FAITH
All scriptural references are from the American Standard Version unless otherwise noted


FAITH DEFINED

Faith, as defined by Scripture, is at Hebrews 11:1

"Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen." (The American Standard Version)

"To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see." (The Good News Translation)

"And faith is assuming the validity of hopes, putting unseen things to the test." (The Bible in Living English)

How do we manifest faith in our relationship with Our Almighty Father, Yahweh, and His Son, Jesus Christ?



FAITH WITH WORKS

According to James 2:19, simply believing is not enough, for even the demons believe in God and Jesus, yet that doesn't give them a good relationship with them. Therefore, we are told in Scripture that faith must have works in order to have real meaning (James 2:14). In other words, in order to show that we actually have faith, it must be apparent by the way we act (James 2:14-17,24-26). It is reasonable to require that our faith is shown by our actions.

How do we show our faith by our actions?

One way is by putting active trust in the power of Yahweh and His Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 9:20-22, Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 2:2-5, Mark 6:5-6, Mark 9:21-29, Mark 10:46-52, Romans 10:11, Hebrews 11:4-30). This is to be done without a hint of doubt (Matthew 14:25-31, Matthew 21:21, James 1:6-8). More examples of this active trust can be found at: Matthew 8:5-13, Matthew 9:27-30, Mark 5:35-40.

Taking care of our families to the best of our abilities is also a work of faith (1 Timothy 5:8). To neglect one's family is tantamount to being a faithless person.

We must also show faith in Christ's blood, otherwise we cannot be saved (Romans 3:25). How do we show active faith in his blood? By living according to what the blood means. In other words, we must repent and accept that his blood has forgiven our sins, (Hebrews 9:22) and then live in such a way that we sincerely try to refrain from sinning further (because repentance is required for forgiveness, and repenting means to refrain from sinning - Hebrews 10:26-27). It also means actually believing that, when we sin and truly are repentant, we are also truly forgiven (2 Corinthians 7:11). If you do not believe you are truly forgiven, then you show lack of belief that Christ's blood covers your sin. Lack of belief causes you to lose the Salvation his blood has given you.

 

OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S WILL

Also, if we have faith in Jesus Christ we'll be willing to do whatever he commands of us (John 15:14). Some of those commands include: making disciples, baptizing believers, teaching them Jesus' words (Matthew 28:19-20), loving God, and loving others (Matthew 22:37-40, John 13:34, John 15:12,17).

Jesus taught that a person who stumbles another's faith is better off dead (Matthew 18:6), that if you pray for anything in faith you will receive it (Matthew 21:22, Mark 11:24), and those exercising faith in him will be blessed with resurrection after they die (John 11:25).

 

BALANCING FAITH AND WORKS

However, there is always room for caution in this matter because we shouldn't put more emphasis on the works than is necessary. What we mean is, although someone with true faith will easily perform the works stemming from that faith, it is too easy to fall into the trap of pushing works to an extreme. This can happen in several ways:
1)
A person can perform many works, though in reality the person doesn't have true faith (Matthew 7:21-24).
2)
A person can perform works to the extreme of forgetting the importance of mercy (Hosea 6:6, Matthew 12:7).
3)
A person can perform works to the extreme of forgetting the importance of love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
4)
A person can also perform works even though he or she is a false worshipper (Matthew 7:21-23).

So, we must all be careful about the emphasis of works when it comes to faith. Although one's true faith will move one to action, we must remember that the show of works is not the only marker of true faith.

Works/actions alone doesn't save us. We must have action with faith, because without the faith, all is lost. Faith alone doesn't save us, for as the Scriptures point out, even the demons have faith (James 2:19). We must have faith and works together in order for it to mean something (Hebrews 11:6, James 2:14-26).

 

CONCLUSION

For those with true faith, combining faith with works shouldn't be a difficult task. If you truly believe in something, you willingly perform works that show your belief. For example, if you have faith in your doctor, you will accept his treatment plan and live according to his orders without hesitation. If, on the other hand, you do not have faith in your doctor, you'll disregard his instructions and ignore his treatment plan.

It is much the same way with our faith in Yahweh and His Christ: Genuine faith automatically inclines a person to perform actions based on their belief. This is why faith and works are inseparable, this is why faith is shown by works/actions.

Therefore, be sure to hone your faith, and be willing to show that faith by your actions.

May our God and Father bless you in your search for deeper faith.

 



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