Let’s begin by reading one of my favorite portions.  Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  It is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that saves us from our sins.  We read in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Faith is produced by God’s grace through His Word, the Bible.  Faith is simply believing what God says.  We might refer to this as SAVING FAITH, the faith that allows us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

* Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is JUSTIFIED BY FAITH without the deeds of the law.”

* Hebrews 11:6, “But WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Faith does not end here, for even as we are SAVED BY FAITH, we also LIVE BY FAITH.  We learn in Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” (Read also Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, and Hebrews 10:38).  We need to exercise faith in the Lord everyday because we who are saved do live by faith.  Here are a few remarks concerning the condition of faith by some.

NO FAITH – John 20:26-28, “And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and BE NOT FAITHLESS, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”  The words of the Lord to Thomas do not mean that Thomas did not believe in the Lord Jesus.  He certainly did believe on Him, but in this instance, he did not believe the other disciples’ word that Christ had risen from the dead. When told of the Lord’s resurrection, Thomas replied, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25).  How gracious is our Lord that He spoke to Thomas personally and that caused him to believe that He had indeed risen from the dead.

WEAK FAITH – Matthew 14:28-31, “And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of LITTLE FAITH, wherefore didst thou doubt?” The Lord’s disciples were in a ship at night when a great storm arose.  Looking out from the ship, they saw the Lord Jesus coming towards them, walking on the water.  His words to them were, “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” (verse 27).  We see that as Peter walked towards the Lord, he was distracted by the wind and waves and he began to sink into the water.  When he cried to the Lord for help, we see that IMMEDIATELY the Lord reached out and saved him.  While Peter definitely had enough faith to get out of the boat, he allowed circumstances to hinder his faith.  The Lord called that ‘little faith’ and asked Peter why he doubted.  Of course, if the Lord can move us out of safety zone, He can sustain us there.

GREAT FAITH – Matthew 8:5-10, “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so GREAT FAITH, no, not in Israel.”  This Roman, who ruled 100 men in the Roman army, came to this simple, humble Jewish man (Jesus) and asked Him to heal one of his servants.  He stated that he was unworthy of having the Lord Jesus come to his house and asked that He just “speak the word only.”  What great faith this man had.  He believed in the power of the Word of the Lord to meet his most desperate needs.

In closing, let’s read Luke 17:5-6, “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”  The amount, or level, of faith that we possess is not the most important thing.  What is important is that our faith in our Lord continues to grow.  As He proves Himself to us every day, we have more and more reasons to trust Him for the small things, for the big things…for EVERYTHING.  (365.4)