What Faith Is, According to the Author and Finisher of Faith
DATE: 1 Mar, 1998 AM PLACE: BBC Blarney
DATE: 2 May, 1999 PLACE: BBC Mallow
Introduction (Matt 8:26; Heb 10:38)
It might just surprise you what real faith is, and how people are to live by faith. We have this picture of great “saints” of God who always completely, without question trusted and followed God. Well, not quite.
There is so much to living by faith, that God filled the pages of the Bible with the recorded examples of hundreds of lives. Then, in Hebrews 11, God settles for 26 people to present as His honour role, who receive a good report card for their “faith,” their confidence in God. It is sort of a condensed history of faith.
There are various kinds of faith: from No faith, to little faith, to wavering faith, to active faith, to unfeigned faith, and finally to great faith. Just like anything, faith needs to grow - and that is what this chapter is all about - feeding our faith
The most important thing we can learn at first is just what faith is. To do that, we obviously need to go to the Author, and the Finisher of faith (Heb 12:2).
Message - The Definition of Faith (Hebrews 11:1)
Talking about Biblical faith
Not faith in science, or in superstitions (number 13; saying certain payers like in newspaper), or in priests, or in churches - not blind faith. And not imagined faith either!
But the faith as described in the Bible - very different from what we expect
The Definition of Faith (Heb 11:1):
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is not unreal - it has two things that prove its existence:
Faith has Substance - it is solid, and real - we say, living BY faith
Tangible, real, something you hold onto - it is what you hold onto when there is nothing else to hold on to! It is a confidence in both the abilities and promises of God. It is the foundation upon which everything else in our lives is built upon - you either believe (are confident), or don’t believe what God said!
Faith has evidence - they ought to be evidence that you have faith
There is proof that faith is there - evidence (2 Cor 4:18) that can be presented in a court of law - no doubt exists along side real faith! Even though not seen with the eye, it is felt by the heart, and is as real as himself!
When we have faith in God, we become the evidence proving there is a God - not by our words, but changed lives!
If someone wanted you to point to "faith" - where would you point? You should point to the Bible, and say that THAT is your faith. Someone asked me, "What do I believe? What is MY faith?" I held up my Bible and said THIS! Start to finish! Plus nothing, minus nothing
Faith therefore is believing what God says, enough to just do what He says
It is confidence
It is what enables you to do the impossible, simply because you are following Jesus
It is NOT telling God what to do, but you trusting God's word enough to do what HE tells you to do!