The first question will help you get a sense of where the group is concerning the topic of faith. Some people have a purely non-religious view of the word, and other will have a negative or positive view based on the ‘faith’ teachers or ‘faith healers’ they may have seen on tv. This question gets a little more personal as they think about what keeps them from believing, maybe even what is keeping them from believing the prior things that you haven been teaching in the series.
The first two verses help demonstrate the idea that Faith is believing - but also receiving. And in particular, it is believing and receiving Jesus. I have seen some people define it as receptivity to what God offers us through grace. The website we have for our bible study, ReceivingGrace.com, is based on that idea of faith. It us more than just a mental exercise – the ‘receiving’ component of faith can sometime require us to respond, such as when you are offered a gift. It is through faith that we receive, but a faith that does not receive does not profit us.
The Gospel, the good news of what Jesus did for us, is the means by which everyone who believes (has faith) is saved.In the gospel we see the righteousness of God revealed – righteousness by faith and not works or the law.It is by faith that we understand how we are righteous. And as we understand His righteousness, we are able to live by faith.
Faith is all about believingwhat we CANNOT see. It is having confidence and assurance concerning the reality of things that we are true by not seen with our eyes. Like believing that God created the world. But also, in the creation story, be see that by faith He spoke the words "Let there be xxxx" and what was not seen (except by faith) became what we now see – God’s creation.
Again, our walk is based on faith and not sight. Part of this ‘walk of faith’ in believing who God says we are (righteous and blessed) and not what we see right now or what we have seen and experienced in the past.
Faith is a gift from God. We cannot boast or be ‘proud’ of what faith we have, because it is not by our works or our will that we have faith. While we were dead he saved us – there was not much we could do a dead people.
Faith is a fruit of the Spirit of God living in us. This is sometimes translated ‘faithfulness’ but it is really the word for faith. As God’s spirit dwells and works within us, this fruit is the result – it is what will eventually become visible in our lives. Fruit sometimes takes a while to grow.
We live by faith OF the Son of God - it is His faith. Some translations say faith in the Son of God, but it should be translated Faith OF the Son of God. And it comes when we understand that our old self has died, and now Christ lives IN us. And as we live our lives, we continue to keep in mind and believe in His love for us and what he did at the cross (who loved me and gave himself for me).
Jesus is the Author and the Perfecter of our faith. It is His faith and given to us as a gift, so we need to keep our eyes on him and not begin to look at our own faith. It is not about OUR faith, it is about the One we put our faith IN. When you understand this, then faith becomes MYUCH easier.
We only need a small amount of faith in order to see amazing results. Just a small mustard seed of faith is enough to move a mountain. In the other passage about mustard seeds we see that they start out as a small seed but grow massively.
Faith - and fruit - come when we hear the word of God (Jesus is the Word of God). When we believe/accept/receive Him and His words, we see fruit (20-100 fold). And we can also enter into the "rest" or"promised land" that Hebrew 4 is talking about. The Israelites heard about the promised land, but they did not have faith to enter into it.
We are able to overcome the world and all our enemies when we believe (have faith in) Jesus.
The prayer in Jeremiah 32:17 is just an example of prayer that is focused on Jesus, and not on ourselves. Praying like that builds our faith in him even as we pray. One illustration I like that I heard from Joseph Prince - if you went to an ATM and after taking out $20 cash you glanced at your balance and you saw over $100,000 - that would be hard to believe. You would not just start taking cash out because you are assuming it must be wrong, it is too good to be true and there is no reason you know of that there would be that kind of money in your account. But if you called the bank and asked them about it, and they told you that there was a note on your account that some person had deposited that money in your account because they loved you and wanted to bless you. Well then you would feel free to spend the money. We need to not just understand the promises and blessing that God has for us, but understand that they come out of His love for us and they are paid for by what he did on the cross. Then it is easier to have faith (believe the good news), and start receiving the blessing he has for us (taking the money from the account and spending it!).
All HisBENEFITSWeek 7 - Faith
How would you define “faith”? What would you say is the opposite of faith? What are some reasons that having faith can be difficult at times?
John 1:12But to all who did receive him, who believed in hisname, he gave the right to become children of God.Galatians 3:14So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abrahammight come to the Gentiles, so that we mightreceive the promised Spirit through faith.
Romans 1:16-1716 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it isthe power of God for salvation to everyonewho believes, to the Jew first and also to theGreek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God isrevealed from faith for faith, as it iswritten, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Hebrews 11:1-31 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for andassurance about what we do not see. 2 This is whatthe ancients were commended for. 3 By faith weunderstand that the universe was formed at God‟scommand, so that what is seen was not made out ofwhat was visible.
2 Corinthians 5:77 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Ephesians 2:8-98 For it is by grace you have been saved, throughfaith—and this is not from yourselves, it is thegift of God— 9 not by works, so that no onecan boast.
Galatians 5:22-2322 But the fruit of the Spirit islove, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance: against suchthere is no law.
Galatians 2:2020 I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live;yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the lifewhich I now live in the flesh, I live by the faithof the Son of God, who loved me and gaveHimself for me.
Hebrews 12:1- 21 And let us run with perseverance the racemarked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, theauthor and perfecter of faith.
Matthew 17:19-2019 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately andsaid, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He saidto them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, Isay to you, if you have faith like a grain ofmustard seed, you will say to thismountain, „Move from here to there,‟ and it willmove, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Romans 10:17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word ofChrist.Mark 4:20And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the goodsoil; and they hear the word and accept it and bearfruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”Hebrews 4:2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as theyalso; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it wasnot united by faith in those who heard.
1 John 5:4-54 For whatever is born of God overcomes theworld; and this is the victory that has overcomethe world—our faith. 5 Who is the one whoovercomes the world, but he who believes thatJesus is the Son of God?
Jeremiah 32:17„Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made theheavens and the earth by Your great power andoutstretched arm. There is nothing too hard forYou.