Faith is absolutely necessary to be a Christian. Without faith it is impossible to be a follower of Jesus. Without faith there is no salvation and no forgiveness of sins. Without faith you cannot receive God’s gift of eternal life. It all begins with faith.
Hebrews 11 – Hall of fame of faith. OT heros. By faith…over and over….by faith. These men and women stayed faithful and endured to the end, how? By faith.
Hebrews 11 is not just talking about general faith. It describes faith in God. Everyone has faith. The agnostic has faith. The atheist has faith. But not everyone has faith in God.
• When you turn on a light switch, you have faith that a light will come on
• When you get into your car, you have faith that it will start
• When you mail a letter, you have faith in the postal system to deliver your letter
• When you purchase a prescription at a pharmacy, you take the medicine with faith that the pharmacist filled your prescription with the right medication.
What faith is not:
• Faith is not positive thinking
• Faith is not following a hunch
• Faith is not hoping for the best, hoping that everything will turn out all right
• Faith is not a feeling of optimism
Listen to the first few verses of Hebrews chapter 11.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
So, what is faith?
Definition – Faith is the acceptance of the mind to the truth of divine revelation (God’s Word), based on the authority of God’s testimony.
It has been defined as: Faith is belief with strong conviction; it’s a firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; it’s complete trust in or devotion to.
Faith is an assent, and agreement to, and an acceptance of truth, simply upon the word of someone else, without proof or any other evidence (though we have other proofs). It is believing what I cannot see, hear, feel, taste, smell, or understand.
Faith is believing the unreasonable, the impossible, and the unexplainable, because someone else, in whom we have absolute confidence has said it was so, and upon his word we believe it, without asking for further proof.
The reason we can have such faith is because of the source of this word. We do not just believe anything that anyone says. Our faith rests upon the reliability and the track record of the one who says it.
Our faith in God stands on the record of his Word, backed up by an eternity of faithfulness. We often say, “God has a track record.”
The whole Christian life is all about faith.
Today’s Challenge: Take a look at your faith in Jesus. How’s it going? Is your faith strong? Is it growing? Is it weak? Is it non-existent. Wherever you are right now, your faith can grow. Take Jesus at His Word. He can be trusted. Decide you will be a man or woman of faith. And if your faith is weak, reach out to God. He wants to give you strength today.
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