It is imminent that Christians possess the faith of the Fathers. This is the faith that leads them in the right direction. It carries them from one step to another; from one thought to another and even from one place to another when necessary. It is their well being. It is the substance of God in the believers. It is such a substance that no other can surpass it; it has the power to overcome and the strength to give overwhelming joy. It protects its possessors at all times; they shall not be confused by the flaming arrows of the evil one. It is the source to understand God’s interpretation concerning life and godliness. Though one becomes like wineskin in smoke, the faith of the Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob protects him to keep the precepts of God. Such a faith, undoubtedly, will have to produce the righteousness that gives the reward. “So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac” (Gen. 46:1).
How amazing it is to comprehend the fact that faith in the God Almighty steers our life! Many have tried to place boundaries to this faith and some are still continuing to do so. They seek to measure it like one measures with a rod. They are placing a limit to it by what they are able to accomplish by the flesh. They make amends to faith. On the contrary, imagine what God is able to accomplish in you when you allow your faith in Him to be His strength. It would be beyond what you can possibly measure. So, a faith that is not bound by limits accomplishes without limit. On behalf of this faith the word of God vouches. God’s strength toward you is by your faith in Him; the greater the constancy of your faith in Him, the more His accomplishments in you. This separates the men of God from men. They see the substance of faith by the strength of God. When you believe in God regarding a matter that God requires from you or you require from Him, the substance of that belief is made known to you by the strength of God. And when Jacob set out with all that he had at the hearing of Joseph being alive and with joy gave sacrifices to Him who is the God of His father Isaac, he was able to see the substance of believing God (faith). He summoned his sons and was able to tell them what will befall them in the days to come, since God in His strength appeared to him and confirmed to him the promise which He made long ago i.e. to make him a great nation.
Nevertheless, Jacob had to remain faithful to God, and he did. He overcame many a barrier in life to fulfill what God required from him for His glory. Jacob too in return received from God everything he asked for and much more. The effect of believing God or having faith in Him is not just for one moment, but for what God is willing to accomplish in us in our lifetime and beyond. This requires constancy in faith. Therefore, what God promised to Israel He was able to accomplish. “The border of the sons of Reuben was the Jordan. This was the inheritance of the sons of Reuben according to their families, the cities and their villages” (Josh. 13:23). And, this was concerning the first. Each one has to achieve constancy in faith and it begins by learning to believe in God. Know that it is God who must teach you to believe in Him and for this reason, His word is present. Though there are men of God that proclaim His word, they are given the authority only to perform a work or works of God wherein they create the way for God to teach men to believe in Him. Therefore, it is elsewhere written “…and they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen….” When you have reached to this knowledge you have known God by faith. His strength is working in you day after day by your faith in Him.
However, when there is a man preaching the word without the knowledge of God’s work in a man of God, he is without constancy in faith. He is working outside the faith of the Fathers; God’s strength is not made known through him. What is the result? “Distress and anguish terrify him, they overpower him like a king ready for the attack” (Job 15:24). The effect of distress and anguish is overwhelming. Not only does he become weak in the flesh, but also put at risk the spirits of those who hear him. He performs unjustifiable works. He does not have the way to possess the actual faith of the Fathers. For a man of God is the one taught by God for the sole purpose of preparing the way for the Lord. He is like Israel that set out by the strength of God. He has known the wonders of God. What God has already accomplished in him by faith has produced for Him the consequence. He takes along with him all that he has to a place that God has prepared for him. And because he is destined to reach to such a place by faith, God in His strength makes known to him the substance of his faith. On such a person there is no distress and anguish to terrify him and he puts at safety the spirits of those who hear him. He and those with him survive the journey; they finish the course for the crown of righteousness.
Though faith in God had and continues to have such preeminence, many churches are still found inadequate. Their inadequacy is not in knowing the eagerness of God toward His kingdom, but it is in possessing the substance of faith. When faith in God does not carry its substance, to what purpose or reckoning are they seeking His word? The word that produces faith must also generate the substance of faith for faith to produce consequence for God. Then, they are the called to glorify God. The generating of the substance of faith is not the work of a man of God, but of God. Therefore, it is God who teaches each one to believe in Him. And when the preachers and teachers of the word do not possess this knowledge, they are not God’s fellow workers; the churches too are not of Christ. “O LORD, Your hand is lifted up yet they do not see it. They see Your zeal for the people and are put to shame; Indeed, fire will devour Your enemies” (Isa. 26:11). Yes, truly many churches have not seen the majesty of the Lord primarily because they do not believe in Him. Had they allowed God to teach them the faith that has heavenly consequence, by faith they would have become one with the Fathers i.e. in all matters relating to God they would have become like the Fathers. Such a faith would then lead them to truly perceive the majesty of God.
God is always eager to hold on to those that are willing to believe in Him. On these He pours out His zeal that those who work contrary to faith are put to shame. What eagerness will the sons of God possess that is also present in God! They shall obtain faith to produce consequence for God. Each Christian must be willing to do what is necessary. “It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin” (Luke. 23:54). If a total commitment to believe is necessary, then one ought to commit himself to believe at the hearing of the word. His faith shall receive its substance. There was a day of preparation and the day of Sabbath to them and they followed them accordingly. The churches too must realize their day of preparation, which is today and they shall surely possess the Sabbath rest kept prepared for the children of God. Each one must prepare himself to obtain the faith of the Fathers while it is still called today. Or else, the only thing that remains for them is the fire of God that devours His enemies.
I wish the churches of Christ indeed had the faith that has its substance from God. “For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh” (Rom. 9:3). The churches that claim to be of Christ are my kinsmen in as far as we are all gentiles in the flesh and how I wish they too are citizens of God’s kingdom! They have denied the faith that has appeared in the form of Christ calling even the gentiles into God’s kingdom; they are not yet counted alongside the Fathers. They made amends to faith by what they are able to accomplish in the flesh. The Lord God and our Father has caused Christ, His Son, to be accursed, separated from Him for the sake of gathering them to Him irrespective of nations. If they do not want to obtain the substance of faith to produce consequence for God, what would it profit God even if someone wishes to be accursed for their sake? Notice to what length Paul desired to go for the sake of his fellow Jews. Yet, he did not wish, because it would not profit God. The Christ who had already been accursed, separated from God, for the sake of Jews is the One who brings profit to God, even as He did through Paul. In this way there is far more God could accomplish.
Therefore, the word of God shall not fail, even as it did not in the past. It is not I that would cause belief in you who are reading, but God through Christ, who is the author and finisher of faith. What I proclaim to you from the word and in the Spirit is for you in order that you perceive the majesty of God and His zeal toward you. And, he who is willing shall receive faith with its substance from God for His glory. Let the consequence of having the substance of faith be produced in you and you too will gladly understand the zeal of God’s fellow worker. “When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea” (Col. 4:16). Amen.