(Edmond Sanganyado asked me how I think one can overcome unbelief when I commented on one of his posts. So, dear Edmond, I’ve made some addition to what I posted on your blog site and hoping you’ll see this. Thanks for asking me to do this. This is the 2nd part…)
“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith”, Mark 11:22-23. By ‘Have faith in God’, Jesus means ‘Have the faith of God’. Peter, in Matthew 14:28 asked Jesus, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water”. In the next verse Peter did what no man ever did on water. Faith! The same faith wielding Peter allowed Satan to scare him with unbelief and in verse thirty Peter ran out of faith and, “he cried, saying, Lord, save me”. Hear Jesus in verse 31, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Did Peter not walk, even if it was two or three steps?! But the Lord’s verdict was ‘little faith’ and ‘doubt’.
The Book of Romans 11:20 reads, “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear”: and we can begin the exegesis of this verse by treating the adverb, ‘well’. It has a corresponding meaning to ‘well’, kalōs in John 4:17 (Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband) & James 2:19 (Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble) and also ‘truly’, alethes in John 4:18 (and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly). ‘Well’ or kalōs (kal-oce’) from Thayer Definition: means ‘1.beautifully, finely, excellently, well a. rightly, so that there shall be no room for blame, well, truly’. Alethes comes from ‘a’ (a negative not) and lantano (hidden). What the ‘well’ of Romans 11:20 agrees with is the reasoning of the 10th verse. Note that in the three references the audience involved seemed not to be a good believer. Unbelief broke Judaism away from God’s spiritual relevance. They could not keep the law, the use of which God never intended to save man eternally, anyway. The firmness of Paul’s hearers is not as a result of graft of gentiles.
Faith is the ground upon which their stand has been made sure. If it is by faith, then faith cannot be mingled with highmindedness (Proverbs 28:14). Highminded is the Greek word, hupsēlophroneō (hoop-say-lo-fron-eh’-o): ‘to be lofty in mind, that is, arrogant’. God expects you to approach Him in fear of His holiness. ‘Fear’ is phobeō (fob-eh’-o) ‘to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere’. Phobeo, in this context is ‘to be in awe of, that is, revere’. Unbelief jettisons faith to install pride which takes Jesus (the Author and Perfecter of our faith) out of the picture. Pride, which is destined to fall, will metamorphose into abject fear (which Lucifer is experiencing now in excruciating discomfort)
I can see Sarah as she silently went, “Pshaw, when some people eat good food, they just say anything!” She denied saying that. The Bible attests to the fact that her faith removed barrenness from the history of her earthly sojourn. So, you may have shown disbelief a whole lots of time, do not despair, God gives a second chance over and over and again. Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns of praise and worship; do likewise in times of trouble when faith is gravely taxed and, like the duo in Acts 16:25-31, your supplications will bring you favourable answers. What do you think Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were doing in the fiery furnace? They were putting their faith to test. What happened? The LORD Jesus, in His pre-incarnate manifestation, joined the three teenage Hebrew children to partake in the feast of an uncanny faith which resulted in an uncanny victory over the fierce element of combustion (when the vicious heat of a furnace was turned into an air conditioner) in Daniel 3:23-25!
…to be concluded….
Read the first part here