FAITH APPLIES TRUTH FOR SALVATION
You cannot study the Bible very long before you understand the importance of faith. A sinner cannot be saved apart from faith. Ephesians 2:8-9. “The gospel of Christ…is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…for therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written the just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17. Therefore, it is important that we should find out what this word means.
I. WHAT IS FAITH?
Faith comprises three things: knowledge, belief and trust. Faith is personal confidence. We use the word in everyday conversation, as follows, “I have complete faith in my doctor.” We mean that we trust him with our case. So, in the Bible, faith is personal confidence in God. It means that we believe what He says, and trust Him to save us and to keep us.
II. WHERE DO WE FIND FAITH?
As we look around us in the world, we realize that some men do not have faith in God, and thus they are not saved. This leads us to inquire as to the source of faith. In a very real sense, this faith is a gift of God. John 3:27. God gives men the power to believe on Him.
But how does a man receive faith? The answer to this is found in Romans 10:17. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Therefore, if a man does not have faith in God, he should read the Bible. As he reads, he should pray somewhat as follows: “God, if this Book is Your Word, if Jesus Christ is Your Son, and if He died for me, then show me these things as I read the Bible.” God has promised that any man who wishes to do His will will come to a knowledge of the truth. John 7:17.
III. WHAT IS THE TRUE OBJECT OF FAITH?
Faith must have an object. This object may either be a person, such as a relative, a friend or an inanimate thing, such as an airplane, or an elevator. It is not enough to have faith. Faith must be placed in a trustworthy object. You may believe that an airplane can get you from one city to another. You may believe that the plane will fly. You may believe that the pilots know how to fly the plane and that they will get you where you want to go. You may even believe it would be enjoyable to make the trip. The only thing that is left for you to do is take your seat on the plane. Only then have you exercised faith. Up to that point you have talked about it; you have told others about it; you have claimed that you believe it. But not until you are on board have you exercised faith. Real faith demands action. The Bible says, “Even so, faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:17-18.
The Bible sets forth the Lord Jesus Christ as the true object of faith. Acts 20:21. The important thing is not how much faith a man has, or what kind of faith he has, but that the object of his faith must be Jesus Christ if he wants to be saved. If their faith is in a saint, the Virgin Mary, an idol, a church, a religion, good works or baptism the Bible makes it clear that they do not have Bible salvation. However, a man may believe all that the Bible says about Christ and yet not have faith in Him. You may believe that a certain train will leave the railroad station at 11 A.M. and that it will arrive at a distant city at 5 P.M. You may believe all the facts about the train; yet you have not really put your faith in the train until you get on board and trust the train to take you to your destination.
So you may believe that Christ was born in Bethlehem, born of a virgin, died on Calvary, rose again and ascended into heaven. You may even believe the Bible is God’s Word. But you have not really put your faith in Him until you trust Him to save you from your sins and take you to heaven.
IV. EXAMPLES OF FAITH
The Scriptures are filled with examples of faith. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews has been called the “Honor Roll of Faith” because it lists some outstanding men and women who had faith.
Two other instances might be cited. The first is the faith of the centurion in Matthew 8:5-10. The centurion believed that Christ could heal his servant by merely saying the word. The other is the faith of the woman of Canaan, Matthew 15:22-28. She pleaded that the bread reserved for the chosen Jews should be given to her, a Gentile. Her faith was humble and persistent.
V. THE REWARD OF FAITH
True faith never goes unrewarded. No one has ever trusted God in vain. Remember, faith must have three things: knowledge, belief and trust. Every seeking sinner who has repented of his sins and who has put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has been saved. The Savior said, “Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37.