Last week I spoke to you concerning the meaning of "Real Love", today I want to turn your attention to "Real Faith". Read text.
The Hebrew children knew God, they had placed their faith in Him, and they were relying on Him to see them through any circumstance.
There are many lessons we can gain from a study of this text. One of the greatest is that we gain victories in faith. Many things we do not understand about the Bible, but we know that when we by faith lay hold of God, we have the victory.
I. What is Faith?
A. Webster states that faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing.
B. The Bible Dictionary reveals that faith is belief or trust, especially in a higher power.
C. The scriptural definition is found in Hebrew 11:1.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
D. There are different kinds of faith.
1. There is nominal or intellectual faith.
a. That is merely believing the Word of God as a record of real history and a text book of morals.
b. Many Christians today have no more than this kind of faith.
c. "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?" cf Jas. 2:14
2. There is emotional faith.
a. That is a personal belief that only Christ can save one from sin...
b. But a refusal to really believe and trust Him for salvation.
c. "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." cf Jn. 6:66
3. There is volitional or saving faith.
a. This is where one actually surrenders his heart to Jesus Christ...
b. And by grace through faith comes to Him for salvation, trusting in Jesus, believing on Him and in Him for salvation.
c. "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." cf Acts 16:31
II. What Good is Real Faith?
A. Real faith brings salvation to your soul.
1. There is the knowledge of your need of Jesus as the publican, "...God be merciful to me a sinner." cf Lk. 18:13.
2. There is the knowledge that He can save.
3. There is a belief that He will save.
4. There is complete trust in Him to save, Ephesians 2:8,9.
5. When you really trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved!
6. Jesus said, "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified..." cf Lk. 18:14a
B. Real faith brings you peace with God.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Rom 5:1-2)
1. Without Jesus we are lost, ruined, hopelessly condemned in our sin.
2. But in Jesus Christ we have peace.
3. The poet wrote:
Like the sunshine after rain, like the rest that follows pain; like a hope returned again, is the peace that Jesus gives.
4. The troubled sea of sin is quieted in Jesus Christ.
5. The problem of eternity is settled.
6. "Burdens are lifted at Calvary"
7. The peace of God means: A knowledge of salvation and the keeping power of God.
C. Real Faith gives you a prayer life.
1. If I were asked to pin-point the one thing that I believe would really turn our nation back to the path of God: my answer would be Ďprayer.í
2. If I were asked to name the one thing that I felt would give this church a greater burden for souls: my answer would be prayer.
3. For us to have a real desire to live for God, and the com- passion to do the work of God, we must pray!
4. All of Godís power is at the end of the prayer line and He has promised unlimited portions of His power in our lives, when we go to Him.
D. Real faith believes in the promises of God.
1. Concerning prayer.
a. Mt. 21:22, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
b. Mt. 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
c. Our failure to have is because we do not ask, James 4:3.
d. Heb 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
2. Concerning Giving.
a. Tithing is really no problem once we get to the place we are willing to just wholly believe God and His promise to care for His very own. cf. Luke 6:38.
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
b. God has promised to care for all our needs as we rely upon Him, as we believe His promises.
c. I wonder what the people said about the widow woman who gave all her money unto God as she placed it in the treasury? cf. Mark 12:41-44.
d. Faith, real faith, does not try to make the check go all around and then give to God.
e. Real faith says God comes first! "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." (Prov 3:9-10)
f. Real faith proves God in His promise. cf Mal. 3:10
3. Concerning Christian Living.
a. Godís promise to every child of His is that those who seek to do His will, in preference to their own will, shall have the blessings of God.
b. This is true in regards to our physical needs.
c. This is true in regards to our financial needs.
d. This is true in regard to our spiritual needs.
E. Real faith looks to God, no matter what the odds.
1. As Elijah did with prophets of Baal in I Kings 18.
2. As Daniel did during the reign of Darius in Daniel 6.
3. As the Hebrew children did, in our text this morning.
4. The person whose life is dominated by real faith will follow the Lord as He leads, as did Abraham.
5. The person who has real faith dominating their life will not be afraid to ask big things of God.
6. Real faith will motivate us to move as God directs us.
III. How Do We Get This Kind of Faith?
A. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." cf Rom 10:17
B. We will never have this kind of faith short of dedicating ourselves to following Godís will as He reveals it to us in His Word.
C. Faith that works is real living faith.
Do we have real faith? Faith that brings salvation...Faith that brings peace with God...Faith that results in an effective prayer life...Faith that believes the promises of God!
Why not come today...believe God for eternal life...and believe Him for the life we now live.