What is Faith? – Part 1Tom Ballinger
There are some who profess to believe that all that is required for salvation is to believe that GOD IS. That is a mighty good start, it is true, but a long way from there will have to be traversed if one is to get anywhere. James 2:19 tells us that it is well to believe that there is one God, but it also says that demons believe and tremble. If it does a man no more good than the demons to believe this fact, then he is still on very dangerous ground.
There are some who profess a general belief in God, that He is love and that He will in some way make everything turn out all right for them. It is leaning on His providence, so to speak. This is rather hard to describe for at the best it is rather a nebulous condition. We might describe it as wishful thinking. They seem to think that if they pray hard enough, they will get what they want. Maybe you have seen children teasing and begging their parents for something they want real badly. That is what it amounts to, but that is not faith in the Bible sense of the word.
But the Word does say that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb.11:6). If that is true, then we had better get busy and find what it is. How do we get it? What else besides the existence of one God are we to believe?
We are told that faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. (Rom.10:17). I cannot believe a person till that person has spoken by His Word. That is what we are to believe. But what does the Word speak?
In John 5:37-40, the Lord says that the Scriptures speak of Him. Furthermore, He tells His listeners that they will not come to Him that they might have life. In 1John 5:9-11, we are told that God gives us a witness of His Son. Any man that will not believe that witness makes God a liar.
So, we can some up that part of the Word as saying that we must believe the Word of God; that the Word of God is concerning His Son; if we believe and have the Son, then we have life.
Timothy had his training in the Scriptures (2Tim 3:15).
The Ephesians heard the Word of truth and trusted in the One of Whom it testified. It was the gospel of their salvation. After they believed, they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
Faith is more than just wishing!
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Heb 11:3 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 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
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.
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Heb 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Heb 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Heb 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
Heb 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.