Unsatisfied with a stale faith, many believers have asked, 'where do I go from here?' It’s an on-going question to journal where there have been breakthroughs as well as the inevitable setbacks. The service (or re-dedication to service) in the church, the attendance in numerous bible studies, the weekend conferences, all become the new resolve in hopes of seeing some progression, some growth; a ‘deeper faith’.
It is the pursuit to revive the 'joy of their salvation'. And usually the burden of guilt of the dead faith falls on themselves. This has led them to question God's will for and to reevaluate their lives. This cycle of discontent is the record of the present church body.
How then is that cycle broken? What things has the Lord sanctified for our faith in Jesus Christ? How are we meant to serve God in Spirit and in Truth?
The priests of the first covenant and temple were to wear linen robes so they wouldn’t sweat as they labored with the tools and articles of their profession.
Ezekiel 44:18 – They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.
The priests of the second (new) covenant wear the robes of Christ’s righteousness laboring with the grace and truth of God.
Revelation 19:8 – And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
This depicts reliance on this record alone to enter into our rest. The lifestyle of the righteous is in agreement with the Spirit who is in confirmation of the new pattern of faith. Thus the Spirit inhabits the things which reflect the move, work and life of God purposed in Christ alone for our redemption.
John 6:63 – It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
We understand then that where there is no covenant with God, there can be no spiritual priesthood after Christ. When faith is not joined to the things that make it living and functional, the believer will form a relationship with God in unsanctified works of debt (of Moses, of man’s traditions, of the flesh: skills, talents, etc) and plot his next position by the propensities of the flesh. Christ is not identified in the works of contrition nor in the voice of Adam, but in the works of faith whereby He may be identified in us through our labor at His altar with the ordered knowledge.
1 Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
Psalm 50:23 – Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
1 Peter 1:15 – But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;.
How does this settle the soul? What is the Spirit doing?
It is the substance we gain that settles and establishes the soul. The experience of the constant (Christ in His truth, the ordered knowledge) which frees us from using the imagination (ex. blind faith) to worship and please God. Truth removes the blindfold and directs our steps along the path prepared for our walk of faith. Our confidence is always increasing because we never find contradiction along the course. It is our experience with covenant knowledge and the contact with the tools which settles the conscience. Instead of cycles of discontent, we experience the cycles of growth the Spirit initiates. Not anticipating a journey, but rather keeping rhythm with the Spirit.
So then we must provide the disambiguation of the colloquialism - ‘joy of our salvation’ in regards to inspiration for faith and the hope of growing in God’s grace. It is not about feelings of elation or zeal (misplaced) the believer has to create and sustain, but the fulfillment of expectations. God is faithful. It is the soul being impacted by the law of grace and truth that provides the rest yet progression in the faith.
We see the value of covenant and truth, for the ordered knowledge directs the activity of our faith into those things which join us to Christ whereby we experience His work of redemption within us. Hope according to covenant directs faith into the fullness of Christ. Thus our joy is made full in Him according to His holy knowledge and Spirit (grace and truth).
Ecclesiastes 2:26 – For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
John 15:11 – These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
3 John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
As a Teacher with the Apostles Today Network of the Second 8th Week it is my prayer that God will give you beauty for ashes as you labor in the knowledge and with the Spirit of His Son in this new covenant of Jesus Christ. Our prayers and assistance are always with you.
“Before the mystery was revealed, the wisdom of the world abounded. But now revealed to those of faith, the fear of God rules from grace to grace.”
2 Corinthians 1:24 – Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.