What is Faith?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

WHAT IS FAITH?

PART ONE

“Now faith is the essence of things being hoped
the evidence of things not having been seen”
HEBREWS 11:1 (LITV)

In the book of Hebrews we have this brief description of what faith is in terms of expression. When God seeks to lay out to His Own what faith is He is not the least bit interested in an intellectual definition. He speaks of faith as evidence and expression. He reveals faith by what it produces in terms of reality. We read this of FAITH:

For by this (FAITH) the elders OBTAINED WITNESS (Evidence of pleasing God)
By FAITH Abel OFFERED
By FAITH Enoch was TRANSLATED
By FAITH Noah PREPARED (built) an Ark
By FAITH Abraham OBEYED
By FAITH Sarah RECEIVED POWER to conceive

When God in His Word seeks to impart to us what faith is He can set before us no other description than what faith produced in the lives of those who have gone on before. The true test of faith is not what we believe; it is revealed in what we do and in what we become. True FAITH is the EVIDENCING of the Life of the Son of God in our lives. Faith is the ability to APPROPRIATE the LIFE of the SON into the world in which we live. Faith without works is an impossibility. For in the holding of faith, a true and living faith, there must always be an accompanying evidence of its authenticity in the life of the true follower of Christ. Believing a thing is simply an intellectual acknowledgement of a prescribed doctrine or teaching but having the faith of God can never be without a living expression of that inward power.

We live in a time when faith is held as a teaching, a holding to some form of doctrine or belief; a religious persuasion. This kind of “faith” is an intellectual commodity rather than a life changing expression of the power of God. The deception of such a notion is clearly communicated by James…

“But become doers of the WORD,
and not hearers only,
deceiving yourselves”
James 1:22

The “deception” James speaks of here is the deadliest and most subtle of all deceptions for the real purpose of faith is to empower us to the DOING of that LIVING WORD. Jesus is that Word made flesh and the intent of Him sending faith into our hearts is to see that same living WORD become flesh in the substance and reality of our lives.

“Who through faith…
wrought righteousness,
obtained promises”
HEBREWS 11:33

Brian Troxel

BY FAITH ~ PART TWO ~

BY FAITH

PART TWO

“For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good testimony*
HEBREWS 11:2

Faith is the only means by which men can please God. Faith is the “essentia” of man’s witness unto God and the only expression which garners God’s approval. Through faith these men and women of old OBTAINED a worthy commendation from the living God! By their lives being governed by the promises of God they “reckoned”, “accounted” and “judged” God faithful to see them through. Just as “faith without works is dead” so are works without faith dead and worthless. We must see that the life OF FAITH, a life lived IN FAITH and a life lived BY FAITH is the only thing acceptable to our God!

“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin”
ROMANS 14:23

Faith is to be the indispensable element of our daily walk whether at home, work or any other situation of life. Faith is the criteria by which all our actions are weighed. Whatever point we are at in the development of our faith is what we reveal in the common flow of our life. We cannot live in the estimation of others for true faith is only concerned with the pleasing of our Heavenly Father. As our faith develops so will the revelation of that faith be in our life. Many try to live their lives according to the acceptability of what others may think, to attempt to please or impress others with their carefully planned actions, but this is neither faith nor a life pleasing to God. Faith seeks ONLY to glorify its Author. There is a freedom in simple childlike faith that gives us liberty from the opinions of men, living solely for His pleasure.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
as it is written, The just shall live by faith”
ROMANS 1:17

The righteousness of God can only be revealed through our lives to the degree that Faith has been developed within us. Our life of faith is progressive “from faith to faith”, a living dynamic gift that God has given to us by His Mercy. Faith must grow through the experiences of life, through trial, tribulation and seeing God’s hand move in the daily aspects of our life! How good He is to those who trust Him! How faithful He is to those who rely on Him in all that we go through! How can we not desire that our trust in Him grows as well as our love FOR Him? Is He not to be the sole purpose of our life? Can we not seek to live our lives to the fullest extent of the faith that is at work in us, so that we may please Him more and more in the passing of our days?

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren,
as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly”
II THESSALONIANS 1:3

Ω

John Paton was making a translation of the Scriptures into a language spoken in the country where he was a missionary, and searched long for the world for “Faith”. The natives had no word for “believe” One day, while working on his translation, a native entered his room, exhausted and flung himself down on the nearest chair, and placed his feet on the chair across from him. The native remarked how good it was to lean his whole weight into that chair. Dr. Paton noted the word he had used for “lean his whole weight.” He had his word for “believe”.
John G. Paton

*“Literally, “were witnessed of;” that is, an honorable testimony was borne to them in consequence of their faith”
Barnes New Testament Notes

Brian Troxel