By Jim Kaseman
Colossians 1:9-10 tells us to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; so that we can please God and be fruitful in everything that we do. So, with the help of the Holy Spirit let’s believe God to expand our understanding of the subject of faith so that we can be more fruitful in our walk with God and with one another.
REVIEWING THE BASICS
In order to expand our understanding of faith, we need to first of all review some of the basic things concerning faith that we’ve all been taught in times past.
First, Hebrews 6:1-2 tells us, “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith
toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”
It seems like there is an order of importance in the way these basic doctrines are listed. Seems logical to me that we need to first of all repent from dead works and get born again before the remaining five
doctrines would do us any good. Then, the next one listed is faith toward God! I would guess if one didn’t have faith in God the next four doctrines would not be understood properly and would simply be something to argue about.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith we cannot please God. Hebrews 3:1 calls Jesus the Apostle and High priest of our confession. And literally in the Greek, he word confession means to agree with or
say the same thing as. With our mouth, heart and actions we are to agree with God that we’re righteous, healed, delivered, victorious over the devil, born of love, etc… Death and life are in the power if the
tongue according to Proverbs 18:21.
Then, in Mark Chapter 11, after Jesus cursed the fig tree and it had died, He responded to Peter in verse 22 by saying, “Have faith in God.” Now remember that was one of the basic doctrines listed in Hebrews 6:1-2. And in verse 23 Jesus explains how faith works in just one verse. He said you can have whatever you say (good or bad_ as long as you believe it so that you act like it is true. And, the more you say what
God says about you, the more you hear it and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God according to Romans 10:17. So much for our review!
NOW, ANOTHER DIMENSION OF FAITH
First of all, according to Webster’s dictionary faith means “to have complete TRUST or CONFIDENCE.” In other words, to have faith in someone means that you trust them.
In Strong’s concordance #4102 ;he word faith in Mark 11:22 is pistis in the Greek and means “conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness and persuasion.” In the New Testament setting pistis is “the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust and reliance in God and all that He says!”
Of course in the Amplified Bible many times where you see the word “faith” you will see words like confidence and trust.
In your own Bible you will find many verses that use the word TRUST instead of FAITH. For example, Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the Lord,…” and verse 5, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him.” Psalm 71:1, “In you, 0 Lord, I put my trust;…” Psalms 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
There is a New Testament translated for the Messianic Jews. And, instead of using the word “faith” the word “trust” is used in bold black letters. For example, in most Bibles Romans 10:8 reads, “…the Word of faith which we preach.” However, in the Messianic New Testament it reads, “the word which speaks of trust. ”
Now, Ephesians 3:14-15 speaks of the whole family of God in heaven and earth. Family means relationships with God and with one another. And even the world knows and teaches that in order to have a successful relationship you must have that element called trust. Without trust between two persons you cannot have a successful or fruitful relationship.
SO YOU DON’T HAVE FAITH?
When someone says, “Pastor I just don’t have faith in God like you do,” they’re really saying, “I don’t trust God like you do!”
Try that in a marriage relationship and see how far you get. What would happen to a husband if he said to his wife, “Honey, I don’t trust you.” That marriage is in a downward spiral and soon to end.
Now, it’s a lot easier to understand what God is saying in Hebrews 11:6 when He says, “without faith you can’t please Him,” or without trusting God you can’t please Him. You and I aren’t pleased either when people don’t trust us!
KATHI TRUSTS JIM
In 1967, before I was a Christian and during my years of alcoholism, I can still remember Kathi pointing her finger at me one day and saying, “I’II never trust you again!”
Thirteen years later, now both of us are born again Christians and in the ministry, Kathi looked at me as I was leaving home on a ministry trip and said, “Jim, if I didn’t trust you I wouldn’t let you travel all over the world alone.”
What caused Kathi to begin to trust me again? Well, Romans 10:17 tells us that faith (trust) comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. In the Hebrew hearing meant to hear, believe and act according to God’s words.” This principle implies to human relationships as well as to our relationship with God. It’s a spiritual principle between spirit beings. In other words, Kathi’s faith (trust) in Jim came by hearing Jim’s words from Jim’s heart backed up with corresponding actions over a period of thirteen years! According to I Thessalonians 1:3 faith or trust grows! It takes time or faith or trust to grow – it’s a growing process.
And remember, just plain talk is cheap. Any wife will tell you that. In other words she might say, if you really trust me or have faith in me how come you don’t act like it? faith (trust) without corresponding
actions is dead!
In other words, I don’t just say to Kathi, “I love you, appreciate you,” etc. I back it up with corresponding actions, by spending time with her, honoring her, etc.
The same principle applies in my relationship with God. I don’t just say to Jesus, “I love you and honor you.” I back my words up with corresponding actions. I act like I trust him!
So, faith is not some “mystical thing” that only a few people understand and possess. It’s simply do you trust God or don’t you? Do you trust each other or don’t you? Christianity is relationships built
on faith or trust in God and one another.
WHAT DID JESUS REALLY SAY?
Matthew 14:22-33 describes the occasion when Peter walked on the water with Jesus. And as you recall Peter didn’t have any problem walking on the water as long as he kept his attention focused on Jesus. However, once he started to focus on the storm (the devil) he started to doubt and began to sink. fortunately, Peter had enough sense to cry out to Jesus for help and Jesus saved him.
Now notice in verse 31 that Jesus didn’t reprove Peter for walking on he water but was upset because Peter began to doubt! In other words, Jesus was really saying to Peter, “Why did you stop trusting me, Peter? You began to have greater trust in what the devil (storm) could do to you than what I could do for you.”
We have a similar account in Mark 4:35-41. Except in this instance Jesus gets into the boat with the disciples. As we read we see the storm arose and the boat was filling with water. The disciples end up
full of fear, knowing that they’re going to die. Once Jesus is “wakened He speaks peace to the storm and again the disciples are safe.
In verse 40 Jesus reprimands the disciples by saying, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have faith?” In other words Jesus is really saying, “How is it that you don’t trust me?”
You see, Jesus told the disciples in Mark 4:19 that the cares of life would whole the “Word” and it would become unfruitful – faith or trust in God would be destroyed. Apparently the disciples didn’t believe or
trust what Jesus said that day because when the storm arose in Mark 4:37-38, they were fully convinced that the storm was about to kill them. They had great trust (faith) in what the storm could do to them
and no trust in what Jesus could do for them at that moment.
GOD IS JEALOUS
Very briefly let me point out what Jesus was really saying in Mark 4:40 when He said, “Why are you so fearful?”
In the Old Testament many places it says “fear thou not.” Most cases the word fear should have been translated “reverence.” Reverence means “showing awe or respect.” So really God is saying, “reverence thou not the enemy.” It’s a command to stop worshipping the devil!
So Jesus is really saying in Mark 4:40, “Why are you reverencing (showing such awe and respect) towards the storm (the devil) instead of revering me (showing awe and respect towards me and what I can do for you)?”
The Bible tells us in Exodus 20:5 that God is a jealous God. We are to reverence Him and not any other gods including the devil!
To reverence the devil, circumstances, or anything else instead of God will hinder and eventually destroy our faith (trust) in God. Just like in a marriage, to reverence another person besides your spouse will
eventually destroy your marriage or relationship of trust.
NOT ENOUGH SPACE
Glory! The Word of God is so good and so exciting! It’s easy to see that Christianity is not a get rich quick scheme but it’s relationships, it’s family, it’s a way of living seven days a week. And, it’s all built on trust (faith) in God and with one another.
(The above information was published by JIM KASEMAN MINISTRIES, September, 1993)
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