“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
In the definition of faith we find the beginning of faith (things hoped for, not seen) and the end of faith (the substance, the evidence). The beginning of faith is like the beginning of Creation. “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” God had the idea or thought of heaven and and earth. Nothing had been made yet. “And the earth was without form, and void…” To cause the thought to become a reality would take the word of God; the works that formed heaven and earth, which is the act of creation. There are works associated with the beginning of faith and there are works associated with the end of faith. We are given a number of examples of the works associated with the beginning of faith in the book of Hebrews, each one having to do with external salvation, which started with having a thought. Noah, believing in his mind that a flood was coming had the idea of building an ark. But just believing in his mind that a flood was coming was not enough to save Noah and his family. He would have to do the works of building the ark. The religious faith of the Christian falls under the beginning of faith. They believe that Jesus Christ saves them. And many of them are still waiting for Jesus to return. This is the beginning of faith as there is no evidence to support it. They have been taught by the Church, founded upon the teachings of Paul, to have faith in Jesus Christ. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Yes, they are children; unskilled in the spiritual word or works of God. The faith of the religious Christian is the beginning of faith; a mental belief. They are at the beginning of creation. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:26. God’s thought of creation was not enough to bring it into existence. Faith in Jesus Christ is not enough to save Christians. It is going to take works. But Paul, apostle to the Gentiles, negated the works of the law, calling them unnecessary, teaching that salvation is a gift, not something you have to work for. Just believe or have faith in Jesus Christ and you’re saved; faith without works. The carnal works of the carnal law; a pattern or figure of the spiritual works, were to be kept until the spiritual works could be completed, which is why Jesus said he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it.
“Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works…” The works of the Father are the works of creation, which is why Jesus, the seed or word of God, was with God in the beginning of creation (John 1:1). All things are made by a seed. All of God’s creation was made by His word. Creation and salvation are synonymous; the works of creation revealing the works of salvation. Contrary to Paul’s teachings, Jesus does not care if we believe in him, which falls under the beginning of faith. He wants us to believe the works, the word believe meaning to obey or put action to.” Faith without works is dead, having no power to save us. Salvation, like creation, requires works. It took God’s Spirit and word/works to bring His creation into existence. It takes faith and works to make salvation a reality. Paul circumvents this spiritual truth by saying Jesus did the works for us, which is A LIE! These spiritual works are the “greater works” Jesus spoke of (John 14:12). What is greater than the physical works the Christ performed? The spiritual works the spiritual christ performs in our heart, through which we receive the salvation of our soul. These are the works that perfect or complete our faith. “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” As there were six days of works in the physical creation of heaven and earth, there are six spiritual days of spiritual works in the creation of a spiritual heaven and earth, through which we obtain true salvation. These works are found in the first six churches in the book of Revelation; the works of overcoming our false religious and personal beliefs; internal works through which we receive that which we hoped for, our faith made perfect through works!
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2000