Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has revealed many revelations of spiritual truth to me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we will ponder our lives as we seek to understand the meaning of faith in the arms of error.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Faith in the Arms of Error
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 1
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we explore the state where error embraces faith. We know that there are certain situations where error is so enthroned in some people’’s minds that they are unwilling to correct it. Under these circumstances, they try to use faith to actualize the error. We shall show that this is impossible. While we can fall into error, there is no need to stay in it. Even though "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen," there are some things that are divinely real, just as in the material sense there are no unicorns.
In trying to grow spiritually in our lives, we must use faith, and we must be like a child in being willing to be taught. As Jesus says, "verily I say unto you, except you become converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." While we cannot avoid self concepts of how we think spiritual reality should be or what we think our relationship to that spiritual reality should be, we must be willing to allow our experience to modify our understanding of things spiritual. Our experience unfailingly tell us what is real and what is not real. At some point in our spiritual experience, we will find out whether what we believe is true or not. And when we do find out that we are in error, we must not allow pride or the investment in the error to prevent us from rejecting it.
The recognition of error follows a well-known format. We may begin with all the sincerity in the world. This error may be based upon our sincere desire to actualize a reality that really does not exist, a desire based upon spiritual immaturity. As we try to actualize this reality, we marshal our faith in behalf of it and we put forth our best efforts to bring about the reality. As we continue, we may at first think that the error is a true reality in its earlier stages since, in the earlier stages of error, our interpretation of what we are experiencing is subject to our biases, and therefore the error may not be recognized at this junction.
The next step that we attempt in the actualization of error is the further consolidation of our misconceived interpretation. We further look for signs that the error is in fact being actualized, but it gets harder to interpret the reality that we are trying to actualize. It appears that the initial meaning that we were able to convince ourselves was there has been lost. And this is the first warning that we are in error. When a spiritual reality is true, there is an increased enhancement of meaning. New meanings grow out of the old meanings as we continue to have experiences.
With error no new meanings are forthcoming and the initial meaning even loses meaning. If we follow the trail of the meanings, the trail of meanings will hit a dead end; in true realities the trail goes on and on, continually producing new meanings that are reflective of a living spiritual reality, a real bonafide spiritual value.
Now our task is to differentiate a true spiritual reality (where the concept is true and present in our minds) from the error (where the concept is false but still present in our minds). In short the task is to distinguish between what is true from what is false. We know that there are some bonafide spiritual realities that we are incapable of comprehending. And these will not be meaningful to us either. But a big difference exists.
In realities that are beyond our present growth, we can not conceive of them. The concepts are absent from our minds. In error the concepts though erroneous are present in our minds. It has been said if it can be conceived, and believed, it can be received. But while error can be conceived, and believed it can not be received. Only truth can be conceived. The pursuit of error is similar to trying to hold an ice cube in your hand without it melting on a hot summer day. It soon disintegrates. The pursuit of truth leads to integration of meanings and values, to enhancement of status.
The next warning that occurs in the attempt to actualize error is the realization that it is error. This realization may occur suddenly or gradually, that is the meaningless of the value may appear suddenly or it may appear gradually. But however it appears, the time comes when the realization of error is realized. At this point, faith disintegrates, that is the pursuit of error loses the support of faith, and the pursuer of error must proceed alone in his efforts to actualize error. It is also at this point that the error also loses the support of sincerity, and the error proceeds in the company of insincerity. Now up to this point the pursuer of error has enjoyed the sympathy of the onlookers. After all we have all been guilty of error at some time or another. But at this point a line is crossed from ignorance to knowledge. The pursuer knows that he is in pursuit of error, but now chooses to disregard all of his own experience where error is concerned.
Faith having left, the desire to do the Father’’s will also leaves. Since all bonafide spiritual realities are sponsored by the Father, the pursuer of conscious error moves deeper into his own temporary reality. This state is called sin and signifies the conscious rebellion against the Father’’s will. But at this junction, since the pursuer of error is aware that he is pursuing error, he still has the capacity and the will to turn back, to return to the land of bonafide spiritual reality. If he continues to persist, however, in his conscious efforts to pursue his own reality, he eventually loses the capacity and the will to turn back. He no longer is receptive to truth and therefore cannot follow Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life. At such a point, the individual has destroyed himself spiritually. He has become iniquitous. He has opened his soul to those damming word: " I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity."
Finally we see that while error in the arms of faith while eventually lead the error pursuer into truth, faith in the arms of error loses the power to deliver such a one from his error since he refuses to pay attention to his own experience, and at heart does not respect the spiritual laws of truth, beauty, and goodness. But the surest way to avoid the error in the arms faith and faith in the arms of error is too wholeheartedly pursue the Father’’s will, to pursue divine love: To love the Father with all your heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
If we depend wholly upon the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Jesus, we will not fall out of love, because this Spirit of Truth is the personification of loving God with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our souls, and loving our neighbor as ourselves. If we do this, while we may have to acquire wisdom in perfecting this relationship, there is no law against the pursuit of divine love. Love by its very nature is true. The pursuit of love can be realized and enjoyed. This pursuit of love is constantly revealing new meanings out of old meanings as the experience of the pursuit of love continues.
This concludes today's message on the meaning of faith in the arms of error. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.