The Way For Students
by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Section 1. Life Of Faith (Part 1)
1. What Is Faith
1) The Meaning of Faith
You have to find the root of love, namely the love of God. St. Paul said: "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." (I Cor. 13:13) What is faith? In Chinese characters the character shin means "faith." If we remove from the shin-character the in-character meaning "person" (a human being), the eon-character meaning "word" remains. Then, faith means "person's word." And words mean to form a relationship between two people. If there is no relationship there is no talking. Therefore when we speak, the reciprocal basis must first exist. And to form a relationship we must have faith.
From where does such a basis come? It comes from ties that come to exist through love. But those ties cannot be formed at will. They are formed because first the conditions for the power to form such ties existed, and the basis of each other's goal could coincide. (20-25)
What we call faith is to pursue the personality of a true person. Furthermore, attaining such a personality is to lead a life of faith. The Korean word for faith is shin-ang. In Chinese characters, the character shin (faith) consists of the left-side radical "in" (a person) and the character "eon" (a word). Furthermore, the character "ang" (to have respect) is also written with the left-side radical "in" (a person). The ang-character also includes the aspect of a person: it is the way to go centered on a person. "To respect" does not mean respect towards oneself but rather towards a highly regarded object. From such a perspective we shall attain true words. A life of faith is for the purpose of bringing a direction though those words. (10-28)
When we think about this thing called faith, it's object is not one person, but God. It is the way to go having God as the object. In other words, there will be a relationship of subject and object between God and myself, and all that is done by the subject reaches the object and everything realized by the object must be connected to the subject. Without such a relationship you cannot become a person in harmony with God's will (40-276).
2) The Necessity for Faith
What would have happened if Adam and Eve had not fallen! They would have reached the standard of God and formed a trinity with God. And the children born from this would have become sons and daughters all able to go into the Kingdom of Heaven. In that case why should they need prayer or religion? The word "faith" would not have been necessary for human beings. Can a person believe in his father in religious terms? Why should we regard our father as a savior and beg him to save us? We can, simply suddenly dash into his bosom and sit on his lap, and even pull his beard. In whom should we have faith? (22-283)
When we come to build a nation and world after first becoming ourselves as individuals, couples, parents and filial children of whom heaven can be proud, then religion will not be needed any longer. Such nouns as faith and savior will become useless. Then within the sphere of not two but just one unified destiny, God will make a new start of expressing His glory in man for the first time (3-62)
When we look at the present time, both God and humankind hope and long for, and pursue a better reality. They hope the times to come can be better than the times up until now, and that the situation in the future will be improved from now on. At this point the question about faith arises.
What we believe in and hope for is not yet the reality. It is something for the future. Hope itself is not aimed at the present reality. It is something we will inevitably face after a certain time period. Accordingly it is true that we hope, believe and wish (inside ourselves) our actual situation would be better, and we seek to improve it. (27-94)
2. The Purpose Of Faith
1) What is the Purpose of Faith?
The most important thing for a believer is a clear goal. "Whatever the circumstances I will walk this way" is such a clear goal, When this goal becomes vague, our life as a believer crumbles and no matter how firmly we are determined we will have no connection whatsoever with the purpose. What does it help to determine oneself hundreds of times without a purpose? The way to come even a step closer to the goal is to set a goal clearly and then determine oneself one hundred times. It is of no use, no matter how determined we are, if the goal is not clear. (27-101)
What is the purpose of faith? It is not to be devoted for the sake of the world, but rather to possess the part left unfulfilled by Adam and Eve before the Fall and to set a standard of having fulfilled it.
What do we have to do in order to restore past mistakes? We have to reverse those mistakes. From where must we start that restoration? First is the word, second is character and third is heart. (24-104)
What did Heaven want from us in the 66 books of the Holy Bible? It is the word given for the sake of making and finding a true person.
What is then for us the purpose of following and keeping the word? It is for the sake of becoming the way, the truth, and the life like Jesus. What shall we do after fulfilling the words of Jesus? We'll become his bride. That is the highest purpose of a believer. Therefore it is written that we will act as kings together with Christ in the last days. It is a reciprocal relationship. (8-316)
2) The Goal of Our Faith
The goal of religion until now has been individual salvation. Devoted believers have also kept their own individual salvation as the purpose of their faith, thinking that they might enter the Kingdom of Heaven as an individual. They could not have even the notion of the salvation of a family, a tribe, a people, a nation and the world. What is the basis of the very start, enabling the salvation of a family, a tribe, a people, a nation and the world? It is the salvation of a family. The national level providence cannot be run unless a victorious foothold (stepping stone) is made to enable the foundation of family salvation to be firmly established on the earth. Therefore religion has dispersed in all directions, and while being chased away and blamed by the nation it has been preparing such a foundation. But it has taken responsibility for only one side, the spiritual realm. (32-241)
That is the goal of our faith. just by believing you think you can go to heaven? Just by determining to go to heaven do you think you can go? Do you think you can just sneak in through the gate of heaven when, in contrast, in places like government offices you have to repeat whole procedures even for just one spelling mistake? Absolutely not.
You cannot enter by any external conditions. You can enter the Kingdom of Heaven through heart. In the world of heart, as time and space are transcended, there is neither progress nor retrogression. There are no fixed outlooks or patterns either. It is the only place where there are alpha and omega, the beginning and eternity. (7-225)
3. Life Of Faith
1) Definition of a Life of Faith
You easily view things this way but within your self, there is a general ideology of creation. Therefore, the value of your global life must appear. After that, the value of your individual life will be established. To seek out this value of life, living one's life is precisely what is meant by a life of faith. (2-9)
A life of faith is the pursuit of the world of eternal life. Faith is the pursuit of the eternal love of God. In order to bring together eternal life and eternal love, the way of faith is that which seeks the point where not two joys but one, as God's joy and your joy, meet together. Therefore, to what degree we ourselves, who are living a life of faith, have a developed love and power for life, is the most important of all matters. (32-19)
A life of faith is one of synergy. (31-226)
2) The Primary Point of a Life of Faith
Religion is that which brings God and humankind into relationship. How is that relationship forged? Through love. Under what conditions would those ties of love come into being? Not through master and servant relations, and not even through the relationships of a nation with its people. Then, through what relationship? Through the relationship of parents and children who can say God is my Father. A noble life of faith is one in which we can say, "God is my Father. God cannot but love me even if He dies!" It is a life of faith that can say, "I will love even if my head is cut off." (32-249)
The supreme creed of faith is: "Have absolute faith in God! Convert absolutely to God! Stand absolutely centered on God!" These are the supreme creed of every religion. Next is, unite completely with God's principle, which is His law!
What is goodness? What is the best kind of goodness? It is recognizing the center as the highest standard, and taking responsibility to live up to it. Who is the highest being in the cosmos? God. Therefore, do your best for God. This is the first creed of faith. God's victory includes the whole cosmos. Therefore you all must do your very best, even blindly. Someday everything will be resolved. In these days you have to sacrifice yourself.
Today how should we believers lead our lives? We don't need a changing ideology; we need to restore unchanging relationships. These relationships are not isolated from each other; they are all connected as a whole, and all related to God.
3) The Starting Point of Faith
The Unification Church is in its youth. When in human history has mankind ever faced God centered on the youth? You know that Adam and Eve fell when they were young. Satan has been proud of dominating Adam and Eve since they were young, through their adulthood, middle age and old age. But has God ever been proud of these ages? Has God ever had a time to be proud of people in their youth, young adulthood, middle age and old age? He never had such a time when He could take pride in people through these four ages.
The way of faith doesn't belong to old age. Do you follow me? Ideal faith should begin at a very young, energetic age. Youth is the best, most valuable time. It's the time of blooming, the time of fragrance. When young people appear as soldiers to build God's nation, full of God's love and fiery passion and centered on God's ideology, then the new world of hope will unfold.
The starting point of belief is not in the external world but within the conscience. We need faith, centering on the conscience, to deal with higher questions, not with lower questions.
4) The Method of the Life of Faith
A man of faith must go the way of truth. He must seek the way of God. Because we cannot conquer Satan's blood which is flowing in our veins, religion commands that we confront Satan directly.
Let's say there are two stones of the same kind. One is on top of a mountain, the other is in the mud at the foot of the mountain. The stone on the mountain top could roll down to the bottom, but the stone at the foot of the mountain cannot go up. Fallen mankind is in this position, unable to go up. Unless somebody pulls you up, you cannot go up.
What can I say? When you build a cable car, you need to build supports and facilities, then when you turn on the switch the cable car goes up with creaking sounds. Like this, God created religion as the means of pulling people up. A life of faith is suffering. Suffering. Hold on! If you let go, you will die! You will be shattered! That's how it is.
It's no use to say, "Oh, I can't do this by myself. Mother, Father please help me!" No one can help you. You have to hold on tight. How tight? Until you are welded to the cable that is pulling you up. Even if your hand breaks, it would not complain. You have to try that hard.
Our life of faith should be one of a unified conclusion. Our life faith should be sincere and serious.
We must breathe in order to live, and we must provide our body with nutrition. If we provide less nutrition to our body today than yesterday, it can cause trouble. If we provide better nutrition than yesterday, our body will become healthier through its own natural processes. This is the basis for new advancement.
Likewise, in your life of faith you need nutrition. Keeping this attitude is like normal breathing. In your life of faith you have to have a standard of what is normal to provide you with life energy. When you have such a standard you will receive proper nutrition. How can we get nutrition? How can we set up the channel of supply to receive normal nutrition? How can we get better nutrition than before? These are the questions.
In our life of faith we feel joy only when we advance and move forward. So we have to think every day how to build up this progress.
Not to satisfy your own personal desire, but for the bigger purpose you have to sacrifice yourself and serve in your life of faith.
5) Faith Requires Experience
We believe that God is love. The gospel teaches that God is love. Then how much have you absorbed God's love in your heart in your life of faith? Have you ever shared the heart of God, looked at the history of His resentment, or worried about his unfulfilled will? Have you ever experienced the sorrow and pain that God has endured in His efforts to find and restore lost mankind with a heart of love? His sorrow and pain have been greater than His joy and happiness. You have to experience this kind of heart.
We Unification Church members know this through the principle of restoration. We have to experience God's heart deeply in our life of faith. Not only in name, but truthfully and really we have to experience Heavenly Father. We have to shed tears in embracing God's heart, which was filled with sorrow in the Garden of Eden as God watched the fall of Adam and Eve.
Then you have to experience the deep resentment God felt as He watched Cain kill Abel. Sixteen hundred years after that God called Noah, and four hundred years later He called Abraham. After another four hundred years God called Moses. Sixteen hundred years later God called Jesus. Through this sorrowful history, the central figures of each age, the saints, sages and ancestors struggled and battled. You have to experience the deep sorrow of God's heart as He witnessed all these things.
You must experience the heart of sorrow of the historical providential central figures representing God through 6,000 years of history. Humankind, living on earth today, must experience this sorrow for their sake.
Experiencing a life of faith means that when God is happy, I am happy too. When God is sorrowful, I am sorrowful too. We have to be that kind of people, with that kind of attitude, resolving God's sorrow and sharing our joy with the world. If we are that kind of people, this world will be restored through us.
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