The Definition of Faith
The apostle Paul in his epistle to the Hebrews defined faith as follows: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The apostle stressed that there is no such thing as blind faith. Through nature, through His Word, and through His providential leading, God has given people all the proof of His existence that they need (Romans 1:20). True faith is always based upon strong evidence to warrant trust. Thus, “Faith is the title-deed” for things hoped for by the believer.
By faith, God’s child regards himself already owning what has been promised to him. His full trust in the God, who has made the promise, leaves no doubt as to its fulfillment in His appointed time. Faith allows the believer not only to lay hold onto the future promised blessings but to receive and to rejoice in them in the present time. The future hope becomes a present blessing. The future blessings are no longer only dreams to be received, but they are living realities. Thus, to the person who has faith, the unseen becomes seen.
Trust in God is not an intellectual belief but a solid proof that God will fulfill His promises. Humans may not see the generator that generates the electricity in their homes but they feel its presence by the evidences it produce. Likewise, believers may know that their spiritual energy is proof to the existence of a divine power working in their lives. Thus, faith is always built on evidence and proof and is not a mere abstract belief.
The Heroes of Faith
The faith of God’s prophets “the elders” (Hebrews 11:2) led them to godly lives, which bore witness to the reality of their faith. Their faith glorified God. The apostle Paul, in Hebrews 11, lists some of these faithful heroes who have obtained “a good report.” These heroes were ordinary humans who had “like passions as we are” (James 5:17), yet they did great things. This truth shows that even the weakest of God’s children today may obtain victory over every sin in his life.
One of those heroes was Elijah, who was not saved from the trials of life that all people encounter and at times he even displayed the frailties of men (1 Kings 19:4). We can be certain that the victory of Elijah’s prayer was not the result of any extraordinary qualification he had, but of the grace of God working miracles in his life.
Faith Is Build on God’s Word
Christ our supreme example was tempted as all men were (Hebrews 4:15). But He overcome by the power of faith in God’s Word and through a life of prayer (Matthew 4:4). In this, lay the secret of His strength. It is faith in God’s Word that brings victory over sin (1 John 5:4). And faith is developed through study of the Scriptures. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Thus, genuine faith is not a blind trust to be used in the absence of enough evidence. Faith must be based upon knowledge, and knowledge is based upon the Word of God. Therefore, as a means of developing a transforming and enduring faith, there is no substitute for daily study of God’s Word and prayer.
Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4). To abide in Christ, means that the mind must be in daily continual relationship with Him and must live His life (Galatians 2:20). Each branch must maintain its own connection to the vine. And each believer in the body of Christ must bear its own fruits.
In His service,
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