Foundations of Faith
(Thread begun by RandyP
kjv@Isaiah:53:1 @ Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
kjv@Isaiah:53:2 @ For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
kjv@Isaiah:53:3 @ He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
kjv@Isaiah:53:4 @ Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
kjv@Isaiah:53:5 @ But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
kjv@Isaiah:53:6 @ All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
kjv@Isaiah:53:7 @ He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
kjv@Isaiah:53:8 @ He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
kjv@Isaiah:53:9 @ And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
kjv@Isaiah:53:10 @ Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
kjv@Isaiah:53:11 @ He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
kjv@Isaiah:53:12 @ Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
1. The Bible can be best thought of as one complete report made up of two interdependent halves:
A. The older of the two which is the report of what God was able to do for Israel by establishing His prophets and by establishing the prophets He established the credentials of a soon coming Messiah.
B. The newer of the two which gives the reports and testimony of those who saw Jesus of Nazareth and attest to His fulfillment of the earlier prophets along with testimonies of the arm of God working from there on out into the lives of believers.
2. Caught in the limelight between the establishment of the two halves (beforehand/why and durring/after/result), there is the storyline of the enduring people and tribes of Israel who had been handed everything spiritual up to but not including a specific faith in the actual Messiah; this they would have to come to on their own. They are given in recorded historic form as an example to all of us Hebrew and non-Hebrew of what can and cannot be done short of a Messiah/Savior. (It is not the pretty picture of a people that one would expect)
3. The effects of the report on the individual and collective alike hinge upon one's belief in the details of the report and then the divine confirmation/arm backing it. By dissmissing the details of the report, one dissmisses all the signs pointing Jesus and the power of Him having achieved it's every righteous demand. The prophets of old that God Himself had established have never been accepted by the main stream even though cannonized into scripture; the twist is that this is how God most convincingly established them to be His prophets.
4. The overwelming reason for not believing prophecy past and present is largely because they speak of a transgression and iniquity much larger and broader than we are willing to accept. We are continously interpreting spiritual matters such as these by what is right in our own eyes, not God's. For this we not only reject Messianic prophecy, we despise anyone claiming to have fulfilled it. Instead we choose the more nebulous forms of non-prophetic moralism and/or relativism. Israel was dealt with in double measure for and against in this regard time and time again so that looking back on it it would be plain to the rest that this was not going to be tolerated by God.
5. By accepting the details of the report, we see Jesus in very clear and substantial form as well as what He has accomplished for the good of all mankind. Those under it's conviction will see His accomplishment as judgmental, those released of it's conviction as the ultimate gesture of Divine love and purpose. For the convicted, the desire of the heart is for God to love it as much as it loves itself. For those released, the desire of God is for us to love Him/others with the full capacity that He has designed and has made every provision in Christ for.
6. The stumbling point then seems to be the heart's perception of sin as it tries to analize it, estimate it's size shape and form, balance it's own justifications. The point however should be that regardless of what it is and how big it is it was big enough to warrant death, it was deep enough to warrant spiritual quarintine, and it was serious enough that only the sacrifice of His own Son could resolve it.
7. The question is not only if we believe the report and all the 64 books of corroberating evidences plus, it is how much we believe it and how willing we are to allow God to prove His confirmation of it.
The Apostle Peter summed up the importance prophecy holds in the Foundations of Faith or "like precious faith" as he would call it:
kjv@2Peter:1:12 @ Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
kjv@2Peter:1:13 @ Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
kjv@2Peter:1:14 @ Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
kjv@2Peter:1:15 @ Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
kjv@2Peter:1:16 @ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
kjv@2Peter:1:17 @ For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
kjv@2Peter:1:18 @ And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
kjv@2Peter:1:19 @ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
kjv@2Peter:1:20 @ Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
kjv@2Peter:1:21 @ For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Apostle John takes the point a step further:
kjv@1John:1:1 @ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
kjv@1John:1:2 @ (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
kjv@1John:1:3 @ That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
kjv@1John:1:4 @ And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
kjv@1John:1:5 @ This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
kjv@1John:1:6 @ If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
kjv@1John:1:7 @ But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
kjv@1John:1:8 @ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
kjv@1John:1:9 @ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
kjv@1John:1:10 @ If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
The Apostle Paul perhaps ties it all together best:
kjv@Romans:3:20 @ Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
kjv@Romans:3:21 @ But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
kjv@Romans:3:22 @ Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
kjv@Romans:3:23 @ For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
kjv@Romans:3:24 @ Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
kjv@Romans:3:25 @ Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
kjv@Romans:3:26 @ To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Our confession is the confession of the psalmist David:
kjv@Psalms:51:1 @ Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
kjv@Psalms:51:2 @ Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
kjv@Psalms:51:3 @ For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
kjv@Psalms:51:4 @ Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
kjv@Psalms:51:5 @ Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
kjv@Psalms:51:6 @ Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
kjv@Psalms:51:7 @ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
kjv@Psalms:51:8 @ Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
kjv@Psalms:51:9 @ Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
kjv@Psalms:51:10 @ Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
kjv@Psalms:51:11 @ Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
kjv@Psalms:51:12 @ Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
kjv@Psalms:51:13 @ Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
kjv@Psalms:51:14 @ Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
kjv@Psalms:51:15 @ O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
kjv@Psalms:51:16 @ For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
kjv@Psalms:51:17 @ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
kjv@Psalms:51:18 @ Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
kjv@Psalms:51:19 @ Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.