Take a moment to think about a mirror. Why do we look into them? Is our goal to find out if anything is out of place that needs to be fixed? If we look and see that our hair needs to be combed, will we comb it or walk away without taking any action? Most of us will pick up the comb and continue looking into the mirror until what we see reflects our desired look.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
James compares the Word of God to a natural mirror. Most of us will look into it and forgo making needed adjustments in our lives. This can be compared to a person who looks into a natural mirror, notices their hair needs to be combed, and then walks away without combing it. We must develop our confidence in God’s Word to the point where it is more important than the reflection seen in a natural mirror.
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Paul instructed his readers to “put on the new man”. James told his readers that we do this by looking into the Word of God until we are changed into the image of what is reflected in it. This is no different from a person who continues looking at a natural mirror while combing their hair to ensure everything is in place.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
I have heard ministers use this verse as an illustration of the Christian’s state of righteousness. This has resulted in a lot of confusion. Unfortunately, those quoting Isaiah’s words will usually do so out of context with his meaning. Isaiah was not talking about our position of righteousness in Christ. He was referencing our self-righteousness which he calls “filthy rags”.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:31
Jesus has been made “wisdom”, “righteousness”, “sanctification”, and redemption” to us. Is He a “filthy rag”? Obviously the answer is no but that is what we are calling him when we quote Isaiah in reference to our state of righteousness as a Christian!
Jesus is your righteousness if you are a Christian! This is a key revelation that we must develop in order for us to experience the victorious life God has planned for us. We have been reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18) and we have been made accepted in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:6). Our standing before God is based on our position in Christ.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
1 John 4:17
John is talking about our spiritual condition. Our bodies are not like Jesus because He has a glorified body. Spiritually though, we have been sealed in Him (Ephesians 1:13) and are identical to Him as a result!
But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:17
The word “one” is translated from the Greek word “heis”. This means “a singular one to the exclusion of another”. We are not similar to Jesus! In the spirit we are one with Him.
We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16)!
We have the faith of Christ (Galatians 2:16)!
We are identical to Jesus in the spirit. People will cry out to God for more faith because they do not understand this. This is because they do not have a clear revelation of their position in Him.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
God has given us “the” measure of faith. This is much more than “a” measure of faith. We need to have our spiritual eyes opened to these truths!
I used to volunteer at a rescue mission for homeless people. We would serve a meal and then have the men attend chapel. If we were serving soup, each man would receive one ladle full. They would be given “the measure” of soup which would be equivalent to the capacity of that ladle. Each person would receive the same amount. We did not give a teaspoon to some of the men, a cup to others, or even two ladles. Each one received a single ladle full of soup.
God does not dole out faith in different amounts. He gives “the measure” of faith to each one of us equally. We all receive the same amount and then are accountable to walk in it. The apostle Paul had the same measure of faith that Peter had and we have the same measure that they had!
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
There are modern translations that incorrectly translate this verse to say that we have faith in the Son of God.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
God literally imparted His faith to man. We receive “the measure” of faith by hearing His Word (Romans 10:17). There has been a lot of confusion around these truths.
Human faith is based on what we can see, taste, feel, smell, or hear. Salvation requires us to believe in a God we’ve never seen. It takes supernatural faith to receive salvation. This is received by hearing the Word of God and it is what Paul called “the measure” of faith.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
God’s Word contains His faith. We cannot receive anything from Him separate from that Word. It is the vehicle by which He imparts “the measure” of faith. When a person receives the gift of salvation, they use His faith to receive it after hearing the Word of God concerning salvation.
Paul told us that he lived by the faith of Jesus (Galatians 2:20). There is only one measure of faith provided to man so it is easy to conclude that we would also have the faith of Jesus just like Paul did.
Many Christians incorrectly assume their problems are the result of a lack of faith. This is incorrect because we do not have a faith problem. We do have a knowledge problem though as most Christians do not have a revelation of these things.
We have the same power residing in our spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11).
We have the measure of faith which is the faith of Jesus.
These things are ours and we just need to develop in the revelation of them.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
It will not be possible to develop this revelation knowledge apart from the Word of God. The process of developing in the knowledge of God is what Paul calls the “renewing” of our minds.
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