Got Faith, Where Is It? part I
Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Romans 12:3For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
“Keep the faith” , “Hold on to your faith”, “My faith got me through”, “I have faith”; these are some of the phrases we have all used at one point in our lives. But what is this “faith” that we speak of and where does it come from? What does it mean to have “faith”? What does this faith compose of? A majority of the time our faith is in direct relationship to a given situation. So where does it come from and how does knowing that have an effect on how we walk in faith.
We live in a time where we are encouraged to exercise our faith in order to take over our lives. We are encouraged to use faith to become victorious over our circumstances. We are told that all that we need is faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains. We are told these things to edify and uplift us as our spirits are being broken in wealth driven world. Regardless of the purposes this can put us in poor positions with our relationship with our heavenly Father. Such claims can turn our faith and hope in to mere wishful thinking. Our proclamations began to sound more like affirmations and not supplications to the Lord. We are told that with faith nothing is impossible to overcome. This is true but what faith are we talking about? What is the source of this faith and what exactly are we having faith in? What is it that we are hoping to overcome and who is doing the overcoming? Our faith is so important to how we live, how we see ourselves and each other. Our Father tells us that without it we cannot hope to ever please Him. Not only that but without it we cannot be saved. Faith is such a critical component to Christianity; it can be synonymous with the Christian belief
Paul told the church at Corinth; “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” Being in the faith meant salvation, it meant trust in Jesus Christ to give us righteousness and to justify us before God. Being in the faith meant that we trust in God’s grace and we rest in His will. It meant that we submitted to the Father like children trusting in an earthly father. Just as kids trust their parents for the provisions, guidance, protection, and purpose for their lives until they were ready to receive their inheritance. The faith which pleases God can be found in the Lord’s Prayer. This prayer expresses a true faith as the believer puts God’s glory above all and trusts God for all things. The Christian inheritance is glorification at Christ’s return as we will be with him forever.
So how do we get this faith? Since only believers can believe or have faith. Yet we must believe in Christ to be saved; how does the sinner believe in order to show signs of faith? One sign of believing in Christ Jesus is to know who He is. As knowing Jesus as the Son of God and acknowledging him as the Christ is a sign of faith. As only those who are born again will and can confess the Christ.
Matthew 16:16,17 “Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”
Here Jesus tells Peter that, Peter himself did not know that he was the Christ but that God the Father revealed it to Peter. So here faith to believe was given to Peter. This is due to regeneration or being born again by the spirit. As God the Holy Spirit regenerates the heart turning the sinner from the flesh.
Romans 8:5. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
When we are sinners, our minds, hearts, and our will are slaves to the flesh. Being set on the flesh we cannot please God because we serve the flesh and are without faith to please God. As sinners we are enemies of God because there is nothing but darkness in us and the darkness hate the light. When you don’t know God, you can’t serve him, you don’t seek him, you seek only how to please yourself. As a sinner, we are just like the roaring loin as it was used to describe Satan as he roams the earth.
Phil 1:29 “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,”
Again here we see that our belief or faith was given to us but even more so the very situations, trials, tribulations, circumstances and the like that we are having “faith” in to overcome are also given to us. It is those very things we pray to overcome, that God uses to our benefit to bring us closer to him. He also uses them to mold and shape us into the image of the Son (Romans 8:28-39). God’s will is our sanctification, our ever growing holiness until we can be completely glorified (1 Thessalonians 4:3 ).
Our faith is from God and of God’s grace. Our faith reveals God to us so that we can have a relationship with Him. It is not the works we do that grants us access to the throne but it is faith by way of grace earned by the Son through his life, death and resurrection. The moment we attach our faith to situations, temporal objects, worldly successes and sinful people; Satan challenges it. If your “faith” only grows with the increase of stuff, Satan challenges it. He challenges it just like he did to Job before God. Satan challenges our faith because he knows something we refuse to learn, the very thing God continues to try to teach us about faith. This lesson I will discuss further in future posts.
- Why I Am Certain That Christianity Is The Only Way (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)
- Justification: The Beautiful Exchange (atruediscipleofchrist.wordpress.com)
- Faith or works? (media4lifeministries.com)
- The way of salvation according to Oneness Pentecostals REFUTED (listentothesoundofthesword.wordpress.com)