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Thursday: Faith on Earth? — 14 Comments

  1. In essence, the whole of this series is about our mission to the unreached. Jesus said,

    And I, the Messiah, came to save the lost.
    “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? And if he finds it, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine others safe at home! Matt 18:11-13 TLB

    In my childhood, I spent a lot of time looking for lost sheep. We only had a small flock of 200 sheep, but we had wild blackberry vines, creeks, cattle tracks, and so on where sheep would often get stuck. It was our task to look in all of those places and find the sheep before they came to an untimely end. It wasn't pleasant work, especially in winter, when it was raining cold, hard, slanting rain. But, it was rewarding to set a sheep free and see it running again with the others.

    Our mission to the unreached is not always comfortable, sitting in comfort with open Bibles. Sometimes we have to get out there and become involved with the unreached. We have to learn a language that is foreign to us, We have to live where the rain is cold, hard, and slanting.

    Jesus came for us while we were yet sinners!

  2. The lesson points to people of faith with physical limitations begging for solutions. What is your physical struggle today? Do we need this limitation to exercise faith? What is holding me and you from begging Jesus for the answer? He has the solution for mine and your need for more confidence! By the author's line of thinking, faith is based on our decision to ask with conviction! If Jesus passes by, what do you need to ask Him to change so you can continue your faith journey?

  3. It is very interesting to me as to how it was in the context of people seeking Jesus for "Miraculous" answers from Him that Jesus makes the statement of honoring their faith in Him for His answers to them on this, and it was in this context that He also asked the question about "The End Times," about whether He would find faith then (now.) There is "Spiritual Power," in every single "Command," and "Promise," in God's Word, "The Bible." And for every problem of our lives, there is a specific "Promise," in the Bible to solve it. We need to talk more about these "Promises," and share about how God answered our prayers regarding them and stop the constant talking about our Church Doctrines as if they were the exact replicas of those "Precious Promises," in the Bible.

    • Pete, please keep in mind the true "Church Doctrines" our 28 Fundamental Beliefs are all Bible doctrines based on the Word. Jesus can be found in them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doctrines as the Bible admonishes us to keep the doctrines.

  4. Works in and by themselves do not need/include faith, but faith includes/needs works. The Christian’s faith is actually defined by from God inspired works. Heb.11:1 describes it: ”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This tells me that faith is the inspirational aspect/evidence of by heaven inspired works - faith and works are inseparable for the believer in this, our material world.

    Heb.11:6 focuses on the uniqueness of man's by heaven inspired faith: ”But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarded of them that diligently seek him.” I consider faith as the evidence of a by the Holy Spirit inspired living soul's heart and mind seeking after God, its Creator; continuing even as we are already found in Christ.

    People described in the Bible as seeking help from Jesus most likely already had faith, but they had placed their faith in impotent gods made by the minds and hands of man. Because heavenly faith is the fulcrum, the central point of the relationship with our God, it is paramount to communicate to those seeking help with their trouble and despair to place their faith in our God; the only one who can help.

    I consider this is the faith our Lord and Savior is looking for when He remarked: ”When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” There are many faiths in the earth, and those who placed their faith in ‘gods’ incapable of meeting their needs look to the followers of Jesus Christ to introduce them to the God Supreme - our heavenly Father.
    Yes, the Son of Man will find faith on earth when he sees us who believe Him engage in by the Holy Spirit inspired works of love and faith.

    • So, Brigitte Humlphrey, explain to me how the "Repenant Thief on the cross," had "Works" with his "Faith?" James very specifially says to "Feed the hungry, cloth the naked, etc. as the works that should accompany our faith," so where were "these works" to accompany the "Repentant thief" on the cross next to Jesus on His Cross?

      • The thief on the cross exercised his faith in the same way of everyone of the persons listed in our lesson who were healed, and Jesus recognized their faith. He believed that Jesus could save him.

        • But that was not my question. Faith is not "Works" faith is just simply a mental assent to the salvation found only in what Jesus has already done and is still doing for the salvation of humans. That is all that "The Repentan thief" did. There were no "Works" at all from him, only "Faith," in Jesus' that was all. And in relation to all that is in God's Precious Promises that is all we can offer God; just our faith towards them. And while "works" do follow, they never equal the Pattern of Jesus at all. But just like Jesus accepted the "Repentant Thief's Faith," Jesus accepts our "Faulty Faith and also our Faulty Works too." But Jesus then makes up for our "Faulty Deffeciencies" of our faith and our works, with His "Flawless and Divine Merits." The way He had to do for "The Repentant Thief."

      • According to Jesus, believing God’s Word (faith) to the point of acting on His Word (works) even when there is a lack of evidence that we can touch or feel with our senses, goes hand in hand. When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus’s garment and believed He would heal her without any evidence, He stated that her faith made her whole. When the centurion believed that just by His Word, Jesus could heal his servant, Jesus said that was faith. There are many examples of Jesus encouraging us to have faith that moves us to act, by His Spirit’s leading.

        Where are the ‘works’ in these examples? As with the thief on the cross, the works are in believing God, trusting His Word and acting on that belief no matter how big or small the ‘work’ looks to those observing. We who are limited in our ability to read hearts often if not almost always fail to comprehend the far reaching influence of such a testimony. The thief believed (faith) and gave Jesus all that he had left of his earthly life (works), and God has certainly used the repentant thief’s experience/testimony to encourage souls over time.

        Saying we believe God without being willing to act on that belief as God asks, is not having a living faith.

        • So then, Nancy Mosa, why would Ellen G. White, go on to say that "We can never say that we are saved (works) and sinless (works) until we lay down our crowns (works) at Jesus feet and He gives us "Immortal Bodies."? And I do not see "Faith" as being "Works" at all when we go by God's own "Words" about what they are: "Seek (judgment) works, relieve the oppressed "works", judge the fatherless (works) plead for the widow (works). This is from Isaiah 1:16-18. But notice how there even though it says to "Cease to do evil" it also says to "Learn to do well" (works) but "learning" connotes "often failing" in the process. Then it goes on to further say "Come let us reason" and in this reasoning with God He then shows us how we still "Fall SHort" but also then assures us of making us "WHite as snow and like wool," Yes, God has to still make up for our "Faulty faith" and our "Faulty works," until we "Lay down our crowns at His Feet and He gives us (Glorified incorruptible and immortal Bodies.)

      • Pete – to my understanding, exercising/expressing the faith God instilled in man comes from the heart; the seat of our faith. If at all physical possible, it is expressed through deeds – Eph.2:9-10; a smile and a word of kindness expressed are included, and certainly the heartfelt confession of the thief on the cross that he believes.

        I consider the emphasis of v.10 to be “... to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.” Prayer is an act of faith. I consider doing ‘good works’ to be, in the most simplest, practical ways, the expression of the fruit of the Spirit residing within.

        My focus is on what underlies the act/work, the motivation for engaging faith and love. Our faith and Love is born of loving the Father with all our heart and being, faithfully trusting in the Goodness of our God expressed by the living soul.

        Those who are physical able engage in these 'good works’ – expressions of faith and love, so giving evidence of a changed heart and mind; 'living' in their new nature.
        In short, God judges these ‘good works’ as laying up 'treasures in heaven' when they are the expressions of a truely loving heart. The fruit of the Spirit working in the heart and mind is doing good works; empasis is on 'good' not works. Should the heart of man show an ulterior motive, God responds according to the disposition of this heart.

        • Yes, Brigitte Humphrey, but our faith (no works) is never as flawless as Jesus' own (Faith and works) and while our faith is expressed through "Deeds" (works) both of them come short of Jesus' own (Faith and Works,) until we lay down our crowns at His Feet and He gives us "Immortal and Incorruptible Bodies."

  5. I testify that I can thank the Lord for His mercy on me and on my family and on everyone else. as He continually takes care of each one of us daily.
    Thank you Jesus.

  6. "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" This question comes at the end of a parable which begins "Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." Luke 18:1.

    To me it appears that we are attempting to answer the question "what is the faith that Jesus is looking for on the earth?" In context I would say that Jesus wants us to continue to come to Him in prayer not doubting or losing our faith when the problems at hand do not seem immediately corrected. Jesus is faithful never lose faith in Him and what He is doing.

    Faith in this parable seems to be evidenced in the continual prayers or constant petitioning of the widow.

    However faith is evidenced by more than just prayers. The object of our faith is Jesus otherwise any prayers, works, or doctrines are fruitless.

    - Does faith look like asking God for your needs and trusting Him to supply?
    - Is faith evidenced by claiming the promises in the Bible?
    - Is faith evidenced by holding bible based "church doctrine"?
    - Does faith look like a life full of works?

    I say yes to all of the above but Jesus is the reason why all of the above are successful.

    - Our requests are to God because of who we know Him to be and in this we are not discouraged if our situation is not immediately changed.
    - We trust the promises in the Bible because of who God is as evidenced by what He has done. Our faith is therefore in God as the giver not in the promises as the gift.
    - All biblical doctrine is lived out in response to understanding God's love and desire for our good. We submit to His wisdom and correction because we see Him as our wise and loving Father. Without this understanding our doctrines become adherence to traditions and creeds that lead to legalism.
    - Our actions are transformed by the love of God... If God has demonstrated His love to us with such an effectual healing in our lives will we not demonstrate the same love to others. Without God our works are filthy rags that appear more as penance to earn our salvation.

    Yes - I agree that the believer's faith is seen in many aspects of the believer's life but if faith in Jesus (not the actions mentioned above) is not in the focus leading to our response, then these actions become worthless and counterproductive.


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