Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

What Is Faith?

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What Is Faith?

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What Is Faith?

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What exactly is faith, and how do we have it? NOTE: The linked video is a black screen with scriptural references.

Sermon Notes

PRESENTER'S NOTES

Do you ever question your faith? Do I really have faith? Do I even understand what is faith?

Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

6 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.
 
4102 pistis pis'-tis from 3982; NOUN

KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon

Used 228 times in NT

  1. conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it

4100 pisteuo pist-yoo'-o from 4102; VERB

KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon

Used 220 times in NT

  1. to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

With these two words in mind, I now want to share with you some of the information I collected a couple of weeks ago at the San Antonio Regional Family Weekend. The theme for the event was, “FAITH: Where Do You Begin?”

The featured scripture for the event was…

REF: Genesis 15: 6 And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

This verse references Abram’s response to God’s call, and the story of Abraham’s life is the first comprehensive story in the Bible to feature the meaning of faith, how one possesses faith, and how faith is used.

Let’s read about the witness Abraham gave to us concerning faith by turning to Romans…

Speaking of Abraham, Paul writes…

Romans 4: 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.

If we were to turn to Genesis 12, we would find when Abram’s journey of faith began, and that is when he answered God’s call to leave his own country for another country God would provide to him. But Romans chapter 4 is referencing Genesis 15:1-6 Genesis 15:1-6 [1] After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward. [2] And Abram said, LORD God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? [3] And Abram said, Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, see, one born in my house is my heir. [4] And, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, This shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir. [5] And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if you be able to number them: and he said to him, So shall your seed be. [6] And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
American King James Version×
, a time when Abram was quite a bit farther along on his journey.

The important thing to take note of here is that God attributed righteousness to Abraham for believing in the promise of a son. If we are not careful, we might assume this attribution did not occur until later in life. (The sacrifice? The end of life?)

Abraham learned many lessons along his life’s journey. In other words, Abraham made mistakes (Ishmael) directly related to his belief that God would give him a son, and these mistakes occurred AFTER God attributed righteousness to Abraham.
God attributes righteousness to sinners. But don’t misunderstand. God attributes righteousness to certain kinds of sinners, and this is where it is important to understand the meaning of faith.

Two important steps are necessary to possess faith (noun).

1. Faith comes by hearing, and, specifically, hearing the word of God.

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

2. Faith is to believe (verb) those things you’ve heard.

James 1:    

So, do you and I really have faith? We can know the answer if we understand what faith is and how it is attained.

This world does not understand the definition of faith. This world defines faith as a belief in God, from which this world will then attribute to God the things this world wants to believe. But faith doesn’t just believe in God, for the demons also believe (James 2:19 James 2:19You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
American King James Version×
). Faith believes God. It’s that step beyond hearing about God or what God promises, that step being defined as complete conviction or belief. It is to receive every word of God and internalize it.

One final comment… If you and I then have faith, we cannot stop there, because faith without works is dead (James 2:17 James 2:17Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.
American King James Version×
). We must go on then to obey the word we have heard and believed. We must live out our faith!

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