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On our website, you will find teaching on different areas of faith. The audio podcast series, “Removing Doubt from the Heart,” addresses numerous vital aspects of faith. These articles address another part to faith, one that is by no means less important. Why are we doing this? We are contending earnestly for the faith!

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:3-4 NET).

There was a faith that was once for all delivered to the saints, and in these articles, we are contending earnestly for it. Do you know how faith was viewed in apostolic times? You may think you know, but allow this series to challenge you, and possibly, to bring you additional light to whatever concept of faith you may have.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV).

These articles have to do with examining and testing yourself to see whether the faith you and me have is genuine.

…That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ… (1Peter 1:7 NKJV)

We need some solid information properly drawn from the Scripture to know about this genuine faith in order to function and live by it.

For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” (Romans 1:17 NET)

Real Bible faith is not commonplace. Actually, before the coming of the Lord, it may be in comparatively short supply.

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8 NET)

What a question! It's there as a challenge to you and me in Christ. I want to be among those that Jesus says when He comes, “I found faith in him.” Don't you?

I am doing my part earnestly so that the message of faith gets out to the Body of Christ. Are you doing it too? You can help spread the word by forwarding these articles and the audios on the subject of faith on our website. We need this message of faith today  because we are closer to His coming!

 

The key that unlocks Paul’s own views and interpretations

Here is how we will begin to study this side of the subject of faith. We begin with a question.  

How did the great apostle Paul (and others) use the word faith?

How can we be 100% positive as to the apostolic interpretation of that word 2000 years ago? Wouldn’t that be the most important consideration when reading the epistles? We do not want to take our modern idea of the definition of faith and read it back into the New Testament. Yet, that is precisely what is done on many fronts.

The key that unlocks Paul’s own views and interpretations can be found in the many quotations, references, and allusions from the Old Testament in his epistles.

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:14-17 NKJV).

Paul was not filling up space when he quoted Old Testament Scripture. It was the basis for his teaching. Paul’s doctrine (teaching) was centered on the Old Testament, the Holy and inspired-by-God Scriptures. The New Testament wasn’t yet written in his day. All that existed in his day was the Old Testament.

For some reason, many believe that Paul’s doctrinal position came uniquely via a special revelation unrelated to the Hebrew Old Testament. Paul’s doctrine or teaching was constructed out of that already revealed in Holy Scriptures, according to 2nd Timothy 3:15 and 16. The Hebrew Bible was his foundation even though he wrote in Greek, and quoted from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. We will say much more about all that in the next article.

To make it even harder to swallow for those in the grip of modern interpretations, Paul stated that the OLD TESTAMENT Hebrew Bible (The Holy Scriptures) was “able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Paul was solidly basing the salvation message he taught through faith in Christ Jesus on the Old Testament Holy Scriptures. What? Paul was preaching Jesus and salvation through faith by using the Old Testament? That alone, throws some traditional thoughts into a tailspin, and we are just getting started!

Paul’s doctrine was rooted and grounded in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures. Yet, some foolishly throw out the Hebrew Holy Scriptures in favor of Paul’s epistles viewed according to new interpretations that have nothing to do with the apostle’s doctrine.

Some even throw out the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and have proclaimed Paul the “savior” of the Gentiles. It is truly disgusting how some deny the words of our Lord today. Not only is it repulsive, it is deeply anti-Christ to reject the words of our Master, Jesus.

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words… (1Timothy 6:3, 4 NKJV)

We must consent to the words of Jesus in the Gospels (and Acts and Revelation), and to the doctrine which accords with godliness. [1] Those that reject these are full of pride, they don’t know anything, and they are obsessed with disputes and arguments. Have you come across any people like that? They believe that the words of Jesus and the Old Testament are irrelevant for believers today because they believe His words were contrary to grace and were under the law. Is that teaching anti-Christ and anti-God? Yes it is. It is also anti - the Holy Scriptures.

To present this study properly, a few things must be addressed before we begin a discussion on the subject of faith and believing.

It is vital to understand the immense importance of the Old Testament to New Testament word studies.

According to David H. Stern’s translation, The Jewish New Testament, there are 695 verses of the Old Testament quoted from Matthew to Revelation.[2] Those are direct verse quotations (or parts of verses), but there are many more references and hints to Old Testament passages in the New Testament.

Roger Nicole, in the The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, [3] stated that some of the quotations and references in the New to the Old Testament could be as high as 4,105:

The New Testament contains an extraordinarily large number of Old Testament quotations. It is difficult to give an accurate figure since the variation in use ranges all the way from a distant allusion to a definite quotation introduced by an explicit formula stating the citation’s source. As a result, the figures given by various authors often reflect a startling discrepancy…. C. H. Toy lists 613 such instances, Wilhelm Dittmar goes as high as 1640, while Eugen Huehn indicates 4105 passages reminiscent of Old Testament Scripture. It can therefore be asserted, without exaggeration that more than 10 per cent of the New Testament text is made up of citations or direct allusions to the Old Testament. The recorded words of Jesus disclose a similar percentage. Certain books like Revelation, Hebrews, Romans are well nigh saturated with Old Testament forms of language, allusions and quotations.”[4]

Did you get that? Certain books like Revelation, Hebrews, and Romans are well nigh saturated with Old Testament forms of language, allusions, and quotations. My question is simple. How could we possibly understand books like Romans, Revelation or Hebrews without looking closely at the Old Testament verses quoted and alluded to in them? If we don’t study the Old Testament, especially the sections or verses quoted in the New, we are left with a huge doctrinal and interpretational void.

Many have made up new interpretations because they have completely ignored the Hebrew Biblical text. So that we are clear, ignoring the original Hebrew of the Old Testament is not a new problem, but one that has dogged the Church relentlessly for centuries. We will tackle that issue on a basic level in these articles.

If so many verses, references, and allusions to the Hebrew Scripture are all over the New Testament, does that make the Old Testament obsolete, or does it grant the Old Testament a place of prominence in the New Testament? Yes, the Old Testament has a highly visible and prominent place in the New Testament. It has a place of honor and respect, and it is indispensible to gain a right doctrinal perspective in the New Testament.

Since Paul quoted profusely from the Old Testament Holy Scriptures, should we pay close attention to these quotations?

Here’s a verse I quoted above to start our study of faith. Paul cites an Old Testament verse as a proof text for what he was teaching.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17 NKJV)

Paul quoted a part of Habakkuk 2:4 in the second half of Romans 1:17.[5]

Where was Paul’s definition of faith coming from? Was it from some special revelation only given to him? No! His definition of faith was from the Old Testament, written centuries before he wrote Romans 1:17. If Paul quoted from an Old Testament verse, then he was relying on its definition and message.

More to come!

 

NOTES:

[1] Doctrine is the same Greek word in 2nd Timothy 3:16 and 1st Timothy 6:3.

[2] Lederer Messianic Publications; 1st edition (September 1, 1989)

[3] Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1979, Vol. 1, p. 617

[4] Roger Nicole, “New Testament Use of the Old Testament,” Carl F.H. Henry, ed., Revelation and the Bible. Contemporary Evangelical Thought. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1958 / London: The Tyndale Press, 1959. pp.137-151. See also: https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/rev-henry/9_ot-in-the-nt_nicole.pdf .

[5] Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 also repeat, “the just shall live by faith.”

 

So you hear another audio teaching on "Removing Doubt from the Heart", here is Part 28: "ONLY BELIEVE."

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