Summary: Message 3 in a series on healthy habits for a higher walk. This message addresses the need for a daily need for faith. A more recent discussion of faith can be found in the series on James -- message 15 and 16.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Where There Is Faith”
Although these 12 habits do not necessarily have an order. I believe there is a logical progression expressed by the order in which I present them.
You cannot practice any of the disciplines without taking time away from the business of life.
Habit 1 -- Silence and Solitude
As you take the time to focus on connecting with God we need to reflect on our relationship with Him.
Habit 2 -- Submission
Once we understand that He is boss and how we have not always followed his lead we need to confess sin.
Habit 3 -- Confession
Now we are ready to encounter life in a fallen world with a strong trust in God.
Habit 4 -- Faith
Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godly discipline affects both the present and the future. 1 Timothy 4:6-10
We have been looking to understand and implement into our lives the habits or disciplines that condition the spiritual dimensions of our life that increase our greater capacity to relate to God. There is no instant formula, book or ecstatic experience that produces spiritual maturity. Only when these activities become a way of life will we see the desired growth we all long to experience.
Today we look at the absolute core of the Bible. It is the absolute core of life itself. No one can function in life without this.
Everyone practices this everyday. You wouldn’t have been able to get here today without it.
Without it there is no salvation. (Gal 3, John 1:9)
Without it there is no spiritual growth. (Gal 3)
Without it you cannot please God and actually stir His wrath. (Heb 11)
Without it there is no rest. (Heb 3-4)
Without it there is no life. (Gal 2:20)
Without it there is no victory. (1 John 5:4)
Without it there is no endurance.
Without it there is no answered prayer. (James 2)
Whatever we do without it sin. (Rom 14:23)
Without it there is no hope, joy or peace. (Rom 15:13)
Without it there we are unprotected and vulnerable (1 Pet 1:5; 2 Tim 1:12; Eph 6)
It is actually the hub of all the other disciplines. It really is the core of the Bible.
What is it?
I am talking about FAITH. This is so prevalent in the Bible that we can only touch the fringe of the topic. The Greek noun is usually translated into our English words "faith, trust, belief”. The verb is translated into English by the words "believe", "trust", "commit", "entrust". The basic idea has to do with assurance, confidence, trust, a firm idea or belief or settled conviction. You exercised faith in your car, your legs, your food, your tires, your steps, your church, your eyes. Genuine belief or faith engages the whole person.
(Immaterial) Mind, emotion, will (Material) action.
Mere intellectual assent is not complete trust. (Demons believe and emotionally respond to God)
Irrational emotion does not constitute true faith. Strong desire is still incomplete.
Not until we actually act upon our belief does it qualify as Biblical faith. Actually that is true of anything. Until we are willing to actually act, we don’t really believe. The action is not the faith. The action only demonstrates the genuineness of the faith. The Bible tells us that Abraham believed God in Gen 12 and demonstrated that believe in Gen 22.
Faith has to do with action based on a decision to fully rely on a person or thing motivated by past experience, character, observation or a promise.
A Bible translator struggled with finding a receptor word for belief as the language did not have such word. One day one of natives came into the translators hut exhausted and plopped down into the chair and put up us feet on the stool exclaiming something about dropping his full weight on the chair. The translator finally had his word for faith.
We make a decision to entrust our full weight on Jesus base based on the truth (data) of His Word. God never asks us to trust based on absence of data. He doesn’t always give us everything up front. In fact genuine faith almost nearly always involves some element of mystery or unknown or future aspect. It is however never “blind faith”. Here is the Bible’s description.
Without becoming weak in faith Abraham contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:19-21