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What It Means to Have Faith (1 of 8)
Series: Real Faith for Real People. By David Cawston
Heb. 11:1 Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (NKJ)
Faith is a much talked about subject with many understandings.
We use the word “faith” so differently with a variety of meanings.
What faith are you? Meaning what denomination or church affiliation do you have?
Have faith! Trust!
Don’t you have faith in me? Don’t you believe me?
That is not my faith. That is not what I believe, etc.
We don’t look at faith as living and active, but rather as a habit or tradition.
Or maybe it’s something that we experience or muster up when we are in trouble.
We only exercise it when we are sick.
It is only given to special people.
It is not really important for life.
It is a sort of power of positive thinking.
With this kind of thinking we miss the important point that God wants us to learn about faith.
God wants us to live in faith, like living with a new heart after a heart transplant.
Just as a heart transplant patient has to take anti-rejection drugs to live with a new foreign object that gives them life, so we have to take anti-rejection thinking from the Word of God because living in faith is so foreign to our natural thinking!
True faith is living and active and it is something that God desires for us to live in constantly.
True faith puts you in contact with God.
True faith erases the boredom of life.
True faith causes you to do things you never thought possible.
True faith will teach you much about God–about who He is and how He operates.
True faith is what God is really looking for in your life.
True faith starts small and grows as you mature.
Faith is something beyond the five senses. Life becomes boring if everything we experience is only identified by the five senses.
There is a sixth sense that needs to be defined and experienced. This first message focuses on the understanding and definition of faith.
Before we analyze this verse–let’s take a moment to talk about what faith is not.
- Faith is not mere mental assent to doctrinal positions or traditions.
Some people think that faith is merely saying yes to doctrinal truth or observing a tradition.
But the fact is, you can believe right doctrine and still not have faith.
For example: James had a lot to say about faith, so listen to what he said,
James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the
Demons believe that–and shudder.
Faith is much more than merely nodding your head, yes to biblical truth or tradition.
Illustration: The Pharisees were filled with traditions and did not exercise faith.
Mark 7:5-9 [So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?”
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