Let’s Talk About Faith

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People have many descriptions of faith today. Sometimes faith is presented as some mysterious thing that you cannot see but you just feel. Wait a minute. Consider what the Bible says:

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) — 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is substantial and evidential, not something wishful and intangible. That is why the ESV translates it:

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) — 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Let’s break it down. Faith is the substance or the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things that are not seen. Sometimes the word “hope” throws people off because of the way we use that word today. People hope for a good job. Others hope to get married. Still others hope their favorite team does well. Each one of those circumstances presents hope as little more than a wish. The Bible, on the other hand, presents hope as something that is sure, it’s just not yet come into fruition.

Titus 1:2 (ESV) — 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.

Faith is the substance or assurance that what God promises, He will fulfill. One of the basic ways that is demonstrated is in prayer. Our coming to God is based upon faith that God promises to hear us as we draw near to Him. Thankfully, He doesn’t leave that up to us, we have the prompting, the help, and the assurance from the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 11:6 (ESV) — 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

Romans 8:14–16 (ESV) — 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Romans 8:26–27 (ESV) — 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Let’s remember that faith is not something that is just stirred up in any of us, rather it is the gift of God and is not something that is merely there, rather produces evidence of that faith in our believing and our seeking to please God.

Ephesians 2:8–10 (ESV) — 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews is sometimes called the “Hall of Faith” because the chapter consists of a list of those who demonstrated faith in God because faith is alive within a believer and faith moves a believer. Just notice what it says about Abel, Enoch, and Noah and their faith. Abel worshipped God acceptably by faith, Enoch walked with God by faith, and Noah worked by faith for 100 years in the building of the ark.

Hebrews 11:4–7 (ESV) — 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith, Moses made a very serious choice in life in setting an example for everyone who would by faith please God.

Hebrews 11:24–27 (ESV) — 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

No wonder the book of James proclaims that faith is the gift of God that saves us, but faith that does not work is not faith at all.

James 2:26 (ESV) — 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

May God grant us grace to live out the faith that is given to us to not only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but to be willing to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ and be active in good works as we work out what God has worked within us.

Philippians 1:29 (ESV) — 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,

Philippians 2:12–13 (ESV) — 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.


Bob Brubaker, Pastor

Christ Community Presbyterian Church – Clearwater, FL

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