The Bible instructs us to "Study to show thyself approved". It also make special mention of the Bareans, who where called noble because of their desire to search scripture. We live in a world of many voices, each tugging our attention into different directions, causing instability and confusion. In this fast paced world that is ever changing, and ever challenging its citizens to keep up or lose, I have found it wonderful to experience the stability and steadfastness of God. The Word provides a foundation of ultimate security against the many voices, and causes us to focus on The Voice of Him that loves us. The book of Ephesians holds a wonderful hope, a hope that I share, and hence my efforts to bless the student of the Word. Ephesians 4:13-15 states: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature and fullness of Christ; That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive; But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, who is the head, even Christ.
As you proceed into the studies that follow I want you to note that I have compiled an exhaustive body of scripture, the Pure Word of God. I make no effort to preach to you, but am simply providing the Word with the prayer the God will speak to you through His Word. I suggest that you carefully pray for God to give you the wisdom and the knowledge that He wants you to have. Go through the study slowly, absorb it's life and power. If you have any questions or comments you can always feel free to E-Mail me.
Upon this Rock I will Build My Church
The Solid Foundation of The Faith
First things First:
"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." (Heb 11:6)
If we believe in God, all we can ever hope for will come by faith in Him
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.... Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Heb 11:1-3)
Where do we get faith?
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom 10:17)
Definition of faith: 4102. pistis, pis'-tis; from G3982; 1) persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), reliance upon Christ for salvation; 2) constancy in such profession; 3) The system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:--assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
3982. peitho, pi'-tho; a prim. verb; 1) To convince (by argument, true or false); 2) To pacify or conciliate (by other fair means) 3) To assent to evidence or authority, to rely (by inward certainty):--agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be content, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.
Combining the definitions above we can form an understanding of what it means to have faith. When we either hear or read of the acts of God, and are convinced that He is real and what He says is true, and that the things written in the Bible are 100% true, then we can say we have faith in God.
The Many Advantages and Privileges of Having Faith in God
1) Saved By Faith:
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" (Eph 2:8)
"And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace." (Luke 7:50)
"Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls." (1 Pet 1:9)
2) Justified by Faith:
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (Rom 5:1)
3) Made Whole by Faith:
"And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour." (Mat 9:20-22)
4) Defended by Faith:
"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." (Eph 6:16)
"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses." (1 Tim 6:12)
5) Provided for by Faith:
"And Jesus said unto them,.....for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." (Mat 17:20)
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." (John 14:13-14)
6) Live by Faith:
"Now the just shall live by faith:..." (Heb 10:38)
"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works." (James 2:18)
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:26)
"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous." (1 John 3:7)
7) Victory by Faith:
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1 John 5:4-5)
"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Acts 26:18)
Growing in Faith:
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Rom 10:17)
Definition of hearing: 191. akouo, ak-oo'-o; a prim. verb; to hear (in various senses):--give (in the) audience (of), come (to the ears), ([shall]) hear, be noised, be reported, understand
To hear the Word of God is not just with our ears but it is to understand it, then applying it in obedience.
The peril of not understanding the Truth of His Word:
"When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side." (Mat 13:19)
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. (John 15:8-12)
Faith causes the life of God to work in your life, making you what He is:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
Note* The Bible makes 2 distinctions in terms of faith.
1) It speaks of The Faith which would be the sum total trust and belief in God and every word of God as it is written in the Bible.
And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." (Acts 16:5)
"Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Eph 4:3-5)
2) Then the Bible speaks of human achievements in that faith:
Terms: no faith, little faith, weak in the faith, etc.
Note* Things that hinder the progress of faith: doubt, fear, and human reasoning
"And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith,wherefore didst thou doubt?" (Mat 14:31)
"And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm." (Mat 8:26)
"Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?" (Mat 16:8)
Terms: Great Faith, Full of Faith, Strong in the Faith
"Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." (Mat 15:28)
"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people." (Acts 6:8)
"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;" (Rom 4:20)
Things that increase faith: Believing His Word, Trusting in Him, AND Obedience. Desiring to understand God is a first step. With that first step there must also be a desire to please God. Pleasing God requires becoming full of faith. Having faith means that you have a trust in God and a willingness to obey Him. All in all, serving God is not form and ritual, it is developing a relationship of trust and obedience to the great loving Lord who created you. A relationship is a mutual two way partnership involving intimate knowledge, caring, sharing, and never ending loyalty. God has already pledged His half of the partnership. What about your half?
"Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you." (Mat 9:29)
Go to CHAPTER 2