Paul had great revelation of the subject of faith, as all true apostles do. One can find many references to the nature and function of faith in his writings, truths that continually need to be fed to believers who are called to “live by faith”. According to Psalm 46:4, “There is a river, the streams thereof make glad the city of God”, indicating that the spiritual river of revelation has many streams of truth running in it. A restoration movement such as the “apostolic reformation” will lead people to drink from all the streams, not giving more emphasis to one truth over another. All truth must be incarnated in the last day’s people who will cover the earth with the Glory of God when we have come to the “fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ”.
Faith will be one of the three main characteristics of the mature believer according to 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Three things will last forever; faith, hope, and love - and the greatest of these is love”. NLT
Faith is the hardest of the three to maintain as Paul seems to indicate when he told Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith”, 1 Tim.6:12. The enemy knows that “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world”, therefore he targets faith as his greatest enemy and seeks to destroy it in the life of a believer. If today’s apostolic people are to mirror those we read about in the Bible, they will need to feed their faith, defend their faith, exercise their faith and share their faith. Faith is easily challenged by Satan because of our dualistic nature as both physical and spiritual beings which have contact with both realms at the same time.
Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 4:18 that we remain strong in faith while we “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen”. Faith has its focus on that which “has not yet been revealed to the five senses”, Hebs.11:1 Amp. Faith sees and knows things in advance and walks accordingly as did Abraham, the Father of Faith, “who spoke on nonexistent things as though they already existed”, Romans 4:17-20. The true “apostolic faith” is that faith which walks in the “steps of Abraham’s faith” and “calls those things which be not as though they were”. Today’s believer is not walking in true apostolic faith until they have reached this point in their understanding of the nature and function of faith.
My experience as a follower of Christ, and a Christian leader has taught me that the main function of those who teach and preach the Word of God is to school people into “faith”. Jesus “looked for faith”, “affirmed faith”, and “rewarded faith” in the lives of people. Even Paul at Lystra noted that the crippled man, “had faith to be healed”, Acts 14:8-10. Jesus was an expert in the “faith realm”, Paul was seeking to become whatever Jesus was, and so should we.
It is easy to become an “unbelieving believer” as one Christian writer commented, when we are “hearers of the word and not doers”, James 1:22-24. Doing the word means we “walk by faith and not by sight, calling things which be not as though they were, looking at things which are not yet revealed to the five senses”. Those who are discipled by apostolic ministry will be strong in the message of faith, and will do great exploits of faith for the Glory of God!
© Dr. John Polis 2010 For more information on Dr. John Polis, go to: www.rfiusa.org