“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 NKJ).
These were the words of Jesus during His earthly ministry. According to this verse, He made two promises. First, whoever believes in Him, the works that He do he will do also. Second, he will do greater works than the works of Jesus, because Jesus will go to His Father.
Is this possible? Is it really true that he who believes will do greater works than the works of Jesus? Everyone who claims to be a follower of Christ must have a serious answer to these questions. This issue is going to boil down on the integrity of the Word of God. Let’s face it, do we really and honestly believe in our hearts John 14:12? How far can you obey the word of God?
The key word here is “believe.” In the gospel, Jesus had repeatedly encouraged His listeners to believe in Him and believe in His words. So how do you believe? To believe means to follow Him and obey His words. Believing is putting His words into work. That is the difficult part in Christian life – the obeying of the Word of God. Many have acquired tremendous knowledge of the Word, but have struggled to put that knowledge into work.
I want you to know that many of us could be able to give honest opinion/s regarding what “faith” is, or what the word “faith” means. As a matter of fact, from ordinary through extraordinary minds, there come diverse interpretations, understandings, perceptions, views, and experiences of the “faith.” Everyone in this planet has something to say about faith. And almost everyone will claim that he or she is right, and everyone else is wrong.
Think about it, we have used the word “faith” literally in our conversations or in our writings more than once at the least. And the way we use this word is just as normal as the rest of the words we speak daily. At times we have used it formally or casually without even thinking about the real meaning of it, or the impact of this word to our listeners.
But I want you to know that there is that Biblical meaning of the word “faith” which is totally different from the world’s understanding and perception of this word. The Biblical meaning is based on the context of the whole counsel of God. Considering the historical, cultural, mind set, and experiences of people of the Bible from one generation to generation, faith simply is the obedience of man to God’s simple instruction.
To elaborate, when God gave a simple instruction to Adam in the Garden of Eden, Adam willfully disobeyed God. Did you know that the very act of Adam’s disobedience to God is the very opposite of faith? Because faith is simply to obey God’s instruction or follow His ways, faith then becomes a matter of putting God’s word into work.
Biblical faith is based on the word of God alone, nothing else. A “faith” to be qualified as Biblical faith, must be and should be founded on the scriptures – and that is from Genesis to Revelation. A “faith” is not to be considered a Biblical faith if it’s not according to the word of God, or if it’s not in-line with the scripture.
You may have faith in your doctor’s recommendation about your well being, or you may have faith in your lawyer’s advice, but that kind of faith is faith in the ability of man and his words. You may also have faith in your own ability but that is not the faith that we are discussing here. We are dealing with putting our faith on the Word of God alone. We know that man’s word fails most of the time, but the word of God shall never fail, His word will surely come to pass.
In 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NKJ), “Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.”
We put our faith in the word of God because they are His Words. God and His word are one. At the time the scriptures were being written, God had to control the writers of the things that needed to be revealed to men. Be warned that there is a possibility of making your own private interpretations of Bible verses that will suit your personal needs. These private interpretations of the Word of God are dangerous to base your faith upon.
Now that we are in the dispensation of the New Covenant (Testament), the mystery which is the Body of Christ has revealed to us. However, if you study the epistles, you will notice that the writings of the apostles deal mostly on faith issues and obedience to His Word.
The epistles will tell you that faith is based on the knowledge of Christ. It is the will of God that the knowledge is placed in every believer’s heart (spirit), and every believer’s mind shall be renewed according to His word. It is also the will of God that the Holy Spirit will lead every believer to the knowledge and understanding of Christ. It is His plan that the church will reach the unity of faith, and grow into the knowledge of His dear Son Jesus Christ. Because each one of us has a role to play in the body of Christ, therefore, there is no such thing as a lone ranger in the faith.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus has revealed that the issue of faith was simply the issue of people’s ability to believe Him and His word. In the gospels, Jesus has revealed to us that faith and believing is the same in nature. Although the word “faith” is a noun, and the word “believe” is a verb, their true essence is actually the same. Notice how Jesus equated faith and believing when He dealt with the blind men.
“And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be unto you” (Matthew 9:20-21 NKJ).
The story above tells us that these blind men received their healing because of their faith. Jesus asked them if they were able to believe Him. They said yes. Jesus responded by saying, “According to your faith let it be unto you.” They received their healing at that moment. Their faith was based on a belief that Jesus has the ability to heal them. Evidently, these blind men had simply put their faith into action. They followed Jesus to get their healing.
Notice that Jesus repeatedly equated “believing and faith” during his earthly ministry. Now a day, some people get offended when the words “power of faith” or the “force of faith” are being used. They suspect that those words are some kind a “mind thing” or “bad theology” or “hyper-faith teachings.” Sad to say that it appears it is not politically correct to use those words to some. Therefore, allow me to use the word “wisdom of God” in replacement to those words instead.
There is a potential “wisdom of God” that is sitting in your heart. And that “wisdom of God” will allow God to move when you begin to believe. According to the many incidents in the Bible (Old and New Testaments), when people believed, they simply obeyed and followed the instructions of Word of God. And the result is the “wisdom of God” always prevails. Faith believes in God and in His Word. And believing is merely obeying or doing what the word of God requires.
Another example of faith teaching from the gospel that is worthy of learning is in Matthew 17:20, So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief ; for assuredly, I say to you, If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Jesus said that even though we have faith as the size of a mustard seed; that would do the work of God. And nothing will be impossible for us if we believe. The issue Jesus wanted to convey in this incident is the believing. And that is to obey and do the word of God requires. It is putting the word of God in action. If we are able to follow this awesome “wisdom of God,” then nothing is impossible for us.
The difference between us and the people during Jesus’ earthly ministry is we do not physically see, hear, and touch Jesus. But they did. However, we have the written word of God with us today. And Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. The challenge that we face today is this: What are we going to do with the “wisdom of God” that is in our heart, and the Word of God?
The Bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing of the Word of God. It means a continuous absorbing and digesting of the PURE word of God. To be able to have faith, you need to hear God’s Word. And then, put that faith to work. You have to physically work out the word of God in your life. If the word of God declares that you have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ, then act like you are spiritually blessed, because you are.
A spiritually bless man possess a positive spirit in him. He may have cash or no cash in his pockets; it does not mean a thing with him. Just like the apostle Paul, whatever situation he may be it does not affect him at all. Paul knows how to behave like a billionaire and also knows how to behave like a scum of the earth. It does not affect him at all. The apostle Paul is a man that knows how to live the Biblical faith.