FAITH NUGGET #1
The FINISHING WELL Conference Darcie & I had the honor of conducting at The Church in Ramey this past weekend was an absolute blessing, but it did help us to see that we have some “holes” in it. To help fill in some of those holes I thought this “FAITH NUGGET” series may be helpful.
The first nugget that I want to deal with is the “faith like a grain of mustard seed”(ESV) vs. “faith the size of a mustard seed”(NASB).
FACT # 1 was that the words “the size of” do not appear in the original Greek manuscripts but were added by some well-meaning translator in the NASB & NIV……..thus making it very confusing and a contradiction.
FACT #2 was that Jesus was rebuking His disciples for having an “undeveloped” faith, one that should have been far beyond its beginning point……..they were called “little faith people” by Jesus several times in their earthly journey with Him.
The nugget I would like to add into the mix of this has got to do with this whole area of “development”.
A mustard seed, being the smallest of all the food producing seeds, needs to be;
1. Planted in rich soil to grow properly,
2. Protected from insects and disease,
3. Pruned properly so it doesn’t grow lop-sided.
A disciple’s FAITH needs the same thing. The author of Hebrews & Paul said this about a disciple’s FAITH;
Hebrews_5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
Hebrews_12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
It is crystal clear here to see that Jesus is the “planter of the seed” of a disciple’s faith, and that the faith given was given in “measure”( or a limited portion in the Greek). The idea here is that the FAITH that God gave was enough to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He did implant the Holy Spirit within His disciples as a guarantee that He would finish the job AS DISCIPLES ALLOWED HIM TO DEVELOP THAT FAITH.
Ephesians 1:11-14 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Okay……..the “planting” part seems to be covered enough. Next time we will look at #2 & #3, see if you can jump ahead and find some for yourselves.