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 What is faith?

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redog
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PostSubject: What is faith?   Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:09 pm

Hebrews 11:1
tells 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 defines faith as “belief in, devotion to,
or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.”
It also defines faith as “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 2:8-9
makes 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 of Hebrews 11:6
tells 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 in Luke 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 by faith
that we will be in heaven with God for all eternity. “Though you have
not seen him, you love him; 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. 8-10, 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 the cornerstone of 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.
Faith can fail us 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” because the testing of our
faith produces perseverance and matures us, providing the evidence that
our faith is real (James 1:2-4).

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PostSubject: Re: What is faith?   Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:33 pm

Good Job, RD!!!

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