There are four important Scriptures concerning faith that we must understand and engrave them in the very fibers of our hearts. These verses reveal critical truths about the importance of faith in our daily living. Jesus words ring true today that if he were to come to the earth this moment how much true faith would he find? Would we be numbered among those who have faith, and I mean really have faith, and not some weak, religious version of faith? Luke 18:1b “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Are we living in times like the days of Noah when only one man out of millions and millions had faith in God? Would Jesus marvel at our faith like he marveled at the centurion’s faith or would he say to us “O ye of little faith why did you doubt; why are you so fearful?” Where does our faith rank? Would be listed in Hebrews 11 among those who have the greatest faith in the history of civilization “who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight”? Or has the flame of our faith been extinguished? Which is greater our faith or our fear? Our faith or our doubt? Our faith or our worry? Our faith or our unbelief? Our faith is the shield in our spiritual armor of God and without the shield of faith we can never extinguish the fiery missiles of the Devil aimed directly at our heart. Are we entering the spiritual battle every day without our shield?
The entire kingdom of darkness is set up to try to destroy our faith in God and His promises. The prevailing atmosphere of our culture revealed on the internet, in books, on television, in magazines and on radio has one purpose in mind and that is to build fear and destroy any remnant of faith in your heart. Do we have more faith in the power of the devil to afflict us then in the power of God to deliver us? As Christians, do we live by faith or do we live by fear? Does our faith crumble in times of trouble or is our faith the sure rock of our soul, rooted in our unshakable confidence in God? Is our faith immovable, unwavering and impenetrable? Or has our faith been crushed under the weight of the unending speculations and talking heads of the world. Do we believe our God is faithful? Who do we really trust in our times? God or our bank account? God or our education? God or our social standing? God or our self? God or our strength? Who is worthy in these times to place our faith and trust in? The President? The government? The media? Science? Charities? Our experience? Our knowledge? Our wisdom? I Corinthians 2:5 (KJV): That our faith should not stand in the wisdom of man but in the power of God. Only One is worthy of our trust and our steadfast Faith and that is God Almighty, the Creator of the Heavens and Earth, the Great I AM, who is everything we will ever need in every circumstance of life.
Let’s examine these four verses to help build our faith and glorify our God and which set forth a critical understanding of faith.
TRUTH NUMBER 1-Without Faith It is Impossible to Please God
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV): But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Wuest: Now, without faith it is impossible to please Him at all. For he who comes to God must of the necessity in the nature of the case believe that He exists, that He also that He also becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out..
Do we want to please God? Do we want our lives to be pleasing to Him where He tells us “Well done, my beloved son or daughter!” Then we must have faith. If we have little or no faith in our lives, then this is a sure indication that we are not pleasing God. Hebrews 10:38 (WEB): But the righteous shall live by faith. If he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in Him.
Pleasing God begins and ends with faith. When the Bible says impossible, it means impossible. There is absolutely no way to ever please God without faith.
Spurgeon: He does not say it is difficult, or so needful that without it success is barely possible. He declares it to be “impossible.” When the Holy Spirit says that a thing is impossible, it is so in a very absolute sense. Let us not attempt the impossible. To attempt a difficulty may be laudable, but to rush upon an impossibility is madness. We must not, therefore, hope to please God by any invention of our own, however clever, nor by any labor of our own, however ardent—since infallible Inspiration declares that, “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
There are two essential requirements of faith in this verse. God uses the word “MUST” in the text to emphasize that it is an absolute necessity to faith to fulfill these two requirements.
1) We must come to God and believe that He is.
2) We must believe that He is rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
What a blessed thing then, to believe that God is. Few practically believe it. This is much more than simply believing that there is a God. It is to know and believe who God is and what are His characteristics, His nature and His attributes. We must accept Yahweh as He reveals Himself in the pages of Scripture. All the names of God in the Bible reveal numerous qualities of God and what He is. We are not to make a god of our choosing and reasoning.
Spurgeon: You must have so much belief in God as to believe Him to have the heart of a father towards you, or you will never come back to Him. But when you begin to trust your God, your face is already towards the heavenly home, and before long your head will be on your Father’s bosom.
Yet in all ages there have been many who attempted to please God without faith. Cain began it, but failed woefully.
But the quantity of faith is of very little significance. Jesus said so: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed” (Matthew 17:20b RSV), you could move mountains. It is not quantity that is important in faith. it is quality; it is what your faith is fastened to. What is the object of your faith? The strength of faith is directly related to the strength of what you believe in. What are you believing in? Who are you believing in? What kind of a person is he?
The second verb “is” is the translation of ginomai. The idea is not merely that God exists as a rewarder, but that He will prove Himself to be a rewarder of that person who diligently seeks Him.”
Verse 6 mentions the one “who comes to God.” “Comes to” translates the same word that is translated draw near in Hebrews 4:16 where we are exhorted to “draw near to the throne of grace.” We cannot have faith on an island all by ourselves in isolation. Faith involves coming to God and drawing near to Him and placing our hearts in His hands
Seek (ekzeteo from ek = out or to intensify the meaning + zeteo = to seek) means to seek out, to look for, to search diligently for anything lost. This verb implies that the seeker exerts considerable effort and care in learning something.
Earnestly seek God is a characteristic of faith. We seek God out in every circumstance and in every way with all our hearts, minds, strength and energy. We are zealous in our pursuit of God above all else.
Rewarder: This Greek word is only used one time in the entire New Testament and literally means “a payer in full of wages.” God justly and fully rewards those who have faith. But the greatest reward of all is God himself- “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your very great reward “(Genesis 15:1, NASB)
Faith is not positive thinking; that is something quite different. Faith is not a hunch that is followed. Faith is not hoping for the best, hoping that everything will turn out all right. Faith is not a feeling of optimism. Faith is none of these things, though. Faith is not just mental assent to something. Faith is absolute confidence and trust in God; That God is faithful to His character and His promises. Faith is to set the gaze of the eyes of our heart on God, knowing that He can do what He says He can do and is what He says He is in the pages of Scripture.
Never forget we cannot please God without faith that is built upon our coming to God and drawing near to Him continually knowing who He is and diligently seeking him out with all our heart knowing he faithfully rewards us with the fulfillment of His promises in our lives.
As Christians we are to LIVE by faith.
Habakkuk 2:2-4 (NASB): Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run.3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. 4 “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.
Faith is great expectation that God will accomplish His vision, His purpose and His will in our lives in His perfect timing. Faith is waiting on God with patience until His promise is fulfilled. Our soul is never right within us until we learn to live by faith.
Our faith rests on the faithfulness of God’s promise.
TRUTH NUMBER 2: FAITH COMES BY HEARING AND HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD
Romans 10:17: So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
We must first hear before we can have faith. Faith never comes until we first hear the voice of God speaking to us through His Word.
Bullinger: When we give ear to man, we can never be certain that what he says is true. But when we give ear to God, we can set to our seal that “God is true” in what He says and that “He is faithful” in what He promises. Faith is hearing God and believing what He says. This is the simple definition. Faith rests upon what we hear and that what we hear is the foundation upon which our faith rests.
God has spoken and the sin is defined as not believing what He said. God is the Living Word.
Isaiah 1:1 Hear O heavens, and give ear O earth: For Yahweh has spoken. This is the great truth that God has spoken in the Word of God, in the Bible. Do we believe Him? He has given to us exceeding great and precious promises. Do we believe Him? The Bible is the words that God is speaking now. Do you hear Him? Do you believe Him?
Romans 10:14b: How shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard?
If we are not hearing the Word of God, then it is impossible to have faith. Do you see why I am always emphasizing the importance of spending time in the Word? Studying the Word, reading the Word, mediating on the Word, memorizing the Word and confessing the Word are all vital to faith. If we are not spending much time in the Word, then we will have little faith. The only way our faith can grow and can become stronger is if we spend more time in the Word, hearing what God says. We must open up our ears to what God is speaking in the pages of His Word. We must pray that God opens up our ears to clearly hear His voice when we spend time in His Word. Every word in the Bible has a message and has a truth in it that can build our faith in Him. The Bible is the spoken Word of God; are we hearing Him? Do we believe Him?
The Devil is called the prince of the power of the air and he is always broadcasting his words through the medium of television, the internet, radio, magazines, books and the spoken word. Are we spending more time hearing Him then God? If this is true, what happens is a reversal of faith; a skewing of truth faith; we begin to have faith in the devil’s words over God’s words. Instead of faith in God, we have unbelief which is one of the most detestable sins in God’s eyes. We doubt, we worry, and we fear when we are hearing the words of our enemy. Our trust in God crumbles over what we are hearing. Our faith waivers and grows cold. We no longer believe God is faithful. We no longer believe His promises are true. We doubt our God can do what He says He can do. We believe the testimony of our five senses over the testimony of His Word. This is why the critical question for faith is what are we HEARING? The voice we are hearing has the greatest impact on our faith. Without time in the Word, it is impossible to have faith. The more time we spend in the word hearing God, the greater our faith will be. Do we value more the voice of God or the voice of our flesh? Do we value more the voice of God or the voice of the world? Do we value more the voice that expounds God’s wisdom or the voice that expounds man’s wisdom?
Three times in Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 God cries out to His people “Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts!” God demands that we hear his voice TODAY, not tomorrow, not next week, not when we feel like it or have time in our busy schedule. Right now we must hear His voice. God is speaking to YOU. He is calling you back to His Word. If we do not hear Him, then our hearts will become hard and unbelief will settle in. A hardened heart has no faith. A hardened heart departs from the living God. A hardened heart is full of fear, anxiety, doubt and unbelief. Today will you hear His Voice by coming with a meek and receptive heart to His Word?
D L Moody once said…
I prayed for faith and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” I had up to this time closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since.
A W Tozer wrote that…
Faith rests not primarily upon promises, but upon character. A believer’s faith can never rise higher than his conception of God. A promise is never better or worse than the character of the one who makes it. An inadequate conception of God must result in a weak faith, for faith depends upon the character of God just as a building rests upon its foundation….Job told us, “Acquaint thyself with him and be at peace”; and Paul said, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” These two verses show the way to a strong and lasting faith: Get acquainted with God through reading the Scriptures, and faith will come naturally…Study the Scriptures and you will find that we are not going to have more faith by counting the promises of God. Faith does not rest upon promises. Faith rests upon character. Faith must rest in confidence upon the One who makes the promises…If our faith is to have a firm foundation we must be convinced beyond any possible doubt that God is altogether worthy of our trust.
Never forget you can never have faith unless you are hearing the Word of God. Unless our Bible is open daily and we are spending meaningful time in it, we will always have a life weak in faith and susceptible to the fiery darts of the wicked one. What we are hearing determines how and what we are believing.
TRUTH NUMBER 3: Whatever is not of faith is sin.
Romans 14:23b (KJV): for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Amplified: For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin.
At the root of all sin is a lack of trust in God and unbelief in His promises. When we do not have faith, we sin against the very character of God and in essence are calling God a liar. We are saying God is not who He says He is and cannot do what he says He can do.
Piper: The most penetrating and devastating definition of sin that I am aware of in Scripture is the last part of Romans 14:23: “Whatever is not from faith is sin.” The reason it is penetrating is that it goes to the root of all sinful actions and attitudes, namely, the failure to trust God. And the reason it is devastating is that it sweeps away all our lists of dos and don’ts and makes anything, from preaching to house-painting, a candidate for sin. In the original language, this is stressed even more than in our versions: it says, “Everything which is not from faith is sin.” Anything, absolutely any act or attitude which is owing to a lack of trust in God is sin, no matter how moral it may appear to men. God looks on the heart.
Piper: The all-pervasive fault in every sin is its character of unbelief. Let there be no confusion here…The failure of the heart to be confident in the promises of God and to rejoice and find pleasure in his provision for the future is the root and essence of all sin. Unbelief is what mainly displeases God in every sinful act.
Unbelief is a terrible insult. If a friend offers to do you a favor and promises by his honor to see it through, but you decline the offer and say, “No, friend, I’ve decided I just can’t trust you any more,”—if that is your response to his promise, the friendship is over. You have insulted his integrity and robbed him of his honor. And there is just cause for animosity against you to rise in his heart. Moreover, the offensiveness of your insult would increase in direct proportion to the dignity of your friend. In other words, the greater his wisdom and honor and dependability, the uglier and more inexcusable would be the insult of your failure to take him at his word.
This helps me feel a little bit of how horrid sin is, because God is infinitely wise and infinitely honorable and infinitely dependable, and has paid an infinite price to put all this at our disposal for our good. What an intolerable offense it is then for a puny little human, absolutely dependent on this God’s grace for every breath he takes, to say with his behavior to God, “I don’t really think you can be counted on to make a better future for me than I can make in following my own way.” A failure to delight and trust in the promises of God is the greatest insult you can pay to God and therefore the primary offense in all sin.
One of Satan’s most successful lies is that sin can be limited to a manageable list of dos and don’ts. The reason this is so satanic is that it causes thousands of churchgoers to think that things are OK between them and God because they avoid one list of don’ts and practice another (much shorter) list of dos; but in fact may be sinning all day long, incurring the wrath of God, because their attitudes and actions do not come from faith in the promises of God.
To worry is sin; to doubt is sin; to be anxious is to sin and to fear is to sin because they all are not of faith. To not trust God is sin; to not have confidence in God is sin; to not believe God is faithful to His promises is sin.
If the stream doesn’t start in the spring of faith, it does not matter where it flows, it will issue in sin.
Sin-The Greek word means “to miss or fail to hit the mark, like when someone fails to hit the target with a bow and arrow; to fall short of any goal, purpose, or standard.” Trench, in Synonyms of the New Testament, states that the word means “a falling and missing the true end and scope of our lives which is God.” Wuest, in Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, says it means “missing the divinely appointed goal, a deviation of what is pleasing to God, doing what is opposed to God’s will…a missing of the goal conformable to and fixed by God.”
Without faith we miss the mark, the purpose and the divinely appointed will of God for all our life with begins and ends with God. Without faith we miss God; we wander away from His path and aimlessly walk in darkness without His guiding light.
Satan does not care how far you are off or in what direction you are off. He just wants you to miss the target. You will miss the target with anything that you do by your own will and power. You will miss the target with anything that God did not ask you to think, say, or do–God must lead. You will miss the target with anything that God did not think, say, or do within you–God must do the work. Without faith we will always miss the target.
We must never forget this truth that whatever is not of faith is sin.
TRUTH NUMBER 4: Faith Works by Love
Galatians 5:6 (KJV): For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Learning to walk in love is one of the most important things we can do for our faith because faith operates and is energized by love. The environment that faith works more effectively is love. When our heart is motivated by a love for God and others, then our faith is energized. If there is no love, then faith cannot operate. Its battery will run out. Faith fizzles out when there is no love. Faith’s flame is extinguished when there is no love. If we have unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, hatred, in our hearts then we are not walking in love and cannot have faith.
Ephesians 5:1,2 (ESV): Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
We cannot forsake love and expect to have great faith. If we are not motivated by love and compassion for God and others, then are motive of our heart is wrong and we cannot have true, biblical faith. God is love and to have faith in Him and His promises we must walk in love like Christ loved. We imitate God’s heart of love and our faith will flourish.
I John 4:7-21 (ESV): Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
Walking in God’s love gives us confidence, boldness and casts out fear. It prepares our heart to be the fertile growing ground for faith. When God’s love rules our heart, then our faith rises. When we fail to walk in love toward others, our faith is extinguished. We cannot have faith without love because love is the energy source for the operation of our faith. Love is the energy plant that ignites and sustains our faith. The more you love, the more you trust God. The more you love, the more you have confidence in God. The more you love, the more you believe His Word and act upon it. Love is the critical energy component that ignites the flame of faith and gives it the energy to keep burning.
Faith worketh by love: the Greek word for “worketh” is energeo which means: to energize, to work effectually and productively, and to put forth power. It is the energy and effective power of God Himself in action. It is the unlimited mighty power of God unleashed inside of you for God is love. This power is superhuman, spiritual, and is the energy of God Almighty at work. It is infinitely more power than the biggest nuclear plant; it is more power than the largest rocket engine; it is more power than all the stars in the universe. This energy and power of God is created in you with the new birth, and is part of your new nature and the spirit of God that dwells in you.
Ephesians 1:19-23 (Amplified):
And so you can know and understand what is the
immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness
of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated
in the working (energeo) of His mighty strength,
Which He exerted (energeo) in Christ when He raised
Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand
in the heavenly places.
Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion
and every name that is named [above every title that can
be conferred], not only in this age and this world, but also
in the age and the world to come.
And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed
Him the universal and supreme Head of the church, a
Headship exercised throughout the church.
Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all,
for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes
everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere
Faith is so powerful because it is the energy of God let loose within us. Nothing compares to the power of faith for it is the power of God in action. But at its source is love for God is love. The fullness of everything God is fills us at the time of the new birth and it is unleashed in the world when faith is energized by love. Faith unleashes the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at God’s right hand in the heavenlies. This took an infinite amount of energy. But without love, there is no energy source of faith for God cannot energize this faith without love. Never forget that faith is energized by love and without love there can be no faith.
These four wonderful Scriptures set forth the four truths that are the foundation of our faith. Studying them and apply them to your life and watch your faith soar. They are four powerful truths to get our faith on track and begin to believe God in our daily living. The great adventure of our faith begins by understanding these basic truths. Then when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, Jesus Christ can say, “Well done my good and faithful child, your faith has greatly pleased me and touched my heart. Come and enjoy the rewards of the kingdom!”
by Tim Rowe
Goodness of God Ministries