Faith as a Universal Component of Homo sapiens
A distinct and onerous fundamental difference between human us and other levels of creation is the ability of members of the Homo sapiens to exercise faith. The tripartite composition of human beings: spirit, soul and body and the ability to think reason and make decisions further set us apart from the lower animals. In the spirit realm of the human consciousness are three levels of Intuition, Conscience and Worship. All lower animals, without exceptions, are bereft of these unique features, which negate the materialist assertion that human beings and the lower animals share similar fate. If human beings and lower animals have no fundamental differences, then we should all sign up into vegan culture. But we know this is virtually impossible, thus, we are more than higher animals we are spirit beings. The element of faith in the area of Worship is one of the proofs of God's existence; the irrefutable proof that we are more than beasts, we operate on a higher consciousness. There is a Greater One above and beyond us, a consciousness which draws us to search and thirst for Him. We have failed miserably to displace Him with something else, try as we might over the ages. In His Wisdom, God Almighty has created faith in each and every one of us; even the Atheist is a creature of faith, for in his/her mind, the exercise of faith in a non-existence Creator itself is faith. There is a constant draw in the human spirit, which yearns for something to worship, because God has put His consciousness in each of us which constantly gnaws at our being to search for a Higher Being. While Conscience serves as the spiritual thermometer that approves, condemns and regulates human's consciousness of good and bad; faith, on the other hand, is the seat of human worship. Every human soul that has ever walked and will ever walk on the planet earth has one form of faith or the other, no matter how we try to discard it. It is inbuilt by the Creator. This void that faith occupies cannot be substituted for any other thing and that is why all human beings are religious. You do not need to belong to any organized religion to be a religious person. The fact that you are an atheist simply means Atheism itself is a religion. As a matter of fact, whatever you put your trust in is your religion, including trust in self. Whatever is your religion is your god. The object of veneration is one's god and whatever controls you too, even with deleterious consequences is also a god/goddess. Anything that takes away one's freedom and inhibits you to exercise your will is a god, including all human addictions. It is not the addiction itself, but the spirit behind the addiction which has taken away the human freedom is a god/goddess. Some are benign and even disguise as worthwhile and desirable, but if it occupies Number 1 spot in your life that is your idol, hence your god. In the Word of Life, God told Habakkuk that the Babylonians put their faith in their strength (Habakkuk 1: 11). Their self-effort thus becomes their god, because no human being will prevail by his/her own strength. To prevail means victory over Satan and his demons and making it to heaven. The baseline for God's consciousness in every human being is our ability to exercise faith in whatever we believe in. This is why there are menageries of religions all over the world today. But the faith of the Bible is divided into two distinct types: the faith that is general, which all human beings possess and the faith that is a gift from God Almighty (1 Corinthians 12: 9: “… to another faith by the same Spirit…” In human relationships, we put faith in someone or something, because we believe and trust in that thing or someone. Consequently, husband and wife seal their trust for each other via faith; an employee provides a service with faith in his/her employer that he/she will be remunerated; citizens vote for their leaders, because they trust them to perform and govern well, and many instances of such faith in diverse human relationships. In our daily activities, we exercise this form of faith every minute, otherwise, it will be difficult to drive to work, cross the highways, fly in aircraft, turn on the taps every morning and drink water, switch on the lights, visit the hospital, take cases to the law courts for dispute resolution etc. Faith is the anchor, which sustains all human activities and the pivot on which social life rotates, for without it, all human activities will ground to a halt. But there is another form of faith that God Almighty talks about after the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary. The general faith of the Old Testament is mere belief in something or someone. This type of belief is conditional and susceptible to change depending on events, circumstances and the object of such belief. But the type of faith that Apostle Paul refers to as a gift of the Holy Spirit is interpreted as a covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two unequal partners. After God initiated His Love towards us through His Son, Jesus Christ and we responded in and to His Righteousness, it doesn't matter how we may feel or think or whatever after we have taken Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This is God's Initiative, and He is the senior partner in this Covenant. He commits Himself to keep His own side of the bargain. God says He will never back away from the covenant He has with us through the Death and Crucifixion and Resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. The proof of this Covenant was Jesus, the Lab that took away the sin of the world (1 John 29). It is binding, irrevocable and sealed. Salvation of the human soul is a gift. We did not have any input into our salvation and as Apostle Paul disclosed in Romans 6: 23 (“…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,”) and Ephesians 2: 8: (For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God,” it is a gift and so none can boast about it. Your response to what God had already done, which is your salvation is what you have brought to the table and which qualifies you to be called a born-again Christian and redeemed child of the Living God. It isn't because religionists and unbelievers do not have faith, they indeed have general faith which we have alluded to above, but their faith is not on the salvation of their souls done by God. In other words, unbelievers and those who reject Jesus Christ are telling God; “We believe in you as God, but we are trusting in our own effort to understand you.” This is what all religions of the world are about. Religion is attempt by human beings to understand God and make one right with Him by one's individual efforts. Christianity on the other hand, is God's favor revealing Himself to us in Jesus Christ. A host who describes his house to you by picking you up at the airport in his own car is more reliable and more trusted than the one who tells you to find your way. Christianity is the former while all religions of the world are classified together as the latter. If God says salvation is free and He doesn't want any human being to boast before Him, then it means our Christian Walk with Him till we enter heaven must also be guarded by Him. That is why Jesus Christ told us without Him, we can do nothing. If no human being can win the soul of another human being just as our Lord Jesus Christ said in John 6: 44; “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day,” it means our faith in Him must also come from Him, thus, Faith is gift from the Holy Spirit, Who is God in our Christian lives.
WHAT OF THE FAITH IN HEBREWS? The writer of Hebrews, who was possibly Apostle Paul said in a popular verse in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” and went further to say that without it, no one could please God. Then he gave a list of Hall of Fame in Faith Land. But this faith, although in the New Testament, was referring to the Old Testament saints, who looked expectantly to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for God's Salvation. Even though Christ did not come during their time, they believed and fully trusted in the Lord that, even in death, they would be taken to heaven. They knew God Almighty could not lie (Numbers 23: 19: “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”). These forerunners of general faith were right and their faith was not misplaced. Right inside Sheol where they were waiting for God's fulfillment of His promises, our Lord Jesus Christ eventually went there and brought them out thus fulfilling the longings of David, one of the Patriarchs who predicted that the Lord would not leave let him see corruption or abandon him in the abode of the dead. That was why Jesus Christ said He was the Resurrection at the tomb of Lazarus. Salvation is not a “thing” it is a person. The Signifier is also the signification. Heaven is not a place but the Presence of God Almighty just as we cannot talk of America devoid of us the human beings that domicile in the geographical space known and called the United States of America. This play on words should be decoded over and over again as we read the Bible especially the Synoptic Gospels. When Jesus Christ said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one goes to heaven but by Him, He was saying that any other way leads to the Nether gloom, any other truth is a lie and any other life is hell. In the Journey of Life, there is no mathematical simultaneous equation. There are only two broad highways like two parallel lines that cannot meet and there is no in-between. The very nature of human existence confirms these two binaries: Light versus Darkness, Good versus Bad, and Heaven versus Hell etc. But unfortunately, none of these Great Giants of Faith listed in Hebrews 11 witnessed the physical coming of God's Salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ and hence the Gift of Faith of the Holy Spirit; nevertheless, they saw the spiritual fulfillment of their faith. In other words, their trust and faith in God Almighty were not misplaced.
WHY IS FAITH A GIFT? Every redeemed child of God is a work in progress. Sin has marred us beyond repairs, and apart from God Almighty Who is Gracious and Powerful, no human being could have been brought back from Satan's firm grip. This is the truth. No human being can redeem him or herself. We sin not because we want to or cherish to sin but because it is our nature, period! Sin is already part of our DNA. Adam and Eve brought all human beings, without exception into the pernicious grips of Satan and his demons. The Pauline Literature, notably the Book of Romans brought this pathetic state of the human race in dialectical fashion in Chapter 7 and 8. The Law was not given to make us live right but to enable us conceptualize how terribly low we have sunk into the abyss of sin. No wonder, Paul lamented in Romans 7: 24 thus: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? This was the state of all human beings before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sin gave birth to Death and death reigned from the time of Adam and Eve unto the coming of Jesus Christ. Something had to give in; the First Sin must be punished and atoned for, otherwise, Satan would continue to maintain the legal right to keep all human beings perpetually under his servitude. Consequently, God Almighty Himself had to devise a way for one human being to be punished on behalf of the whole human race. Each human being didn't need to be individually punished, because it was one human being that caused the fall; Adam, in conjunction with Eve. In the scheme of God's and heaven's juridical wisdom, since “the two shall join together and become one flesh,” (Genesis 2: 24), their prosecution was one proceedings, and then their acquittal of the First Sin must also be one trial. The one to justify their acquittal in the Court of Eternal Justice must both be fully- human and fully- God in order to satisfy His own righteous requirement that, without the shedding of blood, no human sin could be forgiven. God Almighty Himself did it, because no creature could be simultaneously fully-human and fully God but JESUS CHRIST, Hallelujah! This is why the salvation of the human by our Lord Jesus Christ is free. Put your first faith in what Jesus Christ had accomplished on the Cross and then your name would be written in the book of life. You are now saved. Save from what? From the firm grip of Satan and unencumbered by the sin of Adam and Eve. Then accept the second gift of faith that you will need in your Christian Walk till you reach the finish line and go to heaven. This is why the second faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit. But there is more to the salvation of the human race by Christ's Death. God Almighty was the aggrieved in the Fall of Adam and Eve. You see, it is not so much the fall of Adam and Eve, hence the seizure of the power and authority over the earth by Satan and his minions that pained God. Neither was the disobedience but the reasons both Adam and Eve gave for the disobedience. These are the same two fundamental excuses that unbelievers in Jesus Christ give today and each time those two excuses are given, they invite the wrathful angst and condemnation of God. Examine those two excuses in your sinful life and you will be surprised of your 100 percent Adamic personality. Remember how Adam absolved himself completely of the disobedience in the Garden. “The woman you gave to be with me caused me to disobey you,” was his response when busted by God, which in effect was that Adam blamed God for his foolish indiscretion. He should have manned up and confess he had sinned. Eve did the same buck-passing when confronted: the serpent deceived me. This buck-passing is alive and well in the lives of all unbelievers in the world today. Besides few agnostics and atheists in the world, virtually all human beings believe there is a Supreme Intelligent Being, the Great Alone and the Lord God Almighty the Creator. What has been problematic is; which religious path do we take to know and worship Him? This is where Satan and his demons have been deceiving majority of the inhabitants of the planet earth. The True Lord God Almighty is not asking us to devise ways and means to know Him; rather He had already revealed Himself to us in His only-Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Savior of the world. The Good Lord God had done His part, now He wants us to respond individually to His own salvation and not our individual salvation. You see, religion doesn't provide salvation. How can any disobedient person and someone who has run afoul of the law dictate his or her own punishment? In human secular affairs, we look up unto the law to prosecute offenders. We do not ask offenders to prescribe their own punishment. If human affairs are conducted this way, should we expect human sinners to dictate to God how we should pay for our sins? Is it not the Lord God Almighty Who should tell us how we should please Him and get right with Him as the One we sinned against? King David made this point that, he sinned against God and only Him he had sinned against, thus he- David – would look up to Him to make him-David-right and blameless with God Almighty. In this issue of salvation, God in His infinite Wisdom and sense of Eternal Justice had decreed that no human being would have input into the work of salvation. No one can make himself/herself right with God by religious precepts, thus, religion is of zero-utility in making us right with our Creator. Only He and He Alone can make us right with Him, because He and only He we sinned against and only He and He Alone will tell us how to resume a positive and unimpeded relationship with Him. This is life and this is eternal life. It is not a religious dogmas but a relationship, a relationship that is eternal and never-ending. Those who have rejected our Lord Jesus Christ have no excuses for rejecting Him when they individually appear at His Judgment Seat. It is not that unbelievers and sinner of the world cannot give their lives to Jesus Christ, but they do not want to give their lives to Him. As our Lord Jesus Christ told the Jews in John 15: 22: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.” Unbelievers can use their general faith that the Creator has given to every human soul to confess their sin and believe He would pardon them and then follow it up with the gift of faith that would enable them to enter into a new relationship with this Good God. It is not late, if you are reading this and still not sure of your eternal standing with the Lord. Jesus is the Savior, not religious practices or good works. Give Him your life today! The unbelievers don't get it. Will they? When?
From My Mail Bag This Week:
I read your column on Nigeria world and I really learn a lot. I would appreciate sir if you could be sending me more Christian articles and revelations direct to my inbox.
Remain blessed and the Lord God would be with you….Mr. Aro Habeeb Olalekan, Graduate School of Aerospace Instrument, IIAAT, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Thank you very much for your interest in the weekly column. Yes, I can arrange to have these weekly articles delivered directly to your email box. Other readers too have inquired about the same thing and because of my other commitments; I may not be able to do this weekly. However, there is good news; a man of God in California has volunteered to take charge of this service and this wonderful child of the Living God, a loving brother in Christ, has been good at it since he voluntarily accepted to do this. I will send your email to him so he can add you to his database. As soon as the weekly article is available, you will read it directly in your mail box. We thank God for your life and we are praying for you guys in Russia. All the best and keep the torch alive until the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
BOOK SIGNINGS IN WASHINGTON, DC. USA.
Thank God for modern technology. I am writing this on my way to Washington DC to make appearance with my co-author, Dr. Margie Marie Neal on several book signings we have scheduled for the next one week. As I disclosed last week, we will be on the road in the next couple of weeks to promote our latest book; “Aliko Mohammad Dangote; the Biography of the Richest Black Person in the World,” across the United States. We unveiled the book officially penultimate week at our home town of Chicago and it was a successful outing. Kudos to Ms. Antoinette Wright of Jabez Cultural Management and Publicity Company, who has been behind our publicity and marketing campaign; we can't ask for any professional better and well-equipped to handle the book. I will report back to you guys how the book signing events went here next week.
WORLD PROPHECY: This is huge! Something of global importance, an earth-shattering event and a cosmic occurrence is in the offing in the world. I don't know what it is but the Holy Bible has predicted it and we shall all see it with our very eyes soon. This event is part of end-time prophecy and it's about to take place very, very soon in the next 12 to 24 months. I don't know what it is; I repeat again, I wasn't shown what it is but again, it's HUGE. The whole world will be shocked; from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun; from the East to the West; from the South to the North, the planet earth is about to witness a catastrophic event. The Divine Hand of God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the universe, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is about to intervene in the affairs of humanity. The world media, the commentariat, the scientists, the astrologers, the men and women of earthly wisdom and their ilk will be talking their heads out but will not be able to explain but those who know the True God will be unshaken and unperturbed. What is it? I wasn't shown but was only told (Luke 21:11 & 25).
(This prophetic spiritual caveat emptor will be a weekly feature until its fulfillment before our very eyes on earth).
NEXT WEEK: We shall examine the Holy Spirit Gift of Healing next week. What is disease? What is the causality between sins and bodily impairment and malfunction known as diseases of the body? What are the differences between disease of the body, soul and spirit? What are the causes of soulical and spiritual diseases and how can they healed by born-again Christians?
• Dr. Fayemiwo, co- author of the newly-released; “Aliko Mohammad Dangote; the Biography of the Richest Black Person in the World,” is CEO, Christ-Alternative Lifestyle Communication, DBA Chicago, USA.