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                                                                     BIBLE STUDY - FAITH.

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’. This scripture describes the convictions that are part of saving faith. It teaches that; firstly we must believe in the existence of God and; secondly that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. This teaches us that if we ask anything according to what God's word says, He will give it to us. We do not have to ask for it on the basis of if it be thy will Lord, but according to thy word Lord. If we know God's word then we know His will and we will not ask for anything that is not in line with His word. This stresses the importance of God's word always abiding in us. If it is and we are also abiding in Him we will always get what we ask for, John 15:7, ‘If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you’. God is glorified in His promises being fulfilled in our life.

 

Faith means abandoning all trust in our own resources and laying hold of all that God promises in Christ. But the important thing we must always remember is that none of God's promises can be done unless the conditions are complied with first. To be able to operate on this faith level requires that we be totally consecrated to the service of God and completely yielded to the authority of Jesus and His word. Faith is the fruit of our consecration and slackness. Acting out our faith is simply taking God at His word and doing it. Faith is believing in the infallibility of God's word. All we have to do is meet the conditions. We must believe totally in the testimony of Scripture, and in so doing we release the creative power of God's word over all the circumstances of life.

 

Faith without works is dead because faith is acting upon what we believe. If we say we believe something but do not act upon it that is dead faith, James 2:14-20, ‘What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Verse 17, ‘Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? This does not contradict Paul's teaching that we are justified by faith alone and not by works Romans 4:1-25; Ephesians 2:8-9. Paul is referring to initial justifying faith whereas James is referring to the faith we demonstrate by our works after salvation. Christianity demands works of believers Matthew 5:14-16; 16:27; Ephesians 2:10; 1Timothy 6:17-19; 2Timothy 3:16-17; Titus 1:15-16; 2:6-7, 11-14. Christians are not justified by works but because we are justified by faith we do the works. This proves our Christian dedication to God's service.

 

Abraham demonstrated his faith by his works. He believed God and he acted on that belief and proved his faith. Had he not obeyed God it would have demonstrated that he had no faith in God or His word Genesis 22:1-18. Abraham's faith was made perfect in God's sight by his works - being prepared to sacrifice Isaac as an act of obedience to God. God expects the same of every one of us who say we believe in Him and His word. This is a very important teaching for the Church and carries with it a grim warning we must all heed. We are only deluding ourselves if we believe we please God yet are not walking in faith and trusting implicitly in His word, Romans 14:23, ‘And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not

 

of faith is sin’. Faith can only come by being completely surrendered to God and open to being taught by the word like King David in the Psalms.

 

Faith acts on God's word. We have all been given a measure of faith, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3b, ‘but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith’. It only remains for us to exercise that faith by acting upon what we say we believe of God's word’. Remember, the works that combine with our faith to maintain our justification before God are simply acts of faith which are required of all believers. What we receive from God will only be what we claim of His promises by faith. Christians should never sit under any teaching that could undermine in any way their faith in the power of God's word to fulfill itself.

 

Healing is not only about restoring health to the one who is sick. It is also a sign to awaken others to a consciousness of the presence and the power of God, and to raise their faith in Jesus. Many Christians do not act out their faith because of their fear of failure, yet if they would but speak God's word over the situation in faith they would have the same result Peter had at the Gate Beautiful. Ephesians 2:8, ‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God’. Also, we have been given a measure of faith for our Christian walk Romans 12:3. What we have to address here is how to act out that faith in our walk as God would have us do. We rested our faith on the reliability of God's word for our salvation, why can we not accept it the same way after we are saved?

 

Preaching the gospel, casting out demons, healing the sick are also works of faith in obedience to God's word Mark 16:15-18. Jesus said here in verse 17 "These signs shall follow them that believe". He did not say "These signs shall only follow the Church leader, the preacher or anyone else in public ministry", but the ordinary, everyday, tall, short, fat, thin, old, young, male, female, black, white, Jew, Gentile believer. They might become Church leaders and preachers, etc, eventually, but they are ordinary believers in the first instance and they are the ones Jesus promised that signs would follow. Whoever fits the description of any of the above believers will have signs following them if they will but act out their faith. Remember, we do not do these works in our own power. It is God's responsibility to fulfill His word once we speak it out in faith Mark 16:19-20. We only have to take God's word at face value and do it like Peter did to see the fruit it will produce in our life. The more we do it, the more fruit it will produce.

 

Believers cannot afford to be satisfied just to be saved. God has delivered us from sin and its effects upon us in order that we might enjoy the way of life He has designed for us, Colossians 1:9-14. But it must be a life of continuously exercising our faith. God wants us to reign as kings with Him in this life. We are not meant to be sick or defeated by our circumstances. There is no glory for God in that as we have seen throughout this study, Romans 5:17. Good health, healing, prosperity and victory for the Christian is for now. This is proof that the abundant life Jesus promises us in, John 10:10, is for this life, not the next as so many would have us believe. If we truly believe in the finished work of the cross we can never settle for less than the best God has provided for us in His perfect plan of salvation through the precious blood of Jesus. The sad thing is that the great majority of Christians are still standing at the foot of the cross waiting for Christ to be taken down. Their consciousness is fixed on the Christ who died, not on the Christ who lives, who is seated at the right hand of God in heaven. They have not yet accepted all the salvation benefits He has purchased for us with His blood. They do not understand that the empty cross represents our victory in Christ now. It is ours to possess and enjoy, and reveal to the glory of God in this life, not in the hereafter.

 

IN CONCLUSION:

 

People sometimes wonder about faith. The average person who seeks to exercise faith depends upon what can be seen, heard or felt. So faith is connected to feelings, emotions or various senses. Sense - faith is then based upon physical evidence or upon the emotions and feelings of the soul. Faith should be based upon the Word of God regardless of any sense - knowledge or feelings. When I refer to 'the Word of God', I am not referring to the Bible, I refer to God's promises in the Bible. 

 

What is faith? The Bible is very clear on what faith is. We read in the chapter of faith, Hebrews 1:1 and 6, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him".  Having no faith in God is like trying to drive a motorcar without petrol - it is impossible, the motorcar needs petrol to run. Having no faith that there is a living God, or that God exist, is like having a relationship with a person that does not exist or is - it is impossible. God's tools are faith and knowledge, Satan's tools are unbelief and ignorance. If you do not have faith do not bluff yourself God will only help you if you are honest. Paul writes to Timothy in, 2 Timothy 3:15b, "The Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ". So we see that we can only get the true faith from Jesus Christ.

 

Before we can understand what faith is we must look at what faith is not, the opposite of what faith is. The answer to that is simple - doubt.

 

Faith is trust. We know that the sun will come up every morning. Then there is the doubt, will I see the sun the next day. The answer to that is, I hope that I will see the sun the next day. Then there is the confidence, I believe I will see the sun. I am sure I will see the sun. Then, I know I will see the sun, because I trust I will see the sun.

 

According to the dictionary, faith is to have confidence, to believe, to be sure, to know and to trust. The more knowledge we have about someone or something the easier it is for us to trust that person or something. So we see that people do not have enough faith in God because they do not know Him that well. How then will we know Him better, by searching what the Scriptures have to say about Him. We have to seek Him. The Bible say that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. How will He reward us, by giving us faith in Him. The word 'faith' is mentioned or referred to 300 times in the Bible.

 

THE BIBLE REFERS TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF FAITH:

 

1.  COMMON FAITH:

Paul writes to Titus, 1:4, "To Titus, my true son in our common faith" This is the faith that all Christians share with each other, faith in each other. Romans 1:12 refer to this faith as mutual faith. 

 

2.  WEAK FAITH:

This is the faith that limits the Christian's personal benefits in the gospel due to wrong teachings, or ignorance about God and the Scriptures. We are saved by faith through grace. See also Romans 4:19; 14:1 - 23.

 

3.  STRONG FAITH:

Abraham had strong faith in God, Romans 4:18 - 22. Read James 1:2 - 8.

 

4.  LITTLE FAITH:

Jesus spoke to the people and said they must have faith in God, "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith", Matthew 6:30, 8:26; 14:31 and Luke 12:28. To have little faith is to have no faith at all.

 

5.  GREAT FAITH:

Jesus said the centurion had great faith, read Matthew 8:5 - 10, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel". See what Jesus said to the woman in Matthew 15:28, "O woman, great is your faith". This is the faith that God wants us to have in Him, Hebrews 11:6.

 

6.  SINCERE FAITH:

We read that Paul writes to Timothy about sincere and genuine faith, 1 Timothy 1:5. The same in 2 Timothy 1:5.

 

7.  TEMPORARY FAITH:

Jesus spoke about people that will have temporary faith in Luke 8:13. These are the ones that will go to a meeting, make a stand for the Lord, leave the meeting and a few weeks later they are back in their old life style. They will go to another meeting have their emotions stirred temporarily again, make another start in faith, soon to fall again. People like that are people pleasers they never come clean with God.

 

8.  HISTORICAL FAITH:

One can have faith in the history of the Bible and the history of Jesus but still have no faith in Jesus Christ. This person can believe in the Bible but not in the God of the Bible. 1 John 5:10 - 13. 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

 

9.   MENTAL FAITH:

We read about mental faith in James 2:14 - 26. This is faith without works. Mental faith is similar to historical faith, it believes in the history of God and the Bible but goes further and believes as well as al the truths about the blessings of God, but does not act upon the promises of God. Thousands of people have mental faith in God and the Bible, but they keep neglecting the definite action of obeying the truth. Such people will believe that God is able, that He has promised to do certain things, and that He would, if true faith were exercised, but there is little effort put forth to co - operate with God or to get what He has promised. Satan has this faith see verse 19.

 

10.  ACTIVE FAITH:

We read about active faith in James 2:18b, "Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works". This is the kind of faith that acts on the promises of God. Read Hebrews 10:19 - 38. People must get beyond the stage of reading the Bible and hearing God's Word, and go into the act of doing what God says before they will get results. Active faith moves God, it acts as if the things that are not seen are a reality. Take God at His Word, act upon His Word and see for yourself. People tend to get someone else to do the believing or they trust others to provide for them. Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe" Mark 16:17 and "All things are possible to him that believeth" Mark 9:23, "If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you" and "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also", John 14:12.

 

11.  WAVERING FAITH:

We read about wavering faith in James 1:5 - 8. The Bible reads, ask in faith. This faith is doubting God and refusing to believe. Unbelief is either refusing to act according to the knowledge that you have, or it is a manifestation of ignorance of the Bible. If you do not know, you cannot act because you do not understand. The cure for all unbelief is a thorough knowledge of the Bible and consecration to obey it to the letter, regardless of how impossible it may seem. That is why James writes, "If any of you lacks, wisdom let him ask of God", James 1:5.

 

12.  UNWAVERING FAITH:

This is faith taking God at His Word without any questions. Hebrews 10:22, 23 and Hebrews 11:6. This faith rests upon the promises as a basis of the answer, instead of upon feelings and thing seen. This faith laughs at impossibilities and goes on in the utmost confidence that what God has promised He is able to perform. This faith gives thanks for the answer from the moment it asks and looks forward in child - like expectations of getting it.

 

13.  HUMAN FAITH:

This is simply man to have trust and to believe that he can have faith in God. We read about this faith in Mark 11:12 - 14 and Mark 11:20 - 24 and also in John 14:1.

 

14.  DIVINE FAITH:

This is faith that God the Father and Jesus Christ have in Themselves. We read in Genesis 1:3, "Let there be light" and there was light. We read in Hebrews 11:3. "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God". "God called the things which do not exists as though they did", Romans 4:17. Jesus is the author and finisher of faith, as can be seen in Hebrews 12:2.

 

There is no such thing as the impossibility of having faith. The fact that one does not have faith is his own choice and responsibility towards God. Jesus commanded us to have faith in God. Jesus said in Luke 18:8b, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth.

 

Please do yourselves a big favor and take a full Bible concordance and check all the Scripture verses on faith. You will have no excuse one - day. Mark 11:24, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them". Do not limit your faith concerning anything that you want from God, if you do, you will receive a limited a

 

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