1 Timothy 1:4—“Nor to give heed to myths and unending genealogies, which produce questionings rather than God’s economy, which is in faith.”
Note 3 on economy: “The Greek word means household law, implying distribution (the base of this word is of the same origin as that for pasture in John 10:9, implying a distribution of the pasture to the flock). It denotes a household management, a household administration, a household government, and, derivatively, a dispensation, a plan, or an economy for administration (distribution); hence, it is also a household economy. God’s economy in faith is His household economy, His household administration (cf. note 101 in Eph. 1; Eph. 3:9), which is to dispense Himself in Christ into His chosen people that He may have a house to express Himself, which house is the church (3:15), the Body of Christ. The apostle’s ministry was centered on this economy of God (Col. 1:25; 1 Cor. 9:17), whereas the different teachings of the dissenting ones were used by God’s enemy to distract His people from this economy. In the administration and shepherding of a local church, this divine economy must be made fully clear to the saints.”
What exactly is faith? Is it positive thinking? Is it determining to believe something even in the face of difficulties? Do some people just have an innate ability to believe?
A definition of faith
Hebrews 11:1 tells us what faith is:
“Now faith is the substantiation of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Note 1 in the New Testament Recovery Version on this verse helps us understand more fully what this means:
“‘We must believe in the Lord in the midst of our environment. In all the situations within our set of circumstances, we must always exercise our heart to believe the Lord.”
From The Economy of God by Witness Lee (mass-distribution ed., p. 66). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy on our order page. You can also download a free PDF version here.
As believers we’re saved eternally, and God desires that we, as believers, would not sin. We can see this in the story of the Lord Jesus and the adulterous woman in John 8. Jesus, as the only One without sin, the only One who can forgive sin, and the only One qualified to condemn sin, did not condemn this woman. But, the Savior’s last words to her were this: “Go, and from now on sin no more.”
As much as we don’t want to, we still sin in our daily lives because the sinful nature was injected into us through the fall. Because God is holy, He cannot tolerate sin, and our sin separates us from Him, becoming a barrier to our fellowship with Him and even causing us to lose the joy of our salvation. Isaiah 59:2 says,
“Your iniquities have become a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
How serious is sin! Its seriousness should make us realize we cannot tolerate it or give sin any ground in our lives. However, when we do fail and sin, what should we do?
Galatians 3:13—“Christ has redeemed us out of the curse of the law, having become a curse on our behalf; because it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone hanging on a tree.’”
Note 1 on become a curse: “The curse of the law issued from the sin of man (Gen. 3:17). When Christ took away our sin on the cross, He redeemed us out of the curse of the law.”
Since believing in the Lord Jesus and receiving His life, have you tried very hard to live a sinless life, only to be disappointed? The harder you try, the less you succeed. Perhaps you’ve even doubted your salvation altogether, or thought you lost it. Rest assured: once you’re saved, you’re saved eternally. Yet a question may still loom in your mind, “If I’m a Christian, why can’t I stop sinning?”
In this post we’ll look at portions from Watchman Nee’s book The Normal Christian Life, which expounds the book of Romans, to show us how knowing the difference between sin and sins can free us from both in our experience.
“‘When we believe in Him, we receive His life. We all become God’s sons, and as such, we all belong to God. Because we have this life within us, as men we can be entrusted by God to fulfill His purpose.”
From The Glorious Church by Watchman Nee (mass-distribution ed., p. 18). Bibles for America gives this book away for free. You can order your free copy on our order page. You can also download a free PDF version here.
In Acts 6, the apostles looked for seven well-attested men to serve in the daily dispensing of material to supply the needy believers. Among the seven they appointed was a man named Stephen—a man the Bible says was full of faith, the Holy Spirit, grace, and power, and who did great wonders and signs among the people.
Verse 10 tells us that some Jews from the synagogue and various others disputed with Stephen, but “they were not able to withstand the Spirit and wisdom with which he spoke.” Frustrated by this, they instigated some to accuse Stephen of blaspheming against Moses and God. This stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, who then came upon Stephen, seized him, and led him to the Sanhedrin, the Jewish court. There, even more false witnesses were set up to falsely accuse Stephen of saying certain things.
1 Peter 2:2—“As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation.
Note 5 on unto salvation: “Growth in life results in salvation. Salvation here, as the result of growth in life, is not initial salvation. God’s full and complete salvation has a long span—from regeneration, including justification, to glorification (Rom. 8:30). At regeneration we receive initial salvation (see note 55 in ch. 1). Then we need to grow by feeding on Christ as the nourishing milk in the word of God, unto full salvation, unto maturity for glorification. This will be the salvation of our soul, which will be revealed to us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus (1:5 and note 5; 1:9-10, 13).”
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.”
Have you ever wondered why John 3:16 in the New Testament Recovery Version says “believes into Him” instead of “believes in Him?”
The New Testament was written in Greek, the common language in the land at the time. In the original Greek, in and into are different words. Into is used not only in John 3:16, but also in other verses in the New Testament. The New Testament Recovery Version accurately translates this Greek word into English as “into.”
We might ask, “Does it really matter whether it’s translated as into or in? Don’t we get the general gist either way?”