Our God is a God who is able to bring into existence that which is not in us. He does it so that we demonstrate faith in Him. An absolute belief in God neither knows nor has known any boundaries. Men who have not seen its trueness do not know God. Because the God of heaven and earth is the supreme power, believing in Him is all that requires for the appearing of things that did not exist. What God plans to give us with belief comes as the substance to us and because we came to believe in Him, we are convinced of it. Thus, it is written, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. It is by a relationship with Him that is more beautiful than the eye can behold. It signifies walking with Him.
God desires we have true intimacy with Him. As men who lost the vision of God by the advent of sin, we needed something that is simple and yet profound to again associate with Him. God gave it in the form of belief. Belief that gives shape to faith appears when God begins communicating with us. Hence, we are constantly called for it. Nothing is more important to God than for us to receive His word. The word is the medium that introduces Him to us. God works alongside His word toward us for belief. Through this belief faith is perfected in us. Each time we appear before God for any reason, our confidence to approach Him is driven by the belief He produced in us. The works He did alongside His word will forever remain as witness of our belief in Him. Therefore, belief always precedes faith and without it faith does not produce its work. And we see that “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned” (Heb. 11:29).
The word that brought belief into the hearts of the suffering Israel produced faith to pass through the Red Sea. Faith must follow belief for us to walk with God. They always work in tandem. Belief often comes from what we know about God; faith is walking the way God has shown us. Belief never ceases when we are constantly aware of God. Faith can never cease when we hold on to belief. Therefore, Paul elsewhere also said we walk by faith and not by sight. Walking by faith implies that God gave us ways to live for Him. In other words, it implies He brought into existence that which did not exist or is unfamiliar to us. Belief must always remain for faith to glorify God in us. That Israel walked through the Red Sea was no slight event. They were first prepared for it by belief through Moses, the servant of God. As proof of this we see the Egyptians, who when attempted to cross the Red Sea did not prevail. How amazing! It is because God did not prepare it for them.
Belief opens up the way to faith. It is a quality in God’s children that compels Him to create a way for them; to walk in it is faith. It is evident that it is impossible for men without belief to imitate faith. However, Christians that do not have faith are quickly known. Their walk for God indicates they do not possess His way. Unless they receive it, they do not possess faith, which is the substantial outcome of belief. But, many walk without it not considering the repercussions. They never prevail, since their walk is not true to the substance. Further, it paves the way for works that are according to their interests. If they are to realize the reality of faith, they ought to come to the knowledge of God’s working nature. “Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’” (John 21:19).
Christ gave Peter a way to glorify God. And, He has many more for men that believe Him. Peter walked his way and demonstrated his faith in God. His belief in Christ served basis for it. And, to receive the command to follow Christ signifies He will go ahead of his way. If this was not so, what relevance does hearing the word of Christ hold for faith? That faith is obtained by hearing includes the belief responsible for bringing into existence that which did not exist. If Christ has brought you to it, you fulfill His desire of glorifying God. Hence, while on earth He appealed to men to believe Him or else to believe in the works themselves. Belief is your strength to walk the way God prepared for you. This reveals you as God’s child. For God has brought into existence in you something the world in unbelief did not know. You will have honor. “And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan?’” (Mark 3:23).
Christ brings believers into faith through the Spirit of God. For this reason, you shall have honor; your works will not fail. If Christ were of this world or of its power, to say that God’s children are greater than the children of the world is imperious. On the contrary, Christ is the author and perfecter of such faith that is not born of this world. He is the author of it, since He gives men the way of God; He is the perfecter of it, since He is able to lead them in it. To this pattern Peter stands as an example to the churches. Now, the one thing the churches must pragmatically prove is that it is not they who came into belief, but God who marvelously brought them into it. Then, they are the sons of Abraham. For Abraham proved it to all who believe by being justified by works. But, many by not understanding the nature of faith that comes by hearing the word of Christ entangle themselves in various works to please God. They are not doing God’s desire, i.e. to obtain ways from Him; to walk in them is faith. And Jesus confidently said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” (John 5:25).
Do not expect all who hear the word to believe. Yet, there will be many that believe. For the Spirit whom God sends will convince them for faith; through believing they realize the power of the Son of God. This is His promise. The deadness of their spirit that has been removed will be demonstrated by their faith. They will be quickly known. Great is the significance of the hour of which Christ speaks. It is the hour that men after having heard the word immediately believed. It makes them amiable to God to compel Him for His ways. They finish their course in the Spirit, “who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:14).
Without the Spirit of God it is impossible to retain belief that strengthens us for faith. He guides us in the word that our belief in God is not forgotten. Hence, He is a guarantee of our inheritance. Our inheritance is in the heavenly places. Faith is the key to obtain it. And, it is necessary that the Spirit helps us to walk in the ways God prepared for us. Without Him the flesh overtakes us leading us to the ways of unrighteousness. Observe the churches that lack Him; their flesh has overtaken them. Their walk for God is not of His work. Therefore, the apostle says, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (Jam. 1:16). See them with the Spirit that glorifies God through you; you will understand their nature. They do works for their glory and for men. But, the Spirit that helps you to demonstrate faith will work in opposition to your flesh. He avails you the works God desired for you; not one of them will be imperfect or unclean. As you do them, you instinctively shine the belief God planted in you. His will that you should be justified by works will be fulfilled.
Therefore, brethren, see to it that your association with God is by the belief He placed in you. For this yields true intimacy with Him. God is always prepared to bring into reality that which did not exist in you. With belief it is only lawful for you to receive His way and demonstrate your faith in Him. Many by not having this knowledge of God’s desire are concurring with their flesh. But as you are led by the Spirit to possess His ways, be glad to know that you are saved for His own possession. Let the goodness of the word always be with you. “May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you” (Jude 1:2).