Faith is the Victory

Jan Antonsson

everlasting

The Glory Road Blog, A Kingdom Highway

September 19, 2015

Neosho, MO

(You and I) “know that it is not through obedience to Law that a man can be declared free from guilt, but only through faith in Jesus Christ. We have therefore believed in Christ Jesus, for the purpose of being declared free from guilt, through faith in Christ and not through obedience to Law. For through obedience to Law no human being shall be declared free from guilt (Gal. 2:16, Weymouth).

I love Weymouth’s translation because his is one of the few that speak of freedom from guilt, which is as big a deal as freedom from sin, it seems to me. This translation helps me understand why so many Christians still are burdened down by guilt. Trying to live by law always leads to feelings of guilt and shame.   We all know how important Faith is to our walk with God, but there still seems to be a “hook” in the blessing of finding faith.  The hook is that much of what people think is faith, is merely thinly disguised works of law rather than an outright gift of God, which Paul says it is.  Since Paul insists (thank God), that we can’t get there by law, what does it take to obtain faith?

Our online discussion group had a fruitful give and take about faith and works recently, and our dear friend John Gavazzoni wrote the following about the mechanism of how the gift of faith came to Abraham so long ago and how it still comes to us today.  In answer to the question posed to him on this subject, he wrote,

“There is only one faith that God reckons as the essential element of a right relationship with God, i.e., the faith OF Christ.  THAT’S what God reckoned as present and at work in Abraham. The heart of spiritual rightness, which is the source of all rightness, lies within the God-Family. We are on the path of being rightly related to God as we are CAUSED/MADE to participate in the Son’s faith-response to the Father’s love. It’s a perfect response to love’s perfect causation. The faithFulness of the Father’s love, evokes from the Son perfect faith, faithfulness, and loyalty to the Father, and really it is “the faith of God” given to the Son by the Father, that returns to the Father, as the most fundamental form of what’s been called, “the law of circularity.”  End Quote.

Decades ago, Lenny pointed out to me that the KJV of Gal. 2:20,  puts this concept of Christ’s faith, rather than ours, in clear perspective.  It reads, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  Other translations read, “faith IN the Son of God.”  What a difference a preposition makes.  “OF” indicates Christ is the author/source of faith, and “IN” infers that we have to come up with that faith however we can, often an impossibility.

If we think we have to drum up the faith, and find we cannot, as sometimes happens, we go “down for the count in guilt and sorrow.”  I believe that’s because if anything rests upon our faith, we can never really enter “the sabbath rest that remains for the children of God” (Heb. 4:9).  Why? We simply can’t depend upon ourselves to succeed; clearly, we’ve failed so many times, and could certainly, in a weak moment, fail again.  But GOD?  You’ve got it.  He cannot fail! This is why the Hebrew writer declared, “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you” (Heb. 6:13-14).  I’ve written many words about the futility of self effort, but still the tradition of the fathers bears down on us at times so that we feel the need to gird our loins and muster our faith by ourselves.

A friend of ours who is currently declaring the Gospel Good News in Germany wrote to me after reading my last writing, Fueled by Hope:

“Thank you sooo much for this writing! It was a word straight from Heaven for us this morning. We too have been through the mill during the last two years. To keep it short, life started to fall apart around us until all hope was gone. Just last night I said to my wife, that the point of my ‘keeping the faith’ is long gone and that I know that I don’t have any faith in and by myself. Don’t get me wrong, good things have happened and we’ve seen Father’s blessings coming our way, but the main thread has been one of utter despair, and we both are actually also both optimists in our approach to life (thank God!)… I am glad to hear, that things worked out better than expected for you and just want to let you know that you are on our hearts and minds. Beyond that, I want to thank you for sharing your honest feelings and thoughts in this sometimes rough journey of Sonship in our Father’s embrace. May His love comfort and strengthen you every second of every day.”  End Quote.

My answer to him was to the effect that what I finally have come to in my old age, is that what we sometimes think of as a crisis of faith, is really a reality check for us.  I used to think I had a lot of faith, but life and cactus patches have taken their toll, and now, I realize that it never was my faith which moved mountains, but it was always only HIS faith, freely given by His grace, just when I needed it the most.  All the faith I can muster and $5.00 might buy a small, black coffee at Starbucks.  It surely could never move a mole hill, let alone a mountain.

My friend answered my request to quote him, “Yes, of course you can quote me, and mention my name if you want to, I really don’t mind. Concerning what you have written on the subject of faith, I couldn’t agree more. Life can be difficult, and the only comfort I too have found is the knowledge, that He will never let us go! I actually don’t know how anyone could cope without this revelation, as it can be already hard even with it. It seems there is a lot of denial going on in the religious systems of this world.”  End Quote.  Amen to what he wrote.

The title for this writing comes from a dear old hymn that we used to sing, “Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.”    I knew the subject of this writing before the Spirit showed me the title.  When I “heard” the title, I looked up the hymn. Here’s the first stanza: “Encamped along the hills of light, Ye Christian soldiers rise, And press the battle ere the night shall veil the glowing skies. Against the foe in vales below, let all our strength be hurled;  Faith is the victory, we know, that overcomes the world.  Faith is the victory!  Faith is the victory! Oh, glorious victory that overcomes the world.”

For as glorious as the song is, even more glorious are Jesus words:  “I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world(John 16:33, RSV).  The Beloved disciple also told us, “Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4, RSV).  And so, dear friends, the real victory is HIS!  It is His strength by which we prevail.  He is victorious over all things that press us and stress us and cause us to lose our hope and faith, and He cannot fail.  Therefore, HIS IS the glorious victoy that overcomes the world, because He authors it and lives it out in us and through us.  The Psalmist said it this way:

 “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord. All the families of the nations shall worship before Him. For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. All the proud of the earth shall bow down.  All who go down to the dust shall bow before Him.” (Ps. 22:27-29). Hallelujah!

Father, we give You all glory and honor and blessing for Your plan of the ages, to gift us Your only Begotten Son, so that we may know and share with others the gift you’ve given us, faith, trust, victory, and unconditional love in Him and through Him.  With all the Saints on earth and in glory, we sing Your praises now and forever, for “Allelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”  So say we all,  Amen.  Jan Antonsson

Jan and Lenny Antonsson

17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail address)

All our writings from 1997-2010 are on 

The Glory Road

Our writings from 201 to the present are on this blog.  Scroll down to read them.

We always enjoy hearing from you!

Jantonsson@aol.com

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