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Smyrna Christian Church -- Lee Delbridge, Minister
910 Concord Road SE -- Smyrna, Georgia 30080 -- 770.435.1723
The Faith That Makes A Difference
A Sunday morning Bible School teacher asked her class “What is faith?” No one seemed to know the answer. Finally one little boy said “Faith is believing something you know is not true.” Is that what you think faith is? [Just to make sure I don’t mislead anyone -- that is the wrong answer.] Let’s talk about faith -- “the faith that makes a difference.” The Greek words for faith (pivsti", pisteuvw) are used over 500 times in the New Testament. Sometimes it is translated faith and sometimes it is translated believe (or belief). Is faith required to please God? What is faith, really? How do we acquire faith?
- FAITH REQUIRED
- Jesus required it in the golden text of the Bible
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- Those who believe in Jesus have eternal life
- Those who do not believe in Jesus will perish
- Jesus required in the great commission
Mark 16:15-16 - And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
- Those who believe the gospel and are baptized will be saved
- Those who don’t believe the gospel will be condemned
- The inspired writer required it in the faith chapter
Hebrews 11:6And 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 seek Him.
- It is impossible to please God unless you believe in Him
- The difference between those who spend eternity in hell and those who spend eternity with God is their faith!
- FAITH DEFINED
- The Greek word pistis (Strong # 4102), means a firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing and in the New Testament it is always used as “faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual.”
- In the New Testament faith (belief, believing) involves three things:
- a firm conviction of God’s revealed truth in the Bible
- a personal surrender to God
- a conduct inspired by such surrender
- Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- The New Century Version translates Hebrews 11:1 - "Faith means being sure of the things we hope for. And faith means knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”
- Christian faith is based on facts
- Picture a train: The engine is facts. The second car is faith. The third car is feeling The faith is based on the facts. The feelings are an outcome of the faith. (Don’t get these three in the wrong order)
- Picture a house: The house is faith. The foundation is facts on which the faith is built
- FAITH ACQUIRED
- By reading the story of Jesus
John 20:30-31 - Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
- The gospel of John was written to tell us the story of Jesus for the express purpose that we would believe in Him as the Christ, the Son of God and as a result have eternal life
- By hearing the story of Jesus
Romans 10:17 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (KJV says “the word of God”)
- Faith comes from hearing the story of Jesus
- Faith is to be fully persuaded (to know) that the story of Jesus is absolute truth (He is God in flesh who lived a perfect life, died as an atonement for our sins, was resurrected from the dead and is alive forever)
- The way to acquire faith and/or to strengthen your faith is to study the Bible
What is faith? Is it required? How do I acquire it? From the Christian perspective faith is a firm conviction that what the Bible says about God and Jesus are absolutely true, that you surrender yourself to Jesus because of what you believe and that you live your life based on that conviction. Faith is believing something that you know is true. (Not like the little boy in the introduction.) God requires faith from us. It is the one thing that makes the difference between a saved person and a lost person. What you believe will determine where you spend eternity. God requires that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Do you believe that? Do you have that faith? Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior?
© 2002 Lee Delbridge
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