“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” -Romans 1.17Confidence inspires confidence. Courage rouses courage. Love awakens love. Respect begets respect. Faith enables faith!
You can learn a lot from watching people. I’ve noted that there are two types of people in this world: Those driven by fear and those driven by confidence. The contradiction of these two can be easily seen in how each plays out in their relationships with others. Those whose driving motive is fear usually resort to tactics of control, manipulation, sometimes guilt, but always a gnawing sense that they must ensure certain outcomes or suffer loss. Those who are governed by confidence realize the possibility of loss, but they are ever at peace. They trust in the eternal principles of how things work. They understand that confidence can’t be demanded, love cannot be forced, and respect will never be awakened in others by it being required of them. Their relations with others are uniquely characterized by a strange sense of freedom . . . leaving others free to live as they so choose.
In the wake of these thoughts, I would like you take note of a small statement made by Paul in the beginning of his letter to the believers in Rome. A small statement with huge implications, nonetheless.
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.’” -Romans 1.17 (emphasis added)
Did you catch it? Not only is love only awakened by love, but it appears that faith is only enabled by faith! Now consider the implications. God is not afraid or threatened. God is confident. But notice what He is confident in! He is confident that His love is powerful enough to win our hearts! He does not need to demand or require love. He truly believes this and thus is not interested in forced obedience, as the religious masses would have us believe.
This point is repeated over and over in the New Testament. The object of faith is always love. Love is that which faith is believing in, and although we all agree that God is endeavoring to awaken our faith in His love, do not miss the numerous times in the New Testament that our faith is not the focus, but rather HIS.
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference” -Romans 3.22
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” -Galatians 2.16
“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” – Galatians 3.22
Faith (Pisteos) in each of these verses is in the genitive (possessive) case, which means that it’s not necessarily faith in Jesus but rather the faith of Jesus. As we allow our gaze to trace the path of cause and effect, as we follow with line of sight to that which inspires His faith, we find a love beyond description that inspires Faith within each of us, as well. It is from faith to faith.
God is confident. He truly believes that love will accomplish far more than fear, control and manipulation. Thus, He continually gives us freedom. God trusts that when He lovingly whispers to us and tells us that He genuinely only wants to give to us, that He truly wants nothing from us, His generous, other-centered love alone will inspire in us a deep, unquenchable desire to give Him everything.
Take time this week to meditate, not just on the faith He wants to inspire in us, but the faith that is preveniently in His heart. As you dwell on this, may you find faith in Him as well as the Faith of Him who did not count heaven itself a place to be desired while you and I were outside it’s gates.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” -Revelation 14.12 (emphasis supplied)
I wish you God’s best this week.