V.B.2.b The Miracle of Belief



Article 2 – The Role of Belief

This section of Article 2 may be found in video form at . . .



By Daniel Irving 

i.    The Work of God; Belief Unto Revelation 

ii.   The Miracle of a Salvation by Means of Faith’s Confession

Kelli Baptism 08

Section (a)


i.  The Work of God; Belief Unto Revelation 

The prophecy of Isaiah asks:

Who hath believed our report?  And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?                                                                                    Is. 53:1

Notice how there seems to be two aspects of this proposition, ie.

1)                   who hath believed our report?   (AND)

2)                   to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Ultimately, the two must be the same.  The former regards faith, the latter, salvation.  This prophecy stands as one of the few of the Old Testament of which we are supplied with its meaning by apostolic-writ.  Not only is the prophecy quoted in the Gospel of John,[1]  it is quoted by Paul in his epistle to the Romans:

However, they did not all heed the glad tidings; For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”   So faith comes from hearing, & hearing by the word of Christ.                                                                                       Rom. 10:16-17

Paul’s context is the justification that comes by means of faith.  He explains that even though his Jewish countrymen had a zeal for God, that zeal was not in accordance with the true knowledge of God’s salvation,[2] which he states plainly in the preceding chapter:

So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.                                                                            Rom 9:16

In other words, human effort will never work salvation no matter how well intended; in fact quite the contrary!  Rather human effort will serve to alienate the worker and harden him/her from the true knowledge of God:

For not knowing abut God’s righteousness, & seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.                   Rom 10:3

Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ God tells us; “Believe that I am all you need.”  The heart that receives this report may be washed and made clean in the knowledge of the all-sufficiency of Christ and become heir to a righteousness in revelation:  Thus Paul writes:

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.     Rom 10:4

Just as the Jewish nation stumbled over this principle so does the church today.  The work of God is not to be done by men, whose role in salvation is that they merely believe!  This is true whether it is God’s work upon our internal being, or His work in manifesting His glory and His witness to mortals.  Therefore after being shown a great miracle and failing to comprehend its implication, the Lord told some of those whom He had fed with only a few loaves:

“Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you; for Him hath God sealed.” Then they said unto him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”                    John 6:27-29

What does it mean to “labor for the meat which perishes”?  Do we take from this that Christ was referring to literal food that one eats?   This “meat” is the product of physical labor, or better said, “human effort”.  They were counseled not to pursue God by their own corruptible efforts. This is not how eternal life is to be obtained.  Their misguided and grandiose question was;  “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”.  But think!  How can we suppose that we can ever “work the works of God”?  Other crowds had marveled how it was that God had put His power into the hands of a man.

“But when the multitudes saw this, they were filled with awe & glorified God who had given such authority to men.”                   Matt 9:8

Even though Christ had worked a miracle, the real issue here was Jesus’ authority to forgive sin, not his ability to work a miracle.  The Father’s purpose in healing the paralytic was expressed through Christ as being for the confirmation of His Son’s authority to forgive sin.  Through the Son the Father performed His work and spoke His words.  As to the multitude that were fed of the loaves and fishes, they saw God’s only begotten Son performing the Father’s works as well, and supposed they could do the same if He were just to explain to them how it was done.   The answer they received was too simple for them.  The answer was that they believe; not that they work.  Never did they perceive that they were in the presence of the Son of God.  And so, the prophecy of Isaiah goes on to ask another question:

and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?             Is. 53:1

The Hebrew word translated revealed is commonly translated “uncovered”, and that, commonly within the context of uncovering the body.

How is the work of God performed?  The work of God is performed by His own arm and none other.  Jesus Christ is the arm of the Lord.  And how is he “revealed”?  Through the eyes of faith; we must believe.  Through faith we may receive God’s revelation of His working strength:

& Simon Peter answered & said, “Thou are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  & Jesus answered & said to him, Blessed are you Simon Barjona, because flesh & blood did not reveal this to you but My Father who is in heaven.   & I also say to you that you are Peter, & upon this rock I will build My church, & the gates of Hades shall not overpower it.                                                  Matt 16:16-18

For much of the church, it is the former condition that applies.  They “believe” in the sense that “flesh and blood” has presented to them the gospel and they have made a mental assent to it.  While this is good and necessary, this by no means of itself constitutes the revelation of Christ by the Father.[3]  Therefore their obedience to Christ is limited to a mental and outward accommodation of this truth.  While they may be good people, their works do not flow from a continuously regenerated conscience before God.

The mystery of the gospel unfolds into the revelation of Christ, and therefore the prophetic question remains, even as John stated it after so many Jews did not believe after seeing the Lord’s miracles when he writes that it was:

 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, “Lord, who hath believed our report?  & to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?                                                                                    John 12:38

ii.   The Miracle of a Salvation by Means of Faith’s Confession

Isaiah’s prophecy states with simplicity the meaning of salvation as belief in what God has done.  Paul writes:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;    to the Jew first, & also to the Greek.                                                                                      Rom 1:16

As well we read that:

He that believeth & is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.                                                             Mark 16:16

That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.                                           John 3:15 

He that believeth on Him is not condemned:  but he that believeth not is condemned already,  because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.                                    John 3:18

This concept has posed a stumbling-block to the world and to theologians alike.  Some believe in this, some believe in that.  Why would our Creator base such a vital matter as our eternal salvation upon such a seemingly arbitrary notion as what one believes?  There must be more to what we believe than what is commonly understood.  This is what Paul referred to as the “foolishness of the cross”!Cross 13

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness;  but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.        I Cor. 1:18

To believe in Jesus Christ, is to believe in much more than a name.  There is so much more implied!  In believing in the name of Jesus Christ, we must perceive with our heart several things concerning our Creator and our relation to Him, e.g. we trust that:

1)       God is, and that He is personal and not merely a principle of nature,

2)       He is good,

3)       the principle the world dismisses called “sin”, has shut us away from Him,

4)       He has provided us with the means of being restored unto Himself,

5)       He has made atonement from His own Self, (and)

6)       His righteousness and holy-nature shall be vindicated in judgment.

Therefore, there is much more implied in confessing the name of Jesus Christ than a mere arbitrary adherence to a name.  No doubt many that opine faith in Christ do not apprehend all that a confession implies.  And there is as yet a second leg to Paul’s condition:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead,  thou shalt be saved.    Rom. 10:9

In the place these two legs of salvation stand firm, we have the foundation of the Holy Spirit’s work of redemption which is not so simple as “I believe therefore I am saved”, but rather a matter of “I believe therefore I abide in the place of redemption” a process that commences upon the work of justifying faith.  Understanding these things, belief as the basis for salvation gains profundity as only through belief may we take hold of God’s hand through the agency of His Holy Spirit, and walk with God through the process that shall lead to our deliverance from sin and physical resurrection!

Is there any way to submit to God’s redemptive processes other than by simply believing?  If there is, then we are capable of saving ourselves without God’s help!  Jesus need not to have undergone crucifixion in our stead, salvation is no more by grace, and whomsoever achieves it may in fact boast!  Therefore any so-called salvation that occurs by means other than belief in Jesus Christ relates back to the original transgression; it is profane.

Therefore that which presents a stumbling-block to the sensibilities of humanity stands as the threshold of any redemptive work and contact with God:Resurrection of Christ 02

To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins.                Acts 10:43

Upon this appointment with our Creator commences a plan that shall lead to the restoration of our entire being before God in; spirit, soul, and body.  For upon this entry into the work of redemption, we overcome in the power of God’s firstborn, Jesus Christ:

Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?                                                                                    I John 5:5

God will overcome this world and even the grave within this our mortal body; but He will not do so outside of the truth concerning His Person.  These things have been vindicated through the work of Jesus Christ in His life, His death, and His resurrection.  Therefore:

Neither is there salvation in any other;   for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.              Acts 4:12

But returning now to our original observation and question concerning there being two aspects of this proposition of faith.  The prophet says:

1)       who hath believed our report? (&)

2)       to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Such a salvation is more than just a status-conferred.  This salvation is rather an unfolding revelatory process of the Person and nature of God.  This is the true sign and the true wonder for which that more mundane outward sign and wonder callled a MIRACLE would beckon our attention.

[1] John 12:38

[2] Rom. 10:2 “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.”

[3] Although they may certainly have experienced the call of God and the teaching of the Father that characterizes initial conversion which the Lord refers to in the statement;   “Everyone who has heard & learned from the Father, comes to Me.”  – John 6:44-45


About Lamp-Stand

I was converted to the faith of Jesus Christ in 1982 at which time I received water baptism and Spirit baptism. In the Spring of 2008 I was led of the Spirit through a process of repentance upon which I had an encounter with Christ that worked a profound change upon my inner being. I became aware that I had been forgiven a great debt of sin. I soon felt the Lord's direction that I close my office that my energies not be divided from the study of doctrine.
This entry was posted in 5B. TRUMPETS / WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT COROLLARY (Associational Aspects) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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