THE WAY OF FAITH: 1 Timothy 1:4
“4) … rather than furthering the administration of God, which is by faith.” 1 Timothy 1:4
We now have a clue of the battle waging in the church in Ephesus. The whole foundation of faith was under attack. The New American Standard Bible 2020 translation says, “which give rise to useless speculation rather than advance the plan of God, which is by faith, so I urge you.”
Faith can be undermined by legalism, self effort, religious rituals or intellectualism. “God” can be reduced to mere ideology and mental reasoning. These four tendencies all side step a dynamic relationship with God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
My two favorite Scriptures to combat these tendencies in my personal life are 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 and Galatians 3:1-5. Take a moment and read these verses. They are amazing and stretching.
Both of these texts stress the point that God wants our faith to be anchored in His active power and grace. He wants our relationship with Christ to be dynamic and not passive. He wants intimate fellowship with us that adorns our life with His constant power, glory and presence.
They both stress the point that God wants to lift us to His reality rather than leaving us to the natural tendency of reducing Him to our small boxes of naturalism, humanism, psychology, dead theology, legalism or religious rituals. All of these tragically minimize God and takes Him prisoner to religious speculations. Listen to me; “God” can be reduced to an intellectual concept rather than the living and active Being who created the universe.
Timothy was left behind to fight this drift among the believers in the church of Ephesus. The presence and power of God are accessed by dynamic faith and not by mere intellectual reasoning or good religious deeds.
Here is the challenge, the living, active and powerful God wants to be present in our daily lives in all of His glory, but we often stuff Him in our small box of religion and open it only when we are in crisis or in need of a favor. This is totally dysfunctional but is the natural tendency of all people.
Biblical faith is the opposite of this tendency. Biblical faith removes the boxes and invites God to be God. Biblical faith aligns human experience to the power of God and His sovereignty. Biblical faith liberates Jesus to be Lord and positions us as His servants. Biblical faith pursues the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Paul left Timothy behind in Ephesus to teach them the way of faith.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global