21. Now faith is....?

 

Faith is the essential ingredient in our relationship with God

Heb 11:5-6

6 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.     NKJV
 

Faith is that in us which seeks to come to GOD because we believe that He IS....and that He is a REWARDER of those who seek Him. It drives the hunger in our hearts to know God who we simply trust is GOOD and LOVING towards us.

 

Heb 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.    NKJV
 

Faith is a substance...it is something we can stand on and rely on....because it is directed at God

Faith makes the things we hope for real.....ie relationship with God....a purpose and a destiny beyond the temporal world

Faith is also evidenced....look at the world He created for us....look at the incredible creation....look at the God who made promises and delivered....look at the demonstration of His love for us in Jesus' death and resurection

Faith is evidenced in OUR OWN encounters with the God of the universe

Faith does not need visible signs to stand on.....it stands on the imutability and integrity of the Invisible God

 

Heb 11:3

3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.     NKJV
 

Faith looks at the visible world and KNOWS that God made it ...irrespective of what modern 'science' claims

Faith says that even if it cannot be proven, God says HE made it ...so that is a fact

 

So how do we get this 'faith'?

Rom 12:3

as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith    NKJV
 

Eph 2:8-9

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.    NKJV

Rom 10:17

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  NKJV

 

Can I suggest that this is more than the written word of God......God today still SPEAKS to people. A result of an encounter with God where you know that He has spoken to you, is that your faith becomes unshakeable.   (ask the apostle Paul)

 

Heb 11:2

2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.    NKJV

Faith will cause you to do things that come out of the desire to walk with God.....and to please Him....and to achieve your destiny by completing the work He has prepared in advance for you to do (Eph 2:10) 

 

Heb 11:7

7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.    NKJV
 

Faith accepts God's record that there was a worldwide flood... as confirmed by Jesus ...not just because sea shells are found in the fossils beds on top of Mt Everest

 

Heb 11:11

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.    NKJV

Faith stands on the promises of God...if there is anything in life that has certainty then it is that which GOD has promised

 

James 2:17

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.   NKJV 

Unlike what is preached by many cults ...the works which FAITH produces are NOT the works of legalistic self-righteous religious observances. A simple examination of the context demonstrates this

James refers first to Abraham's faith as demonstrated by offering Isaac....this was before the Law. The point here is that FAITH PUTS GOD FIRST....and trusts His way ('God will Himself provide a lamb')....and His ability to raise the dead if necessary to fulfill HIS promises to us

James also refers to Rahab's faith....she risked her life to faciltate the plan of God....she recognised that the God of Israel was the real GOD. (She also was a Gentile...and not under the Law)

 

Many confuse the 'works of faith'....with legalistic self-righteous religious works of the law
 

Rom 9:30-32

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.   32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law.    NKJV
 

Brethren if you seek to earn your righteousness by your own works you will NOT be saved!

Eph 2:8-10

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.    NKJV
 

Pride in your own 'holiness' is a sure sign that you have NOT submitted to the righteousness of GOD

Rom 3:21-22

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.    NKJV

Rom 3:27-28

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.   NKJV

Rom 4:4-6
4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.  5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:     NKJV

Gal 2:16
16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.    NKJV
 
 

Those who try and earn their righteousness place themselves at GRAVE risk

Gal 2:20-21
21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."   NKJV

Gal 3:1-3
 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?   NKJV

 Gal 5:2-4
2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.   NKJV
 

2 Cor 13:5-6

5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified.    NKJV
 

Brethren examine yourselves......are you 'In the faith'...or IN WORKS??

Those who go back into 'works' are those who 'set aside the grace of God'....they are 'foolishly trying 'perfect themselves in the flesh'.....'Christ profits them nothing'....they are 'estranged from Christ'....they 'have fallen from grace'

 

Rom 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith ; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith ."     NKJV
 

Salvation, brethren is for 'everyone who believes'.... but NOT for those who try to earn it by their own religious works.

Luke 18:11-14
 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,'God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.  12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'  13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."      NKJV

Brethren...the bloke who tithed was NOT saved! 

 

(Are you are ashamed of this gospel?)

 

 

So what works do we have to do?
 

Gal 5:6
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.   NKJV
 

Gal 5:14
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."   NKJV
 

Rom 13:8

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.   NKJV
 

Rom 13:8-10

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."   10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.     NKJV
 

1 Tim 1:5
5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,    NKJV
 

1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  NKJV

1 John 4:11

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.   NKJV

John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."    NKJV
 

 

Brethren...our love for our brethren IS the work we are called to do!

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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