“According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matthew 9:29. Jesus teaches us to have faith. Jesus was a strong believer in faith.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6.
FAITH: The word faith is used frequently. All my life while growing up in a Christian home I heard the word. Not until I stepped into prison did I stop to think what it meant. Sitting in a lonely cell I began to evaluate what I had been taught and where the teaching had gone wrong. It was at this point that I began to study the Bible in earnest to learn what had been missing in my “Christian” upbringing.
Living in prison, I began to see that prisoners experience the concept of faith to a greater degree than most people in a free society. In prison there are limits and lines of demarcation. A prisoner has faith that if he disobeys the rules he will suffer severe consequences. Therefore he rarely breaks the rules. A prisoner has faith that if he crosses the perimeter line or climbs the fence he will be shot.
This produces obedience and he does not cross the line or climb the fence. A prisoner has faith in the system that if he behaves in a certain manner, he will be rewarded and/or paroled earlier. His faith leads him to obey and perform certain acts.
In reading the Bible, I discovered that this is precisely the way faith in God is to be understood. I am to practice “obedience that comes from faith.” Romans 1:5. Romans 1:17 states, “The righteous will live by faith.”
Romans 1:17 is interesting. Paul is quoting from the Old Testament. I went back to the Old Testament to see what light could be shed on this word “faith”. Habakkuk said, “But the righteous will live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4. The word “his” is not referring to a deity, but to you and me. That is interesting. You and I will live (eternally) by “our” faith. The word faith also had an interesting concept. In the Strong’s Concordance, the definition for this word faith is as follows:
“faithfulness, truth, faithfully, faithful, faith, stability, steady, truly, verily.”
It gives the concept of firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, and steadiness. Faithfulness is the primary meaning. When you put all the meanings together one begins to see that the modern churches have misunderstood the concept of faith. Faith is not a “belief”, but an “act”; faithfully discharging one’s duty. Work! A person who is faithful is a person who can be counted on to be obedient, trustworthy, reliable and determined to do what is right. You might say he is faithfully working out his faith. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith...” Hebrews 12:2. If we claim to have faith, we must have evidence that our faith is well placed.
A faithful person has his eyes fixed on the goal before him.
A faithful person keeps to the task set in front of him.
A faithful person does not let himself be distracted by peripheral, non-essential activities and things.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 12:2
If we claim to have faith, we must have evidence that our faith is well placed.
2. "If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD...
6. "Say to the Israelites: `When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the LORD, that person is guilty...
7. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.
1 Chronicles 5:25
25. But they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers and prostituted themselves to the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them.
1 Chronicles 10:13, 14
13. Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, 14 and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
5. Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.