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Wednesday, January 11 2012
The First Act Of Faith
Jesus Christ was and is the Word of God (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?), through Whom God directed and empowered the Creation of all things ("14:28 ... I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I." John 14:28 KJV).
"1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:1-5 KJV)
In the Holy Scriptures, "church" means people - those who have faith in God, by actually living a life of obedient faithfulness to Him. When Adam and Eve were faithful to the Creator, they were the Church (the people) of God (see The Rock Of The Church). When they ceased to obey His Word, they became the corrupted church (the people) of Satan (see Do You Want A Servant Or A Serpent? and Is Your Church A Cult?).
"3:9 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: 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 3:11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him." (Ephesians 3:9-12 KJV)
But does that mean then that faith began with Adam and Eve? Was faith created in them, or by their behavior when they were obedient to the LORD? Or was there another and infinitely greater act of faith in God that made the Creation itself possible?
The Scriptures say that Jesus Christ created all things i.e. "by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."
"1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." (Colossians 1:11-18 KJV)
The "faith chapter" of the Bible, as Hebrews 11 has been called, begins with a definition of faith: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
"11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report." (Hebrews 11:1-2 KJV)
As plainly stated above, the physical universe was created by the Word of God, Jesus Christ, as directed and empowered by God. But notice carefully by what means the Word of God created all things: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God." When He said "Let there be light," "there was light" because the Word of God had the faith in God that it would happen. He thereby fulfilled the statement "he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" - He created the church of the faithful by His own faith, so that "in all things he might have the preeminence."
"11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Hebrews 11:3 KJV)
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God"
Hebrews chapter 11 then provides us with a historical account of the faithful, beginning with the first one who did not lose his faith, Abel, and then through to Noah, the faithful man through whom the LORD faithfully re-created humanity.
"11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain [see The Sins Of The World's Oldest Profession], by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Abraham's faith was moreover a lesson of how all of humanity will one day come out of "Babylon" (see What And Where Is Babylon Today?) by means of their faith, their obedience, to the LORD i.e. "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed."
"11:8 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 [see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees and Don't Look Back; also 'Raghead' Racism], not knowing whither he went. 11:9 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: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
All of the faithful await their salvation together, regardless of when they lived (see When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin).
"11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off [see Your Spiritual Record and Could Christ Return Tonight?], and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly [see The True Gospel Of Christ]: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." (Hebrews 11:13-16 KJV)
The creation of Israel was for the sake of a royal line of "chosen" people through whom the Messiah of all people (see The Joppa Lessons Of Jonah And Peter and Why Did The Magi Come?) would be born (i.e. "all things were created by him, and for him" as we read in the verses above). The few righteous people of that line were faithful to its purpose in Him, not to themselves.
"11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac [see Where Righteousness Begins]: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
The Exodus was an act of faith, led by the Creator of Faith: "10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV).
"11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones [see Joseph's Bones].
So too many, many others - different in time and place, but the same in their faithful obedience to the Creator of Faith, the Word of God - Jesus Christ.
"11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
This Day In History, January 11
630: Muhammad led his conquering army of 10,000 to Mecca.
1672: Isaac Newton became a member of the Royal Society.
1690: Louis Frontenac, the governor of New France, launched an attack against British settlements in New York, New Hampshire, and Maine.
1693: Sicily's Mt. Etna erupted.
1775: Yemelyan Pugachov, Cossack rebel, was executed by tsarist Russia.
1775: Francis Salvador became the first (known) Jew elected to office in North America.
1787: Titania and Oberon, moons of Uranus, were discovered by William Herschel.
1814: Joachim Murat, king of Naples, ended his association with Napoleon and entered into an alliance with the Austrians.
1815: Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada, was born.
1839: Over 700 people were killed by an earthquake in Martinique.
1901: Russia and Britain agreed on a partition of China.
1922: A 14 year old Canadian boy, Leonard Thompson, became the first person to have his diabetes successfully treated with insulin. The discovery of insulin was made by Dr. Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best, medical researchers in Toronto.
1923: French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr to collect reparations.
1943: The U.S. and Britain relinquished territorial rights in China.
1943: The Soviet Red Army encircled the German invasion forces at Stalingrad.
1964: The U.S. Surgeon General reported that cigarettes are harmful to health.
1972: East Pakistan renamed itself as Bangladesh.
1973: The trial of the Watergate burglars began in Washington.
1989: 140 nations agreed to ban chemical weapons.
2001: Lucien Bouchard resigned as Premier of Quebec after his repeated failure to separate the Province away from Canada.