Correspondence School - Series 2 - Lesson 8 - Faith
- Download the 1972 edition of this manuscript in PDF format
- Download Charles Fillmore's personal copy of this manuscript in PDF format
- Download an early booklet edition of this manuscript in PDF format
- Download the Annotations in PDF format
- 481. Give a concise definition of faith.
- 482. Where should faith be centered?
- 483. In the creative process, what is the second day's work"?
- 484. What is the meaning of Peter's walking upon the water?
- 485. How is a consciousness of faith in God, the good, developed?
- 486. Why is it unwise to wait for a great consciousness of faith before using faith at all?
- 487. What results are obtained by man when he uses faith and love together?
- 488. Explain: "According to your faith be it done unto you." — Matthew 9:29.
- 489. What is the difference, if any, between faith and belief?
- 490. What place has faith in the ministry of healing?
- 491. What is patience? How is it related to faith?
- 492. Explain how an affirmation of Truth is "the prayer of faith." — James 5:15.
- 493. What is meant by the "trial of ... faith"? — I Peter 1:7 (A.V.).
- 494. What is it to have faith in God?
- 495. Why should man have faith in himself?
- 496. What is the basis for man's faith in himself?
- 497. What is the Christ righteousness?
- 498. How is the Christ righteousness established in man's consciousness?
- 499. Explain the relation that faith bears to the demonstration of eternal life.
- 500. Why should we have faith in all men?
Lesson1. What is faith as related to God? Show how faith functions as a faculty in man.
God is Divine Mind, which teems with ideas. Faith is an idea in Mind. Faith is one of man's twelve spiritual powers, one of his twelve mental faculties. Faith is man's spiritual eye. "Faith is the perceiving power of the mind, linked with a power to shape substance" (Prosperity, page 43). This "perceiving power," functioning as a faculty in man's consciousness, "sees" and "hears" the possibility, the potential, when there is no visible evidence of it in the manifest realm.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen. ... . By faith we understand that the worlds have been framed by the word of God, so that what is seen hath not been made out of things which appear" (Heb. 11:1, 3).
This statement clearly shows us that faith is not something that has to do merely with what is considered religious, although it has come to be associated with and limited to religion. Neither is the action of faith confined to spiritual realities. Faith operates in different degrees in all states of man's being, physical, mental, moral, and spiritual. It sets a law into operation for man that brings into actuality that upon which man has fixed his expectations. Ferrar Fenton's translation reads:
"But we shall not recoil with loss, but keep our lives by Faith; for Faith is that standing-ground of the hopeful, the conviction of unseen facts; and our fathers proved it."
Anything hoped for may become a definite substance, that is, it may become the pattern or mold that substance fills in order to satisfy the human need. Men live every day by faith; but it makes a great difference whether faith is centered in something external or in the omnipotent indwelling God. Faith has no opposite. That which men call "fear" is not the opposite of faith; it is simply the power of faith placed in evil, or in that which is not good. Jesus said to His disciples, "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22). In using the word faith, we need to be specific in stating what we are placing our faith in. Faith as a faculty of man's mind, like all other faculties, must be redeemed and trained to do its true spiritual work. (See Annotations for Lesson Six of Lessons in Truth.)
Faith lays hold on the good of which it is assured and brings it into manifestation. Faith is both vision and the power to manifest the vision. Faith is the faculty of mind "standing under" formed substance and is the formative as well as the sustaining element in all organized life. Faith gives men the endurance that makes them successful.
2. Show how faith is the second step (day) in the creative process.
In the first day's creation light was brought into expression. On the second day the firmament was made. Faith is the "firmament." There must be a firm place, a starting point, a mental perception established in consciousness. Originally firmament meant a prop; support; strengthening; literally, something solid, a foundation. After man has spoken "light"—conscious intelligence—into expression, his next step is to have faith in what he desires. What is perceived in the first movement of mind as an idea must be given substance in the second movement; it must become a firm or fixed pattern of thought, else there will be that wavering state which James likens to the "surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed" (Jas. 1:6). Our desire is the nucleus around which substance gathers. As we form a thought or a desire, the invisible "feelers" of faith are sent out into the omnipresent substance to contact just the elements or ideas necessary to materialize the desire—it is like attracting like and drawing it to itself. It is somewhat like the way the rootlets of a tree or plant reach out into the earth to draw sustenance that the plant needs for growth.
The office of faith is to give substance, body, or form to abstract ideas. Ideas remain abstract and formless until they become concrete through our faith. The greatest work of faith is to establish spiritual realities as concrete truths in man's consciousness and in his world by the use of the faith faculty. It is possible to have a reality and yet neither touch it, nor smell it, nor taste it, nor see it, nor in any way come into awareness of it in the outer realms. Faith is the wonderful faculty of mind that through use arouses and builds these eternally real, substantial, enduring spiritual qualities or ideas into the consciousness of man so that he really knows their source, feels their activity in and through him, and expresses and manifests them in all his thinking, feeling, speaking, acting, and reacting, in every phase of his daily life.
When the power of man's faith is centered in God as life, he feels healthy, he feels renewed in mind and body, he is energetic, enthusiastic, vitally alive and alert, he radiates health and wholeness. When his faith is centered In God as love, all inharmony in mind, body, and affairs is dissolved. The mighty magnetic power of love becomes active in him and draws to him all that is needed to satisfy every need. Peace and prosperity are established in his consciousness and he is blessed in every department of his life. To release and express the qualities of which our spiritual nature is composed, we must first have faith in them, we must have faith in our godly nature that we have inherited from the Father. "For he that cometh to God must believe that he Is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him" (Heb. 11:6).
Peter represents faith in its development in man's consciousness. At first Peter was changeable. We have learned that faith is the perceiving faculty of the mind, the "single eye." Peter was the first to perceive Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and later to understand Christ in all men as the Son of God. The true character of faith was not yet formed in Peter's consciousness when he tried to walk on the water. Peter was impulsive; he started out on a blind use of faith. He had an instinctive trust In Jesus and a love for what Jesus taught and the example that He set the disciples. But Peter had not as yet established faith in God in himself as a concrete idea. Peter could perceive the possibility of his walking on the water; he had the expanding vision. But the expanding vision of the idea had not yet been given substance, body or form; it was not yet established in his own consciousness. He sank in the waves of doubt because his dependence for dominion and authority over the water was on the man, Jesus, on something outside of his own being. All power is vested in the Page 3 mind and heart of each individual, and man must have faith in his indwelling Christ before he can make use of it and prove his spiritual faculties. Men have experiences similar to Peter's when because of doubt they sink in the sea of limited thought.
3. How is one's consciousness of faith increased?
A consciousness of faith in God is developed by use, and there no reason for neglecting this talent even though at first it may seem very small, perhaps only an impulse. Mighty works may be done through even a small realization of faith. "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" (Matt. 17:20). This use of faith must be unwavering, rooted in divine substance; it must be strong enough to build a consciousness of the one Presence and one Power, God, the good omnipotent.
4. What results are obtained by man when he uses faith and love together?
If even a little faith in God is put to work, it will grow; everything that could hinder its perfect expression would be removed. Paul gave to the Galatians a wonderful secret of demonstration when he told them of "faith working through love" (Gal. 5:6). Faith and love are ideas in Divine Mind. They are "brothers"—a team that working together perceive and attract the good. The use of the faculty of faith is developed more from the feeling or love side of man's nature than it is from the intellectual or reasoning side. One of the greatest obstacles with which man has to contend in his unfoldment is placing the power of his faith in evil, or what is commonly called fear. Fear has been built into the race consciousness; thus, it is also inculcated early in the youthful mind. Too often man lets this emotion of fear rule his life: fear of lack, fear of disease, fear of old age, fear of death, and the like.
In an emergency this inherited fear or faith placed in evil may again and again prove stronger than man's faith in God, or good, which he had hoped might sustain him. In any case where faith in the good cannot be put into action readily, there should be strong affirmations of divine love. "Perfect love casteth out fear" (I John 4:18), There should be a letting go of every belief or fear of evil, enmity, condemnation, resistance, and other adverse thoughts, and a belief in the goodness of God and the goodness of all God's offspring should be affirmed and established in consciousness. If a person's awareness of faith is weak and wavering, he should frequently remember God's love for each and every child of His; remember that with God all things are possible; that God's purpose for man is that he should express the perfect love that God is. Then faith will work, for "love never faileth" (I Cor. 13:8).
Jesus laid great emphasis on faith. In all His ministry He declared faith to be the means of healing: "According to your faith be it done unto you" (Matt. 9:29). "Thy faith hath made thee whole" (Matt. 9:22). "Great is thy faith: be it done unto thee even as thou wilt" (Matt. 15:28).
5. Explain the Scripture promise, "According to your faith be it done unto you" (Matt. 9:29).
All who study faith from the standpoint of God as Divine Mind know that "According to your faith be It done unto you" is a law of mind action. Faith, as one of man's mental faculties, is his ability to make substance active in his consciousness. The more active that substance is in his mind, the greater and the more abundant are its manifestations. Those who believe in disease as a reality receive according to their faith, for they have lowered their consciousness from the spiritual realm to the mental, where the law of mind is operative as cause and effect; that is, "like begets like."
We live by faith. Manifestations in our life are produced by our manner of thought, according to whether we center our faith in material things, in other persons, in external means, or in the life, love, intelligence, and substance of God. A large part of the human family has not yet heeded the call, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee" (Eph. 5:14). This part of the race regards material things as the source of supply, disease as a reality, death as a certainty, and regulates life after this plan. We let go of our faith in Christ when we allow our attention to be fixed on negative appearances. Our use of faith is thus perverted from its true center and cannot then do its perfect work. It is Peter declaring, "I know not this man" (Matt. 26:74), thus denying the Christ. Even as Peter had to be redeemed and to declare his love for the Master and accept the commission "Tend my sheep" (John 21:16), so must our use of the faculty of faith be redeemed and trained to do its true spiritual work.
If a person is bound in the race belief in evil, he is set free and healed only as he changes his faith to "There is but one Presence and one Power in the universe, God, the good omnipotent." Man must be rooted in the idea that God is good. Faith in the good, based on the understanding that only the good is true, will place one in that harmonious mental state where he can direct and order his affairs and establish them in righteousness. The good that we desire is ours only when we lay hold of it by faith. "All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine" (John 16:15), is always true, but it must be brought into expression and manifestation through faith. If we are willing to accept Jesus' teaching on faith, we can get results even though we have not yet proved or gone through all the steps that lead to knowledge. If a child will accept the statement that three times three are nine, he can go ahead and work arithmetical problems to a correct conclusion without its being necessary for him each time to prove that this is so. An untrained person can press the button connected with the electric current and get just as much light or power by so doing as can the skilled electrician. He does not 'know all the steps that lead up to the getting of light or power, but he can investigate that later; in the meantime, he has the light or the power to use.
6. What is the distinction between "faith" and "belief"?
Jesus said to His disciples, "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22), or according to some translators, "Have the faith of God." This means more than mere belief, more than just a mental acceptance. It is the very substance of that which is believed. It is not sufficient just to believe: one must act on one's belief, one must think, feel, act, and react according to one's belief. This belief then expands into faith. One's awareness of faith grows by living words of Truth that are received into consciousness, where like seed in good soil they germinate, grow, and bear much fruit. Or like the leaven placed in a mass of dough, they enliven and enlighten the whole of man's consciousness. This is why affirmations are used. By affirming Truth and holding steadfastly to the statement, the word or seed idea is received into the human consciousness, which acts as soil in which the see idea may germinate.
“If you abide in me, and my words in ask what-so-ever you will and it shall be done unto your” (John 15:7)
Jesus understood the power of affirmative thinking. John's Gospel gives Jesus’ doctrine or teaching, and a study of it will show how Jesus constantly and positively identified Himself with His Source. Many persons are of the opinion that when they affirm something to be true, they make it so by their affirming. Such is not the case. Affirming is for the purpose of training man's mind into right habits of thought. We do not affirm in order to be made strong, healthy, or prosperous, but rather to let these qualities that we already have in Truth come into visibility in the external. Unless we have faith in our affirmations, we can expect small results from them. If we cannot have full faith in them at first, we can say them in the assurance that because they are true of us as spiritual beings, Spirit will quicken our faith as we continue to use them.
Our consciousness of faith (or use of the faculty of faith) is strengthened by words that are based on Truth, and through this faith our prayers are answered. Our faith that a statement is absolute Truth starts it into operation for us. Often what is declared in a statement of Truth is not completely believed by the affirmer. Anyone can repeat words in a parrotlike manner, but that does not produce the desired results. The affirmer must be certain that the words are true, that they are true of him as a spiritual being, in which case he will not only think the Truth but will also feel, speak, act and react in accord with what he affirms. "Faith is the result of many affirmations. Each affirmation helps to build up a substantial, firms unwavering state of mind, because it establishes Truth in consciousness" (Keep A True Lent, page 143). Man must affirm and reaffirm until the word or statement has been firmly established in the mind, both consciously and subconsciously, thus becoming a part of himself. Not before Truth is thus established in man does it become an activity of faith; and when it is thus a part of his consciousness, nothing can prevent what he has declared from coming into manifestation.
7. What place has faith in the ministry of healing?
In modern usage the words belief and faith differ chiefly in that belief suggests little more than intellectual assent. Faith goes beyond intellectual assent in that It involves a positive agreement between the mind and the heart, the thinking and the feeling action of man's mind.
One may believe with the intellect and yet not have effective faith. This intellectual assent is what is referred to in the story of the child that Jesus healed of the evil spirits. When asked if he believed that the healing could be accomplished, the father replied, "I believe; help thou mine unbelief" (Mark 9:24), that is, "Make my belief into an active, working faith." "Faith, if it have not works, is dead in itself" (Jas. 2:17). One may believe intellectually yet be prey to doubts and fears. Faith is believing to the point of action. One may accept intellectually the truth that God is good and that good is all there Is; yet if he thinks and talks of evil as if it were a reality and acts as if that were so, he is not made perfect in faith.
"Simple belief in or assent to the truth of a proposition never gave understanding to anyone. There must be mental action; organic changes in the mind are necessary before the new state of consciousness takes up its abode in you" (Talks on Truth, pp. 143- 144).
When Peter said to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt. 16:16), Jesus replied saying, "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church (Matt. 16:18). The perceiving power in Peter recognized that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Jesus responded by saying that He also recognized that same Christ, the Son of the living God in Peter. This revelation of Truth direct from the Spirit within us that we are sons of the living God, that we are also the Christ, is the rock, the firm place in consciousness, from which we begin our conscious, spiritual growth and unfoldment. Peter, representing faith, opened the door of his consciousness for this revealment of Truth.
"It was this same Spirit of truth in Peter that perceived the Christ . . . This revealment of Truth direct from Spirit is the rock upon which the one and only church of Jesus Christ is built. All other authorities are spurious" (Talks on Truth, p. 103).
Faith, active in us, opens the door for such a revelation of Truth in us. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him" (Rev. 3:20).
Peter is often pictured as carrying the keys to heaven. "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matt. 16:19). In other words, faith in God opens the door for the revealing of the Christ in us, our true nature, the rock, or the foundation upon which our spiritual consciousness is built. Our expanding consciousness of our true nature Is heaven. Faith in God holds the keys to this consciousness. Faith is the faculty of mind that is the deciding factor that binds us to the formed realm (the earth) or it looses us into the unformed, the limitless good (heaven). Faith enables us to put all the powers of our mind and body in the right relation to one another so that there may be a harmonious working of all powers. Faith is the "inner eye" that enables us to look through conditions and see the Christ shining through. Faith holds the key that unlocks that which is bound in mind and restores body and affairs to a perfectly coordinated whole.
8. What Is patience? How is it related to faith?
The writers of Scripture closely associated patience with faith, and the experience of all demonstrators of Truth proves that these two qualities belong together. There are many who confuse resignation with patience. However, patience is not a negative, surrendering state of mind. It Is poise, a positive, restful trust in God—a quiet waiting for what is expected in the continuation of what has been begun. Patience is born of, or has its foundation in, faith. "In your patience ye shall win your souls" (Luke 21:19). That Is, through steadfast faith in your indwelling Christ you shall be victorious in unfolding the fullness of God. "In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isa. 30:15). True patience is nonresistance; it is having faith in the love of God instead of fighting for our rights. It is the outcome of knowing that divine justice cannot be defeated, and that no human power can keep from us that which is truly ours. "Let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire" (Jas. 1:4), is just another way of saying, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalms 46:10). It is the quieting of the person- will.
Faith sees all things as already fulfilled and accepts them as desire calls. The attunement of the consciousness of man to the Chi I Spirit through which man receives enlightenment may be called intuition* Intuition gives forth the inner instruction or illumination that reaches the human consciousness as faith. Intuition awakens and makes the faith faculty active, and faith is always active in the now. "So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17 A.V.K Faith comes by living so close to the indwelling Christ that we listen to the inner voice and are obedient to its promptings, the Word. Affirmation is the act of mentally claiming that which has been perceived and rightly desired. Affirmation is the constant repetition of Truth to the human consciousness until it becomes alive or takes hold of the feeling nature and becomes a habitual activity in consciousness. When man has perceived what is his by virtue of his divine heritage, he should strengthen his vision by affirming until he has built a solid foundation on which his consciousness may rest and be sustained. Faith in God as his strength and support is the measure of man’s capacity to receive ideas from God substance. The more of his consciousness a person puts into his affirmations—that is, the more he feels their truth—the more fully does he experience their quickening power.
In the King James Version of the Bible, Peter writes about the "trial of your faith" (I Pet. 1:7), and this has been interpreted in such a way as to give a feeling of dread. This feeling of dread has been eliminated in the American Standard Version by the use of the word proof instead of the word trial. "Trial" might be feared, but "proof" carries *an altogether different suggestion. "This is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4). Earnest, sincere persons often wonder why they do not demonstrate Truth. It is because they have perception and a certain intellectual understanding of Truth which have not as yet been transformed into faith. Not just mental perception but faith overcomes the "world." What is seen and believed, that is, what we perceive and give intellectual assent' to, must become living substance. It must become a firm state of mind in us, an organic realization, part of the feeling nature. What we need is an understanding faith, faith based on knowledge of and obedience to the laws of Being (God), the spiritual laws that are known as living principles in our consciousness, and not merely faith as a religious term.
Indefinite or, as some would say, blind use of faith produces varying results. While it perceives, to some extent, it does not have clear vision—it gropes its Way. Faith in God as a general proposition is all right, but it is lacking in conviction, because it is regarded as a power that is outside of the consciousness, and faith is then more of an instinctive trust in a generalized God living somewhere, who is asked to bring the good from somewhere to the one asking. Man must have faith in God within himself or his faith in God Is not complete. In solving a problem, man may stumble onto the correct answer without knowing how he did it. This may satisfy for the occasion, but It is of no practical value, as the person is not _ able to duplicate the process in solving another problem that arises. A use of faith that does not include the key to the law of mind action cannot solve all problems and thus it is not a substantial faith. It is an instinctive faith that needs to be supported and sustained by its very necessary partner, understanding.
9. Why should man have faith in his own spiritual integrity and that of every man?
Understanding faith, as a working power, is the acceptance of, and belief in unchanging, never-failing Principle in man. Man must have faith in God as his Father, the source of all his good. Then he must have faith in his own spiritual integrity as the offspring of God. This latter is a very important requirement. Without this perception, this vision of himself as a son of God, there would be no foundation upon which to build a consciousness of his true nature. Without this consciousness nothing of spiritual value can be manifested. Understanding faith appreciates the nature and value of each and all of the underlying principles of Being (God), and all the ideas of Divine Mind. Understanding faith knows the action or the laws that govern the use of these principles or ideas. It understands that "like begets like," and that only good can be produced by God. Understanding faith does not depend on instinctive trust for accomplishing results. This faith embraces conscious acceptance as well as an instinctive acceptance of good only because it partakes of reasoning as well as of feeling.
Man does not develop understanding faith quickly. It is attained through study, knowledge gained step by step, observation of and experience with the law, thus proving all that we have accepted. A consciousness of understanding faith is developed through much prayer, affirmation, and meditation. The more intelligent a grasp we have of creative law and how it works; the better understanding we have of the value and nature of the underlying principles of Being (God), the greater is our power to demonstrate. The full knowledge of any principle and an understanding of the laws that govern Its use inevitably open the way for the increase of Its fruits. Use is the law of increase, and as man uses divine principles (ideas) he becomes so familiar with the working of ideas that so-called problems hold no terror for him. They are welcomed as opportunities to prove the law of God. "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (John 13:17).
Man as the offspring of God is a composite idea of all that God is. Spiritually he is the creative law of God in action. A person must have a consciousness of his spiritual identity, a certain integrity to hold him firm and steady amid the winds and waves of negative thought. This Is illustrated in the case of a person who is misunderstood, as Jesus was. When condemnation comes upon anyone from without, he is apt to be beaten down in humiliation and grief unless he has a strong consciousness of his own spiritual integrity. If this consciousness is very strong, if he has great faith in his righteousness—not the righteousness of the limited personal man, but of the Christ indwelling—he can go safely through such an experience, often unmoved by it. This is a very practical demonstration of faith.
Paul wrote much about "the righteousness of God through faith" (Rom. 3:22), and a whole lesson might profitably be devoted to this phase of faith's activity. "As through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life" (Rom. 5:18). To justify Is to vindicate; to maintain or defend as conformable to love. The law of God is the orderly working out of the principles of Being (God) or the sum of divine ideas. In man, we call this law the Christ, the Word.
Righteousness denotes the understanding and right use of the essential principles of Being (God) that may conform man's life to spiritual law or exhibit his likeness to God. In the story of creation as told in the first chapter of Genesis, it is stated that God pronounced His creation "good" and "very good." In Divine Mind all ideas of man and the universe are perfect spiritual patterns, and partake of the nature of God; therefore man and the universe are in essence perfect. To man, the composite idea, was entrusted the expression and manifestation of God's ideas. As man was created in the image of God, he has the power to make images, power to set into operation mental laws of cause and effect that may limit him if he lacks understanding. The mental causes that he sets into operation produce "after their kind," good or bad. When these causes are bad much inharmony and lack of coordination appear in man's world.
Righteousness as applied to the Christ principle or law of God means Justice, faithfulness, and wholeness equally for all parts of His Being. Righteousness as applied to man signifies the purity, holiness (wholeness) that man must attain in his consciousness if he is to manifest what God ideated him to be. In the Old Testament the word translated holiness has reference to a state of purity or righteousness. In the New Testament the word righteousness has reference to a right attitude of mind, one that is poised and centered in Christ for the perfect working out of spiritual principles. Spiritual law does not necessarily mean moral law. 'Spiritual law includes but goes beyond moral law, even as the teaching of the New Testament includes but goes beyond the doctrines of the Old Testament.
10. Explain the relation that faith bears to the demonstration of eternal life.
Before Moses projected the moral law, the patriarchs lived by faith. We read that Abraham's faith was counted to him for righteousness, and he was called "the friend of God." So, our faith in God will also be counted to us for righteousness until such time as we understand spiritual laws sufficiently to work them out perfectly. Man can dispel all disharmonies that he has brought about by denial and by having faith in his Christ righteousness. Then he must conform all his thoughts, feelings, words, and deeds to that standard. Through prayer man builds a consciousness of eternal life. Through the Christ Spirit he sets into operation for himself "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:2). Man must be thoroughly conscious of I AM or spiritual law in order that eternal life may be manifest in him.' Jesus said, "Whosoever liveth and believeth on me [I AM] shall-never die" (John 11:26).
The epistle to the Romans is a forcible, logical argument for the "Christ righteousness." The teaching is that through Jesus Christ a new race has to come that shall bring forth the fruits of righteousness. There is no way to. bring our own "Christ righteousness" into expression and manifestation but by having faith in It, no matter what appearances may be. This is one of the most important teachings of the Scriptures because the good that we so much desire to manifest depends upon realization of our indwelling righteousness. Life never ceases; man simply loses his conscious hold on it by losing faith in it.
When man's consciousness is filled with the realization that within him is the individualized Christ life—life eternal—-he permits it to flow freely through his body and to function in every part of his organism. When we fail to exercise our ability to perceive the good that God has for us, the plan of which our very nature Is composed; when we begin to contemplate decline in life activity, we reverse the machinery of our being. The law of our being is growth. f unfoldment, fulfillment in perfection, not decline and decay. When we fall into the habit of thinking only on the good of the past, failing to see the present and future good that is ours as sons of God, we are letting go of faith in God indwelling. We are not exercising our ability to perceive the good, and the idea of eternal life has no substance in which to become rooted in our consciousness. "He that hath the Son hath the life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life" (I John 5:12). As man's awareness of faith in the Christ life indwelling grows, man is freed from disharmonies in his physical body. Faith in the Christ life causes the subconscious functioning of the body to become sensitive to the divine, to become less carnal in its appetites, and to show a steady progress toward a final demonstration of eternal life. Through faith man becomes eternally alive in God.
There should be faith in the spiritual integrity of every man, based on the understanding that all men are the offspring of God. No man who has true faith in his own indwelling Christ can fail to have faith in the Christ in every man. After all, the Christ within every man is but an individualization of the one cosmic Christ of the universe—the expressed life of God. Just as the blood circulates throughout all parts of the physical body, so does the life of God circulate throughout the entire body of humanity as the Christ Spirit. To have this faith is to rest securely in the faith that we are all one great heavenly family, and that eventually we shall all arrive at that estate now held by Jesus Christ, "the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom. 8:29).
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is a rich study of faith. Commencing with the definition of faith in the first verse, the writer takes his readers from the very beginning of the history of man to his own times and shows how faith works its wonders in every age. As the writer of Hebrews said, so can we say today that time fails us to tell all that applied faith is accomplishing in our everyday life.
This lesson was transcribed on April 20, 2021 by Coy Brock.