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Augustus Paul Andrew

Answering A Teen's Question on Faith and Repentance

Q "There are some things that I am confused about. How does someone have faith in the father? I know is believing in Him but is it just saying I believe the Father will do this for me? And how does one repent? Is it in prayer or is there certain steps one has to take? Could you explain this for me please?"
 
A First to say here that faith and repentence goes hand in hand. Please allow me to explain.
If we say that we have faith or believe in the Father above and yet we are not obedient to His Ten Commandments covenant law, then our profession of faith in Him is merely of a lip service. Our faith in Him, IF we do have faith in Him, actually can only be demonstrated by the life we live. According to our Savior, a tree can only be known by the type of fruit that it brings forth (Matthew 7:16-20; 12:33; Luke 6:43-44). So too can we be known if we are a people who truly have faith and believe in the Father Almighty IF we are truly obedient to His holy covenant Ten Commandments law.
Where the Bible is concerned, professing a faith and belief in the Father up above calls for action. The same applies if we profess to know Him. These confessions can only be proven a reality by a daily subjection to obeying His commandments, statutes, judgments and precepts in which He says we shall live IF we do them (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:16; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). There is only one evidence that exists or the only yardstick that our Creator has put in place by which to prove whether or not that we really love Him in faith believing that He IS (Hebrews 11:6) and that is, in obeying His holy laws. One is a liar who says that he/she has faith and believes in the Creator IF the faith and believing of such an one is NOT demonstrated practically by the keeping of our Creator's commandments, says the Apostle Yahuchanan:
"And hereby we DO KNOW THAT WE KNOW Him, IF we keep His commandments. He that says, I know Him, and keeps NOT His commandments, IS A LIAR, and the truth is NOT in him" (1 John 2:3-4 KJVER).
O yes, it is our heavenly Father's greatest pleasure when we as the highest of His creation would look to Him and Him ALONE for the provision of our needs believing with our whole heart that He will provide to us whatsoever we ask of Him in accordance with His will so long we ask and our ways are pleasing to Him.
But IF we are knowledgable of His dictates in the Scriptures, we would be aware too out of a first hand knowledge that receiving from our Creator whatsoever we ask of Him through His Son our Savior can only be achieved on this ONE condition:
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22 KJVER).
There are things which, if requested, can only be granted to those who live their lives in obedience to His commandments:
"And he that keeps His commandments dwells in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit which He has given us" (1 John 3:24 KJVER). He gives his Spirit only to them who obeys Him, daily practising His holy commandments (Acts 5:32).
With the wicked, this is not so. The wicked are not obedient and nor can be obedient to His commandments which is holy, just and good while they abide in disobedience to His laws and is therefore why, unlike the righteous, their prayers just CANNOT be heard while they are in such an unwholesome state of living in the eyes of our Creator. This is because that He just does NOT hear the prayers of anyone who is NOT practising what He has ask us to do:
"Now we know that [Yahweh] hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of [Yahweh], AND DOES HIS WILL, him He hears" (John 9:31 KJVER).
To have faith in our Father above certainly does not entail only just saying we believe He will do this or that for us. It certainly takes action on our part to enable Him of hearing and granting us whatsoever we have petitioned of Him according to His will.
Our obedience to His commandments is what creates the faith or confidence in us that whatsoever we ask of Him, He will hear and grant it to us, so long our asking is in accordance to His will, and we are daily living our lives in obedience to His commandments:
"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (1 John 5:14-15 KJVER).
If my walk with Yahweh in keeping His commandments is excelling to perfection and I do not bring to Yahweh in prayer what I am in need of, I will NOT have my need provided because I did not pray to Yahweh requesting that need. Excelling as I might be in keeping His commandments will NOT entitle me an automatic provision of my needs from Him if I have not come before Him in prayer petitioning that need. I would also have to ensure that my asking of Him in prayer for whatever that need is, be done in accordance with His WILL. Pending on what that need is, I may even have to resort to coming before Him IN PRAYER for that need WITH FASTING too as well.
On the other hand, there was a community of believers who fought and quarrelled among themselves and in a manner that would make them to appear as a people who are no different from the people who are not believers called by the name of our Creator Yahweh. They were in such a state in their manner of life that they would ask and not even receive what they've prayed to Yahweh for. Their prayers were not being answered. So this situation which existed among them just so happen to come to the attention of their spiritual leader after which, things may have gotten better with them and probably started seeing their prayers began to be answered after he said this to them from what he found out, if they had accepted Yahweh's correction through him:
"Where do all the fights and quarrels among you come from: They come from your desires for pleasure, which are constantly fighting within you. You want things,  but you cannot have them, so you are ready to kill; you strongly desire things, but you cannot get them, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have what you want because you do not ask [Yahweh] for it. And when you ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad; you ask for things to use for your own pleasures. Unfaithful people! Don't you know that to be the world's friend means to be [Yahweh's] enemy? Whoever wants to be the world's friend makes himself [Yahweh's] enemy. Don't think that there is no truth in the scripture that says, "The spirit that [Yahweh] placed in us is filled with fierce desires." But the grace that [Yahweh] gives is even stronger. As the scripture says, "[Yahweh] resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." So then, submit to [Yahweh]. Resist the Devil, and he will run away from you. Come near to [Yahweh], and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners! Purify your hearts, you hypocrites! Be sorrowful, cry, and weep; change your laughter into crying, your joy into gloom! Humble yourselves before [Yahweh], and he will lift you up" (James 4:1-10 Good News).
The word faith appears only two times in the Old Testament. This is in Deuteronomy 32:20 where the word in the Hebrew, original Bible writings is emuwn and in Habakkuk 2:4 where the word in the Hebrew, original Bible writings is emuwnah which is #529 and #530 respectively in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.
Emuwn, #529, translated faith in Deuteronomy 32:20, means established. Figuratively, it means trusty. Abstractly, it means trustworthiness. Truth is also among the given meanings for this Hebrew word or as to what the word faith in that passage means.
Emuwn, #529, stems from the root word aman #539 which means to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse. Figuratively, it means to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quite. Morally, it means to be true or certain...
The Hebrew word emuwnah/emunah, #530, translated faith in Habakkuk 2:4 is the feminine of emuwn, #529, translated faith in Deuteronomy 32:20 and to me, emuwnah/emunah #530 even carries a weightier meaning as to what faith really is.
This Hebrew feminine word emuwnah/emunah, in the literal sense, means firmness. Figuratively, it means security. Morally, it means fidelity.
By using this Hebrew feminine word emuwnah/emunah, the Prophet Habakkuk also meant stability, as well as steady.
We can be most certain that the faith that is being required of us is a character portraying fidelity, stability and steadiness. A faith, which, inspite of whatever the circumstance, that we'll steadily continue living a sin-free life of obedience to His commandments and a continual communication with Him in prayer (Luke 18:1-6). Job is one such example that we can follow! He was not subjective to his wife's request to "...curse [Elohim], and die" (Job 2:9 KJVER) inspite of how difficult the hardships which Yahweh allowed to befall him were. Instead, he rebuked her concerning these words she spoke, choosing rather to maintain his faith (obedience, firmness, fidelity, stability, steadiness) in Yahweh our Creator as his continuing security:
"But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of [Elohim], and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips" (Job 2:10 KJVER).
The word faith appears quite a number of times throughout the New Testament and the Greek word translated faith most times in this section of the Bible is pistis #4102.
Faith, according to the definition of the Greek word pistis found at #4102 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, means "persuasion, i.e. credence. Morally, it means conviction in the sense of religious truth or the truthfulness of [Yahweh] or a religious teacher, especially reliance upon our Savior [Yahshua] for salvation. Abstractly, it means constancy in such profession. By extention, the system of religious truth itself." 
One other given definition for faith according to the Greek word pistis, note very carefully, is fidelity, which is a given definition as well for the Hebrew feminine word emuwnah/emunah discussed above.
This Greek word, pistis, #4102, can also carry a more intense meaning by way of the primitive verb peitho #3982 from which it is being derived.
Peitho, as a primitive verb, means "to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty)."
It also means "agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield."
Notice the word obey as one of the definitions with which the Greek word(s)  translated faith in the New Testament is defined. This to me implies that it is obeying Yahweh in all that He has commanded  us to do in His word is what having or putting our faith (belief, confidence, trust, reliance) in our Creator actually is.
The Apostle Ya'achov, our Savior's brother in the flesh, quite certainly agrees that there is actually NO faith in one who is NOT doing the things which is the only available evidence to prove that such an one does have faith.
That we do have faith, that we do believe in, that we do put our trust in, that we do rely on, that we do have confidence, etc., etc., etc. in our Creator Yahweh lies solely on this one thing--the manner in which we conduct our lives on a daily basis not only in word of mouth, but in deed and in truth Ya'achov points out in his epistle/letter.
He clearly explains in his epistle/letter that faith MUST be something of action so that faith can actually be faith:
"My brothers, what good is it for someone to say that he has faith if his actions do not prove it? Can that faith save him? Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, "[Yahweh] bless you! Keep warm and eat well!"--if you don't give them the neccessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead. But someone will say, "One person has faith, another has actions." My answer is, "Show me how anyone can have faith without actions. I will show you my faith by my actions." Do you believe that there is only one [Elohim]? Good! The demons also believe--and tremble with fear. You fool! Do you want to be shown that faith without actions is useless? How was our ancestor Abraham put right with [Yahweh]? It was through his actions, when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. Can't you see? His faith and His actions worked together; his faith was made perfect through his actions. And the scripture came true that said, "Abraham  believed [Yahweh], and because of his faith [Yahweh] accepted him as righteous." And so Abraham was called [Yahweh's] friend.  You see, then, that it is by his actions that a person is put right with [Yahweh], and NOT BY HIS FAITH ALONE. It was the same with the prostitute Rahab. She was put right with [Yahweh] through her actions, by welcoming the Israelite spies and helping them to escape by a different road. So then, as the body without the spirit is dead, so also FAITH WITHOUT ACTIONS IS DEAD" (James 2:14-26 Good News).
You'll remember the first thing I did, as I began putting this your answer together, was to have made the statement that faith and repentance goes hand in hand and this is exactly the same thing that I'm finding Ya'achov to be bringing out in showing how that one who says that he has faith in the Creator but is NOT living his life in obedience to His commandments has NOTHING by which to prove his faith, in that, our Creator's laws are NOT a part of his daily living. This is the simple fact of his statement.
Showing how Abraham by his actions proved his faith in Yahweh, the Apostle Ya'achov says of this ancient Patriach  and originator of the Hebrew nation that "...His faith AND his actions worked TOGETHER..." and that "...his faith was made perfect THROUGH HIS ACTIONS."
A life of sin in disobedience to our Creator is obviously a life lacking that faith (confidence, trust, belief, reliance) in our Creator since obedience to His commandments is the only proof factor of an indwelling faith. We saw too earlier on that faith also means truth. 
This would mean that one who says that he/she has faith could also be interpreted to be saying that he/she is one who walks in obedience to the holy commandments of our Creator Yahweh whether or not that such an one is aware of what is being said in making that confession, as TRUTH, in our Savior's very own prayer, is described as being the word of Yahweh. John 17:17 reads this out loud and clear as follows:
"Sanctify them through Your truth: Your WORD IS TRUTH."
Word, according to Psalm 119, refers to Yahweh's law, Yahweh's commandments, which we find even King David affirms to be TRUTH.
Our Savior's confession on what the word of Yahweh is (John 17:17) in His prayer and that of King David on what the word of Yahweh is, indeed creates quite of an interesting harmony worth noticing:
"Sanctify them through Your truth: Your WORD IS TRUTH" (John 17:17 KJVER).
"Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your LAW IS THE TRUTH" (Psalm 119:142 KJVER).
"You are near, O [Yahweh]; and ALL your COMMANDMENTS ARE TRUTH" (Psalm 119:151 KJVER).
Faith, therefore, can't in any other way be demonstrated than in the repentant life of keeping the holy commandments law of Yahweh which the Scriptures defines as truth. Faith is one other way of refering to the law, to the commandments, to the judgements, to the precepts, to the statutes, to the testimonies of Yahweh which, according to the Apostle Paul (Sha'ul), is holy, just and good (Romans 7).
Repenting from the life of living in harmony to this world's standards against that of Yahweh is certainly essential and deffinitely includes seeking to establish a prayer ministry, desiring to live a lifestyle different from the one that was being lived previously to please this world and the fleshly desires.
But you'll remember as was shown earlier on that our Creator Yahweh does NOT hear the prayers of sinners, those who are not obeying His commandments. And to be given eternal life in His kingdom at the return of His Son our Savior to this earth, we must all repent and live the lifestyle which He recognises as being holy right here and now in this life.
"Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of [YAHSHUA the Messiah] for the remission (forgiveness, washing away) of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy [Spirit]" (Acts 2:38 KJVER).
The Greek word translated repent in this New Testament verse of Scripture is metaneo, #3340. It means "to think differently or afterwards, i.e. reconsider. Morally to feel compunction."
The Collins Gem English Dictionary shows the word compunction to mean regret for wrong-doing.
Just like a person who is standing in a court of law listening to the charge(s) being read out to him, so exactly were those thousands of people who stood on that day of the Pentecost Feast of Weeks/Harvest listening carefully to the Apostles as charges of having committed murder was being laid plain before them. This charge of murder, they were being accused of, was for the death of our Savior.
As Israelites, knowing the commandments, they were fully aware that the penalty for murder is death and were therefore pricked in their heart (or their conscience was being taken into captivity) from what they heard.
While not being told that they are to literally face the death penalty for this crime, although is what this their action had deserve, they however realised that there must be something they must do. This their realisation, being convicted in their conscience, lead them to ask the Apostles, "...Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37 KJVER). The reply coming from the Apostle Peter (Kepha) to them was to "...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of [Yahshua the Messiah] for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy [Spirit]" (Acts 2:38 KJVER).
Earlier on, we saw the definition of the Greek word translated repent in this passage of Scripture that it means to think differently or afterwards. That is, to reconsider. In the moral sense of the word, it is to feel compunction. We also saw from the Collins Gem English Dictionary that compunction means regret for wrong-doing.
We see from the given definition and meaning of words that these thousands standing guilty before the Apostles for the death of our Savior were simply being ask to reconsider what they have done, that it is wrong, and to feel regret for having done it and to now think differently from the thoughts and acts of hatred and murder they have committed and nurtured against our Savior the King and giver of life. This is really what repentance is and the steps that one is expected to take when being told to repent from sin.
After having repented, that person must then seek to be baptized (immersed) into water by an ordained Elder/Pastor/Bishop for the remission (forgiveness, washing away) of sins, calling on the name of our Creator YAHWEH in His Son's name YAHSHUA which is the only name under heaven given among men that we can be saved from Yahweh's fiery judgement soon to be poured out on those who will NOT have repented from sin.
A close observation reveals that not only were those thousands of people told to repent but that after repenting, they MUST be baptized. The given reasons by the Apostles why they MUST BOTH repent AND be baptized (immersed) is just so that their sins might be forgiven, washed away and be given the Holy Spirit.
Someone who is interested in being baptized  in our Savior's name YAHSHUA for the remission of their sins MUST FIRST be CAREFULLY taught the steps that MUST be taken that leads to living a repentant life.
Upon proof that, that individual is indeed now practising Yahweh's commandments whole heartedly against which he lived his life in disobedience before, it is only then that such an one professing repentance from past disobedience to Yahweh's laws, precepts, statutes and judgements can be considered qualified to be baptized. Those sins which was once that person's way of living will then be forgiven or washed away (as far as the East is from the West) at baptism, NEVER again to be counted against that repentant and immersed individual while living his life in faith (obedience, trust, truth, confidence, belief, reliance) and repentance to our Creator Yahweh for the remainder of his/her life.
The importance of baptism (immersion) after repentance, on the other hand, is such that, IF someone who has repented from sin willfully refuses to be baptized for the forgiveness and washing away of those sins from which he/she has repented although having been taught and clearly understanding the importance and/or necessity for baptism after repentance, then this individual is still guilty of those sins, deserving the death penalty.
In other words, the person showing fruits of repentance, but will yet refuse to be baptized in our Savior's name, is now even the more guiltier for those sins than even before having repented, now that such an one is NO LONGER ignorant of the requirements of batism to fulfill all righteousness after our Savior's laid down example for us in Matthew 3:13-16.
Many of those hearing the holy spirit call to repentance and baptism, who were of a willing heart to have their sins washed away and now walk in the newness of life (2 Corinthians 5:17) and obedience to our Savior whom they had held hatred against and murdered, were therefore not reluctant to repent and have their sins washed away by way of being baptized (immersed) in our Savior's one and only name YAHSHUA:
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added to them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41 KJVER).
Yahshua our Savior who was being sacrificed for our sins, is our best example of faith, clean from sin, at a practical level, "who did no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth" (1 Peter 2:21-24), whose example we are expected to follow in deed and in truth:
"But whoso keeps His word, in him verily is the love of [Yahweh] perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1 John 2:5-6 KJVER).
May Yahweh increase your interest, knowledge, understanding and wisdom in His word and grant you an enduring strength, faith and patience to count it but a short space of time left to arrive to the scriptural age of accountability/maturity/adulthood of 20 years and above that you can be baptized (immersed) in the name of our beloved Savior and Redeemer YAHSHUA  for the remission (forgiveness, washing away) of sins.
 
 
In YAHSHUA's Love and Protection,
 
Augustus Paul
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