The Fundamentals Of Faith

Lesson 1

What is Faith?

Hebrews 11:1  

We are going to study Faith and how to operate it in your life, starting with what I consider the "Faith Chapter",  Hebrews 11. It starts out with the definition of Faith

Hebrews 11:1 NOW Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Now is a present tense word and so is Faith. Faith deals with the present as God sees it and how he wants us to see it. Discarding the circumstances and how things may look and feel. God always sees things as done. He wants us to see things the same way. We canít be moved by what we see in the physical, but be moved by what we see in the Spirit realm. God always spoke what He wanted into existence.

If you read in Genesis 1 it says "And God said........and it was so." He was looking at an earth that was without form and void. But he spoke faith words, and this earth we know came into existence. He had faith in His words that they would accomplish what He sent them to do.

Faith is such a vast subject that we couldnít do justice with it in one lesson. But we are going to touch some important points that will help us understand how to get it to operate in our lives.

Letís start with a definition.

Conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it relating to God, the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.

This is a very lengthy definition from Strong's Concordance. The Bible puts it this way.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith, it is impossible to please him, for he that comes to God, must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

So basically Faith is believing in God and believing he will do what he says he will do. Hebrews chapter 11 is a great faith chapter. It talks about faith in God and great people of faith that trusted God.

If you can see the end result like God does, no matter what the circumstances around you, then you have faith. How do you do that?

Romans 10:17 So then Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

So to get faith, we must know the word. If you have no knowledge about something, how can you understand it and how can you have it operate in your life. Godís word is the resource for faith. It will tell you everything you need to know.

Hosea 4:6 says that "My people perish for a lack of knowledge."

It is possible to have faith for some things and not others. You can have faith in God for healing, but have no faith in the area of finances. Why is that? Because you need to study the word in every area. I know God heals, but will he heal me? I know God will prosper, but will he prosper me?

Look it up and see what the word of God says. "Faith comes by hearing" How do you hear the word of God? You read it out loud. You speak it. You repeat what it says and you will get faith in your heart for whatever you need. God will honour faith, not unbelief. Remember, God is a rewarder of those that "Diligently seek him" Not just off handed and leafing through, but studying. The word is full of rich truths, but we need to dig them out. God wonít do it for us.

Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our Faith.

The disciples were with Jesus every day, and saw the miracles and yet they still asked the Lord to increase their faith. He answered them with the story of the mustard seed. Now the mustard seed is a very small seed but when planted will grow to be a huge tree. But the key is the planting. If you looked at it all day long and expected it to grow nothing would happen to it. But by planting it and watering it everyday, eventually you would have the tree. The same applies to our faith. We must exercise it and feed it every day for it to grow. If you believed for a dollar today, believe for two tomorrow. Stretch it! Jesus told the disciples that just a grain of faith the size of a mustard seed would be able to move mountains. He believed it, we must too.

Faith will save you. When you gained knowledge of salvation, you obtained faith in it if you believed it. Then you acted on it. The same faith will heal you and set you free. Jesus was always impressed when he saw faith in action. There was a centurion that came to Jesus about his servant that was sick. Jesus was going to come to his house and heal the servant, but the man felt unworthy of him entering his house so he said "Say the word only, and my servant shall be healed (Luke 7:7) Jesus responded this way.

Luke 7:9 When Jesus heard these thing, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."

Whatever you see in the Word of God, regarding your situation, is God speaking to you. Believe it and it will happen. This man was not a Jew. He was a Roman soldier. He was not under the promise of God. He belonged to a race that did not believe in God, but he recognized the authority in Jesus and he believed what he said. Can we as believers do any less? Just believe that God is, and that He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.

Jesus had a concern in that day. He wondered if when he returned to earth, would he find faith?

Luke 18:8 Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?

What a question! Will he find faith? So much is happening in the earth today to break down the truth of the Bible. People take the word of God and change it anyway they want and some have even taken God right out of the picture, and Jesus is no more then a figure who lived a long time ago. There is no faith in God, some doubt if He even exists. So is this to be what Jesus will find when he gets back? I hope not! I pray that He is not disappointed in me. I want God to find faith in me. I believe in Him. I believe in His word, and I believe in Jesus. I know He will do what he says he will do! I have proved Him over and over again.

But how do I show my faith to others?

James 2:20-23 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness, and he was called the friend of God. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead!

We must show our faith and faithfulness by our actions. We canít tell someone that we have great faith and not first of all manifest the other fruits of the spirit. But we must also meet their needs. If they have a need, pray for them, and help them in any way that you can.

James 2:16 & 17 Depart in peace, be you warmed and filled, not withstanding you give them not those things which are needful to the body. What does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

So we must show our faith, by our works. People will know there is something different about you and will be ready to listen to you.

James 2:18 Yes a man may 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.

By Judy Warren

Lesson 2