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What Is Faith?
by Bobby Bruno
3/09/2011 / Christian Apologetics
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1 that faith, "is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see" (NLT). In other words, it means that we have a belief that, in the future, events that the Bible says will come to pass will indeed happen.
Only with faith from God can we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and is the only One who can save us from our sins; that He died on a cross (Good Friday) taking all of our sins (past, present and future) with Him to the grave; that He arose from the grave three days later (Easter) and ascended into Heaven to sit at the right hand of God; that with Him in control of our lives we can live to the full potential that God, our Heavenly Father, created in us before we were born.
We can't conjure up faith for ourselves because we don't seek God on our own -- God seeks us out, and then gives us the smallest amount of faith needed to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who forgives us for the sins we have committed in our lives while we went out own way without Him.
Faith was explained to me this way: If you lean the chair you are sitting on back against the wall, you do it with the faith that the wall will hold the chair up, that the back legs won't slip out from under you or break due to your weight, and that the chair itself can stand the strain of being used improperly. When you do this with the chair, you never consciously think that it is by faith that you do so with confidence, you just "know" that the chair won't fall.
That's the way it is with Jesus Christ. Faith in Him means that you don't have to think about Him fulfilling His promises to you, you just know with confidence that he will do the things for you that He said He would do. First, you must tell Jesus that you want Him in your life, and to save you from your sins. Then you must ask Him to take control of the things you yourself cannot control or change about yourself, which is everything about your life. You must tell Him that you want Him to be your Lord and Savior, and want Him to take control of every part of your life, so that He can show you the right way to live.
I will let the Word of God, Scripture from the Bible, answer the questions about what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ, and why, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you want to live your life as Jesus asks you to, or whether you want to keep going your own way, relying on yourself, falling in and out of situations that you yourself can never fix and can never get away from.
Only Jesus Christ can save you from the mistakes you have made and will continue to make in your life. Only He can help you overcome your own sinful nature and all of the things that Satan throws your way.
The choice is yours and yours alone to make. Jesus will never drag you into something that you don't want. He will never come to you and say, "Love me, or else." All He is saying to you right now is, "I love you more than you can know, and I want to change the things that are wrong with your life and make them all work out for your good and My Glory. I want you to come just as you are, right now, and tell me that you want your life to have meaning. I will send you My Holy Spirit to live inside of your heart, and who will guide you into the plans for which I have created you. My Spirit will help you fulfill them and to bring you into the wonderful, spectacular future I have had in place for you to live since before the day you were born. All I as is for you to come."
The first question you may be asking yourself is, "Why do I need to have faith in Jesus Christ?" Hebrews 11:6 says, "So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him" (NLT).
It Is The Only Way I Can Be Right With God
When Adam and Eve (who were real people) were in the Garden of Eden, they had a right standing with God; they were without sin, as was Jesus Christ. They had no concept of sin since God created them both holy and pure. They had no concept of right or wrong. When God promised them that He would fulfill all of their needs, He was faithful and delivered on His promises. Therefore, Adam and Eve obeyed His every word, and had a very intimate relationship with the God who created and cared for them. They knew that they could trust God with their very lives.
Then came along Satan (who is also a real person), who, at this time, was already a fallen angel, cast out of Heaven for proclaiming that he could be just like God, and could do a better job than his Creator (sound familiar?), who convinced Adam and Eve to disobey God and eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Once they took a bite from its fruit, their relationship was forever tainted with sin.
Today, as then, Satan seeks out to destroy our relationship with God, because God would not let him claim God's throne to do his evil desires. We are the same way towards God today: we want to control our own lives, to do what we want without any interference from anybody; especially God Himself, whom we believe will take away our evil fun.
Isaiah 14:13-14 tells the words Satan himself said to God, as Satan was in full rebellion against God: "(13)You said to yourself, 'I'll climb to heaven. I'll set my throne over the stars of God. I'll run the assembly of angels that meets on sacred Mount Zaphon. (14)I'll climb to the top of the clouds. I'll take over as King of the Universe'" (MSG). (Oh, how many "I" statements we could add to Satan's list: I can rule my own life better than God; I don't need anyone to tell me what I can or cannot do; I am successful because of my own sweat and perseverance... The list is endless.) Satan believed that he could rule the universe better than God. Since a pure, holy, and just God cannot let evil go unpunished, Satan, and those angels who rebelled with him, were banished from Heaven and cast down to the Earth.
So what has Satan been doing for the last six thousand years? As it reads in Job 2:2, "And the Lord said to Satan, 'Where have you come from?' Satan answered the Lord, 'From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it. (NIV)'" In 1 Peter 5:8, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (NIV)--Emphasis mine)" He has been attempting, and is most times successful, in keeping us from knowing God intimately. Tempting us through our five senses (Biblically called the "flesh") Satan tries to get us to do wrong things through our own evil desires, which, without Jesus Christ in our lives, we will fall into repeatedly. Therefore, like Adam and Eve, we disobey God's good plans for us just to follow our own evil ways, just because we want to. If we just put our faith in God they way we put our faith in everything else, and just as strongly, we would follow God's ways and realize that His ways are truly the right ways to live. This in turn would please Him immensely, the way a child pleases his parents by obeying the house rules, which are put in place for the child's own good and protection.
All our lives since Adam and Eve, we have followed an evil devil, and have put our faith in him instead of the One who always has good in mind for us. However, when you put your faith in Jesus Christ (believing that He exists, and believing that Jesus is who He says He is, that He has done what He said He would do, asking Him into your heart, putting Him in control of every aspect of your life), then, only then, can you please God and have a right standing with the One who created us, and had planned out our entire lives thousands of years before we were born.
Only With Faith Can We Believe In Jesus Christ
Do you know that it takes more faith to believe that your car is going to start in the morning than it does to believe in Jesus Christ? Each and every morning, you go out and turn the ignition key and expect the car to start on the first try. So much so that, after a while, you don't even think about it anymore -- you get in, start the car, and go! Now, that requires a great amountof faith to believe in. However, where Jesus Christ is concerned, it only takes a small amount of faith to believe in Him and what He did on the cross.
In the Bible, Jesus tells His disciples in the Book of Matthew, chapter 17, verse 20, "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" (NIV).
What Jesus is saying to us here is: "If you have even the smallest amount of faith that I died on the cross to take away the sins of the world; was buried and arose again three days later as I said I would; and when you ask me to come into your life, I will come and forgive you for all the sins you have committed past, present, and future. Once you invite me in, you can ask me to move the mountains of guilt and shame out of your life when you begin to follow me and listen to and obey my words found in your Bible. I will do it when you ask in my Name."
. Every time you open your heart up to God, the more you will enjoy your life with Him. Remember, any revelation you may have about God comes from God Himself through His Spirit. When God sees that you want to know Him intimately, or want to know Him more, He will stop at nothing to give you all of himself in all the smallest details. You won't know everything about God this side of Heaven, But, even as the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:12, "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus (NIV)."
Come to Jesus and claim the prize for yourself.
"Scripture marked (NIV) taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION . Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved."
"Scripture marked (MSG) taken from The Message. Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group."
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love. He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.
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