"Foundational Principles for Life,"

Part I Concluded, & Part II,

by Duane L. Smith

Please take note that the Apostle Paul plainly places the emphasis on the grace of God as the object or active agent of saving faith; faith being the behicle that God chooses, enabling us to receive the salvation which is in Christ Jesus. See Acts 18:27, "...those who had believed through grace..." N.K.J. V. Notice that the origin of their faith was God's grace. Romans 3:24 says, "being justified by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." N.K.J.V. In other words, we are accounted as being in right standing before God, because Christ with His own blood, has fully paid the price for sin, and has freed us from its enslavement.

I should like to conclude this section with this personal story. My mother, at the end of her life, was sadly under great self-condemnation, because she though that she did not have enough faith to be healed of a sickness. In all actuality, she was a lady of great faith.

She said that she did not have "faith as a mustard seed." I later found evidence that she even went so far as to donate money to a ministry with the vain hope of being healed. She had hoped against hope she would be healed.

Let us take a closer look at the scriptures, Luke 17: 5 & 6 in mind, with Mark 4:31. "And the apostles said to the Lord,'Increase our faith.'" So the Lord replied: "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. It is like a mustard sed, which when it is sown on the ground, it is smaller than all the seeds on earth, but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may next under its shade." N.K.J.V.

So what can we learn from all this?

When it comes to faith, it is not the quantity but the quality. And as far as quality is concerned, faith in God can move mountains. Use what little faith you have, and it will grow [even as the mustard seed grows into a mighty plant eventually, according to Jesus--Ed].

And let us not forget, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17. {How vital then, to read and study the Word of God to increase our faith, and also hear the anointed preaching of the Gospel and the Word in Bible-based churches as a regular member; this is the way God has given us to grow our faith, but the book of James reminds us that works must follow faith and are the vital sign that our faith is alive and growing; "faith without works is dead" or will soon die, because faith that is not growing is dying, it must go forward like any living thing or it will die.--Editor]

This the end of remarks on the "Word of Faith" Heresy.

Having dealt with the Word of Faith heresy, let us move on to perhaps the most insidious of all false doctrines, self-deification, or, if you prefer, the "little gods heresy."

I will begin by expounding on the most commonly held 'proof text', Joihn 10: 30-38, with the key verses being John 10: 34-36. "Jesus answsered them, 'is it not written in your law, "I said, ye are gods." If He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken, say ye of Him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, thou blasphemest because I said I am the Son of God?'"

What exactly did Jesus mean by this? I struggled over this for years ion order to properly reply to this question. I was not satisfied with any of current 'answers' I knew were being given people.

I later encountered this passage again when studying about Mormonism, [called by its adherents, "Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints," based in Utah--Ed.]

I studied the chief apologists of that day, and still I was not satisfied with their responses and explanations. Now I think I can intelligently answer this vital questiion.

First of all, the Lord Jesus is referring to Psalm 82:6, "I have said, ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High." If one would read it in context, one would find that this particular psalm is a scathing exhortation to the judges of Israel, and a prayer for God's justice. Here again, the phrase, 'ye are gods,' is used. Please notice that the word "gods" with a small "g" is used. Even worse, I found that there were other places in the [translation of the] Old Testament [there is no error in the word of God, however--Ed] where the use of the large "G" had been applied to a man. See Exodus 4:16. "So he (Aaron) shall be your spokesman. And he himself shall be as a mouth for you, and you (Moses) shall be to him as God." N.K.J.V. [Note, it does not say "be God," but "be as God." In other words, we can BE A HUMAN BEING, or BE AS OR LIKE A HUMAN BEING-- that is a total difference in kind that is not changed just because we, while being frogs, so to speak, may take on some characteristics or authority or roles, given to us by Divine Agency, to be "like" human beings!--Ed]

Let us look again at Psalm 82:6, where the term "Elohim" is used, and the context, I think, will allow for this term to be literally translated as "mighty ones." We are to be "mighty ones" of the Lord and His representatives to the world, as well as Christ's ambassadors in this age (2 Corinthians 5:20). [Everyone but a very young child perhaps understands that an ambassador is not the king or parliament he represents but a representative; however, he is accorded the kingly honors of state protection and recognition that he speaks for the king or parliament. He "is as the king" while performing his official duties wherever the king sends him as his representative. So too with us as believers in Christ. We are never "God," but we certainly are commissioned and ordained to represent Him in this world.--Ed]


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