12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. – Hebrews 5:12-6:3
“FAITH TOWARDS GOD – OUT OF HIS FAITHFULNESS”
Doctrine is important. The Greek word for “doctrine” is didaskalia, which means “teaching.” However, doctrine is also a set of prescribed teachings, interpreted by the apostles, inspired by God. At the beginning of the New Testament Church in Acts 2:42, the Bible tells us, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Above, we see the elementary doctrines of the Christian faith set forth in Hebrews Chapters 5 and 6. This is a regimented and set order of teachings that God expects us to be proficient enough to, at some point in our walk, teach others (For though by this time you ought to be teachers…- v.12).God expects His Kingdom citizens to be skilled in the Word and to have the ability to live out doctrine and teach others.
“Faith toward God” is the second of what I term “the foundational principles,” about which I have written extensively in my book, “The Apostle’s Doctrine.” You have to know what it means to “have faith”; faith is one of those subjects that can get you really tripped up. You can live your whole life and feel like you have biblical faith—and you don’t. Everybody feels like “my faith is strong,” but they know not one Bible verse, they don’t have an intimate relationship with God as defined by the Bible, and most importantly, they could not stand and teach the doctrine of “faith towards God” from the scripture. What they may have is subjectivity, optimism, and positivity, but none of these is biblical faith.One thing we do not want is to miscalculate or misunderstand is biblical faith because the consequences are ETERNAL (Matthew 7:21-23).
Everything we do as a Kingdom citizen is and must be done by faith (Galatians 5:6) The Bible tells us, “We walk by faith and not by sight,” (2 Corinthians 5:7) and, “The just shall live (exist) by faith.” (Hebrews 10:38A) Your walk and life with God is by faith; not by works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Living the Kingdom life is not based on your moral discipline or spiritual duty; it is predicated upon your faith alone.
On the surface, this seems like a vacation from responsibility—until you really understand what the Bible is saying. Since faith is the actual substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1), that does not mean we walk by optimism. Biblical faith is more complex than that. An examination of Romans 1:16-17 will assist us in unlocking some of the keys to Biblical faith. This passage reads:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
We see that the gospel—God’s good news to humankind—is the POWER of God unto salvation to them that believe. Everything that God wants to do in your life flows out of the gospel. It is the POWER! But this POWER is only released when you believe it. That’s why the Bible says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come,” (Matthew 24:14). There is no liberation without the gospel, and there is no experiencing the POWER until you BELIEVE the message.
In the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed from “faith to faith.” In the Greek, this is ek pisteōs eis pistis —“out of faithfulness into faith.” Paul is actually reaching back and quoting Habakkuk 2:4, “But the just shall live by his faith.” (Habukkuk 2:4B). So, Paul is recording that out of God’s faithfulness we get faith. We could not trust God until He first did something; thus, God is not asking us to blindly trust Him. When you look at what God first did for you (made you righteous through your belief in the gospel), you should declare, “Now THAT’S a God I can BELIEVE!” Think about it. God always gives us His history and shows us how He has been faithful to others. He was faithful to David against a 9-foot tall giant named Goliath. He was faithful to Israel before the Red Sea and a raging army closing in behind them. He was faithful to Joshua in the Battle for Jericho, and He was faithful to Joseph who had to go from his brother’s betrayal to prison to the palace (Genesis 37: 39-46).
God is faithful and has a track record of being faithful.
Some of you should not even be here to read this right now because you have come through situations that many have died in. If it had not been for the King of kings on your side, you would not be here. You don’t need to look far or long and wide to see where God has brought you from. The Word says that, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13). If you are going to have and exercise biblical Kingdom faith, Paul clearly directs us first to God’s faithfulness. Because out of the King’s faithfulness proceeds our faith.
Beloved, over the next week, make a list of at least 10 occurrences in your life where God has shown His faithfulness to you, apart from and in addition to your salvation.
A Prayer for Today:
I praise and thank you King Jesus for giving me a measure of faith and for the Word of life that You so carefully crafted and inspired over the centuries. I rejoice in the fact that Your divine power has given us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness, by which we may become partakers of the divine nature, possessing your very DNA and becoming fully equipped to expand this gospel of the Kingdom all over the world. Please increase my faith and make me ready to complete Your Kingdom mission through me and for Your glory. Amen.
When we come to God for salvation, the part that we play is an exercise in faith. All of our deeds or “our works” are as filthy rags, and in order to be declared righteous, we had to place our faith in Jesus. In this powerful message, “Faith Towards God”, Dr. Dana Carson teaches us that faith is an unseen reality, faith is necessary, and that faith grows. Order your copy of this dynamic and life-changing message today!
The book Apostles’ Doctrine focuses upon the fundamental doctrine of the Kingdom of God. Apostle, Dr. Dana Carson has written this book to expound on the seven foundational tenets of the faith, recorded in Hebrews 6, from a Kingdom perspective. Everyone who is serious about studying the scriptures, and desires to become strong in the faith and not able to be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, must read the Apostles’ Doctrine.