FAITH, BELIEVING GOD (IT IS SO)

We are going to look at a subject that is often preached in our churches.  In fact it may be one of the most preached subjects.  It is certainly one of the most precious and wonderful truths for the believer. But the reality of FAITH is a truth that is often elusive to us.  It is there but we struggle to grasp and experience it as it is spoken of in the New Testament.
We talk and aspire to live a life of faith. Those tremendous words are repeated four times in the Bible:

(Romans 1:17) “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

Are we living: better yet, do we live by faith? I think we could talk about FAITH for the rest of our lives, we could study it every time we meet and not exhaust it. With that said, I am afraid that today is another meager attempt on my part to improve our understanding about what faith is to the believer.

In reality we could very simply define the believer in Jesus Christ as  “a person of faith,” or “one of His faithful.”  But what does that mean? It all boils down to; a Christian is someone who believes God. His faith, his belief is in God.

George Mueller wrote, “Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.”

THE HEART OF FAITH.  HEBREWS 11:1.

IT IS THE BASIS OF THE CHRISTIAN’S EXPERIENCE.

It is the “substance”-the basis or foundation of the hope we have as Christians. The Christian’s faith is far more than a mere concept or ideal. A concept or ideal will not get you through the tough times. It is far more than the world’s definition of faith. Concerning spiritual things it is the settled assurance in the trustworthiness of God’s promises.

OUR HOPE OF SALVATION.  We believe Ephesians 2:8-9.

(John 6:47) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

OUR HOPE OF DAILY LIFE.  Hebrews 10:38.

God has designed it for the Christian to live in continued confident obedience to God. Trusting Him daily, no matter what. No matter what anyone or anything tells us. We might call it faith in operation .

I read of a Christian farmer who was constantly mocked by his lost neighbor because he would not work on Sunday, he always went to church, and gave his tithes and offerings to the Lord’s work. At the end of a poor harvest season the non-Christian said to him, “Where is your God now? He has certainly failed you.” “No,” the Christian said, “my God does not close His books at the end of the harvest.”  Hebrews 11:6. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Faith is the atmosphere in which the Christian lives and breaths. Faith is as the oxygen that fills his spiritual lungs. 1 Corinthians 5:7 “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

OUR HOPE OF ETERNITY.

John 3:16. “Whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

IT IS THE BASIS OF THE CHRISTIANS’S CONFIDENCE.

“Evidence” or the proof.Definition of faith – to believe or trust something. The dictionary says faith is, complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

A Christian is convinced that God cannot lie. We believe what He says by faith.
(2 Corinthians 4:18) “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

THE TRUE CHRISTIAN’S FAITH IS IN GOD AND WHAT HE HAS SAID.

Our faith begins with the ability to believe God for our salvation but as we continue in Christ our faith grows, is strengthened, is continually reassured and takes on a certainty. But, dear friend, you will not have that certainty without an intimate walk of faith in Christ.
How do we walk? “by faith, and not by sight.” If you live the Christian life with the physical eyesight you would have packed it in right out of the starting gate. The fact is, life has set backs and disappointments. That is when we come to grips with the question, Do I trust God, not only when things are “good” but when things are at their “worst?”

IMPLICATIONS OF FAITH. HEBREWS 11:2. “ For by it the elders obtained a good report”

THE PROFESSION OF FAITH. “Obtained a good report”

The testimony of these saints obtained something for them. What was it? A good reputation.
The words “obtained a good report” mean “witnessed to.”  It is one word in the Greek, from it  we get our English word martyr. Their faith witnessed a good report for them.
QUESTION: AS WE CONSIDER OURSELVES, WHAT REPORT HAS OUR FAITH OBTAINED FOR US? Examples, Hugh Latimer and the Ecuadorian Missionaries.

THE PRODUCT OF FAITH.

True faith always produces something.  It accomplishes something.  We call Hebrews 11 the faith chapter, but it is also the “WORK” chapter of the New Testament. The two will always go together. That is the message of the Epistle of James. Where there is true faith, it will do something. James 2:20, “Faith without works is dead.”

Examples from the chapter.

Vs. 4 – By faith Abel offered.

Vs. 5 – By faith Enoch . . . pleased God.  Gen 5:22 “Enoch walked with God.”

Vs. 7 – By faith Noah . . . prepared an ark.

Vs. 8 – By faith Abraham . . .went.Etc.

You go on to read this chapter and see that inevitably faith produced something in the lives of these saints that believed their God. True faith is not passive it is an active thing. True faith gets God’s will done on earth.

THE POSSESSION OF FAITH. The importance of living in faith.

FAITH IS THE ONLY WAY TO PLEASE GOD. Hebrews 11:6 “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
ANYTHING DONE OUTSIDE OF FAITH IS SIN. Romans 14:23 “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

THE POWER OF FAITH.  1 Corinthians 2:4-5. Our faith rests in the power of God.

IT HAS POWER TO SAVE.

(Romans 1:16) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
(John 1:12) “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

IT HAS POWER FOR THE WARFARE.  1 Timothy 6:12. “Fight the good fight of faith.”

IT HAS POWER FOR LIFE. Hebrews 10:38. “The just shall live by faith.”

IT HAS POWER TO KEEP US.  1 Peter 1:5. “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.”

Remember our God is fully able to keep us. By faith we believe that. Paul declared, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”  2Timothy 1:12.

THE ACQUIRING OF FAITH.

Faith is not something we can muster up on our own.  We tend to try to do just that.  “I MUST HAVE FAITH!” “I have got to believe.” That kind of faith, produced in and of ourselves is why we struggle so with finding the true victory of faith.

JESUS CHRIST IS THE AUTHOR OF FAITH. (Hebrews 12:2) “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”

B. FAITH COMES THROUGH THE WORD OF GOD.  Romans 10:17. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Through the ministry of the Word of God, (the preaching reading, proclaiming of God’s Word, faith is received. I do not understand that, I cannot line that out for you, I’m simply thankful for it.
Somehow in the mysteries of God’s workings as we hear the Word of God, He gives the ability to receive it and believe it. As we then believe what God’s word says; we are then brought to conviction of sin, our need of a Savior, and ultimately and finally our receiving of Christ. When you receive Christ by faith at that moment the life of faith begins.

C. FAITH IS JESUS CHRIST IN US.

Faith is not just an idea, or a simple word, or even a philosophy of life.  Faith is Christ living in us.

Galatians 2:20. look at that verse. There is another whole message of faith here. Today, just let these words settle in. Whose faith do I have?  The faith of Jesus Christ IN ME.

CONCLUSION: BELIEVER: Are you having struggles in your faith. Hear and receive from Jesus Christ through His word. The disciples once asked Jesus, “Lord increase our faith.”
It is a fair request for us today. Remember the distraught father who brought his sick daughter to Jesus. “LORD I BELIEVE, HELP THOU MINE UNBELIEF.”
LOST FRIEND: He said, “he that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” “I came to seek and to save that which was lost.” The Bible says, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”  Acts 16:31.

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