In Luke 17:5-6 Jesus teaches us that it’s not the size of our faith that saves us and secures answers to our prayers, but it’s even the smallest amount of faith in our big God. I urge you to get your eyes off the size of your faith and off your ability to think positive thoughts and set your spiritual eye sight and confidence in God Himself and in HIs provision of His Son, Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to save us from our sins.
Faith is more than hope or desire or a wish or positive thoughts. If you were a poor, starving beggar and a wealthy person handed you a check for a million dollars, faith would cause you to take your check to the bank to cash it and use it to meet your needs.
When someone you want to meet tells you he will meet you at a certain location at a certain time and you take him at his word and you are there at the appointed time, that is putting your faith in him.
Faith is sitting in a chair, confident that it will support you.
Faith is stepping into an airplane and sitting down in your seat, trusting the pilot, the condition of the plane, the ground crew and the control tower operators that they will get you to your destination safely. Whether you relax and enjoy yourself or whether you are a nervous wreck all the way, makes no difference. You will still arrive at your destination safely, whether you enjoyed the journey or not.
Faith is acting on God’s promise without seeing how it is going to be realized or fulfilled.
Here’s an acrostic that may help you remember the meaning of faith. FAITH is Forsaking All I Trust Him. Forsaking all confidence in my human strength and human resources, I trust Him alone.
Hebrews 11 is the great FAITH chapter of the Bible. It begins with God’s definition of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The Greek word hupostasis is translated substance here. In Hebrews 1:3 it is translated person. In II Corinthians 9:4 it is translated confident.
In other words, faith is not an airy feeling or a hope. It is grounded in that which is solid; substance, a person, confidence. Faith is as real as seeing the reality of God in the person of Jesus as He walked this earth 2000 years ago. It rests in the historical fact that the man Jesus is God, the Creator of the universe in human flesh, and that He proved His deity by rising bodily from the dead.
If Jesus did not rise bodily from the dead in a glorified body seen of many; then our faith is vain and is nothing more than a dream and my ministry of over fifty years has been a total waste.
So, you see, everyone who has ever kept an appointment with a friend or stranger, everyone who has ever sat in a chair, expecting it to support him, everyone who has ever entered a plane to fly to their destination, everyone who has ever eaten a restaurant meal prepared by a cook they have never seen, everyone who has entered an elevator has faith. Perhaps their faith is not in God; but they have faith. Every astronaut, every scientist has faith in God’s physical laws; though he may not have a saving faith in Christ.
So if everyone has faith and if many people believe that God created the universe. why is it that many of these people who believe in God have never been saved? It’s one thing to believe in God. It’s another thing to agree with what the Bible says about us and trust God to save us and take us to Heaven.
The Bible tells us the story of how sin came into the world. The fact is that all of us are born sinners and all of us are under the wrath of God. We all deserve to spend eternity banished from Him in hell. That’s the bad news that’s missing in many pulpits today. In fact, most religious people expect to go to Heaven because of their self-righteousness or because of what they believe their churches can do for them.
The Bible contradicts that false thinking. From Genesis through Revelation God impresses us with the fact that none of us are righteous and that we all deserve to face the wrath of God now and throughout eternity. See Genesis 2:16-17, Ezekiel 18:4, John 3:36, Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-23; 6:23, Revelation 6:12-17, 20:11-15. That’s the bad news. We need to understand it and accept it. Only then are we ready for the Good News, the Gospel.
The Good News is that Jesus came down to this earth for one major reason. He came to bear the wrath of God for our sins. He died as the propitiation for our sins. That is, He died to bear the wrath of God that we deserved for our sins. He suffered the penalty for our sins in His own body on the cross. Think of this amazing salvation!!! We as sinners are deserving of God’s wrath. God in His amazing love for us, poured out His wrath on Himself, thereby satisfying His righteous demands He Himself, in the person of Jesus, paid the full penalty for the sins of the world, thereby satisfying His righteous demands; but only those who take their place as sinners in God’s sight and receive Christ as their Substitute and Saviour, are saved. All others continue on their way to Hell where they will suffer the wrath of God for eternity. See PROPITIATION on this web site for more on this topic.
Saving faith is simply taking my place as a sinner before God and receiving by faith God’s wonderful salvation. Jesus took all my sins, dying in my stead, taking the death that I deserved, taking the punishment of my sins, as He suffered and died on the cross. In the place of my sins, He imputed to my account His righteousness. Folks, that is an amazingly GOOD TRADE!!! That is good news!!! That is the Gospel, pure and simple.
How on earth could anyone become angry with God and with the messenger who brought them this Good News? There is only one reason. They are blinded to the Gospel and hateful to God and to God’s faithful servant. They are blinded and enslaved by Satan. See II Corinthians 4:3-4.
Will you stop right now and bow your heart before God and admit your lost condition as a sinner? Will you right now reach out by faith to Jesus who died on the cross in your place and then rose again to be your Saviour? Pray this moment, “Lord God, I am a guilty sinner and hell bound. This moment I trust Jesus Christ as my Saviour from sin. Thank you for pouring out your wrath on Jesus in my place. I receive Him now as my Substitute and Saviour. Come into my life, Lord Jesus, and take full control. Use me for Your glory.”
If you have just asked Jesus to save you, God has cleansed your heart and given you His gift of eternal life. He has miraculously entered your life by His Holy Spirit and He will begin to make changes in your life. The sin you once loved, you will hate. The Bible you once despised you will love. You will find you have an insatiable hunger and thirst for it. Read II Corinthians 5:17-21 to learn more about this change.
WHAT DOES FAITH ENABLE US TO DO?
Faith enables us to believe in the existence of God and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him, Hebrews 11:6 tells us. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.”
Faith in Christ as our Saviour enables us to be counted perfectly righteous in the sight of God, just as Abraham was counted righteous by faith. Read the following passages on this topic: Psalm 32:1-2, Isaiah 53, Romans 3 through 5. If you just now accepted my invitation to trust Christ, you are already experiencing the joy and peace of knowing that your sins are forgiven and blotted out through the shed blood of Christ. God sees you perfectly righteous through faith in Christ.
Faith in Christ enables us to begin understanding spiritual truths that were hidden to us prior to our faith in Christ. It enable us to believe in the Creation of the universe by the Word of God, as Hebrews 11:6 teaches. Foundational to believing everything in the Bible is a belief and trust in the God of Creation, even the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
WHY DO WE NEED FAITH?
There is no other way to approach our invisible God and please Him. Hebrews 11:6 There is no other way of salvation. Acts 4:12, Romans 3:21-22, 28; 4:20-22. 10:8-14. We are kept by faith. I Peter 1:5
We walk by faith. I Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:8-10.
We live by faith in His faithfulness. Galatians 2:20
We receive all God’s promises by faith. Matthew 7:7
We trust God for rewards for faithful service. Matthew 19:27-30 We trust Him even if it seems to us that we have accomplished little or nothing for Him in this life. Hebrews 11:32-40
We resist the devil by faith. I Peter 5:8-9, Ephesians 6:16
HOW DO WE GAIN FAITH?
Faith comes by hearing and receiving the Word of God. Romans 10:17
That is, be using your mind and logically examining the evidence to the veracity of the Bible as the infallible Word of God. it leads us to the conclusions that:
1. This creation requires a wise, loving Creator. It did not come together by random chance.
2. The Bible is filled with evidence of divine supernatural authorship.
3. The Creation and the Bible both come together to prove God. Read Psalm 19.
But saving faith goes beyond human logic and intellectual assent. That itself does not save. Many unsaved people believe in the reality that God exists. Satan and his demons believe that and they are not saved. James 2:19, Mark 1:24
Saving faith comes by personal choice. Hebrews 11:24-25. Let me be quick to add, you would not even choose Christ, unless God the Father by His Spirit was drawing you to Himself. John 6:44 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8
Saving faith comes by personal appropriation. John 1:12 tells us that we must receive Him by faith.
Saving faith enable us to rest in Him. In Psalm 34:8 we are invited to trust, rest, taste and prove to ourselves that faith in Christ supernaturally changes us forever. Prove God for Himself. His salvation is better than a money back guarantee. In fact, no money is involved in receiving Christ.
HOW DOES MY FAITH GROW?
Our faith grows in the same way we receive it; by reading and hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17
Our faith also grows through trials and testings God allows. James 1:3-4 I Peter 1:5-8, Job 42:5-6.
Let us not focus on the size of our faith, but on the power of God and in the grace of God. Ephesians 6:10 II Timothy 2:1
Trust God with the faith you have.
Stay in the Word daily and your faith will grow.
Accept the trials of your life as opportunities to build your faith.
Your faith will grow and your life will bring ever-increasing glory to God. I Peter 1:3-9