Not All Faith Is a Pure Faith

by | Apr 8, 2017

Not All heart belief is the truth

Key Concepts

  • The Bible tells us that our faith needs to be refined which suggests that there is something less than pure in our faith.
  • God is always at work in our lives, bringing the fire of refinement to our impure gold and exposing the dross.
  • Faith is believing the truth in our heart with absolute certainty.
  • Heart belief is the essence of faith, which is a gift of God.
  • The root word for faith is peitho which means either to persuade or to be persuaded. Only the Spirit can persuade us of the truth in our hearts.  

The very fact that the Bible tells us that our faith needs to be refined means there is something less than pure in our faith. It is important to note that not all heart belief is the truth. Just as a refiner melts down the gold to purify it, God is always at work in our lives, bringing the fire of refinement to our impure gold and exposing the dross.

The Apostle Paul declared that without a purified faith, it is “…impossible to please Him…” (Heb. 11:6) and “…whatever is not from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). When we know the truth in our hearts, we will walk in an effortless victory and will be able to know His will with certainty. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2).

Therefore, it is necessary for us to have our faith refined with fire, “…so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:7).

It is from this kind of faith—a belief in a truth that is known with absolute certainty—that we are to live our lives. Knowing the truth this way is not something we can just make happen by trying harder to believe.

This kind of belief is the essence of faith, which is a gift of God. The root word for faith is peitho which means either to persuade or to be persuaded. When the Spirit of God persuades us of  truth in our hearts, this truth becomes the essence of our faith.

 

 

Truth Believed with the Heart Produces Fruit

Key Concepts

  • When we know the truth in our hearts, living the Christian life becomes an effortless expression of the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Wherever this fruit is not evident, we need to ask ourselves, “Why not? What do I believe that hinders Christ living His life in and through me?”
  • God wants us to experience all of His fruit and willingly makes it available, but the fruit is dependent upon the purity of our faith. Our lie-based beliefs are the barriers that stand in the way.
  • Most lie-based heart beliefs are established by the age of twelve years and becomes the “lens”  we will use to interpret each new life experience.
  • Faith or heart belief—both truth-based and lie-based—is not only fixed and constant, it becomes reinforced over time.
  • When the Spirit persuades us of the truth it becomes resident in our hearts. When this occurs, genuine and lasting transformation always follows.
  • Sadly, much of “fruit” we do in the Christian life that we call ‘spiritual’ can be accomplished by unbelievers if they just set their minds to it.

When we know the truth in our hearts, the Christian life becomes an effortless expression of the fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control flow unimpeded and become who we are rather than a “to-do” list to accomplish. Wherever this fruit is not evident, we need to ask ourselves, “Why not? What do I believe that hinders Christ living His life in and through me?” God wants us to experience all of His fruit and willingly makes it available, but this can only occur to the degree that we believe the truth with our hearts. Intellectual belief in the truth provides no guarantee of fruit bearing. We cannot bear it in and of ourselves. It is the outflow of the Spirit we have been given that operates on the truth that we believe.  The lies we believe with our hearts are the barriers that stand in our way.

Most lie-based core beliefs (heart beliefs) are established by the age of twelve years. When something occurs in life, it requires us to ascribe meaning to it and interpret it. This interpretation may become our heart belief.  Once this “faith” is established, it becomes the “lens”  we will use to interpret each new life experience. Faith or heart belief—both truth-based and lie-based—is not only fixed and constant, it becomes reinforced over time. For example, if as a little boy I came to believe the lie, “I am worthless,” this lens will probably not change over time—apart from God’s intervention with truth.

As I experience mistreatment, rejection, and other injustices in my life, rather than coming up with a new belief such as “I am worthy,” I will be more likely to pull out the older and more familiar belief confirming the negative view of myself. Unfortunate life experiences simply reinforce what I already believe in my heart.

When the Spirit persuades us of the truth it becomes resident in our hearts. When this occurs, genuine and lasting transformation always follows. This is a work of God. Only the Spirit can bring about the transformation that produces genuine fruit. Again it is true, much of what we do in the Christian life we call ‘spiritual’ can be accomplished by unbelievers if they just set their minds to it.

 

Possessing Faith is a Given

Key Concepts

  • When our faith is refined, it will produce genuine fruit. When our faith is lie-based it will produce lie-based fruit. The fruit may appear to be same, but one is good and the other has a rotten core.
  • The fruit of the Spirit is an expected and effortless expression of Christ living His life in and through us (Gal. 2:20).
  • Doubt is the outcome of believing something contrary to the truth.

We all possess much faith, it is just not all of our faith is pure.  When we believe the truth with our hearts we will bear fruit (Col. 1:10) without effort. The fruit of the Spirit will be an expected and effortless expression of Christ living His life in and through us (Gal. 2:20).  When our faith is refined and pure, it will produce genuine fruit. When our faith is lie-based it will produce lie-based fruit. The fruit from either may appear to be same, but one is good and the other has a rotten core.

Like Peter the disciple in the narrative in the Gospel where he walked on the water, we too have a mixture of both pure faith and faith that needs refinement. There we see both his pure faith as well as a portion of his faith that needed to be refined. When Peter chose to lift himself out from out of the boat and put his foot on the water’s surface, he was operating in a pure faith: he believed that Jesus would hold him up. The outcome was him doing what no other human (other than Jesus) has ever done. However, when he looked around at his situation, and “…seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” In that moment he accessed a portion of his faith that lacked purity (lie-based core belief) and expressed this belief through his feeling afraid and his exclamation to the Lord. Jesus responded to Peter with what sounded something like a TPM question, by asking, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Doubt is the outcome of believing something contrary to the truth. The truth was, Peter was not about to die, the Lord was near, but he believed he was in need of being rescued. His purified faith got him out of the boat, but his impure faith caused him to doubt.

 

Comment Below

Print Friendly, PDF & Email