“What does the Bible say about faith? ” Answer:Hebrews 11:1tells us that faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ” Perhaps no other component of the Christian life is more important than faith. We cannot purchase it, sell it or give it to our friends. So what is faith and what role does faith play in the Christian life? The dictionary definesfaithas “belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof. ” It also definesfaithas “belief in and devotion to God. The Bible has much more to say about faith and how important it is. In fact, it is so important that, without faith, we have no place with God, and it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is belief in the one, true God without actually seeing Him. Where does faith come from? Faith is not something we conjure up on our own, nor is it something we are born with, nor is faith a result of diligence in study or pursuit of the spiritual. Ephesians 2:8-9makes it clear that faith is a gift from God, not because we deserve it, have earned it, or are worthy to have it.
It is not from ourselves; it is from God. It is not obtained by our power or our free will. It is simply given to us by God, along with His grace and mercy, according to His holy plan and purpose, and because of that, He gets all the glory. Why have faith? God designed a way to distinguish between those who belong to Him and those who don’t, and it is called faith. Very simply, we need faith to please God. God tells us that it pleases Him that we believe in Him even though we cannot see Him. A key part ofHebrews 11:6tells us that “he rewards those who earnestly seek him. This is not to say that we have faith in God just to get something from Him. However, God loves to bless those who are obedient and faithful. We see a perfect example of this inLuke 7:50. Jesus is engaged in dialog with a sinful woman when He gives us a glimpse of why faith is so rewarding. “Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ” The woman believed in Jesus Christ by faith, and He rewarded her for it. Finally, faith is what sustains us to the end, knowing that by faith we will be in heaven with God for all eternity. “Though you have not seen him, you love im; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). Examples of faith. Hebrews chapter 11 is known as the “faith chapter” because in it great deeds of faith are described. By faith Abel offered a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord (v. 4); by faith Noah prepared the ark in a time when rain was unknown (v. 7); by faith Abraham left his home and obeyed God’s command to go he knew not where, then willingly offered up his only son (vv. -10, 17); by faith Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt (vv. 23-29); by faith Rahab received the spies of Israel and saved her life (v. 31). Many more heroes of the faith are mentioned “who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies” (vv. 33-34). Clearly, the existence of faith is demonstrated by action.
Faith is essential to Christianity. Without demonstrating faith and trust in God, we have no place with Him. We believe in God’s existence by faith. Most people have a vague, disjointed notion of who God is but lack the reverence necessary for His exalted position in their lives. These people lack the true faith needed to have an eternal relationship with the God who loves them. Our faith can falter at times, but because it is the gift of God, given to His children, He provides times of trial and testing in order to prove that our faith is real and to sharpen and strengthen it.
This is why James tells us to consider it “pure joy” when we fall into trials, because the testing of our faith produces perseverance and matures us, providing the evidence that our faith is real (James 1:2-4). Read more:http://www. gotquestions. org/Bible-faith. html#ixzz2cv0UoRHU Question: “Faith vs. fear – what does the Bible say? ” Answer:Faith and fear cannot exist together. Faith is described inHebrews 11:1as being “certain of what we do not see. ” It is an absolute belief that God is constantly working behind the scenes in every area of our lives, even when there is no tangible evidence to support that fact.
On the other hand, fear, simply stated, is unbelief or weak belief. As unbelief gains the upper hand in our thoughts, fear takes hold of our emotions. Our deliverance from fear and worry is based on faith, which is the very opposite of unbelief. We need to understand that faith is not something that we can produce in ourselves. Faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) and is described as a fruit (or characteristic) which is produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Christian’s faith is a confident assurance in a God who loves us, who knows our thoughts and cares about our deepest needs.
That faith continues to grow as we study the Bible and learn the attributes of His amazing character. The more we learn about God, the more we can see Him working in our lives and the stronger our faith grows. A growing faith is what we desire to have and what God desires to produce in us. But how, in day-to-day life, can we develop a faith that conquers our fears? The Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). The careful study of God’s Word is of primary importance in developing a strong faith. God wants us to know Him and completely rely on His direction in our lives.
It’s through the hearing, reading and meditation in the Scriptures that we begin to experience a strong, confident faith that excludes worry and fear. Spending time in prayer and quiet worship develops a relationship with our heavenly Father that sees us through even the darkest of nights. In the Psalms we see a picture of David, who, like us, experienced times of fear. Psalm 56:3reveals his faith with these words: “When I am afraid, I will trust in you. ” Psalm 119 is filled with verses expressing the way in which David treasured God’s Word: “I seek you with all my heart” (v. 10); “I meditate on your precepts” (v. 5); “I have hidden your word in my heart” (v. 11). These are revealing words which speak wisdom to us today. God is kind and understanding toward our weaknesses, but He requires us to go forward in faith, and the Bible is clear that faith does not mature and strengthen without trials. Adversity is God’s most effective tool to develop a strong faith. That pattern is evident in Scripture. God takes each one of us through fearful situations, and as we learn to obey God’s Word and allow it to saturate our thoughts, we find each trial becomes a stepping stone to a stronger and deeper faith.
It gives us that ability to say, “He sustained me in the past, He’ll carry me through today and He’ll uphold me in the future! ” God worked this way in David’s life. When David volunteered to fight against Goliath, he said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). David knew the God who had sustained him through dangerous situations in the past. He had seen and experienced God’s power and protection in his life, and this developed within him a fearless faith.
The Word of God is rich with promises for us to take hold of and claim for ourselves. When we face financial trouble,Philippians 4:19tells us, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ” If we are anxious about a future decision,Psalm 32:8reminds us that God will “instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. ” In sickness we can remember thatRomans 5:3says, “Tribulation works patience. ” If someone turns against us, we can be comforted by the words inRomans 8:31, “If God is for us who can be against us! Throughout life we will continue to face various trials that would cause us fear, but God assures us that we can know a calm peace through every situation, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” which He has promised will “guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Read more:http://www. gotquestions. org/faith-vs-fear. html#ixzz2cv0jXzk8 “Why do so many people struggle with a lack of faith? ” Answer:The Apostle Paul exhorts Christians to “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
What we see here is a contrast between truth and perception—what we know and believe to be true and what we perceive to be true. This is where the Christian struggle with a lack of faith finds its basis. The main reason why so many Christians struggle with a lack of faith is because we follow our perceptions of what is true rather than what we know to be true by faith. Perhaps before going any further it may be helpful to come up with a working definition of faith. Faith, contrary to popular opinion, is not “belief without proof. ” This is the definition that many skeptics give for faith.
This definition reduces faith to merefideism– i. e. , “I believe despite what the evidence tells me. ” Skeptics are right to reject this concept of faith, and Christians should reject it too. Faith is not belief without proof, or belief despite the evidence, rather faith is a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. That trust or confidence we have in someone is built up over time as they prove themselves faithful time and time again. Christianity is a faith-based religion. It is based on faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ.
God has provided us with His Word, the Holy Bible, as a testimony of His faithfulness to His people all throughout history. In its bare essentials, Christianity is faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ claimed to be the promised Messiah and the Son of God. His life was one of perfect righteousness according to the revealed law of God and His death was an atoning sacrifice for the sins of His people. By placing our faith and trust in Christ alone for our salvation, God takes our sin and places it on the cross of Christ and awards us, by grace, with the perfect righteousness of Christ.
That, in a nutshell, is the Christian message. As Christians, we are called to believe this message and live in light of it. Despite this, Christians still struggle with believing the biblical account because it doesn’t match up with our perception of reality. We may believe that Jesus was a real person, we may believe that He died by crucifixion at the hand of the Romans, we may even believe that He led a perfect life according to God’s law, but we don’t “see” how faith in Christ makes us righteous before God.
We can’t “see” Jesus atoning for our sins. We can’t “see” or “perceive” any of the great truths of Christianity, and therefore, we struggle with lack of faith. As a result of this lack of perception, our lives often do not reflect the fact that we really believe what we claim to believe. There are many reasons for this phenomenon among Christians. The main reason we struggle with faith is that we don’t truly know the God in whom we profess to have faith. In our daily lives, we don’t trust complete strangers.
The more intimately we know someone and the more time we have had to see them “in action,” the more likely we are to believe what they say. But if God is essentially a stranger to us, we are less likely to believe what He has said in His Word. The only cure for this is to spend more time in God’s Word getting to know Him. The world, the flesh, and the devil often distract us. By “the world” is meant the accepted “wisdom” of the unbelieving world and the culture in which we find ourselves. For those of us living in Europe and North America, that dominant worldview is naturalism, materialism, skepticism, and atheism. The flesh,” refers to our sinful nature that still clings to Christians and with which we struggle on a daily basis. “The devil” refers to Satan and his horde of evil spirits who excite and entice us through the world and our senses. These things all afflict us and cause us to struggle with faith. That is why Christians need to be constantly reminded of what Christ has done for us and what our response should be. The Apostle Paul says, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Our faith is built up as we have the gospel continually preached to us. Our churches need to be built on the solid preaching of the historic Christian faith and the regular observance of the sacraments. These are the means of grace that Christ has ordained to feed us spiritually and help us grow in our faith. Instead, too many churches spend their time, energy, and resources on the creation of “programs” that neither feed the sheep nor draw a clear distinction between godliness and ungodliness. Consider the example of the Israelites in the Old Testament.
God had performed great miracles in rescuing His chosen people from slavery in Egypt—the Ten Plagues, the pillar of smoke and fire, and the crossing of the Red Sea. God brings His people to the foot of Mount Sinai, gives them the law and makes a covenant with them. No sooner does He do this than the people begin to grumble and lose faith. With Moses gone up on the mountain, the people convince Aaron, Moses’ brother, to construct an idol (against God’s clear prohibition) for them to worship (Exodus 32:1-6). They were no longer walking by faith, but by sight.
Despite all the clear miracles God did in their redemption, they lost faith and began to go on their perception. That is why God instructed the new generation of Israelites before going into the Promised Land to continually remind themselves of what God has done for them: “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
God knows that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14:38), and so He commands His people to be in constant remembrance of these things. In conclusion, we need to heed the example of the disciple Thomas. When Thomas heard the stories of the resurrection, he wouldn’t believe them until he saw Jesus with his own two eyes. Jesus accommodated Thomas’ lack of faith by making an appearance to him and allowing him to see and touch Him. Thomas responds in worship, and Jesus says to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. ” Many skeptics today echo Thomas’ sentiment: “Unless I see Jesus face to face, I will not believe! ” We must not behave as the unbelievers do. We need to continually keep in mind Paul’s exhortation to walk by faith rather than sight. We learn in the book of Hebrews that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) because faith is believing the word of God and acting upon it, not responding to our perceptions. Read more:http://www. gotquestions. org/lack-of-faith. html#ixzz2cv12XGoM