Faith Based :: by Grant Phillips

Isn’t it amazing how Satan can take legitimate Biblical words with real meanings and turn them in to watered-down nothingness? The word “Christian” is one. According to the world, just about anyone can be called “Christian”. Apparently, you just name it and claim it and you’ve got it. You can live like Hell while you’re on your way to Heaven. I’ve talked about true Christianity before, so this time I would like to address another subject, and that is “faith”.

According to what I have been hearing, the phrase “faith based” has become quite popular, even in Washington. Our own government classifies many organizations as faith based. People from all walks of life, talk about faith. I hear comments like, “just have faith”, and “I’m a person of faith”.

It is a wonderful blessing from God if we are exercising true Biblical faith, but most of what I have been hearing does not appear to be of that nature, especially from Washington and Hollywood.

Faith requires three components; a source, an object, and substance.

The Source:
We do not just manufacture true Biblical faith. The Scriptures state, that what little legitimate faith we may have, comes from God. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3) The source of faith is God. We will not and cannot have true Biblical faith apart from Almighty God. Anything else is a sham. Why?

Fallen man does not seek after God because he is wicked. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:10-18) If there is no “fear of God before their eyes”, you can bet there is no Biblical faith. We cannot even come to Him for salvation in Jesus, unless He provides us with the faith to do so. (See Romans 12:3 above)

So, any faith that the world speaks of is a pseudo faith. What is the source of this pseudo faith? The source can undoubtedly be traced back to Satan, because nothing good comes from him. Anything from Satan is just “smoke and mirrors”.

If you claim to have faith, but you are not a child of God through His Son Jesus Christ, you do not possess real Biblical faith. You are empty. You have only a pseudo faith which is good for nothing. You are like a bell with no clapper, a rooster with no voice, a dam with no water, a car with no gas, a word without meaning, music without melody, fire with no heat. Clear enough? Your source has placed your pseudo faith on the wrong object(s) and has no substance.

The Object:
The object of true Biblical faith is God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Any other object of faith comes from Satan.

This doesn’t seem to be the object of faith I sense from some people when they speak of faith. One can tell that their faith is either in themselves, other people, their ability, their determination, their stamina, their status, their “faith based” organization (had to throw that in), or whatever, but not God.

I’ve heard it said, for example, “they overcame because they are such a strong person”, and “I will not let this defeat me”, and “I will not give in to this”. These all sound fine in and of themselves, but it is so obvious that the object of faith is on self, not God. Our strength does not come from within us. It comes from God, if we are His child. If we are not His child, then we are actually weak and empty but don’t know it. We are like watered down tea, coffee without caffeine, a sketch pad with no drawings, a pencil without lead, a pen without ink, or food without seasoning. Our “power of positive thinking” is a harlot in a bridal gown, all dressed up outside, but corrupt inside, as Jesus said “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” (Matthew 23:27-28)

When we shoot off our mouth about faith, and the source is Satan and the object is not Jesus Christ, we are no different than the scribes and Pharisees. As Jesus so eloquently put it, we are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. By the way, a hypocrite is one who pretends or puts on a false appearance.

The Substance:
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Does the faith spoken of by those who obviously don’t give a whip stitch about Jesus have any substance? They talk a good game, but is there substance, or just a lot of hot air? Let me just say, I have felt the warm breeze blowing around my pant legs on many occasion.

To get this point across, we must have a clear understanding of the word “substance”. Strong’s Lexicon defines “substance as:

1) a setting or placing under

a) thing put under, substructure, foundation

2) that which has foundation, is firm

a) that which has actual existence

3) a substance, real being

a) the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing

b) the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution

4) confidence, firm trust, assurance

I’ll try to corner this word by using two good synonyms that come to mind. One is “stuff” and the other is “body”.

If you don’t have any “stuff” in your taco shell, all you will have to eat is an empty shell. The rest is air. It lacks substance or stuff.

When the pouring rain beats a woman’s hair down around her head, her hair no longer has any “body”. It is limp and sagging. The substance of what it once was is gone.

The pseudo faith the world talks about has no substance. It has no stuff to fill it in, and no body to give it shape. It is lacking in substance.

The Apostle Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19) This is another example of “no substance”. Faith without Christ is empty, void, and without form. It is a pseudo faith, not a Biblical faith. If we have “faith” while in this world, but see nothing beyond the grave, we are miserable, and often don’t even not know it. We might as well eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Unfortunately, many people believe just this.

When our source of faith is from the one and only true God, and our object of faith is in the one and only true God, we then have substance, which is provided by the one and only true God.

The glib manner in which most people speak of faith is not true faith. Anyone can say they have faith, but what kind is it, if they have any at all? True Biblical faith must have a source, an object and substance all centered in Christ. If you think it is enough to just have faith in yourself, as many do, all you have is pseudo faith. It is from Satan. It has no substance, and it is good for nothing. What is the source of your faith? What is the object of your faith? What substance does your faith enjoy?

Jesus said when referring to His Second Coming, “… Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) Even now, there is very little true faith on the earth.

Grant Phillips

Pre-Rapture Commentary