Faith is Simple
Faith is suppose to be something that is easy to understand. It’s really a lifestyle. But our modern church has complicated it so much that many Believers are afraid of the topic and they think that they would not be able to understand it. It has become too mysterious for the common average believer.
What does it mean to be a Christian?
What does it mean to have faith?
If someone asked you what is biblical faith? what would you say?
Faith: belief, the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another.
This dictionary meaning of faith falls well short of true biblical faith.
This suggests that faith is all to do with the mind. Some people approach Christianity and the Bible solely with their mind. They attempt to understand everything logically and they overlook the faith aspect.
Let’s think back to when you became a Christian- saved ,born again. What happened?
You heard about Jesus and the plan of God- yes, your mind was renewed but something happened on the inside of you, through your faith you received a new spirit. God’s Spirit entered your body and took up residence.
Did you see Him enter? You probably didn’t feel Him enter- but it did happen. How do we know that? because God told us through His Word and we placed our faith in that.
“For by grace are you SAVED through FAITH; and this is not of yourselves it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8
Faith has nothing to do with you and your abilities or what you do. It has everything to do with grace. It’s a gift. You received this gift of grace through your faith.
Faith is the way we receive from God
God’s grace is available to all. As soon as it is received through faith then something supernatural happens, our old inner selves dies and God gives us a new inner man and places His Spirit with it.
Our salvation has nothing to do with what we can see, feel or even fully understand. I don’t understand how God’s Spirit entered my body and how He lives there, but He does. That’s why Paul wrote (under the inspiration of the God’s Spirit) “For we walk by faith, and not by sight” 2 Cor 5.
Saving faith is more than just assent of the mind. Relying only on your mind and what you understand is superficial faith. This kind of faith does not include your heart, your inner man. Nor does it include a total reliance on God and His Word even when you don’t completely understand His ways.
When the inner man has locked onto God and joined in covenant with Him by faith- it affects everything, nothing will be the same. His actions, words, attitudes, lifestyle, relationships, plans and dreams and desires all change and line up with God’s plans and His Words.
What does it mean to “live by faith”?
“the just shall LIVE by FAITH” – Habakkuk 2:4
The Hebrew word used Habakkuk 2:4 for faith is אֱמוּנָ֑ה (em-oo-narh) which means firmness and stability. The person with אֱמוּנָ֑ה acts with firmness towards God’s will.
Being firm means that you are fixed on something.
The original Hebrew was shown in picture graphs – each letter was a picture. The two root letters of אֱמוּנָ֑ה (em-oo-narh) is “aman” – a picture of water or blood and a picture of a seed sprouting which represents continuance. These two pictures combined mean “blood continues”. Each spices continues by passing its blood to the following generation. It’s the idea of strength through the blood. There is a firmness to a species when it can continue and not die out.
As an aside , from the same root we get the word “Amen” which is an affirmation of firmness – so be it!
The statement in Habakkuk that the just shall live by faith must be important because it was repeated not once, not twice but three times in the New Testament!
1. Romans 1:17
2. Galatians 3:11
3. Hebrews 10:38
Knowing the meaning of the Hebrew word אֱמוּנָ֑ה (em-oo-narh) or faith in English- we can understand a bit more of what it means to live by faith.
We can say that the just shall live by her firmness towards God’s will , towards what God wants, towards God’s plan.
What does it mean to be firm about something?
Firm – not soft or yielding when pressed; comparatively solid, hard and stiff.
When you have faith and are acting firmly towards God’s will , you are securely fixed in place, not shaking or trembling but steady, fixed, not changing from what God’s will is
In the book of Hebrews it tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God” .
It is essential for our new lives with God. We can’t live out our relationship with God (through Jesus) without faith – without leaning our whole weight , personality, decisions or plans on God.
NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Amplified.
What does it say about faith?
It is the ASSURANCE – what does that mean?
Assurance =a positive declaration intended to give confidence, promise or pledge, full confidence, freedom from doubt, certainty, freedom from timidity. It is a statement , an assertion.
It also says that faith is the CONFIRMATION – ah! conFIRMation. Here is a mention of being firm!
What is a conFIRMation? =something that confirms , as a corroborative statement or piece of evidence. Like a title deed.
Faith establishes the truth, it acknowledges with definite assurance, it makes something firm, adds strength to something.
Faith settles or establishes something firmly.
Faith substantiates, authenticates and validates.
Faith gives substance to something = bringing about the actual matter of a thing as opposed to the appearance or a shadow – but the real thing.
Faith gives authority or legal validity to something.
Faith makes something valid, it gives legal force to something.
So, Faith is the
- title deed
- conviction of their reality
- perception of what we hope for as a real fact
“For we walk by faith, and not by sight” 2 Cor 5:7
In our new life with God we don’t base our daily decisions or plans on what we can see or even understand from what we currently know. We base them on what God has revealed through His Spirit – we may not fully understand or see how the outcome can be successful but we move forward one step at a time in faith trusting God to make our paths straight and direct us.
How big must our faith be?
In Matthew 17, Jesus talks about the disciples having “very little faith”. Then Jesus said that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed then we could move mountains!
We don’t need big faith to change things or receive from God. But there needs to be a firmness to our believing on God.
Maybe the disciples were thinking that they had to produce the results – that it was their power that healed when all they had to do was rely on God’s power and in the name of Jesus. They were missing the faith element.
In order to have firmness towards God’s will we have to know what God’s will is – God’s words are His will. We discover the will of God through studying and meditating on God’s word with the Spirit teaching us. For our faith to be strong it has to be built up – How? ….with the Word of God
Romans 10:17 says that faith come from hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
Now we don’t have to worry about doing all this faith building on our own – Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus is the pioneer and the perfecter of our faith. The Amplified Bible says that Jesus is the Leader and the Source of our faith and is also its Finisher – he brings it to maturity and perfection.
Jesus doesn’t leave us to try and build our own faith – he works with us. He was the beginning of it, He leads us in the growth of it and then He finishes it – praise God!
A practical example of faith – giving
Let’s look at a practical example of using our faith. We will consider faith in spiritual laws – and specifically the giving law, sowing and reaping.
“Give and (gifts) will be given to you, good measure , pressed down, shaken together and running over will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [ of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38
So remember that Faith means acting firmly towards God’s will.
Jesus said that He only did the will of His Father. His words were His Fathers words. So from Luke 6:38 what is God’s will??
…..for us to give and to receive a full measure back
His will is for us to give a full measure AND for us to receive a full to overflowing measure back.
A person acting in faith would give – without any doubts or concerns that they would be missing out or that it would be detrimental to them materially.
Acting firmly suggests no wavering, no worrying about what happens after you give.
If the person was walking/living by sight – what they can see or think, they may only give a small portion or not give out all because they can’t see any future supply coming in.
I challenge you (and myself) to put this spiritual law into action and use our faith – being firm towards God’s will – and give.
I love this verse because it takes away all fear of loss or missing out if we give. I don’t think that this is just talking about material things like money but also time. Give some of your time to help people and God will make sure that you will have time for the tasks that you need to do as well.
Another practical example – worry
Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
What is God’s will according to this verse?
It’s His desire that we don’t worry about anything.
What He wants us to do, what His plan is for us – is to pray and petition Him with thanksgiving.
It is not His will for us to go around talking about our worries, talking about the problem.
Now it takes faith to trust that God will have your back and has got you covered if you decide to follow this Word firmly.
This involves serious action, you are to stop yourself from thinking anxious thoughts and from telling people about your anxieties.
It involves talking to God about every situation.
It involves thanking God in every situation.
It involves leaving your situation with God and …
…it involves receiving via your faith His peace.
You take your problem to Him and you come away with His peace. What a deal!
His will is for us , His children to live in peace ! in every situation -that is all the time.
When you think you have run out of money…
When you have no idea where your son or daughter is or what they are up to…
When you have received some bad news…
…EVERY situation God wants you to use your faith and firmly act towards His plan in everything!
Some of you are thinking – wow that is so hard, no one can do that!
Remember that we aren’t on our own.
God has left us His Spirit who enables us to act firmly towards His will.
The Bible says that Jesus is the LEADER of our faith, the SOURCE of our faith and is also its FINISHER.
He is the one that brings our faith to maturity and perfection. Praise God!
In order to live our Best Life Ever – we need faith!