This is a Bible study our pastor did with some new Christian brothers and sisters.
Faith, the Word of God, and understanding the Bible, these three subjects. How are they different, and how do they work together in us?
What is faith?
What is the Word of God?
What is the Bible rightly understood?
Faith is a form of truth that arises in us when and because we believe into Jesus. It’s a free head start that God has arranged for us to have, through Jesus.
Faith and believe are very different from each other, and also very connected. “Faith” is something that’s in you, “believe” is something you do. You never exercise or do something with your faith in the Bible. You walk out of faith. The righteous shall live out of faith. 2 Cor. 5:7, Heb. 10:38
Believing is accepting that something is true, when you know you can’t fully prove it, but you think it’s true.
Jesus never believed anything, but He had faith. The faith that was in Him, is the faith we need to have.
What’s the most important word in the Bible? Truth. Truth is what you ought to be going after. You should be looking for truth and not religion.
What is the Word of God? How does it work in me?
The Word of God in me is another form of truth, different from faith, but one that agrees with faith. A form of truth planted in me, by hearing the gospel. You’ll read of plant talk in the Bible. Faith is not plant talk in the Bible, but the Word of God is. Mat. 13
This may sound surprising but the Bible is not the Word of God. You won’t find that in the Bible, in fact there are things against it. There is a list of things that the Bible says the Word of God is, which it never says about itself (the Bible). There is another list of things the Bible says about itself. They are never the same, seems to be an iron wall between them. (Study it!)
The Word of God is better than the Bible. If you were marooned on a desert island, and you could have the Bible, or you could have the Word of God planted in you, which would you pick?
What is rightly interpreting the Bible? If you rightly interpret the Bible, what do you have?
The Bible has its own path into you, what is it? The Bible is a form of truth for your mind. Faith and the Word of God are independent of your mind.
When you have the Bible rightly interpreted, you have Godly thinking explained to your mind. That’s the path of truth coming into you through right understanding of the Bible.
You need real basic stuff. You all heard about faith. What is it? And you heard about the word of God? And interpreting the Bible. What about those three? What do you understand about them?
Interpreting the Bible, you have got to understand it. For instance – ‘I am the light of the world’. What is that supposed to mean, is he a light bulb? How does anybody prove what he meant, so you’re not just making up a story? “It sounds good so I guess that’s ok.” That’s not good enough.
So faith, the word of God, and rightly interpreting the Bible. Those three. They are different from each other and they work differently. But they all agree with each other. Faith, the word of God, and rightly interpreting the Bible are all in agreement, there’s no contradiction. So what can you say about those three? And can you think of an English word that you use all the time, in which those three meet? And what can you say about how they are different from each other, and how they go together? They are not exactly the same thing, but they work together IN US. If you can explain each one, and how they’re different and how they work together, then you do have a basic grasp on what they are and how they work. Like anything else – how does a car work? – You got to take it apart and know each part, how they’re different but put them together and they all work together. Same thing with those three subjects. And how they work together IN YOU.
This means you have to understand you and the way you operate. Human beings – how do they operate? When you were 10 years old you never even thought – how do human beings operate? And even now that’s a strange thought to you. You just go.. Maybe once in a while you think about yourself, what am I doing, what am I supposed to do.
Believing is accepting that something is true when you know you can’t fully prove it but you’re sure it’s true. But ‘I want to go that direction and test it”. That’s the way you operate = ‘I think the car works on pistons and gasoline, I’m going to work on that’. But what is faith? Faith and believe are very different from each other, and very connected. They are both.
Faith is something you have in you, it’s not something you do. You never do faith. Did you know God and Jesus never believed anything. Why? Because they already know everything. We believe because we don’t know. “I think this is true, I believe it, I’m going to try this. I can do that”, but God already knows. He doesn’t need to do that.
So what is faith? Faith is not a doing at all, it’s not a verb, it’s a noun, it’s something that’s in you. It’s a thing, not an action. It’s something in you that you have, read it, all over. And you never do something with your faith. You don’t exercise faith the way people talk – that is not in the Bible. You walk out of faith, and the righteous shall live out of faith. That’s something else.
What is faith? Believing is thinking something is true when you can’t really prove it, and you accept that it’s true, and you get ready to test it. That’s believing. Faith has to be something very different, but also it’s got to be connected to it. It can’t be independent. They come from the same Greek root word in the New Testament.
You hear about people, they say they don’t have faith, then they come around a month later, and they have it!
What’s going to sort all this out? The Bible is concerned with us. There is one faith, one Lord, one Baptism. Read it. In fact, it is called, the faith of Jesus. He never believed anything, but He had and has faith. You’ll see that all over, he never believed anything, we are the ones who need to believe. And yet He had faith. And that faith that He had is what we’re all supposed to develop into. ‘Till we all come to the unity of the faith’ is what you read Eph.4:13. And that’s the unity of the faith that’s in him, not something we make up. It’s the faith that was “in Him” that we need to have. And when we first start out as a Christian, that faith is like a baby, but it has to grow.
Now what is the best simple definition of faith that can really get you going? Faith is not knowing. It’s something that’s in you. If you said, faith is knowledge, that’s still not right. Knowledge is an important word, but that is something else.
What’s the most important word in the Bible? I think it’s truth (besides God or Jesus). Jesus said, ‘I am the truth.’ Now truth is what you ought to be after. You ought to looking for truth, not religion. Because religions are crazy they’re all arguing with each other. Is the world getting closer to Jesus, or further, what do you think? Is it working? They want to establish their thing and that’s all. And meanwhile Jesus said, I’m the only one.
Give me a basic description, definition of faith that always holds up. I’ll tell you. FAITH IS A FORM OF TRUTH. Form, a kind of truth, that arises in us because we believe. A form of truth that we have. A free head start. A certain kind of truth that arises in us when we believe. As soon as you accept that Jesus is the Lord, when you accept that really – well I think it’s true I’m going to accept that He is who He says He is. As soon as you do that, you start to believe, faith starts in you at that point. It sort of matches believing, but they are two different things. One is something that is in you, and the other is something you do. You test that in the Bible and you’ll find that holds true everywhere, and there’s nothing you can find that’s against it. That faith is a form of truth, a free head start that God has arranged for us to have through Jesus. In the Old Testament, they didn’t have faith the way we do now. It was altogether different, when Jesus came with the faith that was in him, we can now have that, and grow into that. And faith starts in us when we believe, because you believe.
What about rightly studying the Bible and the word of God. It’s true they are all true and all “of God,” but beyond that. You need more specifics. How are they similar and yet different? What can you say about the word of God? What is it, how does it work? Everybody talks about the word of God. In Matt. 13 you do read about the 4th planting -‘he indeed understands the word’. So we can understand the word, that’s possible. What is the word of God so that you can start to understand how it works? It’s an awful lot more than the manual of how to live but there is something to that.
How would you do a simple concept as with faith? Faith is a form of truth that arises in you when you believe and because you believe. So they’re really connected, and yet they’re different. How do you do something like that for the word of God, that you have something to work with? In John – the word was God. That’s an amazing statement. How would you begin to explain/define the word of God? As opposed to faith, as opposed to rightly understanding the Bible, they’re three different remember, and the idea is how do they work together in me? You got to know something about what each one is. Thy word is a lamp to my feet.
What is the word of God? A very basic beginning definition. The word of God – Jesus said to God – Thy(your) word is truth. The word of God in me is another form of truth in me, different than faith, but one that agrees. Because, the word of God is truth, the Bible says so twice. It’s an identity, truth. The word of God is a form of truth planted in me by hearing the gospel. When you hear the gospel, that can be the word of God being planted in you. It is plant talk. Faith is not plant talk, never in the Bible, but the word of God is. Matt. 13 – The seed is the word of God, is what it says, that is planted in you, in Matt 13. So the word of God is a seed form of truth that’s planted in me through hearing the gospel. Whenever you hear it and accept it, that’s the big thing. If that happens with you that is very very important. Anybody that hears the word of God and believes it, accepts it. And starts living it.
So anyway, what is faith? – A form of truth that arises in you through believing. The word of God in me – is a form of truth that arises through hearing the gospel preached. That you do see all over, that’s what the word of God is. It’s something you hear, and that’s called planting, it’s all plant talk. But faith is never plant talk. Faith is strictly from believing, a result of believing. The result is you have faith when you believe.
There’s 2 forms of truth in you! That’s a pretty good free start! But now what about the Bible? The Bible is very different from those first two, and yet they are very much connected and work together. So what is the Bible and rightly understanding. The Bible is not the word of God and it never says that, in fact you find things against it. I have a list, 2 lists. One is when the Bible talks about the word of God it says all these things. And all those things it never says about itself, here’s the list about the Bible. When the Bible talks about the Bible it talks one way, when the Bible talks about the word of God it talks very differently. And never the same, there’s an iron wall between them. Study it, learn it, and stay out of that trap. There’s so many traps that Christians have now, of falsehood. That’s a big one, ‘Oh the Bible is the word of God’. No it is not. And I ask people – you’re going to prove it – If you were marooned on a desert island, and you could have your choice – you could have a Bible, or you could have the word of God planted in you. Which one do you want? (the word of God) What did you just prove? – I know it’s greater, it’s better. The Bible and the word of God, they are not the same thing, that’s a trap, a shortcut, Christians have always made up shortcut explanations because the Bible seems mysterious, and so they make up short cut explanations that work up to a point and then they fall apart. That’s why the Bible tells you – ‘Test everything and hold fast what is good’. Don’t go buying stuff.
So what is the Bible? And I mean the Hebrew and the Greek. The English translations are all different. You need to get to the original terms. It’s a written book yes. But as related to faith, as related to the word of God, and what is it itself. What is a piston, why is it up front in the engine, and how does the whole car work together. Remember we are looking for one English word that combines all of them. Let’s say you know how to rightly interpret the Bible, what is that now for you? A story is the package that truth or falsehood could be put into. You got something if you can rightly interpret the Bible. Then all three you can relate and they work together and you can see how. The Bible never says it’s the “true word of God”, that’s an invention that man made up. You can’t find that in the Bible. The word of God is far, far better than the Bible. But what do you have if you rightly interpret the Bible? The Bible is important, it’s true, but it is not THE TRUTH. Jesus himself is the truth, and his word is the truth. But the Bible is something other than the word of God. It was put together over thousands of years by many people. As it says, ‘the word of God’ came to them. That doesn’t happen anymore, it is planted in your heart through hearing the gospel. There’s no other way to have it. Like faith – you didn’t have faith before now how’d you get it? – Well I believe, and faith started. And the only way to get the word of God, is to hear the gospel and accept it, then the word of God starts to grow as a plant in you. Which agrees with your faith, and agrees with your interpreting the Bible.
Well we were doing interpreting the Bible, what do you have when you’re rightly interpreting the Bible? As related to but different from the other two. “All scripture is God-breathed.” 2Tim.3:16-17 The original words are nuema and theos (God breathed). But that doesn’t make sense to people so they interpret it “inspired.” But by doing that they introduce problems. God is behind the Bible, and it is godly thinking, and it’s true. What do you have when you rightly interpret it? What’s the fundamental thing you can say about it? It’s different, and related, and similar to the other two. You got three witness – faith, the word of God in you, and the Bible rightly understood. That’s what God has arranged for you to learn and know the truth. Let alone the spirit of truth which he gives.
So what do you have when you rightly understand the Bible? Hint – Faith comes through believing, and the word of God comes in you through hearing. So believing was the path, hearing was the path… what about the Bible? A form of truth got in you those other two ways, through believing and through hearing the gospel. The Bible has it’s own path into you, through your mind. The Bible is a form of truth for your mind. The word of God is sown in your heart, and faith arises in you when you believe. But the Bible is for your mind. The other two are independent of your mind. Faith isn’t against your mind but it’s independent of it. Your mind isn’t everything, but your mind is important.
Three different paths into you. So when you rightly interpret the Bible, what do you have? – You have godly thinking explained to your mind. It’s the path into you. Whereas faith is truth entering you, a free head start, through believing. Whereas the word of God, a free head start into you, just by planting. A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, four things happened. Matthew 13. (And Mark 4 & Luke 8 same thing).
So you got those three things there – faith, the word of God, and you understanding the Bible. They work together. They’re three different things that came into you three different ways. But they all work together in you, to convince you.
That’s an introduction to – What is the Bible and how does it work. Well the Bible talks about faith, and the word of God. An introduction of how to get the whole picture, that you can show to be correct. Instead of the usual just say things and they sort of sound good, that’s no way to operate. You need what it is that you can prove. Same as how does a car work. And how do you work? You’re looking for truth. Pilate said, ‘what is truth?’. You need to have an idea what it is. Truth is that which explains the most. Well Jesus explains the most of everything, He is the truth. Then there’s lesser, parts of the truth. Whatever explains the whole business, if you’ve got something that does that than you’re onto the truth! That’s the way you work.
You’re trapped, you didn’t ask to be born. You’re trapped into this whole civilization this whole existence. The Bible says better is the day of death than the day of birth, of course, a right death. Dying in Christ and going to be with Him. Or are you just an animal that dies and that’s the end of it? Physically we’re animals, but there’s more to us. And Jesus rose from the dead, he is onto something. Something way beyond us, and proved it. Therefore He must be the center of my life, and everything is concerning him directly. According to truth, not making up religious stories.
You need to be in Christ according to the scriptures. The Boreans were more noble and they searched the scriptures to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11. What is the big problem with us? Humans believe themselves (I’m calling it God but it’s nothing but my own false confidence). That’s why there’s 100 different religions. They’re all believing themselves and calling it God. You need to test yourself according to the scriptures. Start by learning these three things and test according to the scriptures. The easy one you have in your hand. If you’re not even willing to do that what does that say about the other two?
Even what you believe you need to test legitimately. So you can have genuine confidence. Those 12 salvation verses, and then expand into the 25. There’s a really good beginning. And the interlinear Bible gets you halfway there to the original languages. You need to get to the original Greek text and your understanding comes from the original text, because a lot of the ideas that people have are not true. And you get closer to the original Greek and Hebrew text, you start realizing that people are just taking shortcuts. And translation and interpretation is a hard work thing, and there’s a lot of short cuts that have always gone on. With the Greek words and the number above you can look up each word. Each original word and let your understanding grow from that. Even better is to learn Greek and Hebrew itself but that is quite a hard project. But lexicons you can look up what these words meant, back then. That is the real approach. For example, grace (charis) is #5485. 5486 is gift, another form of the same word. Grace is a 2 way relationship. Grace is always explained in all the churches as something that God gives you. No way, you must return grace. That’s hidden, the translations lose all that. But if you get into the Greek, you’ll see that emerging, this two way relationship. David said, ‘What shall I render to the Lord for all His bounty to me, I will lift up the cup of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord’. A real being thankful for what God has done, the real thing leads to everything right in us. But you can’t be thankful unless you’ve received a gift, and you want receive it unless you want it. And you won’t want it in this case unless you realize you’re in big trouble. The Escape Recipe starts out – I am in big big trouble because of my sin.
God has to be everything, He can’t be a hobby. And that’s what us humans turn it into. And that’s why all these religions, a very surface approach. I got to make sure I understand God’s will according to the scriptures. Just for one, but that one is right in your hand. What’s your excuse. Then there is faith and the word of God we talked about. But these 3 agree. If you take the trouble to do it the real way. The flesh just wants a surface thing so I just do my own thing and call it God, that is self deceit. You wouldn’t learn how to drive a car that way. Or anything else. Honest, reasonable, or you’re not going to get anywhere. How come Jesus only gets a hobby basis. He is worth everything, the inexpressible gift. It can’t be expressed in our language how great this gift is. What if you really really believed 1/2 of what he said, what would you be like. (I’d be a fanatic for him). Let’s say if you were going to die in an hour, would you have any regrets? I wish I had so & so…
Half the New Testament is talking about being in Christ, that’s where you got to be. Then you’re safe. According to the scriptures. Not something about him, in him. The growing takes time. Examine yourself, what you think is right for you, and God’s will for you. According to the scriptures.