Hebrew Roots/The original foundation/Faith
FAITH TOWARD GOD
Faith and repentance are twins: they are just inseparable in effecting a genuine conversion. Paul speaks of "Repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord, Y'shua the Messiah" Acts 20:21. Faith is the second aspect of conversion. To repent of sin and fail to exercise faith in Yahweh for reconciliation, ends in failure and despair.
THE MEANING OF THE WORD
In Greek, the root word from which we get 'faith, the noun is PISTIS, and 'believe', the verb is PISTUEO.
FAITH means- belief, firm persuasion, assurance, firm conviction, faithfulness. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and the assurance that the lord is working, even though we cannot see it. Faith knows that no matter what the situation, in our lives or someone else's that the lord is working in it.
It is the act whereby a person lays hold of God's resources, becomes obedient to what He has prescribed and putting aside all self interest and self-reliance, trusts Him completely. It is an unqualified surrender of the whole of one's being in dependence upon Him. It is wholly trusting and relying upon Him for all things. It is not just mental assent to the facts and realities of truth, it must come from a deep inner conviction. - the demons also believe - James 2:19
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5
"He that trusts in his own heart is a fool"but whose walketh wisely,he shall be delivered. Proverbs 28:26
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" Hebrews 11: 1
Faith is the connecting power into the spiritual realm, which links us with God and makes Him become a tangible reality to the sense perceptions of a person. Faith is the basic ingredient to begin a relationship with God.
Faith is the assurance that the things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass. Faith is the tangible essence of what is hoped for - so tangible that the faith itself, is the evidence/reality of those things that are not yet visible. In other words, it becomes so tangible that you now possess it. It becomes a reality in the spiritual realm.
IMPORTANCE OF FAITH
It is impossible to be saved without faith and "without faith it is impossible to please God" Hebrews 11: 6
Everything in salvation is based on faith. We have to believe in that which we cannot see. Faith is a spiritual force that overcomes great opposition and can carry a person through great trials and triumphs over circumstances in the natural realm. See Hebrews Chapter 11, the faith chapter.
Abraham is cited as the 'father' of faith and we as believers come under the Abrahamic covenant, a covenant which Yahweh established with him on the basis of his faith.
Abraham believed God , and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Romans 4: 3 "to him who .. .. believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness" Romans 4: 9
Abraham heard the Word - Romans 4:13 He turned (repentance) - 4:18,19 He embraced the hope - 4:18 He did not waver in his commitment - 4:20 He rejoiced in it as an accomplished fact - 4:20
THE OPERATION OF FAITH
"To those who have obtained like precious faith by the righteousness of our God and Saviour, Jesus Christ ." 2 Pet. 1: 1
"God is the author and finisher of our faith" Hebrews 12: 2
Faith is the substance through which we receive from God, our salvation is from God . Ephesians 2: 8-9 for by grace are ye saved through Faith,and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. We must believe and respond to the Word which then will produce in us faith as a 'fruit of the Spirit' (Galatians 5:22).
Faith as a fruit of the Spirit operating in our lives, draws us into close relationship and trust in Him. Faith works by love, and our relationship and spiritual walk, gives us confidence to exercise the impartation of the faith which we receive. The operation of faith is dependent upon our relationship with God. John 15: 4-5 abide in me,and I in you.as the branches cannot bear fruit of itself,except it abide in the vine no more can ye except ye abide in me.
Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" John 15: 7
There are four foundations for Biblical faith --- 1. The Promises of God's Word "All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him, Amen, " 2 Corinthians 1:20
"(through the knowledge of Him) .. .. .. by which have been given to us exceeding great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, " 2 Peter 1: 4
2. The Integrity of The Word "Every good and perfect gift, comes down from the Father of light, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17
"God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent, has He said, and will He not do?" Numbers 23:19
3. The Ability of God to Endorse The Promise Abraham "did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith .. .. being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform." Romans 4:20-21
4. The Confidence of the Believer in The Promises This confidence is based on the conviction that when the promises are laid hold of by faith, then the results of that faith are guaranteed.
RUDIMENTS OF FAITH
Knowledge - the Engagement of the Mind
The mind has to be informed for faith to operate, and that has to be based upon the Word.
"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" Romans 10:17 "Many of them which heard the Word, believed" Acts 4: 4
The 'hearing' here is not just with the natural ear, but the spirit of man which has to be opened to 'hear'. This is where the Spirit of God comes into operation to open our spiritual ears to hear, so that faith can operate, as faith is a faculty of our human spirit. Faith must rest on facts, realities from the Word of God, otherwise what you believe can be presumption, if it originates from self. When a 'word' is quickened to one's spirit by the holy Spirit, then it will agree with the written Word in principle.
Initial saving faith, as well as the exercise of ongoing faith, is an impartation of the Spirit, a 'gift' of the Holy Spirit. Reading the written Word and keeping filled with the Spirit will facilitate our faith to be activated and enable us to move and live in the faith realm. 1 Corinthians 12: 9
With salvation particularly, an informed mind does not guarantee saving faith, "For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." Hebrews 4: 2
Response - the Stirring of the Emotions
Faith lifts one's spirit into the expectation of hope and joy ("joy of faith" Philippians 1:25).
With salvation there is joy, gratitude for deliverance and sins forgiven. Acts 8: 8 & 1 Thessalonians 1: 6
With all impartation of faith, the spirit soars to new heights, there is exhilaration, new expectations, joy and gladness "Whom having not seen, you love: in whom though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1 Peter 1: 8
Even though a response may be evoked to the message/word, if the will is not activated, then it will be a word fallen in a stony place where there was no depth of commitment, and though they received the word with joy, have no root in themselves to follow it through. Matthew 13: 5 - 20-21
Commitment of the Will
The will of a person needs to be engaged to follow through and implement their belief into action. Belief needs to go from the mind through the heart and activate the will to take hold of what has been understood and responded to, and make it part of one's life. This then in its outworking, becomes obedience to the 'Word'. The scriptures speak of "obedience to the faith" (Romans 1: 5), this is where faith has had its complete outworking.
"The revelation of the mystery..... .... is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith" Romans 16:25,26
HINDRANCES TO FAITH
Absence of the Word
In the parable of the Sower (Matt.13:19-), Jesus spoke of the seed as the Word of God which goes into various types of soil, i.e. human hearts, where it is either nurtured unto full growth, or it is destroyed. The difference depends on the soil, the heart into which it falls. Notice the things which hinder the growth of the Word - a) stony ground i.e. no depth of spiritual life b) thorns cares of this life c) birds of the air demonic influence, causing doubt, unbelief
Y'shua said, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33 It is when our desires are centred on spiritual things - things to advance the kingdom, that the promise of John 14:13 and 15:16 apply. "Do not lay up for yourself treasures upon earth .. .. .. but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21
"You ask and you do not receive because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself the enemy of God" James 4: 3-4
Wrong Source of Knowledge
All knowledge that comes to the natural man is through the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching. All of these senses connect us to the natural realm of this world. Accepting the conditions which we see as fact, instead of what the Word says will hinder faith.
1. Our physical body interprets things according to its senses; hunger, pain, fatigue cold, sight and hearing etc.
2. Our soul, that is, our mind, will and emotions react to our environment and circumstances conditioned by our physical senses in the world around us. The perceptions of our mind take in knowledge of the Word but it can be just intellectual knowledge and not revelation knowledge which activates faith.
3. Our spirit functions in the spiritual realm. The faculties of our spirit are intuition (i.e. insight), imagination (i.e. vision) and will (i.e. motivation). Faith operates through our spirit's visionary capacity to enable revelation knowledge which unveils the mind of purposes of Yahweh God to us. The faculties of our spirit give us perception of spiritual realities!
4. Failure to Confess the Word Faith not verbalised, is faith not activated. When we receive the spirit of faith, we must also speak out the "word of faith", for it to have the creative power of God. "And since we have received the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, 'I believed and therefore I spoke'. we also believe and therefore speak," 2 Corinthians 4:13 from Psalm 116:10. We will have whatever we confess before men. Mark 11:23; Romans 10: 8-10
THE RESULTS OF SPIRITUAL FAITH
1. Salvation from sin and its results in spirit, soul and body. Romans 3:21-26; 5: 1-2, 9-10
2. Assurance which rests on the facts of the Word of God and is a work of the Spirit. Galatians 3:26; 4: 6
3. Obedience which will result in good works James 2:18-20; Matthew 5:16
4. Confession of our faith "with the heart one believes, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" Romans 10:10 Confession puts a seal upon what we have believed.
"I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day" 2 Timothy 1:12
5)one of the results of spiritual faith is Joy. Knowing that God is for you and that he will never let you down gives you so much Joy that strengthens you to never give up in life. "for the Joy of the Lord is my strength "