Faith is one of the most important words in Christianity. It is one of the “three” most important things. So, if it is so important, where does faith come from, according to the Bible.
The three most important things mentioned in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 are, faith, hope, and love. Love is stated to be the most important because it is the one that will last throughout eternity. It is by love that the other two are able to function.
We do not state this to lessen the importance of the other two. All three must be present for any one of them to function. You must understand that you must exercise all three for any one of them to function biblically. We are going to focus in on faith in this blog.
What is faith?
Most people in our society know of faith only as a vague definition of religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. But that is just what the enemy of Biblical faith wants you to think.
Many believe that faith is some ethereal belief in a higher being that is in another dimension.
Others belief that it is a system by which they convince themselves of a certain outcome and by operating the system they can achieve the goal or receive the thing they wish to get.
But, none of these are the correct definition of what Biblical faith is.
What is Biblical faith?
We must go to the Bible to find out what “Biblical faith” really is.
In Ephesians 2 verse 8 we read, “For by grace are you saved, through faith; it is the gift of God.” If you are not familiar with Biblical terms, the term “saved” means to be returned to good standing with the God of Creation. This was an impossible goal to attain because the standard was that of perfection in every area. The most important factor in this equation is the first, which is grace.
Mankind had no hope of ever getting back into good standing with his Creator except that the Creator extended grace and through that grace provided a way to come into good standing. The avenue of that grace was the Creator’s only-begotten Son, Who took on the form of a human and lived with the same limitations and temptations of a human, yet lived in perfect harmony with the Creator. Having lived a perfect life He then turned and suffered the sentence for all who had fallen out of good standing with the Creator. This is the grace spoken of in Ephesians.
Grace is the foundation of salvation, but faith is the actuator. So, do we learn faith? Do we develop faith by some program or exercise? Because we as humans always wish to get some credit for things that we accomplish, we think that we can have a part in helping God or God helping us. That is not the way it is in Biblical faith.
Look again at Ephesians 2:8-9.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
To state it in everyday English; you have nothing to do with it. It is all a work of God and He gets all the credit, or glory. You will understand why this is necessary a little later.
So, how do we get faith by which we get salvation? A good question. But the Bible has an answer.
Romans 10:13-17 (KJV)
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Verse 17 states a great Biblical truth. Most people will never understand it apart from the direction of the Holy Spirit. Verse 17 says that “faith comes by ‘hearing’.” Stop right there. Some people like to state that as “hearing and hearing” the word brings faith. That is not what it says. It says, “Faith comes by hearing.” Pause. ” ‘Hearing’ comes by hearing the word of God.” That is a little different meaning than what is usually derived from just a superficial reading of the scripture. The “hearing” that brings faith is different from hearing the word of God.
An example is found in Matthew 16, verse 13 and following where Jesus asked His disciples who people thought He was. They gave various answers. Then He asked Who they thought He was. Then Peter spoke out, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” To which Jesus replied:
The Source of real faith
Matthew 16:17 (KJV)
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon
Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my
Father which is in heaven.
This is the “hearing” that brings faith. It is a “hearing” that is beyond just audible sound. A more sure “hearing” than mere vibrations. This is a communication from the God of all creation speaking directly to you. But, lest we get “puffed up”, it does not come because of anything that you do. It comes because there has been the audible hearing of the Word of God, the Bible. This takes us back to Ephesians 2:9 where it says, “not of works, lest any man should boast.” In the Old Testament God says this:
Isaiah 42:8 (KJV)
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Isaiah 48:11 (KJV)
11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how
should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
So we see that salvation is a work of grace totally brought about the God Who created all things. We receive God’s grace by faith which is brought about when the seed of God’s word is planted into our lives as that Word is spoken. When it comes to fruition it blossoms into faith which is revelation straight from the God of creation without any intermediary. This is the faith that brings salvation and makes us have good standing in the presence of our Creator.
I mentioned above, when we talked about it was all the work of God and He shares His glory with no man, that this was very important. Many believe that somehow you can at some point decide not to exercise faith for salvation and thereby lose your faith and salvation. But, as the scripture clearly shows, faith does not come from anything that you can do or not do, it is a work of God Himself. Therefore, you do not have the power to undo what the Creator of the universe has done.
You may counter by saying that you have lost your salvation. The Word replies, “Greater is He Who is in you, than he that is in the world.”
Look how Paul, the apostle, describes salvation.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Whose faith is he living by now? Not his own, but the faith of the Son of God. That is the faith that not only brings salvation but keeps us in salvation. If you can overcome the Son of God, then you can lose your salvation. Jesus not only rose from death, thereby conquering death, He also overcame the devil and all his demons when He took the keys of death and hell from them.
The real hearing
Once you have experienced the true “hearing” you cannot ever go back to not “hearing”. If you say you can, then you pit yourself against the God of all creation, and in so doing declare yourself as god. It is evident that you are not omnipotent or all knowing or omniscient. You can lose almost anything that you might achieve.
I encourage you to begin to read the Word of God, the Bible, and fill up on that Word until it comes alive in you. When it does, you will hear the God of all creation expressing how much He loves you. You will begin to understand what great length He went to in expressing that love for you.
So, where does faith come from, according to the Bible? It comes straight from the Creator by way of His written and spoken word.
He loves you enough that He will allow you to make the choice, though. He will not force you or coerce you to surrender your life to Him. You can be assured that He will give you His life when you give up yours. When you experience His life in you then you will know what real living is. This wonderful beautiful life will go one for eternity.
God bless you as His word bears fruit in your life.
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