Faith - Chapter 5

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

There are two types of faith, sense knowledge faith and revelation faith. Sense knowledge faith comes from our five senses, experience, wisdom and our own intellect. Despite what many atheist and agnostics believe, they too have faith. Every time we sit down in a chair we put faith in the chair that we believe it will support our weight. If we did not believe it would hold us we would not sit in it. Another example of sense knowledge faith is in the light switch. We learn at an early age that when we flip the switch the light comes on. As we grow in wisdom and understanding our faith we put into our intellectual choices a firm persuasion or a firm conviction. Faith is like a muscle. The more we use it the stronger we become in our faith.

Shield

Revelation faith is a firm conviction producing a full acknowledgement of God's revelation or truth. Faith is the operating principle of a believer's life. It is crucial that we as believers understand this principle because all we have in Christ is obtained by faith. God requires that we come to Him through faith for salvation. Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who come to God must believe that He is, and that He is a re warder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrew 11:6). Our salvation is obtained by grace through faith not of works. (Ephesians 2:8-9). If we could obtain our salvation by following the 10 commandments, giving the church 10% and saying the Lord's Prayer everyday then our faith is null and void and Christ shed His blood in vain. (Galatians 2:20-21) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "The just shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:11, Romans 1:16-17, Habakkuk 2:4).

God has given us all a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3). That faith is like a seed. If the seed is not planted it will not grow and produce fruit. It is like a mustard seed, which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seed on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater that all the herbs, and shoots out large branches. So that the birds of the air may nest under its shade. (Mark 4: 31-32). But as with any plant it must be nurtured. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10: 17). The word of God is Truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6). Jesus is the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him. And without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shine in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5-14) Therefore, we must not let ourselves be deceived by listening to doubt and unbelief. The opposite of truth is a lie and two cannot coexist. Truth is an absolute. The smallest amount of lie makes the truth a lie. We should walk in the light of the Truth since Jesus is the truth. We walk by faith, not by sight. (II Corinthians 5:7) We see ourselves the way God sees us. We do not get our self-worth by what others say about us. We renew our minds with Gods words and are cleansed with His truths. We are no longer the same person. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (II Corinthians 5:17) We are to see ourselves this way because that is how God sees us when we crucify our old sin nature and allow Jesus to be Lord over our life. (Galatians 2: 20-21) Our faith must be more than just saying we believe God at His word. Faith and Believe are verbs. In other words, we must act accordingly to our faith. We cannot say we believe if we have doubt in our mind.

A man walked on a tight rope in front of a huge crowd across Niagara Falls all day with a wheelbarrow. He would put his son in the wheelbarrow and walk along the small wire as we would walk across a stage. As man in the crowd had watched him cross the Niagara on the wire several times and cheering with amazement. As the man came back across with the wheelbarrow he asked the man, “do you believe that I can walk the wheelbarrow across the wire to the other side?” The man in the crowd immediately replied of “course!” Then he asked him again, “Do you think I can push you across in the wheelbarrow on that wire?” The man in the crowd was sure he could. He had seen him do it all morning. "Yes, I believe," said the man. Then the man with the wheelbarrow said, "Get in and let me push you across." All of the sudden the countenance on the face of the man in the crowd changed as he began to think of all the possibilities of something that could go wrong. And out of fear he no longer believed that the man could push him across. It was fear that over took Peter as he got out of the boat and met Jesus on the water. Peter heard the Lord say "Come" And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when he got into the boat the wind ceased. (Matthew 14: 29-32)

When God calls us to do something, we should not doubt nor should we question Him. God does not want us to be afraid due to circumstances of life that are like the weather. If we truly believe then we act like we believe because faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17) We are to be doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving ourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (James 1:22-24)

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