“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, things not seen) and the end of faith (the substance, the evidence). The beginning of faith is an analogy to the beginning of Creation.
“In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” Genesis 1:1.
God envisioned His creation. But there was no evidence. Nothing has been made yet, as we see in verse 2. For the thought or idea to become substance (matter) would require the word of God. The seed of God. Every thing is made by a seed.
“And God said…” Genesis 1:3
“And the word was made flesh…” John 1:14
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:3
God’s thought of creation became a reality through His word; through the works that brought His creation into existence. Faith, like creation and salvation, requires works.
“ Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:26.
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 a thought. Noah, believing in his mind that a flood was coming, began the works of building an ark. Just because we say something with our mouth, think or believe something in our mind, does not make it a reality in our heart. Saying we are saved because we have accepted Jesus into our heart does not make it so. To be saved we must accept the spiritual Jesus into our heart. The spiritual Jesus is the word of God, truth, through which we truly become in our heart what we think we are in our mind.
“Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” Revelation 3:17
Christians say they “believe” in Jesus. This is the beginning of faith. But this elementary-level faith is not enough to save us. Salvation, like creation, requires works. Jesus said, “believe the works,” the word “believe” meaning “to obey or put action to,” referring to the spiritual works of God, through which we receive internal salvation. This is the end of faith.
“ If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works…” John 10:37,38
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9.
As it took works to bring God’s physical creation into existence, it takes works to bring our spiritual creation into existence. The carnal works of the law, a figure or type-and-shadow of the spiritual works, could not perfect them that kept them.
“… which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” Hebrews 9:9,10
They were to keep the carnal works of the law until “the time of reformation.” When we do the spiritual (internal) works of the Father, through which we form a new heaven and earth.
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18
Jesus is speaking of a spiritual heaven and earth. The “first heaven and the first earth.”
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away…” Revelation 21:1
Jesus said he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it. It is not Jesus who fulfils the law. It is the works of the Father that fulfils the law.
“ If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works…” ~ Jesus
The works of the Father are the works of creation, the works being synonymous with the word, the seed, the means by which all things are made. We have six (metaphorical) days of (spiritual) works to perform. The spiritual works of creation are found in the beginning and end of the book of Genesis, which means creation. The beginning of Genesis gives us an overview of the creation process. The end of Genesis, where Jacob tells his twelve sons what will befall them in the end of days, gives us the instruction for the salvation process. Salvation through creation!
“Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:9
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2000