The Source of Faith

            In a previous post I told you about the school teacher who told me that if I were interested in religious things, I should have faith.  That’s such vague advice.  I want to share some simple, key principals about faith.  Though my teacher didn’t know about the faith of a believer, he was right in saying faith is necessary.  Heb. 11:6 says, “but without faith it is impossible to please him [God]; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  Yes, there are rewards for having faith.  Here’s a big one.  “”The just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17).  This faith isn’t just for salvation.  We can walk through everyday life in this present world and claim the promise of eternal life with God.  If you’re one of His, you know so and want to please Him (Jn. 10:27-28).  “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).  A note in my Bible indicates “substance” means “assurance.”  The very existence of faith is assurance from God that He’s working in us.  Read Hebrews 11 for examples of many Godly people who lived by faith.

            Mention of reward doesn’t mean faith is a magic key or get rich quick scheme.  Don’t believe false teachers who distort the meaning of the word “faith” and say you can name and claim virtually anything with holy talk. Jesus said, “…For out of the abundance of the mouth the heart speaketh” (Matt. 12:34).  He also said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” Matt. 15:18.  In the next couple of verses, He lists the awful things natural to man’s inner being, and He certainly knows what we’re made of.  Faith isn’t something we can conjure up within ourselves.  It’s just not in our human fleshly nature to do that.  Rom. 3:10-18 shows clearly that no one is righteous or truly seeks after God.  Rom. 8:7-8 says, “Because the carnal mind is enmity (hostile) against God:…So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”  If you’re praying and believing God for something, you can only have confidence of getting what you ask for if it’s according to His will (I Jn. 5:14-15).  It’s not in our fleshly nature to want the will of God.  We must be led by His Spirit.

            So, where does faith come from?  Faith comes from God Himself.  It’s a gift of His marvelous grace.  Eph. 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Rom. 2:4 says, “Or despisest though the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”  Jesus says in the first part of John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.”

            How can we strengthen our faith?  Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Immerse your mind in the Scriptures.  Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  You can trust God that His Word and the Spirit will give you direction.  (See Col. 3:16 and 2 Tim. 3:16-17.)

            God will give you the faith He wants you to have.  He is pleased when you seek it and ask it of Him.  To me, one of the most beautiful pleas in the whole Bible is from a man who wanted Jesus to heal his son. When Jesus challenged him to believe in His power, he replied with tears, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24).  I’ve prayed those words many times and will pray them many more.  Have you?

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Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Salvation, Thoughts from John

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