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 realm of spiritual faith.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
The Realm of Spiritual Faith
"Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." First John, Chapter 3, Verse 1
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s broadcast we share some further insights into faith, insights that we hope you will be able to grasp. "But without faith, it is impossible to please Him: For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Therefore all of our spiritual achievements are by and through faith. But since the way of spiritual growth, acquiring divine righteousness, is by faith, then we surely are desirous of knowing the ways of faith. We shall seek to discover the ways of faith and understand why we must proceed by faith. And finally we hope that our insights will further remove the logjams of doubt from the river of our faith and allow it to flow freely.
Jesus invites all of us to come to him, and he will in no ways cast us out; instead he will give us eternal life. Thus we receive our salvation by faith, by believing in Jesus. Without faith, we will never come to Jesus and receive the living waters of salvation. Because we are material beings, we have material minds that are not able to penetrate spiritual reality. That our material minds cannot penetrate spiritual realities does not mean that spiritual realities do not exist. Later we shall see how this limitation is overcome. Let us consider this analogy to help us grasp this great truth.
An artist or a sculpturist starts out with a blank page or stone to work with. The creation that he wishes to bring into existence has no existence apart from its existence in his mind. And though the creation may be very real in his mind, those of us who are not artists or sculpturists cannot see the creation that he plans to bring into existence. As we look at the blank page or the stone, we see nothing. But the artist or the sculpturist sees the full creation. As he works, he gradually reveal this new creation, and soon it becomes visible to all.
Spiritual reality is like this. Not being spiritual beings, when we attempt to view spiritual reality, we see nothing; but of course spiritual beings live this reality. It follows that some mechanism must exist that will allow us to see this spiritual reality, something that will compensate for the limitations of our material minds. This compensator is faith.
Now spiritual faith is different from belief. Belief is a possession of the mind; it is intellectual, a set of ideas that requires nothing from the holder. Therefore the character of the holder of belief does not change. Faith, on the other hand, is a possession of the soul; it is spiritual, a set of values and ideals that require whole-hearted pursuit.
Therefore spiritual faith brings about a change in character. Spiritual faith comes from the heavenly Father, and like all things that come from the heavenly Father, they require the supreme effort to grasp and appreciate them. "Belief has attained the level of faith when it motivates life and shapes the mode of living. The acceptance of a teaching as true is not faith; that is mere belief. Neither is certainty nor conviction faith. A state of mind attains to faith levels only when it actually dominates the mode of living. Faith is a living attribute of genuine personal religious experience."
If certainty and conviction are not spiritual faith, then how do we achieve this level of living where it dominates the mode of living? This mode of living implies the way in which we live, the values that we live. This faith allows us to know of a transaction that is beyond the reach of our material minds. And we achieve this faith by submitting our wills to the Father’’s will. We do this by the faith act of supremely desiring to do so. If we supremely desire to submit our wills to the Father’’s will, then that becomes an absolute fact. What the true son desires, and the Father wills, is.
Our souls, having come into existence by the will of the Father, begin immediately to have a relationship with the heavenly Father, but it requires faith to learn of this relationship and to consciously experience the values and meanings associated with it. This exertion of faith in the face of a doubting material mind is a great struggle for the self. Of all our difficulties, the greatest struggle is for faith. "Faith is to religion what sails are to a ship; it is an addition of power, not an added burden of life. There is but one struggle for those who enter the kingdom, and that is to fight the good fight of faith. The believer has only one battle, and that is against doubt--unbelief."
The material mind as it continues its struggle with material reality cannot discern any spiritual help for its material struggles and thus remains skeptical. But once this faith is born in the material mind, a new phase of the mind begins to operate, the soul. This new factor in the mind gives the mind a quality for knowing and experiencing the relationship between the Father and itself. This new mind is the spiritualized mind, the soul that is able to see and go where the material mind cannot see and go. The material mind continues to doubt, but the new mind has power over it. The new mind has spiritual insight, the vision of the mind. And this spiritual insight is operated with the power of faith.
The spiritual sight sees the values and meanings of the relationship between the Father and its soul. It is able to grasp the values and meanings when they appear in the spiritualized mind and the soul. And these meanings and values that are revealed to our minds and souls can be grasped by simply believing them and allowing them to control the "mode of living." When the values of love, compassion, and mercy appear in the mind, by grabbing them the self makes them apart of its character. As the growth of this faith continues in the mind and soul, the self is able to grasp greater and greater values and greater and greater meanings of the relationship with the heavenly Father. Initially when these values appear, they may appear faint, but as the self continues to grow, they become well defined. But it requires faith to accept them as being valid and thus to live them. To live them is to know them.
But these faith values and meanings that are seen by the eyes of the spirit cannot be grasped by any other method. It is the eyes of the spirit in the material mind. By acknowledging the spiritual nature alongside the material nature, the self is freed from the anchor of exclusive material reality and can live the exhilarating values and meanings of the spirit. It can enjoy its relationship with the Father as it moves through the material life. And though it may not appear so now, there will always be challenges in the relationship with the heavenly Father because of His infinite and absolute nature. These challenges of new values and meanings will always require faith to grasp.
But we should not allow the infinity and the absoluteness of the Father to cloud our relationship with Him. He always reveals as much of himself to us as we are able to comprehend, to the maximum of our capacity. Even though we have to live the material life, we should not allow that fact to drown out the truth of our relationship with the heavenly Father. We should boldly embrace the faith values and meanings that appear in our minds and souls and should enjoy our spiritual growth as our characters take on more and more the image of His Son and our souls are flooded with unspeakable spiritual joy and peace. We should allow our hope and faith to pull us through the material life and deposit us on the other side, where awaits a more glorious realization of our never-ending relationship with the heavenly Father.
This concludes today's message on the realm of spiritual 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.