Friday, February 16, 2007

My Thoughts on Faith

The definition of faith in Hebrews 11 is "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Faith is a gift from God: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is a gift from God..." (Eph. 2:8)

Faith comes by "hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

Every Christian has been given by God a "measure of faith." (Romans 12:3)

We can have little faith, such as a grain of mustard seed" and still accomplish great things.

We can ask for our faith to be increased as the disciples did.

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

By faith, the Old and New Testament saints listed in Hebrews 11, the Faith Chapter, were able to conquer kingdoms, administer justice, shut mouths of lions, quenched flames, escape the sword, weakness turned to strength, powerful in battle, routed foreign battles, women received back their dead, martyred for the cause of Christ, faced jeers and flogging, chained and put in prison, stoned, sawed in two, destitute, persecuted, mistreated, wandered in deserts.

Today as I studied these things, questions popped into my mind. Apparently the faith that saved us is given to us by God, it is a gift. We can ask for that gift of faith to be increased to serve Him better, and the way to increase our faith is by reading God's Word and getting to know Him more. Thus, does my faith depend on how much I read and grow, or does God just honor my reading and increase my faith as His gift to me?

James tells us that without works, faith is dead. So do my works determine my faith and how much I receive from God as His gift?

Can faith be compartmentalized? Can I have faith in great amounts concerning one area of my life, but have very little faith about certain other areas of my life?

Can we determine within ourselves to lay hold of the faith that moves mountains? Can we make the choices necessary to serve God by faith and still not have enough faith to accomplish that purpose because we failed to ask for more faith, or did not do enough good works to warrant more faith?

In our Sunday School lesson this week, the author defines faith in this way:
Faith is believing the Word of God and acting upon it no matter how I feel because God promises a good result.

Does God always honor obedience with good results? If so, why are so many Christians martyred for their faith. When bad things happen in my life, is that a direct result of being disobedient to God in some fashion or lacking in faith in that area?

I would love to hear your thoughts on my questions. I know God gives wisdom to those that ask and I'm just curious to hear your thoughts on the subject of faith versus works.

Hoping to hear from you,


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