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BELIEF & DISCIPLESHIP

 

 

 

by Hal Dekker

 

2011.12.12

Last page update:  2013.08.12

 

 

 

DOES GOD'S WORD VERIFY AND SUBSTANTIATE A "BLIND" FAITH CONCEPT?

 

You may have heard the phrases, 'take it by faith', or 'blind faith', connoting the idea of arriving at a belief about something of God without having an underlying framework of evidence for substantiating and holding that belief. According to God's Word this concept is nonsense.

 

I have found nowhere in God's Word where He asks us to believe anything about Him through "blind faith".

But, I have found just the opposite. In both His written Word and in His creation around us He offers to us ample evidence to substantiate His inherent power and godliness.  Through both His written Word and creation anyone can begin to experientially know the one true living God, and can begin to discover the reasons why we should believe in Him and His Word.

 

But God goes even further, He not only has given us evidence to ponder, records of the signs, miracles and wonders He has performed in the lives of other believers WHEN they believed His Word, i.e., the whole chapter 11 of Hebrews, but He promises to reward our own belief in Him through bringing things to pass in our lives as well, according to our needs, IF and WHEN we believe His Word.  God, through His written Word, and under His new covenant with all mortalkind, gives us great and precious promises to believe, and gives us records of other believers believing those promises, to help us believe.  When we, like they, have believed those great and precious promises, then the coming to pass of them in our own lives becomes our own evidence of the veracity of our heavenly Father and His Word.

 

The coming to pass in our own lives of God's great and precious promises confirms our own belief, that we are believing His Word, not mortal-made theoretical philosophies, theories and fairy tales, BUT, His Word!  Our own belief in His Word, not mortal-made religious junk, for His great and precious promises to come to pass in our lives, is part of us proving God to ourselves (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 13:5; Gal. 6:4; 1 Thes. 5:21), of proving His inherent power and godliness (Rom. 1:20); and that we are pleasing in his sight (Heb. 11:6); and that we are His children and He is our heavenly Father (Mat. 7:7-11)!

 

PROVE GOD'S WORD TO YOURSELF IF YOU BELIEVE GOD'S WORD

 

Unbelievers say, "show me God!" I say what God's Word says, you prove and show God to yourselves, IF you are not too lazy and unbelieving to try!"  The God dares us to take Him at His Word and prove Him to ourselves, to see if He will not do as He says He shall do for us.

 

Under God's old covenant of the Mosaic Law with the children of Israel, God challenged them to know, do, and keep His law he gave them.  If they would keep their end of the covenant deal by keeping his law God made with them, then He would keep His end of the covenant deal He made.  God, who had adopted the children of Israel as His own, challenged them to keep their end of the covenant deal with Him, and thereby prove whether His Word, His promises to them, are true, as he says to them in Deut. 28.  About 50 years after coming out of their Babylonian captivity, through one of His "mouths", the prophet Malachi, God pleads with the children of Israel to keep their end of their mutual covenant:

 

Mal. 3:11 (Darby) "... PROVE me now herewith, saith Jehovah of hosts, if I open not to you the windows of the heavens, and pour you out a blessing, till there be no place for it!!!" 

 

Under God's new covenant put through by Jesus' shed blood, a covenant this time with all of mortalkind, a new covenant which officially began on the great day of Pentecost in about 30 AD, God through His "mouth", apostle Paul, pleads with the born from above believers in the area of Corinth to continue to grow in their own discipleship to Christ Jesus, through proving to themselves if they have God's gift of His holy Spirit in them.  God, through His agent apostle Paul, begs the Corinthian believers not to faint under the persecutions and spiritual battle, but to do the ministry they've been given with the treasure they've received in their own earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4).  God encourages them to "walk by belief" in his Word (2 Cor. 5:7), to carry out the ministry of reconciliation they been given (2 Cor. 5:18), reminding them they the believers are the holy place of the living God (2 Cor. 6:16-18)!  Apostle Paul, at the end of his letter, after writing other things of teaching, reproof and correction, begs them to continue in their spiritual growth and ministry, and to prove to themselves, each one, if they truly believe they have God's Spirit and the Spirit of Christ (Col. 1:27) in them; to prove it by manifesting it as apostle Paul addressed to them in his first letter (1 Cor. 12).

 

2 Cor. 13:5 (LIT/UBS4) ARE YOU TESTING (peirazete) YOURSELVES (heautous) if (ei) you are (este) in (en) the (te) belief (pistei)!?

 

PROVE (dokimazete) yourselves (heautous)!

 

Or (ē) do you absolutely not experientially know (ouk epiginōskete) yourselves (heautous), if (ei) you are (este) not (mē) some (ti) unapproved ones (adokimoi), that (hoti) Jesus (Iēsous) Christ (Christos) is (estin) in (en) you (humas)!?


Why is God's gift of holy Spirit referred to as the Spirit of Christ also? Christ Jesus is the one who, on his Father's behalf, acting as his Father's agent, baptizes believers in God's gift when they believe upon Jesus' name (See Joel 2:28-32; Mat. 3:11; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 2:33, 39, 19:4; Gal. 3:14, 22; Eph. 1:13, 3:6; Heb. 9:15).  God gave His life-giving Spirit to His son Christ Jesus; and Christ Jesus, acting on his Father's behalf as His agent, gives it to those who believe in Jesus' name (Mat. 3:11).  Christ Jesus earned the gift of God's Spirit for himself through his own sacrifice of himself, as it being his inheritance, and now our inheritance also, for those who believe upon Jesus' name.

 

This gift and inheritance was prophesied before (2 Sam. 7:5-7, 11-16; Isa. 66:1-2; Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 11:16-20; Joel 2:28-32; Amos 9:11-12; Heb. 8:8-12, 10:16-17).  We get the baptism in it, the down payment of that inheritance in us, when we believe upon Jesus' name. In the writings of the law, psalms and of the prophets, the promised land of Canaan to the children of Israel was a physical type to the spiritual reality of the future outpouring of God's gift of His life-giving holy Spirit, the inheritance of God to His children.

WHAT DOES OUR BELIEF IN GOD'S WORD DO FOR US?

 

Apostle Paul, in Rom. 12:2, says we are to renew our minds with the knowledge of God's Word, and then believe it, so we can prove our heavenly Father's will to ourselves, so we can prove his desire for us to receive His great and precious promises into our lives.

 

Rom. 12:2 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) do not be schematized together with (mē suschēmatizesthe) the (tō) age (aiōni), this one (toutō)!

 

BUT (alla), be metamorphosized (metamorphousthe) to the (tē) renewing up (anakainosei) of the (tou) mind (noos), into (eis) the (to) [mind of] you (humas) to prove (dokimazein) what (ti) [is] the (to) good (agathon), and (kai) well agreeable (euareston), and (kai) complete (teleion) desire (thelēma) of the (tou) God (theou)!

 

Please notice Paul says we are not to be schematized together with this age, i.e., become integrated into the worldly things of sin and death. We are to desire to obtain the knowledge of God's Word over worldly knowledge; we are to desire and obtain godliness according to his Word over worldliness. If we desire to obtain both godliness and worldliness then we are double-minded, which causes instability in our lives, and ultimately we receive nothing from our heavenly Father (James 1:8, 4:8).

HOW CAN WE OBTAIN MORE BELIEF?

 

Renewing our minds with God's Word, and rinsing out the worldly "wisdom" and beliefs which are contrary to God's Word which is truth, builds belief in our minds of God and His Word.  This is how belief in our minds comes, it comes through the knowledge of God's Word.

 

Rom. 10:16a (LIT/UBS4) BUT (all’), absolutely not (ou) all (pantes) obeyed (hupēkousan) the (tō) Evangelism (euangeliō)!  

 

Please notice how apostle Paul defines and equates obedience as believing the evangelism about Jesus ChristObedience is defined by God in His Word!  What did you think obedience was, simply physical, bodily perfunctory motions?  Obedience is something we do first in our minds (Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 10:5), in our thoughts!  Then, our correct words and actions follow, which are pleasing in sight of the God.

 

Rom. 10:16b (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) Isaiah (Esaias) says (legei), “Lord (kurie), who (tis) believed (episteusen) the (tē) thing heard (akoē) of us (hēmōn)?”

 

Rom. 10:17 (LIT/UBS4) So (ara) the (hē) BELIEF (pistis) [comes] out (ek) of a thing heard (akoēs);

 

but (de) the (hē) thing heard (akoē) [comes] through (dia) a statement (rhēmatos) of Christ (Christou)!

 

So then, if belief comes through hearing God's Word (Rom. 10:17), then unbelief in comes through not "hearing", which leads to not learning, not knowing, and not doing God's Word.  Not hearing God's Word can be the result of lack of opportunity to hear it, or deliberate refusal to hear it, or deliberate refusal to believe and do it after hearing it, or being misled into believing false teaching is God's Word!   They all are the result of and lead to unbelief.

 

Each and every statement of God about the Christ, and every statement of the Christ about his heavenly Father, the God, builds belief in a person's mind, because each and every statement is Spirit and life (John 6:63)!  Our minds become renewed with the statements of God's Word, with statements which are Spirit and life!

 

Therefore, if we don't see God working in our life it's because we are not proving Him to ourselves; it's because we are not believing His Word, His promises to us; and absolutely not because God isn't able and willing to do what He says He'll do (Mat. 7:7-11). So then, the work for those who desire to believe in the God and His son Jesus Christ, to become common sharers in the heavenly Father's Godly nature, is to examine in God's Word the ample examples and evidence for why we should believe His Word, and then study exactly what He promises to do for us if and when we believe His Word.

 

We can study the records of the writer of the book of Hebrews, in chapter 11, to discover how those believers in those records believed to receive God's great and precious promises into manifestation in their own lives. If they can do it, we can do it also! The God, our heavenly Father, says He does not change! (Mal. 3:6) God is no respecter of "faces" (Acts 10:34-35), i.e., outward appearances of ethnic group, wealth, power, etc., but of only the condition of the belief in our hearts toward He and His Word (Heb. 11:6), and His son Jesus Christ.

EXACTLY WHAT SHOULD WE BELIEVE?

 

If how we approach life, in every aspect of our lives, isn't producing Godly results in our lives, if our heavenly Father's great and precious promises are not coming to pass in our lives, then maybe the foundation upon which our expectations are built is false.  Then maybe the knowledge and beliefs which we are employing are false.  Maybe the knowledge and preconceived ideas which we have, upon which we base those things which we think, say and do, are not based upon God's Word, but upon worldly religious theologies, philosophies and fairy tales. 

 

If what we are thinking, saying, and doing is not producing Godly results in our lives, the coming to pass of God's promises, then it is very highly likely that we are believing mortal-made or devil-made falsehoods which cannot be verified and substantiated out of God's Word.  Then it is very highly likely that we are believing empty but deadly devil-made amalgamations of some Truth blended with his lies, which ultimately is a twisting of God's Truth, which then is absolutely no longer God's Word. 

 

But that is how false doctrines of mortals and demons are concocted, and which are then presented as God's Word, to draw people in to believe in their skillfully crafted lies, upon which one's belief can produce no Godly results.  This is the point of Jesus as recorded in Mat. 15:9, Mark 7:7.  Apostle Paul says in Gal. 6:3-4 that each one is to prove his own work, if what each one is thinking, saying and doing, based upon their own knowledge and preconceived ideas, can bring to pass in their own life God's great and precious promises.  Either God's Word is learned, believed and practised, or no Godly results will follow.  It's that "cut and dried" according to God's Word.  There is no secret or confusion about how to bring God's promises to pass in any one's life. 

 

In Eph. 4:14, Col. 2:8, 2:18-23, 1 Tim. 4:1, Heb. 13:9, apostle Paul very adequately warns all about false doctrines and false teachers, and that we are absolutely not to become a victim of them, which belief and practice of them produces only disappointment, frustration and emptiness.  Our belief in the exact and accurate knowledge of God's Word, and then our hands-on practice of it in practical application in our lives is what produces that precious experiential knowledge.  It's experiential knowledge of God working in our lives from which we can actually grow in our discipleship.

 

ALL THINGS OF LIFE AND GODLINESS ARE OBTAINED THROUGH EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE OF HIM

 

2 Pet. 1:3 (LIT/UBS4) as (hōs) He having caused Himself to gift (dedōrēmenēs) to us (hēmin) all things (panta) of the (tēs) godly (theias) inherent power (dunameōs) of Him (autou), the things (ta) [being] toward (pros) [the sake] of life (zōēn) and (kai) piety (eusebeian), through (dia) the (tēs) experiential knowledge (epignōseōs) of the one (tou) having called us aloud (kalesantos hēmas) to His own (idia) glory (doxēs) and (kai) virtue (aretē),

 

Experiential knowledge is knowledge learned and gained through actual hands-on practice; hands-on practice thinking, saying, and doing exactly what the God says we are to think, say, and do.  We are to think, say and do His Word in our lives, putting into practical application the knowledge we gain through our study of His Word.  We are to renew our minds from worldly beliefs and practices to godly beliefs and practices, and then begin to obtain hands-on experience putting that Godly knowledge into practice in our lives to love our heavenly Father and to love our fellow man as we love ourselves.  The accurate knowledge of God's Word in our minds, and then the practical application of that knowledge builds our personal belief in our own hearts, and then brings our heavenly Father's great and precious promises into manifestation in our own lives.  I believe this is how all of the believers recorded in Hebrew 11, and throughout all of God's Word, proved God for themselves, and obtained His great and precious promises. 

 

GOD'S PROMISES AND HIS GODLY NATURE ARE OBTAINED THROUGH OUR ACTING UPON HIS WORD

 

2 Pet. 1:4 (LIT/UBS4) through (dia) which things (hōn) He has caused Himself to gift (dedōrētai) to us (hēmin) the (ta) great (megista) and (kai) highly esteemed (timia) promises (epaggelmata);

 

in order that (hina) through (dia) these (toutōn) you may cause yourselves to become (genēsthe) sharing partners (koinōnoi) of godly (theias) nature (phuseōs), you having fled away from (apophugontes) [the] corruption (phthoras) in (en) the (tēs) cosmos (kosmō), [which is] in (en) lust (epithumia).

 

In Acts 10, when Cornelius and his household heard apostle Peter speaking God's Word, and then they believed it in their hearts, then, at that moment, they received the baptism form Jesus Christ in God's paternal gift of holy Spirit (1 Pet. 1:23).  Then, when they believed God's Word, then they received the new birth above, then they experienced God's gift of holy Spirit in them!  When they believed they received the "promise of the father" (Acts 1:4; Eph. 1:13, 3:6) as Jesus spoke of, which was prophesied (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 2:14-21; Joel 2:28-29).  Then they were no longer soul-based beings, but they became spirit-based beings as apostle Paul spoke of (Rom. 8:9-11), because God's Spirit became living inside of them (1 Cor. 6:19).  That is when they began to receive God's Godly nature (Eph. 3:19), causing them to become new creations (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15)!

 

THE LAW OF BELIEF

 

The scriptural mechanism through which mortalkind can now participate in God's new covenant in Jesus' shed is called the Law of Belief in God's Word (Rom. 3:27; Heb 11:1).  God's Word is chock full of examples of believers operating the Law of Belief, which is constituted in not only the new covenant writings but the writings of the old Mosaic law, of the psalms, and of the prophets as well.  This study begins through exploring the purpose of the old covenant Mosaic Law, which apostle Paul explains was as a pedagogue (child leader/teacher) (Gal. 3:24-25), to teach the children of Israel to have belief in God's Word, and confidence toward Him to be the source for all of their earthly needs.  A foundational truth presented by this study is that the only things which please God our heavenly Father, or ever pleased Him, are mortal's thoughts, words and/or actions which come out of one's belief toward Him and His Word.  A mortal without belief toward God absolutely cannot please God (Heb. 11:6).

 

So as one can see from this point blank truth, getting and building belief in God's Word and His son Jesus Christ must be the primary goal to be obtained by believers to obtain spiritual growth toward the end of pleasing God our heavenly Father, which He rewards graciously.  This is what Jesus taught (John 6:28-29).  Neither a life as more than a conqueror now (Rom. 8:37), nor any one of God's great and precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4), nor eternal life in the future can be apprehended without belief in our hearts toward God's Word.  A mortal must come to understand what is the Law of Belief, and then control his thoughts, words and actions to comply with its requirements, in order to obtain God's response.  Here are a spiritual babies first steps; first comes repentance toward God's Word, then comes learning God's Word, and then comes believing God's Word.  Believing God's Word, truth, produces results.  Believing anything else, especially mortal-made theological theories, of which a large amount of modern Christian oral tradition consists,  produces double-mindedness, confusion, and disappointment.  

 

Keeping the perfunctory motions of the old covenant law did not make the children of Israel righteous in God's eyes (Rom. 3:20, justified = made righteous).  But to the extent the children of Israel learned through the pedagogue of the law to believe God's Word about His promises to become all of mortalkind's sufficiency, their believing was counted/measured unto them for righteousness. Therefore the divine "equation" for mortalkind's wholeness can be stated simply, Belief in God's Word = Righteousness.  The writer of Hebrews states it with more eloquence and depth in Heb. 11:1. Under the old covenant the children of Israel could never become 100% righteousness in God's sight, because God's son, Jesus Christ, had not yet come to shed his sinless blood and die for all mortalkind.

 

The children of Israel's belief in the shed blood of lambs, goats and other various animals, which blood was only a substitute for Christ's sinless blood, obtained for them only a temporary and limited measure of righteousness.  But they could obtain a measure of righteousness based upon their measure of belief. God did the measuring, so it was honest.  Where did God need to look to see a mortal's level of belief? In a mortal's heart (Job 13:9; Ps. 44:21, 139:23; Jer. 17:10; Rom. 10:9-10).  This is where He still looks now. Mortal's hearts are the ways where God goes (Isa. 40:3; John 1:23).  He's constantly looking to find those who believe His Word so He can reward them (Heb. 11:6).  

 

If you desire to have the righteousness of God, which comes only out of belief in His Word, you must make a commitment to yourself and to God to search for God and His knowledge in His Word. It takes time and work, reading and studying God's Word. But anyone can find God and His righteousness (Jer. 29:13; Rom. 10:17).  Gaining the knowledge of Jesus Christ is the place to begin.  In the new covenant in Jesus Christ's shed blood, which is now available in this age in which we now all live, our belief upon the name of Jesus makes us 100% righteous in the Father's eyes; in fact, we are made to become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21)!

 

But before Jesus came, and his blood was shed for all mortalkind, was it possible for the old covenant believers to be 100% righteous before God, with the righteousness of God, with complete and permanent exoneration and impunity from the wages of sin?  If keeping the Mosaic Law didn't make anyone of Israel righteous (Rom. 3:20), and the name of 'Jesus' was not yet available to believe upon, how righteous could those old covenant believers become?  And was that righteousness permanent, or conditionally temporary?


Foundational Scripture References for BELIEF and DISCIPLESHIP


In the following two foundational parallel verses for this study, in the Hebrew of Gen. 15:6 and the Greek of Rom. 4:3, I give you the Strong's numbers for the key words so you can check the lexical meanings yourself.

Gen. 15:6 And he believed <0539> (8689) in the Lord <03068>; and He counted <02803> (8799) it to him for righteousness <06666>.

 

"believed" - Strong's # 0539, root aman,
"counted" - Strong's # 02803, chashab, root chasab,
"righteousness" - Strong's # 06666, root tsedaqah,
 

Rom. 4:3 (LIT/UBS4) because (gar) what (ti) the (he) writing (graphē) says (legei) [is], but (de) "Abraham (Abraam) believed (episteusen) the (to) God (theo), and (kai) it was counted (elogisthe) to him (auto) into (eis) righteousness (dikaiosunen)."

 

"believed" - Strong's # 4100, pisteuo, root pistis (S4102),
"counted" - Strong's # 3049, logizomai, root logos (S3056),
"righteousness" - Strong's # 1343, dikaiosune, root dikaios (S1342), root dike (S1349)

Key Word Definitions

 

For the three key words in this study, belief, count and righteousness, Vine's and Bullinger's definitions explain their meanings fairly well.

 

belief (pistis) -

 

Vine says:

 

"Its chief significance is a conviction respecting God and His Word and the believer's relationship to Him." (Vine, W. E., Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words, 1980, Thomas Nelson, Inc., pg. 61).

 

Bullinger says:

 

"the trust which I entertain or put in a person or thing, the persuasion which I have, the conviction which I cherish. It implies a conviction which is based upon trust, not upon knowledge." (Bullinger, E. W., A Critical Lexicon And Concordance To The English And Greek New Testament, 1978, Zondervan, pg. 95).

 

to count (logizomai) -

 

Vine says:

 

"primarily signifies 'to reckon,' whether by calculation or imputation" (Vine, W. E., Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words, 1980, Thomas Nelson, Inc., pg. 7).

 

Bullinger says:

 

"strictly of numerical calculation, to count, calculate, compute, then, to take into account, consider." (Bullinger, E. W., A Critical Lexicon And Concordance To The English And Greek New Testament, 1978, Zondervan, pg. 190).

 

The Hebrew counterpart for the Greek word for counted, logizomai, is chasab.  The first usage of chasab in the old covenant writings, in Gen. 15:6, describes a measurement of some kind which God used to count righteousness back to Abram commensurate with his amount of belief.  The context of the first usages of words is often very noteworthy, since within those contexts usually lie the definitions of the meanings of those words; which meanings are very important in understanding a word's subsequent usages.  This first usage of chasab appears to be an objective usage, where Abram's amount of belief is counted, or measured, and then based upon that count or measurement an equal amount of righteousness is allotted back to Abram.  This is an important truth concerning the meaning of chasab, which we need to remember.

The next 13 usages of chasab, in Exodus, appear to be subjective usages, where chasab is used in the sense of to think, regard or esteem something like something else, but not objectively measured to determine a numerical equivalent.  The count or measurement is done subjectively, but still preserves the essence of the meaning of chasab.  But in the 19th usage, in Lev. 7:18, and subsequent usages, we see again an objective usage, the literal numerical equivalency aspect of chasab, which is the true, primary essence of its meaning.

Using Lev. 7:18 for reference, and throughout Leviticus, counted (chasab) is often used primarily to count or measure something, such as an offering and the conditions under which it is given, to the conditions set by God's Word for receiving it.  Then based upon that measurement, the offering is determined whether to be acceptable, pleasing (ratsah) to God.  Then if so, a blessing numerically equivalent to that pleasing value is counted (chasab) back to the giver, else the giver was to bear his iniquity (avon), or inequality with God's standards.  Chasab, ratsah and avon all appear together in this same verse, and as such work together to define each other's meanings, and in whole the concept of fulfilling conditions of God's Word to receive blessings from Him, no matter whether the new or old covenant.  

Note in this 19th usage of chasab in Lev. 7:18, that it is used in the sense of numerical measurement, and that it is used within the context of the 'Law of the Sacrifice of the Peace Offerings' (verse 11). Those peace offerings under the Mosaic Law were types (tupos) of the coming blood offering of Jesus Christ, who, in the new covenant in his blood, would make 100% righteous all those who believe upon his name, and bring peace between God and them (Eph. 2:13-17).  Here in Lev. 7:18, if the conditions of the Law of the Sacrifice of the Peace Offering were broken, then the blessing would be withheld, and not be counted (chasab) back to the one making the offering, and the condition of that one trying to live without receiving the blessing is referred to as 'bearing his iniquity (avon)', which literally means, 'bearing his inequality (avon)'. Inequality with what? God's Word, which is His will. Avon appears in the old covenant writings 230 times, and is translated in the KJV 220 times as 'iniquity', and 10 times as miscellaneous words. The essence of the meaning of avon is inequity, or inequality.  

In this verse, Lev. 7:18, note that the results of what is counted or measured (chasab) determine three things simultaneously:

1) how equal (avon, Strong's # 05771) is the sacrifice and the conditions under which it is given to the conditions set forth by God in His Word for receiving the sacrifice,

2) the measure to which the sacrifice is acceptable or pleasurable (ratsah, Strong's # 07521 ) to God,

3) and the measure (chasab, Strong's # 02803) of blessing which will be counted or measured back to the giver of the sacrifice.

The usage of iniquity or inequality (avon) in this verse clues us in to the fact that the ratio of the blessing which was to be counted (chasab) back to the giver of the sacrifice, was to logically be equal (avon) to the measurement of how well the sacrifice and the conditions under which it was given matched the conditions given in God's Word for receiving it, i.e., how acceptable or pleasing (ratsah) it was to the Father.

In this verse here in Leviticus, the avon, or the inequality, is the result of the measurement (chasab) being taken of the conditions under which the sacrifice of peace is given, and finding that the conditions under which it is given do not measure up to, or equal the conditions set by God's Word under which it is supposed to be accepted. Hence, the actions of the one making the sacrifice of peace were not acceptable, i.e., pleasing (ratsah) to God.  

In other examples, such as in Lev. 25:27, years are counted or measured (chasab). In Lev. 25:31, a certain condition about the sale of a house, it is to be measured (chasab), whether there is a wall around it or around the village. If no wall, it was to remain redeemable, to be purchased back at anytime by the original seller. This "house" is a type (tupos) in the holy scriptures of mortalkind as a whole, or of individuals, who are dwelling out in fields with no wall of protection around them from the ravenous beasts (demon spirits), about which God reserves the right to redeem them at anytime they choose to believe (an offering well pleasing Heb. 11:6) and call upon the name of His son, Jesus.

Now we can see well how chasab's Greek counterpart, logizomai, came to mean numerical calculation.

The Spirit of God which God gave to his firstborn son Jesus, was not a certain measure of the Spirit as it was with Abraham, but it was the full amount. God gave His Spirit to Jesus without measuring it out (John 3:34-35; Mat. 11:27; 28:18; John 17:2; Acts 10:38; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 2:4; 2 Cor. 4:7; Eph. 1:19; 2 Tim. 1:7).

righteousness (dikaiosune) -

 

Vine says:

 

"it is 'the character or quality of being right or just'; it was formerly spelled "rightwiseness," which clearly expresses the meaning." (Vine, W. E., Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary Of Old And New Testament Words, 1980, Thomas Nelson, Inc., pg. 535).

 

Bullinger says:

 

"the doing or being what is just and right; the character and acts of a man commanded by and approved of God, in virtue of which the man corresponds with Him and His will as His ideal and His standard; it signifies the sum total of all that God commands and approves. As such it is not only what God demands, but what He gives to man, and which is appropriated by faith; and hence it is a state called forth by God's act of justification , viz. by judicial deliverance from all that stands in the way of being dikaios," (Bullinger, E. W., A Critical Lexicon And Concordance To The English And Greek New Testament, 1978, Zondervan, pg. 648).

 

Now that we have done a brief and shallow study of the lexical definitions with key verse examples of the OT and NT words for belief, count and righteousness, lets go forward to examine the details which God's Word tells us in Jesus Christ's and his apostles teachings, about the position and level of importance of this subject matter, in the scope of pleasing the Father. Knowing and understanding the details of the subjects of believing and righteousness are required study for a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. These subjects are part of the milk of God's Word, and are necessary foundational truths to understanding the meat of God's Word (Heb. 5:13; 2 Pet. 2:2).  

 

Here's the definition of belief according to the writer of the book of Hebrews:

 

Heb. 11:1 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) belief (pistis) is (esti) an understanding (hupostatis) of practical issues (pragmatōn) being hoped for (elpizomenōn), an evidential proof (elegchos) [of practical issues] absolutely not (ou) being seen (blepomenōn)!

 

"an understanding" - First one must be willing to get (hear) the knowledge of God's Word. And then at some point, when enough knowledge of it has been collected and carefully examined, then an understanding of the meaning of that knowledge begins to come together; and with that understanding, comes belief (Rom. 10:17).

 

"of issues being hoped for" - These are the great and precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4) now available to us in the new covenant which God put through for us, through Jesus' shed blood.

 

"an evidential proof" - Whenever one of those great and precious promises comes to pass in a believer's life, then it becomes evidential proof of the truth of God's Word, upon which proof we base our trust and belief in God. A great and precious promise coming to pass in our lives is proof of our own belief also, and that we are pleasing in His sight (Heb. 11:6).

 

"[of issues] absolutely not being seen" - The issues are spiritual things, things available under His new covenant which are not initially seen with the human eye until after they come to pass in a person's life.  When we believe His Word the God goes to work in the spiritual realm to cause His great and precious promises of His gracious and beneficial offerings to us to come to pass for believers in the five senses realm.

 

For example: According to the holy scriptures, all of the miracles presented in Heb. 11 which came to pass for those believers, came to pass for them through God and his agent or agents in the spirit realm doing things there to cause those things to occur in the physical realm.

 

God formed and made a perfect sperm within a young woman named Mariam, to fertilize her egg, which subsequently caused a pregnancy which produced the Christ child, a son of a mortal with perfect sinless blood. How God did it, no one earthly knows. But that God did it is self evident, on account of Mariam's pregnancy, and the birth of, and the earthly ministry of, Christ Jesus. The things which have been formed and made, shinning things such as the stars which appear in the heaven, are not responsible for causing the other things which appear in heaven and upon earth to come to pass. The God who is unseen has caused all of these things which are seen to come to pass.

 

For more about the issues of how God does things behind the scenes see Rom. 8:28:

 

Rom. 8:28 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) we have seen (oidamen) that (hoti) for the ones (tois) loving (agapōsin) the (ton) God (theon) He works together (sunergei) all things (panta) into (eis) good (agathon), for the ones (tois) being (ousin) called aloud (klētois) down according to (kata) [the] preparation (prothesin) [of Him];

 

The following verses declare that both our heavenly Father and His son Christ Jesus choreograph (Gk., chorēgeō) things to work together for the gracious benefit of those who believe God's Word (2 Cor. 9:10; Gal. 3:5; Php. 1:19; Col. 2:19; 2 Pet. 1:11; 4:11); and that how they do it is timely (Gk., eukairōs) according to our needs (Heb. 4:16; 2 Pet. 3:9). Untracked out (Gk., anexichniastoi) are the ways of Him (Rom. 11:33).

 

 

THE LAW OF BELIEF & RIGHTEOUSNESS - UNDER THE LAW COVENANT

 

In Apostle Paul's letter to the believers in Rome, he explains in detail why the old covenant law could not make any believers righteous in God's eyes, and what exactly it was that did make old covenant believers righteous in God's eyes. The epistle to the believers in Rome is the letter of doctrine concerning, in part, that believers should believe, and what believers should believe. The book of Acts which describes the rise and expansion of the first century church, is a record of those believers' successful, and sometimes not so successful practical application of Jesus Christ's interpretation and understanding of his Father's Word, and his doctrine. In the book of Acts, when the pure Word of Truth was taught by Jesus' disciples and apostles, and believed, the lord Jesus Christ was adding daily to the ones being made whole (Acts 2:47).

 

Rom. 3:19 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) we have seen (oidamen) that (hoti) whatever things (hosa) the (ho) law (nomō) says (legei), it speaks (lalei) to the ones (tois) in (en) to the (tō) law (nomō);

 

in order that (hina) every (pan) mouth (stoma) may be fenced (phragē), and (kai) all (pas) the (ho) cosmos (kosmos) may cause itself to become (genētai) a right one under (hupodikos) the (tō) God (theō);

 

Rom. 3:20 (LIT/UBS4) through the reason that (dioti) out (ex) of works (ergōn) of law (nomou) absolutely not (ou) any (pasa) flesh (sarx) shall be made righteous (dikaiōthesetai) in sight (enōpion) of Him (autou)!

 

Because (gar) through (dia) law (nomou) [is] experiential knowledge (epignōsis) of sin (hamartias).

 

Since God laid down the Law (so to speak), and since no mortal could ever consistently keep all the detailed intricacies of the Law, and since through the knowledge of that Law came the knowledge of sin, i.e., from not keeping the Law in all its intricacies, no mortals can boast about how great they are in God's eyes.  Because of the imposition of the Law, God's eyes saw all mortals as failures to keep all the Law, and therefore as remaining in their sin nature

 

The relief valve from the penalty of those sins, which penalty was death, was temporary atonement for those sins of the sin nature by the shedding of the blood of various animals.  God temporarily accepted their continual blood shedding as atonement until the coming of Jesus Christ, whose blood would be shed once and for all, for all time.  But still, when all this was said and done, even after temporary atonement for sin was made, it did not make Israel righteous in God's eyes, because keeping the Law was not the condition which had to be met and kept to bring forth God's imposition of righteousness upon mortalkind.

 

Rom. 3:21 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) now, at this moment (nuni), apart from (chōris) law (nomou), righteousness (dikaiosunē) of God (theou) has been manifested (pephanerōtai);

 

it being witnessed to (marturoumenē) under (hupo) [authority] of the (tou) law (nomou), and (kai) of the (tōn) prophets (prophētōn);

 

"it being witnessed to under the law, and of the prophets" - The Mosaic Law was as a pedagogue to teach believing in God for all Israel's sufficiency.  The prophets prophesied the coming redeemer, the one who would deliver Israel from all its oppressors, once and for all, and even prophesied to a very small extent, the general benefits received by those who would become redeemed, by receiving God's Spirit (Joel 2:28-32).  But the full knowledge and understanding of this new aspect of righteousness was kept secret by God until after Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension, when Jesus revealed it to Apostle Paul.  In these things God's Word witnessed to His righteousness becoming manifested in Jesus Christ, and in us who believe upon the name of 'Jesus'.  When the believer's in Israel under the Mosaic Law believed the witness of the Law and of the Prophets concerning the coming redeemer, THEN God counted it to them for righteousness. 

 

The coming redeemer is shown to us in God's Word through imprints and examples in every writing of the old covenant, the writings of the law, the psalms and the prophets.  Therefore, if anyone of Israel, at any time would have desired to see spiritually, the God would have shown it to them, and they could have believed upon those imprints and examples of the coming redeemer.  David, the shepherd boy, is one example of a believer who saw and understood those imprints and examples of Jesus in the Law, the psalms and the prophets.  But collectively as a nation, Israel never had longevity of believing toward God.  They chose to be a sensuous people, to walk by their five senses and become slaves to their fleshly desires.

 

Rom. 3:22 (LIT/UBS4) but (de) [it is] righteousness (dikaiosunē) of God (theou) through (dia) belief (pisteōs) of Jesus (Iēsou) Christ (Christou), into (eis) all (pantas) the ones (tous) believing (pisteuontas);

 

because (gar) there is (estin) absolutely not (ou) a separation1293 (diastolē)!

 

The Righteousness of God is into all and upon all through their belief of Jesus Christ.  All means both Judeans and Gentiles.  The believing condition which must be fulfilled to become righteous in God's eyes, is the same for both Judeans and Gentiles.  It's the same condition, belief of Jesus Christ!

 

Rom. 3:23 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) all (pantes) have sinned (hēmarton), and (kai) lack (husterountai) the (tēs) glory (doxēs) of the (tēs) God (theou),

 

Although the Mosaic Law wasn't sent to the Gentiles, and they weren't sinners because of their breaking of the details of the Mosaic Law, they still were sinners for other reasons, such as idolatry, for not recognizing and worshipping the God of creation, as they had knowledge of Him passed down to them from the antediluvians.  They instead chose to worship idols and false gods (devil spirits), which made them a stench in God's nostrils.

 

Rom. 3:24 (LIT/UBS4) [and] are ones being made righteous (dikaioumenoi) gratuitously (dōrean) [through] the (tē) grace (chariti) of Him (autou), through (dia) the (tēs) redemption (apolutrōseōs), the (tēs) [redemption] in (en) Christ (Christō) Jesus (Iēsou),

 

Apostle Paul says God made righteousness a gift (dorean).  A gift is something for which we don't work.  A gift isn't earned, otherwise it isn't a gift, but wages.  God gives this gift because of the redemption.  This isn't the redemption of cigarette coupons, BUT, the redemption which God had planned before, which saves all mortalkind from eternal oblivion, the redemption through our belief Jesus Christ's shed blood.

 

Rom. 3:25 (LIT/UBS4) whom (hon) the (ho) God (theos) caused Himself to plan before (proetheto) [to be] a reconciler (hilastērion) through (dia) the (tēs) belief (pisteōs) in (en) the (tō) blood (haimati) of him (autou);

 

into (eis) an indication (endeixin) of the (tēs) righteousness (dikaiosunēs) of Him (autou) through (dia) the (tēn) pardon (paresin) of the (tōn) sins (hamartēmatōn) having come to pass before (progegonotōn), in (en) the (tē) self-restraint (anochē) of the (tou) God (theou);

 

The shed blood of Jesus Christ can redeem no mortal, and Jesus Christ can become the reconciler for no mortal, until that mortal believes in to the shed sinless blood of Jesus Christ, i.e., what it stands for Believing is the required condition which must be met.  Belief or faith as it is called, is not a work of the law, but a free will condition of a mortal's heart toward God' and His Word.  This belief brings to a mortal the gift of righteousness from God, because when He sees this believing in a mortal, He allows the passing alongside of that mortal's sins which have occurred.  God simply pardons them.  He doesn't count them, weigh them, or even recognize them, or that they ever existed (Heb. 8:12, 10:17; Jer. 31:31-34)!  That's the greatness of the new covenant of Belief over the old covenant of the Mosaic Law (Rom. 3:27).

 

Rom. 3:26 (LIT/UBS4) toward (pros) the (tēn) indication (endeixin) of the (tēs) righteousness (dikaiosunēs) of Him (autou) in (en) the (tō) time (kairō) now (nun) into (eis) the one (to) to be (einai) [made righteous], Him (auton) [being] righteous (dikaion) and (kai) He making righteous (dikaiounta) the one (ton) out (ek) of [the one’s] belief (pisteōs) of Jesus (Iēsou).

 

God's allowance of all our sins to pass by Him without His recognition of them, on account of our belief in to the blood of His son Jesus Christ, is an indicator of God's righteousness. With the coming of His son Jesus Christ, at this appropriate time God chose to manifest His righteousness toward mortals, who believe in to the blood of His son Jesus Christ.

 

 

LAW OF WORKS VERSUS LAW OF BELIEF

 

Rom. 3:27 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun) where (pou) [is] the (hē) boasting (kauchēsis)

 

It was closed out (exekleisthē)

 

Through (dia) which (poiou) law (nomou), the (tōn) [Law] of Works (ergōn)

 

Absolutely not (ouchi)

 

BUT (alla), through (dia) Law (nomou) of Belief (pisteōs)!

 

 

BUT, through Law of Belief!

 

Here Apostle Paul, speaking by revelation of Jesus Christ, introduces to believers and contrasts the two prevailing laws throughout time, Law of Works and the Law of Belief.  If a mortal did all the works of the law, but never learned the lesson which the law was sent as a pedagogue to teach, which was to believe upon God for all their sufficiency, then what did that mortal have to boast about?  Their own stupidity and failure to cooperate with God?  The works of the law were sent to teach the Law of Belief

 

If through doing the works of the law repetitively, year after year, vigorously keeping all its various commandments , and subsequently seeing God respond faithfully time after time, a mortal finally learned to believe God's Word, that He would supply all their needs and be all their sufficiency, then that mortal would have something to boast about, because he would have learned the Law Of Belief!  Then they could boast about the God keeping His promises.  And then they could boast about their believing condition in their own heart to please God, and thusly their ability to receive the gift of His righteousness from Him.  

 

The Law of Belief is articulated in Heb. 11:1.  And then Heb. 11:6 declares that without belief it is impossible to please God!  This means that mindlessly keeping and doing the works of the law, without ever learning the lesson the law was intended to teach, to believe God's Word, never pleased God!  Mindless habitual works never pleased God then, and they don't please God now.  But if anyone in Israel learned the lesson of the law while doing the works of the law, then that pleased God, because their doing the works of the law was motivated out of their believing heart.  Israel collectively/corporately as a nation never learned the Law Of Belief, but believed only sporadically, and out of desperation, when the foot of the enemy had already arrived and was upon their neck.

 

Rom. 3:28 (LIT/UBS4) Because (gar) we are caused to count3049 (logizometha) a mortal (anthrōpon) to be made righteous (dikaiousthai) for belief (pistei), apart from (chōris) works (ergōn) of law (nomou).

 

Therefore, the Law of Works, which is the Law of Moses (the Mosaic Law), was intended to teach the Law of Belief of God's ability to be their sufficiency in all things.  The Law of Belief is referred to by Apostle Paul as the Law of Righteousness in Rom. 9:31.  The children of Israel, corporately, absolutely did not follow after the Law of Righteousness, through the pedagogue of it, the Law of Works, because they refused to believe upon the name of Jesus; of which key of knowledge of him their religious leaders are responsible for withholding (Luke 11:52).   Under the Law of Works God could not impute any of His righteousness to a believer, since it was by the Law of Works that the knowledge of sin, and thereby sin itself became manifested (Rom. 3:20). 

 

The Law of Works could never make the followers of it perfect (telieosai, complete) (Heb. 10:1).  The Law itself remained as a constant reminder of their sin, and therefore a constant pollutant to their consciousness, perpetuating within them a sin consciousness (Heb. 10:2).  The monthly perpetual sacrifices were a perpetual reminder of their sin (Heb. 10:3)!  Furthermore, it was not possible for the imperfect blood of bulls and goats to bring permanent remission of the penalty for sin.  Only Jesus' perfect shed blood could bring complete, once and for all, remission of sins, and thereby accomplish the goal of purging sinners of their sin consciousness so that they could finally come to a new mindset of themselves as paternal SONS OF GOD (1 Pet. 1:23; Rom. 8; John 3), 100% righteous in God's eye!

 

Rom. 3:29 (LIT/UBS4) Or (ē) [is He] the (ho) God (theos) of Judeans (Ioudaiōn) only (monon), [and] absolutely not (ouchi) of ethnic groups (ethnōn) also (kai)

 

Yes (nai), of ethnic groups (ethnōn) also (kai)!

 

"ethnic groups" - According to biblical usage, an ethnic group is any race who is not of the bloodline of the children of Israel.

 

Rom. 3:30 (LIT/UBS4) If so be it (eiper) [there is] one (heis), the (ho) God (theos), who (hos) shall make righteous (dikaiōsei) a circumcised one (peritomēn) out (ek) of belief (pisteōs) [of him], and (kai) a prepuced one (akrobustian) through (dia) the (tēs) belief (pisteōs) [of him].

 

Rom. 3:31 (LIT/UBS4) Therefore (oun), do we idle down2673 (katargoumen) law (nomon) through (dia) [the sake] of the (tēs) belief (pisteōs)

 

May it not cause itself to come to pass (mē genoito)

 

BUT (alla), law (nomon) we stand (histanomen)!

 

Under the old covenant, individuals had to do works of the law. They had to actually go to the feasts, keep the Passover and holy days, not work on holy days, eat this, don't eat that, do this, don't do that, etc. They had to do actual physical works to keep the Law. Believing something in your heart is not considered by God as a work. The Law didn't command mortals to believe in God. But, the Law, through commands to do works of the Law, to do them repeatedly year after year, was intended to eventually teach mortals to come to trust and believe upon God to supply their sufficiency, for any and all their needs, when they obeyed His Word.

 

When they obeyed God's Word, He poured out His blessings to them. When they disobeyed, He withheld His blessing from them. In fact, He withdrew His hand of protection, which allowed the adversary to have access to them. By turning their back on God, they actually pushed God's hand of protection away! Through the works of the law, the law served as a pedagogue to teach Israel that they could come to God's Word, and believe that when they obeyed it, God would reward them with His blessings. The Law served as a pedagogue to teach them to trust and believe upon God and His Word for all their sufficiency.
 
The primary purpose of the Law was to teach Israel to believe upon the names of God for their sufficiency, all their sufficiency.  Another purpose of the law was to teach that obedience is rewarded with results.  That when they followed God’s Word, He would reward them.  The law was intended to train belief into them, that when they would come to God and obey His Word, then He would reward them (Heb. 11:6).  This is how ‘The Belief’ erects or establishes the law, because it defines the purpose of the law.