Scriptural Gem for February 2015

In Hebrews 11:6 we read '...And withouth faith it is impossible to please Him...'

From the English translation of the verse above, Christians generally summise that the verse indicates that we have to 'have faith' in order for God to be pleased with us and if we do not 'have it' or enough of 'it', or if we do not believe hard enough that He exists, He will not be pleased with us. However, let's take a closer look at the word 'impossible' above. The original Greek word is 'Adynatos'. There are two parts to this word - 'A' which means 'not' and 'Dynatos' which means 'Power'. So the word 'Adynatos' means 'No power'.

Let us now read the verse again as it appears in the original Greek: 'Without faith there is no power to please God'. This raises a crucial point - faith comes with power and more importantly, faith cannot be expressed with words - it is expressed by the presence of God's power in our lives. Words - even the right words describing the right doctrine - is no proof of faith at all. At best, they can only be a description of faith, not an expression of faith.

What the word 'Adynatos' indicates is where there is true faith, there will be power that accompanies it. However, we have to face the opposite as well - where there is no power, the faith is not real either. Only the power of the Living God in a person's life is proof that that person's faith is genuine.

If one examines modern Christianity closely, it becomes evident that it is powerless. Is it any wonder that the young generation finds no value in it? Theirs is the only logical conclusion. Many Christians are often as full of phobias, neuroses, depression, moodswings, temper tantrums and domestic strife as any secular atheist walking the streets. They have all the right words in terms of doctrine, but their lives behind the scenes display as much chaos as people who have no connection to God at all... but of course nobody talks about it - it is the 'elephant in the room' in church circles.

If we follow Paul's instruction in 2 Corinthians 13:5 and examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith, are we able to say that Christ Jesus is in us or do we fail the test?

Heavenly Father, show us what it truly means to have faith in you. We want to know the reality of your life in us. Amen.