Effortless Faith - Part 2

  • We ended part 1 with the following: "He died for us and as us so we could become one with Him. When that happened everything about me died and I took on Him and His nature. So it is His faith and His faith never fails. He did all the work. We get all the prizes and rewards through resting in His finished work." Here's part 2.

    I have a complete teaching about Rest on this website entitled “What Is It About Rest?”. Also, “Holy Rest”, and finally “Don’t Work – Rest”. I recommend you study those teachings. Nevertheless, I’m going to talk a bit more about rest here, because it’s very difficult for the works oriented Christian to enter into “that” rest talked about in Hebrews. Religion and legalism have wrongly taught them they have things to DO and things they NEED to DO.

    Consider what the writer of the book of Hebrews says about the Israelites who failed to enter into the Promise Land in Hebrews 3 and 4. First, he calls them “disobedient.” But how did they disobey? Was it their constant complaining for meat and water? Was it their whining about being better off in Egypt? Was it the golden calf? What was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back? Paul goes on to tell us, “So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief” (Heb. 3:19).

    It is clear that unbelief was the one thing that precluded them from entering in. They didn’t trust the goodness of God to bless them. But what blessing did they miss out on? Paul continues … “Now we who have believed enter that rest …” (Heb. 4:3).

    How do we enter that rest? Simply by believing, trusting, receiving the great promises from God through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Not by trying to be some “super spiritual” christian. “I go to church every Sunday. I tithe 10% of my income (another false teaching – see my teaching “What About Tithing?&rdquo, I pray 3 hours a day, I read 4 chapters in my bible everyday, and on and on. My response….SO WHAT? The real question is “DO YOU TRUST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS?”

    ”There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his” (Heb. 4:9). Faith is the opposite of works. Yes, faith causes you to do some amazing works! But faith itself is effortless – it is the path of rest and ceasing from our labors. The best way to describe faith is that it means “trust.”

    Francois Du Toit states the following in his notes to Hebrews 3 in the Mirror Translation:

    You can experience God’s supernatural provision and protection and yet remain outside his rest. The ultimate proof of faith is not experience of the supernatural, but entering into his rest. His rest celebrates his perfect work. He longs for you to discover your own completeness and perfection as seen from His point of view. (Wow…I love that line). His rest is sustained in you by what he sees, knows and says about you in reference to the finished work of Christ.

    Graham Cooke says it this way. “God does not see anything wrong with you. He sees what is missing from your experience of Him. He is not working on your behavior, but on your identity.” If you want to enter into His rest, don’t pray to enter His rest, practice entering His rest through trusting. You see this gospel of grace is not about right living…it’s about right believing.

    Jesus pointed to faith as the only thing the Lord ultimately calls us to do, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29). That simplifies things quite a bit! But it is still impossible for you to even do this one work! It was actually Jesus’ own faith in the Father that saved you … not your own faith. The faith of Christ has now been counted as your own.

    This is where the subtle problem comes in. Rather than faith effortlessly working through us, we have tried to work for faith. We’ve even trusted in our own self-generated faith! We are called to have faith in Christ – not faith in faith. The majority of preachers will proclaim that Jesus died to save you. But in their very next breath, they say, “Now if you believe in Jesus you will be saved.”

    That’s nothing more than legalism in its purest form. Jesus’ death and His blood saved all mankind. It isn’t believing that saves us. Salvation was already provided for through the atoning blood of Jesus at Calvary. He’s Savior whether we believe it or not. “Jesus died to save you.” That little statement right there is preaching the gospel. Nothing else needs to be added. Perhaps they will believe. When you add “It’s up to you to believe in Jesus” the gospel has been lost in a human attempt or works experience.

    We don’t believe in Jesus, we believe Jesus. Jesus is the Word. So we don’t believe in the Word, we believe the Word. What does the Word say? We are saved BY GRACE through FAITH. Jesus is grace. Faith is trusting Jesus. "Now you're just getting too picky with all your semantics." I have had people say this to me, but believing in Jesus is much different than believing Jesus. It's the difference between a spiritual sounding religious statement and Truth. Just like Abraham. He didn't believe in God...He BELIEVED GOD. That's when he was declared righteous.

    Yes, faith is important! You will never see the kingdom without faith. Let’s put faith in its proper place. Otherwise, people are not trusting Jesus Christ. Instead, they are trusting their belief in Jesus Christ! When you put your trust in your belief in Jesus, you are believing what the bible says He did. When you trust Jesus you are declaring the truth of who He was and what He did.

    Again faith is best defined as trust. Faith is just a recognition and trust of that which He has already done. A recognition that He’s already objectively completed everything. Faith steps into that reality to bring the objective reality into subjective experience.

    In other words, faith takes the finished work and truth that we are already healed into manifestation. How? By stepping into that promise and declaring the healing as being completed. Not begging for God to do it or believing God will do it. It’s trusting the truth that God has already done it, and it is ours.

    In part three of this teaching we will go on to discuss the matters of “if you have enough faith”, or “if you believe hard enough”. Those questions only serve to put you in bondage to works or performance, which you can never achieve. When you ask questions like those you are starting from a position of doubt and unbelief. You are basically denying the truth of scripture and insulting the finished work of Jesus at the cross, because of tainted worldly thinking instead of Kingdom truth.

    Do not miss part three. We have actually already disproved the errors of religious/legalistic teaching on the subject of faith, but will bring much more truth to this subject so anyone can be ready to give a scriptural answer on this subject. Until then – Grace and Peace.