Why does Jesus require "experimental belief"





I was laying on a surgical table in my doctor's office some years back to have a cancerous cell cluster removed from my face caused by sun damage.   My doctor had just finished giving me a local anesthetic by a hypodermic injection into sensitive flesh. I was stressed out more by the shot than the surgery. He sensed my tension and started idle chat about the Los Angeles Laker's  basketball team.  I wasn't that stressed about the surgery or the possibility of the doctor leaving some hideous scar on my face, because I knew from talking to my wife that he was a revered, highly respected surgeon and yet wanted to be a general practitioner. Over the years, we'd become friends. He was the man God used to get me off the path of alcoholism by telling me a year or so previous that I wouldn't make it to age 50 without being on a Liver Donor list and certainly wouldn't make it to 60 years if i didn't stop drinking.

As I listened to his rantings bout the Laker's problems, I wanted to go beyond chit chat and figured this would be a perfect moment to get some gems from this special man.  So, I said, "Doc, can I ask you a question?" 

 He said, "Sure, just don't ask me to explain why Shaq puts up with Kobie's antics." Or something like this.

I said, "Someone told me I was really lucky to have you doing this work. They were told by a certain, highly respected doctor that you were probably one of the best, naturally selected surgeons around and yet you choose to still keep your general practice and do surgery on a case by case basis or so." 

He chuckled like a country school boy and said, "Oh, well. I wouldn't know about that."

I asked, "But how did you learn these skills so well? And why not be a permanent surgeon?"   I expected him to evade the question by graciously accepting my compliment, saying he had no idea or something,  and then quickly  move back to the Laker's . But he didn't.  He focused on the learning aspect and never addressed the reasons he still had a private practice. 

 "Let me tell you," he said as he methodically worked on my face. "All the book learning does not a surgeon make.  It's all about Watching, Doing, and Showing. I was fortunate to have had a great teacher show me, but more importantly require that I do what I was shown.  The real learning is in the doing and the experience of it. We're then required to show others what we where shown and this is important to learn even better.  " 

He then elaborated on how learning by the experience of doing, even making mistakes, implying experimenting,  is the only way to really learn something. 

I said, "That is really the only way to really learn something, isn't it?"

"The ONLY way!" he said emphatically. 

I don't know why but that has stuck with me ever since.  

In my walk with Jesus. I'm finding more and more that Jesus requires me to learn the same way as my doctor friend.   Jesus is all proving himself to me by the life and breathe of the Holy Spirit which brings me into and through true life experiences learned through actual life trials and testing and tribulation that honestly I feel like I'm a living experiment.  I call it experimentation to experience the existence of what was once only hypothetical in nature. I.E. Reading about the trials of Jesus and the saints in the Bible then finding myself going through actual life drama myself. * 1 

Jesus requires, compels me by the power of the Holy Spirit to take what's written and to move on this information by empirical  methods * 2, meaning to prove it by experimenting and experiencing..  This means I'm compelled by His grace to walk and live in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Romans 2:1  And  "The letter kills but the spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:6, meaning that the written scriptures are dead but only the Holy Spirit bringing Rhema (see my Blog Divine Wisdom).  Only belief in something without experiencing it is only superficial and God never deals with the surface but goes to the inner man to do his working.

The Bible tells us that the just shall live by faith. (Hebrews 10:38; Romans 8:17) But, it also warns us that once we've laid our hand to the plow (a plow means working, doing something) that if we turn back,  we're not fit for the kingdom of God; i.e. we have to take our faith go where it physically leads us in life and not turn back, shirk back. (Luke 9:62)  We must take that faith and put  it to work.  Faith without works is dead.  Meaning, we gotta practice, experience what we believe.  (James 2:24) * 3

Truly,  whatever God wants us to learn, He will give us plenty of opportunity to do it, to experience it, and how ever many times it takes before we've learned,  he'll take us back to that point a hundred times. God is patient. 

As Oswald Chambers says, "God does not ask us to DO the things that are naturally easy for us - He only  asks us to DO the things that we are perfectly fit to do through His grace, and that is where the cross we must bear will always come."  

My prayer:  Dear Heavenly Father, by your great grace and mercy I ask in the name of Jesus Christ , through the Holy Spirit, that I may live and walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Amen.

NOTES:


Note 1:  Experiment means doing a test to examine the validity of a hypothesis, determining something previously untried. Experiment:   a. A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy of something previously untried.

b. The process of conducting such a test; experimentation.
2. An innovative act or procedure: "Democracy is only an experiment in government"(William Ralph Inge).
3. The result of experimentation: "We are not [nature's] only experiment" (R. Buckminster Fuller).
intr.v. (-mnt) ex·per·i·ment·edex·per·i·ment·ingex·per·i·ments
1. To conduct an experiment.
2. To try something new, especially in order to gain experience: experiment with new methods of teaching.
Experiment means doing something to prove a hypothesis.  the same as Experience gained by doing.  A student driver could spend hours in the classroom learning about how to drive a car, but until they actually sit behind the wheel and move the vehicle can they learn. 

Note 2:

Empirical means - provable or verifiable by experience or experiment. 

The word empirical denotes information acquired by means of observation or experimentation.[1] Empirical data are dataproduced by an observation or experiment.
A central concept in modern science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. It is usually differentiated from the philosophic usage of empiricism by the use of the adjective empirical or the adverb empirically. The term refers to the use of working hypotheses that are testable using observation or experiment. In this sense of the word, scientific statements are subject to, and derived from, our experiences or observations


Note 3: 


James 2:24, not by faith alone

The scriptures clearly teach that we are saved (justified) by faith in Christ and what He has done on the cross.  This faith alone saves us.  However, we cannot stop here without addressing what James says in James 2:24, "You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone."
There is no contradiction.  All you need to do is look at the context.  James chapter 2 has 26 verses: Verses 1-7 instruct us to not show favoritism. Verses 8-13 are comments on the Law.  Verses 14-26 are about the relationship between faith and works.
James begins this section by using the example of someone who says he has faith but has no works, "What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works?  Can that faith save him?"  (James 2:14).  In other words, James is addressing the issue of a dead faith; that is nothing more than a verbal pronouncement.  It is empty of life and action.  He begins with the negative and demonstrates what an empty faith is (verses 15-17, words without actions).  Then he shows that that type of faith isn't much different from the faith of demons (verse 19).  Finally, he gives examples of living faith that is words followed by actions.  He writes of Abraham and Rahab as examples of people who demonstrated their faith by their deeds.
In brief, James is examining two kinds of faith: one that leads to godly works and one that does not.  One is true, and the other is false.  One is dead, the other alive; hence, "Faith without works is dead," (James 2:20).
Also, notice that James actually quotes the same verse that Paul uses to support the teaching of justification by faith in Rom. 4:3.  James 2:23 says, "and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘and Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'"  If James was trying to teach a contradictory doctrine of faith and works than the other New Testament writers, then he would not have used Abraham as an example.


http://carm.org/verses-showing-justification-by-faith

Comments

  1. Randy the Lord showed me that without the experience there is no testimony. He showed me in a dream once not to talk about football. Well of course not, I don't know anything about football but there I was in the dream talking to some man and rattling on about something I knew nothing about. It is a very important principle of God for sure!

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  2. I have run into a lot of brick walls in my life (experience) and I have learned greatly from running into those brick walls. Pain is a harsh schoolmaster, but we do learn from this pain. Book learning is good, but then we have to engraft that book learning with experience, so that we can grow spiritually in our Christian faith. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

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  3. Amen Sarah, Great point, testimony is experience. God doesn't want fakes, wanna be's, or posers. He wants his saints, tried, tested and standing as a testimony. I remember on a stormy day in Virginia Beach, standing with my two sons on the beach with their surfboards getting ready to go into the pounding surf. Pretending to be of their ability, they're both great surfers, I said, "Ok, let me show you how this is done." My oldest son laughed hysterically and said, "Poser!" I asked what's that mean. My second son said, "Someone who pretends they're a surfer by trying to look like, talk like, act like but they can't." The paradox in the Christian walk is accepting without seeing and believing (faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen) and as soon as we believe what we can't see, God says, "Ok, now put that faith to work, so you can really learn about walking in the spirit. Amen.
    Yes, Tim. Pain is indeed a painful schoolmaster. But once we've been through the experience and learned what we're meant to learn, we really have learned it well. Love the scripture you've used, "WORK OUT your salvation with fear and trembling." God takes this very seriously... He does indeed expect us to work out what we've been taught by the letter. I believe working out is in effect, walking in the spirit, walking (literally) by faith. Amen.

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  4. Faith ,I know From Past, Very Important thing You are praying for,Your Believing God to Bring About,Everyone around say's give up But in your heart you Believe God, It is just before "Time's Up ,You say Jesus will come,& He does at the last Minute,Very last Minute,is it to make you stronger during Ur Faith wait,Jesus Could have come The Moment you called out, but the wait in faith & Believing made you stronger yet IN FAITH BELIEVING Its From Sherrie don't know how to put Pic up It's Just me not Robot

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