Sunday, June 19, 2011

PT2 THE GREAT ADVENTURE i.e. Practical Faith (Pt6 Living Life To Its Fullest)

"Ave Christus, morituri te salutamus!"
    Also, synonyms given for faith are "certainty or confidence".  Hence faith is a "certainty or confidence...of... the truthfulness of God ". In addition to this we find the Greek word pistis is translated as; assurance (Acts 17:31/NKJV) and fidelity (Titus 2:10/NKJV).
    In the first case Paul is speaking to the philosophers at Athens about Christ;
"Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, 'Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.'" (Acts 17:22,23/NKJV)
    As he preaches Paul shows; God is not just one of many gods but is the One true God that created everything that exists, discusses their desire to find God, and (at the end) points to Christ and His resurrection as the assurance that God has given Jesus the authority to righteously judge all men;
"because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31/NKJV)
The New American Standard Bible says it a little different;
"because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31/NASB)
In essence Paul is saying Christs resurrection is the assurance, proof or "evidence" that Jesus has been given this authority.
    In the second instance the word pistis is translated fidelity;
"Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things." (Titus 2:10/NKJV)
The New American Standard Bible turns the translation of the word around and actually uses "faith";
"Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect." (Titus 2:10/NASB)
    In this passage Paul lists individual groups and what qualities they need to make a sound church. One of those groups is bondservants, or slaves.  Obviously slaves do not exist in many countries today, but we must understand slavery was prevalent in Paul's time. So as he lists these qualities Paul addresses the issue of slaves "not pilfering" from their masters. Pilfering meaning stealing or defrauding. That phrase "not pilfering" is coupled with "but showing all good fidelity", 
    A primary illustration of "showing all good fidelity" is Joseph in Potiphar's house;
"So he left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate." (Exodus 39:6/NASB)
Here we see that Joseph had done so well that Potiphar not only put him in charge, but he also trusted Joseph to the point that Potiphar's only concern was "the food which he ate".
    Furthermore, there are also two illustrations that are useful for today;
  • when we take our vehicle in for repairs we rely upon the mechanics to not only do a good job, but to also be honest about their assessment of what the vehicle needs.
  • but this trust goes beyond that, it is more personal.  So a better example would be hiring someone to clean your home when you are not there to watch them.  Again there is the issue of trusting that person to do a quality job, but there is also the issue of trusting that person not to walk off with your jewelry, computer, or anything else from your home.
Both require a degree of trust on our part, one being a little more intimate then the other.
    So the word for faith, pistis, is coupled with proof or evidence when it is translated assurance in Acts 17:31 and coupled with the issue of trust when translated fidelity in Titus 2:10. By looking at these two translations and their context we get a fuller understanding of faith.  Faith - is an intimate and personal trust of "the truthfulness of God" and the reliability of His word.
"Simul iustus et peccator"*
*Martin Luther

cowboy image source;
Visualphotos; Cowboy Riding Horse through Plains
Paul at the Areopagus image source;
Dover Beach; Fashions of the Mind

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