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Thread: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

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    Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    I myself have started to study AGAIN, the Doctrine of Justification and inevitably 'Faith' is drawn into the picture.

    I share the belief that the elect were Justified the moment God chose them (Justification from eternity). Christ's righteousness was indeed imputed (not infused or imparted) to us at the cross just as our sin was imputed (not infused or imparted) to Him. Then through the gift of faith the elect are shown the truth of their Justification by the merits of Christ alone.

    However I do have a question...In what way does the gift of faith, knowledge and the Revelation differ?

    In other words...If 'faith' is the way in which God reveals to us truth (such as the case in the Doctrine of Justification by faith) then how is knowledge or revelation different...or is it?

    As far as I can see there isn't really any difference. 'Knowledge' as mentioned by Paul will continue till Christ's return (as will prophesy). The gospel was 'revealed' to Paul through 'revelation' and I believe it's the same today. We are saved by grace through 'faith'…so what’s the difference? God ‘reveals’ to us the gospel through ‘faith’ which in turn becomes truth that we posses and understan, i.e. 'knowledge'.

    Any comments?


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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Mike:

    Let me try to answer about the difference later in this post, but I want to remove from anyone's mind the desire to make "faith" to be something that is not, that is, a condition for justification as if "faith" would be something that we have to develop within ourselves. Here is what I am talking about:

    Romans 12:3 "...God has dealt to every man the measure of faith..."
    and

    2 Thessalonians 3:2: "...for all men have not faith..."

    God gives faith to the elect only. He gives this faith in the exact measure the elect needs both for service and for understanding and revelation of whom He is in God.

    Now the answer:

    Faith is the revelation of what we are!

    Also by faith we know...and understand:

    Hebrews 11: 3: "...By faith we understand..."

    Notice that the terms "gift of Revelation" are not in the Bible together neither are the words "gifts of knowledge" but gifts of the "word of knowledge".

    Faith covers the areas of knowledge and revelation; as the brains of a living person supply him the necessary storage for the knowledge of whom he is, faith is the "brain" of our spiritual being (my opinion here, don't look for it in the Bible) for it tells us who we are in God; it is not what we NEED as a REQUIREMENT to be God's but it informs us, it was given to us by God to supply us with the knowledge that we are God's. It does that by revealing to us our own lack of suffuciency to deal with our spirutual depravity. The Holy Spirit alone reveals God to us.

    I maintain, and teach that faith is our source of knowledge and revelation of what we are. I don't know if the words faith knowledge and revelation are biblically synominous, but I do know that faith brings us knowledge and revelation.

    I hope this helps...

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Milt I believe you and I are on the same page. My understanding of faith is shaped by my understanding of the Doctrine of Justification by faith.

    Meaning that God reveals to us 'who we are' (as you put it) because of the merits of Christ.

    As far as revelation and knowledge go...I'm referring to the usages in the following texts:

    1 Cor 14:6 - Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?

    1 Cor 14:26 - What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

    1 Cor 14:30 - If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.

    Gal 1:12 - For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Eph 1:17 - that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,

    Anyway, there are plenty more but this should do...now I can see that the usage of knowledge in these scriptures may differ; One being a word of knowledge and the other possessing understanding of propositional truth. Perhaps you can clear up for me what a 'word of knowledge' is?

    I don't know if the words faith knowledge and revelation are biblically synonymous,


    I agree they cannot be synonymous simply because placing 'faith' in the sentence where 'knowledge' is wont work. Just try it in the scriptures I posted.

    but I do know that faith brings us knowledge and revelation


    Faith brings us knowledge and revelation...you know that makes sense. Rom 12:3 and Heb 11:3 would most definitely support this in terms of a logical application of your comment.

    You know it’s true what they say...all though old people are slow and dangerous behind the wheel; they can still serve a purpose!

    Just kidding brother! Thank you so much, that really helped!

    Mike


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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike
    You know it’s true what they say...all though old people are slow and dangerous behind the wheel; they can still serve a purpose!
    Mike:

    I am dangerous in a lot more places than "behind the wheel" only; you shoulda see me with an power drill ! The family shouts: "run for your life, dad has a power drill in his hand..."

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Faith is a gift that we have no part in.

    Knowledge (although coming only from God) seems to be something we do have a part in. We read the scripture, we study, we read, we study and through that the Lord imparts the measure of understanding (knowledge) that He wills for each of us.

    It's like the difference between milk and meat. If you never study you live on milk only, if you spend time studying you also have the sweet taste of meat. Just my opinion.......

    Growing in grace and in knowledge,

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Thanks Eileen! I must add something though...I know many who study, study, study but they never seem to learn what I see as basic soteriological principles. For example, they just cannot see Limited Atonement in scripture. So even though they stare at the words in scripture and commit them to memory, they have no concept of what the words mean because the words are spiritual, and the words in scripture can only be understood if God reveals the meaning of them through faith.

    If faith is God revealing to the elect that salvation is solely based on the merits of Christ. Then it seems that a separation of knowledge and faith here would be an error. While they themselves are not the same; one does accompany the other. However, it is also clear in scripture that Paul was still receiving revelation up to the time of his death. So we should not expect for all to have an equal measure of knowledge but it seems that Hebrews 6 counts the Doctrine of Christ (which I believe Limited Atonement is a part of) as an elementary doctrine.

    I simply cannot deny that this forum has played an integral role in my growth in knowledge but the knowledge still comes from God through faith. All of our 'diligent' study is futile and meaningless if God does not grant us understanding and impart knowledge through faith.


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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Mike

    And I would agree wholeheartedly with your post, I believe I alluded to the same thing in my post above. True knowledge only comes from God and it is a given to have True knowledge one must have God given True faith. The natural man can read and read and read the scripture and never get it because it is spirtually discerned. So in that respect faith and knowledge are not separated. I was speaking of the believer only!

    I do believe that our knowledge comes from the Word of God, through the Spirit granting us understanding of it, so a believer who doesn't study and doesn't spend time in the scripture will not have much knowledge, although they may have faith. Hence, the milk! That was my only point! If we have the God given desire to grow in knowledge, we can devote our time to that and trust the Lord to give us the measure He has for us.

    Faith, on the other hand, we have no desire for, nor can we devote ourselves to it.....not until He gives it as a gift!

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Hi Mike,

    "Faith brings us knowledge and revelation"

    I think the order of this is backwards. One cannot believe in something that has not been revealed. Revelation of truth/knowledge must precede faith. Regeneration is a renewing of the mind, and I believe this is by propositional revelation. Faith comes after regeneration -- the knowledge is imparted and then it is believed.

    The truth of "you are righteous" is delivered by the Spirit (revelation of knowledge) and believed by the sinner (faith). Man cannot have faith in something he does not know, so if God does not reveal a truth then there can be no believing in that truth.
    Gal 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    I thought I might add that I agree with melted completely. Assent to something something requires knowledge of something.
    This is my signature.

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by melted
    Hi Mike,

    "Faith brings us knowledge and revelation"

    I think the order of this is backwards. One cannot believe in something that has not been revealed. Revelation of truth/knowledge must precede faith. Regeneration is a renewing of the mind, and I believe this is by propositional revelation. Faith comes after regeneration -- the knowledge is imparted and then it is believed.

    The truth of "you are righteous" is delivered by the Spirit (revelation of knowledge) and believed by the sinner (faith). Man cannot have faith in something he does not know, so if God does not reveal a truth then there can be no believing in that truth.
    Dear Kyle:

    For fairness sake I have to take full responsibiity for the prhase you quote as being Mike's. I presented as evidence Hebrews 11:3 in the posts above.

    I guess the issue is the same as the chicken (the female hen) and the eggs (males can't lay eggs) and which came first...

    Here is my quote from my reply to Mike:

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador
    I maintain, and teach that faith is our source of knowledge and revelation of what we are. I don't know if the words faith knowledge and revelation are biblically synominous, but I do know that faith brings us knowledge and revelation.
    There you have it!

    Thanks for your insight!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Thanks Milt - I apologize for misquoting above.

    Heb 11:3 is interesting and one that I also saw in my searching.

    Heb chapter 11 is full of "by faith someone did this action". All of the examples given in the chapter are outward workings of faith. I think that v3 must also be taken in a similar light. "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God".

    Compare this verse:

    2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

    "Consider" is the same word for "understand" in Heb 11:3, noieo; while "understanding" is sunesis. They are used in the same sentence here, and I think the idea is that noieo indicates a active pondering, or rolling over in the mind of the things that are understood. Sunesis is more of our traditional word for the understanding of imparted knowledge, as in to grasp an idea.

    If we apply this to Heb 11:3 we get something like, "By faith we are able to think over that the worlds were prepared by the word of God". I know this is a bit loose, but I am trying to examine the difference in the usage of these words, and how noieo may be able to fit better into the context of Hebrews chapter 11. The ESV actually translates noieo as "think over" in 2 Tim. 2:7.



    I think this passage may also be of interest:

    Col 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding [sunesis], resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

    Faith is assurance (Heb 11:1), and we have here "the full assurance of understanding", which places understanding as preceding assurance (faith).

    I do believe, of course, that understanding / knowledge / revelation / logos / assurance, and all similar thoughts are very closely related. Certainly difficult to fully unravel.
    Gal 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by melted
    Thanks Milt - I apologize for misquoting above.

    I do believe, of course, that understanding / knowledge / revelation / logos / assurance, and all similar thoughts are very closely related. Certainly difficult to fully unravel.
    No problem!

    As for the issue at hand, I maintain that it is as the eternal dilemma: What do I eat first: the chicken or the leg?

    I believe that saving faith is preceded by revelation no doubt about it; however it is given without the possibility of rejection and its acceptance is not a condition for salvation and it becomes what informs the elect of his salvation. In the other aspects of our walk with God, faith is the "brain" of our spiritual walk... We cannot understand anything without faith; Hebrews 11 teaches that "faith is the title deed of things NOT SEEN, (understood) and the things hoped for (not ours but not "gotten" as of yet)". We see the unseen, understand the un-understandable and have NOW what we hope for! It is the Blessed Assurance, the Forestate of Glory Divine!

    The verses you provided are also very insighful!

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    For fairness sake I have to take full responsibiity for the prhase you quote as being Mike's. I presented as evidence Hebrews 11:3 in the posts above.
    Well I still agree with this Milt thats why I repeaded it. When trying to make a distinction between understanding, knowledge and revelation; faith fits into the picture somehow.

    Once God reveals to you truth, does that not mean he imparts to you understanding? Once you understand, does it not become knowledge that you now posses. The way I understand this is that God does this through faith. Faith is the tortilla and revelation, understanding and knowledge are to goodies inside. This is a stupid analogy I know but so far I don't have complete 'understanding' of this yet. I hope to 'know' it someday.

    Regeneration is a renewing of the mind, and I believe this is by propositional revelation. Faith comes after regeneration -- the knowledge is imparted and then it is believed.

    When it comes to regeneration I stay away from the timing of faith and repentance. For the simple reason that faith and repentance is given by God in certain measures and at certain times throughout the life of the elect.

    Heb chapter 11 is full of "by faith someone did this action". All of the examples given in the chapter are outward workings of faith. I think that v3 must also be taken in a similar light. "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God".


    As I was being bored to death today by the monologue at Sunday meeting, I flipped to Heb 11 and read the whole chapter. What I noticed was the same thing, that all the examples given were outward workings of faith.

    I do believe, of course, that understanding / knowledge / revelation / logos / assurance, and all similar thoughts are very closely related. Certainly difficult to fully unravel.


    Yes, this is what I'm in the process of doing.


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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hughes
    As I was being bored to death today by the monologue at Sunday meeting, I flipped to Heb 11 and read the whole chapter. What I noticed was the same thing, that all the examples given were outward workings of faith.
    Yes, this is what I'm in the process of doing.
    I was reading through all the posts, I may just be tired but none of this makes sense to me. I'll take a nap and read it again later, so many times I feel like what people write is above my understanding, like it's not clear like you guys are all smarter than me.
    Also wanted to say that I do the same thing as you Mike in church, get bored with the monologue and read through my Bible, or I write poems.

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Mike states:

    If 'faith' is the way in which God reveals to us truth (such as the case in the Doctrine of Justification by faith) then how is knowledge or revelation different...or is it?

    As far as I can see there isn't really any difference. 'Knowledge' as mentioned by Paul will continue till Christ's return (as will prophesy). The gospel was 'revealed' to Paul through 'revelation' and I believe it's the same today. We are saved by grace through 'faith'…so what’s the difference? God ‘reveals’ to us the gospel through ‘faith’ which in turn becomes truth that we posses and understan, i.e. 'knowledge'.


    What I am going to say here may differ in some details from what has already been posted, so please bear with me!

    Which comes first, reason or faith? This has been a controversy in theology for many centuries. According to the scriptures, I have no doubt that what comes LOGICALLY first (we are not talking about time here) is REASON--which is based on KNOWLEDGE. The knowledge may come from revelation (a direct message from God) or illumination (Holy Spirit regeneration); the latter is the typical way that a person comes to know the truth--since only a very few in history are given the former.

    Faith is not a 'leap in the dark' according to Kierkegaard's extreme stupidity. Faith is based on objective evidence--the gospel as revealed in the scriptures! God creates faith in conjunction with an understanding and illumination of the truth of the gospel--which is a most reasonable proposition! So genuine faith is not mystical, it is grounded in reasonable and objective truth. That's my take on it!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Hmm okay I think I get it more. But I still confused where revelation plays a role? Is it Gods revelation to us to understand or is it revelation of God's knowledge? 'Cause it says people can bring revelation and sounds like we're constantly having revelations. Like in these verses
    1 Cor 14:6 - Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?

    1 Cor 14:26 - What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

    1 Cor 14:30 - If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent.


    So I think that first we need faith, and faith is used in all of these understanding,knowledge, and revelation, etc. If we have no faith we can't understand God's truth. "Through faith we understand" Hebrews 11:3. And then God imparts understanding to His elect (2 Tim 2:7) and this resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery (Col 2:2). So it's that we need faith (like Mike's tortilla example its the wrapping) so that we may understand and from understanding comes knowledge. But how does revelation play a role? Is it that through understanding and revelation comes knowledge? Or is revelation like faith? The tortilla? Is knowledge the end result? And then start the process over again with some other scripture or idea to understand? Just trying to think this through... Hope this makes sense. It was fun thinking about this! Thanks!

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    Re: Faith, Knowledge and Revelation

    Paul states: how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching

    Direct revelation is not the norm or standard, it is one of many means through which God communicates his truth. I personally believe that God stopped using this method after the apostolic era, based on the fact that there is absolutely no evidence of it continuing. Even if it did, we cannot judge or evaluate it without the scriptures! Today we have knowledge, prophecy, and teaching which are to continue until the final coming of Jesus Christ.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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