Summary: Series on Faith
Now Faith Is!
Scripture: Hebrews 11:1, 6
This morning I am starting a series on Faith. Faith is something that we all have and use, something we are commanded to walk in. In this series of messages, my hope is that you will come to understand faith and its role in your life. Let’s examine just what faith is according to our dictionaries. Webster’s dictionary defines faith as “An unquestioning belief specifically in God, religion, etc. Complete trust and confidence.” In Webster’s definition, I want you to examine two words that are used, unquestioning and complete. The word unquestioning means that you do not question, dispute or doubt. As it pertains to your belief, based on what you know about God, you come to the point where you accept it, believe and receive it without doubting, disputing what you do not understand or having doubts based on your own intellect. The second word I want you to focus on from Webster’s definition is complete. This word carries the meaning that something is finished, nothing more can be added to it. As it pertains to faith, our trust and confidence in our faith should be complete – meaning there is no more room for anything else to be added – you have complete confidence in your faith.
The International Bible Encyclopedia explains that in the New Testament the word faith means to trust or rely upon. When used in this sense, the verbal form (believe) of the word is used. The Greek word used in the New Testament expresses the movement of confidence committed to the object of faith. In many cases it is a person on whom or towards whom there is faith, namely God or Jesus Christ. Now here is where it gets interesting. This usage in the New Testament brings out very strongly the “trust” aspect of faith, for this kind of reliance or committal signifies much more than intellectual belief. It is directed primarily not to facts but to God Himself in Jesus Christ. The intellectual element is included however. To have faith in a person is to believe certain things about this person, his nature, word and work. One does not need to know everything, but it is essential to know and believe something.
Let me give you an example. Alex weighs all of 30 pounds. If I was to place her on a table, blindfold her eyes and ask her to jump off of the table into my arms, she would do it. Why? Because she knows and trusts that I would catch her. Now for you sitting there, that would require very little of your faith. You have done the intellectual calculations in your head. Alex weighs 30 pounds and Rodney weighs 250 pounds which means he can easily catch her. Once you quickly do the calculations you know intellectually that I can catch her – no faith required there. Now the question becomes this, although I am able to catch her, will I actually do it? That requires some faith. But based on what Alex and each of you know about me, you know that I would catch her so although you must use faith, believing this does not require much of your faith. This is where many Christians are with their faith in God. They have some level of faith based on them intellectually processing “something” which led to them believing something about God. But let me show you where God wants us. Reverse the situation, I will stand on the table and jump off in Alex arms. Intellectually our minds tell us that this cannot be done, but if we had the faith, it could be. When we lived in Little Rock I was told the story about the mother of one of our church members. A car jack had slipped and the car fell on her child. In that moment, without processing or thinking about it, she reached down and lifted the back end of the car up to free her child. Intellectually she could not have done so, but she acted in faith without processing or asking whether it was possible. God wants us to have this type of faith. When it comes to faith in Jesus, one cannot really trust in Jesus Christ without believing that He is the Messiah, the incarnate Son, the crucified and risen Savior. The words and works, the essential being of Jesus, are all part of His person. You cannot know just a little about Jesus and imagine the rest and call that true faith. In this series, we will examine our faith so that each of us will understand what faith is and if we are truly walking in faith. If you are not currently walking in faith, I pray that you will come to realize how through this series. Now let’s get started by going to a very familiar verse of Scripture found in Hebrews 11:1.