Greetings, 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 the assurances of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Assurances of Faith
"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 examine the assurances of faith. As we continue with our spiritual conquests, mastering circle after circle, even as we ignore the voice of doubt, it continues to speak in the background and sometimes speaks even in the forefront. We know that as long as we have material minds, the element of doubt will always be present when it comes to choosing spiritual reality. Therefore must we hold unto faith, which is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen by the material mind.
Even as we commune with the heavenly Father, confirming the receptions of the divine values and meanings in our souls and minds, the voice of doubt continues to speak. Admittedly though, it has lost the power to derail us from our journey towards the Father’’s divine perfection as revealed by His Son, Jesus.
Consider these excerpts from Jesus as he contemplated his mission of revealing his Father to mankind. We do not make concessions to the material mind as proof that we are in partnership with the Father. We cite the fruits of the spirit that abundantly hang from the branches of our souls. The human mind still asks questions but unfailingly submits to the Father’’s will.
As we journey towards supreme loyalty towards the Father’’s will, we recognize four stages:
Stage one: This is the pre-stage of our journey towards the Father’’s will. In this stage, the Father’’s will is not recognized. Since the Father’’s will is not recognized, no affirmations of loyalty are made nor can be made. You cannot be loyal to a reality of that which you are unaware.
Stage two: This is the beginning of the journey towards loyalty towards the Father’’s will. In this stage the Father’’s will is recognized, but no affirmations of loyalty are made. It is similar to driving down a highway where you see a person hitch-hiking a ride. You see him, but you ignore him and continue on with your trip.
Stage three: In this stage, affirmations of loyalty towards the Father’’s will are made, but they are not consistently applied. The loyalty is on again, off again. This may be-- in an analogous sense--similar to the driver driving down the highway who sees people hitch-hiking a ride and who sometimes gives them a ride and sometimes does not.
Stage four: In this stage, affirmations of loyalty are made towards the Father’’s will and are consistently applied.
Throughout all of these stages, doubt is ever present, questioning the validity of anything taking place in the material mind that it cannot validate. The material mind is skeptical of anything that asserts its proof through and by faith. It is impossible to furnish spiritual proof to a material mind. No matter how many so-called material miracles are presented to the material mind, not in the least can they cause the material mind to believe in spiritual reality. It will only believe in material reality. But though the material mind remains unconvinced of the reality of spiritual values, it nevertheless submits to the will that has chosen the Father’’s will.
The material mind will do whatever the will requires it to do, though remaining skeptical, and this is because the material mind is subordinated to the human will. We see this in an extreme situation, when the human will decides to destroy itself. The human mind proceeds to obey the will even though in doing so it destroys itself as well.
In choosing the Father’’s will, the human will is choosing a bonafide reality. If it were not a bonafide reality the will could not choose it, and the mind could not execute the choosing of the human will. We also know that the material mind is selfish, and resents the resources of the self being used on behalf of the Father’’s will. The Father’’s will represent those urges, desires, and choices that are concerned with unselfish regard of others. Now if these reflections of the Father’’s will were of the self, the self would not experience any antagonisms in carrying them out just as it does not when it is operating solely upon its behalf. But there are phases of the material mind that reinforces the choices of the human will for the divine will. And this phase of the material mind is the soul. "During the life in the flesh the evolving soul is enabled to reinforce the supermaterial decisions of the mortal mind. The soul, being supermaterial, does not of itself function on the material level of human experience."
Personal faith assurances are twofold in nature, external and internal, but before we begin to elucidate them, let us summarize the faith journey. Once we know what the faith journey is, then we will be in a better position to appreciate the personal faith assurances. The faith journey is the journey towards perfection of our relationship with the heavenly Father. As we grow in this relationship with the heavenly Father, the values and meanings of this relationship become apart of us. And this relationship is best understood in terms of the Father-son relationship. Even in our human relationship, we as children grow in the relationship with our parents until we become adults. And we become adults in this relationship when we view reality as our parents view it and function in consonance with that maturity. Likewise when we begin to view our personal reality as the Father views it and function in accordance with that status, then we have become mature spiritual adults. As this is a purely personal experience, no outside influence can validate it for us. Our experience hold the only validity of its reality.
Thus, the first internal personal faith assurance is the growth of our souls towards maturity. This growth of our souls is characterized by our increased ability to view personal reality as the Father view it, and to function with that reality as the Father does. As we grow our characters become more and more reflective of the Father’’s character. "A part of every father lives in the child. The father enjoys priority and superiority of understanding in all matters connected with the child-parent relationship. The parent is able to view the immaturity of the child in the light of the more advanced parental maturity, the riper experience of the older partner."
The second internal personal faith assurance is "human experience, personal assurance, the somehow registered hope and trust initiated by the Father’’s spirit." As we continue with spiritual growth, more and more, we become possessed of that divine hope and trust initiated in our souls by the Father’’s spirit. And this hope and trust when contrasted with despair and distrust gives us personal faith assurance.
Then there are some external assurances that why they are not proof to the material minds are reasonable to the human mind when viewed from a spiritual perspective. The first of these assurances proceed from human experiences. As to the teaching of Jesus that we are sons and daughters of God, we judge such teaching by their fruits. If what Jesus says is true, the Spirit will bear witness with our spirit that we are indeed sons and daughters of the Father. Concerning the kingdom and our assurance of acceptance by the heavenly Father, what father among us who is a worthy and kindhearted father would keep his son in anxiety or suspense regarding his status in the family or his place of security in the affections of his father's heart?
Do we as earthly fathers take pleasure in torturing our children with uncertainty about their place of abiding love in our human hearts? Neither does our Father in heaven leave his faith children of the spirit in doubtful uncertainty as to their position in the kingdom. If we receive God as our Father, then indeed and in truth are we the sons of God. And if we are sons, then are we secure in the position and standing of all that concerns eternal and divine sonship. If you believe the words of Jesus, you thereby believe in Him who sent him and by thus believing in the Father, we make our status in heavenly citizenship sure. If we do the will of the Father in heaven, we shall never fail in the attainment of the eternal life of progress in the divine kingdom.
And the other external faith assurance is the observation "that man, naturally fearful and suspicious, innately endowed with a strong instinct of self-preservation and craving survival after death, is willing fully to trust the deepest interests of his present and future to the keeping and direction of that power and person designated by his faith as God."
Finally, when all is said and done, the assurance of faith is faith itself. The fact that we are able to consistently mobilize our supreme loyalty towards the Father’’s will and consistently function as his perfect representatives, displaying the fruits of the spirit, is spiritual proof of our assurances that we are indeed sons and daughters of the heavenly Father and that we have become mature representatives of Him. We view personal reality as he does. We recognize that God is our Father and we are his sons and daughters, and we show forth his loving and merciful character to each other consistently.
This concludes today's message on understanding the meaning of the assurances of 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.