All believers and some heathens have the word faith in their vocabulary. But I learned years ago that though people use the same word they can have a different definition of the same word. If you ask me to define faith, I will tell you that it’s believing and acting on what God said despite having no physical evidence. Now you could ask another church goer what is faith and they could tell you “I’m of Catholic faith” or “I’m of Mormon faith”. A conversation about faith could be misleading if you don’t define terms.
1 Corinthians 14:11 If I don’t understand a language I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me.
We must define terms especially if we are strangers to one another. This applies to the Lord as well. For example: when the Bible speaks of death, we humans have one concept of what death is. We have attended enough funerals and visited enough hospitals to understand when someone dies. But the Bible speaks of three different deaths that can be defined with one word: separation. The Word tells us that the Christians died but Jesus says they are just asleep and He will return with them. Just because a spirit is separated from its body doesn’t mean the person is dead! The body is dead for the time being but the spirit will never cease to exist.
John 6:50 I am the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat there of and never die.
A man who has no faith cannot comprehend what Jesus is saying, to them He is a foreigner. God speaks to us in our known language but He says things no man will speak.
John 8:43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you cannot hear My Word.
Jesus always speaks in plain words to every man, these men could not understand Him because they didn’t like Him. One must accept a man before one can hear the man. They hated Jesus because He told them the truth and called them to accountability. The truth has no regard for our feelings! The truth brings healing but many men harm themselves fighting the truth.
I attended Catholic schools for twelve years, the nuns beat the “truth” into me with their hands, pointers and stiff rulers. After I graduated school I was in the military. Boot camp was easy for me because I knew and understood the doctrine of discipline. You believe what you’re told and do what you believe.
I have never seen God, never heard His voice, but I believe in Him and everything He had recorded in His book. Something inside of me bore witness that God was real and true. I now know that thing in me is not a thing at all, He is the Holy Spirit and He has been sent to guide me into all truth. My faith has caused me to draw closer to this being I cannot see or touch. He has become more real than creation itself.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.