Part 8 of 10
What is the “one faith” of Ephesians 4:5
The one key expression of faith today is the faith that is the basis for a believer to receive Paul’s gospel of the salvation that is in and by Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
This faith not only justifies believers and saves them from judgment, but it also brings the believer to union with God.
Union, by Christ in the believer, is the riches of the gospel that Paul preached (1Cor 1:30, Eph 1:18). Paul tells us what his work was, and I believe this is also the work of believers today…it is “to MAKE ALL MEN SEE the FELLOWSHIP (GK. KOINONIA, COMMUNION) of THE MYSTERY” (Eph 3:9). “The mystery” gospel concerns the communion of the believer with Christ by Christ’s “Spirit of life” being dispensed into their human spirit (John 3:6, 1Cor 6:17, Col. 1:27, 1John 4:13).
Faith not only saves us and justifies us initially but it is the very basis of our successful living in rest and peace. So, another expression of faith that Paul writes of is what he calls “the faith” (2Tim 4:7; 1Tim 6:10, Titus 1:1, 13). Paul uses this term 36 times. Today, “the faith” is for us to receive, believe and hold to the tenets of Paul’s gospel. We see the details of “the faith” in Paul’s thirteen epistles addressed to the members of “the body of Christ.” The very word “believe” in Greek is “pisteuo,” meaning to “to trust in, cling to, and rely upon.” To “believe” then is to hold a continuing faith, as seen in the word “trust.” Nobody can “trust” without believing over the passage of some time period. Holding “the faith” built upon Paul’s “my gospel” is able to establish us; being established makes us sure and secure, able to live in peace and rest.
“Now to him that is of power to STABLISH YOU ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL, and the preaching of JESUS CHRIST, ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY, which was kept secret since the world began,” (Romans 16:25)
We need to consider Paul’s gospel and written words just as
apparently listened to and considered Paul’s spoken words, as recorded here in Acts 16. Lydia
Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us (Paul and Barnabas): whose heart (soul mind) the Lord opened, that she attended unto (held in mind) the things which were spoken of Paul.
Paul says every person initially possesses “a measure of faith” (Rom 12:3). We may receive Paul’s gospel message by that “measure of faith.” Then we should go on to study and hopefully come to “see” the Pauline gospel truth’s in a greater fullness “by revelation.” As we study Paul’s words, and “rightly divide the world of truth” (2Tim 2:15) we have greater opportunity for revelation by the Spirit.
Even apart from our study, the circumstances of life are designed by God to press upon us for our benefit (Rom 8:28-29). God is working in us, to turn our heart to the Lord within, “…that we might trust in God…” (2Cor. 1:8-9). Being turned to Him, we may gain His “light of life” within and begin to “see” what we had not till then yet seen. When our heart is turned to Him within, the “veil is taken away” (2Cor 3:15-16); this leads to increased vision and our being changed “from glory to glory” (2Cor 3:18).
“Seeing” that comes by “revelation” spontaneously brings about what we may call a “personal held faith” that is then fixed within us. In fact, we may then see what others have not seen and may never see. This faith is subjective in that we now “see it for ourselves” as the Lord has opened our spirit-eyes.
The more we see the more we grow in our personal held faith. Our original “objective faith” then has become “seeing” through the addition of divine revelation. Thereby, the objective faith that we initially exercised to receive Christ has become a greater subjective faith. This is by the work of God (Philip 2:13) by the indwelling “faith of (Gk. ek, from) the Son of God” (Gal 2:20b) through the communion or the “fellowship of the mystery” that we have come to enjoy.
NOTE: See the KJV & Greek Interlinear, Galatians 2:20b. Modern translations (NIV, NASB, NKJV etc.) have corrupted Gal 2:20 to imply and/or say we “live by faith in the Son of God.” It correctly should say we “live by the faith of (Gk. ek, from) the Son of God.” The emphasis is upon the indwelling Christ's faith, not the faith of the believer.
Our “subjective faith” is what God has dispensed into us by dispensing Christ’s life, nature, faith, and revelation into us. The “subjective faith” dispensed into us is part of the new relationship we enjoy under the terms of the “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2).
Paul recognized that he in his own self did not hold the power to dispense “revelation.” Revelation is God’s prerogative, so Paul prayed that “the Father of glory” would give the Ephesians “revelation in the knowledge of him (Christ)… in the saints.”
“That …the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance IN THE SAINTS (believers)” (Ephesians 1:17-18)
Exercising our initial objective faith automatically produces subjective believing when we receive revelation that is given to us by the Lord’s Spirit. When we receive “revelation” concerning Christ, we cannot keep ourselves from believing. Seeing with our “spirit-eyes” is believing. Faith is then spontaneously infused into our being, and we automatically believe more and more as we see more and more.
Paul progressively received multiple revelations of the Lord (2Cor 12:1, 7). Unbelievers find it impossible to believe that Christ is in them – and of course He is not indwelling them. We, however, cannot help but believe that Christ lives in us. “The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God” (Rom 8:16). He is in us to be our life and our life supply; He is our “everything,” this includes our faith. When we have revelation such that we have seen or gained vision of the indwelling Christ we have no choice except to believe that He is actually indwells us. Every believer needs revelation of the indwelling Christ. We then will have the witness of Christ’s Spirit in us… that we are His and He is ours.
Because we have come to see, by revelation, the content of this intimate relationship God has with us by Christ in us, we cannot help believing in what we have seen. We have been infused with the ability to believe, and now we have gained subjective faith, as evidenced by the inward action of a believing trust. Paul writes of being saved by grace through a “faith… not of ourselves” in Eph 2:8-9.
Henceforth, it is Christ’s faith that we live by daily, as we rely upon Him.
Galatians 2:20 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 (body) I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF (Gk., ek, out from) THE SON OF GOD, who loved me, and gave himself for me.