Faith

What is faith? How does a person exercise faith? How can we have stronger faith?
We shall see that as a mental activity Christian faith is no different from everyday faith. The unbeliever can use ordinary faith, the willingness to believe something, to accept the Gospel message and obtain salvation. The believer can use faith to acquire knowledge of Bible doctrine and to make application of those principles in his daily walk with the Lord.
The Biblical concept of faith is that it amounts to complete confidence in something for which there is no observed confirmation available.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible?. 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.” (Hebrews 11:1-3, 6)
Christians accept by faith that the Bible is completely true, believing the Bible is what it claims to be, the Word of God. Through faith, the believer has a basis to receive truth from Scripture with its teachings vital to all aspects of human life.
Faith is the only way for anyone to know and approach God. No one can claim special prestige for having believed the Bible, because the basic truths of Scripture are available to all who will receive them.
Therefore, faith as the means of acquiring God?s truth is perfectly evenhanded and compatible with grace.
The value of faith does not lie in the strength or intensity with which a belief is held. The merit of faith lies, rather, in the idea or object which is believed. Faith is valid only when it has a valid object.
Saving Faith has as its object the Lord Jesus Christ and His substitutionary work on the cross for man’s salvation. ?Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.? (John 3:36) A belief in any way of salvation other than Jesus, however strongly and emotionally held, will prove to have been faith in something worthless and ineffective. ?And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Saving faith looks to the information, assurances, and instructions of the Bible. Faith in God?s revealed word is the only process which will disclose spiritual truth. The believer who is growing spiritually receives constant confirmation that the divine principles upon which he bases his life are wholly legitimate.
The strongest, best established faith grows from Christian edification, that process by which a believer is rooted and built up in his spiritual life. ?Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.? (Col. 2:6-7)
One of the most important results of Christian growth is the progressive increase in the believer’s ability to use faith. This requires the continuous intake of truth from the Word of God. ?So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.? (Romans 10:17) Faith must be exercised daily in all situations, ?for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.? (James 1:3) More than anything, a day by day consideration of the Lord Jesus Christ makes faith comprehensive. “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith?? (Hebrews 12:2)
Faith leads us to Jesus, and the more we come to know the Savior, the deeper our faith will grow.

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Greg Tidwell

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