Summary: living by faith
Intro: faith toward God is the second foundational stone listed in Hebrews 6:1-2, after repentance from dead works.
Practical definition of faith—believing that what God said He can do, that he can do it. Faith is an actual agreement with God in His abilities to perform His Word. “ Faith isn’t just believing on the Word of God, but believing in the God of the Word.”
Biblical Definition- Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen… to clarify this statement it is the reverse order of natural law, seeing is believing, into believing is seeing.
I. Why is Faith Important—Hebrews 11:6—but without faith it is impossible to please God. I believe an understanding of this statement is one of the greatest needs in our spiritual lives. God has built His relationship with us, based on our faith toward Him. No measure of works, no measure of prayer, no measure of Bible study, will ever meet the basic requirement of living by faith. God limits His ability to help us by the measure of faith we place in Him.
Romans 1:16-17—gives us the key thought that the just shall live by faith. So faith isn’t just an action, but a constant activity in the life of the believer. You don’t just jump from one faith experience to another, but there is a continual walk of faith in every day.
Ephesians 2:8—for by grace are ye saved through faith—faith is so essential in our lives that God even ties salvation to it. He gives us the grace, that is His part, we accept it by faith, that is our part, and we are saved.
Another reason why faith is such an important teaching for every believer, is that everything you face in life, you face it from God’s perspective, ( unlimited ability) instead of from your perspective, (limited ability).
For with God nothing shall be impossible—Luke 1:37
Jesus said, unto him, if thou can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.
II. What is the Source of Faith
Faith is a gift from God—John 3:27—a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. Every good and perfect gift cometh from above. God will not allow human effort to perform divine results—it is all God, zero man, he will not share his glory.
Faith cannot be worked up—it is not an emotional thing. You can yell, shout and scream at the devil or disease, it will not be moved until you move into the spiritual realm of God imparted faith.
Faith is tied to God’s Word—Psalms 138:2—for thou has magnified thy word above all thy name. God places infinite value on His Word, because if you couldn’t trust his Word, you could never trust him.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God—Romans 10:17—this is probably such a simple point, but it didn’t say faith comes by memorizing the word, even though memorization is a great tool. It didn’t say, faith comes from hearing a good sermon, even though preaching/teaching is important in our lives. It didn’t even say, by reading the Word of God you have faith. It is by hearing—rhema- as you read a spiritual Word, you hear a Spiritual voice, then obtain a spiritual truth.
Toward God—John 1:12-13—but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Our relationship to God can never be in the natural realm, because God is Spirit, and those that commune with God must elevate to Spirit and Truth.
III. How Faith is Activated—illustration—remote control button
I can say, television come on all day long, but if I don’t push the button, the television will not turn on. God gives us faith, everyone has a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) but we must learn to activate faith in our daily lives.
b. God does His Part, Or Jesus, or The Holy Spirit—gives us the word or command, we must obey—rise and walk, go and wash, Zacchaeus come down—faith operates by action, there is always a stepping out place, and until you make the first step (obedience to what God has said) you cannot receive the reward of faith.
c. Sometimes the action or the stepping out is not a physical action but a verbal commitment—be it unto me, according to your word or even the dogs get the crumbs that fall from the table, or speak the word only.
d. Sometimes it’s physical and verbal—she said in her heart, if I but touch the hem of his garment, I will be made whole. Mary to servants, whatever he says, do it.