Worship Times

Sundays    10:30 a.m.
                    4:00 p.m.

Today's Verse


Faith

 

Faith is defined in the dictionary as: Conviction of the truth of anything. In the New Testament it is belief in respecting man's relationship to God and divine things. Generally speaking faith includes the idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it. This is why we read in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Faith is a subject that is very popular in the world. In fact, we often hear people talking about having faith, or not having faith, in this or that. But of all the things that a person can believe, the most important of all is what one believes about God, Christ, the Word of God, the Lord's Church, salvation, heaven, hell, etc.

Of course, faith is something that enters into all human relationships. It doesn't matter whether it's family, social, educational, business, or governmental. Faith is a fundamental principle in all walks of life. However, faith in the spiritual realm is accepting what God says, not because one likes it or feels that it's right, but because God says it's true. The apostle Paul said of Abraham that he was "strong in faith." In the next verse Paul described Abraham's strong faith by saying: "And being fully persuaded that, what He (that is God) had promised, He was able also to perform" (Romans 4:21).

Faith is a principle running throughout all systems of religion. In fact, our faith is the principle upon which God accepts and blesses us. And this principle has continued from the days of Adam to our present time. Since Paul records in 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; That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works," then it behooves each of us to believe the Words of GOD WHO CANNOT LIE (Hebrews 6:18).

In Romans 10:17 it reads, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." A faith that will save a person is a belief in the testimony of God's Word, the Bible. But a faith that merely has an intellectual accent or psychological condition, has never been sufficient to bring the life of that person into acceptance with God. This is why we read of a WEAK faith (Romans 14:1), and a DEAD faith (James 2:17). Faith must be a living faith that continues to grow in order to benefit the person. It must be faithfulness and fidelity to God. It must be a firm allegiance of duty to God and implicit trust in Him. You see, a real living faith hears what God says, does what God bids, and then trusts God's promises. No wonder Jesus said (Matthew 15:7-9) to a bunch of religious scribes and Pharisees who had been tampering with God’s word, "Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’"

Distrust of God’s Word in the Garden of Eden, was the starting point of man's sins, and this attitude toward the Word of God continues until this day. But belief in the Word of God is the turning point for a person's salvation from sin. This is why we read in 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."

There are several questions that arise with the subject of faith:

1. When does faith save?

2. How does faith save?

3. Are we saved by faith only?

First, "When Does Faith Save?" The Bible teaches that a person is justified by faith when that faith causes him (or her) to obey God. This is why we read in Romans 5:1 "Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." But how is this justification completed? In James 2: verse 24 it reads, "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." Now please don't misunder- stand this scripture. The Bible is not talking about all "works", or works in general, but notice Ephesians 2:10, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Also the Bible teaches that our hearts are purified by faith, for we read in Acts 15:9: "And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith." But again, "How is this cleansing of one's heart accomplished?" In 1 Peter 1:22 it reads, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

Secondly, "How Does Faith Save?" Faith must always manifest itself in doing the works commanded by God in His Word. When our faith thus demonstrates itself in loving obedience to that Word, then we are saved by faith. In fact, we hear Jesus say in Matthew 7:21 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devil? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Yes, we can become so involved in professing religion and Christianity, that we forget and omit the Will & Works of God.

Thirdly, "Are We Saved By Faith Only?" There are many who believe in God (and Jesus Christ) in a vague, general sort-of-way. But they need to nurture that faith through the reading of the Bible until it is strong enough to lead them into action. This is why Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." When faith leads a person to turn from the sins of the world -- he has repented. When faith leads a person to confess his faith in Christ before others (Matthew 10:32-33, Acts 8:36-39), and puts on Christ in baptism (the new birth, Galatians 3:26-27, Acts 2:37-47, Romans 6:3-14); then that person has the security of being a child of God, and is an heir of eternal life. Thus they are to walk in newness of life as a Christian, and member of God’s family.

Not only is faith the initial step towards obedience to the Lord, but it is also the abiding principle that will last as long as one sojourns here in the flesh.

In Eph. 4:5 we are told that, "There is one faith." Also we read in Jude, verse 3, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

Today we see "many faiths" preached and praised. In fact, you will find that most people are offended and become angry if anyone questions their faith with the word of God. Instead of seeking the truth of what God says in His word about a question, people often do things based on their personal wishes and desires. This then results in "many faiths". Such a question as "How many churches did the Lord build?" is answered in (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:20-23; & Ephesians 4:4). Other questions, such as: "What shall we do in Christian worship?", "The morality of life", "Our commitment to Christ", "The completeness of God's revelation", and other matters of faith must be answered by God's Word.

Now, How do we know that the Lord loves us? The Bible tells us so! How do we know that faith and works of obedience to the Word of God are inseparable? The Bible tells us so!