What is Faith?
We are told in Hebrews 11:1 that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. The word translated as faith in Hebrews 11:1 and all that follow in this writing means to win over and persuade. Subjectively we understand faith to be a firm persuasion, conviction or belief in the truth. If faith literally means to win over or persuade this leads us to a question about who is doing the persuading.
Hebrews 12: calls Jesus the author and finisher of our faith while Hebrews 11:6 tells us that the faith that enables us to please God involves believing that he is, and that he rewards them that diligently seek him. When we compare these verses with Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” it becomes clear that God initiates faith in the believer. By this we know that every move toward God made by the one seeking Him is a response to revelation. God reveals and we respond.
The scriptures indicate that faith can be increased in 2 Corinthians 10:15 saying “Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,”. But faith is not like a muscle in the body that can be made larger by flexing or exorcise. Rather Galatians 3 tells us in verse 2 and 3 “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? So by this we know that what is started in the Spirit must be perfected in the Spirit.”
To answer the question about how our faith is increased Romans 1:17 offers some clarity with the words “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” In this verse again we see God’s revelation moving us forward from faith to faith. God speaks, we hear and the body of our knowledge and belief concerning Him grows. It should be understood then that one of if not a primary reward for diligently seeking God is an ever increasing faith.
If our hearing is weak our faith will not be strong. If our faith is not on the increase perhaps we have grown weary in well doing and faltered in our due diligence to seek the Lord. Let us all be encouraged to seek the Lord until we find him, hear what he reveals to us and obey his every word.
Written by Wes Arnold, PMT ElderReturn to the Newsletter Archives