Posted by: Nito | January 14, 2017

Mathematics of Faith – Part 1 (Unbelief Makes Faith Ineffective)

In physics, force is defined as a push or pull exacted by one object upon the other. Force is always a resultant of two objects interacting with each other. When there is an interaction between two objects there is a force exacted upon each of them. No interaction, no force.

When applied, a force does a work. It will create a displacement (i.e. movement) of whatever it is applied to (i.e. point of application) in the direction of the force. The work is then calculated by multiplying the amount of the applied force with the displacement that was observed. For example, if someone jumpstarts a car, the performed work equals the product of the force that was used to push the car and the distance that the car travelled until it was jumpstarted. This can be expressed with the following formula:

work-formula

If we assume that a ‘work of faith’ is also a type of work, we could use the above physics formula to express the amount of work done by each ‘work of faith’.

When God and man interact, the resultant force that goes out of a man and is directed toward God is called faith. God responds with grace, which causes the displacement that occurs in both spiritual and physical realms. It is not man that causes this change (i.e. displacement), but God causes it because of man’s faith. Man cannot do anything by himself; change is always originated by God (John 5:19-20).

But Bible also tells us that faith is an active component. It could be said that man’s faith is a force that materializes things that exists in the spiritual realm and makes them real to our physical senses. It pulls things from the spiritual realm and forces them to exist (i.e. become real) in the physical realm as well (see Hebrews 11:1-3).

So, if we take faith to be a force and if we would also label the spiritual and physical changes that occur in man’s life as a ‘mountain’s move‘ (see Matthew 17:20) we could write the expression for the ‘work of faith’ as:

work-of-faith-formula

In this formula we see faith and grace working together. Faith is the component that comes from a man and grace, here represented by ‘mountain’s move’, is the component that comes from God. Hence, work of faith involves the application of both faith and grace; without one or the other no work of faith could be done.

If a man doesn’t have faith he won’t experience the works of faith in his life. A special case of this is if man doesn’t even believe in God. Because man thus refuses to interact with God the result is that no faith would be present.

On the other hand, if God wouldn’t give grace, not a single person would be able to experience the works of faith. But Bible tells us that God has already made provision, He has already extended grace for every request we would make! Second Peter 1:3 says, “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (NKJV, emphasis mine).

So, because God is God, He has already blessed us “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3, NKJV, emphasis min), and we don’t have to worry if God is going to do His part. The grace part is already executed and the mountain has already moved as far as God is concerned.

The Bible calls this ‘predestination’, which means that God, being eternal, already knows who would ask Him what (in Jesus’ name), so He has already prepared the grace that is required for all the works of faith we would ever “perform”, or it’s more appropriate to say, we would ever ‘walk in’ (see Ephesians 2:10).

Therefore, the only missing component is man’s faith. And if we look again into 2 Peter 1:3 mentioned above, it says that God has given us all things, but we have to know this. If we don’t have the knowledge about God, we won’t be able to step into the works He has prepared for us to walk in. Lack of knowledge is one thing that can cause our faith to be ineffective. There are also other things that can make our faith ineffective, but collectively they are known as ‘unbelief’.

There is a story in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9, where disciples couldn’t cast a demon out of a boy suffering with epilepsy, but Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and the boy was healed. Disciples wanted to know why they couldn’t do it, so Jesus told them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20, NKJV).

Here we see that to move a mountain a very little force of faith is required. But Jesus also said that in a man also operates an opposing force of unbelief, which is able to neutralise the force of faith. Because disciples had unbelief they couldn’t cast the demon out of the boy.

We usually think that our unbelief is not such a big showstopper, because nothing could stop the Almighty God, right? However, even Jesus couldn’t do mighty works where man’s unbelief neutralised their faith. Scripture tells us, “Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58, NKJV). This just confirms that for the works of faith to be realised, apart from God’s ever-present and ever-ready grace, man’s effective faith has to be put into operation.

Romans 12:3 says that God gave to every man the same measure of faith. If we label this measure as ‘Faith’ (i.e. capitalised), we can write the expression for man’s ‘effective faith’ as:

effective-faith-formula

And substituting that into the above equation for the work of faith, we get the following:

work-of-faith-with-unbelief-formula

Now this expression shows us that the only variable that affects the work of faith is man’s unbelief, which reduces the effectiveness of the Faith God has given him and stops the mountain’s move from being manifested.

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Responses

  1. […] one of the previous posts a mathematical expression was proposed which shows that unbelief reduces the effectiveness of […]

  2. […] let’s revisit the mathematical equation introduced in part 1 and express with formula the interaction between faith and fear. They are the opposite forces and […]

  3. […] measure of faith or it’s all about making our faith effective (Philemon 1:6)? If you read part 1 of this series you know that both of these premises are […]

  4. […] So that his or hers faith becomes ineffective and no works of faith are performed (see part 1). […]

  5. […] For example, if we fight for our healing, we could miss it through unbelief, but also if we give up. The same is true for every blessing that Jesus paid for. By His sacrifice He already made a provision for us, and all those blessings are made readily available in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 1:3). However, we have to reach out with our faith and pull them down into the material world (see part 1). […]


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