Summary: A father said to his rebellious son, “Everyone in the USA is a privileged person.” The boy replied, “I disagree!” The father said, “That’s the privilege. You are free to reject God’s provision, but that will not change the fact of the sure consequence."
In the study of God’s plan of redemption for mankind, we must start with a very basic concept. That concept is..:
It is God Who provides the redemption and it is humans who receive the redemption.
This must NOT be “Basic Theology 101”, because very few people START their study at this foundational level. Most want to START with the ultimate conclusion of the whole matter.
Starting at the “end” brings excitement, because it is a grand conclusion, but sad to say, that does not bring much understanding to the process, of which we are a part, right now. NOR does it give us an understanding of the person of God, Himself.
If God is the supplier of redemption and mankind is the recipient of that redemption, then a proper study of redemption MUST start with Who God is and how He is capable of providing such a wonderful miracle, and we MUST also have an understanding of mankind and why we need such a provision.
As we study and understand what mankind has become, and Who God is and what God has done, it will cause us to stand in awe, praise and worship of the God of all Gods. Worship is one of the first elements needed to have a clear understanding of Who God is and what man has become, thereby moving on to a proper view of redemption.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Jump ahead in this passage to the first part of verse 6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” The Holy Spirit provides us with this God ordained definition of faith, and then proceeds to state that we “cannot please God without this faith”.
Also, in this passage, the Holy Spirit shows the relationship between faith, righteousness, worship, etc. The truths of the Word of God are more like a woven tapestry, rather than a dictionary
It is certainly needful to examine each strand of the Biblical tapestry, but only an examination of each strand tells about the material used BUT doesn’t tell us much about the picture the tapestry depicts.
It is interesting to study the make up of each and every strand. However, to have an understanding of the Scriptural truth, it is needful to see all those strands as a total.
It is the total picture that is important!
The individual strands are only important as they
join with all other strands to make up the whole.
When the beginning and ending of our examination is only with individual strands, such as a verse or a word or the Greek meaning, we will seldom see the whole picture, but instead will draw erroneous conclusions. The individual strands are important, for without them there is no picture. However, we must keep in mind that it is the picture that is of greatest value.
1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Words (“strands”) are important. We are to be concerned with “wholesome” words and the words of “our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Wholesome = (Greek) To have sound health, be well and whole in body; Figuratively; to be uncorrupt and true in doctrine; Healthy in body
Notice, that even the Greek word for “wholesome” indicates that we are to be concerned with are those “wholesome” words that “fit” within the whole and make a healthy whole. It is the total picture we need, not just a study in vocabulary, only. God uses words only to paint a Spiritual picture that human dialogue cannot, by itself, portray.
However, if we take all the strands out of the tapestry, examine them, lay them on the table and leave them there, we don’t have a picture! We only have a mess! There is NO way we can accurately develop true doctrine with only an examination of the individual strands of the Biblical tapestry.
With that in mind, look at the importance of faith in our life of service and worship. Also, note an area of “faith” that we don’t often think of. Most generally we think of faith in association with doing great things, BUT this area of faith is one we have examined for several lessons and is not considered as “great” from a human perspective.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death, "and was not found because God had translated him"; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 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.