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 seek to understand the meaning of living by faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Living By Faith
". . . As it is written, the just shall live by faith." Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 17
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast, we shall explore the meaning of living faith. The Father
has commanded us to be perfect even as he is perfect, and we are to accomplish this using our faith.
It is the Father’’s will that we live by faith. This accomplishment of living by faith is the foundation
for all other accomplishments, and without mastering this technique, all other spiritual doors remain
closed. If we seek to know and comprehend spiritual reality, then we must master the technique of
living by faith. But how do we learn to live by faith?
Faith is different from belief. Belief is an intellectual system that requires no action from the whole
self. It just requires an attitude of intellectual acquisition. And this fact explains why so many purport
to believe in God without any significant change in the way they live or in their value systems. Belief
is a good start in that it demonstrates the ability of man to believe in something that is not apparently
visible to the material consciousness. Beliefs may be true or untrue. Thus a person may believe that
the world is round or he may believe that the world is flat. In order to validate either of these
propositions something else has to be done. Just thinking it so does not make it so.
Faith on the other hand starts with belief but transcends it: it causes the whole self to believe the
purported tenet. It not only grasps the intellectual acquisition but the whole self moves to incorporate
this tenet and lives as if it were a bonafide reality. Faith is always valid but the object of the faith
may not be. Thus a person who presumes that the world is flat behaves as if it is so. All of his actions
are centered around this tenet. However, if he puts his whole heart into this belief, he will soon find
out that he is in error. During the darkness of the middle ages, people believed the world was flat,
that if they sailed too far from land, they would literally fall off the face of the earth.
Spiritual faith has God as its object and is required as the path to knowing God. Divine things have
to be loved first in order to be known. Spiritual faith requires assuming that and acting as if God is
real. This leads immediately to progressive knowledge of God, which is no different than how
human beings acquire knowledge, though there is one exception. We acquire knowledge of human
beings by having intimate experiences with them. Getting to know them by experience gives us an
opportunity to see how they react under the various stimuli of life.
In short, we come to know the characters of those we spend time with. With the Father, we also get
to know Him by spending time with Him in prayer and worship. This not only allows us to acquire
knowledge of Him: because this knowledge of him eventuates in becoming like Him, it also is self-
correcting of our intellectual concepts of His character. In other words, initially our intellectual
concept of His character and our relationship with him may be faulty, and it usually is. But
continuing to commune with Him, we come to realize what His true character and the nature of our
relationship with Him.
Over two-thousand years ago, an amazing event took place in this universe and on this planet. The
actual divine Son of God, Jesus, took on the form of a human being and revealed the Father’’s
character to mankind. Since that signal event, this same Spirit of the Jesus lives within the minds and
souls of mankind. And now not only do we have the phenomenon of man seeking God, but the
reciprocal phenomenon of God seeking man and finding Him to their mutual satisfaction. New
spiritual potentials were liberated when God became man.
Before we proceed with our discussion of living by faith, let us list some of the qualities that the
Divine Son, Jesus, revealed while on earth. He revealed that the Father is filled with love, mercy,
and forgiveness and that He is also good, true, beautiful, faithful, gentle, temperate, meek, long-
suffering, peaceful, and joyful. These internal qualities and their derivatives composed the character
of the Father and are transmuted to man when man lives by faith.
The laboratories of earth is where the first and most important instructions of living by faith are
imparted. As we view our material state, we recognize that this is the ideal situation for learning to
live by faith. But why should this be so? Well it is so for several reasons. But among these reasons
is a fundamental truth: We are material creatures who have the potential to become spiritual
creatures, but this potential for becoming spiritual creatures can only become actual through the use
of faith. It is faith that transmutes the potential values and meanings of spiritual reality into actual
spiritual values and meanings, and as we grasp these potential values and meanings, they become
incorporated into our very being transforming our being in the process. As we view these spiritual
qualities revealed by the Son, we realize that we are a long ways from making them an unconscious
part of our character, that is to have them displayed with out conscious effort on our part, to be in
effect a part of our character that are on display at all times.
And as you might imagine this is a difficult process. The fact of the matter is that we are material
beings who have a material character, derived from our animal nature. And we all know about the
animal nature. It does not require faith to realize that. It is self evident. But the Father established
residence our minds and souls, and feeds our minds and souls with these altruistic impulses. And
these divine impulses are in such sharp distinction to the natural occurring human impulses. This
choosing to live by the divine impulses is the choosing of the Father’’s will and is the choosing to
live by faith.
Living by faith is not an easy task for the material nature that has to still deal with material reality.
This material reality is sometimes harsh and unyielding. The pain and suffering associated with
material reality is real and difficult to bear, and everything in us that is cognizant of this reality seeks
to escape from it. But you can’’t escape from yourself, no matter how painful or distressing your
material reality. It requires living by faith in order to acquire the spiritual character in the face of the
material ups and downs of life. Living by faith is tenaciously holding on to the goodness of God in
the face of material adversity. Living by faith is the only way to grasp a potential divine spiritual
reality in human experience, and make that spiritual reality an actual experiential reality.
It means insisting that every experience of moral significance has spiritual value and meaning. That
is, every moral experience has values of truth, beauty, goodness, and love concealed within them.
This is shown by displaying these same attitudes in the face of these experiences. Continually
making the effort to live by faith soon leads to the mastery of living by faith on this level of
existence. And this mastery of living faith is signaled by the choice of the Father’’s will in the
reoccurring choices of good over evil. We know that for a lot of mortals this material life is
extremely difficult, physically and emotionally. There is quite a bit of suffering, and more than a
little anxiety and depression associated with it as well as confusion. But it is these very stimuli of
the material nature paradoxically that provides the stimuli for choosing to live by faith. It is by
forsaking the material values for the divine values that constitute the action of faith. And when these
divine values are chosen, then is man increasingly liberated from the clutches of the animal nature
and delivered into the freedom of the faith sons and daughters of God, who represent the Father
through his Son, Jesus, to the other brothers and sisters.
This concludes today's message on understanding what it means to live by faith. 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.