by Fred Pruitt
I saw a brother on Facebook post that he had been called a “Pharisee” and preaching “law” because he said we must receive the things of God by faith. To his detractors, excersing faith is “law.”
That is not the first time I have seen that bandied about on Facebook, and probably not the last. It seemed good to me this time, however, to respond. In fact, I could not help but respond, because this is a VITAL issue in our personhood. We are called to be full “persons,” as the “images” and “likenesses” of God. That is the theme of the next article in the “Possessing Our Possessions” series. And while I was working on it this morning, I saw this brother’s post and had this spontaneous “outburst,” which may serve as an introduction to the article which will come later.
Brother, it is absurd to say that exercising faith, the one faculty given us that we might “receive” the things of God, is “law.” “Faith” is not a “work” but the natural action of simply receiving something which is freely offered and given. Who goes to a banquet, where a huge table is set, with the most delicious food on it you’ve ever seen, and does not eat the food? If we just sit there and do not eat, then do we leave the banquet full and knowing how wonderful the food is, from the experience of eating it?
That’s all faith is — “eating” — the good things God has promised. God says, “Here, this is all for you,” holding out His Eternal hand in which are all the promises of God in Christ. We can look at all those riches and declare they are ours, but they are not really ours unless we take and possess the gift freely given.
That is not WORK, it’s just agreement and acceptance with thanksgiving. It is the key to all life in Christ, the EXERCISE of faith. It is part of the package of our royal priesthood, as “kings and priests unto God.” It is the privilege of “kings and priest” to dispense gifts, declare decrees, and offer to the people the riches of Christ.
How? By the daily exercise of faith by the Spirit Who lives in us, who calls us to be real persons, expressions in human form of the Inexhaustible Treasure within these earthen vessels. The exercise of faith is the “how” of the kingdom of heaven. Anything less is not coming to the realization of our full life in Christ, because each of us individually are called to be another point of the outflow of the “river of Living Water” that lives in our middles — how? – “He that believeth on me.” This does not come about by the work of the law, but by power of the Spirit working by faith, as the entire new testament testifies. Take “faith” out, and throw out Hebrews 11, throw out Eph 2:8, and a whole host of others. No, brother, you are not a Pharisee or preaching “law” to exhort others to faith — Mark 11:24. You are right to affirm and confirm Romans 10:8-11.