That is a good question. There is more than one way to get faith. Two Jewish gentlemen wrote A Greek-English Lexicon,1 and, because they are not denominational Christians and have no axes to grind, their definitions are not tainted by any denominational bias. They translate Greek words as to how they were used in the time when Jesus was here. They translate the Greek word: πίστις as “trust.” The Greek is transliterated into English as pistis. One ministry I was involved with in the past said “pistis” is “believing,” yet I can find nothing to support such a claim outside of that ministry. Christian denominations claim it is belief, trustworthiness, faithfulness, honesty, and several more yet none of them can trace the meaning back to the time of Christ but only to the beginning of the Christian group who had the lexicon, concordance, encyclopedia, or Bible dictionary produced.
Words have meanings and we need to understand them in the light of how they were used when they were used. In English, we have seen many words change their meaning over time. An example is the word “gay.” It no longer means happy, as it did 50 years ago. Today, it is a person who loves someone of the same gender. Today “bad” can mean good. Those are a couple of examples. If I were talking to a soldier during World War II and used the words “gay” or “bad,” they would understand it the way they knew it, not the way it is used today. Point being, we need to understand words in the Greek spoken 2000 years ago in the light of how it was used then not now, and definitely not how any denomination uses it today, unless it fits with the Greek spoken back then. Therefore, we believe that the word pistis should be “trust.” With that explained, now we can get started.
The following verse shows one way in which you can get “faith.”
Romans 10:17 (NIV)2
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
This verse is packed, but before we look deeper we need to discuss a few things. Many translations say “word of God,” but that is because of the translators believing “God” and “Christ” are one and the same. We do not believe this because it does not fit with the Bible as a whole. This phrase, “word of Christ,” is only used two times in the Bible, here and in Colossians 3:16. Reading the context of both sections will show it is referring to the Scriptures. There are two verses you need to see as they show where Paul [the apostle who penned most of the Christian Scriptures] received what he was teaching.
Galatians 1:11 and 12 (NIV)
11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
Paul penned both [or dictated it to a scribe], so calling it “the word of Christ” was not a stretch. So the words of the Christian Scriptures can be and are “the word of Christ.” Paul gave us all the Church Epistles and more [Romans through 2 Thessalonians, and 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews]. That is a large chunk of the Christian Scriptures. Because Paul wrote Romans and Colossians, and both are part of the Church Epistles, it is easy to understand the term: “the word of Christ.” Let us go back to Romans again.
Romans 10:17 (NIV)
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
It looks like in order for our faith [trust] to grow we need to be hearing the message, and that is heard through the word of Christ. Where is it heard? Through the word of Christ! Therefore I want to ask you this, if we hear it through the word of Christ, will anything else help your faith [trust] grow? No! If what we are hearing are the traditions of men, lies, myths, or anything other than the word of Christ our faith [trust] will not grow. You had best make sure what you are hearing is the word of Christ or you will never grow the way you want. These are not my words but our Lord Jesus.’ I want to give you more to think on—look at this verse:
John 17:17 (NIV)
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Jesus was praying to his heavenly Father and states, “your word is truth.” I wrote an article a while back which shows the entire Bible ultimately comes from God. See: “Are the Red Letter Words of Jesus, More Important Than the Rest of the Christian Scriptures?” and you will understand what I am talking about. This includes everything Jesus gave in the Christian Scriptures. So, God’s Word is Truth. I want us to look at this Scripture.
John 8:32 (NIV)
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Okay, let us think a minute here! John 17:17 shows God’s Word is Truth and John 8:32 says that the Truth will set you free, then it is saying God’s Word will set you free. Above, we read Romans 10:17 where it says, “faith comes by hearing” the word of Christ. So now, let us put this all together. You will be set free by the Word, and faith comes by hearing the Word, then the True Word is very important. So if what you believe are myths or the traditions of men you cannot be set free, nor will faith come. Now here are some more verses we should look at:
Matthew 15:1–6 (NIV)
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”[this is a ceremonial washing which the Pharisees taught, and are not a part of the Law, nor a commandment of God] 3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,” 6 he is not to ‘honor his father [Some manuscripts father or his mother]’with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
I will be writing something on honoring your father and mother, but that is a big topic and would take away from this article. Jesus and his disciples were in Gennesaret [Matt. 14:34] when some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from Jerusalem to ask some questions. Both groups are leaders, but when I read “teachers of the law” I became very inquisitive because those guys should have known the Law. They were, with the Pharisees, wanting to know why Jesus’ disciples broke the tradition of the elders! They did not say they broke the Law but the tradition of the elders! This same thing is going on today. Traditions have replaced the Word of God, as have myths. The end of verse 6 above says a bunch, “…Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” Sadly traditions, myths, false doctrines, and more have replaced much of the Truth in the last 2000 years. Most Christians feel we are rapidly approaching the end times or are in them. Let us look at another verse which plays into that. This is Paul to Timothy:
1 Timothy 1:3 and 4 (NIV)
3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith.
If you want faith and to be set free, then false doctrines, myths, and endless genealogies will not get you there. There is more, as we will see!
1 Timothy 4:6 and 7 (NIV)
6 If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
Here Timothy was: “brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you [he] have [had] followed,” and was told: “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales.” Think about it, if this had become a problem during the life of Paul, then do you think it is happening today? Oh yeah, it is! Let us see more and this next one is really out there:
2 Timothy 4:3 and 4 (NIV)
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
That time is here because: “…men will not put up with sound doctrine…,…they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” This is happening right now! Then verse 4 slaps us in the face: “They will turn their ears [that is hearing folks] away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” Today, many think they are hearing the Truth but are not, and without knowing it, they have turned their ears [hearing] away from the Truth and unto myths! Can any of these people be set free or have faith come? No! They cannot! There is another verse that goes with this stuff on myths:
Titus 1:14 (NIV)
and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.
I have read and talked to many people who say the Adversary has really attacked our government, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I would agree. Folks, those attacks were at our freedom, but he has systematically attacked the Bible and every translation I have ever found. Many translations have a bunch of Truth but none have it all. It takes work to get to the Rightly Divided Word of God! How can so many people blame God for all the evil, sin, and suffering when it is so easily proven He does none of those things. Christian’s say God kills people, yet that is not what the Bible says when translated properly. They say God is in control when the Bible says the Evil One is in control. Look at these two verses in the NIV.
Hebrews 2:14 (NIV)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his [Jesus] death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil [Slanderer]—
1 John 5:19 (NIV)
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one [the Adversary].
The verse I just showed you in Hebrews shows that the Slanderer holds the power of death. 1 John shows the Adversary is in control of the world. These are two things many Christians do not believe; and when they do not, they cannot be set free, nor can their faith come. I was involved with a minister from another group who taught that God was in control, therefore if it is God’s will, it will ALWAYS happen. We parted ways over these next couple verses:
1 Timothy 2:3 and 4 (NIV)
3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
So I asked him, if what you are saying were True, then God (v. 3) who wants all men to be saved (v. 4) has a problem. If it is God’s want, then it is His will that all men get saved? Right? Yes, it is His will! Yet many men, women, and children have lived their lives without ever being saved and died in their sin. So, just because God wants something, He does not always get it. If you are one who believes, as that minister, you have caused yourself a problem. What is the problem? That is not the Truth and therefore it will not set you free or cause your faith to come. This brings us to the second thing God wants in that verse: “…and to come to a knowledge of the truth [His Word].”
God wants all men to come to a knowledge of the Truth, but there is more to that. The word “knowledge” in the Greek is: “ἐπίγνωσις” and is transliterated into the English as: epignosis. If it were gnosis that would be just knowledge, but this has a prefix epi on it. What a difference that makes because it means a precise, accurate, correct, real, and true knowledge. Therefore, God wants all men to come to a precise, accurate, correct, real, and true knowledge of the Truth [which is His Word]. My minister friend was not happy. But instead of lining himself up with what I showed him, he walked away from me. So now, where does that leave us? All men should want this knowledge, but they do not. That is why there are thousands of denominations here in the U. S. Friends, it seems to us here at “Living Love with Jesus” that if we want the Truth to set us free and want our faith to come and grow, then we need to be hearing: a precise, accurate, correct, real, and true knowledge of the Truth.
My brothers and sisters, our Enemy has infiltrated the highest levels of many denominations, acting righteous and as apostles, or these verses would mean nothing:
2 Corinthians 11:13–15 (NIV)
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan [Adversary] himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Many ministers, priests, reverends, pastors, etc. do not work for the One True God and His Son. Many denominations were infiltrated a long time ago. There are false apostles [ministers, pastors, etc.], there are deceitful workman [but to most they look like men and women of God]; but from my experience, those masquerading as apostles of Christ are very high in major denominations and look so religious but are working for the Adversary. The Adversary still represents himself as an angel of light and so do his servants. Hey! Those working for him are not all demons, though they may be demonized, but are people with a form of godliness.
2 Timothy 3:5 (NIV)
having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
The context of 2 Timothy shows some can openly be bad, but many hide it and look on the outside like wonderful people serving God and His Son while they secretly do unspeakable evils. I am sure you have seen or read about some molested children, women, and teaching and preaching for the wealth and not for God, and much, much more. Though they hide in plain sight, many times we end up learning about these evil servants of the Adversary and how many of them just twist the Truth until there is no Truth left. Many wonderful people have been deceived their entire lives by so called great men and women of God. I have personally seen what many great Christian groups have done to people. In the end, people are taught lies as truth. These people look like they are working for God but they are working for the Slanderer, the father of lies.
John 8:44 (NIV)
You belong to your father, the devil [Slanderer], and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
When the Slanderer presents himself to people, as he did when he tempted Jesus in Matthew 4 and again in Luke 4, he pulled verses out of context and though true, in the context of where they were first written, he twisted them. He tried to get Jesus to do something that would not serve Jesus’ goals but the Adversary’s. The things offered could have even blessed Jesus for a while, but in the end it was serving our Enemy. By the Slanderer getting control of churches, Bible translations, governments, and so on, he can do what is said of him in John 10:10, steal, kill, and destroy. If you want to understand more about the Adversary see “Is There a Devil and Is He Real?” He does it slowly and is in no hurry to do those three things to you but will speed things up if given the chance. He would love to deceive you, as he did the Woman in the Garden of Eden and many others in the Bible. He has spent centuries, actually more than six millennia, fighting God and His people. He has watered down the Truth so much that almost every church teaches the same thing but in different ways. I will not list them all, but reading the articles on our website will help get you headed in the right direction. Much of what main stream Christianity teaches is the doctrine and commandments of the Adversary or men influenced by him. I would like to look at one more verse.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Remember, God want us to have a precise, accurate, correct, real, and true knowledge of the Truth. This verse shows we are to correctly handle the Word of Truth. We have seen the Word is Truth, and it will set us free. We have seen that if we want our faith to come, we need to hear the Truth. So, if it is not Truth, it will not help us. We need to seek out the Truth, from those willing to dig into it, and not be afraid to be like Jesus. Jesus threw out the tradition of the elders for the commandments found in the True Word of God. We need to follow his lead, and then we will see the power of God, living again, in the Church today! I want to grow in my faith, come grow with me!