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2017 ITEROS-WEEK8-DAY5

WEEK 8

Cooperating with Christ in His Heavenly Ministry by Running with Endurance the Race Set before Us, Looking Away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of Our Faith

‹‹ DAY 5 ››

OUTLINE

D. Faith is to believe that God is:

1. Without faith it is impossible to please God, to make God happy (Heb. 11:6a). 2.“He who comes forward to God must believe that He is” (v. 6b; cf. Gen.  5:22- 24):

a. To believe that God is, is to believe that He is everything to us and that we are nothing (John 8:58; Eccl.1:2).

b.To believe that God is implies that we are not; He must be the only One, the unique One, in everything, and we must be nothing in everything (Heb. 11:5).

c.  To believe that God is, is to deny our self; in the whole universe He is, and all of us are nothing (Luke 9:23).

d.I should not be anything; I should not exist; only He should exist—“It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ” (Gal. 2:20).

e. At his conversion the Lord told Saul of Tarsus, “I am Jesus” (Acts 9:5):

(1)      The Lord was saying, “I am the great I Am; I am the One who is; you must believe that I am and you are  not.”

(2)      Eventually, Saul was over, and Paul came up (13:9).

f.   This is faith—“O the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing but a living Christ in glory, and being careful for nothing but His interests  down here” (J. N. Darby).

‹‹ WEEK 8 —DAY 5 ››

Morning Nourishment

Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to Him, for he who comes forward to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham came into being, I am.

Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is impossible to please God. This is a very strong word in the whole universe. To please God is to make God happy. Without faith it is impossible for you and me to make God happy. God could not and would not be happy with anyone without faith. This shows us the importance of faith.

He who comes forward to God must believe that God is (Heb. 11:6b). This is very simple. God requires you only to believe that He is. The verb to be is actually the divine title of our Triune God. In Exodus 3 Moses asked God what His name was. God answered that His name is I AM WHO I AM (vv. 13-14). Our God’s name is the verb to be. He is “I AM WHO I AM.” He is the only One. (Crystallization-study of the Epistle to the Romans, pp. 71, 73)

Today’s Reading

When Jesus came, He declared that He was the I Am three times in John 8 [vv. 24, 28, 58],...indicating that He is the very Jehovah. This is why Paul said in Hebrews 11:6, “He who comes forward to God must believe that He is.” God is always, eternally, in the present tense.

Do you need God? God is. Do you need food? God is....He told us, “I am...the life” (John 14:6a). “I am the resurrection” (11:25). “I am the door” (10:7, 9). “I am the good Shepherd” (10:11). “I am the bread of life” (6:35). He is the real food....He is the breath (20:22), the living water (4:10, 14), and the tree of life (15:1; 14:6a; Rev. 2:7)....He is everything to us.

What is faith? Faith is to stop yourself from doing anything. You are nothing. Faith joins you with God to make God the only One who is. I am not, so I should not be the one who loves my wife. It should be Christ loving my wife. He is; I am not. I should not be the one to go shopping. He should be the One.

Faith is to stop you from doing anything but to make God everything to you. This equals Paul’s word in Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” Who lives? It is no longer I. I do not exist. I was terminated. I was crucified. I am finished. It is no more   I, but Christ lives in me. Christ lives. Christ is. Christ exists. I do not exist. This is the very essence of the short word believe that God is. To believe that God is implies that you are not. He must be the only One, the unique One, in everything, and we must be nothing in everything.

The Lord Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself” (Luke 9:23). This word is the same as what Paul said: “He who comes forward to God must believe that He is” [Heb 11:6]. To deny yourself equals to believe that God is, and to believe that God is equals to deny yourself. This is because you believe that only He is. In the whole universe He is, and all of us are nothing. I should not be anything. I should not exist. Only He should be everything. Only He should exist. So Paul says, “I have been crucified. It is no more I, but Christ.”

When the apostle Paul was Saul, he was a very aggressive young man. Everything with him was “I, me, my, and mine.”...Everything was Saul of Tarsus. But the Lord Jesus knocked him down on the road to Damascus, and Saul asked, “Who are You, Lord?” (Acts 9:5). The Lord said, “I am Jesus” (v. 5). The Lord was saying, “I am the great I Am. I am the One that is. You must believe that I am and you are not.” Eventually, Saul changed his name. Saul was over, and Paul came up (Acts 13:9 and footnote 1).

Darby said: “O the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing but a living Christ in glory, and being careful for nothing but His interests down here.” This is faith. We care for nothing but His interest. (Crystallization-study of the Epistle to the Romans, pp. 73-77)

Further Reading: Crystallization-study of the Epistle to the Romans, msgs. 7-8