Faith: What is it?

This past Sunday, March 1, we kicked off a series called, “Four Ways to Grow Your Faith.” Through this series I hope to help people have a better understanding of the Biblical faith and how our faith can grow. In Hebrews 11:6 we learn that it is impossible to please God without faith. The follower of Christ needs to have faith, if for no other reason than God has set it up that way. The other reason is the follower of Christ is called to see the unseen world. According to the Bible the unseen world is the real world for it is the kingdom of God. God is Spirit and, therefore, we have to have faith to enter into a relationship with because we cannot see God.

We now know that the follower of Jesus has to have faith in order to be a follower of Jesus, but where does this faith come from? Is it something we are to conjure up through our own strength? Is it a mindset that we have to be in charge of each day? The Bible is clear that every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights. (James 1:17) God has blessed us, in His love and grace, with the gift of faith to believe in Jesus so that we may be restored to God everyday. To further the point that this faith is a gift we can turn to Romans 8:7-8 where Paul states that the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God. Many believe that an unbeliever can have faith through their own strength to trust God for salvation and other gifts of God. The problem is the mind that is not influenced by God does not want anything to do with God. God’s Spirit comes to work on our mind and heart to begin to turn us toward God and to believe.

You say I’m already a believer, does that mean I have to do my everyday life through my own strength? No! The Apostle Paul addresses this in the book of Galatians. In Galatians 3:3 Paul writes, “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1-3) The concept is that God saves us by faith in His Spirit. To walk with Christ in our own power is not in the Bible. God gives the believer, by the Spirit’s power, the faith to believe for salvation and for our everyday life. It is God’s job, if you will, to supply His children with the resources to lead a flourishing Christian life in Christ. God saves us by grace and then by grace gives us the tools to live like Christ here on earth. So now we may ask, “What do we do?” Good question.

We are to believe that God wants us to succeed in our walk with Christ. We can pray that God will give us the faith to walk with Him wherever He takes us. We can truly let God know that we struggle with our faith in Him. We can talk to our brother and sister’s in Christ about our struggle in our walk. We can obey God and read His Word. In Romans 10:17 Paul writes these words, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” In our series on faith I will go into this verse more, but for now there is a deep connection between us reading and hearing His word and our faith. There is really nothing hard about going to church, reading the Bible, talking to God, and asking God’s Spirit to fill you. People go to all kinds of meetings, listen or read all kinds of books and talk to all kinds of people. So as one theologian once said, “Fake till you make it.” Literally a theologian said this. Today let God speak to you about growing your faith in order to serve God and His kingdom better.

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