What is True Faith?
INTRODUCTION: Let's zero in on V4. Literally the verse is saying "For everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith."
What has caused the born again child of God to over come the world?? It says faith! What is Faith?
1. Definition. Heb. 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
a. It is the evidence of things not seen; that is, it evidences the reality and certainty of future things, it realizes the invisible realities of another world unto our minds, and causes us to believe them as strongly as what we see with our bodily eyes. In other words, faith is the foundation on which all our hopes for the future are built. The evidence is the conviction or persuasion of things not seen. Without faith we would be limited to the very narrow world comprehended by the senses.
b. Greek. "Now faith is the reality of things hoped for, the proof not being seen".
2. The Greek word is "pistis", Heb.... " e(a) mum ."
a. The word has a two fold meaning, or can be used two ways.
Active sense: trust-reliance
Passive sense: fidelity, trustworthiness
b. In Old Testament word used only twice! Deut. 32:20, Hab.2:4
 Deut. 32:20. This is called the Song of Moses.
He had finished the Pentateuch and is now rehearsing the details of God's working with Israel and warning of What had caused their trouble. They were forward, Meaning "perverted." children with no "faith". Hebrew meaning: "faithfulness"
 Hab. 2:4 "...the just shall live by faith". Meaning: firmness, faithfulness in fulfilling
 Both places is refers to living ones life, Being faithful in following the Lord, and allowing the Lord to work through you. Faithfulness means action or doing something. To be faithful, one must have something to be faithful too.
3. Some other words are used in the Old Testament as "believe" "trust", "obey". Words used hundreds of times.
Thus in the Old Testament we find that the doctrine of faith is not a presentation of a doctrine, but evidences and 100's of examples of what - faith, trust and believe did in the lives of those that possessed it. The servant of God are show as men and women who lived lives of faith or acted upon what God said to them.
4. What differentiates them from others is that they lived lives of self-commitment to God. They implicitly and unwaveringly believed God and this belief cause the to show absolute trust in what God said and did what ever God said.
I. WHAT FAITH IS NOT!
A. Faith is not an emotion! The TV preacher as would the most charismatic and Pentecostal would have you believe faith is something you must emotionally "conjure" up!
1. If you have faith enough, then God will heal you, but if not you will fail and God will not act.
2. Its the out growth of the heresy of "works salvation".
3. I had a lady get upset with me for referring to faith as being simple.
4. I said to her: If faith is not simple then it must be to some degree complicated! RIGHT!
5. She said "Well I guess it is then". Next question: What is complicated about it??
6. Well you have to Really be trusting God to have God bless you faith.
7. What do you mean by really??? This is the problem: Most people think that faith is some kind of emotional feeling or mental condition or spiritual exercise that we conjure up which God likes and approves of and so blesses us. This is not Scriptural and I challenge anyone to show me one example of it presented in that manner in the Bible.
B. Another thing Biblical faith is not is a mental acceptance of some truth alone.
1. It is not merely a head knowledge of some fact or truth.
2. James 2:19, "thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble." Word is demons. They in fact totally believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. They believe in God yet they are lost. A head knowledge does not by itself save!
3. James says that "faith without works is dead".
a. Believe all you will, be totally convinced in the existence of ~God~, that does not save you.
b. BUT believe and accept the truth of the Gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ...and you must take action on that truth.
c. That truth will take action on you. It always does. It is accepted or rejected. If it is truly accepted then it WILL ABSOLUTELY CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!! "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things past away; BEHOLD [!] all things are become new." (II Cor. 5:17)
4. In the NT the word "faith" and "believe" accrue over 500 times.
a. Heb. 11. The Bible's "Hall of Faith", teaches us that Old Testament faith is the same as the NT faith and is what is expected of NT Christians!!
b. In I Cor. 10:6, Paul referring to the Old Testament accounts states, "Now these things were our examples, to intent we should not lust after evil things, as they did......V11 now these things happened unto them as ensamples and they are written for our admonition.
5. Biblical faith is always presented in Scripture as an action taken as the result of believing some Truth.
6. SO...FAITH IS NOT AN EMOTION OR MENTAL EXPERIENCE YOU CONJURE UP BY DEGREES.
a. What about Matt. 17:20, Luke 17:6 Jesus stated that if the disciples had faith as a gain of mustard seed..they could say to a mountain "remove and go hence and it would move" b. Note context. In V17 he called the a faithless and perverse generation! Perverse means "perverted" they did not have The truth. Faithless means that had NO Biblical faith!!
c. V21 says that the reason they could not cast out the demon because it only goeth out by prayer and fasting. Both are definitely Actions. Prayer is communicating with the Lord. It is an act of faith to pray and pour your heart out to God who you can not see, touch or hear, and YET assured positively KNOW that He is hearing you. IT is a great act of faith to pray. Fasting is an act also, an act of self-denial that only a person who believes and trusts God would do. It is an action of self- sacrifice, of denying ones on physical needs and desires in an act of seeking to give oneself totally over to the Lord. A person with a head knowledge rarely prays and never practices self-scarfs.
c. NOTE: What Jesus was talking about was not the degree of faith say on a scale of 1 to 10. BUT OF THE EXISTENCE OF FAITH PERIOD, FAITH THAT IS IN CONTROL OF THE PERSON AND IS DIRECTING HIM OR HER IN WHAT THEY DO.
II. WHAT IS BIBLICAL FAITH?
A. It is a belief in a truth that you action upon.
B. FIRST: In salvation! I John. 5:1 "Whosoever, believeth that Jesus is the Christ IS born of God."
C. SECOND: How do we know we have truly believed?
D. What was the great Acts of Faith recorded in Heb.11?
1. Abel? He just sacrificed what and how God said!
2. Enoch? He just walked daily with the Lord!
3. Noah? Well, he trusted God, committed put him- self at God's disposal, and when ask to build a great ship on dry land just did it, and preached 120 years begging men to believe in God..yet even when everyone ridiculed, and rejected his message...he continued on.
4. Abraham? God said he was to produce a great nation, that in whom all the families of earth would be blessed....so he wanted that and he accepted that as God's will for him and he left his home and journeyed at God's instruction, and he received the promise.
5. V31 Rahab the harlot! My favorite, why? because it simply means God loves us all, he has a provision for ANY sinner. What did she do? She hid some says and ask them to save her when their God, who she knew was all powerful, would destroy Jericho.
V32 What more can I say, 33-40
6. Did any of these folks, do anything you and I can not do????
1. Anyone in this room can exercise saving faith! Simply believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he died on the Cross to redeem you from you sins and He arose from the grave, and because he did you can have eternal live.
Yes simply believe!! If you believe then but your belief into action, and begin to trust the Lord. Place your self to him.
The first act of faith for some was to take that first step and walk down an aisle and take a preacher by the hand and tell him they wanted to be saved.
For others, it was saying simply "YES", I want Jesus to come into my life, and save me from by sin. Could have been in a home, at work, the place is of not importance.
Then the next act of faith, was to submit to Believers baptism!
Can you today, be saved, can you accept Christ as you savior and know assuredly you are saved?
Yes, take the step of faith, Trust God and act on his promises.
2. For the Christian: Believe what God has said.
Keep his commandments, put your faith into action by making yourself available to the Lord.
Be faithful, in church, prayer, bible study. personal devotion to the Lord.
Then let Him use you to reach others. To meet the needs of others. "he has no hands but your hands, now feet but your feet."
Trust that the one life you have is best lived totally dedicated to the Lord. Maybe God wants you to teach, to be a pastor, to be a godly mother or father, to be a strong and steady influence in a church, to be an example to others and encourage them.
3. FAITH is action! It is DOING!
What is it you now need to do to put your belief into action??
Accept Jesus as your Savior? Surrender your all to him?