Sunday, April 2, 2023
A Lecture on Faith: The ability to trust one's self
On one occasion we were speaking with a couple of housewives whose husbands were away on business. The subject of sign seekers came up. I laughed and said oh you don't want to be a sign seeker. The lady was quite persistent and kept asking why not? Why don't I want to be a sign seeker? My companion just looked at me as if to say yo bro don't do it. Don't do it.
She was persistent so I explained that the Bible claims sign seekers are adulterers. People who demand a sign are having an affair. She just looked at me with tears in her eye and all of a sudden it got awkward. My companion rolls his eyes as if to say yo man I told you not to do it.
We left then came back later on that night to drop something off. Only she had a guest and it wasn't her husband. We didn't interrupt them but said yeah that's what we thought. Nevertheless faith is an important part of the gospel. Mormons rightfully believe the first two principles of the gospel are faith and repentance. Faith in what? Faith in Jesus Christ.
Which Jesus? The same Jesus. The one who healed the sick, confronted the hypocrites and was rejected so that he could suffer and die for the sins of the world. As Isaiah said: "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
Hebrews 11 is a lecture on faith. They say faith precedes the miracle. Yet faith is not blind. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. If I have faith that the world is flat, that is not faith, that is a falsehood. Faith is a belief in things that are unseen which are true. Like electricity.
Faith is the moving cause of action within us. I have faith that the light bulb will go on when I flip the switch so I get up to turn it on. If I didn't have faith, I'd stay in bed and wouldn't do anything. Faith is the reason we work. Work is the means of all accomplishment.
Martin Luther King taught "the belief that God will do everything for man while he himself does nothing is not faith but superstition." Martin Luther King understood this principle.
Years ago we used to serve at the Habour Light food line in the DTES. They had a very powerful mural on the wall. It was a picture of Christ walking on the water reaching out to Peter who tried to walk on the water but began to sink. I suppose it was somewhat allegorical. A lot of people in the DTES are kind of drowning and need a helping hand to get back on their feet. Keeping them under water in not in their best interest. This other picture is from a different angle.
I kind of raised an eyebrow and heard him out. He told the guy that he needed to have faith in himself. He needed self confidence. I understand what Tut meant. I probably would have said go have your prayer in private. Yet the idea that you're supposed to have faith in yourself isn't really something we are taught at church. We're supposed to have faith in God not faith in ourselves. Yet both statements are true. If you didn't have faith in yourself you wouldn't try to follow God. If you didn't have faith in yourself, you wouldn't try to get off the drugs and get clean.
I have heard it said and I can't remember where that God is a saved being because faith dwells in him independently and men will become saved when they become like God and faith dwells in them independently. Now I know a lot of born agains have a big problem with the concept of eternal progression. They're pretty quick to pick up a stone and cry blasphemy.
Martin Luther King said "Man is more than a whirling vagabond of electrons. Man is a child of God." So what exactly does it mean to be a child of God? The book of Genesis says we are created in God's image. So what does that really mean? The Bible talks about how the faithful will become joint heirs with Christ yet no one can explain what that really means.
I realize what it means doesn't really matter. Whether the pearly gates swing or slide is irrelevant. What we need to concern ourselves with is living the kind of life that will make us worthy to pass through them because not everyone will. Hence the Netflix series The Good Place.
Jesus said "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Many will say bla, bla bla "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Kinda kills the born again do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law argument.
My point in this lecture on faith is that faith dwells in God independently. The purpose of life is for us to become more Christlike. We are suppose to strive to develop the qualities that God has. If faith dwells in God independently, then we should learn how to develop that kind of faith so that it also dwells in us independently. I'm not claiming to know what that means. I'm just saying it's food for thought. Maybe is has something to do with the commandment to love yourself. It's kind of what I've been thinking about lately. We need to be able to trust ourselves.