Monday, March 6, 2017
How sufficient must one’s faith be, in order to be sufficient? Paul informs us, “Faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:16a). So, how much did the eunuch hear before or after he said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36)? After those on Pentecost heard Peter’s words, what else did they hear prior to “gladly” receiving his words and being “baptized” (Acts 2:41)? How much faith must one have in order to have a sufficient faith? Did Luke record, or Paul or Peter write, giving details on what one must believe in order to have a faith that is sufficient? How sufficient was the faith of the “about three thousand” which were added to the saved (Acts 2:41, 47)?
Since our faith comes by hearing God’s word, one needs to go to that word to see what is recorded. We’re not looking for passages that speak of our faith after God has added us to the saved, only those which are prior to that addition. What is sufficient in helping us to arrive at being “added”?
In Acts 2 Peter preached “Jesus” who “you” . . . “crucified” and “put to death” (Acts 2: 22-23). This caused them to ask what they needed to do (v.37). Peter gave them two “faith” items. “Faith comes by hearing.” They were to (1) “Repent” and (2) “be baptized” in Jesus name. Remission would then follow. Verses 38-39 contains the words to be heard that would bring about faith. That faith action would answer the question of verse 37. Once stated by Peter, they gladly received what was heard and “were baptized” (Acts 2:41). Then Luke concludes with “they were added.” Added to what? “Faith comes by hearing.” Luke answers in verse 47. They were added to “the saved” (NKJV). So, how sufficient was the faith of the “about three thousand” in order to be sufficient?
What type of examination did the apostles put the “about three thousand” through before they were allowed to be immersed? Did the apostles allow immersion for those whose divorce and remarriage occurred prior to Jesus’ death, but not those that followed? Did they query this number concerning how inclusive their zeal for the Law was? Did they know that the Levitical priests were no longer real priests? That animal sacrifice was now only cultural, not a real sin sacrifice? That they were no longer under the city elders, but were now to obey the apostles and church elders? Peter preached Jesus. “Faith comes by hearing.” They heard. “Faith comes by hearing.” They asked what to do. Peter told them. “Faith comes by hearing.” They gladly received his word. “Faith comes by hearing.” Their faith responded in repenting and being immersed. “Faith comes by hearing.” Remission was given. The Holy Spirit followed as a gift. Their faith was sufficient and God added them to the saved.
So, how sufficient is my faith? Your faith? “Faith comes by hearing” Romans 10:16a