Faith has always been the mark of a disciple of Jesus. The early disciples were known as BELIEVERS. Jesus said: “…Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23).
Faith means total dependence on God. When Adam sinned, he stepped out of God-dependence into in-dependence (which is unbelief). This is the reason God has placed such a high priority on faith. Faith is the way we come back into relationship with God (God-dependence).
This dependence on God is called faith. Faith advances you beyond your five senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. Faith releases you from your limited capacities. By faith you move from in-ability to His-ability. This is the walk of faith to which all of us are called – where “nothing is impossible” (Matt 17:20).
A. What Is Faith?
Faith is obedient action in response to what God has said. True faith is expressed in 1) Obedience and 2) Action, in response to 3) Hearing God’s word (voice). “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1).
Faith means having trust, assurance or confidence in another person or that person’s words. Having faith in God involves an exchange of self-trust for God-trust. We stop trusting in ourself and trust Him. We abandon reliance on our limited source of knowledge and start receiving from His unlimited source.
B. Two Kinds Of Knowledge (Please read 1Cor 2:4-7)
1. Sense Knowledge
All knowledge that comes to natural man comes to him through the five senses. This knowledge, described as ‘man’s wisdom.’
2. Revelation Knowledge
This knowledge is not based on the five senses, nor on natural reasoning but on an alternative source – the TRUTH of the Word of God. It is cribbed as ‘God’s wisdom’ –“ We live by FAITH, not by sight” (2Cor 5:7).
C. The Basis Of Faith
The basis of having faith in God is in three important realities:
1. The Nature Of God
“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself” (Heb 6:13).
a. He cannot change. (Malachi 3:6, James 1:17.
b. He cannot fail. (Job 42:2, 1Chronicles 28:20).
c. He cannot lie. (Num 23:19, Titus 1:2).
2. The Redemptive Work Of The Son of God
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2).
Christ has become the source of our faith in God. The fact of His death and resurrection provides ground for our believing (See 1Cor 1:30, Rom 1:1-2).
3. The Word Of God
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt 24:35, Isaiah 40:8). His Word stands forever. Faith comes when God brings a specific word – out of all He has ever said – directly to us in our circumstances. Spoken in this way, the Word of God comes alive to us, releasing our faith.
D. How Faith Works
The principle of faith (Rom3: 27) is to operate in our lives continually, no matter what the circumstances (see 2Corinthians 5:7, James 1:5-6). It works in the following way:
1. God Gives Us Faith
“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by [HIS] faith” (compare Rom 1:17 and Habakkuk 2:4 niv).
The righteous live by HIS faith, that is the faith; it [the faith] is the gift of God…(Eph 2:8-9). “…According as God has dealt to everyman…faith” (Rom 12:3).
2. Faith Comes By A Word From God
Firstly, God encourages us by speaking a “word” relevant to our circumstances. This may come as you read the Bible or by hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit.
“…faith comes from hearing the word, and is heard through the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17)
3.Obedience To The Word
For faith to operate in our situation, we must obey that word. Faith is ACTIVE,
Not passive. Most of God’s promises are conditional – He will do His part, if we do our part.
“…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (Jas 2:17).
4. The Crisis, Or “Trial Of Our Faith”
This is a period of testing. Everything happening around us appears contrary to what God has said, and there seems to be no natural evidence for our believing. At this point, our faith rests completely on God’s word (what He has spoken to us). See 1Peter 1:6-7, Rom 4:16-21; Psalms 105:17-19.
In faith we cast ourselves on HIS FAITHFULNESS. In our times of doubt and struggle, God is faithful and does not abandon us. (2Tim 2:13)
5. The Result
The end result is always victory on the part of the believer, bringing glory to God (see also James 1:2-4,12; Gen 21:1-3; Psalms 105:19-22; Acts 3:16; Hebrews 6:13-15).
“…for everyone born of God has overcome the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (1Jn 5:4).
Today I decide to live by faith and trust God in all areas of my life. I acknowledge my need to be totally dependent on God – which is faith in action. In problems, challenges and difficulties I will rely on His faithfulness. God’s response will be His grace – His enabling power. I will teach others also to rely on God’s faithfulness and walk with faith in God.