7 April 2010 (Revee/Shavu'ot)|
Day #23, 5934 AM
Are You Actually in the Faith?
I wonder what tests your average Christian or Messianic would apply to himself were he or she to be asked whether ot not he was in the faith. Every believer has some sort of standard by which he measures whether he is a Christian or not, whether he is a good Christian or not. Some might say the question is irrelevent, especially if he believes in the OSAS (Once Saved, Always Saved) doctrine. What does it even mean to be "in the faith"?
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves" (2 Cor 13:5a, NKJV).
The answer is partly to be found in what Paul went on to say:
Notice that Paul is here talking not about emunah or 'faith' but "the faith". He isn't asking you to check whether you have 'faith' or any old faith but the 'one and only faith'. What is that?
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Yah'shua the Messiah is in you? -- unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified" (2 Cor 13:5-6, NKJV).
True followers "keep (guard)...the faith of Yah'shua" but they also keep the commandments of the Father. In one other place in the same book these two elements are stressed as insepararable parts of the whole:
"Here is the patience of the saints (set-apart ones); here are those who keep (guard) the commandments of Elohim (God, Yahweh) and the faith of Yah'shua (Jesus)" (Rev.14:12, NKJV).
Keeping or guarding the faith of Yah'shua is here likened having the testimony of Yah'shua - of who He is and what He did for us. Again, the saints here are commandment-keepers because they don't just 'have faith' but keep the faith - "the faith" is defined by keeping or guarding the commandments.
"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of Elohim and have the testimony of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ)" (Rev 12:17, NKJV).
Now clearly obeying the commandments in your own strength is almost impossible. And though you may force yourself to do what is right, you will have the impossible battle of trying to deal with your carnal nature which wants to do the opposite. I went into this in great detail two days ago you may recall. So what do you do? In what condition must you be before you can qualify to be a true believer? What did Paul say was the main qualifier?
A true believer - one who is in the faith has Yah'shua the Messiah INside them! Pure and simple. How does he have that? By obeying the commandments of Yahweh the Father and trusting in the work of the Cross of Yah'shua - that is the testimony - not 'any old' testimony any more than 'any old' commandments. There is one set of commandments (Torah) and one testimony - the living, internal witness to the inner man as to what Yah'shua won for us at Calvary!
"Do you not know yourselves, that Yah'shua the Messiah is IN you?"
Comments from Readers
Act 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (S, Germany, 8 April 2010)
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have (2 Peter 1:5-12 ESV) (DR, USA, 9 April 2010).