On Faith

Faith is a gift of God. Many people think that faith comes from within yourself. “Believe in yourself,” people say. Well, I happen to think that I am a very poor object in which to have faith. If it depends on me to be saved, then woe to me.

However, true faith is faith in someone else, namely, Jesus Christ. Faith is an accepting, receiving, and resting on Him alone for our salvation. Faith is an empty hand that simply receives. Furthermore, we cannot even stretch out that hand without God’s help.

Faith is an instrument. In justification, for instance, it is not faith itself that is imputed for righteousness, but rather the object of faith that is imputed, namely, the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Those who say otherwise are not understanding the nature of faith. Faith does not have a substance of its own, or a righteousness of its own. Rather, faith lays hold of something outside itself, making the believer united to Jesus Christ.

There are degrees of saving faith. That is, all saving faith has some inviolable characteristics. However, the degree of faith varies in different Christians. Some Christians, such as George Muller, had (or have) extraordinarily powerful and strong faith. Other Christians have weak faith. Let not the strong look down on the weak, but rather let them seek to help the weak grow.

Faith reacts appropriately to the Word of God. If there is one thing that is mostly lacking in churches these days, it is a desire to lead biblical lives. Most church-goers will say that they have faith, some more, some less. But how many actually make their day-to-day decisions based on Scripture? It is not too difficult to make large decisions based on Scripture, because we see the need of it more. But in the little decisions, all too often we are stricken with a lack of faith, and think that God doesn’t have anything to say to us about such matters. But the faithful person will look at God’s Word, and react according to how each passage should affect them. Faithful people react with wariness when warned, with joy when encouraged, belief when promised, etc. And faithful people love the study of God’s Word. How many Christians are there who absolutely love to dig into God’s Word? Precious few. Most of them think it is above them, and is only to be for the professionals. Or, they just don’t care. Faith believes that every word of God is precious, and is to be mulled over, and digested, and gnawed; in short, seen from every legitimate angle possible, so as to produce a harvest of righteousness. Glory be to God!

4 Comments

  1. bonnieq said,

    October 21, 2006 at 12:10 pm

    Indeed, there is “ye of little faith,” but the Word is more clear on this topic. It is not that one person’s faith is weak and another’s is strong; it is that one has a measure and the other has a gift. We who were given a measure of faith learn the depth of faith from those who have the spiritual gift of faith. We can learn until our measure becomes a gift.

    As the Bible points out, all are given a measure and, true, it is like a muscle that gets bigger and stronger the more it is used; but, in Corinthians we find that there is also a gift of faith among the nine gifts of the Spirit.

    Thank you for posting this great article.

    Love in Christ,
    http://bonnieq.wordpress.com

  2. greenbaggins said,

    October 21, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Bonnie. Do you think that the gift of faith in Corinthians is merely an extra measure of the same faith that every Christian has, or do you think it is something else entirely?

  3. bonnieq said,

    October 22, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Well, according to the Spirit, the gift of faith is all-encompassing, as deep a faith as faith possibly can be; so, yes, I suppose it could be equated to having a greater measure of faith compared to those who first receive a measure; the point of a gift of faith being that there is someone who can teach and guide into taking our small measure and increasing it.

    The point of each of the nine spiritual gifts, given discriminately, is: I live and teach my gifts, you live and teach your gifts, and the next person lives and teaches his or her gifts, thus we all learn the whole from one another; for no one person, aside from Jesus then the Apostles and Paul, were given ALL gifts in one person.

    I have a dear sister-in-Christ, of 40+ years, to whom one day years ago I said, “I wish I had as much faith as you do!” Well, at the time, neither of us realized there is a difference, so she shot back with, “I DON’T have any more faith than you, I just use mine more.” Kinda like exercise, use or lose it.

    Well, Anita had made a good point, but we have since learned that at the time she did have and still has the gift of faith, while mine at the time was just a measure. Because of her gift, from her I have learned the depths of faith, learned and exercised until my faith is now equal to Anita’s gift.

    The Spirit gave the gifts of prophecy/interpretation and the weightier matters of the Law and the gift to teach them. Alas, Anita refuses to learn from my gifts. And, that really puzzles me sometimes, and other times it breaks my heart; for I see her still clinging to some of man’s smooth words and that is not at all good.

    So, dear friend, I ask that you pray for me and my friend Anita. :)

    Love in Christ,
    BonnieQ

  4. blackntanintheam said,

    September 9, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    I would like to pose a query. How does infant faith play into this? Lusk’s book does a good job at positing an historical reality of paedo faith in the reformed tradition. Let’s talk.


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