We start this module with this verse:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (Emphasis added).
We know the spirit of a person is the will of that person as a carnal creature. Therefore, a person is the servant (i.e., server) of their actions. Consequently, a person's actions determine whose servant they are. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. Romans 6:16-19. (We know the “form of doctrine” is do God’s will. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. John 7:16-17.).
We also know, we are saved through faith and live by the faith. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8. Even so, we know faith for salvation and the obedient life in this world as the saved, cannot manifest without works, i.e., “walking’ in faith. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 2 Corinthians 5:7. Therefore, faith without the actions that are reliant upon it, is also dead. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:17. In short, we show our faith by our works (i.e., by our conduct). Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:20.
Based on what we know about the body, soul, and spirit (with each of us having all three), we come to know that if our body lacks a will (spirit) the body is dead, and yet the soul is eternal. Similarly, faith without the associated works to show we are relying on it, is dead also. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. James 2:26. But what is the source of the faith by which someone may have a life in Christ? The answer is obvious, it is His faith–the faith OF Christ. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (Emphasis added). For completeness, "...Christ liveth in me" means the Word liveth in me. "[T]he life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God", means the works, actions, and conduct of the lifestyle I now live (i.e., doing the will of God) is by the faith of Jesus the Christ as we live in Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12.
Accordingly, when we consider “works” needed for supporting faith, the Word reveals two different kinds of works for faith, and thus two kinds of faith! For example, I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Revelation 2:19 (Emphasis added). The first use of “thy works” in Revelation 2:19 reemphasizes the “first works” which are incumbent on all souls who would be saved. The “first works” are earlier than any later works referenced as “thy works” in the second instance of “works” as used in the context of the “last to be more than the first.”
Recall, the “first works” include, but are not limited to, the acts of confession and repentance. They are the amendments of lifestyle we make as we grow in Him. The “last works” are the type of works Jesus did Himself, and they are “greater” than the “first works”. (See, John 14:12 above). In short, the first works originate in us as the source thereof and of our own accord, whereby we desire the will of God in our spirit/will of man and prove it with our actions by receiving the Word thereby pleasing God. Thus, the later works originate in Him (Jesus the Christ) in whom we now live as part of His body and do the will of God by the quickening of the Holy Ghost the same way Jesus did. Thus, the latter works we do are according to the Father’s will by the Holy Ghost, not our own and not of ourselves as we enjoy our life in Christ as part of His body-the church.
Just as there are two different kinds of works, there are indeed two distinct kinds of faith that are associated with them. Both kinds of faith are of man and consistently associated with the “measure of faith” given to every person. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3 (Emphasis added). At the outset, we are all equipped the same way. Our measure of faith has a corresponding set of works, actions, and conduct that proves who we are. As determined by their actions (works), are they "of the world" having a spirit (will) to live according to the will of their flesh, as we all are or once were, as a first kind of person, or are they "of Christ" having a born again (rebirthed) spirit (will) setting aside the will of their flesh choosing to live as Christ does according to the will of God and as Jesus did as a second kind of person. Jesus was a person and the beginning of a “second” type of mankind as explained previously. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:47.
Of course, the corresponding actions (works) supporting the measure of faith in each earthly person (i.e., the first type of person) can be in whatever the person loves most by application of their efforts from the love of their heart. But note, the corresponding actions (works) supporting the measure of faith OF Jesus the Christ, are the works of God in satisfaction of His will and His perfect love! Is there any wonder why the god of this world–the devil, tries to make the world seem so attractive to our flesh? As a result, some people love the world and its ways, have faith in it, and concentrate their efforts on works promoting the ways of the world and gain for themselves. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:5-6.
Still, if both kinds of faith are of the measure of faith, how do we know the difference? Easy! Again, the first works and first kind of faith originate in and of our own spirit/will in each of us, and the second originates IN HIM—in whom we live by the Word for all mankind (the very spirit/will of Jesus the Christ) witnessed by the Holy Ghost as the spirit of truth and accede to doing to the will of the Father personally and individually as sons and daughters of His. (For our purpose here in the context of this course, there is no need to discuss a measure of faith used for anything other than faith in Christ Jesus.)
By way of proof, when the disciples of Jesus asked Him to give them more faith, Jesus suggested they had no faith. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:5-6 (Emphasis added). What faith was Jesus referring to if the Word says each man is given a measure of faith, and His own spirit/will is the Word? Answer: HIS FAITH–the faith OF Christ Jesus! The disciples did not have His faith, because they did not have the Holy Ghost dwelling in them as Jesus did. 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. Recall, the Holy Ghost was not yet given to man because Jesus was not yet glorified! See, John 7:39. Moreover, His measure of faith knows the surety of the Word in Him because the Word is God. The Word is witnessed by the Holy Ghost also dwelling in Him, enabling Jesus to please the Father with actions corresponding to His will. This is the exact model for us, and how we live when we have a life in Christ. For completeness, when our measure of faith is placed in Him-the Word, the Holy Ghost bears witness to the truth of the Word in us, and our resulting actions are by the quickening of the Holy Ghost proving His faith as we do the will of God personally as the last works proving we have a life in Christ!
Consequently, HIS faith for us as being alive in Him could only happen AFTER His glorification according to the in-filling of the Holy Ghost which is now available for all who would be His disciples today. We who are the “saved” living in Him by the Holy Ghost, i.e., having a life in Christ, are the ambassadors of Christ and the Father’s chosen. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20.
Thus, if Romans 12:3 and Luke 17:5-6 cannot be conflicting, how do we reconcile those verses based on what we know? Our faith in Him is evidenced by our “first works” of faith in the Word, including the actions (works) of repentance and an amendment of life to support that faith in Him-the Word as-is and not changed. Can we all now "see" why it is never a good idea to change the Word for any reason. Through our first works of repentance proving our faith in Him-the Word, we desire to serve God according to His will from our penitent heart. We then receive the Holy Ghost and accede to the faith of Christ–HIS faith to get the later works done. Those later works are done by us personally and individually as God uses each of us as He desires, not necessarily as we would prefer. When we live in Him by the Holy Ghost, Christ's measure of faith grows more familiar to us as we grow in Him, and we demonstrate sacrificial love for the brethren more and more just as He (Jesus) did.
Here again, the “two kinds” of faith are best understood by the sources thereof. The first kind of faith associated with the measure of faith given to every man (person) in the flesh as the first type of man is temporal, as mankind is temporal. The second kind of faith associated with the measure of faith of the “second” type of man “born of the Spirit” by the Holy Ghost is eternal, as the children of God are eternal. Both are still a measure of faith in mankind. We know, Jesus was and is, the start of the “second” type of man from birth, and He is the sole source of the “second” faith HE spoke of in Luke 17:5-6 as explained previously. Thus, the second kind of faith is the measure of faith in Jesus alone as the “second” type of man, i.e., born of the Spirit. When we become "born of the Spirit", we are alive in Christ and accede to His measure of Faith that proves the truth of the Word and God the Father's will for eternal life, including the pathway to it, i.e., by the faith of Christ.
We accede to His measure of faith when we become alive in Him as a second type of man through a rebirth in the Spirirt, i.e., becoming “born again” of the Spirit” according to the Word and the quickening of the Holy Ghost according to the Father’s will thereby enabling us to do the things the Father wants us to do personally and individually. Consequently, the Father is the earthly father of the second man literally, because we are now of His bloodline through the faith of Christ! As “born again” of the Spirit, the faith of our “old man” passes away and is not the same as the faith of our “new man”. This is so, because ALL things become new, and yet we still have a measure of faith as required to maintain the truth of the Word! Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
For clarity, when the Father created the universe and everything in it, He spoke His words in faith, but not man’s faith which has no power but for man himself. With God being the almighty, whatsoever God said to happen then happened as a result of the God kind of faith—via the power of the Holy Ghost-the Spirit of truth bearing witness to the certainty of His Word, albeit of creation at the time. Accordingly, the Word in Jesus is the Father’s proclamation of faith, and when we live it in action, we receive the blessing associated with it starting with eternal life. Thus, our first works are the works associated with proving our faith IN the Word. The Holy Ghost bears witness with the Word in us, and we are able to prove the faith of His word-Jesus the Christ making the circle complete. Life in Christ matters!
For an even better understanding, we know faith works by love. “…but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6 (Emphasis added). Man’s love is not of the Spirit, because man is not naturally of the Spirit (of God) as explained previously. God’s brand of love IS the Spirit of God as God is love, and the Word is the love of God for all mankind, saved and unsaved. Those who receive the love of God do so by the Word first, because the spirit of the Word is the Father’s will as pure love, since God is love and the Word is God. This is the “first love” discussed previously. We who live by the Word prove our faith by our actions and show our love for the Word/Him as our first love by our penitent heart that glorifies Him and what He did for us!
When we receive the Holy Ghost seeking to do the fathers will personally and individually between us and Him, we are sealed (sanctified) by the Holy Ghost dwelling in us, and we have His (Jesus's) measure of faith–the faith of Christ, as we live in Him–His body as the many members thereof. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Romans 12:4-5; and For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. But now are they many members, yet but one body. 1 Corinthians 12:20.
Accordingly, the Bible says Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (Emphasis added). When the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16), our own measure of faith in Christ as the Word (God) makes Him the author of our faith. As we live in Him in this world, walking in the Spirit, Jesus is also the finisher of our faith as we receive the power of the faith OF Christ-His measure of faith to do the Father's works personally and individually on top of (in addition to) the Father's will stated in the Word for all!
As the finisher of our faith, we who live in Him get His faith to do His works as the “last (greater) works”, otherwise, we could not do them at all. Furthermore, he would have never said we would do His works if we could not. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12. Stated another way, the works we do to support our own measure of faith are considered as having been “maxed out” by our faith in Him-in the Word. Our faith then becomes as His, according to the Father’s will as we live in the Spirit by the Holy Ghost. This is precisely why the disciples thought to ask for “more faith”, and why Jesus could rightfully suggest they had no faith. (See, Luke 17:5-6 above.)
As the Holy Ghost power of the Father bears witness to the pure Word in us, our new spirit/will of man becomes the purveyor of the Word as the will of God. We become the ambassadors of Christ and the testimony of the Father–thereby making us the servants of God to spread the Word as Jesus did. As we spread the Word, among other things possible, we then do His quality works as our later works (“last works”) which are greater than the first as mentioned previously (Revelation 2:19). We live doing the will of the Father by the faith of Christ. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (Emphasis added).
For the sake of completeness, as part of His doctrine to do the will of God, Jesus also said to have faith in God. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. Mark 8:1. By definition, the faith of Jesus IS the faith that is in God literally. He has the God kind of faith because He (the Word) is God. Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:12. Therefore, belief and obedience in what He says as the Word gives us the right and authority to do His works by the power of the Holy Ghost-Spirit of truth in the certainty of the Father's will. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:23-25 (Emphasis added). (No doubt we must conduct ourselves in accordance with the will of God, so that our “asks” are acted on by Him. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James 4:3.)
Thus, His will for all mankind is set forth in His Word-the beginning (alpha), and His will for each person as a child of His personally is set forth by the Holy Ghost-the glorious end (omega). I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8. This is how we come to know the Father as the alpha (beginning) and omega (end) of everything. Faith in God, therefore, means we have faith in the trinity of God–the Word, the HolyGhost and the Father for the unified purpose of carrying out the will of the Supreme God almighty personally and individually. The faith of the trinity is then perfected in us when we live in Him by the Holy Ghost. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. Hebrews 6:1-3.
In addition, “our use” of the faith of Christ is never at our own discretion as mentioned above, but always in the context of submission as His servant–a life in Christ as part of His body-the church, doing the works of Jesus (the head of the church) according to the will of the Father. As noted previously, many people will call Him their Lord and do many things in His name, but in the end He may say to them, “I never knew you.” Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:21-23. (See also James 4:3 above). AND, If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1 Timothy 6:3-7 (Emphasis added).
Accordingly, once the members of the body of Christ realize they have HIS FAITH, personally and individually, already in them by the Holy Ghost, nothing will be impossible to the brethren. If you don’t believe me, believe Paul:
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: Wherefore I desire that In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians Chapter 3 (Emphasis added).
If you don’t believe Paul, believe Jesus who is speaking to Paul:
...And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:15-18.
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