The Importance of Faith

Text: Hebrews 11:1,6

Faith includes assurance, conviction, and a trust in God (Hebrews 11:1,6). Faith is the determination to obey the Lord (Romans 1:5; 16:26). Faith is not bestowed upon us miraculously, but comes from the word (Romans 10:17). But why does this matter? What is the point of believing, trusting, and obeying God? There are several reasons why faith is important. We will consider some of these so that we might be motivated to “live by faith” (Romans 1:17).

Faith Allows Us to Please God

  • Impossible to please God without it (Hebrews 11:6) – the “men of old gained approval” by faith (Hebrews 11:2,39)
  • Remember, faith is more than just belief (James 2:19) – we must obey to please Him (Colossians 1:10)
  • Our purpose is to please God (Revelation 4:11) – to do this, we must “fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13); this is a demonstration of faith

Faith Leads to Our Justification

  • We are “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1) – but not faith only (James 2:24)
  • What is justification? … to declare one to be just/righteous – we must practice righteousness to be righteous (1 John 3:7); but none are righteous on their own because all have sinned (Romans 3:10,23)
  • Therefore, justification is possible because of forgiveness – forgiveness is inseparably tied to our faith (Acts 26:18)

Faith Allows Us to be Sons of God

  • We are “sons of God through faith” (Galatians 3:26) – believing in Christ gives us “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12); no authority to be children of God without faith
  • We become “sons of God” when we are “born again” (John 3:3) – “baptized into Christ” (Galatians 3:27)
  • The opportunity to become children of God is open to all (Galatians 3:28; Mark 16:15-16) – not by virtue of one’s physical birth, but spiritual birth

Faith Allows Christ to Dwell in Our Hearts

  • Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was for Christ to dwell in their hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17)
  • Paul told the Colossians to let the word of Christ dwell in them (Colossians 3:16) – this would produce certain actions on their part (Colossians 3:16-4:1); parallel to the Holy Spirit dwelling in us (Ephesians 5:18-6:9)
  • Under the new covenant, God’s law would be written on our hearts (Hebrews 8:10) – word is the source of faith (Romans 10:17); Jesus was the word (John 1:1); word revealed by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-13); therefore, as the word of God is in our hearts, Christ dwells in our hearts as well

Faith Gives Us Understanding

  • By faith we understand (Hebrews 11:3) – this allows us to have assurance and conviction (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Faith is not something we wish for (“leap of faith”) – we have evidence for our faith (ex: resurrection – Acts 1:8; 1 John 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
  • From the word of God, the source of faith, we get understanding (Ephesians 3:4) – a common understanding (1 Corinthians 1:10)

Faith is the Standard by Which We Live

  • Man, on his own, is lost (Jeremiah 10:23) – without God, our pursuits are futile (Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:17); without the word of God, man can only wander about aimlessly (Amos 8:11-12)
  • Through faith we have direction (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • The worldly man lives life without any lasting purpose (Ecclesiastes 1:8-11) – yet “the righteous man shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17)

Faith Gives Us Stability

  • We must be rooted and established in faith (Colossians 2:7) – we are established as we follow what we were instructed in God’s word (Romans 10:17)
  • Stability is important so we can stand against the trials and temptations of life (James 1:2-4,14-15) – without the right foundation, the trials of life will overwhelm us (Matthew 7:26-27); without a strong root, we will fall away in the time of temptation (Luke 8:13)
  • Faith gives us a firm foundation – how? … hear and act (Matthew 7:24-25); hold fast and bear fruit (Luke 8:15)

Faith is a Shield to Protect Us

  • We are engaged in a spiritual war (1 Timothy 6:12) – we are fighting against the most powerful enemy known to man (Ephesians 6:11-12)
  • Yet the Lord is greater (1 John 4:4) – we can have confidence, but we must still prepare to fight (Ephesians 6:11,13-17)
  • We must take up the “shield of faith” (Ephesians 6:16) – Satan is always looking for one who is vulnerable to attack, but we must resist (1 Peter 5:8-9); the stronger our faith, the better we will be able to defend ourselves against the devil

Faith Gives Us Victory Over the World

  • Through faith, we can overcome the world (1 John 5:4) – the world is not the physical creation, but it refers to that which is opposed to God and His spiritual kingdom
  • James warned about friendship with the world (James 4:4) – while the influence will often seem strong, it is only temporary (1 John 2:16-17)
  • Victory is through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57) – we are victorious with Him through faith

Faith Saves Us

  • In the end, if we remain faithful to the Lord, the result is eternal salvation (1 Peter 1:9; cf. 2 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:8)
  • Again, saying we are saved by faith does not mean “faith only” – the Bible does not teach this (James 2:24)
  • A saving faith is an obedient faith (Romans 1:5; 16:26) – without this obedient faith, we cannot be saved (Hebrews 5:9; James 2:26; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

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