Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weekly Devotion: Faith

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

Some would say that “faith” is just wishful thinking, others would say it is blind obedience, but here we see that there is both “evidence” and “substance” to our faith; not mystical fairy dust. There are actually three kinds of “faith” in the Bible; there is saving “faith” whereby we have “access” to God (Romans 5:1, 2) through Christ. There is also doctrinal “faith” that we are to be “grounded” in (Colossians 1:23) and “stand fast” in (1 Cor. 16:13), this type of “faith” is in reference to the truth of what the Bible says. And there is practical “faith (Romans 4:19-21) or faith in action, whereby we act on what God has said. Without this type of childlike faith “it is impossible to please him”!

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

These three types of “faith” are intimately connected; one could state that we should put our faith (practical faith) in His faith (Christ’s saving faith) and then abide in the faith (doctrinal faith). The human volition (our will) is involved with “faith” as we look backward in time to what God has said or done and mentally ascend to that knowledge and then willingly place our trust in what he said. This is where “faith” comes from. If someone lacks “faith”, it follows that they simply need more Bible.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

The Bible then is the “substance” of our “faith” by which we can find the address (chapter and verse) of where our faith lives. Once we apply these trues, God will provide the “evidence” via a changed life! C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.” Faith sees things that are out of sight, Paul said, “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). In 1949 Billy Graham prayed, “Father, I cannot understand many things about this Book. I cannot come intellectually all the way, but I accept it by faith to be the authoritative, inspired word of the living God.”

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)

Martin Luther said, “Reason is the greatest enemy of faith”. He said that, because Christianity doesn’t make since; humanly speaking, it is impossible that the death of a Jewish carpenter on a Roman cross, could save a gentile sinner like me / you some 2000 years later. That is where the “I” in the middle of “faIth” comes in. God requires that “I” personally believe, not only in the death, but also in the burial and resurrection three days later, according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:4). Friend, if “I” / you believe the word of God (substance) to the point of application, God will supply the “evidence” by giving you life, and life more abundantly (John 10:10)! Someone once said, “I might not have had the faith to believe that there is an ocean if I had not seen a quiet brook.” I like that quote and believe that if you can see a quiet brook in my life and in other Christians, I would ask you to follow that faith and let it lead you to place your faith in the ocean of God’s forgiveness. Be “wise unto salvation” today…

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:15

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