Posts Tagged ‘faith’



Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Back in 2003-4 time frame, I penned a statement of faith that was based upon the statement of faith of the first true New Testament church I was in. What I did was essentially corrected and amended their statement as there were (and to this day still are) typographical errors, citation errors, and statements which were either nonsense, or were arcane enough so the average person could not actually understand what was expressed. Primarily, I did this to more fully express what I believed, and to solidify in my own mind how best to do that. Nothing accomplishes those purposes quite like writing.

In 2009, Ebenezer Baptist mission undertook the task of writing its statement of faith, which resulted in some changes to my statement, as I am under the authority of the mission. Most of the changes were not significant or substantial, but clarifying of held doctrines. A couple of articles were split for clarification, and one new was added (Of Liberty of the Conscience). With those basic changes the statement of faith was pretty much complete.

However, that was four years ago, and much teaching has gone on since then. There is a far better understanding of certain doctrines, and for the first time, an valid, defined, testable understanding of iniquity, transgression and sin. There is also a far better understanding of how man is made in the image of God. These things and others warranted looking again at the statement of faith to see what needed to be changed and/or clarified. This time, there are significant changes.

Do these changes alter the doctrine? Actually, no, they do not. What they do is clarify the foundations of the belief and add significant information to the doctrine, which strengthens the doctrine. Additionally, gaps and ambiguities are removed so there is no misunderstanding as to what is believed. To illustrate what I mean, article six (VI) is set forth below. First is the statement from 2009, and below it is the newly agreed to statement.

VI. Of The Creation (5/31/09)
I believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after his own likeness. I hold that all of creation was not, and is not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established law was and is, that they should bring forth only “after their kind.” Moreover, that the earth is approximately 6000 years old, and that the creation of the entire physical universe occurred in six, twenty-four hour days, and that on the seventh day the LORD rested.

Some things to note in the original statement from 2009 are a lack of specificity as to where everything came from, and whether the twin errors of the Gap theory and day/age theory are allowed. Moreover, only the minimum is mentioned about the creation of man. Since the majority of the rest of the statement of faith deals with man and the LORD’s provision of salvation in Christ, it is rather odd that so little is mentioned about man and how he was created, and why he is accountable.

You are free to judge, but I believe that is fixed with the following statement:

VI. Of The Creation (9/25/13)
I believe in the Genesis account of the creation of the physical universe; that it is to be accepted as factually and literally true: That all things which are, were created ex nihlo, or out of nothing, by the infinite knowledge and power of the LORD God. I reject any assertion that the account is allegorical or figurative as pertaining to the events of creation and their sequence. I reject as spurious both the “Gap” theory and “Day/Age” theory of the creation account. I hold that all of creation was not, and is not, a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms. I believe, as Scripture plainly expresses, that all animal and plant life was made directly, and God’s established law was, and is, that they should bring forth only “after their kind.” I believe that all of creation was formed fully functional, or “in-process,” as if it had always existed; that all life was created in a mature state. I hold, in accordance with the Biblical timeline, that the earth is approximately 6000 years old; that the creation of the entire physical universe occurred in six, twenty-four hour days, and that on the seventh day the LORD rested.

I hold as true, that man was created directly by the LORD God, and in the similitude of God. That this likeness is found in five distinct aspects: That man is a tri-unity of parts: soul, spirit, and body; That man has the innate ability to judge; That man has free-will within the parameters of his given existence; That man is creative, being able to bring forth out of that which exists; That man has the moral imperatives of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, grace, and love. Accordingly, man is the pinnacle of the LORD’s creation. I believe that the LORD God, having bestowed upon man such attributes, holds every individual accountable for the conduct of his existence.

It is my prayer that the updated articles in the statement of faith are a benefit and a blessing as they are intended to clarify and answer why certain things are as they are. Additionally, there are three (3) new articles which are identified as necessary:

Of Righteousness and Iniquity
Of the Penalty for Sin
Of the Father

Two have already been added, and the third will be shortly. These articles are necessary as these subjects are prone to error and very little is taught and/or understood about them.

May you be blessed,

Paul W. Davis


The Election of Grace: The road to salvation

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Beyond doubt, the doctrine of the election of grace has been hijacked and misconstrued by certain persons into a false doctrine of “election to belief.” An honest study of the Scriptures demonstrates clearly that there exists no “election to belief,” but a very clear election of grace by the LORD God. The following graphic, and Adobe Acrobat link below the image, illustrate the path which one walks to salvation in which, if one ultimately believes, the LORD God will of His own volition, elect them to salvation by bestowing grace upon them in Christ Jesus.

Election of Grace slide

The Election of Grace: The road to salvation — Adobe Acrobat document.

I pray you find it profitable in Christ.


The Necessity of Faith

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

The Scripture is express that faith is essential if one is to have any hope of pleasing God. However, it seems that the “faith” defined by many Christians is not really faith at all. Rather, it is either intellectualism or emotionalism dressed up as faith.

This is not acceptable. Moreover, it is a ticket to destruction. It seems to be lost on an increasing number of individuals that there is no substitute for faith. However, I suppose this also has never changed — that it has always been this way. Which is why we have the example of Israel as an utter failure in the Old Testament. Israel failed due to a total lack of faith on the part of a majority of it’s citizens — they could not perceive who the LORD is, and what He was doing.

Individually, that can happen to anyone today — even those who claim Christ. Hence, it is incumbent upon each of us to insure that the faith we believe we have, is actually the faith defined in Hebrews, chapter 11.

I pray the message is profitable for you.

For those who cannot use the embedded player, wish to use a different player, or want to save the file, the following link is provided:

The Necessity of Faith

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis


Faith vs. Rationality

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

There exists in the minds of many, a divergence between faith and reason. However, there exists no such divergence if one has a proper understanding of Scripture. Moreover, the reason and logic of the Scripture can be taught, and taught in such a way that someone who is lost can understand it if they apply themselves.

Herein lies the problem: Knowledge of salvation gained in this way — is not faith. Moreover, it is not an acceptable substitute for faith. Though the understanding arrived at may be the same, the means by which that understanding is arrived at is crucial. The route of one is the mind, but the route of the other is the spirit. The difference is life and death.

We would do well to examine ourselves as to how we arrived at our own understanding of the things of God — is it by faith, or by reason and rationality. The difference does determine where we end up.

I pray the following lesson is profitable for you.

For those who cannot use the embedded player, wish to use a different player, or want to save the file, the following link is provided:

Faith vs. Rationality

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis


Faith and the Lack Thereof

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

The following is a message about Simon Peter’s lack of faith when he walked on water, and what we can learn from it.

I pray it is profitable for you.

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis

For those who wish to download the audio file, or cannot get the Podcast to work, the following link is provided:

Faith and the Lack Thereof


What must I know to be saved?

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

This post arises out of a study that I am doing, and is tied to one of John Locke’s books, which is The Reasonableness of Christianity. In this book much argument is made of what one must know to be saved or born-again, and become a Christian. At the time I read the book (which was quite some years ago), I had not really considered what one MUST know to be saved. However, as time has passed and I have studied the Scripture, there are some things that everyone MUST know before one can have even the hope of salvation. The following questions are not concerned with the attributes one must have to be saved, (i.e. faith, and repentance), rather they are focused on KNOWLEDGE, or what one must KNOW with surety to be saved.

With the foregoing in mind, here are the questions:

  1. Who is Christ?
  2. Who is God?
  3. Who is man? (Who am I?)
  4. What is righteousness, and why am I not righteous?
  5. Why is God righteous? (What does mean to be righteous?)
  6. What is sin, and why am I a sinner?
  7. What can I do about my sin?
  8. What has (will) the LORD done (do) about my sin?
  9. What does it mean when the Scripture says I must “believe?”
  10. How can I know for certain that all the Scripture tells me is true?
  11. What am I really believing or trusting?

The questions leave considerable room for exploration of the Scripture and explanation of the answers. However, they are well worth answering, and by the time you are done, you will know all that is NECESSARY to know to be born again in Christ Jesus and have eternal life.

Now if you wish to argue about the questions, please take the time to answer them first BEFORE raising objection. Also, please use the King James Version of the Bible to do your study. Otherwise, you will get some very skewed and incomplete answers.

As far HOW the questions are to be answered, here is a hint:

When we ask “Who is God?” we do not speak of defining His ability, but rather examining His CHARACTER and NATURE.

May you find it profitable.

In Christ,

Bro. Paul


An Answer to David @ War on Guns

Friday, April 11th, 2008

The following is an answer to David Codrea who runs the War on Guns blog. He disagreed with my assertion that it is wrong to lie – period. This disagreement arose over the issue of the Olmert government in Israel taking government issued guns away from settlers, and the settlers giving them up. David held that it would be fine to lie to the government. I hold that it is never right to lie, as that is a sin before God.

Please be advised, this is a much longer article than I normally publish on the blog. However, I do believe you will be blessed by it.

I know David, you think you’ve got me. That’s all right. However, my reply will not be short, as you require a decent, proper answer to your assertion.

To begin, the commandment of the LORD God is very plain:

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 19:16-19)

Moreover, to lie, is to follow after the father of lies, the Devil:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44)

Thus, lying is not an option as it directly disobeys the express command of God. Thus, it appears that we are left between a rock and a hard place by your scenario. However, there are some things that are beyond our limited understanding, but not beyond the understanding, scope and power of the LORD God.

Now, I will not tell you that one must blindly believe and trust the LORD God for the outcome for such situations as that would be superstition. The LORD does not operate through, nor does He acknowledge superstition. Instead, one must operate by the instrument of faith.

Thus, the instrument of faith is extremely important to understanding everything that follows. (more…)


Faith — part 2

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Since the receiving of faith is based upon whether one reads and studies the Scriptures, and has a genuine and sincere desire to know who God is and what He requires, it is plainly obvious that not everyone is going to have faith. Really, it is quite the miracle that any of us have any faith at all when we evaluate it in this light. Nevertheless, the LORD is gracious and grants those who truly want to know and understand Him, the faith necessary to do so.

Now I understand that this is a different view than the mainstream “Christian” view. The mainstream view is expressed in the following quote from an on-line Bible Study offered by a independent Baptist church:

The answer is by trusting in God’s Word. This of course requires that one hears what God has to say first. After all, you can’t trust in what you haven’t heard nor can you claim a promise that you don’t know has been given.”

Now, this would initially seem to support what I have previously stated, and what the Scripture demonstrates. However, if we note the initial sentence, we see a precondition that is nowhere in the Scripture. That precondition is “trusting in God’s word.” However, when in reading the study you would have already come across the following statement:

“Faith is TRUSTING IN GOD’S WORD. When you consider how trustworthy God’s Word is, faith becomes a very sure thing. Throughout the New Testament we find various examples demonstrating that faith means trusting in God’s Word.”

Certainly this ought to cause one to question the validity of how one can even claim to have faith at all. It reminds me of being little child and playing “Ring around the Rosie.” Utterly pointless. In short, this is circular logic that has no place in the word of God and is invalid for teaching anything about the doctrines and principles of Scripture.

What is wrong here is a presupposition that one must believe what God has to say before God will grant them faith. However, that is not at all what the LORD indicated when He stated through Isaiah:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

Someone who is already trusting what you have to say doesn’t have to be reasoned with about what you are saying and why. Instead, they already accept what you say and don’t debate it. When one must be reasoned with, it is due to the fact that one doesn’t understand what is presented them and doesn’t accept it. Hence, they must be reasoned with concerning the information they are presented.

The error that is present in the on-line Bible study is one of misidentification of faith, and what it actually is. Instead of letting the Scriptures define faith properly, they have misidentified the properties of faith and thus misidentified faith itself.

The Scripture is very clear on the properties of faith, and actually does define what faith is. However, if we are not willing to allow the Scripture to stand, and we put our own “spin” on what is stated, we are going to have a flawed understanding at best.

In Hebrews, chapter 11, there is a treatise given on faith, why it is utterly necessary, and what the effect of having it is. In the beginning of the chapter, the following is given:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Hebrews 11:1-3)

it is very interesting how the above passage it constructed. For one, hope is not what we would term ‘substantial’ in the sense of being physical, or something materially based. Rather, hope is a thing of the heart and mind. Hence, hope can be built upon an unsure foundation of ‘I think so. . .’ or it can be built upon an more sure foundation of ‘I know so . . .’ What one then hopes for, is entirely dependent upon what one perceives and understands. In the case of the first sentence in the above passage, we are told that faith is the foundation of the things that the children of God hope for, or await the coming of. Now, the sentence continues on to state also that faith is an evidence of things that are not seen. This is understandable as the things of God, and God Himself are not seen, as the Scripture states:

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

Hence, there must be an understanding that faith then deals with the unseen — the spiritual. Faith is then further clarified by the second sentence which states:

“For by it the elders obtained a good report.”

Now, we have something that we can understand in the way of defining faith. Notice that the first few words are “For by it . . .” “It” is an interesting word as “it” is ever and always a noun, and not ever a verb. Everything in this world that has substance can be called an “it.” However, actions, which are verbs, are not and cannot be defined as an “it.” What this means is the “elders” possessed something that enabled them to obtain a good report in the sight of God. Backing up, we can see that “it” would also be a substance, and an evidence.

In continuing to the third sentence, we are given an example of what this “it” called “faith” enables us to do:

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, . . .”

So then, by “it” I can, or do understand that the worlds were laid out and brought into existence by what God said. What this does is define faith as a thing, rather than an action. Moreover, by using this thing, we can perceive what God is trying to show us in and through His word. However, instead of it being physical, it is strictly spiritual, and the things shown are spiritual as well.

Thus, unlike the explanation given in the Bible study above, the faith described in the Scriptures is a noun, that precedes and precipitates action. In the aforementioned Bible study, faith is described as a verb, that precipitates another action that precipitates the first action. In short, to them faith generates trust, and trust generates faith. Plainly, this is not what the Scripture states, and is illogical.

In contrast, a summary of what the LORD has stated is very simple:

If you will hear His word, be attentive to it, and you truly and sincerely want to know and understand, He will grant you the means — the instrument, whereby you can perceive what He has done, what He states, and the truth of it, so that the LORD can reason with you about the state of your soul, and what He has done to rectify its wicked state.

To be continued . . .


Faith — part 1

Thursday, March 6th, 2008

One of the things that is least understood (but much claimed and talked about) in Scripture is Faith. It is not well understood by the vast majority who claim it, and it is mocked and ridiculed by atheists who say it is the refuge of the religious when they can’t explain something. Sadly, the atheists are more correct than many Christians. I would have to agree that the vast majority of Christians who claim they know something by faith, do not when the thing they claim to know flies directly in the face of plain Scripture. When this happens, all it accomplishes is the giving of ammunition to the atheist and scorner. It really would have been better for the Christian to keep his or her mouth (or keyboard) silent when they actually did not know what the Scripture teaches.

In the case of faith, I had to consider long and hard as to how to approach the subject. Not that I do not know what it is or how it works, but how to explain it in a sensible fashion, in writing, presents a challenge. Perhaps it is best begun where faith really starts, with the owner thereof.

To be certain, there are those who claim that faith is owned or created by man. However, everything in Scripture has a key verse that is the correct starting place for that doctrine. Sometimes it is the first mention, but not always. In the case of faith, there is a verse that declares that faith must be received:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Since the word “cometh” is in italics, it is necessary to clarify that the original Greek would have been “faith by hearing” which strongly implies that faith is received from someone or somewhere else. Hence, the translators of the KJV tell us that they added “cometh” in clarifying the implication that is strong enough to be a declaration. Thus, if faith “cometh,” then of necessity it is received and not generated within us. This is crucial in that, if one does not have faith, then one has not yet been granted it based upon the criteria the owner has for giving it.

So then, who owns faith? Not to be insulting, but I would hope that all would automatically understand that the LORD God is the owner of faith. However, I know that there are verses that some will point to that declare that certain individuals had faith, and that it is their own. The problem is that none of us have anything that is truly our own (save the wickedness we choose to do) as the Scripture is express:

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (I Corinthians 4:7)

Thus, even our very lives are not truly our own as it is God that grants us life. This being the case, we are driven to the understanding that faith does not belong to us, and neither can we produce it out of nothing. The following passages speak of faith and who owns and controls it. As you read, please note the phrase “faith of” which indicates ownership.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. (Galatians 3:22)

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: . . . (Philippians 3:9)

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)

Now, to be fair the above passages are in the context of the believer in Christ, and how that believer is kept by the Lord. Which, if we examine the passages again, we find the faith which is necessary to keep the believer is not actually the believer’s faith, but Christ’s. Perhaps some find this an oddity, but it is consistent with the above passage from Romans, chapter 10, which tells us that faith “cometh,” and the faith that cometh is Christ’s faith. Since Christ is God manifest in the flesh, and fully equal with the father, we should understand that the Father and the Holy Ghost also have faith. Hence, the owner of faith is Almighty God.

Does this mean those who do not yet know the LORD cannot have faith? Not at all. There are two solid reasons that tell us that someone can have faith, and yet not be born-again. If we remember, it is the LORD’s air we breathe and the life we have does belong to Him, not to mention everything else in creation is also His, and yet He allows us the use of all these things. More importantly, God is not willing that any should perish, and all would come to repentance (though not all will), and they cannot come and please God without faith as Hebrews, chapter 11, verse six, states:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

In the above statement it is clear that one must have faith before they can please God and be reconciled to Him. This means there are certain criteria by which the LORD will grant faith to the individual so they could please Him. One of those criteria is given in the above verse when it states “he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

A second criteria is given in the previously quoted passage from Romans which declares that “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” plainly meaning that there is no other ordained way for one to receive faith. One must read and study the Scripture diligently for the LORD to grant them the faith necessary to see and understand the truth of God. However, this is not all; there is one last criteria that must be met:

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:10)

This verse is confirmed in Job by the statement made by young Elihu, a preacher of the gospel:

Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. (Job 34:10-11)

This is further confirmed by Proverbs:

The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. (Proverb 20:27)

It is this last criteria that is the most difficult to meet, as we will lie to ourselves about what we really want. However, the LORD God, Who searches us thoroughly, knows for certain why we are reading His word, and what we intend to do with it. Hence, if we never intend to properly exercise it, or wish to only mock the things of God, the LORD will never grant the instrument of faith whereby one can perceive and understand the truth of God and His word.

Thus, if one is never able to understand the word of God and cannot have assurance to the truth of the Scripture, the place to begin is their own heart. Faith belongs to the LORD God, and like everything else it is His to give based upon who meets the criteria to receive it.

Do you really want to know, or are you just playing a game?

To be continued . . .

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