If you ask a Christian what faith is, he will remember the definition:
1 But faith is the realization of the expected and the certainty of the unseen. (Hebrews 11:1).
But this is the definition of faith that works miracles. Is it always the case that when we believe in something, the consequence is the realization of what we believe?
Of course not!
And in the Bible we find descriptions of faith that cannot be said to work miracles. Moreover, there is a description of faith that:
- Harmful and fruitless:
11 And because of these things God will send them a work of error, so that they will believe a lie, (2 Thess.2:11),
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead. (James 2:26),
- is vain:
1 I remind you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received and were established in,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast what I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1,2)
And so on.
So, it is not enough to use only the definition given to us by the Apostle Paul in Hebrews 11:1 to understand faith.
The following questions will be addressed in this topic:
Faith is the only way to know.
Faith is an instrument of creation.
Faith is a condition of salvation.
Where does the Bible say faith comes from?
Why is faith necessary according to Scripture?
Faith is the only way to know.
When we believe in someone or something, such faith is akin to trust. What we believe constitutes our beliefs.
It is obvious. A child believes that his father and mother are his parents, that objects are named as their parents named them. At school, children believe their teachers, who teach them and tell them what they do not know. Thus, as we learn about and experience the world and life, we acquire beliefs, that is, faith about everything we might have thought or learned about.
Such faith is akin to knowledge.
For a person who thinks he knows something, in fact, after verifying it, has simply believed it, has acquired a belief.
But some things we can’t verify and we still have to take them on faith. As they say, I can’t see America, but it’s there. Why am I so sure? Because there are witnesses who have been to America, there are video facts, photos, and plenty of other evidence that I eventually believe. I firmly believe there is an America. Even though I have never been there in person.
This is also the case with so much other knowledge that we can’t exactly experience or feel or try. Think of how many things you “know,” even though you are in no way able to verify them. Something we have seen pictures or videos or eyewitness accounts, historians and de-writers, and so on. We simply take knowledge on faith, based on the authority of the sources of that knowledge.
We have to draw conclusions. The important conclusions are:
- Man cannot know many things, many facets of life, except through faith.
- 2. Faith is the only way to know the world.
Man cannot know the truth except through faith.
What is truth? How is the world arranged? What was? What will be? What is right? What is wrong?
Part of it is to be sure, to be convinced, to believe the knowledge available, based on personal experience and scientific sources of knowledge.
But there are plenty of questions to which we cannot give even approximate answers. Although there are perfectly accurate and unambiguous answers to these questions. After all, the world is somehow arranged, whether we know it or not. And what will be will be, whether we know it or not. And right or wrong are perfectly accurate, specific things, judgments, actions, and deeds, no matter what we believe or what ideas we have about it.
Is there a God or is there not a God? Is what the Bible says about the structure of the world, God’s law, God’s judgment, God’s salvation true? Or is it not? There is no way to verify it. And if the Bible or any other source of knowledge sets forth true knowledge about the nature of things, then the only way, the only way to know that very truth is by faith.
It is impossible to know the truth, the true state of things, without believing.
As a result, those who believe there is a God, believe in God. Those who believe that God does not exist, believe in godlessness, that is, profess atheism as a religion. After all, it has not been proven. Those who believe that it is right to live as the Bible teaches believe, for example, the authors of the Gospels, who ate, drank, personally heard and saw all that He said, taught and did, that is, in Christian teaching. And so on. Either way, we need faith.
I sincerely wish for everyone to acquire this true faith, a conviction in the true state of things that one will not regret, with which one can go all the way through life and avoid making mistakes that will become fatal, irreparable.
Faith is an instrument of creation
Now to describe another meaning of the word VERA we will turn to what Apostle Paul said about faith:
1 But faith is the fulfillment of the expected and the assurance of the unseen. (Hebrews 11:1).
God from the beginning of creation, according to Scripture, created all things by the Word:
3 By faith we know that the ages have been arranged by the word of God, so that out of the invisible things there came forth the visible things. (Hebrews 11:3),
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 It was in the beginning with God.
3 Through him all things began to be, and without him nothing began to be that began to be. (John 1:1-3),
14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write, “Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation” (Rev.3:14).
And if God doubted even once, even for one moment, that what He says will come true, nothing would come true.
But God has no doubts. Therefore, everything God has said has come to pass, is coming to pass, and will continue to come to pass until everything is fulfilled:
10 Just as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there, but water the earth and make it fertile and fruitful, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater.
11 In the same way my word, which goes out from my mouth, will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and do the things for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10,11).
Surely man cannot change what God has commanded to be:
37 Who is it that says, “The things which the Lord has not commanded to be”?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that calamity and prosperity come?
39 Why does the man who lives lament? Everyone laments for his sins. (Lamentations 3:37-39),
10 That which exists has already been named, and it is known that it is a man, and that it cannot bicker with him who is stronger than it. (Eccl.6:10),
5 I am the vine, you are the branches; whoever abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. (John 15:5).
However, the Lord also teaches us humans about faith, so that we can apply it to work miracles and great works of God:
23 “Have the faith of God, for verily I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that it will come true according to his words, whatever he says will be done for him.
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you will receive, and it will be done for you. (Mar.11:23,24).
Therefore, in everything about which it is the Lord’s will that we human beings should perform a miracle, our prayer of faith will accomplish it:
14 And this is what boldness we have toward Him, that when we ask what is His will, He listens to us.
15 And when we know that he listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know that we receive what we ask of him. (1 John 5:14,15),
14 If any of you is sick, let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And the prayer of faith shall heal him that is sick, and the Lord shall restore him; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:14-16).
Faith is a condition of salvation
The Bible says:
30 And when he had brought them out, he said, ‘O my lords, what must I do to be saved?
31 But they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household. (Acts 16:30,31).
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall there be salvation, as the Lord said, and in the rest, whom the Lord shall call. (Joel 2:32).
But as it is written,
13 For whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
14 But how shall we call on him in whom we have not believed? How shall we believe on him of whom we have not heard?
15 And how shall we preach if we are not sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news, those who preach good things! (Rom.10:13-15).
Therefore, whoever desires to receive salvation from the Lord from future wrath must, having heard or read in Holy Scripture from the messengers sent by God: apostles and preachers, the gospel message of Jesus Christ, believe in Jesus that He really is the Savior of all men from their sins, who died and suffered in their place on the cross or tree of Calvary to redeem the whole world from its sins by His sacrifice on the cross:
1 My children, I write these things unto you, that ye sin not: but if any man sin, we have a intercessor before the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous man;
2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1,2).
Where does the Bible say faith comes from?
Although the Bible says that faith comes from hearing the Word of God:
17 So faith is by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom.10:17).
However, in the same narrative, the apostle Paul asks:
16 But not all have obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us? (Rom.10:16),
18 But I ask, “Have they not heard? On the contrary, all over the earth their voice went forth, and to the ends of the universe their words. (Rom.10:18).
Of course they heard it. Just as they still do today. But they don’t believe!
What is the problem? Why is it that hearing God’s Word does not produce any faith in many people? Scripture gives the answer to this question:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and these things are not of you, the gift of God:
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Eph.2:8,9),
19 And how immeasurable is the greatness of his power in us who believe through the working of his sovereign power, (Eph.1:19).
As we see, faith in Jesus Christ, in God, is given to man by God, by the working of His sovereign power, it is a gift of God and is not a quality inherent in man. In whom God works His sovereign power, he alone can believe.
Why do we need faith, according to the Bible?
According to Scripture, the Bible, men face God’s judgment, and men who are not reconciled to God face God’s punishment: eternal torment in Gehenna of fire or the lake of fire.
Read also: What Does It Mean to Believe in Jesus Christ?
It is faith in Jesus Christ, in God, that reconciles us humans to God and saves us:
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom.5:1),
10 For if, being enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, how much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Rom. 5:10).
It is possible to describe the benefits of which only a small part of the Scriptures describe that they will be given to those who are saved in Christ Jesus. But everything pales in comparison to salvation itself.
May God bless and have mercy!