Do you find all the definitions of faith being spouted from the culture and pulpits confusing?
Who do you believe and who is trustworthy?
Is faith a ‘leap in the dark?”
Or, is faith “blind?”
Biblical faith is none of those.
In this post, I’ll show you:
- What it means to Live by Faith
- What walking after the flesh means
- The true meaning of Hebrews 11:6
- How doing it God’s way reaps benefits
What It Means To “Live By Faith”
Romans 1:17 declares,
“The just shall live by faith.”
Hebrews 10:38 declares,
“The just shall live by faith.”
Remember from the last post I gave the definition of faith. It’s information we receive from God that we must act upon. Using the definition you can read the verse this way,
“The just shall live by faith (the information you receive from God) for you to act upon.”
Every word in the Bible is important even the little word “by.” My dictionary didn’t help much so I searched the Greek.
The just shall live by faith. Holy Spirit what does “by” faith mean. Ever since I’ve grown more in Conversational Prayer I ask the Holy Spirit more questions. I don’t want to make any word in the Bible mean what I want it to mean – I want to know the Holy Spirit’s meaning.
What does the word “by faith ” in these two verses mean? In Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary ek is a “primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out of.”
“Ek is always used with the Ablative case which, as noted before. describes the “origin” or “source” of something.”
Not until I plugged in the expanded version of the two verses did it begin to make sense. Put together, the above two verses would read, “The just shall live ‘out of’ the advance information they receive from God that they are to act upon”.
It’s clear now that prayer is more than a monolog (me doing all the talking). It’s a dialog between me and God.
The advance information that you receive from God must be the source of your living. Your faith must be the origin of everything you do. Isaiah 55:1-3 declares,
“If you are thirsty, come here; come, there’s water for all. Whoever is poor and penniless can still come and buy the food I sell.
“There’s no cost—here, have some food, hearty and delicious, and beverages, pure and good.
I don’t understand why you spend your money for things that don’t nourish or work so hard for what leaves you empty. Attend to Me and eat what is good; enjoy the richest, most delectable of things.
Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life, for I will make a covenant with you that cannot be broken, a promise of My enduring presence and support like I gave to David” (Isaiah 55:1-3).
Isaiah 55:1-3 has the definition of faith written all over it, doesn’t it? “Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life. . .” Sounds like Conversational Prayer to me.
What “walking after the flesh” means
But in Romans 8 Paul uses the expressions “walking after the flesh” and “walking after the Spirit,” What does he mean by “walking after the flesh” and “walking after the Spirit”?
“Walking after the flesh” means doing your own thing, your own way without depending on God.
Charting your own course is independent of God. Making your own plans and carrying them out is “walking after the flesh.” Following your own desires and ambitions is “walking after the flesh” because God’s never consulted. He’s completely on the sidelines of our life.
“Walking after the flesh” is living your life as though God had no claim on it at all. Some Christians live as though God wound them up like a clock at the moment of their salvation and left them to unwind by themselves.
“Walking after the flesh,” in a nutshell, means to live your life independent of God, even though you are saved. No wonder Paul calls Christians carnal who live this way.
When we “walk after the flesh” that makes us fleshly Christians.
The conclusion is there’s a difference between the way an unsaved person lives his life and the way a carnal Christian lives his life.
The carnal Christian doesn’t base his life upon advance information from God.
Conversational Prayer is a waste of time to him. Don’t get me wrong, the carnal Christian tries to keep the Ten Commandments. In addition, he thinks he’s able to get God to come into agreement with him and bless what he does as long as God’s not mad with him by breaking any of the Ten Commandments.
But Paul is clear when he said, “The just shall live out of the advance information.” Paul is also clear about “Whatever is not of faith is sin,” (Romans 14:23).
“The word “of” is in Romans 14:23 too. It’s the same Greek preposition in Romans 1:17 and Hebrews 10:38 that I mentioned earlier. The Greek preposition ek still means “out of” and still points to implies “source” and “origin”.
Paul’s clear, whatever does not start with advance information from God is sin. To expect God to bless sin is foolish. Yet, this is exactly what the carnal Christian does because he doesn’t depend on God’s advance information.
The carnal Christian thinks he’s the master of his fate, the captain of his soul and Conversational Prayer (living out of the advance information God gives you to act upon) doesn’t make any sense to him.
I lived that way for years thinking I was the master of my fate, the captain of my soul. Stinking pride captures this way of thinking. It was a lie I believed – a stronghold of my mind.
Sure, I depended self-effort because some of the things I did looked good on the outside. I could go only so far because the arm of flesh let me down. Sooner or later, your natural abilities will fail you. Somewhere down the road of life, you will come up against something that the arm of the flesh cannot provide.
When the Doctor tells you, you have cancer what will you do then? How will you solve the problem then? The answer, of course, is that you will not solve or get rid of it. My doctor told me in 2011, “You have fast-growing breast cancer.” That’s a story for another post.
The True Meaning of Hebrews 11:6
Now we can fully understand Hebrews 11:6 which states,
“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!”
Look at the word “without” in the verse above. The Greek word KORIS means “apart from” or “detached from.”
Next, look at the word “impossible.” This translates ADUNATON which combines the Greek negative with DUNAMIS, the Greek word for power.
(Our English word “dynamite” comes from this word.) The combination means
“no power”. In other words, anything, any course of action that is apart from or detached from faith (advance information received from God) has no power to please God. Wow.
The carnal Christian tries to throw God a few good works here and there to satisfy God as the carnal Christian does his own thing. There’s “no power” in good works or anything else when they are disconnected from advance information received from God. No power. No enabling grace.
It’s silly to try to buy God off with a few good works along the way because the only thing that has the power to please God is walking out his advance information that He gives you.
Next, look at the word “must.” The Greek impersonal verb dei means “necessity”. Next, look at the word “believe”. Remember “believe” means acting (obeying) on the advance information that God gives you. Put the words together, and you see it is positively necessary that you “act” on two things.
First, you must act on the fact that God is. If God is, why wouldn’t you want to listen to his voice? Good question.
Second, you must act on the fact that he not only is, but also that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. Notice the word “rewarder.” “Rewarder” translates three Greek words combined into one. The first is a word meaning “to give.”
The second Greek word means “back.” The third Greek word means “wages.”
“Rewarder” now, means “to give back wages.”
Finally, we act on the fact that God is by our coming to him. Remember Isaiah 55.
“Listen closely, and come even closer. My words will give life, for I will make a covenant with you that cannot be broken, a promise of My enduring presence and support like I gave to David”
We wouldn’t come to a non-existent God or any thing else for that matter. Next, we act on the fact that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Acting on these two things pleases God.
Disconnected from the information God gives us, there is no power in anything we do that pleases him. Acting on these two things causes the blessings to come your way in the form of wages that God gives us back. Conversational Prayer is coming close to Him, to hear His words that give life instead of doing our own thing.
Do it God’s way and reap the benefits.
Finally, living your life detached from this information God gives you absolutely has no power to please God. Neither does it guarantee a successful outcome to anything you do.
But when you listen closely and come even closer to your heavenly Father His words will give life. You have the promise of God’s enduring presence and support like He gave to David.