Foundation of Walking by Faith
When we walk by faith, we accept the reality that God is a loving Father, not an angry, vengeful, wrathful or jealous God. Those ideas are antiquated misunderstandings based on veiled knowledge that was stripped away by Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:14) Instead, we look to God as a loving heavenly Father who will never leave us nor by any means abandon us (Hebrews 13:5); as a Father who looks out for our best interests now and into eternity (Matthew 6:25-33); as a Father who will not let anything happen to us that we cannot handle (1 Corinthians 10:13); as a Father who has, from the very beginning, purposed that we be with Him in the heavens (Ephesians 1:3-5) where we will experience unimagined blessings (1 Corinthians 2:9); and as a Father who sent us a perfect example of how we are to conduct ourselves in order to gain the prize of continued and everlasting life. (John 3:16)
When we walk by faith, we accept that a fragment of the Father’s spirit dwells within each of us.
“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”
– 1 Corinthians 3:16
We are connected with the Father by means of this spirit fragment which causes us to seek God and find Him because He is not far off from us. (Acts 17:27) By means of this ‘divine consciousness,’ we remain in constant communion with the Father knowing that He hears our prayers and comforts us through every trial. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) And it is this awareness of God’s presence within us that shapes our behavior and grooms us to fulfill the universal mandate, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), whether others are watching or not.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
When we walk by faith, we accept that we must follow the teachings and example of Jesus in order to find the Father.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
– John 14:6
We endeavor to put on ‘the mind of Christ’ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and learn to view life and people as did Jesus. We respect men of all sorts, but we do not allow anyone to come between us and the Father other than the one mediator, Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 2:5) Whenever there is a discrepancy between what men teach and what Christ taught, we always side with the Christ (Acts 5:29), who is the ‘exact representation of God’ and God’s only spokesman today.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
– Hebrews 1:1-3
And though Jesus’ words were spoken nearly 1,900 years ago, they are eternal in meaning and value. This means that our appreciation and understanding of those words will continue to grow as we grow in spiritual understanding of what is ‘the breadth and length and height and depth’ of the Christ. (Ephesians 3:16-19) His words do not need to be modified, changed, added to or taken from, only appreciated to a greater and greater extent. He declared his arrival as the fulfillment of the promise of spiritual liberty. (Luke 4:18-21) That promise continues to this day and is available to every person who wishes to take advantage of his life’s work. And only by the spread of this message of liberty and freedom will the trials and tribulations mankind faces on a global scale come to an end. (Matthew 24:14) Thus, it is up to every lover of Christ, every faith son of the Father, to be about the Father’s business of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
When we walk by faith, we accept that the Spirit of Truth is real and does, in fact, guide us into all truth.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
– John 16:13
While men debate and argue over facts and doctrines, which ‘merely gives rise to speculations,’ the Spirit of Truth guides us into truth – the matters that are ‘by faith.’ (1 Timothy 1:4) It helps us to make sure of the more important things (Philippians 1:10), the things having to do with salvation, such as having ‘a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.’ (1 Timothy 1:5)
This is a blessing that generations before us did not have en masse. They had wisdom, knowledge, counsel, understanding (Isaiah 11:1-3), but they did not have truth. This explains how the nation of Israel could so gravely misunderstand the true nature and character of the Father and why some of their activities, done ‘in the name of God,’ seem so depraved to 21st century society. But with the outpouring of the Spirit of Truth, mankind had access to higher ideas and higher ideals that, if followed, would lead to a natural manifestation of the ‘fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) The ministry of the Spirit of Truth is available to all persons, no matter their current religious associations, as long as they are truly seeking truth.
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.”
– Acts 10:44-45
The Spirit of Truth also helps us recognize that God is our Father and that every man who responds to the spirit is our brother:
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
– Romans 8:16
When we walk by faith, we accept that we are all brothers to one another (Matthew 23:8-9), with an equal standing before God, no matter our race or religion (‘neither Jew nor Greek’), no matter our social standing (‘neither slave nor freeman’), no matter our gender (‘neither male nor female’), ‘for we are all one in union with Christ Jesus.’ (Galatians 3:28)
The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man is universal, whether or not it is recognized and accepted. Even the wayward ones among mankind are children of God who have the same hope we have if they want it. Thus, in all of our dealings, we are to treat one another honorably, doing what we can in service to each other according to their needs and our ability to meet their needs, being ‘good Samaritans’ in our communities. (Luke 10:25-27) But we show a special honor to those who accept their sonship with God and have faith in His foreordained destiny for us. (Ephesians 1:3-5) These are the ones Jesus was referring to when he gave the new commandment to love those related to us in faith with more than a brotherly love, but with a fatherly love, the way Jesus loved us:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
– John 13:34-35
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
– Galatians 6:10
These are the foundational ways we walk by faith, but there is more. Walking by faith, as we mentioned at the beginning, is the secret of successfully traversing mortal life and preparing ourselves for heavenly citizenship. It encompasses our attitudes, our emotions, our perspectives, as well as our varied circumstances.