Part 17



November 20, 2020



The body of Christ needs to come to grips with the truth concerning our dealing with unbelief.  Family, we all do.  We all fail in this way, depending on the circumstances.  Can we please start speaking to situations in stead of praying about them?


OK.  That’s just the preface for today’s discussion and time of sharing.


Let’s begin again with what Paul wrote to the Hebrews:


Hebrews 6:1-3:  “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.”


Continuing on with the theme, one of the foundational principles of the teachings (Dr. Wm. Gesenius refers to this as “the Divine Expression”) of the Lord Jesus Christ, we move on to the subject of faith towards God.


Before we get into too much depth, let me lay some foundations (pun intended) with a series of Scriptures.


Jesus made it abundantly clear that it is critical for us to have God’s faith if we are to truly see the dimension of the Spirit God expects us to walk in.


Perhaps one of the most quoted statements that Jesus made concerning faith appears in Mark 11:


Possess and hold continuously to God’s faith.  Surely, and very firmly, I declare to you, that whoever shall speak to and command this specific mountain [or obstacle raising itself up] before you to raise up, remove and be thrown into the sea, and shall not hesitate, draw back or attempt to discriminate [between what is thought to be acceptable and that which is not] in his heart, and shall believe (implicitly trusting God and giving full credit to) that his declarations shall come to pass, he shall have and receive exactly what he declares.”  (Mark 11:22-23, RAC Translation & Amplification)


Writing to the Hebrews, Paul says,“NOW the just shall live by faith, but if man shall draw back my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”(Hebrews 10:38 KJV)


Let me amplify and somewhat extrapolate from a previous verse in something Paul writes to the Romans to put it like this: For there in [the Gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”  (Romans 1:16-17, KJV & RAC Amplification)


Paul, of course, is quoting from the prophet, Habakkuk, who is directed by the Lord to “make the vision plain upon tables, that he may run (or pursue after the vision) that readeth it” because his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by faith.”


Habakkuk is describing the need for the vision being plainly written because Israel (for the most part) was not walking uprightly.  The Word of the Lord to Israel was that if they were going to be counted among the “just” or righteous in God’s sight, they absolutely had to shift from walking according to the Law to walking by faith.


Faith was not a part of Israel’s daily life.  The Law of Moses was not something that Israel followed by faith.  It was a dictum, a mandate to be obeyed whether they liked it, understood it, believed in its efficacy or not.


Throughout Israel’s life, however, there were the few who saw beyond the Law to the heart of the Lord God.  They saw a spiritual principle that transcended the Law.


Abraham, who was literally the father of Israel, had a relationship with God when there was no written or prescribed Law.  One of Abraham’s contemporaries was the Mesopotamian king, Hammurabi, who set forth a series of practical laws for human behavior.  The archaeological  artifact known as “The Stele of Hammurabi” detailed many laws in writing — some of which paralleled the statutes that Moses set forth for Israel to follow.


Because of “Code of Hammurabi” was fairly well known throughout the entire Mediterranean region, Abraham and his contemporaries were no doubt familiar with all or parts of it, but there was nothing in that code which incorporated any kind of relationship with God as the foundation for observance.


Everything that Abraham did in his responses to the Lord flew in the face of natural human understanding.  There was no rational thought to Abraham’s behavior.  Here’s how the apostle Paul describes Abraham’s behavior — both in writing to the Hebrews, and to the Romans:


Hebrews 11:8-10, 17-19, KJV:  “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.


“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”

Romans 4:14-18, KJV:  “For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,


“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”


Paul makes it abundantly clear that it is impossible to live by the Law and live by Faith at the same time.  One either lives by the Law, and is subject to all of the consequences of the Law for even the least infraction, or one can live by the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, and be totally delivered from the consequences of any infractions of the Law.


Now you understand why it is so critically important that the foundation of faith toward God be so much a part of our character and makeup.  We simply cannot live under the Law and live by faith at the same time.


There is a mandate of faith if we are to “go on beyond,” to the revelation that awaits, being made “partakers of the Holy Ghost” [that word, partakers, comes from the Greek word,  metochos, which means: sharer, associate, partner], eating of the fresh manna of revelation which comes by the rhema, as well as the miraculous realm of power associated with the ‘eternity of the eternities’.


It is utterly impossible to get there without the faith of God operational and functioning in its wholeness in us.  Thus this is a foundation stone in Jesus Christ without which no further building can be constructed in the realm of the Spirit.


Here’s where things get really interesting!  In order for the Faith of God to become a functioning part of our existence, it requires the Grace of God.  Grace and Faith work hand in hand, and neither one operates without the other.


Let’s take a minute to define Grace so that this becomes more clear.  The Greek word translated “grace” throughout the New Testament is the word, charis.  J.H. Thayer, in his Greek-English Lexicon, defines this word like this:


(1) The Divine influence of God

(2) The merciful kindness by which God strengthens and increases us in faith

(3) The proof of God’s Divine Power

(4) That which kindles the exercise of Christian virtues

NOTHING in these definitions allows us to conclude that grace is passive in any way!  Grace is a whole lot more than the kindness and mercy of God. It is the empowerment that enables the operation of faith in God, as well as faith towards God.


Consider how faith and grace are so intertwined in the Word:


Romans 4:16, KJV:  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.


Ephesians 2:5-8, KJV:  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Romans 11:5-6, KJV:  Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.


Galatians 3:22-26, AMP:  But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him]. 


Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed),  So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith.


But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood).  For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.


Galatians 5:5-6, KJV:  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availethany thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

And now we’ve added a third element to the working of grace and faith: love — agape!


Ephesians 3:17-19, AMP:  May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, 

That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; 

[That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!


Now you’re beginning to see what I’m referring to.  I don’t want to drag this out unnecessarily, but we often think of grace as a gift from God, and yet that’s not exactly accurate.  Grace is the empowerment so that faith can be given to us as the gift, which in turn enables us to hear and respond to the beckoning of Holy Spirit — both when we are drawn to the saving knowledge of Christ Jesus, AND as we respond to the rhema which spurs our continuing growth and development in the knowledge and character of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Whewww!!  That was a mouthful, I know, but let me go back to Ephesians 2:8 and re-amplify it for you from the Greek so that it becomes clearer.


“For it is through the direct empowerment (grace) and drawing of Holy Spirit that you are saved, healed, delivered, made whole, protected and made to prosper, through and by means of faith, and that faith doesn’t come because you willed it or made a decision in your mind (humon): it is the sacrificial gift — a present — of and from Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”  (RAC Translation & Amplification)


In case you think I’m mistranslating this, take a look at John 6:44-45:


“No man can come to me except Father, who has dispatched and sent me, draw him like a magnet: and I will raise on high and Glorify Father at the final end. 


“It has been written by the prophets, And they shall, everyone, be communicated to and instructed by God.  Every man, accordingly, that has heard and learned of Father comes to, and accompanies me.”  (RAC Translation & Amplification)


I don’t want to start splitting hairs or get into some doctrinal disagreements with everyone over this but except for the way that some English translations have dealt with Ephesians 2:8, both of the current Jewish Bibles (the CJB and the OJB) treat faith as the gift from God — NOT the grace.  Grace, once again, is the pure and un-earned favor of God.  It is the influencing factor, the empowerment that comes into our being which enables faith to hear and function so that we can respond to the Lord.


Faith toward God is elemental in the foundation-laying that takes place as we move from teknonto huios.  The phenomenal thing about this faith is that not only does it enable us to hear and respond to the Lord in the first place


Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.), it is also the divine, supernatural transporter mechanism which enables us to receive our healing, our deliverance, our safety and protection, our wholeness, our provision and resulting prosperity. (RAC Translation & Amplification)

Hebrew 11:6, KJV:  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”


We could take this subject a whole lot farther, but let’s wrap up today with the essence of how faith towards God actually operates.  Here’s how Paul, writing to the Romans, puts it:


Romans 10:8-10, NASB {with my amplification):  "But what does it say (in Deuteronomy 30:14)? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, because if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, [until he comes to the result of] righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses to [agreeing with God], [until he comes to ] the result of salvation.”


The other day, I made this offhand remark about the number of man being 6.


That, of course, is something we've known as Christians because it is interwoven throughout Scripture.  Numbers have always been significant in God's economy, and numbers have specific representation of various characteristics, power and authority within the framework of all that God has done, is doing, and will do.


Let me deviate momentarily from where today's discussion will ultimately go, and obviously have to finish up next week).


We know, for example, that the number of the Father in Scripture is 7.  The number of Jesus is 8.  The number of the Holy Spirit is 9.


Consider, then, David's prophecy in Psalm 8:4 - 6:"What is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him?  For thou has made him a little lower than (Elohiym) God, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet."


Even numerically, we see the accuracy of what David writes.  The number 6 is just below 7, or 8, or 9.  Anyway, let's don't get too sidetracked with all of that.  That is entirely another discussion.  Let's get back to the number 6, and its significance in man.


As an engineer and a past member of the scientific community, one of the facts known to science is that it takes various combinations of sixes for the human frame to retain or activate certain things.  Let me illustrate.


As an audio engineer, I proved out the theorem that it requires a person hearing something repeated six times in order to retain it permanently in memory.  Every multiple of 6 thereafter reinforces and imprints it in a person's subconscious and conscious memory.


This is a crazy place to leave our discussion today, but there’s a lot more to cover. 


See youNext Week!


In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, ourSunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific.  That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#.  We are now making these gatherings available on video usingZOOM.  If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513.  If you miss the live voice-onlycall, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later.  The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.


Blessings on you!






Regner A. Capener


Temple, Texas 76502


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