Learning about faith, where it comes from, and understanding how it relates to fallen man has opened vast Biblical truth to this writer. How blessed I am to have studied under Hubert Lindsey and Amos Binney who both taught the depths of the faith of man in relation to the holiness of God! I’m thankful for the clarification received from both these men as it has fortified my relationship with Christ and my understanding of the truth of the Word of God. A lifelong study on faith has proven that faith is much more than just believing.
When I look back through men of the Bible I see Abraham a man who staggered not at the promises of God. He believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Abraham was strong in faith, did not waver, and was fully persuaded.
· Rom 4:20…He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
· James 1:6…But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed
When I look at Noah’s life I see a man of faith and a devoted preacher of righteousness who escaped God’s judgment. Noah was a righteous man by faith and could not be swayed from his obedience to God. Noah’s obedience was a product of his faith. When I look at the Apostle Paul’s life I see an example of a morally changed man by Divine Grace through faith in Christ. Paul’s faith could not be swayed from Christianity by any of the obstacles of life. Paul stood strong. Like many of the men of God before Paul I see immovable faith in all their examples. The Bible proves that men of God have always maintained obedience and righteousness in the eyes God. Men of God today can have this same faith and obedience toward God.
Faith consists of the following. A faithful man knows God. There is no compromise or doubt toward the truth of the Word of God. Faith helps man to pay attention to the Spirit of God. Faith keeps man attached to God and separate from a godless world. Faith is more than believing as it makes men accountable to God. Faith demands obedience and accountability. Faith gives man a moral obligation to God.
· Luke 12:48…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…
In order to understand faith in more detail it’s important to acknowledge doubt and how doubt affects man. Doubt is a natural tendency to disbelieve. Doubt is earthly bound. Doubt pays more attention to the world than to God. Doubt cannot hear or pay attention to what God has to say. Mans natural inclination will doubt the truth concerning Christ and the Word of God.
The natural man must be swayed by the work of the Holy Spirit that stirs the soul and leads fallen men to repentance. The Holy Spirit reveals man’s doubts. The Holy Spirit shows man what he really is in the presence of Christ. The Holy Spirit makes man willing to accept Christ. Through the Spirits conviction upon the human soul believing stems from man’s willingness to get away from what he is. Belief comes from a stirred conscience of guilt and rejection toward the truth about Christ.
Faith thus stems from mans rejection of Christ… not acceptance. The Holy Spirit reveals doubt and exposes man’s negative side. The natural will of man rejects Christ; but through faith consent of the human will is given. The nature of man desires to sin; but by faith in Christ sin can be renounced. Mans natural understanding does not believe the word of truth but through enlightenment mans will and understanding can be swayed to believe. Faith comes from a man moved by the power of God. The Holy Spirit reveals, sways, and enlightens man’s understanding to the truth about Christ. Men repent and believe when they realize they can only be delivered from a helpless immoral state by the redemptive power that comes from Calvary.
Men are called to faith by hearing the Word of God. Faith is ministered to the soul through the Word of God. Faith is based on the Word of God and comes by hearing, learning, and being taught.
· Gal 3:2-5…This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
· John 6:45…It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Part 1 at the following link...http://churchesontrial.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-is-faith-what-is-belief.html