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'Christ in You...'

    by Dale Krebbs

Centurion Faith
Date Posted: May 7, 2023

"When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him asking for help: "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible anguish." Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Instead, just say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes, and to another ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this’ and he does it." When Jesus heard this he was amazed and said to those who followed him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found such faith in anyone in Israel!" (Matthew 8:5-10 NET)

This was certainly an unexpected event! Why?...

First, because he was a Gentile, and a Roman one - someone the Jews considered outside the possibility of having any good attributes. Much less faith!

Second, he was, as best we can tell, an "unbeliever", at least within the scope of the definition at that time.

Third, he was of course, outside the inner circle of Jesus and the disciples.

Fourth, he was part of the Roman military apparatus known for much cruelty and hatred of the Jews of the occupation, although he personally had done many good deeds for the Jews.

As to the fact that he was a military man, he bases his appeal to Jesus primarily on this fact. To him, it was LOGICAL that Jesus COULD heal his servant. And to realize that such a person would have so much care and concern for a servant is no less amazing. But for the centurion, it was all just a matter of AUTHORITY. He understood authority. He was, as he said, certainly UNDER authority himself, as well as having authority over others, including his "servant". The issues which might be considered hindrances to faith by some just did not apply to this centurion. This was a childlike faith, but definitely not childish faith! Jesus told him to go. His servant would be healed according to his faith. How could such a person have this "faith" - certainly faith that resulted in the centurion’s servant being healed "that very hour"? His faith was without doubt, simple, and straight forward - straight toward JESUS only.

The lesson of faith is what Jesus is emphasizing and teaching here. Jesus was asked on one occasion for an increase in faith.(Luke 17:5-6) From this account we see that faith can increase from a prior state or condition. There also seems to be different faith manifestations in power, or direction of belief for different circumstances according to the need, and in accordance with the "gifts" given by Christ for various offices in the church. (Romans 12:3-8) There may be other implications or applications as well. A person commented to me once that she did not have "faith" concerning one situation in her life, but she did have faith for another circumstance in her life.

However, there is another "FAITH". A "pseudo" faith. It isn’t REAL faith. It is a POWERLESS "faith". It is a clever counterfeit by the "god of this world" (Ephesians 2:2), Satan the devil. It is a "faith in faith", for lack of a better way to express it. It is more of a condition of mind or state of mind in which there exists belief in a different object of trust and confidence, rather than true faith which is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). This "faith" now becomes a stumbling block to genuine faith. This can be very subtle and self deceiving to those caught up in this type of belief. It can look like real faith. It can "feel" like real faith. One can often feel very SECURE in this "pseudo-faith".

It may be expressed like this: Pseudo-Faith exists where THE OBJECT OF THE PERSON’S BELIEF IS MISDIRECTED FROM THE AUTHOR AND SOURCE OF REAL FAITH, TOWARD A CONCEPT ABOUT FAITH.

Belief is deflected toward a CONCEPT rather than a Person. It may INCLUDE another Person, but the Person is not the OBJECT of this faith. This causes many problems, often not seen or understood immediately. The end result of it could be described in the one word - POWERLESSNESS (2 Timothy 3:5). Where there is very little REAL faith, there is very little REAL POWER - only a shell. It has form and shape, but little substance. True, living faith gets deflected into processes, programs, projects, tiers of responsibility, accountability and political correctness. Eventually, there evolves an organization with only a christian reference. This can lead to more and more worldliness, and an increasing interest in and dependence upon the world and its ways - now defined as "works of faith". But these activities alone stand outside the arena of real faith. Now "faith-in-faith" has become "faith-in-A-faith" (1 John 2:15-17).

Some years ago I read an article in a christian periodical entitled: "False Conversion: a Mortal Danger". Over 250 years ago during the time described as "the great awakening", an evangelist named Gilbert Tennent preached a sermon that shook American christianity of that time. The title was, "The Danger of An Unconverted Ministry". The possibility of false conversion is seldom addressed today. It is a mortal (and immortal) danger indeed! Satan appears as an angel of light. He is the expert counterfeiter. Perhaps the most dangerous result that can occur from this "pseudo-faith" phenomenon is that it can lead to FALSE CONVERSION. Also, false conversion can lead to pseudo-faith. It is a two-edged sword, a "Catch 22", that is mutually reinforcing unless God in His mercy intervenes.

When the object of faith is "faith", and not the Author and Giver of real SAVING faith, this "house" of conversion is built on a foundation of sand (Matthew 7:24-27). There is no bedrock foundation to build upon for repentance, forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life (1 Corinthians 3:6-15). RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ, is left out of the loop (although His name is often used profusely), and replaced with a false image built on sand that is constantly shifting and adding more and more to the confustion - a false god, a non-entity. This "god" cannot be related to, talked to, confessed to, repented to, or depended upon. This god is being bowed down to, often without its worshipers realizing its true nature.

The Apostle Paul said he was in danger many times from "false brethren", those who were christians in name only, as well as more obvious dangers.(2 Corinthians 12:26) There are other causes for lack of real faith. Nevertheless, pseudo-faith (faith in faith) would seem to be near the top (Jude 3-4). Jesus in a parable made it clear that there would be "tares" along with the wheat - the real crop. There is no way to remove the weeds in a field once they are there without uprooting some of the real thing. But the "fruit" borne by the tare eventually reveals what it is. The major seperation, of course, will come at the harvest that Jesus is refering to in Matthew 7 above. We as Christians, and as the church, are to strive to plant good seed when sowing, and then to strive to protect the fields from the evil one who sows the tares (Matthew 13:24-29). Satan roams about like a roaring lion seeking someone to destroy. Think of the damage he can do through the promotlion of a COUNTERFEIT FAITH! (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Regarding the "tares", there is another reason, I believe, for the tares..Tares can serve a great purpose in God's plan. There is a NEED for tares, actually. The principle behind this is revealed by the Apostle Paul, when he is speaking to a different subject. "For there must also be FACTIONS (including the tares?) among you, that those who ARE APPROVED may be recognized among you." (1 Corinthians 11:19) Not all of course are tares, but tares could surely be instigators helping provoke the "factions", and aggravating the situation. The contrast will eventually show. Black will show more against a background of white. And visa versa. How great is the WISDOM of our God!

Pseudo-faith is an easy faith, and has become in many ways part of easy christianity. It is not part of the straight and narrow way. It is a product of this world. It is very seductive, appealing, and subtle, and feeds upon a glut of information and worldly knowledge and approaches within which there is often very little truth. Many mighty works of human achievement and accomplishment can be done in this false faith which are "works of the flesh" and not the work of the Spirit. All the works of this "faith" ever accomplished, or that will ever be accomplished WILL NOT COUNT unless they are empowered through KNOWING Jesus Christ! That is real, living faith! (Matthew 7:21-23). This statement by Jesus has often made me shudder. The thought of having lived a lifetime, making sacrafices, striving to do things "for the Lord", and then to hear Him say: "Depart from Me...I NEVER KNEW YOU!" is frightening beyond words to express. But it does not need to be this way! Jesus' words here should be a WARNING - that just "paying lip service" is not enough. We must GET REAL with Him. This can be difficult living in a world that is striving with all its resources to ESCAPE reality. But by God's grace we can...that is, if that is our REAL desire.

Although the centurion was a man of the world, he had nothing to stand between him and the Object of TRUE faith - JESUS! He did not have the baggage of Jewish bias, teaching and ancestry, or the clutter of institutional dogma. He had heard about Jesus and he BELIEVED! He believed (had real faith) in a real PERSON who had the AUTHORITY to honor his faith. Jesus did NOT tell him to "depart" from Him, "I never knew you". His faith was direct and focused on Jesus - and Jesus KNEW him!The Apostle Peter learned in a very personal way the result of not keeping focused on Jesus, which caused him to begin to doubt (Matthew 14:27-30). The only way for us not to sink unto the abyss of counterfeit faith is to LOOK TO HIM first - last - and always, in all that we do - all that we speak - all that we think. May all our efforts for God and His kingdom be done by His POWER, through His real, living faith in us - not "powerlessness", but in the POWERFULNESS of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior! May all the glory, and honor, and praise be His forever and ever!

Then - one day, instead of "I never knew you!", He will say: "Well done good and FAITHFUL servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!..." (Matthew 25:14-23)

Until then....

"Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,[I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]" - (Hebrews 13:5 AmpBible)

May it always be so - Amen!

"'Christ in You...'" from Dale Krebbs

Holy Ones

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Biography Information:
Dale Krebbs served as an Elder, preaching, counseling, and conducting Bible studies for over 25 years in Texas, California, and Arizona. He is now retired, lives in Arizona, and continues the study and research of Gods Word.
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