FAITH and REVELATION are activated by suffering

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mark 8:31

opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

Acts 17:3

In a world of Greek philosophical heritage in which we live, where the purpose of life is to seek and achieve personal happiness and well-being, a statement like the one proposed in the title of this chapter would surely offend more than one and could be taken as religious nonsense.

Why should the Christ suffer? Unlike philosophies and religions of higher social projection in history, where their doctrines are based on the realization of man by observing the theosophical rules compiled by their founders, Christianity does not depend on what man does to get his spirituality and eventual salvation. It is widely known that in the Gospel of the Kingdom, salvation is by Grace, Gift of God, and consists in believing in the name of Jesus, precisely to avoid anyone to glory in his deeds.[1]

The Gospel only asks to believe. The apostle Paul summarizes in this unique expression taken from the book of Deuteronomy[2]  the key to salvation:

that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:9

Simple. Believe and confess what is believed. Why then the need to suffer?

Man is a being that tends to gather all his knowledge and to reduce it to a systematic knowledge; by nature, he is very given to boasting about what he knows; thence, so that a knowledge that God gives him does not fall in the “library” of his knowledge, and the Revelation is lost, it is necessary for man to process his knowledge through “experiences” that lead him to put aside his tendency to boast about what he knows; in the process, man discovers God speaking to his spirit. The suffering that man faces is of the same degree as his resistance to depose his tendency to boast.

It was necessary for the Christ to suffer because only in this way man could understand the way of the Revelation of salvation, which is why we read in the epistles of the Apostle Paul that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. [3]   If there were no suffering, the doctrine of Christ would be reduced to theoretical knowledge only.[4]

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1st. Corinthians 2:14

Thus, suffering makes it possible for the knowledge acquired to be transformed into the Revelation of God’s purposes. It is not that we preach a doctrine of suffering, nor worse, that we exalt it, but it is the form provided by God so that by an attitude of submission to the Lordship of Christ, and by the decision to be participants in His sufferings, a person finds faith as a resource of trust in God; the apostle Paul established among the Gentile communities that it is necessary that through many tribulations we enter the Kingdom of God, note that according to the teaching of the apostle, to remain in the faith means to remain firm in the face of suffering.[5]

In the teaching about the life of the Kingdom set forth by the parable of the sower,[6] Jesus instructed his disciples that unwillingness to tolerate suffering for the sake of the Gospel causes the seed of Revelation and Faith to be lost. The seed that remains superficial on the road, together with the one that is choked by the rocks, and the one that is suffocated by the thorns, are the graphic representation of lives, although interested in developing a life of faith but unwilling to suffer for it; faith and Revelation are not the product of the theory of knowledge, but the experience of being participants in the sufferings of Christ;[7] in the experience of being ‘hidden’ in God is when the things are discovered that eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man.[8] A life based on the theory of knowledge is a life that lags behind and is immersed in religious rituals that only encapsulates its confidence in what it knows theoretically about God.[9]

It is not a matter of seeking and promoting suffering, life in Christ Jesus does not consist of suffering for the sake of suffering; the merit of the life of faith does not lie in pain. God determines which revelation needs to be processed by the experience of suffering, when it comes, not avoided.[10] The life of faith does not consist in reproducing stereotypical models of pietistic, silent, tolerant, medieval Christianity; the life of faith in Jesus Christ consists in activating in our own lives the conviction of Revelation that has been deposited in our spirit.[11]

The Revelation of His Word brings faith, but there are Revelations that need to be processed through suffering.

that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

1st. Peter 1:7

Faith is not a product of human endeavor; it is a spiritual virtue. God Himself subjects us to situations designed by Him to produce in us the Revelation of His Essence, and for us to believe in Him. It is not the logical, rational belief, product of the acquired knowledge, it is the Revelation of His Power, of His Sovereignty, of His Lordship, and through this Revelation the necessary Faith is activated to move us in His Grace.

15 who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 16 who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;

Deuteronomy 8:15-16

These verses are widely known in the religious media, but they highlight only the end result of God’s action: to do thee good at thy latter end, but they deliberately ignore the way God used to achieve that result. That’s why we have many frustrated, disappointed, bitter, and depressed believers today, denying their faith and blaming God for all their misfortunes.

If the Scriptures themselves testify that it is through suffering that the believer receives and develops faith, why then the tendency to avoid it.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.           

Hebrews 11:13-16

How much Revelation does God have for you? Suffer patiently the race that is set before you, seek neither merit nor gain nor recognition; let it not be said of you that it is lighter work to put a camel through the eye of a needle, …

All biblical quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Pastor Pedro Montoya

Twitter: @pastormontoya

[1] Ephesians 2:8

[2] Deuteronomy 30:10-14

[3] 1st. Corinthians 1:18

[4] Ditto 1:21-23

[5] Acts 14:22

[6] Mathew 13:1-23

[7] Philippians 1:29: For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

[8] 1st. Corinthians 2:9

[9] Mathew 13:19-23

[10] Ditto 10:38

[11] Jeremy 31:33

About the ministry

Treasure in earthen vessels is a ministry of doctrinal instruction and training, according to the teachings of Jesus set forth in the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.

We proclaim that Jesus the Christ is God incarnate, so that, through faith in His Name, and in repentance before Him, men and women may attain forgiveness of sins, and be reconciled to the Father.

Our work is to instruct and train men and women who seek to develop in the life of Faith, and to prepare in ministerial work those who have a call to ministry in the proclamation of the Gospel.

Our ministerial emphasis is on deliverance and spiritual warfare.


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