The year 2015 is going to be a year of faith for me. Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot about God’s will for me, and now it is time for me to dig in and diligently apply my faith to what I have learned. I’m writing this post like a charter of faith for me. If you are blessed too, then all the better.
Why is faith important?
Salvation by faith
By far, the most important role of faith in a person’s life is in salvation. A person receives salvation by believing in Jesus Christ and confessing Him as Lord of their life.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. ~ Ephesians 2:8
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. ~ Romans 10:9
Living by faith
After salvation, faith is important because it becomes the foundation of a Christian’s life.
The just shall live by faith ~ Hebrews 10:38a
Although some people try to downplay faith for receiving answered prayers or miracles, the Bible emphasizes faith for experiencing the supernatural power of God.
Now He did not do many mighty works [in Nazareth] because of their unbelief. ~ Matthew 13:58
When the disciples were unable to cast out a demon, Jesus told them that it was,
…because of your unbelief. ~ Matthew 17:20a
Why couldn’t the children of Israel enter into the promised land of Canaan?
They could not enter in because of unbelief. ~ Hebrews 3:19b
After Peter started walking on water, why did he start to sink?
O you of little faith, why did you doubt? ~ Matthew 14:31b
What does the Bible say about praying but then doubting whether God will answer?
For let not that man think that he will receive anything from the Lord. ~ Hebrews 1:7
Not only does the Bible attribute failures to unbelief and doubt, it explicitly credits many successes to faith.
After Jesus healed the woman with an issue of blood, blind Bartimaeus, and the ten lepers, His response was the same to all of them:
Your faith has made you whole. ~ Matthew 9:22, Mark 10:52, Luke 17:19
When Jesus was healing two blind men, He said to them,
According to your faith let it be to you. ~ Matthew 9:29b
Jesus said if you have faith, nothing will be impossible for you.
Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ~ Matthew 17:20b
One day Jesus cursed a fig tree because it had no fruit on it. A few days later His disciples noticed that the tree was dead and asked Him about it. He answered,
Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. ~ Matthew 21:21b
After healing a lame man, Peter the apostle proclaimed,
And [the name of Jesus], through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all. ~ Acts 3:16
The Bible says that Stephen did great wonders and signs among the people because he was,
…full of faith and power… ~ Acts 6:8b
Not just any kind of prayer will heal the sick.
And the prayer of faith will heal the sick. ~ James 5:15a
The Bible says that we inherit all of the promises of God through faith.
Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. ~ Hebrews 6:12b
And to top it off, God seals the importance of faith by listing in Hebrews 11 many ordinary people who performed extraordinary exploits all because of faith.
What is faith?
The Bible gives one complete definition of faith:
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1
In other words, faith is a deep inner assurance of something that you cannot physically see.
Additionally, faith is a weapon. Ephesians 6:16 says that faith is a shield. Why is faith a weapon? Because the only way for our enemy Satan to gain the upper-hand is to get us to doubt what God has said to true. God says the Christian is dead to sin. If Satan gets us to doubt this (or keep us from ever finding out), then we will forever wallow around in our sin and never overcome because we don’t know that the victory over sin has already been won.
Now we know what faith is and why it is important.
How do you get faith?
The Bible gives one simple method of increasing our faith.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. ~ Romans 10:17
The purpose of the Bible is to make faith. As we read the Bible, our focus should be on building our faith by renewing our minds to what God says because we can’t have faith in something that we don’t know. We must first know what is true and then we must choose to believe that truth and act accordingly.
For example, Jesus said that God will always provide for our food, clothing, and housing. First we must know that He said that, and then secondly, we must believe that it is so and act accordingly, such as not being anxious about how our needs will be met in the future.
While it is essential to have faith, it is not enough. We must turn our faith into action.
How do you use faith?
This is the important part for me in 2015. Now that I have learned more of God’s will, I must not only believe those things but act accordingly.
Proclaiming the truth with your mouth is an excellent way to exercise your faith.
This is an application of Romans 4:17 which says that God,
calls those things which do not exist as though they [do]. ~ Romans 4:17
Death and life are in the power of the tongue. ~ Proverbs 18:21a
Furthermore, we see from Ephesians 2:8 and Colossians 2:6 that supernatural realities became realities in the natural “by grace, through faith.” For example, the Bible says Jesus paid for the sins of every human being. That is a supernatural reality which isn’t true in the natural (not everyone is saved). However, when a person has faith in salvation through Jesus and confesses that to be true, the supernatural reality becomes a natural reality for that person.
Likewise, a supernatural reality for a Christian is that they are financially rich. In 2 Corinthians 9:8 God has promised that not only will the Christian never have lack but that the Christian will have an abundance to invest in the Kingdom of God. So is that a false promise if I am broke and in debt? Not at all. It just hasn’t become true in the natural. Just like with salvation, I have to use my faith to pull the supernatural realities into the natural. I do this by confessing with my mouth that I am rich and that my finances are blessed. Likewise, I give generously based on the promise that I have an abundance to give.
This principle is also the same for physical healings.
So here’s to a year of great increase and exploits for the Kingdom of God… by faith.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. ~ 1 John 5:4