Friday, May 18, 2012
"Have the faith of God." – part 2
The Word for today:
And Jesus answered them, "Have the faith of God." (Mark 11:22, literally rendered)
Yesterday, we saw that at the cross Jesus took all our sin--including any degree of unbelief-- and credited to our accounts all of God's righteousness--including his perfect faith.
The faith of God has been made over to us. It’s in the bank, so to speak, just waiting to be withdrawn.
So when Jesus, in Mark 11:22, tells us to "Have the faith of God,” he isn’t telling us to search for something we’ll never possess. It’s already ours, just waiting to be claimed.
Other Bible passages allude to this precept:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:8-9)
Another remarkable passage tells us that the people of Israel were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. (1 Corinthians 10:2)
Here, it is helpful to understand that baptism means “to identify.” (When we go under the water, we identify with Christ’s death and burial. The water merely helps us to visualize this spiritual precept.)
So what could it mean that they were “baptized into Moses”?
Hebrews 11:29 says that by faith they passed through the Red Sea. Whose faith was it? It certainly was not theirs! They wanted to go back to Egypt, and blamed Moses for bringing them out into that awful wilderness. It was Moses’ faith that brought them through.
“Baptized into Moses” means that they identified with Moses’ faith. Indeed, God identified them with Moses' faith. Moses' faith, in God's eyes, was theirs!
In the same way, at the cross all the righteousness of Jesus Christ, including his faith, has been credited to our accounts. Jesus' faith, in God's eyes, is ours!
So why should we count on our measly faith, when we can count on faith that knows no bounds? Just as Israel identified with Moses’ faith, we are to identify with Jesus’ faith until it becomes the operating principle of our lives.
So go ahead and start to see with his faith, start to walk by his faith, start to think with his faith. Keep on practicing until you can’t tell the difference between Jesus' faith and your own.