The Necessity of Faith

 

Is There Any Faith Today?

Jesus prophesying about His own return asks …when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8

Most do not have faith, the true faith that the Bible talks about and is necessary for salvation.

There are keys to obtaining this faith that we find in the Bible — we will go over some of that today!

If we do not build on a correct foundation, our framework for understanding will be wrong.

We covered part of that two weeks ago in the message on repentance  – that was changing what we have done wrong in the past.

Today’s subject has more to do with how we proceed now and in the future.

This is a very large subject and we are going to boil it down today.

Does God Want Blind Faith?

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

God is saying just the opposite here.  We are to prove everything — and we can!

But faith is not just saying “I believe”

What is Faith?

How does the Bible define it?

Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Though it is a system of beliefs, we will not be talking about this primarily today…though it does fit in because:

Faith is most simply belief

The Greek word for belief comes from the word for faith (according to Strong’s)

faith G4102 πίστις pistis
believe G4100 πιστεύω pisteuō From G4102; to have faith in….

To believe in God and that He exists is a small aspect of it.

But more importantly it is:

To believe God — to have trust and confidence in what He has instructed us to do and has promised what He will do.

Faith IN Jesus vs Faith OF Jesus!

The Bible uses both terminologies; some translations incorrectly use IN as opposed to OF (the NKJV) for example

Faith IN Jesus means that we believe that He came, He lived a sinless life, and died for us. This is definitely something that we need to believe in.

The faith OF Jesus

KJV Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Let me put it this way – which is the more significant; which would you rather have?

Faith IN Christ that He existed?

  • Islam has this belief
  • Some scientists do too

OR would we be better off with the same FAITH that Jesus had – the faith OF Jesus?

Christ was with the Father for eternity; they were putting a plan together that they both would execute; knowing with FULL ASSURANCE that They were going to do everything They said They were going to do. When on earth, He walked it knowing fully how everything was going to turn out. 

If you were Jesus would you have any doubt or fear that what God said was not true? How would you like to have that faith? THIS IS EXACTLY THE FAITH THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. The faith OF Christ.

Hebrews 11 Further Defines Faith

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is the ASSURANCE that you shall POSSESS what you HOPE for and
faith is the EVIDENCE you shall have it, even before you SEE it.

FAITH has to come before we actually receive what we hope for!

Romans 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

So IF faith comes before we receive something THEN it is a condition to that promise being fulfilled.

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Hebrews 11:14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.

What did they not receive that they continued to have hope for among other things:

  • resurrection
  • a glorified body
  • Kingdom of God
  • the inheritance of all things

How Do We Come by Faith?

It is a Gift of God

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

We must go to the source

Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

Through Learning God’s WILL

We need to learn about the object of our faith – that is God

We have His word. We need to learn about Who and What He is and what He expects from us

2 Timothy 3:14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
2 Timothy 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The BIBLE reveals God’s will. The Bible is full of promises—that He cannot and will not break. We can only claim a promise if we know what they are.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Faith becomes a part of us and the way that we think by the word of God — when it is read or expounded on correctly.  Important to hear and listen!

How Do We Know that We Have Faith?

If faith is the evidence of things hoped for, then what is the evidence of faith? How do we know that we have it? How do we know others have it? How does someone else know that we have it?

Since faith is spiritual and not discerned by the physiological perception how do we know if anyone has faith? Someone could just say that they have it and perhaps we would be none the wiser.

Well, there is a test for it!

The evidence of our faith is in our actionsOur works demonstrate our faith!

By our works or by others works we can know if they have the faith OF Christ that only God can give.

Belief Alone is Not Enough

James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

If we cry out to the Lord and say “I believe” this is not enough. Action follows true belief. IF we say that we believe THEN we do:

James 2:15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
James 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

It requires action to accompany it – otherwise it is dormant and lifeless

Faith is Not a Matter of Just Saying “I believe”

Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Faith Must Have Works

James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.

If we don’t act in accordance with the law, with what we know that God asks of us, then it makes our religion of no effect

James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

This is the proof that we have faith! Faith comes alive through works and it is complemented and made complete by our Godly actions! We see this in the next verse:

Faith is Perfected

James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” And he was called the friend of God.
James 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
James 2:25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith is belief, confidence and trust in what God says — so therefore we do what He says (the law in other words). Faith really then is the instigator for obedience to the law.

Faith and Law

Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. [make it stand]

The law is not done away with – it can’t be if faith is to be perfected and lawful works are necessary. A living faith is validated by works, which is the keeping of the law.

 Notice what is still being said in the very end:

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

To believe in God is just the beginning. This is the starting point! We must go on from there.
Faith is a deep conviction in Gods Word — That all He says is true.

Faith is dynamic. Not static. We don’t get it and that’s it. We grow in it. It is a living Faith able to grow. As we learn more about God’s way we can grow in faith.

Our faith becomes stronger as we diligently seek him and live by His ways!

 

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