COURS 2                              

                            LESSON 3

 

                                            FAITH IN GOD

 

              BUILD YOUR LIFE ON THE FOUNDATION

               OF THE PURE WORD OF GOD.

                  THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD.

 

 

FAITH IN GOD

 

The call of the Lord Jesus Christ to repent is directly follo­wed by the words,

"...BELIEVE THE GOSPEL." When someone, having repented and been saved

seeks refuge in God, he must also believe in Him.

 

A.  Jesus preached, "...REPENT and BELIEVE the gospel" Mark 1:15.

B.  Paul preached, "...REPENTANCE towards God and FAITH in our Lord Jesus.

     Acts 20:21.

C.  The second principle of our foundation is FAITH IN GOD.

..."laying a foundation of repentance from dead works and of FAITH IN GOD

with instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of

the dead and eternal judgement." Heb. 6:1,2.

 

IS FAITH IMPORTANT?

 

Faith is the foundation for the Christian life. "...the righteous shall live by his

faith." Habakkuk 2:4.

We received forgiveness by faith. Heb.10:22. We are justified by faith.

"Therefore since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through

our Lord Jesus Christ." Rom.5:1.

We received the Holy Spirit by faith. Gal. 3:2.

 

Without faith we can receive nothing from God and we cannot please God!

"But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts

is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should

not think he will receive anything from the Lord." James 1:6,7.

We must believe in His existence; and secondly we must believe that God

has revealed Himself in His Word, the Bible. "but without faith it is not

possible to please Him." Heb.11:6.

 

WHAT IS FAITH?

 

The Bible itself gives the answer to this.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

" Heb. 11:1.

Faith is therefore an assurance in our foundation. An assuran­ce that God

exists. An assurance that He is the creator of heaven and earth and an

assured trust that everything is in His hands, whatever the circumstances

are that we are in.

 

In Hebrews 11:1 a distinction is made between faith and hope.

Hope is an attitude of expectancy as far as the things which are still in the

future are concerned, but faith is the assurance of something that we already

possess here and now. I hope for something. The Holy Spirit gives me the

assurance that I shall receive it. That is faith.

 

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF OUR FAITH?

 

The only source of real faith is the Word of God. Paul writes in the letter to the

Romans, "Faith comes through hearing the message and the message is heard

through the Word of Christ." Rom.10:17. So faith comes by hearing the Word

of Christ.

The Word of God comes to us in various ways:

 A.  The Word spoken in creation. "And God said, 'Let there be light' and there

      was light..." Gen. 1:3, Rom. 1:20.

B.  The prophetic Word. "...prophecy never had its origin in the will of man,

     but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

     2 Peter 1:21.

C.  The written Word. "...These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was

     still with you, that every-thing written about me in the law of Moses and the

     prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." Luke 24:44

D.  The living Word, Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word

     was with God and the Word was God." John 1:1. Read through to verse 13.

 

WE RECEIVE FAITH ONLY BY A PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH GOD !

The Holy Spirit must make the Word (Greek - Logos) alive (Greek - rhema) for us.

In Hebrews 11 we see how each of the champions of the faith had received a

personal word from God. THAT IS WHAT GAVE THEM FAITH (assurance in their

commission and in the fact that God was with them).

See Hebrews 11:8-12, Romans 4:16-22, Genesis 12:1-4.

 

THE EXAMPLE OF ABRAHAM

The way in which Abraham manifested his faith is an example for all of us.

"...so that you may not be sluggish, but imita­tors of

those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Heb.6:12.

 

A.  He heard the Word.

B.  He received faith "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a

     place which he was to receive as an inheri­tance; and he went out not knowing

     where he was to go." Heb. 11:8.

C.  He did not pay attention to the natural circumstances. "He did not weaken in

     faith when he considered his own..." Rom. 4:19.

D.  He held fast to the promises of God. "No distrust made him waver concerning

     the promises of God, but he grew strong in his faith, fully convinced that God

     was able to do what he had promised." Rom.  4:20,21

E.  In this way he received that which had been promised. Heb. 6:15.

 

-    Faith is a conviction or persuasion of the heart, not of the head.

It produces a positive change in our behaviour and our expe­rience.

-    Faith is in the first place BASED ON GOD'S WORD and not on the observations

     of our "natural" senses. "For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7.

     see also Matt. 14:28-31.

-    Faith is expressed by confessing with our lips. "Because if you confess with

     your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him

     from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is

     justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved." Rom. 10:9,10.

 

VARIOUS LEVELS OF FAITH

 The Bible teaches us that there are various levels of faith and that your faith

can grow. "We are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, as is

fitting, because your faith is growing abundantly and the love of everyone of you

for one another is increasing. 2 Thess.1:3.

-    God gives everyone a measure of faith. "...each according to the measure

     of faith which God has assigned him..." Rom.12:3-6.

-    Faith is as a seed and has the potential to grow. "He said to them: Because

     of your little faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith only as big as a

     grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to that

     place over there', and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

     Matt.17:20,21.

Examples:     1. little faith       Matt.6:30

2. great faith      Matt.8:10,11

3. perfect faith   James 2:21,22

 

SO HOW DOES IT WORK IN PRACTICE?

 

1.  Discover the promises which apply to your specific need and situation.

     " What you have learned and received and seen in me PUT INTO PRACTICE,

    and the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:9.


2.  Satisfy all the conditions which are necessary for a particular promise.

For example: "Put the Word into practi­ce" - is the condition. The promise which

is attached is: "and the God of peace will be with you". Psalm 37:5. The condition

is: Commit your way to the Lord and trust in Him. The promise attached is:

and He will act. (See also Joshua 1:3-9.)

3.  Accept with patience the testing of your faith. "...be..i­mitators of those who

    through faith and patience inherit the promises." Heb.6:12-15. "Count it all joy,

    my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the

    testing of your faith produces steadfastness." James 1:2,3.

4.  Expect the fulfilment of the promise with a positive, active faith. Read

    Numbers 14:6-9.

Our witness will always be in accordance with God's Word. "And this is the

confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he

hears us." 1.John 5:14.

 

Actively applied faith is one of the keys to a triumphant Christian life.

"Turn your eyes (throughout your life) on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our

faith..." Heb.12:2.

 CONCLUSION

FAITH is not just an inner, personal experience, but is based on the revealed

facts of God's Word. Jesus Christ died for our sins; Christ was buried but rose

again on the third day. We are justified before God by faith in these facts.

 

Faith is not only the basis for our justification, but faith is also the key to

receiving all the promises of God. "Have faith in God." Mark.11:22.

The original text reads, "Have God's faith".

 

Questions:

1.  How can I receive faith? Rom 10:17.                                                              

                                                                                                                        

2.  What must you do to receive perfect faith? James 2:22-26

                                                                                                                         

3.  Name several hindrances to faith. Matt 17:17,21; Mk 11:25,26; 1 Cor.2:5

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                         

4.  Can we receive the Holy Spirit only by faith? Gal 3:2; Acts 5:32

                                                                                                                          


5.  How do we overcome the world? 1 Jn 5:4,                                                      

    

COURS 2 LESSON 4