Summary: The Study Of “Faith”
The Study Of “Faith”
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
WHAT IS FAITH?
The importance of faith is stated for us in the book of Hebrews.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
We are then told that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). No man has ever seen heaven. Yet by faith we are sure that there is such a place and we hope to go there when we die.
Many things that we do in life show some kind of faith. A person takes aspirin where he has a headache. Why? Because he believes the aspirin will get rid of the headache. When a person plants maize, he believes that it will grow. Children have faith in their parents. They believe their parents when their parents tell them something.
HOW TO HAVE FAITH
The book of Romans says, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). We have faith in something because we have heard about it. We cannot have faith without hearing. We plant maize to grow for food. Why do we plant it? How do we know that it will grow? Because we have heard that it will. An aspirin is taken to get rid of a headache. But why does a person take the aspirin? Because he has heard that it will get rid of the headache. We believe in God and Christ by hearing about them. We hear about them from the Bible.
We can hear about them from the Bible in two ways:
(1) by reading the Bible ourselves and
(2) by hearing someone tell about them from the Bible.
It is not possible to have faith in God and Christ without hearing about them. "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).
DIFFERENT KINDS OF FAITH
There are different degrees of faith. Jesus told His disciples once that they had "little faith" (Matthew 8:26). He told a Canaanite woman "great is your faith" (Matthew 15:28). Then there is faith that is necessary for salvation.
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:30,31).
A person must believe in Jesus Christ in order to be saved. But belief by itself is not enough. "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble!" (James 2:19). The demons [evil spirits] believe but are not saved. What then is needed in order for faith to save? The answer is trust and obedience. The demons believe in Christ but they do not trust and obey Him. If we only believe Christ, but do not trust and obey him, we will not be saved. When Jesus gives a command we will obey it if we have the faith that saves. For example, Christ says: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16).