Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress Talkative and an Object Lesson

Continuing on with the lesson on Talkative and how we can discover the weakness and strength of our faith, I was concerned that my three little girls did not confuse weak-faith with no-faith and so we discussed. I asked them if a weak faith person was a Christian? They responded that he must be for there was such a man in Pilgrim's progress called Mr. Fearing and he was a Christian. We will learn more about Mr. Fearing in PART II where we can read:

"Mr. Honest: He was a very zealous man, as one may see by the relation you have given of him. Difficulties, lions, or Vanity Fair, he feared not at all; it was only sin, death, and hell, that were to him a terror, because he had some doubts about his interest in that celestial country.

Mr. Great-Heart: You say right; those were the things that were his troublers; and they, as you

have well observed, arose from the weakness of his mind thereabout, not from weakness of spirit as to the practical part of a pilgrim’s life. I dare believe that, as the proverb is, he could have bit a firebrand, had it stood in his way; but the things with which he was oppressed, no man ever yet could shake off with ease.

Christiana: Then said Christiana, This relation of Mr. Fearing has done me good; I thought nobody had been like me. But I see there was some semblance betwixt this good man and me: only we differed in two things. His troubles were so great that they broke out; but mine I kept within. His also lay so hard upon him, they made him that he could not knock at the houses provided for entertainment; but my trouble was always such as made me knock the louder."

BACK to our discussion regarding "is one with weak Faith truly a Christian:"

I asked my girls how much faith does an UNBELIEVER have?

They answered: NONE

So by definition an unbeliever does not have weak faith but NONE. A true Christian though his faith is weak is yet a Christian. But he does not so glorify Christ as he should in joy and peace and desire and service.

Unbelieving is like saying UN-Faithing. No Faith = No belief.

They asked me: "Dad what is Faith?"

I tried to answer them according to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which to my shame, I have never taught them, "Faith is a grace, a gift whereby we take hold in dependance upon Christ. " Quoting Eph 2:8-9, and Rom 12:3. Better said: "A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel." click here and see Ques 86.

There was also a subtle lesson I wanted to impart to my girls in all this. It did not come out so clear and fully developed as I intended but it was this:

In the WORD-OF-FAITH movement we can be taught that we are sick or not healed or die because our faith is NOT strong enough. Because we do not have enough faith. But Jesus said if you have only faith as a grain of mustard seed you can say to this mountain be moved and cast into the sea and so shall it.

Mat 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Hence, weak faith or strong, all that is required is some faith and even that is a gift and grace from God who ought to be thanked for it. And so hoping to deliver my girls from the bondage of the Faith Movement into a proper understanding of the nature of Faith I attempted to show them that even weak faith is TRUE FAITH INDEED.

And now for the object lesson:

My 10 year old, who this spring has discovered a love for plants and flowers and hopes someday to be a florist herself, has been busily planting a large variety of seeds in little pots of dirt, which she keeps in her room and in our garage waiting for the weather to warm and transplant outside. This morning, upon hearing of the "mustard seed faith." 10 year old pointed out to us that she was very reluctant to plant the tiny seeds. She said, "I didn't think those small seeds were nearly so likely of growing as the bigger seeds." But she soon discovered to her surprise and reported to us this morning, "It was always the small seeds that grew every time."

Let the weak faith grow into the strong and beautiful flower it is destined to become.


John said...

Excellent lessons!

Have you used the Children's Catechism? It's much easier than the shorter, but it is still thorough.

Scott said...

Thanks John, praise the Lord. I have not used the Children's Catechism. I should look into that.


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

On a Pilgrim's Progress said...

I did think of Mathew 17:20 when we were doing our study, it helped me to answer the question that you asked us.

This post was a great review, I am so glad to be reminded of our bible study. Thank you!

Bob West said...

I hope you get as much out of my blog as I've gotten out of yours. Very insightful!
I am now a follower.
God Bless, Bob

WhiteStone said...

Thanks for this little lesson on faith! I see now that I was understanding Matt 17:20 totally wrong! Thank you!