My "Statement of Faith"
Okay here goes. Are you
ready? Have a pencil handy?
Immediately the father of
the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe;
help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
help my unbelief!
Insufficient you say? More
detail required? Perhaps you're right. Here's some more then-
Now faith is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
is the substance (assurance, foundation) of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen!
What - no mention of the
divine inspiration of scripture, the triune nature of divinity,
salvation by grace, baptism, the Lord's supper, the afterlife of
"I dare say I will never
visit your silly little website again, for how can two walk
together unless they be agreed?"
Funny isn't it friends, how
such things work. At the risk of offending many people, I dare
say that the church in this hour appears, by all accounts, to
have elevated doctrine to the same level that the Jews elevated
And when the Holy One, the
Son of God, the Divine Man, The Alpha and the Omega, actually
stood before them, living and breathing, touching them even, and
showing forth the very heart and power of the Father, they did
I can just picture some of
them scrambling for their scrolls, fingering chapter and verse
in the Torah, trying to make sense of the wonder that stood
"Could this be the Christ?"
some little ones asked.
Could the law answer that
question then my friends? And can doctrine answer it for us now?
Now please don't
am in no way (nor would I ever think of) disparaging or
belittling the sacred truths of the Word of God, and I suppose I
do have something of a list written in my heart, of things I
believe. (there is also perhaps a bigger list of things I used
to believe but have since discarded, but that's another article
Yet it is not a rigid
that defines me, or a set of unbroken lines and limits that
prevent me from following the free-flowing, Wind of the Spirit,
wherever He leads. If it were, then I dare say that my precious
Lord would be little more than some two dimensional, cardboard
cut-out savior, who moves only 90 degrees on a grid, forward and
back, left and right, up and down.
Could it be that doctrine is
yet another one of those things we have made an end, when it was
always intended to be a means of help to us who believe? Have we
raised it beyond the height of God Himself, such as the
Pharisees did the Law? Or perhaps it would be more accurate to
say that maybe we really haven't yet discovered the true
position or intent of doctrine in the grand scheme of things, as
intended by the God of All Truth and Life!
Something to think about
certainly. And no, I do not believe the Holy Spirit would lead
us to behave contrary to the very Word it inspired. This
wouldn't really make much sense would it? In fact the spiritual
life represents a law unto itself, as Watchman Nee points out -
"The law of the Spirit of life
in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and of
death" (Rom. 8:2). But why is this law of the Spirit of life
ineffectual in certain people? Again we read: "The righteous
requirement of, the law should be fulfilled in us who walk
according to Spirit" (Rom. 8:4). In other words, the law of
the Spirit of life works effectively only for those who are
spiritual, i.e., those who mind the things of the Spirit.
Who are these ? Those who do not mind the things of the
flesh. "Mind" can also be translated "to be intent upon, to
be attentive to."
Indeed, by walking most completely
in the spirit and abiding in Christ Jesus, we cannot but fulfill
all law and all doctrine, for it is the very Life of God being
expressed in us. Does this make sense? I know it may seem
contrary to much of what is being taught out there, where
attention to law and doctrine, to rules and methods, is in the
ascendancy. But don't you see that this preoccupation and
devotion to ordinances (even though they may be inherently good)
relies so much on the outward man - the soul and flesh - and
they can never be fulfilled. EVER!
And here's something else to
consider. According to my understanding of the life and word of
the Lord Jesus Christ, the two essential ideals to be wrought
through abiding in Him fully are...
Love and Wisdom!
Here are the weighty matters
of the law indeed! Here is where the rubber meets the road of
our "walking in Him" and deriving every good and precious
promise from He who is the Way, the Truth and the Life! Here is
where righteousness breathes and moves and supplants every
unclean contaminant in His universe! Here lies the answer to all
the BIG questions we should be asking in this hour - the how,
the why, the when, the who, the what of this newness of life in
Christ Jesus. Here is where it all leads in the end, as all
things are summed up in He who is the fullness of the Life and
Glory and Majesty of the Most High!
OK, here is your homework for
tomorrow then. I would like you to chart or graph all of the
places that both love and wisdom intersect with the law and
doctrine. Maybe use some of those neat little lines with arrow
heads to show all of the correlations and derivations and so
Then I would like you to
study the lives of all the prophets in the Old Testament, all of
the strange things they did, how they lived, what they ate, what
they wore, who they married (and divorced), then chart all of
this according to how closely it conforms to to the Law of Moses
and the Deuteronomic Code.
Incidentally, I can almost
picture Ahab asking Elijah for his statement of faith, or
Zedekiah asking Jeremiah if he believed in sprinkling or
immersion. Well not really, but you get the idea. Is not our God
a god of strange and mysterious ways? Is He so limited and
confined by our meager understanding of His Most Perfect Word? I
Wouldn't it be so convenient,
brethren, if merely visiting a church's website and scrolling
through their bulleted Statement of Beliefs, would provide some
accurate indication that the Lord of All Life was actually
present and honored there? If only it were so easy! If only
there was a way of knowing that these heavenly sentiments were
written on the very hearts of the people inside, and especially
the man at the front doing all the preaching. Indeed!
Now lest you think I am a
heretic or worse, I encourage you to deeply and spiritually
reflect on, and pray over what is being conveyed in this
passage. Here are the laws of God written on the heart and the
mind, not on sheets of paper, stone tablets or a hypertext web
page. And the end result is a people (Israel) who henceforth
"know the Lord", and He claims them as his own.
will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and
they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they
shall return to Me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)
Dear brethren, my statement
of faith is that I would have such a heart as this; and that I
would know the Lord God as He intended from the beginning. My
statement of faith is that the often divided and spotted heart
currently within me would be made miraculously and
supernaturally clean and whole; that I would love Him with all
that I am and nothing held back!
Now I have obviously employed
exaggeration in this piece for effect, that we might put things
even good and helpful things - in their proper place, for this
too is wisdom. What we believe is important, and the content of
our faith, rooted and flowing from the Living and Written Word,
must certainly have its place.
Yet to have a heart and a
hunger to know Him - that is what we should be after. Sure you
can check the boxes next to the doctrines I subscribe to and
somehow think that such a heart and such a hunger exists. But
this is not always so. That is the point being made here, for
both churches and individuals. I hope and pray it has been made.
And if not, the fault (as always) lies with me alone and not the
Spirit whose work it is to convey the deep and heavenly things
of God to our inner man.
If for whatever reason today,
you find yourself estranged from He who very much wants you to
know Him and to love Him with a whole heart, then I encourage
you to return to Him now. For He is faithful and merciful and
ever so kind to us who are ever so weak and worldly.
believe not, yet he remains faithful: he cannot deny
himself. (2 Timothy 2:13)
and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the
LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail
you or forsake you." (Deut 31:6)
No brethren, He who is
abundantly and inherently faithful will not fail us, nor forsake
us. He is a Good Shepherd after all, and He is God! May it be
that we come to Him and rest in Him most completely, and learn
the secret of the Vine and the Branches, that we are one with
Him, and He cannot deny Himself. May we learn that, heaped up for
us in the vast storehouse of His heart is a wondrous supply of
grace ready to replenish our every need in this dread hour at
the close of this age. May we rise up beyond the weakness of our
proud flesh in all the power and vitality of His Risen and
Glorious Life! And may we walk only in Him whom we have
received. Oh Father, we believe, but help us dear Lord to move
from faith onward to more faith, only in Your Most Precious and
Beloved Son. Amen -
I believe; help my unbelief!
Well there you have it - My
Statement of Faith. I am sorry if it was less than you
had hoped for.
Please pray for us here at Living-Walk, that we would watch and
see the Master at work, and understand what He would have us be
Your friend and servant in Christ Jesus,