Listen:  123.3

What a wonderful topic: faith.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “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 is the way we approach and please God.  In its simplest form, faith is merely taking someone at their word; it is believing what you are told without being shown.  To come to God, we absolutely must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who come to Him.  Faith is the opposite of sight and 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  Four times in the Bible: in Habakkuk 4:2, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38, we are told that, “the just shall live by faith.”  Let’s consider the words of our resurrected savior to the Apostle Thomas in John 20:29, “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”  Thomas believed in the resurrected Christ when he saw Him.  We do not physically see the Lord today, but by faith do see Him.  It was said of Moses in Hebrews 11:27, “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.”  Moses saw the invisible God!  How did he do that?  Faith!

Hebrews, chapter 11 is known as the faith chapter.  In it we find the stories of great men and women of faith.  We see that by faith, people accomplished wondrous things; people overcame great obstacles; and, by faith, some died the death of martyrs.  Hebrews 11:1 describes faith like this, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  By faith, things that are hoped for become real and tangible.  By faith we have the confirmation of things that cannot be seen.  We have more of this truth in Romans 8:24-25, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

Faith is believing.  Faith is having confidence in the reliability of God.  For the sinner to be saved, he must exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord said in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”  He that believes, or has faith in, the Lord Jesus Christ has eternal life.  He that doesn’t believe, or doesn’t have faith, shall not see life.  No one comes to the Lord on a trial basis.  Have you ever heard someone say something like, “God if you are there, please save me.”?  Remember what we read in Hebrews 11:6, “…he that cometh to God must believe that he is…”  When we lay aside all our useless reasonings and simply believe what God’s Word tells us about salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, then He will give us the faith to trust in Him.  Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

For the believer, we live by faith.  We walk by faith.  There will be times when the Lord will test our faith, as we read in 1 Peter 1:7-8, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  How precious!  We haven’t seen the Lord, yet we love Him.  That is faith in action.

By faith we can move mountains.  By faith we can endure hardships.  By faith we can overcome temptations.  In Luke 17:5-6 we read, “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.”  We see here that the point is not how much faith we have, but who we have faith in.   If you have not done so, I urge you to put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you are saved, live by that faith the Lord has given you, so that you might please and honor him with your life.  (123.3)