INTRODUCTION

The Bible instructs us to have faith in God, live by faith, and to have faith in order to please God. However, what is faith? Can we honestly say that we know what true faith is? It is taught in the word of Faith movement that faith is like a bag of tools that we can use. We can use our faith to get a new car, new house, new job, more money, and prosperity. Is this the same faith that the Bible teaches?

Consider the following scriptures for example.

(Hebrews 11:6 NIV) “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.”

(Romans 1:17 NIV) “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

We want to please God so we conclude that we need faith. We want more of the righteous life so we desire even more faith. However, what is faith? How would we know if we really have it or are really using it?

Well, the answer to the previous questions is the topic of this study. We are going to examine faith from a biblical perspective, which means our conclusions will be based on scripture and not mere church doctrine or the teachings of a particular movement in the Christian community.

FAITH DEFINED

The word faith is used at least five different ways in the Bible. They are:

  1. ?m?wn (ay-moon) – This is used in Deuteronomy 32:20 when God said “..for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith,” the word faith here refers to trustworthiness, truth, faithfulness, or established, steadiness. It is only used this one time in the entire Bible.
  2. ?m?n?h (em-oo-naw) – This is used in Habakkuk 2:4 when God said “…but the just shall live by his faith.” The word faith here refers to firmness (as in uncompromising), secure, fidelity. It too is used only once in the entire Bible.
  3. elpis (el-pece’) – This is used in Hebrews 10:23 when Paul said “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” The word faith here is used to denote anticipation, expectation, confidence, and hope. It is also used only once in the entire Bible.
  4. pistis – This Greek word is used almost exclusively throughout the New Testament. It means persuasion, credence, moral conviction of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself, assurance, belief, believe, and fidelity. You can find this word in Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:23, Acts 3:16, Romans 1:17, Hebrews 11:1, and Galatians 3:25 to name a few.
  5. oligopistos (ol-ig-op’-is-tos) – This is used to denote something that in incredulous or lacking confidence. This is not really the word faith, rather the term “of little faith” as used in Matthew 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8, and Luke 12:28.

For all practical purposes, we can say that faith is defined according to the following scripture.

(Hebrews 11:1 NIV) “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

We must realize that faith is linked to the unseen (spiritual) and not the natural (seen or physical). This is why it is so closely related to hope, which itself is of the unseen (See Romans 8:24). Our faith operates so to speak on the hope that we have. Hope is our goal or what we see in the unseen realm. Hope is the blueprint or picture that we see that faith operates on. For example, if you wanted a new car, you would imagine yourself riding in it and then you would begin to do things (legally of course) to get your car. Faith is the reality of the thing expected. In the case of the Christian, Bible hope is the expectation of the salvation that we have in Christ that will be complete in the new Heaven and the new Earth. Faith is the agent of the reality of that expectation so to speak. In other words, faith is the belief that what we hope for is indeed a reality and one that we will experience or receive.

It is important to realize that the word faith is used in different ways in the Bible else you may take a scripture out of its proper context. For example, it is commonly believed that Habakkuk 2:4 and Romans 1:17 refer to a “believe God for it” type of faith (pistis). That, as we see, is improper and takes the scripture out of context. The word faith in that scripture refers to a steadfastness, firmness, and not necessarily believe as in trusting God, though your firmness may be in the word of God. Therefore, the just or righteous shall live by steadfastness, unwavering. See also Hebrews 10:38-39.

Faith is a master key that unlocks the promises of God to us. So without faith, we could not receive the things of God because we wouldn’t believe and therefore not receive. We live the Christian Life in the same way that we entered it – By Faith. The Bible says.

(Colossians 2:6-7 NIV) “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, {7} rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

Faith was the key that unlocked the door of salvation for us since we cannot save ourselves. We were saved by faith which itself is a free gift from God.

(Ephesians 2:8 NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“

Paul tells us that “. . .everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). The Bible even tells us that “without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). From these simple statements, we see that a Christian Must live his life (survive) by his faith (steadfastness). Whatever we receive must be done by faith. It is that serious.

.One important fact that I tell everyone is this: “Be sure to take the scripture that you read in its proper context.” For example, consider the following scripture.

(Romans 10:17 KJV) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

The context of this scripture is what? It is salvation! Paul is not referring to faith in the way that we normally think of it. We normally think of faith as believing God for something. The something that Paul was referring to was salvation. In addition to that, this faith was a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). Now let’s combine this aspect or use of the word faith with Hebrews 11:1.

(Hebrews 11:1 KJV) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Our faith, referring to Romans 10:17, is the substance (title deed) of the salvation that we have which we do not see. Our faith is the proof of our salvation. Also, consider that salvation is provided by God and is recorded in His word as His provision. If we take that principle and apply it to faith in general then we see that faith is the substance (confidence or confident reality) of whatever God has promised or made available. Though we may not see it in the physical realm, it is still so as far as God is concerned and as far as I am concerned if I believe God as Abraham (then Abram) did in Genesis 15:6.

Faith is much more than believing God for a new house or a new car. Faith is being completely confident that God will do what he says and believing that it is so even now. Faith says, “Though I don’t see it, God said it, therefore it is so.” Faith translates the proof or evidence of something from the senses to the word, provisions, and promises, of God. Faith is the key that unlocks the door to the provisions of God. Note that salvation is the greatest of these provisions.

The key to walking in faith is to know the word of God, that is, know what God promised and made available to us. Otherwise, our faith walk will actually be a pseudo-faith walk based, not on the truth of God’s word, but on our wishes and false assumptions.

What is faith? Faith is belief. Faith is loyalty. Faith is the trustworthiness. Faith is steadfastness.

Let’s look at another example of this very important concept of faith.

(Mark 11:22-24 KJV) “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. {23} For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. {24} Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

This scripture is used almost exclusively to teach people about confessions so that they will have what they say. Note however that humans have no power whatsoever to do anything apart from God. The very life that is in us is because of God. Jesus said,

(John 15:5 KJV) “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Though Jesus was talking to his disciples, his words apply to us as well because the same power that the disciples have is available to us. Now in Mark 11:22-24 we see that the power is NOT in our confession (in an absolute sense), though our confession is very important. The power is in God’s ability and faithfulness. Jesus first said to “Have faith in God.” Now some Bible teachers say that another translation of that phrase is to “have the faith of God.” What is that though? Having the faith of God in no way preclude the fact that the power to act or to cause comes from God. God’s faithfulness is revealed in the fact that he speaks and what he spoke happens. Our faith, which is founded on God’s word and his faithfulness (trustworthiness) is revealed when we confess what is available to us to confess–from the word of God (spoken personally to us or written in the Bible).

Again we see that faith is relying upon and trusting God. This is true whether we speak of salvation, a new home, a new job, college money, bill money, deliverance, or a new suit. The fact is that we know in our heart that it is God who provided these things for us and it is God’s power that ultimately causes these things to happen in our lives.

Do not be fooled into thinking that your faith (as in your power or ability) does anything. Yes it is true that your faith was necessary for the thing to happen but it wasn’t by your power. Your trust in God provided a pathway for the will of God to manifest in your life (If I can use those terms for illustration).

Faith The Proof

The Bible says…

(Hebrews 11:1 KJV) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Let’s look at this scripture in the Amplified Bible. It says…

“Now Faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality–faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses. (Amplified)

This is amazing to me because it tells us that faith is the certificate of ownership (title deed) of what we hope for and the proof of what we don’t see with our senses. Faith says, “Those things we hope for and do not see are a reality because God promised it. Therefore though I don’t see it, it is still real to me because God’s word is real, true, and trustworthy, so I am confident in receiving or experiencing what God promised, i.e., the hope, by faith.”

For example, if I want proof that you own your house you could show me the deed for it. This establishes the fact that you own the house in question whether I can actually see the house or not. Likewise, proof of ownership does not occur just because we see something with our senses. We have to receive everything by faith and not wait for a physical sensation. This is why faith is in the unseen realm and worldly hope is in the realm of the seen.

In this study, we will concern ourselves with pistis. That is, we will study our belief system, our convictions, etc. This is the type of faith that is involved in believing God to do what he says.

Special Faith

Paul talks about special faith in 1 Corinthians 12. This is a special endowment of faith that the Spirit gives to someone to perform a particular task in the body of Christ. For example, anyone can learn to play the piano with proper instruction and lots of practice. However, there are some people who seem to know how to play the piano when they were born. Playing the piano seems to come naturally for them and we call this a natural gift. I believe that special faith is very similar to this type of situation. It seems natural for a person with special faith to believe God for anything where others may have to go through many steps of development.

Believe With The Heart

The Bible says…

Mark 11:22-24 (NKJV) “{22}So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. {23}For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. {24}Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

Jesus said that we cannot doubt in our hearts, which correspondingly means that we have to believe in our hearts. What is the heart? The heart in this scripture comes from the Greek word Kardia and means, by implication, the center of a human’s physical, mental, and spiritual life. The heart is, therefore, the center of a human being. There are basically two places that we can believe something: The mind or the heart. We believe with the mind by convincing our minds that something is true either by reasoning or persuasion. This simply means that our minds have accepted it as truth. This truth, I must add, is based on information that we currently have to arrive at the conclusion of truth.

Believing in the heart means that we have a conviction that is at the center of our very existence. We count this belief as being certain or sure. This is the belief necessary to be saved (See Romans 10:17). The belief is not in our heads based solely on facts. It is rather based on our confidence in God’s word and is counted as a fact in the center of our being. We act on this type of faith with utmost certainty. As far as we are concerned, what we believe in our heart is a reality though it cannot be seen (has not manifested). To believe in or with the heart is a very powerful belief that is founded on our faith in God.

Acquiring Faith

The Bible declares that…

(Romans 10:17 KJV) “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

We see that faith comes by hearing the word (or message) of God. We receive faith by receiving God’s word (the teachings of Jesus Christ). This is a very good example of how the word faith may be used in a way that we are not familiar with. This scripture does not say that trust in God or to believe in God comes from the word per se’. The faith that Paul is referring to here is the faith necessary to be saved. This faith is a free gift from God (See Ephesians 2:8). So then the power or certainty of salvation can come only from hearing the message of salvation, namely the Gospel. How then can we acquire faith to believe God? Believing God can be divided into at least four parts.

  1. God and his word has to be real and credulous to you
  2. Know that the Bible records God’s word
  3. Know what God said and says
  4. Obey what he says and experience him in your life (build confidence)

The basic process is to reckon God as trustworthy, know his word, and develop confidence in him by doing what he says and experiencing first hand his faithfulness to his word (promises and provisions). How is this acquired?

Reckon God as Trustworthy

We must know in our heart that God is faithful to what he says. We have to know that if God says he will do something or that he has provided something for us then it is done or certain. The first place that we can learn the trustworthiness of God is by the testimonies of the men and women that are recorded in the Bible. We can examine how God proved his faithfulness time and time again in the scriptures and thus in the history of man. We can also hear the testimonies of others around us who have experienced the faithfulness of God in their own personal lives. The first step then is to read and study the Bible as well as fellowship with other Christians.

Know That The Bible Is True

We cannot rely on the testimonies of God’s faithfulness from those in the Bible if we do not reckon the Bible as true. The Bible must be true to us and we must believe that it is a record of God’s message to man. We can establish the truth of the Bible by realizing the consistency of the message in the Bible and the fact that it was written by men from all walks of life and in various parts of the world. Paul declared that all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Know What God Said and Says

You cannot have real trust in God if you don’t know what he has committed to so to speak. It is imperative that we know what the Bible says because the Bible is the written word (message) of God to us. Without knowledge of God’s word, we have no basis to believe him for anything except for false or blind wishes. For example, the Bible says,

(John 15:7 NIV) “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”

The key to the above scripture is that we must know God’s word (through Christ) in order for our desires (prayers) to be answered.

Obey God

You can only develop faith in God if you experience him yourself. The testimonies of others and Biblical knowledge will give you the confidence to trust him. However, a lifestyle of trust must be an experiential one. We learn to trust God by obeying him and experiencing his trustworthiness. Then we know that we know that God is good and that he is faithful. For example, the Bible says,

(Psalms 34:8 KJV) “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

That word taste comes from a Hebrew word that means to perceive. God does not want us to blindly trust him. He wants us to perceive his goodness, which is instrumental in our trusting him. So here we can see that our faith in God is one that is developed from our own personal experiences with Him. We learn that God is trustworthy and that we can trust him. This is apart from merely obeying his command as a robot would obey instructions. We can have a personal relationship with God.

Confession

Real confessions come from the heart. Therefore, what you believe is what you will say (without filters, that is). If you really believe what God says then you will say it and act like it. If you don’t believe what God says, you may say it from the mode of mental assent, but it won’t be real. God responds to faith and not activity.

Therefore, when you find yourself battling doubt and unbelief, don’t think that you have to change your confession. You have to change what you really believe which will affect a corresponding change in your confession since you confess what you believe. We are the children of God the father, the creator of heaven and earth and everything in them (If you are saved). Therefore, why would we assume that God would leave us stranded to be destroyed? There is one who comes to destroy and that person is Satan. The Bible says,

(1 Peter 5:8 NIV) “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Jesus said,

(John 10:10 NIV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

We see that Satan, the devil, and those in the kingdom of darkness come to destroy what God has done, including Christians. Jesus, who does the will of God, came that we may live to the fullest. Therefore it is not God trying to destroy us but Satan (the kingdom of darkness). Our confessions, therefore our beliefs, should be focused on things of the kingdom of God and not the desires of the kingdom of darkness.

To change our situations we must first depend on our loving and Holy Father, believe what he says and what he has provided, act on that belief which includes confession. Our confessions are determined by our beliefs. Another example of this very important principle is found in Romans, which reads,

(Romans 10:9-11 NIV) “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. {10} For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. {11} As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Confession From The Heart

The Bible says,

(Romans 10:10 NIV) “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

and

(Matthew 12:34 KJV) “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

I am reminded of a phrase used in the computer industry, which says “Garbage in Garbage out”. That is, whatever you put in will come out. If you have been feasting on the word of God then that is what will come out even subconsciously. If you have been feeding on negative things such as the news, then fear and unbelief will exit your mouth. Therefore it is extremely necessary that the Christian consume regularly the word of God so that his or her heart is energized with that word (See John?6:63, Hebrews 4:12a).

If God’s word is active in your heart then you will believe with your heart and therefore confess what you believe. If God’s word is not active in your heart then you will believe only what your mind has logically deduced and you will therefore confess such. This, however, is acting in unbelief because if the mind can’t figure it out or can’t see a way out of your circumstance then you will go headfirst into despair and worry. Confess from the heart requires that the word of God is in your heart actively. Consistent Bible study and meditation on God’s word to receive the revelation of that word can only accomplish this.

Confession of the heart also involves the forced agreement of the mind to the word of God residing in your heart. Your mind may not see a way out but that doesn’t matter because the word of God assures you that God is with you and will not forsake you. Therefore, to confess or believe with the heart does not necessarily mean that all is well in the intellectual realm. There are many stories of ministers and people in general who have accomplished things that were considered impossible to them. Your confession is the agreement of you and the word and the forcing into an agreement by acceptance of your mind and the word.

Bible Hope

What does the Bible mean by hope in Hebrews 11:1. Bible hope is very different from worldly hope. Worldly hope is akin to wishing and Bible hope is kin to reality. Bible hope is like a blueprint or goal that we are going towards and confidently expect from God. By faith, we receive whatever we hope for. That is, our faith verifies or is proof of what we hope for. Of course, this proof only exists because of the faithfulness of God’s Word. Without that our faith is meaningless. Therefore, we can think of our hope as representing the thing that we are praying to God about or for (New house, new car, deliverance, guidance, etc.) and faith is the title deed proof of ownership of what we hope for. Again, this proof only applies to those things that are the will of God. Merely praying for a new home, expecting that home, and believing God for that new home does not mean that God will give you that new home. See 1 John 5:14-15. If it isn’t God’s will then the new home will not come from God. So again it is very important to realize that I am not talking about a faith formula here where you believe, have hope and God will do it. God will only do what He said He would do. God will only provide what he has provided for you. Your faith can do nothing apart from God’s Word and purpose.

Bible Hope is confidently expecting to possess what God has promised you in His word, which is His will. This distinguishes it from worldly hope, which is just to wish something would happen. With worldly hope, you take no action to produce that which you are hoping (wishing) for whereas in Bible hope you are–by faith. Worldly hope would be something like “I sure wish that these bills would get paid.” Bible hope would be “I thank God these bills are paid because my needs are met. Thank you, God in the name of Jesus that you have met my needs.”

Bible Hope Requirement

You cannot just dream up something and believe that you have received it. Your hope and faith must be according to the word of God. This is where many people fail. They try to believe for something that is not provided for or promised in the Bible. They try to believe for something beyond what the word of God says. This can be avoided if we get as much of the word in us and pray according to that (see 1 John 5:14,15). We also have to be aware of God in all situations so that we recognize when he is guiding us and when he is not (See Proverbs 3:5-6).

There are also many things that we may desire that are not directly provided for in the Bible. For example, there is no scripture that reveals God’s desire to give you a new Lexus. However, there are scriptures that tell you that God will not withhold good from you. I also believe that sometimes our desires are a direct result of what God has placed in us. Perhaps there is a reason that you want to start a school or buy a van. After all, the Bible says,

(Romans 8:28 NIV) “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

This involves a whole separate topic of living sensitive to God’s voice, which we will not get into here. Let me just say that there is nothing wrong with desires. We should, however, test the motive of the desire to see whether it is righteous (upright with God) or selfish, prideful, or spiteful. We should realize that God is not going to grant our desires merely because we ask him and “have faith.” God grants us things according to His will and that’s it.

Faith And Works

The Bible says,

(James 2:17 KJV) “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

Read James 2:14-25 to get a full comprehension and the magnitude of this statement. We see that faith must be followed or accompanied by corresponding actions. For example, if a man says that he loves Jane, but does nothing that demonstrates that love, then Jane would naturally begin to question his love for her or at the very least contemplate what he really means when he says that he loves her. However, I should point out that the context of the above Scripture is the Christian faith, that is, faith in Jesus Christ. The corresponding actions would then be those things that are becoming to a Christian within the context of his or her lifestyle.

Faith and Desires

How does faith coincide with our desires? Consider the following scripture.

Psalm 37:4 (NKJV) “{4}Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. “

Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV) ” {1}Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; {2}But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. {3}He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. “

Note very closely what is provided for you here. These scriptures, among others, reveal that God can meet our desires and that what we do can prosper. What are the conditions since these are not blank checks to dream up anything and expect God to ordain it? The key principle is well stated in John 15:7.

John 15:7 (NKJV) “{7}If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

Don’t focus on the “you will ask what you desire” part. Focus on the abiding part. If I abide in Christ and Christ’s word abides (lives, resides) in me then my desires will be highly influenced by what? The word of God. And since God’s word is life (John?6:63) then my desires will be influenced by the life of God. Also, consider the following:

Proverbs 11:23 (NKJV) “{23}The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath. “

Notice that it says the “desire” and not desires. The word desire in the above scripture denotes a longing for. Therefore, what the righteous longs for results in only good. This one scripture reveals a principle that we should never forget, and of which the righteous already lives. Faith is not a free ticket to get stuff from God. Great faith is not a process by which I can get more and more stuff for myself such as new cars, houses, jewelry, etc. Faith is a means by which I agree with God in word, deed, and lifestyle to fulfill his purpose for me. Faith in God should be measured from a heavenly perspective and not an earthly one.

hindrances to faith

It is important to realize that there are things that will hinder your faith from operating. A full understanding of these hindrances will provide you with an effective way of evaluating yourself in the area of faith. First, what do I mean by hindering my faith? That simply means that something opposes your trust in God. Something works to convince you that you cannot depend on God. In the case of salvation, Satanic attacks can work to hinder people from believing in Jesus Christ and afterward, to hinder them from experiencing their faith in Jesus Christ.

Disobedience

Recall that real faith involves doing what God says. This obedience brings the reward of increased confidence in God thus more trust and more experiences. However, if disobedience enters in then the blessings of God cannot be realized and confidence is not developed. Therefore, disobedience will hinder you from experiencing the results of your faith in God because disobedience has nothing to do with God. Also, recall that faith has to be based on the word of God and disobedience is contrary to the word of God. Therefore, disobedience is a contrary environment for faith to produce.

Unbelief

Another force that will hinder your faith from operating effectively is unbelief. Unbelief is to have uncertainty, lack of assurance, or no conviction about what God has said. Unbelief is to have a lack of trust in God. This lack of trust can originate from a number of things. We can retain a lack of trust in God because we never learned to trust Him. Instead of trusting God, we learned to trust in what we can do. Unbelief can also originate from a lack of knowledge of the word of God. That is, we don’t know what God said so how can we believe what He said.

Doubt

One thing that hinders faith very much is doubt. The word doubt means that you are uncertain about something or someone because you are between two opinions. Therefore, when you doubt then you are uncertain of either the faith that you have or in what God can and/or will do for you. Doubt can present itself at any time regardless of your level of faith. Doubt usually enters from the mind’s inability to figure a way out of something. The Bible says,

(Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; {6} in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

It is very important that we do not totally rely on our own understanding. For example, the Bible says,

(Matthew 14:30 NIV) “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!””

The Amplified Bible says,

“When he perceived and felt the strong wind…” Peter acted on Jesus’ word by walking out on the water: Jesus had said “come.” But when Peter saw the circumstances around him he became AFRAID and began to sink. What did this fear produce in him. Jesus said in verse 31,

“…’You of little faith,’ he said, ‘WHY DID YOU DOUBT?'”

What caused Peter to begin to sink was his lack of faith, which was caused by doubt, which was caused by fear, which in turn was brought on by what HE SAW! Don’t let your eyes fool you. Those things that are of faith do not have to agree or make sense in the physical or intellectual realms. Though we should not subscribe to foolishness. Doubt will hinder your faith at any time regardless of how far along you are in your faith walk.

CONCLUSION

There are many contexts for the word faith in the Bible. The word faith could refer to any of the following.

  1. Belief in something
  2. Trusting that God will do what He said He would do
  3. Belief in Jesus Christ for salvation
  4. Trustworthiness
  5. Steadfastness

We found that faith is directly related to Bible hope in that it is the proof, so to speak, of the confident expectation, which is hope. There are things that can hinder our faith walk and there are things that can edify our faith walk. We should be careful to know God’s word, develop a relationship with Him, and do what He says. Only then will we be available to fulfill his purposes for us by faith.

It was by faith that we were saved. We believed the Gospel that we heard and correspondingly took on the salvation of God. Faith is the way of life for the Christian and without it we cannot please God. Ultimately faith is trusting God. Faith is depending on God regardless of what happens and what things look like. Also, faith is a lifestyle because faith without corresponding action is dead.

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FAITH
A study on faith from the Bible scriptures
1994, 1997, 2001 William R. Cunningham

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