Principles of Faith


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This is a study of biblical principles of faith. It is part of the Crossroads programme, written by Dr Kevin Smith and offered by the South African Theological Seminary.

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Principles of Faith

  1. 1. Trusting Your Guide - Principles of Faith
  2. 2. Hebrews 11:6And without faith it is impossible to please God,because anyone who comes to him must believethat he exists and that he rewards those whoearnestly seek him.
  3. 3. Lesson Outline 1. The Importance of Faith 2. The Kinds of Faith 3. The Principles of FaithNinety per cent of this study is devoted to fiveprinciples of faith.
  4. 4. 1. The Importance of Faith
  5. 5. Importance of Faith1. We are saved by faith, not by works2. We know God by faith, not by reason3. We live by faith, not by sight4. We worship by faith, not by feelings
  6. 6. Importance of FaithBy studying theprinciples of faith, youare going to learn howto cultivate faith thatpleases God. You canbe a man or woman offaith, a man or womanwho pleases the Lord.
  7. 7. 2. The Kinds of Faith
  8. 8. Kinds of Faith1. Natural faith There are several different kinds of faith. This study is2. Intellectual faith about what we call living faith. We cover other3. Saving faith kinds of faith elsewhere.4. Gift of faith5. Living faith
  9. 9. 3. The Principles of Faith
  10. 10. Principles of FaithWe are going to explore five principles of faith: 1. The errors about faith 2. The explanation of faith 3. The expansion of faith 4. The evidence of faith 5. The exhilaration of faith
  11. 11. Principle 1ERRORS
  12. 12. ERRORS about faith What is faith? Believing in something that you know isn’t true.
  13. 13. Errors about FaithError 1: Faith is irrational
  14. 14. Errors about FaithFaith is not irrational! Hebrews 1:31. Faith goes beyond By faith we understand reason, but not that the worlds were against reason. framed by the word of God, so that the things2. Matters of faith lie which are seen were not outside the realm of made of things which are rational proof. visible.
  15. 15. ERRORS about FaithError 1: Faith is irrationalError 2: Faith is magical
  16. 16. Errors about FaithThis error is common in the Faith Movement,and is based on a misunderstanding of Hebrews11:1, which in the NKJV reads, “Now faith is thesubstance of things hoped for, the evidence ofthings not seen.” They interpret ‘substance’ as a‘tangible, powerful force that activates God’.Thus faith is viewed as a magical force.
  17. 17. Hebrews 11:1NKJV NIVNow faith is the substance Now faith is being sure ofof things hoped for, the what we hope for andevidence of things not certain of what we do notseen (NKJV). see.The NIV gives the proper interpretation of Hebrews 11:1. Faith isnot a magical force, but an inner assurance. The NKJV means thesame thing, but some people misinterpret it.
  18. 18. Errors about FaithError 1: Faith is irrationalError 2: Faith is magicalError 3: Faith is impersonal
  19. 19. Errors about FaithFaith is not a thing Faith is a relationship• Your faith is not a thing • Your faith is a personal within you that you trust relationship with must muster up. another person, God.
  20. 20. Principle 2EXPLANATION
  21. 21. Explanation of Faith Faith is trust in the character and competence of God.Longer DefinitionFaith is any act or attitude based on or inspiredby trust in the character and competence of God.
  22. 22. Luke 5:12-13When he saw Jesus, he fell with his faceto the ground and begged him, “Lord ifyou are willing, you can make me clean.”Jesus reached out his hand and touchedthe man. “I am willing,” he said, “Beclean!”
  23. 23. EXPLANATION of Faith 1. Faith is trust in God himself 2. Faith is trust in his character 3. Faith is trust in his competence
  24. 24. Principle 3EXPANSION
  25. 25. Increase Our FaithLuke 17:5And the apostles saidto the Lord, “Increaseour faith.” Increase our faith
  26. 26. Increase Our FaithMark 9:24Immediately the fatherof the child cried outand said withtears, “Lord, I believe; I believe,help my unbelief!” help my(NKJV) unbelief.
  27. 27. Expansion of FaithYou cannot increase yourfaith in God.
  28. 28. Expansion of FaithYou cannot increase yourfaith in God.You cannot improve yourfriendship with God.
  29. 29. Expansion of FaithHow can we increase our faith? 1. The word of God builds faith.
  30. 30. Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, andhearing by the word of God (NKJV). “word”: a personal word as opposed to a general truth “hearing”: listening and obeying what is said
  31. 31. Expansion of FaithHow can we increase our faith? 1. The word of God builds faith. 2. The work of God builds faith.
  32. 32. Romans 8:28And we know that all things worktogether for good to those who loveGod, to those who are the calledaccording to His purpose. By personal experience!
  33. 33. Principle 4EVIDENCE
  34. 34. Evidence of FaithHow can we ‘see’ faith? 1. Faith is known by its exploits 2. Faith is known by its endurance
  35. 35. Evidence of FaithHow can we ‘see’ James 2:17-18faith? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is 1. Faith is known by dead. But someone will its exploits say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
  36. 36. Evidence of FaithHow can we ‘see’ James 2:22, 24faith? Do you see that faith was working together with his 1. Faith is known by works, and by works faith its exploits was made perfect? You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
  37. 37. Evidence of FaithExploitsFaith is takingaction on whatyou believe
  38. 38. Evidence of FaithExploits Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned thatFaith is taking the decree had beenaction on what published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windowsyou believe opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
  39. 39. Evidence of FaithExploitsFaith is takingrisks becauseyou believe
  40. 40. Evidence of FaithExploits Daniel 3:16-17 If we are thrown into the blazingFaith is taking furnace, the God we serve is able torisks because save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even ifyou believe he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
  41. 41. Expansion of FaithHow can we ‘see’faith? 1. Faith is known by its exploits 2. Faith is known by its endurance
  42. 42. Expansion of FaithHow can we ‘see’ The great faith chapter, Hebrews 11, is sandwichedfaith? between references to endurance at the end of 1. Faith is known by chapter 10 and the beginning its exploits of chapter 12. This suggests the power to endure hardships 2. Faith is known by and setbacks is one of the its endurance distinctive features of great faith.
  43. 43. Hebrews 10:35-36So do not throw away your confidence; it will berichly rewarded. You need to persevere[endurance] so that when you have done thewill of God, you will receive what he haspromised.
  44. 44. Hebrews 12:1-3Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a greatcloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything thathinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let usrun with perseverance the race marked out for us. Letus fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter ofour faith, who for the joy set before him endured thecross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the righthand of the throne of God. Consider him who enduredsuch opposition from sinful men, so that you will notgrow weary and lose heart.
  45. 45. Evidence of faithFaith is known by its endurance: 1. Faith does not always experience instant success 2. Faith does always endure intense struggles 3. Faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted
  46. 46. Hebrews 11:13All these people were still living by faith whenthey died. They did not receive the thingspromised; they only saw them and welcomedthem from a distance. And they admitted thatthey were aliens and strangers on earth.
  47. 47. Hebrews 11:32-25And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell aboutGideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and theprophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms,administered justice, and gained what was promised; whoshut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames,and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness wasturned to strength; and who became powerful in battle androuted foreign armies. Women received back their dead,raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to bereleased, so that they might gain a better resurrection.
  48. 48. Hebrews 11:36-39Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others werechained and put in prison. They were stoned; they weresawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.They went about in sheepskins and goatskins,destitute, persecuted and mistreated—the world wasnot worthy of them. They wandered in deserts andmountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. Thesewere all commended for their faith, yet none of themreceived what had been promised.
  49. 49. 1 Peter 1:6-7In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a littlewhile you may have had to suffer grief in allkinds of trials. These have come so that yourfaith—of greater worth than gold, whichperishes even though refined by fire—may beproved genuine and may result in praise, gloryand honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.
  50. 50. Principle 5ENJOYMENT
  51. 51. Enjoyment of Faith Faith Exhilarates God!Being trusted by his creatures isone of the things that God findsmost pleasing.
  52. 52. Enjoyment of FaithFaith exhilarates God! 1. God delights in those who believe him.
  53. 53. Hebrews 11:5-6By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so thathe did not experience death; he could not befound, because God had taken him away. Forbefore he was taken, he was commended as onewho pleased God. And without faith it isimpossible to please God, because anyone whocomes to him must believe that he exists andthat he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
  54. 54. Zephaniah 3:17, NLTFor the Lord your God has arrived to liveamong you. He is a mighty savior. He willrejoice over you with great gladness. Withhis love, he will calm all your fears. He willexult over you by singing a happy song.
  55. 55. Enjoyment of FaithFaith exhilarates God! 1. God delights in those who believe him. 2. God boasts of those who believe in him.
  56. 56. Enjoyment of FaithHebrews 11:2, 39 Job 1:8This is what the ancients Then the Lord said towere commended for. … Satan, “Have youThese were all considered my servantcommended for their Job? There is no one onfaith, yet none of them earth like him; he isreceived what had been blameless and upright, apromised. man who fears God and shuns evil.”
  57. 57. Conclusion
  58. 58. Conclusion1. Errors: not irrational, magical, or impersonal.2. Explanation: trust in the character and competence of God.3. Expansion: through the word and works of God4. Evidence: known by its exploits and endurance5. Enjoyment: faith delights the heart of God