Peter, the disciple, raised the dead1 just like Jesus taught him to. How did he get such faith! Christians today have no faith because they don’t follow the simple, practical, common sense steps Jesus used to teach His own disciples faith contained in the Bible. Jesus’ method of building faith was to obligate His disciples to live by faith every day. He ensured that the twelve disciples exercised their faith every day by removing the usual things people employ to substitute true faith, like money for example. Let’s have a look at one typical day in the classroom of Christ’s school of faith as He sends out His disciples to preach the Gospel. ~ “And when He had called His twelve disciples to [Him]…These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying…’Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons…Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts…nor bag for [your] journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food’” (Matthew 10.1,5,8,9,10).
Deviations & their Consequences
Those who are sincere about following in the steps of Jesus have been taught the true faith that saves the soul from hell and are familiar with His method of developing faith. First, it must be clearly understood that the teachings of Christ are the foundation of all other Bible doctrine. His ways are the best ways, His words are of the highest authority and His form of doing things produces the most fruit and achieves the best results. The Bible says ~ “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 3.11). The problem with Christians today is simple, yet the repercussions of their deviations from the true Gospel wield profound consequences. They have been taught the ‘theory’ of the Bible without ever being introduced to the practical application of the principles and concepts outlined in the sacred writings.
Don’t Deceive Yourself
A pilot cannot obtain a license to fly until he has successfully completed several hundred hours of real experience in the cockpit. It’s the same with a surgeon. Regardless of how many years of study and how high his grades were, a physician cannot obtain his license until he has adequately performed a formidable amount of real-life exercises. The Bible teaches that though theory is important, theory alone will never be blessed by God. Furthermore, scripture plainly reveals that those who hear the word and fail to put into practice the things they hear are doing nothing more than deceiving themselves. The Spirit speaking through the Apostle James wrote ~ “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1.22).
Amputating the Arm of the Flesh
Only those who have graduated from the Master’s school of faith will be the beneficiaries of divine power in this life and life everlasting in the time that is to come. Most of those who use the name of Jesus today cannot even recognize the working of Christ in their own lives nor in the life of those who surround them. When Christ tells the modern congregant ~ “…whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14.33), most tremble in fear at the prospect of learning to live by faith and search for ways to justify their outright rejection of God and His word. The first assignment the Master gave to His disciples, even before taking their first step, was to abrogate completely the arm of the flesh and immediately begin to put their faith into practice, trusting completely in Christ. Jesus has not changed.
Know & Expect
Fortunately, the great Master of faith is still here3 and actively instructing the brave few who desire to genuinely know Him and follow in His footsteps, removing all confidence in the flesh and fearlessly stepping out2 of the boat and into the waters of the sea by faith. ~ “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14.33). Why would God want His followers to renounce all? — because He must teach them the true life of faith, or He knows they will be eternally lost. Begin today to trust the Master. Know and expect that in love He will gently remove your trust in gold and silver and all else, so you will grow strong in the faith that moves mountains, the only true faith, faith like Jesus.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
1. Acts 9.40
2. Matthew 14.29
3. Hebrews 13.8
© L. Jonathan Blais 2021 All rights reserved. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.