- Published: 09 December 2010
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"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." A good substitute for the word substance is title deed. A deed of title is a legal document that guarantees right of ownership. We might use reality faith the evidence, the proof , the very REALITY of the things hoped for not yet seen. True spiritual faith guarantees the reality and the full realization of the thing promised and hoped for. Mere belief can do neither.
Many things have been promised by man and other men have believed those words of promise. Some things promised have become a reality, others have not. But in neither case could it be said they have had faith in the biblical sense of the word. They may have believed, they may have had confidence in the one making the promise, they may place great trust in both the thing promised and the one backing the promise, but that is not "FAITH". Living faith cannot spring from the dead words of dead flesh. Spiritual faith only comes by hearing the LIVING WORD of GOD, and TRUE FAITH can only come to the one to whom that word is intended.
Allow me to make a very important observation at this juncture in our study. Our faithfulness to the divinely given study principle of Right Division is always a vital necessity to a true spiritual understanding of biblical truth. And nowhere is this more crucial then right here in our study of faith. Because faith can only result from believing that Word of God given for our faith's obedience (Rom. 16:26). Oh, how important it is that we know what is TRUTH FOR TODAY - that truth of God intended for our hearing - truth that can produce a true Living Faith -truth spoken of God for our faith's obedience. No other truth of God can result in Faith for Today - only Truth for Today can produce FAITH FOR TODAY.
We must study every word of God which the Holy Spirit teaches , comparing spiritual things with spiritual words. It is imperative that we determine to what dispensation each faith-producing word belongs, and to whom it is intended.
WRONG DIVISION of God's Word is one of the devil's most devastating devices. He cannot erase God's words, so he simply beguiles men into taking unto themselves words intended only for those under another dispensation. Misdirecting and tricking spiritual children into embracing a vain hope that can never become reality for them because their belief has no substance. They only hold in their heart a worthless title deed.
Spiritual FAITH can only come by the Word of God, and substantive FAITH can only come to the one whom that word is directed.
"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..." (Heb. 11:7 ). Noah's faith secured for himself and those in his house the reality of the promise contained in that Word of God given to him.
But can we just imagine the end result of any neighbor of Noah who might have overheard that Word of God spoken to Noah and believing those words was also moved to obey, even preparing an ark for himself and his family. Now I ask you - would his belief have saved him from the flood's destruction? Would God have reckoned such belief as faith ? Might he find God's approval even though he took to himself the gospel message given for others?
Some would say such talk is silly. Perhaps so, but the sad truth is that most who account themselves Christians, are just this silly. Many are trying to secure for themselves a place in that Kingdom Age which God gave to the nation Israel. Some even entertain a hope to the New Jerusalem and its streets of gold.
Multitudes more live in hope of what is called the "rapture", but this empty hope is again resting on words intended for another people in another day. Such belief as this cannot be accounted as faith . There is not a man on earth today who holds a valid title-deed to the hope expressed in I Cor. 15:51,52 and I Thess. 4:13-17- the last such man passed off the scene some 1,900 years ago. Some may be offered this hope in the future, but we cannot be sure.
And no less sad is the beguiled masses of God's children who mistakenly live in vain anticipation of going to Heaven when they die. The earth is man's home and also his future hope. Man is of the earth, man is earthy, man is maintained by the earth and at death he returns to earthy dust. And in that glorious hour of resurrection those of Adam's race having been identified with the Lord Jesus Christ will be made to live once again upon the NEW EARTH.
The only Word of God concerning men having a place in Heaven is recorded in Paul's post-Acts epistles, and that Word was given to generate TRUE FAITH in those in CHRIST, called to that ONE FAITH- of that ONE BODY. That number who would upon hearing the gospel of THE MYSTERY salvation believe it, therein securing a position in that CHURCH which CHRIST is HEAD, which is to be positioned in that heaven far above all.