Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The just shall live by faith

The Bible teaches in multiple places that “The just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).” What the phrase “by faith” means is that faith is the foundation of the life of the believer.
In the last installment in the series, Quantum Leap of Faith, I wrote about how the physical universe is really made up of information. This information is instantiated by the rhema word of God or particular utterances of God that are grounded in the Logos, or Mind, of God. Out of this information, both space-time and the physical objects made of the energy contained in that space-time are constructed.

During the early part of the twentieth century, evidence emerged that suggests that the physical reality is much more ephemeral and fleeting than our classical intuitions would suggest. During this time a new theory arose that stated that both energy waves and subatomic particles have a dual nature as waves and particles. An experiment was conducted called the double-slit experiment. A beam of electrons was fired through a double-slit towards photographic film. When a measurement device was present to measure the velocity and path of electrons through the slits, they would leave an impression image on the film made up of many dots. When there was no measurement device, however, they left a diffusion pattern similar to that of waves going through a double slit.

Why would electrons change their behavior depending on whether someone was watching?. The Shroedinger equations represents material reality as waves of energy whose wave-function represents all of the potential outcomes. When an unentangled observer conducts a measurement on the system, this energy waves collapses into the building block of matter - subatomic particles. The act of observation or measurement creates out of the energy stream in a similar way that a Web browser creates the object of a Web page out of the filestream of 1’s and 0’s that represent on/off pulses of electricity.

The rhema word that embedded the information that defined the space-time and energy also embeds information that controls how physical objects are created and how they behave. In man-made information systems like  the World Wide Web, protocols control how information is embedded, transmitted, and decoded. Information embedded in electricity that flows into the computer is transformed into the windows, graphics, multimedia, and text that is displayed on our computer monitors and played through our speakers. God’s protocol for embedding information and transforming it into physical objects is called faith.

The Scriptures teach that God has given to everyone “a measure of faith (Romans 12:3).” At the most generic level God has embedded constraints on human thought. Every functional human who has ever lived has brought categories such as space-time, logical and mathematical truths, and moral categories into our experiences. These constrain what is possible in our experience. While Shroedinger’s Cat has the potentiality to be both dead and alive, once we open the box we will only experience one of those outcomes per cat for each instance. God has also embedded information in the form of the classical laws of physics that further constrain what we experience. Because of these constraints, we more or less all see the same world in the same way different Web browsers render the same page the same way in spite of the fact that each page-load is a unique file on a different device. Romans 1:20 instructs us on how god has hard-wired basic information that reveals his works,  power and godhead.

The focus of the rest of this article is not about how God constrains our mind to hold certain beliefs that constrain how we perceive a classical universe. While faith at its most generic level has this universal application to all humanity, the primary application of faith in the Scriptures is faith that can be freely received or rejected. It is this measure of faith that is in view in Romans 12:3 and many other places. This measure of faith also contains embedded information. This information provides for divine intervention in history. It is this information that provides healing and deliverance.

This faith works like the network protocols seen in man-made information systems. They encode and embed information at the source, they transport that information through the network, and they decode that information at the destination where it can be executed. In man-made networks this may involve a server loading a Web page or Web app that runs a program on the server that encodes text, windows, graphics and multimedia  as binary codes (0’s and 1’s) that is physically represented as timed pulses of electricity, light,  or radio waves.This is then sent  through the network. These signals are then decoded at the destination device, which transforms them into windows, text, graphics, and multimedia. When each device accesses the same resources, they get a copy of that information that is physically unique but logically equivalent to every other device.

Because the world is really made up of information, it operates in a way similar to an online virtual gaming environment. While each individual received a distinct physical copy of the gaming experience, they are in the same logical namespace, with each individual capable of interacting with others because we are networked together in the same virtual reality network. God, in giving this measure of faith, puts faith in operation at all phases of this process. Christ is truly the author and finisher of our faith(Hebrews 12:1), meaning that He creates and superintends that faith from beginning to end.

If Christ creates faith, then this implies that any and all instances of genuine faith is the manifestation of the faith of Christ. The Scriptures repeated refer to faith “the faith of Christ (Rom_3:22; 10:6  righteousness of faith; Gal 2:16; 2:20; 3:22, 26; Eph 4:13 unity of the faith; Php 1:27 faith of the gospel; Php3:9; 1Tim 1:14; 3:13; 4:6 word of faith; 2Tim 1:13; James 2:1).” Christ creates faith and distributes this faith to the world.

Faith once created by Christ, is sent through the network. Faith is described as being transmitted from person to person. The faith of Abraham is often seen a the prototype faith that still exists today. Romans 4:12-16 describes the faith of believers in Christ in the church as walking in the steps of the faith of Abraham.

And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the Steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

"For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
- Romans 4:12-16

The faith of Abraham is presented as not only active, but possessing the saints of God in the New Testament. How could it be possible that Abraham’s beliefs could do this. This faith is greater than the mere beliefs of a man who has been dead for thousands of years. This faith, once instantiated in Abraham by God revealing the gospel to him (Gal 3:7-9, was transmitted from person to person and lives as long as someone believes the word of faith. In 2 Timothy 1:5, Paul reminds Timothy that his faith once lived in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. It was transmitted to him through their testimony. Our own faith exist as a continuity of thought from Abraham to now, with God periodically adding detail to this instruction set as He reveals subsequent words of faith and promises to subsequent generations of believers (1 Corinthians 12:9 et al).

Romans 10:9-17 reveals that the gospel is presented as the word of faith. In verse 17 it says faith comes by the rhema word of God. As God communicates a rhema word1 - a particular utterance of God - more information is embedded into faith in the same way that this information was embedded into the fabric of space-time. As such, faith has the power to alter space-time, enabling objects to materialize and changing the behavior of existing objects. Verse 10 describes it in this way “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ” The confession of the belief of faith is key to actualizing realities that God has ordained, whether it results in a supernatural manifestations or supernatural change of behavior from wickedness to righteousness. In the next installment, i will write about the precise steps of faith.

Rhema - Blueletter Bible Lexicon

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