If there is one question that every professing believer in Jesus Christ should be able to answer, it must be: ”What is faith?” Understanding what faith is, and is not, is of utmost importance to the welfare of our souls. Anyone who is hungering and thirsting for the truth will want to know the answer to this question, as well as how it applies to their life in this world. Let us look into the Holy Scriptures to learn the truth regarding this most essential doctrine.
What is Faith?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:1-3
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. John 20:27
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Galatians 3:22
Where does faith come from?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3
Who is the object of our faith?
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15
What are we to do with our faith?
Continue in it (Acts 14:22, Col. 1:23, 1 Tim. 2:15).
Live by it (Rom. 1:17, Gal. 2:20).
Stand by it (Rom. 11:20).
Obey it (Rom. 16:16).
Walk by it (2 Cor. 5:7).
Examine ourselves to see if we are in it (2 Cor. 13:5).
Fight the good fight with it (1 Tim. 6:12).
Keep it (1 Tim. 4:7).
Prove it by our works (James 2:18).
Add to it virtue, knowledge, temperance (self control), patience, brotherly kindness and charity (2 Pet. 5-7).
Earnestly contend for it (Jude 1:3).
What does our faith do for us?
Purifies our hearts (Acts 15:9).
Sanctifies us (Acts 26:187).
Makes us righteous (Rom. 3:22, 25, Phil. 3:9).
Justifies us (Rom. 3:28, 5:1, Gal. 2:16, 3:24).
Gives us peace with God (Rom. 5:1).
Causes us to be blessed (Gal. 3:9).
By it we receive the promise of the Spirit (Gal. 3:14).
Saves us (Eph. 2:8).
Gives us joy (Phil. 1:25).
Protects us from enemies (Eph 6:16).
Works patience in us (James 1:3).
Finally, what is the end result of our faith?
The Apostle Peter tells us with these precious words of wisdom:
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. 1 Peter 1.
The end of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Let us not be deceived. If we have faith, we believe. If we believe, we obey. If we do not obey, we are unbelievers and our destination is eternal torment in the lake of fire.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death Revelation 21:8.
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