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TCH MINI-STUDY: 1
 
WHAT IS FAITH?
 
Our interactions with God require that we have faith. So, what is faith? The Lord explains in one example: And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel (Mat 8:5-10). The Roman centurion not only believed that Jesus was the Christ, but also believed that what God said was true and in God's own time would come to pass. The Lord, Himself, described this centurion's response as faith.
 
Another example of biblical faith can be seen in Abraham. Scriptures instruct us, 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 11:8). Abraham displayed his faith by hearing God's words and instruction, and obeying. Abraham obeyed because he trusted God and His words, and had faith that Gods instructions were true, would come to pass, and would bring him life.
 
First, God instructed Abraham,Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing (Gen 12:1-2). Second, the angel of the Lord then also instructed Abraham, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (Gen 22:16-17).Yet, after this, God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-17), and Abraham began to be obedient to God's instructions. As new testament scriptures then tell us, By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he [Abraham] that had received the promises [made to Abraham by God] offered up his only begotten son (Heb 11:17). God promised Abraham that he would make of Abraham a great nation and that Abraham's children and offspring would be as many as the stars of heaven or the sand of the sea, yet God later instructed Abraham to sacrifice his own son. Abraham displayed total faith in God's words to him because Abraham knew that even after obediently sacrificing his own son, the words and promises of God the Father would somehow in God's will and timing eventually come to pass; that is, that God was able to fulfill His promises to Abraham that Abraham would have many children; and so the promises God made to Abraham came to pass.
 
In the New Testament, we also read about faith: 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 [God the Father] faithful who had promised (Heb 11:11). God had promised Sara that she would have a child, and Sara's faith was reflected in the fact that she believed what God had promised would come to pass; and the promise of God did come to pass.
 
Abraham was also a man of faith because he believed that God the Father could and would fulfill all of His promises: He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; butwas strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he [God] was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness (Romans 4:20-22).
 
Holy Scriptures define faith as believing that the words of God are true and will come to pass. Holy Scriptures also specifically define faith with these words: Now faith [agree, confidence, trust, persuaded] is the substance [assurance, confidence] of things hoped for [anticipated, expected], the evidence [proof, conviction] of things not seen [perceived, beheld]. For by it the elders obtained a good report. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 11:1-9).
 
To the church in Corinth, Paul also referred to faith when he wrote, my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men [and their words], but in the [words] power [miraculous actions] of God (1 Cor 2:4-5).
 
Faith and belief are often considered to represent the same ides in the scriptures, and rightly so. However, there appears to be, possibly, a slight difference in the two terms. In Hebrews 11:6, we see that without faith it is impossible to please him [God]; for he that cometh to God must [first] believe that he [God] is [real], and that [secondly] he [God] is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Heb 11:6). Scriptures seem to be teaching here a two-step process: first, we must first come to God and have the idea and conviction that God exists and is real [we must believe]; then secondly, we must have the conviction that God rewards those who believe in Him by accepting the idea that the words and promises God makes to us are true, accurate, and will, in God's timing, come to pass [we must have faith]. To be more clear, it appears that the scriptures are teaching us that our faith that God's words will come to pass must follow our belief that He even exists.  AMEN.




































 
Mini-
Studies
 
WHAT IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN?
 
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the
whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work
into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be
good, or whether it be evil"
(Ecc 12:13-14)
 
"Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and
bow myself before the high God? shall I come before
him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or
with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my
firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body
for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man,
what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee,
but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk
humbly with thy God?"
(Mic 6:6-8)
 
"And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently
unto my commandments which I command you this day,
to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your
heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of
your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter
rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine,
and thine oil"
(Deu 11:13-14)
 
"But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the
law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you,
to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways,
and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him,
and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul"
(Jos 22:5)

 
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