Faith – Where It Comes From

19 Apr

Faith – Where It Comes From…

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. We are all familiar with the definition of Faith for Hebrews 11:1 does a pretty good job of defining it. Actually Hebrews 11 is called the Faith chapter and you should all take the time to read it.

But, where does Faith come from? We all assume it is something we learned while growing up. Something our parents taught us or we learned while going to Sunday school. It isn’t!

Now let us go to the Bible and see if it tells us where faith comes from. Heb 12:2 says “…Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”. And Rom 12:3 says ” … God has allotted to each a measure of faith.ā€ These two verses clearly tell us that faith is not something that we do or a presence of mind that we develop, but that faith is a gift from God. Rom 10:17 says ” … faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.” So faith is a gift from God that we receive from the word of Christ, which in this dispensation we get from the Bible rather than from a burning bush. So in His time He will allot faith to us as needed from the word of the Bible. In 2 Cor 10:15 we see that faith can grow, so as we study the Bible God can add to our faith.

Rom 5:1 says, ” … justified by faith” and Rom 4:5 says, ” … his faith is counted as righteousness”. We clearly see from these verses that faith is not of our doing for that would be a works-based salvation and we know from Eph 2:8, 9 that salvation is surely not from works.

However Eph 2:8 says something else that I never hear proclaimed in church and that is “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.ā€ In Eph 2:8 the “it” refers back to faith, which is consistent with Rom 12:3 and the other scriptures above and speakers very seldom talk about that. Faith is a gift from God. Rom 3:28 also says, ” … a man is justified by faith.” We read in Rom 9:32 that Israel did not arrive at righteousness because they did not pursue righteous by faith but as though it were by works. If we must muster up our own faith then justification is by works and again we know that is not correct.

We also see in Heb 12:2 that ” …Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith.” which fits in nicely with what we have already seen. Jesus is not only the author — the originator of faith –; He is also the one who perfects it in us.

So now we know that Faith is a gift from Jeaus and we should use it wisely. He also told us to love our neighbors as I have loved you in Matthew 6. That being said I presented a question to a few biblical scholars asking if our Faith in man should be the same as our Faith in God.

It was presented to get them to think more with an open mind and to think more about how they answer. The answers I received were pretty much what I expected and very one sided. Faith in God is one thing but Faith in man is another. God keeps His promises, but man can deceive you and let you down. A few went on to make fun of the question.

That got me to thinking, God knows our every move before we make them. He also, as I wrote in “Crossed Paths”, brings people to us for a reason either because they have a gift for us or we have one for them. Yes, some people are unreliable, but for the most part people are honest and ready to lend a hand where needed. I would guess people base their value on Faith in others as it reflects in their Faith in themselves. If you can’t be counted on to follow through on your committments, you won’t count on others to follow through on theirs.

I believe, maybe because of experience, that most people will follow through with their promises to the best of their ability. So I wonder should there be a difference on how we define Faith in man? After all Faith is a gift from God and He gives a measure to each of us as Christians. Is it not our job to share this Faith, by example, with our fellow man?

I’ve seen many times where God has brought people together from all walks of life to pull together and bring a solution to a problem. Somewhere in there Faith in man to complete his or her portion has to be considered. God may be at the helm, but we make our own choices.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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