If we are to live a life pleasing to our Creator, faith is required.
And, since having faith is so important, we must understand what faith is, and how it works.
And so this brings us to the question, What is Faith?
What is Faith?When we become Believers, we begin a journey of walking with Messiah. And as we walk with Him, we soon realise that our walking with Him must be by faith. We then begin to understand that if we are to proceed further with Him, our faith must also grow.
But there is a problem! Today many Believers have come to a standstill. We have begun well, but we have not grown in our faith.
How do we solve the problem? How can we continue to grow in faith? As we look at the symptoms, we will then see the Scriptural diagnosis!
As we walk with Messiah through our journey of life, we discover Scripture passages that illuminate Bible truths different from what we have previously learned. Rather than to search the Scriptures to discover the error in our understanding, we usually respond to these newly- discovered Bible truths with, "I am not convinced," or "I just don't get it," or "I just don't see it."
When we are unable to immediately 'connect the dots' in our thinking, our usual response is to reject the idea. These thoughts reveal to us that we are holding fast to what we already understand, yet we are hesitant to go further into Bible Truth.
Instead we must step out of the boat, and walk on the waters of what the Scriptures actually say! Our faith needs to become Biblical faith, and it needs to be exercised, so it can grow!
But what is Biblical faith? And how is it exercised?
Biblical Faith is not some vague idea, nor is it merely a mental agreement to the facts of Scripture. We are told (James 2:19) that even the devils believe!
And so we must ask ourselves, "In what way is our belief to be different from that of the devils?"
The Scriptures tell us! They illustrate for us what Biblical Faith is, and how we are to exercise this faith! Let us look at the Scriptures, and see what they say!
In the book of Hebrews Chapter 11, called the 'faith' chapter of the Bible, we see the following statement:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. (Hebrews 11:1-2)In the above passage, we see faith described from Yahuweh's viewpoint, from His perspective. We see faith described as a substance, and as the evidence, of something we have. But this does not give us a working definition of faith. So how can we define Biblical faith, so that we can know how to exercise that faith?
We see the answer given to us in many verses of this same Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11. Let us observe in this chapter there are many statements like the following:
- By faith Abel... [did something]...(Hebrews 11:4).
- By faith Enoch... [did something]...(Hebrews 11:5).
- By faith Noah... [did something]...(Hebrews 11:7).
- By faith Abraham... obeyed... not knowing... [did something] ...(Hebrews 11:8).
- And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets 33 Who through faith... [did something] ...(Hebrews 11:32).
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (Hebrews 11:8)
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed...(Hebrews 11:13)Notice two things in the above passages. First, in verse 8, we see that Abraham "obeyed ... not knowing." This is Biblical faith! The apostle Paul goes into great detail about faith, and Paul repeatedly uses Abraham as our example!
Next, notice in verse 13 that these all did something while they were alive on the earth, but they had not yet received the fulfillment of their faith by the time they died. They too did not 'see' the physical evidence of their faith, but they could only 'see' far off, into the future, by believing what Yahuweh had said! They had to walk by faith, and not by sight.
This brings us to what faith is. From these passages, we see that Biblical faith is simply our "obedience to the Word of Yahuweh ... not knowing." Biblical faith is being a "DO-er" of what Yahuweh said, even before we are "convinced," even before we "get it," and even before we "see it," and even before we "understand it."
We might say that Biblical faith is 'blind' obedience — for if we act only on what we know or understand, there is no faith involved. Here is what pleases Yahuweh:
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)To step out in faith, is to step out to obey His word, exactly as He said it — even if we do not see it, and even if we do not understand it. Then after we begin walking in obedience, He abundantly rewards us with understanding, when we seek Him!
Only after we walk in obedience for a time, will He open our eyes — and then we begin to "get it." Then we begin to "see it." Then we become convinced!
The spiritual principle of "first do, then understand," is the basic principle of Biblical faith, and is seen in the following passages:
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. (Deuteronomy 4:6)
Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:3)
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts. (Psalms 119:100)
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour ['Grace'] and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:1-4)
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. (Daniel 9:13)
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (John 7:17)The above passages show vividly the principle of "first do, then understand, and know." This is Biblical faith!
Note also, that the Proverbs 3:1-4 passage demonstrates (and confirms) the apostle Paul's words in (Romans 1:5; Ephesians 2:8), that Grace [the gift of enablement for obedience] comes through Faith — the faith of obedience to Yahuweh's Commandments!
But what are the steps we take, in having this faith? Let us see this progression of faith revealed in the Scriptures!
The Righteous Shall Live by FaithFirst, we are told that our Righteousness comes by faith:
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference (Romans 3:22)But then we are told that those who are Righteous by faith, shall also live and walk by faith:
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just ['Righteous'] shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:4)
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just ['Righteous'] shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)
For we walk by faith, not by sight (2Corinthians 5:7)
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just ['Righteous'] shall live by faith. (Galatians 3:11)
Now the just ['Righteous'] shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (Hebrews 10:38)The above passage reveals that our faith is similar to how we walk, and how we live. Our progress in our faith comes in the same way that we walk, and the same way that we live — in stages, one step at a time, one day at a time. The Apostle Paul tells us (Romans 1:17) that we demonstrate Yahuweh's righteousness, as we progress from faith to faith — from one level of faith to another.
But notice the above passages do not end with one who is made righteous by faith, for they go on to say that those who are made righteous, shall live by faith, and they shall walk by faith!
Let's see how this walk of faith takes place.
Our Walk of FaithThe moment we first receive Yahushua as our Saviour, is when we take our first step of Biblical faith. This is when we become Born-Again, and it is when we become righteous by faith (Philippians 3:9). When we put action to Yahushua's words by repenting, and being baptised, we take the next steps of Biblical faith.
And so it is, from that very moment we are made righteous by faith, we then begin a lifetime journey of walking with Him. Our walk with Him becomes a great adventure of discovering His words, and of learning to walk in obedience to those words we discover. Each day becomes a new opportunity to walk in Biblical faith, which as we have seen above, is simple obedience to His words.
Beloved, it is time that we begin to walk in Biblical faith!
For those who have not yet taken this first step of faith by receiving Yahushua Messiah, it is now time to do so. Today is the day of your Salvation!
And for those who have already received Yahushua Messiah — who have received His forgiveness, and have believed, and have been baptised — it is time for us to go beyond our initial steps of faith. It is time to seek Him, and to seek His words, and learn how to obey them.
Even if we are struggling with truth, and do not "get it," let us begin to walk in obedience to Messiah's Words, including those He gave to Moses. For it is only when we walk in 'blind' obedience to all His Words, that we show evidence that He is indeed our Lord and Master. It is also in this way that we progress in our faith, from one level of faith to a greater level.
Beloved, let us remember Abraham, who "obeyed ... not knowing."
For this is faith — according to the Scriptures!