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By Faith: An Introduction

By Faith  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

What does your faith look like? If you could take your faith, cut it in a way that you could see a cross section of it, what would it look like?
\What does your faith look like? If you could take your faith, cut it in a way that you could see a cross section of it, what would it look like?
Would it be thin?
Would it be fatty?
Would it be muscular?
What makes up your faith?
Faith is important. It is mentioned in the Bible over 300 times.
It has been said that faith is action based on certainty without physical evidence. The power of our faith rests in the object of our faith, not the faith itself. You and I gather in this place each week to hopefully express and grow our faith.
Just like love, faith
When it comes to faith in our God, we must first believe that God exists, believe that He cares for you and me, and believe that His love is real!
I want to help you grow in your faith through a series of messages from one chapter in the Bible, .
We are going to look at faith and see how many before us have lived by faith.
Hebrews 11:1–2 NIV84
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews 11:1–2 HCSB
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.
Hebrews 11:1-2

Understanding Faith

A dictionary will define faith as the “confident belief in truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.”
The first thing we must do in understanding faith, has already been stated: The power of our faith rests in the object of our faith, not the faith itself. The object of our faith is God and the assurance that God is really there. We go through life with moments of spiritual ecstasy and sometimes spiritual drought. It’s a journey, some of the roads are tough, some are easier. Our journey of faith is ultimately a journey that propels us to place our confidence less and less in things of this world and calls us to place our hopes on heaven. In other words, we have a great desire to place our hope in Something far greater than ourselves. Every struggle we face should remind us of our great need in God.
We are called to believe in God and that He cares enough for us to make sure that can find peace and happiness.
2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV84
We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV84
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
So how do you develop an understanding of faith?
I would invite you to do a word study through scripture on the word faith. Use that concordance in your bible and cross reference faith.
2 Chronicles 20:20 NIV84
Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”
2 Chronicles
Habakkuk 2:4 NIV84
“See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous will live by his faith—
Habakkuk
Over the next few weeks, I want to help you understand faith more as we look at this great chapter and go through the Hall of Faith and see how the ancients, as our text today calls them, lived out their faith.
In looking at , we see a couple of words that help us gain understanding about faith: sure and certain. Are you sure about God and His great love for you? and, are you certain that what He says is true and that you can rely on it.
Bible faith is not blind optimism or a hope-so mentality. Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s word in spite of circumstances and consequences. Bible faith is the response of man to what God has said.
As you are developing an understanding, a comprehension of faith, I want to encourage you to be teachable. I want you to go deeper than just saying, “I have faith because I was raised that way, or I have always believed.” I want to encourage you to know that you know and know why you know!
So if you can develop an understanding of your faith, I guarantee that you also realize that bible faith is undeniable faith.

Undeniable Faith

Tony Evans says that “faith is acting like God is telling the truth.”
What a beautiful statement! When you realize that bible faith is an undeniable faith, we have the inward conviction that God has promised us and He will keep His word. Undeniable faith is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable.
Throughout the Bible we find evidences of undeniable faith. Many are listed in this chapter that we will be studying in the weeks to come.
If it were possible to contradict or declare our faith untrue, can you imagine what life would be like? We would be hopeless, we would be unsure of everything, and completely miserable.
Charles Spurgeon said, “Without faith we are without Christ and consequently without a Savior. It would be infinitely better to be without eyes, without hearing, without wealth, without bread, without garments, without a home rather than to be without the faith that brings everything the soul requires. Without faith we are spiritually naked, poor, miserable, lost, condemned and without a hope of escape.”
Without an undeniable faith, you and I are without hope, for a true hope can only only spring out of true faith.
But, if we make our faith undeniable, we can be assured that can have Christ, we can have a Savior, we can have hope!
With this hope we can be assured and given purpose that God :
John 14:6 NIV84
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Ephesians 3:14–19 NIV84
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-
We can have an understanding of faith. We can have an undeniable faith, and finally, we can have an undeterred faith.

Undeterred Faith

Again, Tony Evans stated: “Faith is not about how much you believe in what you believe. Faith is about believing the One you believe in is believable.”
If you faith is undeterred, then you can not prevent it, you can’t stop it. Jesus said that you don’t have to even have to have much of it! His disciples were perplexed that they could not drive out a demon.
Matthew 17:20 NIV84
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Just a little undeterred faith can do amazing things in your life and in the lives of those around you!
1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV84
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1
An undeterred faith produces righteousness.
Romans 3:21–22 NIV84
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
Romans 3:
Romans 4:5 NIV84
However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Romans 4:3-
Romans 4:3–7 NIV84
What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Undeterred faith will give you a blessing! Throughout the Gospels, we see that Jesus loved and always responded to anyone that had faith. He loved it. He loved it when those placed their full faith in Him and His Father.
Matthew 15:21–28 NIV84
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Matthew 15:21-
Mark 5:21–34 NIV84
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Mark 5:21-
An undeterred faith will also be a faith that cannot be contained. You will want to share it and it will want to come out of you!
Jeremiah 20:9 NIV84
But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.
So if you have an understanding of faith, a faith that is undeniable, and a faith that is undeterred, you will also be like the ancients, the ones who have gone before us.
Faith is not just a belief system. It is putting into action that which you believe and that which you believe in.
Your faith should be a call to action:
James 2:14–19 NIV84
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
James 2:1
Your assignment this week is this:
Ask the Lord to show you in His word more about faith. Ask Him to help you understand it better. Ask Him to show you that it is undeniable and undeterred. Then ask Him to show you what you need to do as a result of such a faith.
Hebrews 11:1–2 NIV84
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
What about you?
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