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 nature of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Nature of Faith
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrew,
Chapter 11, Verse 1.
Who am I? Why am I here and where am I going? What is the meaning of life? In
considering these eternal issues, it becomes immediately clear that temporal logic and reason
carry us to a temporal and finite barrier and no further. It carries us to the barrier of a first
cause but not past it. Logic rests at this border, having reached its limitation. To cross this
border requires something greater.
Understanding the nature of faith then becomes the mechanism whereby these problems are
partially solved, partially because we are limited in our ability to completely ascertain the
Father's purpose. The source of things, meanings, and values is always higher than the stream
in which they may chance to flow. So being cognizant of the limitations and distortions
inherent in our imperfect spiritual insight as we attempt to see by spiritual insight, we shall
endeavor to translate the values of the eternal level to the level of the temporal, and hope that
we may grasp somewhat of the flavor of these values, if not the actual values themselves.
But before we proceed any further in our efforts to elucidate these values of God, let us set
a limitation that will help in our efforts to make clear the things of the spirit to our material
mind: God cannot be known as God. The concept of God is indefinable; it is like trying to
divide by zero. It is undefinable. But we can know God as a Father. And it is as a spiritual
Father, that we shall consider the point of view so soon to be addressed.
The spiritual Father has many children, and they are not all of the same level. The spiritual
maturity of the Father's children ranges from those who are largely unconscious of Him to
those who have complete consciousness of Him through their relationship with Jesus. But
regardless of their status, all of the Father's children share His spirit. In terms of defining this
relationship with Him, this spirit manifests itself as faith.
The reality of faith is demonstrated in our worship of the eternal, absolute, spiritual Father.
From the Father's viewpoint which is the reality of His Son, Jesus, faith compensates for our
immaturity of spiritual insight, our inability to self consciously experience spiritual reality.
Faith allows us to consciously experience the Father with the same reality as if we were
actually experiencing this reality on higher and more divine levels (that is, as if we were
actually in His presence). This happens because faith captures the essence of eternal and
divine realities and presents them undiluted to our souls.
An earth child experiences the same quality of the relationship with its earthly father as it
does when it is an adult. Admittedly the quantity of the quality is not the same, the
appreciation of the relationship is not the same, but the basic quality remains unchanged. The
relationship between the father and the child exists. The relationship is initiated by the father
whose desire brings the child into existence.
Fatherhood carries with it inherent responsibilities as well as privileges. The father is able
to express himself through his son, but the father also assumes responsibility for the care and
well being of his son. The father naturally loves his offspring and provides for their nurture.
He tends the relationship with the child until the child is able to recognize and respond to the
father's loving care. It is the nature of love to call forth a reciprocal response. Even in the
physical realm, the child responds to the father long before it is self conscious of the
response. In the spiritual realm, faith is the medium through which the spiritual child
Thus the statement that it is impossible to please the Father without faith recognizes the
desire of the child to respond to the Father's loving care. The child responds in the only way
that it knows how. The loving care of the Father that the spiritual child experiences causes
it to respond to the status of sonship. He recognizes the Father through faith. The child's
response is more than acting on something as if it were true; the faith response is actually
acting on what is experienced by the soul, though unconscious to the material mind.
The faith response is valid because when it is constantly maintained it causes the spiritual
child to become like the spiritual Father. And it pleases the love saturated heart of the Father
to see his child become like Him. Even the earth father experiences great pleasure as he
watches his child become like him. The faith response awakens the slumbering potentials of
the spiritual child's soul. It is impossible to please the Father without faith simply because
no other mechanism exists whereby we, his immature children, can know Him.
It is because of the selfless love of the Father that He gives eternal life to us through His Son,
Jesus. It is love that causes the heavenly Father to share His spirit with us. It is for the sake
of love that causes the Father to bestow the spiritual quality of faith upon us so that we might
know and love Him. Faith contains the knowledge of the Father's character, and when we
exercise this faith by doing His will, we gain knowledge of His character through the
transformation of our character into the image of His Son, Jesus.
The meaning of the child to the Father is the fact and truth of Fatherhood itself. Even the
earth father knows the meaning and value of fatherhood, and the value is priceless, while the
meaning imparts supreme human satisfaction and pleasure.
From the faith child's point of view of the spiritual Father, faith becomes the passport from
the limitations of self to the endless exploration of the Father, from the incompleteness of
self to the glorious completion of divine perfection. Faith in the human soul frees the self
from the fear of being a transient reality in the universe. Faith is the way to knowing the
Father, the way to realizing greater qualities of the relationship with its Father.
Faith answers the questions above because of its validity in all matters pertaining to the
personal relationship of the spiritual child to its Father. It empowers the self to overcome all
doubts about the validity of the relationship with the Father, and thus is able to answer the
question "Who am I?" I am a son of the heavenly Father. "Where am I going?" I am in the
process of going to my heavenly home where I will see Him one day. "Why am I here?" This
is the birth place of my soul, my beginning of a long and endless journey.
And though faith cannot prove the fact of divine sonship to the material mind, it actually
assumes the fact of sonship and moves on to initiate the process that eventually consummates
the relationship. It actually takes the fact of sonship for granted and creates a consciousness
in the soul of that great truth. Only faith reveals the divine values and meanings of a personal
relationship with the heavenly Father, the process which in and of itself proves to the self the
validity of faith. Faith must be accepted as the substitute for temporal and material logic and
reason when dealing with questions and affairs of the eternal and the spiritual. Reason and
logic instructs us that the personal cannot proceed from the impersonal. It is the business of
faith to discover this personal reality which we define as God.
This concludes today's message on understanding the nature 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