Faith is not some force, nor principle that we exercise and somehow receive what we speak. Faith in its biblical definition is belief in God. Even more specifically, faith is belief in God as He has revealed Himself in the Scriptures and through His Son Jesus Christ.
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:14-17
Faith is belief in what the living God has declared in His Word the Bible about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation. Zeroing in on faith as revealed in the Scriptures we can understand it in even finer detail.
6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “’Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:6-11
Faith is believing what the Scripture says, that Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and was buried, and rose again from the dead the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 This is faith, believing what God has told us in the Scriptures about His Son, Jesus Christ and the gospel of His Son. Faith is believing in our hearts the truth about Jesus Christ, the Son of God and confessing our belief in Him to others.
Faith set against the backdrop of unbelief is brought into sharp relief as the Lord teaches us about faith from the Scriptures.
16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. 1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’”… Hebrews 3:16-4:3
“Faith…believes the revealed Word of God, the gospel of our salvation, resulting in obedience and the bountiful blessings of God the Father upon us through His Son Jesus Christ.”
Unbelief is rebellion against the revealed Word of God, the gospel of our salvation, and ushers in sin, disobedience, and the outpouring of the wrath of God. Faith, in contrast, believes the revealed Word of God, the gospel of our salvation, resulting in obedience and the bountiful blessings of God the Father upon us through His Son Jesus Christ.
There are times that God specifically speaks to us regarding a work that He has appointed for us to do for His honor, glory and the furtherance of the gospel. He will make it abundantly clear that He has called us to this task. I believe that this guidance from our Heavenly Father by the Holy Spirit for our God given assignment will be met in our hearts by the gift of faith for that specific work. Twice God has assured me that He is with me Father, Son and Holy Spirit before He called me to stand up for His truth against the error that rages against the pure and holy Word of God and the gospel of our salvation. This is another legitimate exercise of faith that is bequeathed to us by the Holy Spirit, as believers, for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. We believe what God has told us and set about doing His will as He enables us by the Holy Spirit.
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:1-2
We can know this is the work of God because it will agree with the Scriptures and we will see God work through us. We will rely on God the Holy Spirit and He will strengthen us in our faith for the work and the trials that will accompany the work. We will give all glory and credit to the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him for the outcome of our obedience.
So faith is specifically belief in the One True Living God and His Son Jesus Christ Who gave Himself as our ransom by His blood shed on the cross and is our justification through His resurrection from the dead and has poured out upon us His Holy Spirit so that we can be equipped to serve Him in this evil fallen world. Faith is belief in what God has told us in His Holy Word, the Bible about His Son, and the gospel of our salvation.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,… 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. 1 Corinthians 15:11
22 “Therefore, having obtained help from God to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come-23 that the Christ would suffer, the He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” Acts 26:22-23
Let us believe what God tells us in His Word, and set upon the work that He has called us to do.
image: Arvind Balaraman, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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