Concluded In Unbelief:
Rom. 11:32 For God has concluded them all [Jews and Gentiles] in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Eph. 3:3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,... 6:19 --pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel
Recent battles over prophetic teachings and other events have forced me into rediscovery of the gospel of Paul. Paul was the champion of the gospel of grace through faith. Since the Reformation, we have become so familiar with the idea of faith that we now assume it to be at the heart of all else we believe as Gods people.
But do we really understand the gospel and the faith Paul preached? Do we understand by it what he understood by it? Could our generations-long familiarity with "faith in Christ" actually conceal something about faith from our eyes? Where we readily say, "We see," is it possible we are still blind and that our sin remains?
Will He Find Faith?
I know--it seems absurd for me to question our handle on faith:
"How can you suggest we might not really understand the faith Paul preached? What? After 500 years of Reformation and Evangelical / Pentecostal / Charismatic / Prophetic restoration, how can we not know what faith is? It's the staple of everything we teach. Just look at the faith movement. Faith, faith, faith! And look at all the gifts and moves of the Spirit, all of it by faith! We're saturated in faith. So what are you talking about?"
I know all this. I understand the argument. I do see the Spirit's moving. But I also understand something else. I understand that Yeshua asked a really crucial question surrounding His return. He asked,
Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth? Lk. 8:18
Frankly, this question provokes me. Its tone suggests that, assuming the Lord does find faith at all on the earth, there is a subtle expectation that He will not find much of it! And if this is a question in His mind, should we be so certain at this hour, being so close to His return, that we have really embraced the gospel of faith as it was meant to be embraced--from the beginning?
Let me clarify. I'm not talking about issues of discipleship obedience. This is not another teaching to bash faith without works, though that's always been a huge problem. Obviously many have "believed" without backing their faith with obedient action. And prophetic discipleship proponents (including me) have arisen every generation to challenge that unbelief.
But my question about faith goes to a root that suggests even discipleship proponents may be as guilty of unbelief as "easy-believism" believers. Is there something about New Covenant faith we have hardly ever grasped--something for which we are all just as guilty as every other man and movement before us?
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created July 7, 2010