“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” ~ Romans 10:17
~ Faith (A) comes directly from the Word or (B) indirectly from the Word by way of the context of mission or both.
(A) should be straightforward enough. It can be seen in Romans 10:17.
(B) I have not quite got the words for as yet. What I am trying to say is that faith arises from the context of mission. It arises from taking stock of your context of mission. And what mission is – this we cannot understand unless we first understand the Word of God.
~ I think that only became more confusing. Take 2…
Every Christian has a purpose in life. However you cannot know what that purpose is unless you are spending a good deal of time in front of God’s Word. So purpose (or what your mission in life is to be) arises from God’s Word.
And faith arises from purpose. For example if God is calling you to go to China, then God will set things off in your life to lead you in that direction*. When you take a look at these things that God has set off in your life then you can take courage and take faith to that end.
*One of these being that God will even give you the very desire to go to China.
~ I think what I write here is still a bit muddied. Let me try an example from the Bible. Take 3…
In Luke 9, we have the following situation take place.
“The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
~ Why couldn’t the disciples drive out the spirit?
Answer: Either they lacked faith or had a defective faith.
~ If the disciples had been observant, then they would have seen what Jesus’ mission was. Yes, His mission was to die for the sins of people. However, this mission also involved other such things like healing, exorcisms, raising the dead, feeding the hungry, etc. en route to the Cross. The disciples were part of Jesus’ mission. He chose them with view to involving them in His work. As such, they should have been able to exercise faith to that end. They should not have had doubt or a misplaced faith in faith.
Thought: Suppose I take a group of youth out to a village on Sunday to pass out tracts, and they do so side by side with me. Then suppose I do the same on Monday, Tuesday, and so on till Friday. Now suppose that on Saturday, I fall sick and tell the youth,
“I can’t make it as I do not feel well. You know what to do. God bless. I will pray in bed for you. Now go.”
~ What would it be like if one of these youth go to a village and then upon approaching someone starts having doubts as to whether he has my blessings for doing this – whether I have give him the green signal for going out and doing this… after all I did not use the explicit terms “go out and pass tracts in the villages today.” What if he has doubts to that effect? Well… he should step back and take a look at the mission that he has been on.
~ Jesus came to heal. He came to exorcise demons. The disciples should have understood that. They should have understood that if this was Jesus’ mission, then it was obviously God’s will. So they should have been able to exercise faith in line with God’s will.