Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Are you REALLY walking by faith? Or are you walking by something else such as worldly tradition which is by sight.
When a Christian speaks about “faith”, we must discern what he or she means by this. Faith is not merely belief in something. Faith is power, the substance of things hoped for, an actionable system. It encompasses belief, trust, and full confidence that for example, God is real, He is living, Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, died to redeem us from our sins and rose from the dead so that we too may rise. But this is just part of the faith we are speaking about.
One can believe for example that their favorite team will win the game, but don’t really have faith that the outcome will be in their favor. Faith would be not watching the game nor looking up the score, but just going on with your life as if your team won.
One can believe that the car driving in the opposite lane will not cross over, this is merely confidence, but you aren’t really placing faith that this will be the outcome. Faith would be driving blindfold.
I think parents come the closest of realizing what faith is with their children. Children will place their total faith in a parent. Meaning they blindly will believe anything they are taught or done by their parents. The child simply places total trust and confidence in their parent, knowing that the direction given will protect them and it will be to their good. Sadly some parents lose the faith of their children by the decisions they make.
A child of God now sees Him as a GREAT parent. We simply trust and place our full confidence in EVERY promise He has given without a doubt. We walk blind in this faith, not fretting about the outcome because we know without a shadow of a doubt that God is real, He is active, He is alive, and He is the ALMIGHTY. This is called faith, again it is not merely belief.
Those who marched around Jericho in the face of their enemy for example had faith. Exposing themselves to death and fully and blindly trusting God that the outcome would always be in their favor, this is called faith. The blind trust in God, in His rest, at peace with Him, is faith in Him. They didn’t know if they would be slaughtered or not, they had faith in God that it was His purpose for them because He commanded it, and it would perfectly good. They rested and had peace in ANY outcome.
Abraham’s faith is well acknowledged. He had faith that if he sacrificed Isaac as commanded, that God would raise him up. His faith was counted to him as righteousness! Did Abraham self-exert this? No! It was the miraculous work of God in Abraham who gave him the faith to do this!
When the call is to place your faith alone in Jesus Christ, what are we saying? It means NOT placing your faith in other things or people. You can’t have faith in two infallible outcomes, this is called hypocrisy. Either Jesus is Lord and Savior, or something else is. You can’t for example place faith in a worldly institution to help save you and have faith alone in Jesus Christ. You can believe the worldly institution exists, but you can’t place faith in it.
A Christian has faith that Scripture is the very revealed word of God. We aren’t searching for evidence to make it His word, we simply have faith it is His word. With this, it has to be the ultimate authority for faith and practice since there is NO higher source. Some will try and claim other sources, such as Catholics do with their tradition and magisterium, but there is a reason WHY a Christian cannot place faith in those things. Our faith does NOT allow us to because Catholic tradition and magisterium are not the voice of our Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not pass Scripture’s test, thus a Christian’s faith will discard them easily.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for! The Christian hopes, meaning longs for, living eternally with Jesus Christ in His heavenly Kingdom. What is the substance? He is! We walk by faith, not by sight. We don’t need caricatures or depictions or statues to believe Jesus is real, that He is coming again, that He is God in the flesh. We have FAITH in all those things!
The Apostle Paul said, “examine yourself if you are in the faith”. He is not saying “tell me what you believe”, he is speaking about being in the faith. Faith is granted by God, it is a good thing. It is not substance you can obtain at the local church or can bribe God to give you. If your faith is weak, you can ask God to strengthen your faith. He will grant this if asked in faith.
We don’t self-generate faith, it comes solely by the grace of God. There isn’t some secret prayer or ritual or checklist to finish to get this faith, it comes solely from God as do all good things! Why is your faith weak or non-existent? Because you are either not believing that your faith came from God or you don’t believe He can grant it.
If you are an unbeliever and feel you are being drawn to God, humbly ask God for faith! Again, He will grant it, if it is of His will. When you are granted saving faith in Jesus Christ, there really is NO doubt what just happened. Your life just went from darkness to light!
Salvation is ONLY by grace alone, meaning granted by God through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.