Faith is a common word. The dictionary says it means "confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, an idea, or a thing." While faith may be a common word it involves ideas of uncommon importance and worth. Confidence, truth and trustworthiness are ideas we should all desire.
Faith is not something you choose to have or not have. Faith is a necessary part of everyone's life. We cannot function without it. Every bite of food I put in my mouth and swallow demands faith -- faith that it will not poison me and faith that it will do for my physical well-being what it is supposed to do. Religion is not the only area of life that requires faith. Evolutionists like to make fun of religion and faith, because they think evolution does not require faith. Such reveals their prejudice, foolish thinking and self-deception!
Certain Bible verses come to mind when I think of a defining statement about faith. One is Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Another is Acts 27:25, "Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me." But the verses that I have come to appreciate most in defining faith is Romans 4:19-21. Read them carefully. They are speaking about Abraham's faith in connection with Isaac's birth. "And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform."
A real, God-pleasing faith requires being "fully convinced" (NKJ). Other Bible Versions translate this: "fully persuaded" (KJV, NIV); "fully assured" (ASV, NAS). This kind of faith requires from us toward God a total commitment, nothing withheld, attitude and behavior. Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37). Romans 12:1-2 instructs us, "I beseech you...that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God... And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." Note mind and body are involved. It is total, absolute dedication to God. No exceptions! No excuses!
Romans 4:19 says Abraham was not "weak in faith." I can easily deceive myself thinking, "Yes, I have faith," but never realize that it is an insufficient, weak faith. Such is not God's fault, but mine. God "has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him..." (2 Peter 1:3). Second Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." And, of course, Romans 10:17: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
A strong, growing, God-pleasing faith will make itself known in its willingness to do what God has said. Notice I said DO. Consider what is said in James 2:14,17-18. "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? ...[F]aith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. ... I will show you my faith by my works." Without the actual DOING of GOD'S INSTRUCTIONS, our faith will be unacceptable. A person who has faith but is unwilling to give up their opinions and ideas to what God says, obeying what God says, does not really believe. James 2:20 describes such faith as a dead faith and that person as foolish. "But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" James continues by asking us to consider two other questions. "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?" (2:21-22). We must be like Abraham. "By faith Abraham obeyed..." (Heb. 11:8).
What about your faith? Do you really have faith?
by Ronny E. Hinds -- Via Focusing On Truth, September 2015
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