“Holding to truth in love” focuses on our present experience and enjoyment of the divine realities revealed in God’s word. In this post, I’ll introduce twelve action verbs that describe how we can be actively engaged in “holding to truth.” The practice of these twelve words will also fill you with faith.
To illustrate, we can say that these divine realities that constitute “the truth,” are a kind of divine scenery, as the content of our Christian faith, or simply, “the faith.” “The faith” that is common to genuine believers includes the central matters revealed in God’s word. It includes the Bible being God’s word, the Triune God—the Father, the Son and the Spirit, Christ’s person—both divine and human, Christ’s redeeming work, God’s complete salvation, and Christ’s unique Body, the church—as the things we believe in. We must actively hold to such a faith and even contend for it as Jude said, “…earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3)
Our Camera of Faith Photographing the Divine Scenery
All this “divine scenery” of “the faith” is objective to us; it’s outside of us, like beautiful scenery outside of a camera. Then how do we capture the beautiful scenery outside of the camera on the film (or SD Card) within the camera?
It’s by taking pictures. In the Bible, our subjective faith, our believing action, can be likened to a camera that photographs the divine scenery, inscribing it on the “film” of our spirit, thus making these divine realities the substance of our Christian life. The more “pictures we take” the more faith we have.
Twelve Action Verbs for “Holding to Truth” that Fill Us with Faith
There are twelve action verbs that describe how to “hold to truth.” They show how the truth, the scenery of “the faith,” is transferred onto the “film” of our inner being, making it our possession, and our inner reality. In this way we are filled with faith.
Faith comes from hearing. When we hear God’s word, faith is sown into our heart. Romans 1:17 says, “So faith comes out of hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” We should never think that faith originates with us. It is the gift of God (Eph. 2:8) given to us through our hearing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In Galatians 3:2, Paul refers to receiving the Spirit through the “hearing of faith.” This is why it’s so helpful to read God’s word with prayer each morning, and to listen to proper messages that convey the “words of the faith” to nourish our inner being (1 Tim. 4:6).
Those who hear the word will be stirred up and filled with appreciation. When we hear the word of God, we spontaneously appreciate the wonderful One revealed on the pages of the Bible. For example, when we hear of Christ’s dying love for us, we’re overcome with appreciation for Him.
This appreciation is followed by calling. Romans 10:16 says, “How shall they call upon Him into whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe into Him of whom they have not heard?” The word that we hear, sows faith into our heart, such that we appreciate the “divine scenery.” Then the word becomes so near to us, in our mouth and in our heart (Rom. 10:8). So we spontaneously call on the name of Lord, “Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus! You are so good!”
Faith, as our believing, implies receiving. When we appreciate the Lord and call on Him, we spontaneously receive Him. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name.” So our believing is our receiving.
However, it is possible to receive something yet not really accept it. There are a lot of unwanted gifts that we receive that end up at the thrift store. But when we appreciate Christ, calling on His name, we automatically accept Him as well as receive Him.
When we receive the Lord and accept Him we are spontaneously joined to Him. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:17, “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” As we remain in this joining to the Lord, we live as the branches of the true vine, abiding in Him (John 15:4-5).
Following our joining to Christ, we partake of Him. As we join ourselves to Christ through God’s word, we become partakers of His divine nature. In 2 Peter 1:4a it says, “Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature…”
As we are partaking of delicious food, we also are enjoying it. Faith implies both partaking and enjoying.
Such partaking and enjoying of the Lord by faith makes us rejoice. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Your words were found and I ate them, / And Your word became to me / The gladness and joy of my heart…” (Jer. 15:16)
After we have eaten a delicious meal, it is so spontaneous and proper to express our thanks (especially if the cook is our wife or mother). Colossians 1:12 says, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you for a share of the allotted portion of the saints in the light.”
With God, however, it is not merely a matter of thanks, but of praise. Your mother may be a good cook but she did not create the food. But our Lord, is both the Preparer of the food and the Food that we eat (John 6:35). The truth, the reality of all the divine scenery, is simply is the Lord Himself. Praise Him!
Such faith results in the overflow of life from within us. The psalmist said, “My heart overflows with a good matter; / I speak what I have composed concerning the King. / My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. / You are fairer than the sons of men; / Grace is poured upon Your lips; / Therefore God has blessed You forever. (Psalm 45:1-2). When we enjoy such a Christ, we cannot help but overflow, speaking of Him to those we meet.
By practicing the twelve points from hearing to overflowing, the truth as the divine scenery will become our enjoyment and our inner constitution. In this way we’ll be filled with faith.
I hope that those who read this blog would practice “holding to truth in love” by applying these twelve points and become co-enjoyers, making the truth, the divine scenery, the essence of our living.
I gratefully acknowledge that these twelve points on subjective faith were taken from The Life-study of Galatians, by Witness Lee. You can read more at ministrybooks.org, under “The Life-Study of the Bible” tab, in “The Life-study of Galatians,” Messages 14, 18 and 19.