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  • Writer's pictureJoseph A. Bias

By Faith…Everything! Without Faith…Nothing. Part – 4


“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.”  Hebrews 11:6

 

What is faith?

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1   

 

Faith in God is not a feeling or a state of being, per se. It is not static. It is dynamic action based on knowledge of God’s Word. Faith is action taken based on trust in God’s Character, and the experience of believing the evidence of the things He has said and done.

 

We walk by faith. [2 Corinthians 5:7]

We live by faith. [Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11].

We fight the good fight of faith. [1 Timothy 6:12].

We understand by faith. [Hebrews 11:3]

We are saved by grace through faith. [Ephesians 2;8].

We have faith in God. [Romans 12:3, KJV]

We are sanctified by faith [Acts 26:18].

We are justified by faith [Romans 3:28; 5:1]

We are the righteousness of God by faith. [Romans 3:22]

We have access to God’s grace by faith. [Romans 5:1]

We stand by faith [Romans 11:20; Ephesians 6:13-18]

 

Now we know that faith without works (corresponding actions) is dead.  Our faith is activated (i.e. becomes faith) when we keep and obey the commandments of our Lord, Savior and God, Jesus Christ. Faith in word only (lip service) is meaningless and denies the Lordship of Christ in our lives.

 

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Luke 6:46   

 

Faith in God opens a pathway for us to the inexhaustible resources of God’s power and authority to act in this world to transcend the limits of human resources and strength, and bring to every human situation the supernatural authority and power of God to transform all things to His will.

 

Faith is a weapon of our warfare [Ephesians 6:16] that we use to protect us from all the fiery darts of the enemy. These are a just a few of his fiery darts, criticism, cynicism, negativism, pessimism, temptations fears, strivings, anger without a cause, malice, condemnation, and relativism.  All these come at us like fiery (darts) arrows to wound us, delay us, distract us, confound and confuse us, and ultimately to destroy us. 

 

The thief operates by all of these with three goals in mind; to steal our faith in God’s Word, to kill us, and to destroy the works of God.  

 

Jesus comes to us in stark contrast to the ways of the devil.

 

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

 

Jesus comes to bring life, and more abundant life.  There is no condemnation for us in Him. The common thread in all the devil’s ways is he plays on our minds first to convince us to act in our own self-interest to experience some pleasure, God has forbidden. He wants us always to think, speak, and act contrary to the will of God.  This has been his MO from the beginning. He came to Eve with a question.

 

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

 

Then Eve responded:

 

“And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Genesis 3:2   

 

But that was NOT what God said.

 

 "Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”Genesis 2:15

 

She mis-quoted the commandment and in doing so, she made room in her mind for the possibility that death may or may not result. But God did not say “not to touch it,” but more specifically He made it absolutely clear, saying “…you shall surely die.”

 

If she had truly believed what God said, she would never have chosen to disobey him. Nobody willfully desires certain death. To do so is to act against the most basic human instinct to survive.  To willfully choose death you have to be convinced that it is not death but life you are choosing life. And that is exactly what the devil convinced Eve was the case.

 

“Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5

He lied to her and contradicted God’s commandment. He didn’t just contradict her response, that inaccurately quoted God, he contradicted exactly what God had said.  God said, “…you will surely die.”  The devil said. “You will not surely die.”  He is a thief and a liar from the beginning.

 

Like so many people today who dull the sharp edge of the sword of the Word of God by compromise and acquiescence, Eve expressed a position that opened her up to the devil’s cunning and deceit to redefine God’s Word to fit the vain imaginations of her desire to do what she knew was against God’s will. She took the notion of imagined pleasure for herself over obedience to God. Her seemingly small compromise inevitably led to the greater sin. She allowed herself to believe the liar who sought to convince her that by his means should could gain something greater. 

 

The irony of his temptation was he was offering her something she already had without sin.  She and Adam were already gods on the earth. They had dominion and lordship over everything including the serpent. What they didn’t have was pride and selfish ambition to exalt themselves above God. That was Satan’s desire for himself. What he failed to achieve in heaven, he now sought to gain through the downfall of God’s most beloved creation, Man, Adam and Eve.

 

Faith in God does not look for loopholes, end arounds, or exceptions to His laws. Faith takes God at His Word and acts decisively, without doubt or reservation, and resists the temptation to compromise through disobedience.  

 

Continued in Part 5

 

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