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Faith’s Purpose


NetChaplain
(@netchaplain)
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The goal of life is God’s love possessed, and the means by which it is received is “through faith” (Eph 2:8). Why does God desire only through faith for us to reach Him? Because “faith works by love” (Gal 5:6); and in my estimate, the stronger the faith in Him, the greater the manifestation of love to Him!

The “faith” referred to here is that of the Spirit’s “fruit” (Gal 5 “this is not of a man's self, nor have all men it (2Th 3:2); it is a gift of God, the operation of his power, and the work of his Spirit, whence he is styled the “Spirit of faith” (2Co 4:13); and which therefore must have a place among his fruits; and which lies and shows itself in believing in Christ for salvation, in embracing the doctrines of the Gospel, and making a profession of them, which is called “the profession of faith” (Heb 10:23); all which, when right, comes from the Spirit of God” (J Gill).

Those who choose to be in His love (e.g. Deu 30:19) are those who will be “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1Pe 1:5). Concerning mankind, faith is what establishes a knowing-hope of God’s love, and in that order (1Co 13:13). God’s saving love is given for mankind but possessed only by those who choose to receive it through faith. Thus is the cycle of faith, which knows (hopes) His love, and it’s His love which establishes (“works by”) faith:

“Faith has a concern in justification and salvation, not by way of causal influence, but as it is that grace which receives the righteousness of Christ, through which we are saved, and “kept by the power of God unto salvation” (Eph 2:8; 1Pe 1:5); yet not any sort of faith, but that which is operative, is attended with good works (faith always results in good works—NC); and which works itself by love to God, to Christ, to his people, ways, worship, truths, and ordinances. The Syriac version renders it, zrmgtmd "which is perfected by love" (1Jo 2:5); that is, is showed to be right, true, and genuine thereby” (J Gill).

The two means by which the Father used to reach mankind were His Son and His people Israel. Which answers to the Lord Jesus’ declaration, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mat 15:24). The rest among the world (Gentiles) are reached by His Apostles and disciples. It is my personal belief that this limitation of Christ’s appearance to mankind was to allow for the increased exercising of faith.

He could have appeared to the rest of the world but chose rather to allow for greater faith (this life being the only time using it). The lessor the proof, the greater the faith and the love! I think a good example is what Jesus revealed to Thomas, that “because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (Jn 20:29—concerning His resurrection and His Life).

Faith is what establishes union with God, and it is His Spirit who operates it in us—it being His “fruit” (work)!

 

 

"The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ." -MJS


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