Study # 12
Thesis: The requirement of faith is a requirement of a legitimate motive in acting according to the promised wisdom.
Review: The proper response to stressful circumstances is..
November 19, 1997
- 1) To be committed to joy beyond the judgment
- 2) To be committed to the awareness that the process is designed to yield that joy
- a. By being genuinely aware
- b. By being willing to permit the process to work
- 3) To be committed to the promise of wisdom
- I. The Meaning of 'In Faith'.
- A. Set within a context of...
- 1. The instability of waves that have no anchor.
- 2. Divine denial.
- 3. Having a double soul.
- 4. Summary: God's refusal to respond to those who are uncommitted.
- B. Set against the contrast of "doubting".
- 1. First consideration: what is the proper grasp of having a 'mustard-seed faith' [Matthew 17:20] in respect to 'nothing doubting' [Matthew 21:21]?
- a. Paul implies a certain strength of faith in 1 Corinthians 13:2 for mountain moving.
- b. But Jesus declares that only a mustard-seed faith is required [Matthew 17:20].
- c. However, Jesus also declares that the mustard-seed faith cannot be mixed with the problem of 'doubting' [Matthew 21:21].
- d. How is this issue to be understood?
- 1) What the disciples HAD that did NOT constitute a 'mustard-seed' faith.
- a) A divine mandate [Matthew 10:1].
- b) A human commitment to obey.
- c) A backlog of success in obedience.
- 2) What the disciples did NOT have that constituted a 'mustard-seed' faith.
- a) The implications of 'privacy' are at least inclusive of the desire to not be humiliated, or, said another way, the desire to be exalted.
- b) The conclusion is that their motives were improper: they were using a divine priviledge to reach for self-exaltation.
- c) This is in harmony with James' later teaching in 4:3.
- 3) Conclusion: a 'mustard-seed' faith consists of...
- a) A divine mandate by word OR by the immutable character of God.
- b) A human willingness to obey the mandate.
- c) A legitimate motivation for the efforts to be made.
- d) No necessity for maturity or a large amount of faith. [Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:2, implies that God will sometimes respond to a large amount of faith even if the motives are incorrect, but without proper motivation, we can be abandoned in our agendas at any time.]