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6 October, 2009

Good question: What is faith to you?
Better question:  What is faith?
Best question:  What is faith, according to the Bible?

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:2 (NKJV)

The substance of things hoped for.  The evidence of things not seen.

So faith is always forward looking.  Sounds simple enough.  But why in the world is faith (while still here on earth) integral in the salvation of someone’s eternal soul?  We have to examine what are
the things –hoped for–
the things –not seen–

In Ephesians chapter two Paul writes,

It is by grace that you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

What are the things we look forward to that are involved with our salvation?

  1. The perfect atoning work of Christ on the cross, made possible by His sinless life in the flesh.
  2. His resurrection from the dead, defeating death, and defeating Satan eternally.

“But!” you say (and I said), “Those things have already been completed!  How can things that are hoped for, things unseen, be things that have already happened?”

The faith is necessary in the application to me, personally.  And to you, personally.  And to all the peoples of all the tribes and all the nations, personally.

I have not seen the death and sacrifice and forsaking by God of Jesus Christ applied to me personally, but my faith is my full assurance that His blood has been spilled so that MY SINS will be covered on the day that God judges my soul.  My faith is my full assurance that I have no power to obey the law in its entirety (Galatians 3:10).  My full assurance that I can do nothing but sin without the Holy Spirit of God moving me to do His will in faith (Romans 14:23).  My full assurance that eternal life will be mine only because the Holy Father has loved me, and the Holy Son has died in my place, and the Holy Spirit has guided me to holiness day by day, that the thrice Holy God may be glorified as all in all.

So how does saving faith change a person’s life from a life in bondage to sin into a life in bondage to righteousness?  More on that to come in a later post.  Forgive me if its not for a while.  A big transition, or so you could say, is coming up in my life.

Pray for me.  Prayer is another one of those things that works, but only in faith.  Expect God to answer your prayers that are according to the truth of Scripture.  That is faith.  Though you don’t see the answer, believe, hope, be assured that He remains faithful, and know that even when you have no faith, He remains faithful (II Timothy 2:13)

Lord I believe; only help my unbelief!

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