The Source of Substance and Evidence
Following Adam and Eve’s denial of the need for God’s presence in their activities, mankind tries to put life together without the Garden of perfect Humanness. For thousands of years, pitiful self-sufficiency of the ‘fallen human nature’ moved God to appear in time, as a human, showing Himself as the sufficient rescuing Messiah.
Faith describes people assenting to and participating in God’s rescuing plan. From one end of the Scripture to the other, Faith trusts only God’s Word–Christ Jesus–as He relates to subjective Truth in His Creation–humanity.
Objectively, Faith stands for the sum of Truth, revealed by Christ Jesus, and subjectively, Spirit enlightenment of that Truth, to the soul of people. In rebirth people become the habitation of God’s Spirit–the Tabernacle in this new age of Grace, initiated by the death, resurrection, ascension of Christ Jesus and Pentecost.
The Church becomes the body of Christ, Spirit reborn, regenerated people–visible evidence of the invisible God. Jesus, Spirit-first-born in human history, pre-shadowed and typed in the Old Testament, became the initial visible Substance and Evidence of the Trusted Father God. The church shows forth the Glory of God’s Spirit to the ‘lost’ world.
Faith then, described in the Bible, combines (1) belief in God’s Word which Old Christian Death Testament Patriarchs trusted, (2) trusting God, believing Jesus’ New Testament Messiah-ship and (3) unwavering, professing trust in the truthfulness of God’s creative design for a satisfying human experience.
The Patriarch’s faith–trust in God’s ‘Word’ (revealed later as Christ Jesus)–counted as the right thing to do–Righteousness. For New Testament believers, trust that Jesus the Christ re-established God’s true relational plan, is the right thing to do–Righteousness. Conversion: remaining confidently steadfast working out soul Salvation together with God and with others (the Church–Father with family); the right thing to do –Righteousness, the fruit of Truth.
Conversion consists of two elements, repentance and Faith/Trust. Repentance is changing direction, changing one’s mind to believing-Faith–willing trust to function in God’s creative plan–from trusting one’s self concepts. True Repentance and Faith can never exist apart; inseparably bond together–God’s Grace for relational living.
Only Grace enables people to call on God to realign them to receive repentance and Faith. God converting the soul to Spirit wholeness is inversely the soul freed from the sin-sensual gland-driven-soul. Mind, will, emotion, and spirit unite as soul.
Conversion is the soul’s transformation to Spirit responsiveness from controlling instinct sensual body demands. People neither make nor save them-selves, God does both in Christ Jesus.
As with Jesus Faith/Trust is evidenced in perseverance, humility, and earnestness. The place of Faith in life departs from creedal indifference to that which actively manifests as a blessing to others. While Hope is futuristic–desire combined with expectation–Faith involves forgiveness of the past, involvement in the present, and certainty of the future. Faith, as a noun, is the total Scriptural sum of Christian doctrine and experience.
Intellectually, belief comes from combining what is seen in nature and by ‘hearing’ the Word of God; the Gospel, heard as real living, ignites belief. God’s invited indwelling Spirit awakens the assenting, voicing, and singing praises honoring God for release from personal sin-guilt prisons, to true Joy and Peace relational experience.
Freedom from the mental control of sensually driven fallen-nature begins. Refocusing with wholehearted willingness, the new Spirit Life culminates in an abundant desire to delightfully pursuing restoration of responsible humanness: Spirit Nature of ‘Our Father in Heaven’.
Repentance/Faith sources as a gift from God, only accessed through Christ Jesus. It begins with the mind and inner heart (will and emotions) ‘hearing’ God’s Word. Then proceeds to prayer, representing humble recognition and desire to trust Spirit Comfort; life beyond sensual body comforting.
As in any strength building, so Spirit-maturity progresses by prayerfully exercising the Life-gift that is within. Quiet confidence in human relations–belief and behavior converge–in the Body of Christ, the Church and is described as Spirit strength.