” of verse 19. Moses no longer leads but Jesus Christ does!
Here is verse twenty-one: “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Just here, let us answer another question dealing with the word “faith” (pistis).” What “faith” does Paul have in mind here as he uses the Greek “pistis?” Is it our faith, or is it “the faith?” We can say that there is no definite article before the word “faith.” This by itself does not remove our question, that Paul is not writing about “the faith,” the context is the final word on the meaning of how a word is used. Read the text once more: “the faith of Jesus Christ” is not his personal faith but that which he delivered, “the teaching of Christ.” Read the next verse just here: “But before faith came,” the “faith” that Paul is writing of, is one that “came;” once it was not but now it is here! Put on your “deep thinking cap,” as Paul writes: “That the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” Here we have “the faith” that “came” put with “believing; thus, from the body of “the faith” to our believing. Therefore, it is as we conclude the article, “from the faith unto faith – believing!”
“But before faith came” (verse 23). Now “the faith” has “came” and is what we live under today, as they did to whom Paul is writing directly. Keep in mind, that Paul is continuing his thought of verse twenty-two, “that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” It is “from faith to (unto) faith!” “But before (the, frw) faith came.”
More is coming in the next article!

Frank R. Williams

Permanent link to this article: https://okcsbs.com/from-faith-unto-faith-10/

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