FAITH is the first of the triad of that which “abides,” and is very closely related to HOPE and LOVE.
In my last letter regarding our HOPE in God, I stated that “Biblical hope is inseparable from Faith in God. It is not merely a wish or a want but, rather, a confident expectation.” (1 Cor. 13:13)
I find that words often roll off our lips without our thinking of the depth of meaning which they convey. So, concerning FAITH, I decided to confirm the official definition of that word also. The dictionary comes close: “1. Confidence in, or dependence on a person, statement, or thing as trustworthy; trust. 2. Belief without need of certain proof. 3. Belief in God or in testimony about God as recorded in Scriptures.”
Of course, we have God’s own definition given in Heb. 11:1-6: “Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen…..Through Faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” In other words, Faith is the assurance of the things we hope for, being convinced of the reality of the things we cannot see. And it is through Faith that we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God, so that what we can see was not made out of things which are visible.
Abraham, we know, is a foremost Biblical example of one who understood and exercised great Faith. God called him to leave his ancestral home to travel to a strange country about which he knew nothing – no maps or travelogues, or pictures to arouse his interest! He simply obeyed, and went out, not knowing where he was going. Even after arriving in the “land of promise” he lived by Faith “as in a strange country.” It took active Faith in a Faithful God for Sarah to conceive and give birth to a son when well past the child-bearing age. “..building on hope in spite of hopeless circumstances, he (Abraham) had faith…” (Rom. 4:18 Williams Trans.) Then, a number of years later, Abraham again exhibited outstanding Faith when he obediently offered that beloved son to God on the altar of sacrifice, “accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead!” Not much wonder that Abraham is considered the “Father of Faith!” (Heb. 11:8-11; 17-19)
And just as Abraham put his Faith in God and it was credited to him as right standing with God, all those who are of Faith are considered his children. We are assured that Christ has redeemed us by His sacrificial death at Calvary that the blessing of Abraham might come through Him, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through Faith. (Gal. 3:6-9,13,14)
How do we receive this Faith? The Apostle Paul tells us that Faith comes from hearing a rhema (Gr.) declaration of Christ. That is understood to be the revealed Word of God, as an utterance from God to the heart of the reader through the Holy Spirit. As Jesus explained it “…the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
Faith is clearly one of the most important concepts in the New Testament. It is a basic requirement for “without Faith it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6)
Faith means believing in the infallible Word of God as it is quickened to one’s spirit.
Faith implies complete reliance on God and full obedience to Him.
Faith means abandoning trust in our own resources and casting ourselves wholly on the mercy of God.
Faith means laying hold on the promises of God in Christ, relying entirely on the finished work of Christ for salvation, and on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God for daily strength.
It is by Faith we stand, not in human wisdom, but in the power of God. (1 Cor. 2:5)
It is by Faith, believing that Jesus is the Son of God, that enables us to overcome the world. (1 John 5:4,5)
It is reassuring to know that Faith is not involved with works on our part. We simply believe and receive it as a Gift from God. We look unto Jesus, the Initiator and the Perfecter of our Faith. We are justified, or made righteous, by the Faith of Jesus Christ, and we live by the Faith of the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. Through Him we believe God Who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that our FAITH and HOPE may rest in God.
(Eph. 2:8; Heb. 12:2; Gal. 2:20, 16; 1 Pet. 1:18-21)
(You) by (Christ) do believe in God,
Who raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory;
that your FAITH and HOPE
might be in GOD.”
(1 Peter 1:21)
In Agape, Eulene