"Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith."
What is Faith?
is conviction of truth without tangible proof
. The Bible says that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"
(Hebrews 11:1). To have faith is to believe God's Word before it comes to pass. The acronym for the word faith
says it best: Forsaking All I Trust Him
Hebrews chapter 11 pays tribute to many Old Testament heroes of faith such as Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Joseph, and Moses. These men and women were strong in faith, and out of their faith came strength to endure suffering, obedience to God's commands, hope of a coming Messiah, and patience for a heavenly country. "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 earth"
The writer of Hebrews exhorts us to imitate the faith of those who have gone before us (Hebrews 13:7), because we, too, must "walk by faith, not by sight"
(II Corinthians 5:7). When we encounter the wickedness of society or feel the pull of the world to conform us to its system (Romans 12:2), then we should cry out to God: "Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner"
(Psalm 39:12; also see 119:19). We who are
born again do not belong to this world, for our citizenship is in heaven
(see Philippians 3:20). Jesus said, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you"
(John 15:19). Because this is true, faith is absolutely essential for our journey.
Biblical Admonitions About Faith
The Bible is full of verses about faith. In it we discover the following:
In addition to the scriptures mentioned above, there are hundreds of other verses which clearly show that faith is absolutely essential to the process of our salvation.
- Faith is a gift of God. "According as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).
- Without faith we cannot please God. "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" (Hebrews 11:6)."For whatsoever is not of faith is sin"
- The just shall live by faith. "For therein [in the Gospel] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith"
- We are made righteous by faith, not by keeping the Law. "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe"
(Romans 3:22). "And be found in him [Jesus], not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" (Philippians 3:9).
- We are justified (declared righteous) by faith, not by works. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ ...
for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16).
- We are sanctified (made holy) by faith. "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me"
- We become the children of God by faith. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus"
- Jesus Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love" (Ephesians 3:17). "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" (Galatians 3:22).
- The Holy Spirit is received by faith. "Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:2). "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:14).
- God's grace is received by faith. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God"
- We increase our faith by hearing the Word of God. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (II Timothy 3:15).
- Hearing the Word does not profit without faith. "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it" (Hebrews 4:2).
- Faith works with God's love (agape). "And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14). "Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned" (I Timothy 1:5). "And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing" (I Corinthians 13:2; also see Galatians 5:6).
- Faith is our shield against the lies and attacks of evil. "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" (Ephesians 6:16).
- Faith is what makes us overcomers. (Revelation chapters 2-3 and 21:7 lists the rewards promised to those who overcome.) "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I John 5:4-5).
- Faith must be held fast to the end. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you [act] like men, be strong"
(I Corinthians 16:13). "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses" (I Timothy 6:12).
For example, it takes faith to believe the Scriptures; it takes faith to believe that God exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him; and it takes faith to seek a heavenly Kingdom
when the world tells you to store up treasures on earth and seek the comforts of life now. "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"
(II Corinthians 4:18).
A day is coming when "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad"
(II Corinthians 5:10). The Bible says that those who have done good will rise to the resurrection of eternal life, and those who have done evil will rise to the resurrection of condemnation in the lake of fire (see John 5:28-29). Without some evidence that our faith in Christ was real and genuine, we shall only rise again to be condemned.
is the 4th Bible teaching (4 of 12) in our Salvation Plan
series. Please take the time to read our next biblical teaching in the series entitled Obedience
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