Jan 3, 2016

God's Faith? (part I)

God does not have faith.  I don't care what Kenneth Hagan, Kenneth Copeland, or the Hardshells say. They are wrong to affirm that God has faith, that he trusts and believes, and they, and others like them, sustain their proposition upon a false interpretation of a few passages of scripture.  But, they do not teach that God has faith, for God cannot be said to have faith, any more than he be said to have hope or fear, for the simple reason that such things are inconsistent with the nature and perfections of God.

Why is it not possible for God or the deity to have faith? Because faith implies imperfect knowledge and is why faith is always contrasted with "sight."

Does God walk by faith or by sight?

"Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."  (II Cor. 5: 6-8)

We walk by faith now in this life, while we "are at home in the body" and "absent from the Lord," but we will not walk by faith when we are "present with the Lord" in glorified bodies, but will be walking by sight.  That fact in itself destroys the idea that God has faith.  If the saints have faith now because they do not have sight (believing in what is now invisible), then surely they will not have faith when faith is turned to sight.  Now, if perfect sight and knowledge eliminates faith, then surely this eliminates God from having faith.

No where in the Bible can it be proven that God has "faith."  God never says "I believe," or "I trust," or "I give credence to," "I am persuaded," etc.  Rather, he says "I know."

Faith, by its very nature, is a belief in what is now not visible to the rational senses.  It is a "seeing" but it is a seeing of what is invisible.  It is not an actual "seeing" of the invisible with the physical eyes but rather in the mind's eye by Spirit inspired imagery.  So Peter said - "whom having not seen ye love."  (I Peter 1:8)  And of Moses the writer of Hebrews says that he by faith "endured as seeing him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27).  The same writer said this in verse one.

“Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

This verse is similar to these words of Paul about hope.

"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?"

Just as "hope that is seen is not hope" so "faith that is seen is not faith," don't you see?

Wrote Dr, Gill in his commentary on the II Corinthians 5 passage cited:

"...it is opposed to "sight": by which is meant, not sensible communion, but the celestial vision: there is something of sight in faith; that is a seeing of the Son; and it is an evidence of things not seen, of the invisible glories of the other world; faith looks at, and has a glimpse of things not seen, which are eternal; but it is but seeing as through a glass darkly; it is not that full sight, face to face, which will be had hereafter, when faith is turned into vision."

In commenting upon I Cor. 13: 13 he wrote similarly, saying:

"...in the other world, faith will be changed for vision, and hope for enjoyment, but love will abide, and be in its full perfection and constant exercise, to all eternity."

Notice this passage:

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (II Cor. 4:18)

The "eternal things" are unseen precisely because they are not yet within our grasp. The only way they can be seen now is by the eye of faith, but this view is not the full vision, but is all in mental images till we behold the reality with our physical eyes.

There is an old poetic line that sums it all up.

"Faith may be lost in sight; Hope ends in fruition; but Charity extends beyond the grave, through the boundless realms of eternity."

Also, in the song "Jesus I My Cross Have Taken" we sing these words:

"Haste thee on from grace to glory, Armed by faith, and winged by prayer. Heaven’s eternal days before thee, God’s own hand shall guide us there. Soon shall close thy earthly mission, Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days, Hope shall change to glad fruition, Faith to sight, and prayer to praise."

Wrote J.C. Philpot:

"But hope has its END as well as faith; and what end is this? all that we need and all that we desire– fruition, or enjoyment; for as faith will be swallowed up in sight, so hope will be lost in fruition." (The Work of Faith, Patience of Hope, and Labor of Love. Preached at North Street Chapel, Stamford, on, March 1, 1862 - SEE HERE)

Thus, my first argument against God having faith is due to the fact that God sees and knows all and that there is nothing that is invisible to him so as to require him to have faith. He does not have limited knowledge.  In the next posting I will look at some of the passages that Hardshells use to try to prove that God has faith and that it is this "faith" that is the instrument of salvation.

Needless to say this is a novel interpretation among the Hardshells and modern Bible interpreters. It seems that it is the Hardshells alone however who are using this new idea of being saved by the faith of God or the faith of Christ as an argument to prove that a person's faith in God or Christ is not necessary for salvation.

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