”But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)
”…Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18:8)
Unfortunately, the so called “faith message” has often been connected with an over-focus on money and manipulative fundraising methods. It has also come to be associated with an authoritarian leadership style, where church members are told to obey the leader with a capital L, without neither asking questions, nor thinking for themselves. We definitely do not need more of that!
However, in spite of all exaggerations and errors, the core of the faith message is the following:
- God is a good God who wants us to experience His blessings; not only sometime in the future when we come to heaven, but here on earth, today.
- God intervenes in our lives when we trust in Jesus and lay hold of His word and promises.
- God wants to heal every person who suffers from sickness, because Jesus carried our sicknesses on the cross, and healing is included in the atonement.
- God wants us to be well in our souls and enjoy sound and good relationships with other people.
- God wants Christians to have strong and happy marriages – that last “until death do us part”.
- God wants us to experience financial prosperity, so that we not only can live a good life and have everything we need, but also so that we can give to “every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).
To sum up: The faith message is that God wants us to succeed in life and experience His blessings in every area, so that His plan for our lives can be fulfilled.
”Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John. v. 2)
The Apostle John was not in the flesh when he wrote to Gaius, hoping that everything was well with him! John’s wish is an expression of God’s will for every human being today.
Do we need teaching about this today? I believe we probably need it more than ever before. However, faith teaching must be Jesus-centered and based on the revelation of God’s grace and the New Covenant. Otherwise, teaching on faith easily because legalistic, with “7 steps to victory” or “10 keys to revival” etc., where the Christian life becomes stressful, instead of leading us into what the Bible calls the “rest of faith”.
Faith does not necessarily come by us preaching about faith. True faith comes by preaching the person of Jesus and His finished work at the cross. As we see Jesus in His grace, faith flows naturally. Faith acts upon the knowledge of what we, by grace, already have received in Christ. It helps us to receive what is already ours in the spiritual realm, so that it becomes a manifested and experienced reality in our physical lives.
Unfortunately, the faith message has often been contaminated by the mixing of outdated truths from the Old Covenant, with current truths from the New Covenant. However, right now a revolution is taking place all over the world within the body of Christ, when it comes to discovering God’s grace and the New Covenant – where legalism and the mentality of the Old Covenant are thrown out.
If the New Covenant of God’s grace is the foundation, sound faith teaching is a good complement, that helps Christians live in victory. We surely want to see much more of that!