Faith is the victory!
Faith may be one of the most misunderstood words in the Bible. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as one translation gives it — “Faith makes one sure of what we hope for (confident expectation) and gives us proof of what we cannot see (but which has been revealed in the Scriptures).”
The word “faith “ is used in at least two ways in the New Testament. It is sometimes used simply to mean “believe” or “belief.” For example, Paul’s words in Ephesians 1:15 uses the word “faith” in this way. Faith is also used sometimes to refer to the gospel, the doctrine of Christ, the Word of God, etc. For example, this is how Jude uses it in Jude 3.
Faith is absolutely necessary to be pleasing to God, to have salvation. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God, must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
Perhaps God requires faith because He gave the crown jewel of Heaven as sacrifice for us and if we don’t believe in Christ we certainly cannot be pleasing to Him.
Bible faith is based on evidence. It is not a guess. It is not just a hope. It is not a leap in the dark. It is based on evidence which is what the Word of God is. Romans 10:17; Luke 8:12; John 17:20-21; John 20:30, 31. Christianity is sometimes portrayed as a “pie in the sky,” a “hope of heaven” or a “based on stories” religion that really has little basis for existence. On the contrary, Christianity is solidly based on the Word of God (which has been proven without doubt as the inspired Word of God). Christianity is based on rock solid evidence.
The faith that saves is the faith that obeys. Galatians 5:6; James 2:14-26. Obedience is always prompted or motivated by faith. Hebrews 11:4; Hebrews 11:7; Hebrews 11:8; Hebrews 11:29; Hebrews 11:30. It was not obedience as such, that pleased God, but it was the obedience that was prompted by faith. Obedience is absolutely necessary for salvation. Matthew 7:21; John 3:5 (Mark 16:16); Acts 2:38. Obedience, which is not prompted, motivated, based on faith, however, is just a hollow going through the motions without any spiritual effect.
Ephesians 4:5 tells us there is one faith. In our society, we sometimes use “faith” improperly. We speak of the Methodist faith, the Baptist faith, the NorthRidge faith, the Catholic faith and many others. The Bible never uses faith in this way. When Paul says in Ephesians 4:5 there is one faith, he is referring to “the faith” Jude said to contend for in Jude 3. This one faith is the Word of God, the doctrine of Christ, the teaching of the New Testament — in essence the “one faith” is New Testament Christianity. Jesus’ words in John 14:6 add emphasis to this. He said “I am THE way, THE truth, and THE life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Christianity is the religion of the Almighty. Jesus said “Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28,29)