Commentary By: Gordon King
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
There are varying types of Christians, believers who are at different levels in their walk with God, varying levels of faith. It is important as a believer in Jesus Christ to be able to learn and grow in God, it is important for us, it is important to others, and it is important to God!
1 Corinthians 3:1-3
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal.”
There are those who are saved yet don’t really go much further in their walk than that, they are babies, never learning, never growing, never able to discern truth from lies and deceit. They lack the capacity to eat solid food but only drink milk, they cannot understand the deep things of God, nor can they relate what is happening in the world with bible prophecy. Many of these types of Christians are “carnal” believers, they are saved but they continue to live in sin. More often than not they do not see the error of their ways, and they are easily deceived! They do not understand the power of God nor of His might. Most do not believe that God can and does miraculous things in the world and their life as He did thousands of years ago. They waver back and forth because of their ignorance about God, not knowing His ways, not knowing what He deems as righteous and holy between what is evil and an abomination to Him!
“Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.“
Then there are those who have taken their first steps, they move forward in their walk with God, learning as they grow, developing into children. Yet, this is as far as they go, understanding more of God and His ways, but not able to connect all of the dots. They move from not only drinking milk but to eating solid foods, to eating vegetables, they are weak in their faith. They wander from the spirit to the flesh, not being fully committed to God. They see what is happening in the world around them, they can see that what the bible says will happen is happening, but they don’t seem to have the ability to discern the spirits. Like a teenager, they believe that they are immune to the ways of the world, that they have all of the answers, yet they often hit brick walls, unable to grasp the full power of God, unsure if God will keep all of His promises, not really sure just how God works in their life. They know that God does perform miracles, but they are unsure if He still does them today as He did thousands of years earlier, or if He will in their own lives. They can see the errors of their ways, yet they don’t always believe that God has the power to help them, they have doubts about God, and they find it difficult for some reason to relate to other people what is happening in the world with bible prophecy. They are not fully convinced of the power within them, nor do they fully believe that He who is in them is able to perform all things.
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways,”
Finally, there are those Christians who are mature in their faith, they are adults in their walk with God. They understand God and His ways, they know the power and the might that God has, they know and believe the ability of God to perform miraculous things in their life. They not only eat meat but they crave meat! They have the ability to discern the spirits, to see what is happening in the world, whether or not they are lies or the truth. They are able to relate what is happening in the world with bible prophecy, they can see bible prophecy being fulfilled, and they are not ashamed to tell it like it is. They understand that what scripture tells them is the truth is all the truth, that His word is inerrant, and that God never lies nor can He. They are walking in the spirit not the flesh, although at times they may wander, they always find their way back onto the righteous path. They know the awesomeness of God, they humble themselves before the Lord, they repent of their sins, they seek God in all things! They know that God is always with them, that He will never leave them nor forsake them, that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. When a mountain appears before them they know that God will see them through it, around it, or over it, these are mature believers in Christ. They are aware of the awesome power that is within them, that they are one with Christ and Christ is one with them.
“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.“
I am in no way proclaiming that mature believers in Jesus Christ are perfect, none of us are. We all make mistakes, and we all sin at times, each and every one of us. But there is a vast difference in our walk with the Lord, a vast difference in our levels of faith, and that difference makes a world of difference in how we see God and how we live our lives. The more mature we are as believers in Christ the closer we are in our relationship with God, and this is what it’s really all about!
There are varying levels of faith within the body of Christ, and within each of these levels that I mentioned above there are even more levels, the final level never being fully achieved, not until our redemption is complete when Christ takes us home.
If we are to be effective followers of Christ then we must continue to grow in Christ! If we are to successfully accomplish God’s will on earth then we must mature as believers, we must be walking in the spirit not the flesh. God is spirit and we are spirit, this is who we are in Christ. Our fleshly bodies are shells, temples of the Holy Spirit, here now gone tomorrow, from the dust of the earth back to the dust of the earth. Although our bodies are of flesh they are holy to God, they must be cherished for they are God’s temples.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.“
In order to see what is happening in the world around us we need to be mature believers, in order to accurately discern the spirits we must be mature. In order to fulfill God’s will in our lives then we must also be mature believers, not wavering, not wandering, but having the knowledge of God with us, written upon our hearts, being acted out by us in our lives. We cannot be ignorant of God or His word, we must know what God is telling us and how He wants us to act, ignorance is not an excuse!
I often find it amazing and frustrating at the same time when I see or hear of believers in Jesus Christ who cannot relate what is happening in the world to bible prophecy, when these believers are not walking in the spirit but in the flesh. We must recognize and realize that we are of the spirit and God is Spirit, that we are one with God!
The word of God is all true and shall all come to pass, whether or not we believe it. God does perform miracles today just as He did thousands of years ago, just as He did with the parting of the Red Sea, as He did by feeding the Israelites in the desert, and as He did by raising the dead and healing the sick. He is the same yesterday as He is today and will be tomorrow, He never changes!
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.“
The bible is a good book to read, but it is even more important to study it, meditate upon it, and apply it to our lives! Faith without works is dead. What good is knowing something if you don’t use it? What good is knowing about God if you don’t know God?! When we apply God’s principles to our lives then we know God more, when we act in obedience to God our relationship with God is increased and enhanced. When we act out our faith with good works then we are pleasing to God, we are performing His will, we are being obedient to God.
Whatever level of faith you find yourself in continue to grow in the Lord, this is what we as believers are called to do. We may be content to reach a specific level of faith, however God is not! He wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. He expects us to be righteous and holy, just as He is holy.
God bless my friends! Maranatha!