The Elementary Teachings about Christ
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:1-2).
Faith in Yahweh
Yahweh is Spirit, the highest form of being, possessing all the attributes of personality. Creator of all things omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (present everywhere), omniscience (all knowing), wise and holy:
Sovereign Yahweh, Almighty God
Ah, Sovereign Yahweh, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you… great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve. You performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt and have continued them to this day, both in Israel and among all mankind, and have gained the renown that is still yours (Jeremiah 32:17-20).
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit (Psalm 147:5).
Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares Yahweh. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares Yahweh (Jeremiah 23:24).
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Romans 11:33)
Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy’ (Leviticus 19:2).
O Yahweh, God of Israel, you are righteous! (Ezra 9:15)
To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his (Job 12:13).
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good--except God alone” (Mark 10:18)
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Yahweh is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion (Psalm 116:5).
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8).
“I hate divorce,” says Yahweh God of Israel, (Malachi 2:16)
Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve Yahweh. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins (Joshua 24:19).
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he (Deuteronomy 32:4).
Who is Jesus Christ?
People say Jesus is?
· A great prophet - Moslem
· Michael the archangel - Jehovah’s Witnesses
· A God, the God of this earth. - Mormon
· A christ among christs, Mohamed, Gandhi - New Age
The names of Jesus in the Bible:
They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!" (Mark 4:41)
Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, (Mark 1:34)
Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven. At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!" Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? (Matthew 9:2-6)
Is it important that we believe who Jesus is?
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." "Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied (John 8:24-25)
For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:32-33)
Who did Jesus Claim to be?
I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death." At this the Jews exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?" Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." "You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I AM!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, (John 8:51-59)
God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers-- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-- has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation (Exodus 3:14-15).
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves (John 14:6-11).
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God (John 5:17-18).
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God" (John 10:27-33).
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength' (Mark 12:28-29)
Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! (Revelation 1:17-18)
This is what Yahweh says-- Israel's King and Redeemer, Yahweh Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God (Isaiah 44:6).
Ten Commandments - worship only God
"I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God (Exodus 20:2-5).
"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only'" (Matthew 4:9-10)
Fear Yahweh your God, serve him only (Deuteronomy 6:13)
On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him (Matthew 2:11) (The wise men at His birth)
Then those who where in the boat worshiped him (Matthew 14:33) (Disciples – Jesus walks on water)
Then the man said, "Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him (John 9:38) (Blind man healed)
They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him (Matthew 28:9). (Women at His tomb)
When they saw him, they worshiped him; (Matthew 28:17) (Disciples)
While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy (Luke 24:51-52). (Disciples at His ascension)
Worship only God!
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! (Revelation 19:10)
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins." "Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied (John 8:24-25).
- Jesus claims to be equal to God, one with the Father, God.
- Jesus takes the names if God for Himself - I AM, the First and Last.
- Jesus demonstrates the power of God over the natural & supernatural.
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:28-29)
Faith in God – What is biblical faith?
In order to have a correct interpretation of Scripture it is sometimes important that we have a basic understanding of the eastern mind-set and the Greek language in which the New Testament was written. Nowhere, is it more important than when we are attempting to understand the requirements for our salvation through Christ Jesus.
There is the potential for misunderstanding for those us who have a western mind-set. In the western mind-set when we say we believe in something we are making a mental assent to it. We think our beliefs can be separate from our actions. Another way to say it is, I believe in Jesus Christ but my salvation is not dependent on my actions. This way of thinking is very different from those who recorded the Gospel message.
These Greek words and definitions may help with our understanding as we read the passages regarding belief and faith that follow. The Greek word pisteuo is the word which is most often translated “believe” in the English translations of the New Testament. Notice in these definitions that action is combined with mental assent it is never just mental assent! In other words these Greek words mean to be fully convinced and faithful.
Pisteuo - (from pistis) to have faith in, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ): --believe, commit, put in trust with.
Pistis - (from peitho) moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; --assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
Peitho - (a primary verb) to convince, rely, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, obey, trust, yield.
Understanding the Greek, let’s examine the scriptures to see what's true.
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes (pisteuo) and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:15-16).
The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith (pistis) has saved you; go in peace" (Luke 7:49-50).
This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop (Luke 8:11-15).
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed (pisteuo) in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - (John 1:12)
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes (pisteuo) in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son (John 3:14-18).
Whoever believes (pisteuo) in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him (John 3:36).
I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes (pisteuo) him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24).
For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes (pisteuo) in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40).
I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe (pisteuo) that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins (John 8:24).
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes (pisteuo) in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25-26)
This righteousness from God comes through faith (pistis) in Jesus Christ to all who believe (Romans 3:22).
Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe (Jude 1:5).
Is obedience part of faith?
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments" (Matthew 19:16-17).
Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
If you love me, you will obey what I command… Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. (John 14:15,20)
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10).
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15:2).
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 2:3-4).
Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us (1 John 3:24).
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, (1 John 5:3)
I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus (Acts 20:21).
He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus (2 Thessalonians 1:8).
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him (Hebrews 5:8-9)
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" (1 Peter 4:17-18)
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you (Revelation 3:3).
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus (Revelation 14:12).
Once again we need an understanding of the Greek to appreciate the connection between belief and obedience in God’s Word. Belief and obedience are inseparable just as disobedience and unbelief are inseparable. Below, in 1 Peter 2, is a good example. Unbelief and disobedience are translated form the same Greek word apeitheo.
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe (apeitheo), "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone," and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey (apeitheo) the message--which is also what they were destined for (1 Peter 2:7-8).
Apeitheo - to disbelieve, not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.
Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith (Romans 1:5).
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith (Hebrews 13:7).
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did (James 2:14-22).
A saving faith in God must be a heartfelt belief, leading to a transformed life of obedience to God as evidenced in a faith that works, not just mental assent.
Faith in Yahweh – Is a faith that works!
Richard H Perry