Summary: Can We Survive This Life W/O FAITH . . . ABSOLUTELY NOT …. It is needed from spiritual birth to spiritual death!
The Workings of Faith in the Life of a Believer
• Taken from its hive, the bee knows its way home.
• A horse can be depended on to find its way home to the corral.
• Cats and dogs have made the “incredible journey” home after being lost or being moved to a distant place.
• The tiny hummingbird strikes out boldly across the 500 mile Gulf of Mexico to its warm winter in Yucatan.
• Similarly, what instinct is for animals, faith could be attributed towards Christians?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
It is divinely given to each believer, by the Spirit of God.
Faith seeks out a better land than the present (namely heaven)
The journey home may be perilous, dangerous, having toils and snares; but the believer can be rest assured, the climate there in heaven is much better suited to their new nature than this sin cursed earth.... Ref: Hope for Heaven, Help for Here and Now Devotional, Pg 75; Sonshine Society.
LETS SIMPLY NOTE A FEW THINGS ABOUT FAITH THIS MORNING
FIRST, FAITH IS NEEDED FOR SALVATION (deliverance): Salvation includes JUSTIFICATION:
• To be justified is to be made (legally declared) righteous.
• It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins.
• It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is "declared" sinless.
We find in Galatians 3:24 that the Mosaic Law “was our schoolmaster” that it would “bring us unto Christ” . . . WHY . . . “that we might be justified by faith.”
SECOND, FAITH IS NEEDED FOR SANCTIFICATION (To sanctify means to be HOLY and set apart for a specific use)
We find in Acts 26:18 (Here Luke is referencing Jesus as He is speaking to Saul (unconverted Paul) who was sanctified for a SPECIFIC PURPOSE (gospel propagation) to a SPECIFIC PEOPLE (the Gentiles); . . . for a SPECIFIC TASK . . . (to “open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God) WHY . . . that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified in faith that is in me (Jesus)…. FAITH IS THE NECESSARY VEHICLE HERE
THIRDLY, WE SEE FAITH IS NEEDED TO PLEASE GOD
Notice in Hebrews 11:6, Paul tells his listeners, “But without faith it is impossible (meaning NOT POSSIBLE) to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
FOURTHLY, FAITH IS REAL (It has substance) . . . LETS ANALYZE SUBSTANCE
We find in Hebrews 11:1 that “faith is the substance (Greek word: hupostasis) of things hoped for”
STAY WITH ME HERE . . . This same Greek word used for substance (hupostasis) is also used in reference to Christ (found in Hebrews 1:3). . . . THEREFORE, WE CAN CONCLUDE THE FAITH OF SUBSTANCE (Hebrews 11:1) . . . IS AS REAL AS GOD’S THE EXPRESS IMAGE FOUND IN CHRIST (In Hebrews 1:3) . . .
LET’S SIMPLIFY THIS THOUGHT A BIT: a hearty hamburger has substance so you can physically sink your teeth into it . . . LIKEWISE, FAITH is not an illusionary dream . . . NO it is SUBSTANTIAL; it is something you can sink your spiritual teeth into. It is a hearty sandwich of constant expectation. It is satisfying to the spiritual appetite. It is ESSENTIAL for spiritual life!
AN ILLUSTRATION OF FAITH
When missionary John Paton was translating the Scripture for the South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word in their vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He had no idea how he would convey that to them. One day while he was in his hut translating, a native came running up the stairs into Paton's study and flopped in a chair, exhausted. He said to Paton, “It’s so good to rest my whole weight in this chair.” John Paton had his word: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That word went into the translation of their New Testament and helped bring that civilization of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on God. If God said it, then it’s true, and we’re to believe it. Ref: http://preceptaustin.org/hebrews_111-2.htm
CHALLENGE FOR US: Is your FULL and TRULY RESTED faith in God . . . shining forth as a witnessing billboard towards those who are still groping in darkness this morning?
FIFTH, FAITH IS THE WAY A CHRISTIAN MUST WALK
In 2 Corinthians 5:7 it tells the Christian believer that they must “walk by faith, not by sight.”
“This task is as unnatural as walking with our eyes closed. But the more steps we take, the more comfortable this walk will be come, and the more confident we will be of the destination of our walk.”