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 promotions of faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Promotions of Faith
"Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Matthew Chapter 5, Verse 48
Brothers and sisters, this morning we examine the promotions of faith. We know that all experiences have endings, even though there may be certain overlapping. Critical analysis reveals the beginning of one and the ending of another, and these experiences contain certain divine values and meanings which are reflective of our spiritual growth and development towards obeying the Father’’s eternal command to be perfect even as he is perfect. From these experiences we can draw certain conclusions. We are interested in the process. As we continue with our faith excursions, we know that our spiritual experiences are validated by faith, and our reflections upon those experiences are by faith, and our conclusions are also of faith. Since faith is necessary at every step, we want to ascertain how we can be certain that we are in fact preceding not only according to faith, but also according to truth. That is, what criteria can we use to be certain that we are indeed pursuing a bonafide spiritual reality?
Faith is the quality of reality given to us by the heavenly Father which allows us to grasp a spiritual reality now and which will not become factual until later. At some point, the truth that faith sponsors becomes factual as well as truthful. Faith allows us to enjoy a future status now. It is the force that actually turns this future eventuality into a factual reality. Thus in our present state, our actual factual status is material beings. We are absolutely self conscious of this fact. Our faith status though is sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. We accept this status by faith and proceed as it were a fact. That is, we interact with this faith status. We enjoy the values and meanings of this future status now. Now we must remember, that our spiritual status is real but to our material state it is not. Our actual status must grow to the point whereby we actually become self conscious of this spiritual status, but that does not prevent us from enjoying the spiritual values and meanings of this future status now. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Jesus teaches us that we are sons and daughters of the heavenly Father. This is evident in the "Lord’’s Prayer," the first line of which is "Our Father who are in heaven." This is the first test of our faith, to believe wholeheartedly in this truth despite all material contradictions. Our material status tells us that we are mortal and that we are subject to the material laws that rigidly control our material selves. Our faith tells us that we are liberated from the material laws, that we can choose to live on spiritual levels in terms of meanings and values; that we can enjoy the truth of our relationship with the Father. We can pray, make spiritual petitions to Him, just as we make material petitions to our earthly fathers. We can grow in this relationship. And our growth is faith and spiritually realized. That is all of those spiritual values and meanings that we accumulate in our souls while living the life in the flesh will be a part of our actual status during the next stage of our lives, as opposed to being faith conscious now. Even though we are in the flesh now, our spiritual natures still grow. And this growth is reflected in the accumulation of divine values and meanings. If we can live them now, then when we transfer to the next level, they will be a part of our new status.
In the military, soldiers are often given temporary promotions. These promotions are given because the soldier’’s superior wants to observe and see how they handle this new responsibility before the promotion is made permanent. This gives the commander time to confirm the validity of his decision to promote the solider. After a period of observation, the promotion is made permanently. But if the soldiers fails to demonstrate that he can handle the responsibility, the commander revokes the temporary promotion. The soldier that is given the temporary promotion has all the authority and privileges he would have if the promotion were permanent. As long as he performs acceptably for all practical purposes, it is the same as if he had the permanent promotion.
There are faith promotions that we experience while in the flesh. Just as the temporary and permanent promotions of a soldier have to do with the increasing responsibilities and privileges of a soldier, so do the temporary and permanent faith promotions have do with the increasing responsibilities and privileges of our growing relationship with the heavenly Father. These faith promotions have to do with the acquirement of divine values and meanings that are a part of the Father-sons relationship. Our first faith promotion comes when we acquire the initial value and meaning of our being children of the heavenly Father. When we first embrace this status, signaled by our conscious initiation of this relationship by beginning to pray, to communicate with our heavenly Father, we are given a temporary faith promotion. These are divine values and meanings that are given to us in reward for our first leap of faith. These are the divine values and meanings of salvation. We can experience these values and meanings while yet in the flesh; these are the values and meanings of the fruits of the spirit.
The Spirit of Truth validates these values and meanings that are reflective of our relationship with the heavenly Father. After a period of time, depending on our faithfulness, bearing the fruits of the spirit, loving each other as Jesus loves us, the divine values and meanings of our sonship move from the temporary state where they are subject to influence by doubt, to the permanent faith state where doubt loses the ability to influence them. They have become a permanent faith fact value. And in the consideration of acquiring these divine values and meanings through prayer, we must be ever mindful that the heavenly Father’’s ear is always open to our petitions. Ask and you shall receive the divine values and meanings of spiritual experiences. But we must ask in faith. "Real praying does attain reality. Even when the air currents are ascending, no bird can soar except by outstretched wings.”” Prayer elevates man because it is a technique of progressing by the utilization of the ascending spiritual currents of the universe, but even when the spiritual currents are blowing, unless we stretch out our wings, we cannot take to the sky and explore the panorama of truth. The faith is ours to exercise. The Spirit of Truth beckons us forward, saying ““this is the way.””
After having demonstrated the security of the divine values and meanings of sonship with the Father, we are now ready for the next temporary faith promotion. This temporary faith promotion has to do with the desire and realization that we should and want to do the Father’’s will. Now this faith promotion as you might imagine requires an even greater leap of faith. For now we enter the battle again with a greater barrier of doubt to overcome. Can we really know what the Father’’s will is? And if we can, will we know it? And if we know it, can we really do it? And on and on the doubt inspired questions go. But through the fog of doubt, the Spirit of Truth shines clearly, saying I am truth.
After much anguish and agony, we launch forth to dedicate our lives to doing the Father’’s will. And soon the spiritual values and meanings of this decision to accept salvation appears in our minds and souls. We are given another temporary faith promotion. And this temporary faith promotion continues until we again demonstrate our sincerity and faithfulness in doing the Father’’s will. Subsequent to this, we are given a permanent faith promotion. Our faith decision to do the Father’’s will become unshakeable, and doubt loses the power to cause us to doubt our ability to do the Father’’s will. We receive a permanent faith promotion. The Spirit of Truth says, ““I am the life.””
After some time, we come to realize that doing the Father’’s will and being one with the Father are the same thing. And now we enter the thick forest of doubt again. It appears that whenever we take another step in the direction of furthering our relationship with the Father, doubt rears its seemingly intractable head. And so we do battle with prayer again, wrestling with momentous questions such as: Can this be true? Is doing the Father’’s will the same as being one with the Father? Can I really be one with the Father? After awhile, we tentatively accept the truth that doing the Father’’s will and being one with the Father are the same truth. We immediately receive a temporary promotion, where we experience the divine values and meanings of such a state. After a period of demonstrating that our faith has vanquished any doubts whatsoever, we receive a permanent faith promotion.
Finally, after basking in our new faith status and reflecting on the meanings of such statement as: The Father and I are one; I only do that which I see the Father do. I am the perfect representative of the Father; He who has seen me has seen the Son, who is the personal revelation of the Father, and our guide throughout this tremendous period of faith transformation, this new glorious truth begins to give way to a greater truth-the achievement of spiritual perfection. Our souls have grown to the point where they are ready to fuse with the Father’’s spirit. And again, we engage our last battle with doubt.
There are so many things wrong with me, so much emotional turmoil, so many unresolved conflicts in my relationships, so much uncertainty. How can this be? Is this really true? Is it possible that I have come this far only to fall in error? Have I misunderstood the previous stages of growth? How do I know this is true and not just an error founded on intense desire? How can I be sure this is true? The Spirit of Truth says "follow me and trust me. I know the way to the Father. No one comes to the Father except by me."
After much soul searching and engaging in intense prayer, seeking to know the Father’’s will, and after continuous worship, we finally accept our spiritual perfection as demonstrated by Jesus when he lived his life in the flesh. We finally reach that level where we hear those beautiful words of the Father, "this is a beloved son in whom I am well pleased." And after demonstrating our faithfulness and our steadfastness to this truth, after demonstrating our ability to reveal the Father through his Son under any and all circumstances, we receive a permanent promotion and take off to the skies of the friendly universe.
This concludes today's message on understanding the promotions 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