We talk a lot about faith in the church, but what is faith?
2. Faith Is…
A. Believing that What God Says Will Happen
After the angel visited Mary and told her she would bear God’s Son, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who herself was pregnant with a boy who would become John the Baptist. Listen to Elizabeth’s response during Mary’s visit with her. Elizabeth said:
NIV Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
That is Faith! Faith is believing that what the Lord has said will be accomplished, or that the Lord will do what he said he would do. We have to remember that the angel Gabriel told her something which was totally impossible, first that she would have a son who would be named Jesus. She hadn’t been with Joseph or any other man yet, she was a virgin, so how could she have a child? But the second impossibility was that this child would be the Son of the Most High, the Son of God. How could a human woman bear God’s Son, a divine being? Impossible. This was Mary’s question to Gabriel. Gabriel told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her. Not a lot of details there. Gabriel then reminds us, “With God nothing is impossible.” In other words the angel was telling her God can and would do the impossible if she had faith. And Mary believed. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.”
God told Mary he was going to do the impossible and Mary believed, she had faith, she trusted God would make her conceive a child even before she saw the evidence of her pregnancy.
The author of the book of Hebrews defined faith in a similar manner:
NLT Hebrews 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. 2 God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith.
NIV Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
God gave his favor or approval to those who had faith. People like Mary who were sure and certain of God’s promise even if they did not see it. Notice it says it is impossible to please God without faith. God continues to give his favor to those who have faith and trust in God’s promises today.
NIV Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Do you believe God works everything for your good if you love him and follow his calling, even when things in your life seem to be going poorly?
NIV John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Do you believe God loves you and sent his Son to give you eternal life?
Rom 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.