Audio & Notes: Faith Development

Why is faith important?

  • Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him,for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
  • 1 John 5:4-5, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

What is faith?

  • In Hebrews 11:1, we get the answer, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
  • Substance – a kind of matter with uniform properties. The real physical matter of which a person or thing consists, and which has a tangible, solid presence.
  • Faith is hope materialized.

What is hope?

  • Ephesians 2:12 states that if you are separated from Christ you have no hope.
    • Hope – anticipate, usually with pleasure.
    • We anticipate with pleasure when we became one with Christ.
  • This union brings us an anticipation because we are finally part of the commonwealth of Israel and are part of the covenants of promise.
  • Notice it states covenants of promise. This means that all the different covenants made in the Bible are about Jesus.
    • There are 6 major covenants in the Bible. Every covenant has 3 parts. The parts are: promises, conditions and a seal
      1. Adam’s covenant – this was supposed to be sealed with the tree of life (Genesis 1:28; 2:16).
      2. Noah’s covenant – sealed with the rainbow (Genesis 8:20-9:1-17).
      3. Abraham’s covenant – sealed with circumcision (Gen 15; 17:1-14).
      4. The Mosaic covenant – sealed by the sacrifices (Genesis 19:5-6; 20-24)
      5. David’s covenant – sealed with praise and worship (2 Samuel 7:1-17).
      6. The covenant of Salvation/Grace/Eternal covenant – this is the current one that we live in. The promise is that we are one with Him, the condition is we accept Christ as our Lord and savior and the seal is God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:3-14).
    • All these covenants gave the participants hope that they will partake of God’s promise which is Jesus.
    • Colossians 1:27 states this plainly, “Christ in you the hope of Glory.”
      • When we become one with Christ, we can anticipate all the glory of God to manifest in our lives.
      • Glory – The root word glory in the Greek means to show, expose to the eyes or to give evidence or proof of a thing or to show by words or teach.
      • “To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the evidence of this mystery, which is the anointing in you (or your new nature) that makes you anticipate with pleasure all the words of God” (Colossians 1:27 summarized)
    • In 2 Corinthians 5:17, when it states that we are a new creature, the name of that new creature is called Christ.
    • In Galatians 2:20 it states, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
    • We can summarize Colossians 1:27, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 2:20 to say, “…the new nature in me, gives me the ability to anticipate with pleasure that the new life in me will flow out of me into the world.”

So how does hope lead to faith?

  • The promise in the covenant are the ones that give us hope. We first must locate the promise that we need now.
  • Then per Joshua 1:8, begin to meditate (think about or ponder) about that promise until it moves from head knowledge to your heart. What will happen is you will begin to see yourself (eyes of your understanding) living out that promise. That is when faith is born.
  • Here is an example:
    • I go to the doctor and he/she tells me that I have cancer. This news will be devastating and will attempt to steal all my joy and hope. But I must go to the word and see what promises have been made concerning this disease. In 1 Peter 2:24 states, “….by His stripes we were healed.” Based on this promise, I can have an earnest expectation that the healing power of Christ in me will flow out into my body. With this expectation and my constant reading of this text, my hope keeps increasing and then it changes from hope to faith and my healing materializes.
  • In Romans 10:17 it states, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”
  • If you put this in our context, “So then we can expect the materialization of our earnest expectations from our new life by hearing, and hearing the reality of the new life within us.”

Does the amount of Faith matter?

  • The answer is No. The amount of faith doesn’t matter, what matters is how long are you going to believe.
  • In Luke 17:5-10, Jesus answers this question.
  • The disciple asks Him to increase their faith then Jesus answers and says it isn’t the amount of faith that matters but keeping your faith in the field until what you are believing for happens.

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